2017 Politics open thread, July 30 — August 5

Another week of political discussion.

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32 thoughts on “2017 Politics open thread, July 30 — August 5

  1. I think it is safe to assume we have reached what Gen Kelly would call a SNAFU.

    This has made me laugh and laugh. And then cry since this is our government.

  2. I wonder how much The Mooch’s wife’s divorce filing had to do with him being with Trump and the Boy Scout Jamboree while she was giving birth to their son? In terms of Trump he does seem to accumulating powerful enemies at quite the rate. In the past he just screwed the weak (vendors, employees, etc.) this seems to be on a new and far more dangerous level.

  3. “I wonder how much The Mooch’s wife’s divorce filing had to do with him being with Trump and the Boy Scout Jamboree while she was giving birth to their son? ”

    The last straw in a problem-filled marriage would be my guess. Hedge fund money couldn’t make me marry The Mooch.

    I can’t believe he’s gone already. That is really something.

  4. “I wonder how much The Mooch’s wife’s divorce filing had to do with him being with Trump and the Boy Scout Jamboree while she was giving birth to their son”

    What? Is that true? I did not know this. Unbelievable.

    I hope Spicey comes back.

  5. I think she filed before last week. While 9 months pregnant, not while giving birth on Monday. It really is amazing!

  6. Apparently, he was at the Jamboree when she went into premature labor. Baby is/was in NICU and he allegedly sent a text saying he’d pray for the baby, but didn’t come in person for 4 days. I think she will make a sympathetic figure in a divorce proceeding.

    I was talking to my mom yesterday about how everytime it seems like it can’t get any worse, something new hits the news. Today did not disappoint.

  7. If Kelly’s first act was to push for the firing, or actually fire, Scaramucci, then I like him already. Kelly has a big task ahead of him and I wish him well.

  8. Interesting article on how whale researchers collaborate with native Alaskan communities to learn about whales. It reminds me of our discussions about “getting an education” and how what is valued is culturally dependent. Right now, hunting, fishing and being able to fix a lawnmower aren’t highly valued skills.

    Mr WCE, my now-retired mentor and the co-owner of my current equipment all like to hunt. The same memory, curiosity and persistence make them good engineers.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/07/what-native-alaskan-hunters-taught-scientists-about-whales/533577/

  9. WCE – that’s a cool article. I sent it to my friend who works up in that area with local native populations.

  10. “Mr WCE, my now-retired mentor and the co-owner of my current equipment all like to hunt. ”

    My initial reaction as I read this: Mr. WCE retired?

    Then I saw the lack of a comma after equipment.

  11. @Birdie – Dang. I think she outdid Iron Stache, and I was really impressed with his ad. How much of a long shot is she in that district?

    @WCE – Thanks for posting that article. It was really interesting to read.

    @Houston – Kelly seems like the polar opposite of Trump. Trump lies about everything, even when he doesn’t need to. Even when it could get him in worse trouble than the truth. I hope he can bring some sense to the WH, but I fear he won’t last long because of their differences. At least the Mooch is gone.

  12. Birdie – that ad made me want to donate to her campaign, and I NEVER donate to candidates!

  13. I was going to say she doesn’t have a prayer, but then I realized that the 6th district includes Lexington, which is more bluetinged than any other spot in KY. So she *might* have a chance

  14. I dunno, I get tired of “disruption industry” execs swooping down from the sky with their pronouncements on complex issues. They seem to think that if only we disrupt, everything will be great. Some of the points in the article make sense (yes we pay way too much for drugs in this country and we really should pay primary care physicians more), but tort reform hasn’t made much impact in states that have tried it, and number 7 is just gibberish – what is he trying to say? If he is looking for an open source EHR, well the VA had a wonderful one (VistA, one of the first EHRs and very influential) that just got killed recently. Or is he trying to complain about vendor lock and lack of interoperability?I kind of suspect he is trying to push something.

  15. The section on how the Japanese teach math is telling…
    “In subjects like math, Japanese teachers encourage problem-solving and critical thinking, rather than memorization. For instance, Japanese students were explicitly taught how to solve just 54 percent of the problems on the international Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) test, but received an average score of 565, according to the Lesson Study Alliance, an education nonprofit. Students in the U.S. were explicitly taught how to solve 82 percent of the problems, yet received a lower average score, 518. “

  16. WCE, I’m skeptical, at least based on that article. Given that most solar cells are made with polySi, I think my experience is relevant.

    “Solar panels use hazardous materials, like sulfuric acid and phosphine gas, in the manufacturing process that makes them hard to recycle. ”

    My guess is that sulfuric acid used in sulfuric/peroxide baths as part of the cleaning process. Way back when I was in the industry, I researched systems to recycle the acid, and initiated the installation of a recycling system.

    The phosphine is likely a dopant source, and thus only P atoms from the phosphine are part of the solar cells. Once the cells are made, I can’t see how cells doped using phosphine are any more hazardous than cells doped using other P sources.

    It’s been a while, but near the end of my time in SV, wafer manufacturers were beginning to collect scrap wafers, especially test wafers, for recycling into new ingots. Is that pretty standard in the industry now?

    I have heard the argument that PV is not an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the energy used in making it, which I assume is mainly in running the furnaces (and which is not really relevant to the issue of disposal of old PV). Tieing back to today’s topic, that brings back memories of setting up and programming some new furnace banks, with one of my main goals being minimizing idle temperatures, in no small part because that would reduce energy consumption (the other big benefit was reducing maintenance requirements and extending tube life).

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