TL;DR — The Democratic party hand-picks centrists over progressives, has no vision​, doesn’t give a shit about actual democracy.

“They squash progressive candidates. They destroy the diversity of ideas in their caucus. They keep ideas like ‘Medicare for All,’ free community college, or impeaching Donald Trump from having a significant role in the national conversation,” says Tillemann. “The issues that resonate most with voters are not the issues that the DCCC is telling candidates to focus on.”

The secretly taped audio recording, released here for the first time, reveals how senior Democratic officials have worked to crush competitive primaries and steer political resources, money, and other support to hand-picked candidates in key races across the country, long before the party publicly announces a preference. The invisible assistance boosts the preferred candidate in fundraising and endorsements, and then that fundraising success and those endorsements are used to justify national party support. Meanwhile, opponents of the party’s unspoken pick are driven into paranoia, wondering if they are merely imagining that unseen hands are working against them.

In races in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Texas, Nebraska, California, and beyond, progressive candidates are finding that the DCCC has mobilized support for moderate candidates with access to early campaign cash at the expense of progressives. As we’ve reported, many first-time candidates are told by the DCCC that before they can even be considered, they have to perform the “rolodex” test to show they can raise $250,000 or more from the contact list on their phone.

Spread of board game bars rides industry boom and digital backlash

“Thirsty Meeples” may be the best name for a bar ever.

Those nights are specialty evenings for people interested in the cult fantasy/strategy game. But the bar, called Draughts, is full nearly all the time. The bar was London’s first to ride the board game renaissance (USA Today) of the past decade, and remains at the front of a global phenomenon. People are looking at each other over a table, moving actual, not virtual, tokens, and gaming in the real world.

Spread of board game bars rides industry boom and digital backlash

This NYT piece on how “The Middle” was created is fascinating, though also a little depressing, at least to a rock fan like me. It feels like a return to the Brill Building days of songwriters and producers pumping out hits for rando pop stars of the moment. Granted, I realize that we never really left those days behind.

It’s also weird to see this song work it’s way up through the ranks of ever more famous producers, and then go through auditions of dozens of singers… and then the final moment at the Grammys where the original songwriter introduces herself to the singer, Maren Morris, as they’ve never even met.

This is also why I always question when mega-stars are marketed with images of them sitting alone with a notebook and a guitar, writing a song by themselves (e.g., Taylor Swift), because at this level, with this much money on the line, that shit simply does not happen. Total fantasy.

More Jaron Lanier! I don’t know if this hits the same stuff as the TED Talk Mark Delsing posted yesterday.

I don’t agree with everything he says but I agree with the basic argument. If anything, I think he hasn’t gone far enough in describing the problem, particularly given the constant influx of new young people who have no memories nor curiosity about the original of these systems, this air we breathe.

I find it interesting that the Starbucks arrest scandal is happening along side the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, as they are both stark reminders that spaces that have been marketed to us as public and communal are actually private and corporate. I.e., relying on capitalism to provide us with public commons is a really terrible idea.

“We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.”