Paul Ryan Changes the Flynn Narrative

A funny thing happened this morning (on our way to the impeachment). Last night CNN and many other news outlets reported that General Flynn “offered” his resignation. In addition, most news sources have concluded (deductively) that the White House knew that Flynn was negotiating with Russia specifically about existing US censure.

While on my way back from morning drop-off I was listening to statements offered by Paul Ryan on the subject in which he claims that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation.

“I think the key is this: That as soon as this person lost the president’s trust, the president asked for his resignation, and that was the right thing to do.”

Folks, words matter and I can think of no better example of this than Ryan’s tilted narrative from this morning. He’s spinning the record to protect the White House and his party. What Flynn did was illegal and what we should be doing now is scrutinizing the situation. Did Flynn do this on his own or as directed? There are only two levels above the National Security Advisor so the order, if it came from anywhere, does not leave many loose ends. Follow up is an easy process and Ryan and Chaffetz should be eager to chase down answers to those questions. Seriously, the slight of hand here is too obvious, yet plenty of chumps will buy into this altered truth simply because it fits their pre-existing party bias.

Loyalty, yes, is an important feature of human social networks, but I wonder when these thickheaded buffoons are going to realize that it must work both ways. Your party’s leadership has made a habit of shoveling industrial quantities of fertilizer quality bullshyte down your gullets and the rest of the world is waiting for the moment when, if ever, you’re going to recognize you’re gobbling down poo?

NPR, damn it, you know better than to parrot this crap. Don’t aid your worst detractors.

Spin

State-by-state breakdown of crazy

This morning I cranked up the radio and was surprised to learn that Americans moved a smidgen closer toward full equality. Yeah, that’s right SCOTUS has ruled that marriage has nothing to do with gender. It’s all about the commitment baby. Cheering could be heard from my Prius as we bounced along Dockton road on our way to breakfast out.

Then, out of no where, NPR started airing dissenting opinions. This parade of somber, bigoted asshats reminded me of why I prefer to not tune in. One President of a “Christian university” spoke about how LGBT marriage equality was not in the public’s interest because of some made up CDC statistics indicated that alternative lifestyles are magically dirtier than heterosexual commitments. This was followed by a Bishop telling listeners that the court wasn’t taking a populist tack, claiming (I kid you not) that his particular fringe fundamentalist Christian claptrap was statistically significant.

Tootling along, I couldn’t help but note all the different angles these guys wanted to put on the same issue. It’s as if they can’t think beyond those “Jesus is ______” signs they like to hang over highways and paste to the back of SUVs. “Your progressive ______ wont work,” they’re saying.

By the time we arrived at Snapdragon for some tasty treats and caffeinated beverages I was really needing a silver lining. The cloud that had formed on this sunniest of sunny days was really getting me down. I think my allergy to spin, even when delivered in the context of complete news coverage, is just too sensitive. And this had started to feel like an interview of NAMBLA members when a human trafficking story is uncovered.

My nose positioned above an aromatic cup-o-joe a couple of things occurred to me. First, these guys just lost a very significant meeting battle. The courts have ruled on the side of, if not progress than, at least liberality. People getting together — consensually sharing and loving — should never be interrupted. That’s my opinion, but I can’t see a downside and I’m certainly not going to start manufacturing them. So chock one up for the protagonists and spread some love around.

Second, all that spin, man it tends to water down any meaningful argument. It’s the grasping of straws and the pounding of nails in pine boxes. It’s a eulogy. And that in and of itself is an amazingly welcome thing. It means that any substantive resistance has already taken care of itself.

Finally, it means we can focus on bigger problems. Paying attention to “marriage traditionalists” is a lot like paying attention to “climate change deniers,” a complete waste of precious time. The idea that Congress could pass a Defense of Marriage amendment to the constitution has now become laughable and all attempts to try will be summarily laughed at. So go ahead, make this a plank in your next election because self identification is crazy helps everyone.

Now, before I close, I want to offer up my support of equality. In the big vin diagram of life there are a lot of sub-bubbles where we could see some improvement. The marriage one, man, that’s been taken care of, so go love the one you love and find satisfaction in that relationship.

Using Mood to Predict Weather

That guy just tweeted about his bad day.

I found this article on NPR today. The idea that data science can determine the weather based on the amalgamated mood of posts in a region seems like a choice bit of wizzbangery. Seriously, what else might it be possible to learn about based on similar data models? Our brain’s ability to correlate disparate things and thereby create predictive meanings is a powerful and amazing faculty. The science of behavior seems much more of a science today than it did twenty or thirty years ago.