Glenn Greenwald Is Insane

This is from Greenwald's December 19 Salon column. I don't understand how anyone can actually write this with a straight face:

"Then there were the Democrats of the Bush era. From 9/11 onward, they were probably the single most cooperative, compliant, and ccommodating "opposition party" ever to exist. There wasn't a partisan or ideological bone in their body. To the contrary, they were compromise and accommodation finding its purest and most submissive expression. Their eagerness to accommodate was so severe that, at the end of 2007, it actually led The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin to observe:'Historians looking back on the Bush presidency may well wonder if Congress actually existed.'"

BBV, whoah.

At a dinner last week, I was talking to a friend about his consulting business when my elder daughter, now eight, came over to interrupt. The conversation went something like this:

LT1: Dad, I spilled my milk this morning when I poured it into my cereal bowl.

Me: Hmmm. OK, what's the big deal? I'm not mad.

LT1: Well, did that HAVE to happen? Or might it have been that I didn't have to do it that way?

Me: (denies determinism, followup questions lead to defining multiverse)

LT1: Can I sit over here, Dad? You guys have much more interesting conversations.

Today's Political Snippet

I can understand an adrenaline surge, but "empowering"? WTF, where do these people come from?

A Minnesota professor who admitted on the Huffington Post that he stole campaign signs for John McCain posted along the highway has resigned.

Phil Busse left his temporary post at St. Olaf College after the school learned of his Oct. 30 posting, "Confessions of a Lawn Sign Stealer," in which the visiting professor admitted to snatching signs from Highway 19 in southeast Minnesota, the Northfield News reported Monday.

"This summer and autumn it was speckled with McCain signs, their cobalt blue squarely set against the gold and red of fall foliage," he wrote on the Huffington Post. "By early October, however, there were no McCain-Palin campaign signs on the eastbound stretch of Highway 19. It wasn't because loyalties had switched, but because I pulled them out."

David Gonnerman, a spokesman for St. Olaf College, told the News that the school learned of Busse's actions on Friday.

"The administration made clear that Mr. Busse's actions were in direct conflict with the college's values and mission and that the college did not in any way condone them," Gonnerman said.

Busse was a visiting professor and taught one class at the college, introductory media studies. He was charged with misdemeanor theft after he told Rice County law enforcement that he took three yard signs, the News reported.

In his blog post, Busse said "yanking out the signs and running like a scared rabbit back to my idling car was one of the single-most exhilarating and empowering political acts that I have ever done.",

He faces up to 90 days in jail and or a $1,000 fine, the paper said.

Politics

A libertarian friend of mine suggested that the only way to prevent our current political situation from becoming materially worse is to impose term limits on Congress. I responded to the effect that you might as well light a match in the middle of a hurricane, and that the Singularity will be upon us before a relatively pedestrian fix like term limits will actually have an impact on the extent to which government will do that which it should and no more.

Basically, I've pretty much stopped caring about politics.

After reading The Black Swan again, I can't take any narrative analysis seriously, and the notion that today's polls can actually predict electoral outcomes is a sad joke.

Monthly Challenge Report: + 133

I'm done with August. All in all, I'd give myself a C+. Positive ROI of about 4% on a mix of 6.50 and 13.00 SNGs, with a few small-stakes MTTs thrown in. I made some absolutely god-awful plays, but also had some good solid decisions. I note that my ITM finishes break down 65 56 47, so I'm either more effective HU or I'm hitting the money with a larger stack than my opponents. My subjective sense is more the former than the latter, although I see no easy way to dig this out of Poker Tracker.

I'm 0/7 on 6-max SNGs, I have no idea what gives.

While I'm on that note, PT3 has all sorts of bugs. It routinely blows the time taken per tournament, sometimes in really odd ways: it says I took 22 million minutes to finish one. It also crashes a bit too often for my taste. The HUD is vastly useful, however, and has given great input into some read-dependent decisions.

Making $10K is going to be a serious grind.

The best run-on sentence ever!

A former Senator and vice-presidential candidate misused campaign contributions and money pledged to fight poverty so he could bring his mistress on the campaign trail with him during the presidential campaign where he was constantly making appearances with his widely admired cancer stricken wife then fathered the mistress's child sometime around the time he was getting a Father Of The Year Award and then asked his loyal aid who already has a wife and kids to falsely claim paternity while the fake dad and the mistress were funneled money so they could move to be near the mistress's psychic healer friend while the former candidate continued to meet the mistress and baby until he was caught by tabloid reporters and hid in the bathroom and then confessed on national TV a couple of weeks later but both he and his wife continued to lie during that interview and in subsequent statements.

(courtesy of the Huffington Post)

World's Worst Prop Bet

Seriously, I don't know what possessed me to bet that Amy Winehouse would have higher career earnings than Britney Spears in 2023. Part of it was that I was three sheets to the wind when I made the bet and among close friends to whom the $2K doesn't matter much. Part of it also was that I really haven't focused on Britney until recent years, when she almost as much of a train wreck as Winehouse is. And part of it is that I really do believe that talent should prevail.

All that said, the bet is the single worst bet in my prop career, easily. Turns out that Britney's Pepsi endorsement deal is worth something north of $250 million.

I have had some fun with it, though: I send the guy a massive framed Winehouse poster for his office wall, along with a Rehab t-shirt and a copy of the album. I looked for a Winehouse bobblehead, too, but couldn't find one.

I hereby officially designate Winehouse as my favorite musician, and heartily commend her music to all of you! Gladwell anyone?

John Edwards

It will be no surprise to anyone that knows me that I've thought this guy was 100% snake oil from the beginning. What stuns me is that anyone -- literally anyone -- believes the current line of utter crap that he is spinning. It requires you to believe that the following conversation took place:

Andrew Young: Honey, I've got some bad news.

Mrs. Young: Huh?

AY: My mistress is pregnant.

Mrs. Y: Your mistress?

AY: Yep, and she and the baby are coming to live with us.

Mrs. Y: With us?

AY: Yes. And guess who she is?

Mrs. Y: #$)(*&#($*#!

AY: She's my boss and mentor's sloppy seconds! We passed her around like a cheap bong at a seventies campfire!

Seriously, it must be nice to go through life with the level of delusion that he carries with him. It's just like Ted Haggard claiming that the gay massages were non-sexual and that nobody actually USED the meth.