Twitter Digest: Initial Implementation (Tweets of 2014.02.21)

Almost “there” on this feature I’ve long wanted to have on my blog. 

  1. another conservative defense of Putin h/t @joshuafoust (who finds it “offensive and dishonest”) 08:33:53
  2. the defense of Putin/Putin’s Russia crystallizes as a defense of the state along virtually pre-modern lines, fascist by default 08:38:58
  3. #pt so “offensive” to a liberal-democratic sensibility, but perhaps less “dishonest” than self-interestedly selective @joshuafoust 08:42:18
  4. RT @YuliaSkyNews: Ok, while I have quick internet (it’s been a while), will share pictures. Note at the hotel Ukraine in Kiev.… 08:46:28
  5. @joshuafoust from a certain idea of the ethical or political responsibilitties of the intellectual, in other words, not “disinterested” in reply to joshuafoust 09:05:41
  6. RT @NASAJPL: Bow, Wow, Wow! @NASASpitzer sees giant bow shock in front of a speeding star 09:32:50
  7. @MaxAbrahms suspicious video player download scheme, made to resemble Adobe flash, attached to that link in reply to MaxAbrahms 09:36:29
  8. RT @DaveMc99TA: Lol RT @wusa9: Man fired for using an 8,000-pound forklift in an attempt to retrieve Twix bar from a vending machine http:/… 09:39:37
  9. Stand Your Swamp RT @WandaRingRound Is This What The World Will Look Like In Hundreds Of Years? via @HuffPostGreen in reply to WandaRingRound 13:47:56
  10. @Sheedism except the first 90 minutes will be devoted to his making the Decision. in reply to Sheedism 17:49:57
  11. Could be true! RT @LiveScience Humans and Dogs Use Same Brain Area to Get Others’ Emotions in reply to LiveScience 17:59:30
  12. @Brett_Fujioka Obama-Lama Drama? in reply to Brett_Fujioka 18:01:18
  13. @steven_metz Artist, Schindler’s, and, I dunno, Best Years of our Lives or something? in reply to steven_metz 18:07:08
  14. @steven_metz I colored it in my recollection… in reply to steven_metz 18:12:43
  15. RT @Libroantiguo: Declaration of war from the German Empire 1914, starting WORLD WAR I. Signed by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II.… 18:20:11

Unfortunately, there is a problem with handling of a certain type of link: Picture links especially in the original tweets seem to get chewed up when “digested.” I’m trying to get in contact with the developer, and will be trying out some further hacks as time allows. But here’s the product for now. The only hacks it contains was the substitution of an “ordered list” for an “unordered list.” I’ve also added some CSS classes that made styling the input easier. The numbering format is based on code by Roger Johansson.

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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    Noted & Quoted

    TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

    For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

    The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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    Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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    [E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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