Theresa May plays victim card; other conservatives unimpressed: Daily Bullshit, June 18-21, 2017

There is a new blog post, entitled “The Bill Cosby mistrial exposes the legal system as a fraud.”


Updates

  1. Originally published, June 18, 4:19 am.
  2. June 18, 9:00 am:
    • With all the drama surrounding Uber’s travails, the story of its drivers, some of whom end up homeless, is usually overlooked.[1]
    • Corporate executives are seeking to exploit the British election result to ‘soften’ the Brexit deal that Theresa May would negotiate.[2]
  3. June 19, 12:51 pm:
    • Uber’s share of the U.S. market has declined from 84 percent to 77 percent.[3]
  4. June 19, 2:23 pm:
    • Writing for the New Yorker, Jeannie Gersen explains why it’s so hard for rape victims to get a fair shake in the legal system.[4] (Bill Cosby)
  5. June 19, 6:09 pm:
  6. June 20, 8:28 am:
    • In what may be an early concession in the wake of Theresa May’s defeat, Britain has accepted the European Union demand that Brexit talks occur in two stages.[5]
    • Researchers have found that Chimpanzees engage in reciprocity and are altruistic.[6]
  7. June 21, 3:53 am:
    • Uber’s CEO, who had just gone on an indefinite leave of absence, has now resigned under pressure from investors.[7]
  8. June 21, 3:23 pm:
    • Once again, Democrats ran with arrogance, albeit in the form of a ‘humble-brag,’ and without an actual message;[8] once again, Democrats lost; and once again, many Democrats associated with leadership are making excuses,[9] which is to say they still haven’t learned a damned thing from their loss in 2016.[10]
  9. June 21, 9:49 pm:
    • Matthew Yglesias argues that the most significant difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters was about trust in the system.[11] (Democrats)

Brexit

I haven’t covered the Grenfell Tower fire here, in which 58 may have died, but I did see two of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s videos: One showed Theresa May ducking responsibility for the fire. The other showed the queen consoling the victims and praising firefighters. Now, admittedly, the queen has a bit more experience at this sort of thing than the prime minister. On the other hand, probably a lot of people are thinking that it wasn’t experience that was called for here so much as humanity. Either way, May failed, catastrophically:

One senior backbencher said he was under pressure to join in [a vote of no confidence to oust May]: “I’ve got serious members in my constituency texting me saying: ‘You’ve got to get rid of her quickly because every time she appears she’s making the party more toxic’.”[12]

I’m classifying this under Brexit, at least for now, because May’s standing within her own party, which she was hoping to bolster but instead weakened with the election, in order to improve her negotiating position on Brexit, has clearly suffered another blow. Though Jeremy Corbyn did well in that election, much better than a lot of folks who aligned with neoliberal Labour thought possible, I am no more convinced that an anti-neoliberal wing has won control of that party than I believe their U.S. counterparts have of the Democrats. So as tragic as this fire was, and as interesting as its political repercussions may yet prove to be, it isn’t really the story I’m focused on.

Tim Shipman, “Tories give Theresa May 10 days to ‘shape up’ or face vote of no confidence,” Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tories-tell-may-you-have-10-days-zkszx07r7

Sara Stefanini, “UK business leaders call for a softer Brexit,” Politico, June 18, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-business-leaders-call-for-a-softer-brexit/

Michael Birnbaum, “Negotiations begin over British split from European Union,” Washington Post, June 19, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/negotiations-begin-over-british-split-from-european-union/2017/06/19/c8f9e436-52aa-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html


Uber

The Guardian includes the plight of Uber drivers in a series on homelessness in the United States. In this article, drivers claim they are making $8-9 per hour, less than minimum wage.[13] My guess is that this estimate is high, but I do not know. When I drove for Uber and Lyft, one of my challenges was that I had to commute long distances to get to where the business is. Those commute miles carry a cost just like revenue miles and ‘dead’ miles and, for that matter, personal use miles. I suspect a proper audit would reveal that these drivers are making even less money than they think they are.

It’s important to emphasize that in their treatment of drivers, Uber and Lyft are substantially indistinguishable. But Alex Hern’s suggestion that Uber may have developed immunity to bad publicity notwithstanding,[14] it does appear that people, especially in San Francisco (where both companies are based), are switching to Lyft. The company “has managed to hang on to its market share gains since the #DeleteUber campaign” and in San Francisco, “it has captured about 40 per cent of the market, according to Second Measure.”[15]

Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick

Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969

Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Quits as Investors Revolt Over Scandals,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resigns-1498023559


Bill Cosby

I respond to Jeannie Gersen’s article here.

Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Legal Meaning of the Cosby Mistrial,” New Yorker, June 18, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/legal-meaning-of-the-cosby-trial


Chimpanzees

Gerhard Lenski posited that the kind of altruism found among humans was of a limited form he labeled “partisan self-sacrifice,” that is, preferring relatives and closer friends.[16] Ironically, the research reported here attributes “true altruism,” that is, the sort in which individuals will sacrifice their own interests in favor of unrelated others, to humans but finds it among chimpanzees within groups.[17]

Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation


Democrats

The subheading on Jeff Guo’s article is, “Democrats could learn something.”[18] Well, yeah, they could, but that’s just it. They won’t.

Because when Matthew Yglesias puts a finger on what he thinks was the difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters in the 2016 election,[19] he is also distinguishing between mainstream Democratic Party politicians and Bernie Sanders supporters:

Clinton supporters were fundamentally happy with the United States of America, the American political system, and the trajectory for people like themselves within it. Sanders supporters, by contrast, were not. . . .[20]

In other words, if you think the U.S. political system basically works, Clinton would have been entirely acceptable to you. My experience of this political and economic system is different, which is why she was entirely unacceptable to me (as was Donald Trump). Yglesias suggests in effect that many Sanders supporters see the political system as I do.[21] In actuality, however, I never accepted Sanders’ prescription for the country’s ills. At the end of the day, Sanders sought to reform the system, preserving what he thinks are its essential elements. I believe the system is beyond reform and is, in fact, operating much as James Madison argued it should in Federalist no. 10.[22] This is a fundamentally broken system, its design is fundamentally wrong, and it can’t be fixed. It must be rooted out and replaced.

Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged

Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat

Mike Lillis, “Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss,” Hill, June 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/338826-pelosi-takes-heat-after-dem-loss


  1. [1]Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick
  2. [2]Sara Stefanini, “UK business leaders call for a softer Brexit,” Politico, June 18, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-business-leaders-call-for-a-softer-brexit/
  3. [3]Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  4. [4]Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Legal Meaning of the Cosby Mistrial,” New Yorker, June 18, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/legal-meaning-of-the-cosby-trial
  5. [5]Michael Birnbaum, “Negotiations begin over British split from European Union,” Washington Post, June 19, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/negotiations-begin-over-british-split-from-european-union/2017/06/19/c8f9e436-52aa-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html
  6. [6]Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation
  7. [7]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Quits as Investors Revolt Over Scandals,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resigns-1498023559
  8. [8]Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat
  9. [9]Philip Bump, “Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/04/23/two-thirds-of-americans-think-that-the-democratic-party-is-out-of-touch-with-the-country/; Chris Hedges, “Donald Trump’s Greatest Allies Are the Liberal Elites,” Truthdig, March 5, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/donald_trumps_greatest_allies_are_the_liberal_elites_20170305; Mark Hensch, “WikiLeaks’ Assange to Clinton: ‘Blame yourself’ for election loss,” Hill, May 3, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/331781-wikileaks-assange-to-clinton-blame-yourself; Mark Karlin, “For the Democrats, Moving Further to the Right Is Not the Solution,” Truthout, January 4, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/the-political-third-way-democratic-movement-should-be-buried; Mike Lillis, “Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss,” Hill, June 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/338826-pelosi-takes-heat-after-dem-loss
  10. [10]Nathan L. Gonzales, “Pelosi Remains But ‘Winter is Coming’ for Democrats,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 30, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/pelosi-remains-but-winter-is-coming-for-democrats; Greg Sargent, “Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer,” Washington Post, May 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/01/why-did-trump-win-new-research-by-democrats-offers-a-worrisome-answer/; Alex Roarty, “Senate Democrats’ Challenge in 2018: The White Working Class,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 16, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate-democrats-midterms-2018; Alex Roarty, “Democrats say they now know exactly why Clinton lost,” McClatchy, May 1, 2017, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article147475484.html?rh=1; Greg Sargent, “Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer,” Washington Post, May 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/01/why-did-trump-win-new-research-by-democrats-offers-a-worrisome-answer/; Bill Scher, “No, Obama Probably Wouldn’t Have Beaten Trump,” Politico, December 28, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/no-obama-probably-wouldnt-have-beaten-trump-214557; Alex Shephard, “Democrats are wasting no time in repeating the mistakes they made in the 2016 primary,” New Republic, December 21, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/minutes/139454/democrats-wasting-no-time-repeating-mistakes-made-2016-primary; Andrew Sullivan, “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton?” New York, April 14, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/why-do-democrats-feel-sorry-for-hillary-clinton.html; Cornel West, “The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment,” Guardian, April 24, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/democrats-delivered-one-thing-100-days-disappointment
  11. [11]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  12. [12]Tim Shipman, “Tories give Theresa May 10 days to ‘shape up’ or face vote of no confidence,” Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tories-tell-may-you-have-10-days-zkszx07r7
  13. [13]Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick
  14. [14]Alex Hern, “How low does Uber have to go before we stop using it?” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/08/uber-customers-sexual-harassment-tech-companies
  15. [15]Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  16. [16]Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).
  17. [17]Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation
  18. [18]Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat
  19. [19]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  20. [20]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  21. [21]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  22. [22]James Madison, “Federalist No. 10,” in The Federalist Papers, ed. Garry Wills (1982; repr., New York: Bantam, 2003), 50-58.

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