May. 5th, 2017

Trump

May. 5th, 2017 10:54 am
monk222: (Default)
Yesterday, the House passed their 'repeal & replace Obamacare' bill with much fanfare and celebration. Krugman gives voice to the basic frustration:

'The Republicans clearly believe that they can use culture-war propaganda to keep working-class whites from noticing that health care is being taken away from them. Millions of struggling families are about to lose coverage, or face soaring costs, to provide almost a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy. And yet they're expected to keep believing that Trump is on their side against the "elites". Can the Republicans really get away with this?'

Now, it's not clear what is going to happen in the Senate. I saw a blurb announcing that they are not going to pass this bill, but offer one of their own, which would then have to be worked out in reconciliation. Nevertheless, Krugman asks the 64-thousand-dollar question that beats at the heart of our political situation.

The Republicans have been playing this game for a long time, ever since Reagan. Trump's electoral victory seemed to indicate that the working whites were not putting up with it anymore and believed that they were taking over the party with Trump as their champion. It now appears that Trump has only ratcheted up the old Republican con. Will the working whites continue to take it? Quite possibly. Maybe they will continue to see that race is more important than class, and they will continue to support the white party over the mongrel un-American party at the expense of their own economic interests, and Trump simply succeeded at renewing the Republican Party's claim on being the white party. It is often said that so long as Trump puts up that Mexican border wall and keeps up the deportations, the Trump voters will gladly stand by their man.
monk222: (Noir Detective)
It had been a long time since I got to cheese up the neighbor dog, over a year, maybe a couple of years. When I was opening the side-door in the big room and lowering the screen-window, the dog was at the fence barking. He was looking a little more desperate and forsaken than usual, which is pretty bad indeed. I decided to rush into my shorts and socks to go out and share some quality time with him, stick my fingers through the fence to pet him under the snout that way. Since he looked a little worse off, I decided to bring out a slice of cheese as well. I stopped doing that because he had taken to ignoring it. He didn't ignore it this morning and seemed quite appreciative. It looks like the dog has not been bathed in at least a month, real dirty and ragged. At least he isn't short-leashed. A little tender mercy.

Chess

May. 5th, 2017 05:09 pm
monk222: (Bonobo Thinking)
Did Chernev's book "Logical Chess" get better in the second half, or did my interest in the game just pick up during this time? Probably the latter. This is not to say that it isn't a good book, but only that I probably grew more into the game to be able to appreciate the book better. I love his discussion, which was the selling point of the book, as the subtitle reads "Every Move Explained" (even if he can be rather repetitious on the virtues of castling, which is not exactly a lesson that one really needs to have beaten into any player that has moved beyond being a first-day beginner). I particularly like his quotations from the grandmasters that are sprinkled throughout the text. Given my lack of a social life, I can appreciate my chess being made more conversational. This is definitely for the permanent library, as I won't mind going through this book and replaying its games any number of times.

Kasparov

May. 5th, 2017 11:08 pm
monk222: (Default)
Garry Kasparov got into a little chess discussion on Twitter. A guy said, "I honesty think a lot of people would rather beat a human opponent simply because they know a computer wouldn't care one bit (literally)." Kasparov said, "Yes. Competition is about adrenaline and will. Playing against a machine is about self-control. It's solitaire. Very different motivations." Recall that Kasparov was the first grandmaster to lose to a computer, Big Blue.
monk222: (Bonobo Thinking)
There is a lot of speculation that Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Facebook founder, is looking to run for the presidency. He has been making the rounds around the country talking to the right people. What really confirms the suspicion is that he has now dropped his atheism, saying that he has found God again. Hey, if Billionaire Trump can do it, why not him?

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