Mueller Report

I figured the report deserves a separate thread.

BREAKING: The House Judiciary Committee is told to expect notification by 5pm that the Mueller report has been delivered to Barr— Ellen Nakashima (@nakashimae) March 22, 2019

While we wait for more information, I think the following David Frum piece,
A Special Prosecutor is not the Answer, written in 2017, is worth reading. The gist is that a Special Prosecutor will focus illegal acts that can be prosecuted, and that a president can do a lot of bad things that aren’t crimes. The Trump campaign coordinating with Russia and its cutouts to harm Clinton may not be illegal, or the Special Prosecutor may decide there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute anyone. This does not mean that the coordination is acceptable. What it does mean is that the question is not something for the legal system to answer, but the political one. In my view, the Republicans has hindered the political system from properly functioning. If Clinton had become president and Clinton campaign behaved similarly with regard to Russia, we would be moving towards, if not completing, impeachment. If a future president behaves in a similar manner, impeachment and removal would be justified.

This is probably better:

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Is Streaming Video/Music Economically Unsustainable?

Jazz critic Ted Gioia has some tweets about how streaming services are “the black hole of the entertainment business.”

I’ve updated my quick and easy guide to streaming economics—the black hole of the entertainment business.https://t.co/7AXsrUgB0E— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) March 13, 2019

His basic point is that streaming services lose, and continue to lose, a lot of money, and I assume he thinks this won’t change. At the very least, Gioia doesn’t seem to believe that streaming model will be able to support the making of movies, TV shows, and music. Equally dispiriting is the notion that musicians are getting even less revenue from streaming services (less than money they’d get from the traditional recording industry). That really sucks. I really don’t want to pay for a service where the musicians and artists don’t really get far less than they deserve (which, actually seems to have always been the case, but this is going in the wrong direction). Should serious music fans consider purchasing music in a traditional way (e.g., cds, records), and, even better, from the musicians themselves?

Another question: Why can’t artists ever take control of the distribution so that they can receive the majority of the profits?

Alternatives to Horse Race Coverage of Elections

In case you haven’t seen. My thread with reactions and pushback from journalists who cover politics. ⚡️ “Election coverage in 2020 is on track to be even worse than 2016” by @jayrosen_nyuhttps://t.co/NtQ07El3lF— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 10, 2019


This thread is to discuss alternative ways to cover a presidential campaign–specifically avoiding emphasis on the horse race, which candidates are ahead versus behind, and the analyzing the strategy and tactics the candidates employ to win the contest.

Rosen mentions going to voters to find out what they want to hear the candidates adddress, and build the coverage around these concerns. I like the idea, and I will respond to some of the other concerns that Rosen raises, but I want to start by discussing an approach that I’ve longed favored.

In addition to covering the the issues that the candidate and voters care about, including the policies favored by the candidate, I’d like to see the press evaluate whether the candidates have the attributes that good president’s possess. To do this the press should first identify the qualities that most good presidents seem to possess, seeking the help of historians, former presidents, white house aides, etc. Once the press identifies these qualities, they can then seek ways to analyze the candidates based on whether they have these attributes or not. Here, the press would work like an employer doing research on a potential employee.

One way the press could do this is creating a chart for each candidate. As the campaigns progress, the journalists can gather information and fill in the chart. Maybe at the start of campaign there will be many unknowns about the candidates–the journalists may be uncertain about certain attributes–e.g., knowledge, character, leadership, negotiating skills, etc. Over the time voters will see these charts fill up as journalist collect more information.

On a related note, part of the candidates’ profiles can include the overall governing philosophy of the candidate. What is their political philosophy and ideology? How was it formed? What are some expressions of this philosophy? I care about this as much, if not more, than their specific policy proposals.

Green New Deal

Democrats unveiled a major policy proposal, the Green New Deal. The title references FDR’s New Deal, and my understanding is that the plan is equally ambitious–addressing not only climate change, but also education, healthcare, among other things. In this thread, I want to analyze and discuss this proposal. Here’s a twitter thread that summarizes the deal:

1/Here’s a blog post detailing the specifics of the Green New Deal:https://t.co/HBajUSq8dA— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) February 7, 2019

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Notes on the Serial Podcast, Season 3

Based on the first episode, I get the impression this season will be more informative (in a sociological way) rather than entertaining. The subject itself, the way the criminal justice system typically operates, is also not a very cheerful, especially since a realistic depiction is the goal. Based on the first episode, they’ve seem to have done that. Listening to it made me think of my experiences in courtrooms. What I heard was familiar and not really pleasant. Continue reading “Notes on the Serial Podcast, Season 3”