Mobes Hobes writes: There is an outpouring of various expressions of angst about the new law saying real estate agents representing landlords have to be paid by them. Can somebody explain how they got people to pay a fee equivalent to a month of rent in order to find an apartment anyway?
Heebie's take: You see, Mobes, it's the sparkling efficiency of the free market and the intrinsic beauty of competition, during sunset.
So, I'm sleeping substantially better on ADHD meds than I have for the past ten years. Like deep sleep and feeling refreshed in the morning. The doctor says that's common, and his explanation is that now that part of my brain is stimulated during the day and tired by night and ready to sleep, as opposed to running restlessly all day and all night. Or something. Anyway, I wonder what part of the benefits are just being well-rested. (Not all, for sure.)
I still feel like I'm cheating somehow and taking performance enhancers. But situations where I used to white-knuckle my way through them are now much easier. (For me, it's most obvious around parenting.)
We should probably have a DoJ/Roger Stone thread, except what is there to say besides
I do have one response: During the acquittal, when people lamented how Trump would feel free to do anything now, I said smarmily, "When has he ever exercised restraint before? When has he ever felt that consequences applied to him? I think he was already operating at full capacity."
Boy was I proved wrong, fast.
I was listening to a podcast the other day where they were discussing menopause (with this author). The author was asked if she feels dumber post-menopause. Her answer was basically, "No. I feel smarter in my writing because I'm better able to see the whole picture. And the studies bear this out, that women aren't dumber post menopause. But the one place where I'm not as sharp is around banter and repartee. I'm a little slower there. But honestly, I was getting sick of the constant banter competition anyway."
I can imagine a group where banter and repartee are a competition, and I can imagine that it would be tiring and unpleasant. Fortunately I'm not around those kinds of crowds. I mostly am around two types of groups:
1. Groups where banter and repartee are celebrated and achieve a kind of synergy that's funnier than the sum of its parts, and
2. Groups where people don't know how to banter or make jokes, and they don't know that they don't know it. Good-natured earnest people where it's just too easy to make them laugh, that you have to restrain yourself and not conduct yourself under normal rules of banter because you would sabotage the interaction.
The first kind is obviously my favorite, and I love you all dearly, (and some local friends as well) and the second group is definitely Heebie U and a lot of south central Texas. This sentence is me exercising restraint from making cultural overgeneralizations, but you can dive right in.
(Another possibility is that some people perceive innocent banter through a lens of competition instead of one of synergy. That could either make you insecure or aggressive, but either way, it would suck the fun right out.)
Mo Cho writes: Kramp-Karrenbauer is done. Being Merkel's famously hand-picked successor I've been assuming (perhaps unfairly) that she shares her patron's tireless steely-willed determination to Make Germany Irrelevant Forever and another 10 years of that isn't good enough*. So I shall be optimistic and interpret this as good news. And even if it isn't we're no longer obliged to remember wtf AKK stands for.
*Maybe it's good enough for the Germans. I care more about everyone else.
"An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter" is not unsettling nor new, but I sure do hope it becomes gospel quick.
Bitecofer's theory, when you boil it down, is that modern American elections are rarely shaped by voters changing their minds, but rather by shifts in who decides to vote in the first place. To her critics, she's an extreme apostle of the old saw that "turnout explains everything," taking a long victory lap after getting lucky one time. She sees things slightly differently: That the last few elections show that American politics really has changed, and other experts have been slow to process what it means.
If she's right, it wouldn't just blow up the conventional wisdom; it would mean that much of the lucrative cottage industry of political experts--the consultants and pollsters and (ahem) the reporters--is superfluous, an army of bit players with little influence over the outcome. Actually, worse than superfluous: That whole industry of experts is generally wrong.
Unlike forecasters like FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, who believe that candidates seen as too ideologically extreme pay a political cost, Bitecofer doesn't see much of a downside to a candidate like Bernie Sanders. But she doesn't see much of an upside either, since ideology isn't as big a motivator as identity, and since Sanders did not in fact bring hordes of new voters to the polls in 2016. (Overall turnout in the 2016 primaries was down compared with 2008, when Barack Obama led a surge in the youth vote. In 2016, Sanders just did remarkably well among the young as Clinton tanked.) There is some risk to nominating Joe Biden, who could be seen as a candidate of the status quo against a disrupter like Trump, but either way, the key will be to do their version of what Trump does to them every day: make the prospect of four more years of Republican rule seem like a threat to the Republic, one that could risk everything Democratic-leaning voters hold dear.
This is slightly different than what I've been thinking. I've been thinking, "Eff centrism and run on a solid platform grounded in solid progressive ideas." It sounds like she's saying Democrats should run on fear. Fear gets people to turn out, just like Trump won on racism-based fear.
I don't know that "fear" is that monolithic and I don't know how exactly you would run on fear of another Trump administration and still sell yourself as a candidate, but damned if I'm not scared shitless of losing.
Also Sam Wang basically agrees with her, and also she's funny:
"If you think of independents as a fixed pool of voters that change preferences," she says, "well, that has implications for how you campaign after them. But if you are talking about the preference of independents changing because the pool of independents changes, well that is a different fucking banana."
Nworbie writes: A couple of Harvard undergraduates have a project which could transform social relations on the Internet. No, not those two, but the pair who had the smart idea of cross-referencing some of the data breaches that are published on the dark web, so that the big Experian credit check file, which holds 69 data points on everyone in it could be linked to real people on other cracked sites. To keep it manageable, they confined this to Washington DC.
a cyber criminal doesn't have to have a specific victim in mind. They can now search for victims who meet a certain set of criteria," Metropolitansky said. For example, in less than 10 seconds she produced a dataset with more than 1,000 people who have high net worth, are married, have children, and also have a username or password on a cheating website. Another query pulled up a list of senior-level politicians, revealing the credit scores, phone numbers, and addresses of three U.S. senators, three U.S. representatives, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and a Cabinet member.
(I read this in a hurry and assumed that the rich cheaters were also all in politics, but even if that's not true, there must be enough of an overlap to rescue the headline).
Also, why isn't the tabloid press all over this technique already? It wouldn't have caught Jeff Bezos, but it would surely yield blackmailable material in quantities to make it economic to harvest. Or perhaps they already are, and it's a standard part of opposition research.
Heebie's take: "Metropolitansky" is a great name. It sounds like Boris and Natasha's fake last name that they made up in order to sidle into an official building that they're not supposed to be in.
Other than that, we're all hosed.