SocraticGadfly: 1/28/24 - 2/4/24

February 02, 2024

Tell me you're a capitalist without telling me

I recently was interviewed by a recruiter. (Whom I may name here at some point later.)

Asked about why did I leave job X after 2.5 years, job Y after 1.5, job Z after 2, etc.

First, as I noted, every move but one of mine in the last 15 years has been related to the turmoil in my industry. Guess I should be putting that more up-front on the resume, but, nonetheless, I have no problem explaining it.

Second, I not only kept my head above water but in general (in nominal dollars, at least) moved forward financially.

And, said recruiter said she had decades in this profession before setting up shop as a recruitment and placement company for various companies. They mentioned a few of those companies. Medium-small to large; names didn't impress me.

The recruiter next hit the spiel that "companies don't want to pay to relocate you" etc. if they think you'll leave in a couple of years. 

Rather than asking right away if these changes were because of industry turmoil and decimation.

Oh, I understand. 

That said, if the job is good enough, I'll be staying. And, by that, I mean not only pay, but in general.

Part of me looks at companies in this industry phoning shit in and says "Peter Principle."

I did learn some resume tweak ideas, even if the recruiter didn't email me the ideas in detail because they wrote me off. But, what makes a "good" resume seems to change every five years. Isn't that itself part of capitalism? Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to make you stumble into the furniture?

Finally? This is also a reminder that recruiters ALWAYS work for employers first, employees second.

February 01, 2024

RFK Jr going Libertarian? Cornel West flirting? Why Jill Stein?

Via Ballot Access News, first, Bob Jr. told Robert Smerconish, per Newsweek, that he's eyeing seeking the Libertarian nomination.  

Second, also via BAN, both Bob Jr. and West are speaking to Cal Libertarians at their state convention.

Now, several comments.

First, do the Libertarians want Bob Jr.? Would he ditch his stance on climate issues to become more palatable? On gunz? And, if he did, would many still think he's too much of a squish?

On the second piece, are Libertarians, at least some, now getting a hard-on for ex-Democrats instead of ex-Republicans? Their two names are splashed at the top of the home page. Bob Jr. gets an hour to speak during lunch Saturday, the same as the Saturday keynote speaker and far more than the 5 minutes each for declared candidates. He's also on a 90-minute Saturday evening panel with two, but not all four of the above-noted, LP presidential candidates. West is on a similar panel Sunday with one of the other two. But, that's the last item at the convention and will surely be skipped by many. Hornberger gets semi-screwed of the four LP candidates and Balley gets no love at all for whatever reason.

And, on Cornel, is there any political party that he's not going to whore himself out to?

OK, to add new news, as of Feb 8. A new piece at BAN says Jill Stein will be at the Cal Libertarians convention, too. Why?

First, why are Libertarians inviting a Green? Yes, the two parties might agree on things like the War on Drugs, but each one runs its own presidential candidates. Has any other state Libertarian party gone down this road, or does this say something about Cal Libertarians? (That said, can a Cal Libertarian at the event ask Stein if she has divested or not from her oil, tobacco and defense-laden mutual funds.)

Second, why are Stein, or even West, going there, re the reasons above?

Few quick thoughts on US Senate race in Texas, non-Ted Cruz wing

Reminder that more than three people are seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Ted Cruz, and that several of the "second tier" candidates, like Thierry Tchenko, are NOT "vanity candidates."

Reminder that, if you want to sign a ballot access petition for Cornel West, RFK Jr. or anybody else, you can't vote in that primary.

Greens have a potential candidate, Mason Cysewski, who has filed FEC paperwork. And, who ran for the US House seat in Wyoming in the past, and about whom I know nothing else. Is it this one? (It seems so, as the FEC paperwork also has a North Dakota address.) Per a thin Twitter stream which has one tweet saying he is 14 years old. Wunderbar. 

They're the only Green, so far, that Ballotpedia has listed. And, since I likely won't vote for Jill Stein, and definitely won't if she's not divested stocks, that means Greens need a statewide judicial candidate who is a serious one if they want my help in breaking the 2 percent mark to extend ballot access.

January 31, 2024

PAC war within Texas oil wingnuts?

Texas GOP Vice Chair Dana Myers is challenging jefe Matt Rinaldi for the leadership role over Rinaldi's ties to Defend Texas Liberty/Nick Fuentes.  

That said? The Austin Chronicle notes the Texas oil billionaires' Dunn and Wilks have created a spinoff PAC, Texans United for a Conservative Majority. Will they intervene in the GOP leadership race after possibly cutting off their money to Defend Texas Liberty? Will Defend Texas Liberty go all fuck-you to the duo?


Texas Progressives talk climate, races, books, more

SocraticGadfly says that, contra Ryan Burge, the climate change minimizer/denier "gap" is ultimately religious-irreligious, not political as even Burge's own data show. 

Off the Kuff interviewed Rep. Lizzie Fletcher as well as Congressional candidates Amanda Edwards and Pervez Agwan

Biden has invited Kate Cox to speak at the State of the Union. No US relative of one of the more than 25,000 dead Palestinians has been invited, of course. 

Speaking of? Biden's war has indeed expanded, with three US troops killed in Jordan.

New Texas law says you can vote anywhere in large counties with countywide voting. Meeting the vote machine demand for that will likely fall short.

Scofflaw Aqua Texas continues to overpump the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County. Question: How many of its customers are semi-native Texas Republicans, semi-native Texas Dems, and how many are Californicators? (Hays County as a whole went approximately 55-45 for Biden in the 2020 presidential election.)

The Fifth Circuit (not a total shock to those of us who know its stance in general on First Amendment issues) upholds a federal district court ruling that Texas' school book semi-ban law is unconstitutional.

Those funny TxDOT highway message signs to buckle up and such, like the one I see north of Denton every Red River Shootout weekend? No evidence they work and the feds suggest states ditch them.

Neil at the Houston Democracy Project said Houston Republican Councilman Julian Ramirez quotes Martin Luther King but is silent of leaders of his party calling for the shooting of migrants or for the nullification of federal power at the border.

The Current reports on the Butthole Surfers' vinyl reissues.

The TSTA Blog points a finger at political failure as the cause of student underperformance.

Jef Rouner applauds HISD for rejecting chaplains as school counselors.

Finally, the TPA congratulates the employees of the Texas Tribune and San Antonio Report for their successful unionizing activities. (Houston Landing employees, wyd?)

January 30, 2024

That pseudo-pharmacy? Was Dear Leader's before Trump's

I had heard the news about that so-called pseudo-pharmacy in the White House last Friday, but didn't pay attention until I saw Ambien trending on Twitter and #BlueAnon bagging on Ronny Jackson.

Most Tweets just had dueling mugshots of him and Hunter Jackson, with comments of the nature of "You can attack Hunter, but look at Ronnie Jackson."

Then, several tweets down, saw an Ars Technica link. OK, real news.

The real real news? The inspection by the Department of Defense Inspector General (WH physician is traditionally military officer, or else DoD civilian) was from 2009-2018.

Lemme see.

As I put it on Twitter, first, Dear Leader Obama was president most that time.

As I put it on Twitter secondly, Ronny Jackson was Dear Leader's doc during most that time. He became director of the White House Medical Unit in May 2010 and Physician to the President in July 2013.

I love it when #BlueAnon scores an own goal!

Now, it's true that most the investigation was on the Trump years.

It's also true that not having a pharmacist to run was was therefore by definition a pseudo-pharmacy also goes back to Obama's time, if not earlier. And STAT, which broke the story and is linked by Ars, noted that Obama-era staffers were interviewed as part of the investigation.

The full report notes other problems.

First, the WHMU has tripled in size in 15 years. (Counts back to ... 2009!)

Second, and this one I think DID fall mainly in the Trump-years focus, and that was providing health care, meds, etc., to ineligible WH staffers, families, etc.

That said, back to that own goal? The previous IG investigation of Jackson himself? Much of the behavior it looked at occurred on Dear Leader's watch.

January 29, 2024

Civil War historians: We back Colorado on Trump ballot removal

Per the Guardian, discussed also at Raw Story, a group of 25 US Civil War and Reconstruction historians back the Colorado Supreme Court removing Donald Trump from the ballot, in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court.

First, the group, referring to precedent from both the authors of the 14th Amendment and language used by the first impeached president, Andrew Johnson, to note that the presidency is an office and the language of the amendment applies to it.

I agree. And, contra various wrongful musings of Richard Winger at Ballot Access News, this would be no more anti-democratic than a minimum age to hold the presidency or other federal offices, residency requirements, birth requirements for the president and more.

Of course, Winger is an under-the-radar semi-hardcore libertarian who was converted by The Little House on the Prairie's author's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane contra the fact that most of her arguments for libertarianism don't square with the semi-reality of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, let alone the full reality behind them. See this book for more. And this story.

To the matter at hand? Contra this by Winger, even if ballots in 1868 were private and not government printed, the government still did the counting, and could tell political parties not to put Andy Johnson's name on the ballot.

That said, there's only three A-list historians on that brief: James McPherson, Nell Irvin Painter and Karen L. Cox. A few others are A-minus level.

But? No Eric Foner. No Gabor Boritt. Etc., etc.

Update: Also via BAN, as I guess historians are either squabblers or can't get their shit together, four others have filed a second amicus. David Blight might be A-list. Drew Gilpin Faust might be an A-minus. Jill Lepore? This is the Goodreads version of what was the top-rated one-star review of These Truths before the chuds at Amazon deleted all but one of my reviews for me reporting wingnut reviews and them getting pissed about me reporting them. She's not a good historian and definitely not an A-list Civil War historian. The four do cite Foner, but his name's still not there.

It's all about saving face for Drew Springer, but why does he care?


That's my take on his Twitter post with Texas Senate letterhead letter asking Lt. Gov Dan Patrick, aka Danny Goeb, if AG Kenny Boy Paxton's impeachment trial in the Senate can be re-opened. More discussion on this at the Snooze and the Trib.

First, he's out of the Senate. Since, unlike in some states, the Texas Lege can't call itself into special session, only the gov, that's not likely to happen, unless a lame-duck one after this November's general election. (The Snooze adds that the state constitution has no such provision. That said, could the House file NEW charges? Like the non-criminal impeachment version of perjury? You bet your ass.)

As for the possibility?

The Snooze said that Article 15 of the Texas Constitution does not include a provision to re-open an impeachment. It doesn't exclude it, either, though.

Second, Drew still hasn't admitted he was wrong in thinking the standard of proof for impeachment conviction is like that of criminal law. It's like that of civil law at both the state and federal level, where both Texas and US constitutions specify the penalty on conviction is limited to loss of office.

Related: If he really believed this, did he think of actually asking Goeb, or going past Goeb to his legal advisor flunky, or better yet, asking the Texas Supreme Court for a ruling or something, on this issue? No, no and no. 

Or, to put it another way, why didn't he ask Robert Nichols or Kelly Hancock?

Third, doesn't he have enough to do running flak for Brent Hagenbuch's residency shenanigans?

It's stuff like this that led the Monthly, long ago, to label him as a Senate nothingburger. To be more precise, they put him in their Bottom 10 of the entire Lege, both houses.


Update: Now that Paxton's deposition has been put on hold for a FULL MONTH by the Texas Supremes, can we ask if Paxton bribed them? Offered free Nate Paul granite countertops for their chambers?