Vote-a-rama [DOT 6/3/21]

Happy weekend!!

Senate grinds toward passage of $1.9 trillion Biden relief plan

What’s the over/under til he’s gone?

Former Cuomo aide says he is ‘textbook abuser’ and details alleged harassment

Bad take!

You be the judge:


Tiger Woods was found unconscious by passerby after SUV crash, affidavit says

I’m gonna watch the shit out of this!

After I watch the shit out of this…

Save the rest of your entertainment recommendations for Brain Drain, coming up next.

Enjoy your weekend!



  1. As everyone who has ever ben forced to undertake “ethics training” knows, the tests are ridiculously easy to pass. There are no curveballs, the “yes” and “no” answers are so self-evident that even a graduate of Albany Law School could pass them. But maybe not one illustrious alumnus:

    For more weekend reading, I highly recommend reading Kyrsten Sinema’s wiki page:

    Raised LDS (that must be where the “Kyrsten” comes in) and a graduate of Brigham Young, but now rumored to be Congress’s only non-theist, divorced bisexual, did a stint in the Florida panhandle as a child (of course), started out as a member of the Green Party but is now among the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, is only 44 so in Senate years that makes her barely above drinking age…
    To misquote Hamlet, “What a piece of work is (wo)man.”

      • I had to take the training annually at a bank I worked at. It’s pathetically easy, but we had to sit through the video portions — we couldn’t skip to the test. So Cuomo probably felt like he couldn’t devote an hour to it, or computers are too hard. Either explanation is pathetic. 
        If anyone needed at cheat sheet, it’s right here:
        1. Don’t touch anybody at work for any reason.
        2. Don’t say creepy things to people at work for any reason, which includes asking them out. 
        3. Look people in the eye. You got no business checking out anything else. 
        Stick to that, you can pass any test.
        TL;DR: Don’t mess around at work. It’s fucking stupid. 

          • That made me laugh. But seriously, I have known some players (male variety) at several of my jobs. The smart and successful ones did not do that shit at their places of employment. Since they had no plan to make a rendezvous into a long-term relationship, they did NOT need the drama that could ensue when the big break occurred. See also: Don’t bang clients. You ain’t Jon Hamm and this ain’t Mad Men
            The only assholes that hit on other people at work are a. married or b. pathetic. 

        • It’s extremely unsettling to be the subject of creepy comments, as far too many women know. In the Big 90s I worked at a company that hired a fairly senior guy who was gay (part of a diversity initiative I’m sure; he didn’t bring much business savvy as far as anyone could tell). There were a handful of other out gay men in the small division, but that wasn’t why we were hired, we had very specific niches. I have so many memories of his short tenure (he just vanished one day; no explanatory well-wishing memo, never spoken of again.) I was once in the elevator with him, just the two of us, and it got stuck, briefly, thank God. 
          “Mattalah, you’re in bright and early!” (He had self-invented nicknames for all of us, part of the creep effect.)
          “Yeah, well, MY BOYFRIEND is away and WE have dogs so I walked them and I’m up anyway so I figured I’d get some stuff done WITHOUT BEING DISTRACTED.”
          “So how are you distracting yourself while the cat’s away?”
          “Nothing, really, I need to rearrange the books on these two bookshelves we have—what just happened? Did you push the stop button?”
          He looked panicked so I knew he didn’t do it. He used the elevator phone and I could hear the lobby person saying it was a mistake so we’d be moving soon, relax.
          “So what kind of dogs do you have?”
          I told him.
          “Oh. I figured a big guy like you would have big dogs. Like a bull dog or pit bulls, something—”
          The elevator started moving again.
          “Ha-ha-ha-ha. No, WE have a small apartment so WE can barely fit ourselves in. Do you know much about terriers? That’s what a pit bull is, an American Staffordshire terrier. Our little 12-lb. terrier has a lot of terrier traits, extremely protective, and a little hunter. They used to be deployed on ships as ratters, to keep the rats from gnawing on the wood that might cause holes in the wooden hulls—” And on and on I went until we arrived on our floor. I was never so grateful to see the lobby as I was that day.

            • It actually wasn’t that bad for me (this is what lots of people say, I would imagine, who have been on the receiving end of these unrequested chats) but there was a college intern who he took a shine to. I had at least eight inches of height on the Creep and at least 50 pounds, so unless he chloroformed or roofied me I didn’t really feel like I was in any physical danger.
              One lunch time I was at a table by myself in the cafeteria and the Creep sat down, uninvited. Fine, whatever. There were a couple of things I needed to ask him anyway and a public cafeteria was a far better option than his or my private office.
              “Do you know College Intern?”
              “Somewhat. He reminds me of me when I was his age.”
              “He’s really cute, don’t you think?”
              “I come from a large family and I’m among the youngest, so I’m in the bad habit of thinking of a lot of people as siblings. So College Intern would be like my much younger brother. And you’re old enough to be my older brother and College Intern’s father. Speaking of fathers, do you know who College Intern’s father is? NYPD. Vice Squad. Good Italian family from Staten Island. I think the father might be here today, I know he and College Intern were supposed to be getting together here this week at some point…”
              This was total bullshit on my part, College Intern’s father was not a Vice Squad cop from Staten Island, but ever since that conversation Creep avoided College Intern like the plague. I should have gone into the HR field. There are perfectly legal ways to avoid workplace disruptions, if you say the right thing to the right person.

  2. I first saw that video clip of Sinema’s “vote” and thought it was from SNL or something…  What is up with her?  Why is a $15 minimum wage at all controversial or questionable?
    Honestly, I think the minimum wage should be up arounc $20 or maybe even $25, and then be tied to local cost of living metrics, or somehow be tied to market-rate rent,

    • I can’t remember the source, but I recalled reading an economics article which demonstrated that if the minimum wage had been pegged to inflation from the start, it would currently be in the mid-20s.  $15 is still a huge compromise, but it’s clearly not going to happen.
      The real problem at this point is that there is data which demonstrates when large companies, like Amazon, raise their own minimums to $15, then the overall wage floor in that area goes up.  Why is this bad?  Because it’s all the ammunition Republicans need to say, “FREEMARKETFREEMARKETFREEMARKET”, and use this as “evidence” that the gubmint doesn’t need to do anything about minimum wages.  Except, how many years has it been since the minimum wage was even remotely livable, and as ubiquitous as Amazon is, it is not in every city in the country.

        • Minimum wage when I graduated high school over 30 years ago was $3.35.  If I just put that into the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, it only comes out to $8.45.  What am I missing?

          • Sorry, just saw this, @LemmyKilmister. The figure is adjusted for productivity growth, which is the ratio of GDP to total hours worked. Labor productivity growth comes from increases in the amount of capital available to each worker (capital deepening), the education and experience of the workforce (labor composition) and improvements in technology (multi-factor productivity growth).
            In other words, a worker now can accomplish much more than 30 years ago, since we’ve developed better methods of completing tasks. So an accountant, for example, used a calculator 30 years ago,  and spreadsheets 15 years ago, and now has programs that can calculate, say, income taxes in a few minutes.  A landscaper can use a leaf blower instead of a rake. And so on. Someone who worked on a assembly line tightening bolts has been replaced by a robot, so 30 bolt-tightening workers’ jobs are now being accomplished by one dude at a keyboard, 

      • I like to remind people that when Target announced they were raising their starting wages to $12 a few years ago, people were like “ha enjoy seeing your Target bill go up by 20%” etc etc like there’s no way to pay for wage increases for low-paid workers except to raise prices a ton?

        People are so fucking worried that it will kill small businesses to do a minimum wage hike and I’m not convinced. I think there are different pressure points for a business with a few employees vs a “small business” with 1000 employees. 

        I would even be okay with doing a federal minimum raise hike and putting exemptions in there like “company has less than 10 employees” or something. It’s possible some people will willingly work for less money to be at a small business that works well for them. Maybe they can bring their kid to work, etc. I don’t really care about the details, let them see if they can retain employees.

        • This is such a bullshit argument, and it’s already been tested in several cities that have instituted higher minimum wages, and fast food chains still exist there.
          I don’t know the specifics off-hand, but the increase in wages can be covered by raising the cost of a basic mcdonalds cheeseburger a nickle or so. 
          Which is also pretty damning, as there are so many people out there that would rather a large segment of the population live in crushing poverty, then pay an extra nickle for their stupid cheeseburgers…

  3. Seriously, do any of these Catholic bishops ever talk to each other before making bullshit pronouncements? And don’t they have a boss? I could’ve sworn they have a boss. Doesn’t he get to say what’s right or wrong?  (Full-disclosure: I find Catholicism murky at best and significantly morally compromised at worst, y’know, considering their long history of anti-Semitism, homophobia, and committing and covering up sexual abuse.) And logistically, isn’t letting your parishioners die of a disease somewhat … counter-productive? 

    • The Catholic Church’s take on a lot of things fascinates me, an outsider.
      When we lived in downtown Manhattan our hospital was St. Vincent’s in the West Village, now partly given over to another hospital chain, now partly razed and turned into luxury condominiums, of course. They did incredible treatment and palliative care during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s (and beyond) because, as I understand it, these were God’s children who were sick and needed help. I mean it was pretty secular, the nurses weren’t nuns or anything, but it was lavishly underwritten by the Catholic Church. That’s partly why they had to get rid of it, it was huge money drain, and those pedophilia lawsuits and settlements were about to push the Archdiocese into bankruptcy the funds were needed elsewhere. The Better Half had minor surgery there in the 1990s, pre-gay marriage, pre-domestic partnership/civil unions, the height of the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell/I believe marriage is between one man and one woman” neoliberalism heyday. When BH was admitted and we went to his room a doctor showed up with a couple of nurses and an orderly. “And, Mr.—Crawley, is it? Mr. Crawley, would you like to stay here overnight with your friend? We have reclinable chairs. They’re not the most comfortable but—” This was incredible. I had no rights to BH, I was just some guy with another guy, and they were like, “Oh we know what’s up, so as the spouse, even though no temporal authority recognizes you as such, we do!”
      On the other hand, did you know that there is a Catholic ban on IVF? You would think that the Catholic Church would be all in favor of bringing even more human life into the world, but not by artificial means.
      Centuries ago Galileo was persecuted. Then shortly thereafter some of the oldest observatories in the world were founded by the Catholic Church, the Jesuits were especially keen on this. The Vatican runs one of the best in the world. I once asked a Jesuit, “Why are you looking for alien life?” “Well, there are events in the Christian [he meant Roman Catholic] calendar, like Lent and Easter, that are determined by—” “I’ve always wondered about that. How could the birth date of a baby born to impoverished itinerant Jews, somewhat out of wedlock, be known to occur on December 25th? And yet the crucifixion of a famous cult or religious figure, certainly well-known in the local Jewish community and overseen by the Roman provincial governor no less, not have a fixed date? The Romans wrote everything down. This must have been recorded somewhere.” “Uh-hmmm, yes. As for alien life, should we encounter it, there might be things we could learn, but we could also teach. We could bring them to an understanding of God, and His purpose of making Himself mortal to walk among us. When Jesus lived Rome was the center of a great civilization, heathen and barbaric as it was, and Judea, to the Romans, might as well have been as alien to most as Saturn is to us.” “What if God manifested Himself on Saturn somehow?” The patient Jesuit chuckled. “Well, that is something we might learn, isn’t it. I don’t suppose you’re headed to the bar? This is a double scotch, neat.”
      I love the Jesuits.

    • All these Catholics super concerned with fetal cells in vaccines better never get surgery, pap smears, rx medication or really anything because BOY are they going to be surprised how medicine works/worked.

    • Yeah I was reading about the NOLA archdiocese doing that and thinking WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK and then checked my local news and was like oh, of course, St. Louis archdiocese would have to do that, too.

      Most of the problem is just church politics. John Paul II was followed by Nazi youth pope who wanted the Catholic Church to be more fundamental, which meant that realignment fit really well with assholes in the US wanting to be more Republican/Conservative/fundie/fucking stupid.

      Current pope is considered to be a scary socialist by lots of Catholics. Like a not insignificant amount of US priests and bishops really don’t like when Pope Francis makes a declaration that isn’t the kind of thing you’d expect to hear on Fox News because it just makes them think he’s trying to force the church to be more liberal/socialist/scary/etc. 

      So if you’re an archdiocese in the state that elected Josh Fucking Hawley, yeah, you can bet that leaning into more conservative talking points like OMG fetal cells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! will work well with lots of your parishioners. 

  4. The minimum may not be going up (yet), but Other-Husband’s job just bumped his pay up to $15/hour anyway. It’s… nice. Really nice. We’re still not 100% in the clear, but it’s going to be less of a scramble to get everything settled every month. We might even have some “fun” money (if going out is ever a thing we can do again…)! I hope this starts happeneing for other people, because it’s nice to spend $20 on something that’s not strictly necessary now and then!
    I got woken up out of a peaceful half-doze at 7am by the cat using my face for a launchpad. Fortunately (VERY fortunately), I squinched my eye shut in time because there are scratches on both upper and lower eyelids and down my cheek. Wearing a mask to go do the shopping will be fun… the biggest scratch is right where the mask goes across my right cheek. It’s not too terrible, but there was blood drawn :/ it looks fantastic, let me tell you. I’m glad I wear big glasses… they hide most of the damage!

    • Yay!!! Tell OH we say Congrats on the raise!!!

      It’s so frustrating to me that people who are (mostly) rich as fuck are the ones making decisions about wages. Like they don’t understand how transformative an extra $100 a month can be. 

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