Failure To Alert

Duplicate bridge partners have a variety of conventions on bidding.  Each one carries a one-page convention card that identifies the agreements.  To ensure information symmetry, partners must alert most artificial bids.  For example, a two diamond opening might be artificial in that it does not show strength in diamonds but that the opener has five hearts and fours spades.  If your partner fails to alert then you must announce it at the end of the bidding.  Often the director is called on a failure to alert and sometimes bad things happen to your pair.  Often it happens because your partner forgot part of the agreement that you have.

In reading Rex Huppke and Dana Milbank this morning, failure to alert seemed like their common theme.  Here are a few quotes and [comments]:

I go into a Trump presidency as a straight white man — the only fear I should have is that I’m a journalist facing a commander in chief who has painted the press as the enemy. Big deal.  The people I fear for — the people my heart aches for — are entire groups of my fellow Americans who were demonized throughout Trump’s vitriolic campaign.
[Herself needed spreadsheets for enemies.  The Donald gets them to declare themselves.  Snide comment: Perhaps he meant white straight man?]

As soon as Barack Obama was elected president, Republicans unleashed angry swipes, and they never relented. They chose to question his legitimacy, to fight him at every turn, to do nothing.
[He did have lots of bad ideas like Obamacare.  Nothing was much better.  We should look at Obama’s conduct as well.]

To cower right now or to lash out in anger is not the answer to an outcome we don’t like. There are people who need us, and we all need each other, no matter how split down the middle we feel.
[He still decided to lash out in anger]

But there was something wrong with the chocolate confection. Alt was aiming to reproduce Trump’s pout, but she wound up making him look startled and sad.
After Tuesday night, that’s the exact expression worn by tens of millions of Americans and countless more across the globe.
[Millions were happy too.  We care about the other countries because?]

The theme from “Air Force One” played. From a balcony above the ballroom, Trump appeared, in the fashion of British royalty or a certain Italian leader.
[Really, folks need to learn about fascism.  Obama would never do anything like that.]

It shocked journalists. It shocked markets, which tumbled.
[Good job journalists!  Perhaps you should talk to other folks?  The market rebounded from its tumble.  The Dow is at a record high currently and the dollar is at an eight month high.  This information doesn’t mean that Trump will be a great president or great for the markets.  It just means that the writer’s inference was questionable.   The market looks to the future imperfectly and mostly reflects large cap companies.  The market was surprised too but has gotten over it.  This not so for Dana and Rex.]

Bridge conventions are rarely acronyms with DONT as an exception.  Generally they are named after people.  So rather than IAAEOTD (I Am An Enemy Of The Donald) we suggest three categories: With The Donald, Gloves, and Reverse Gloves.  The first one is obvious.  The second is evaluating The Donald on what he does.  Reverse Gloves means that you will fight The Donald on every issue every time.

Sidebar: Lots of folks were accused of being Reverse Gloves with respect to Obama.  Rex made the accusation too.  Given all of his terrible ideas and actions, it is hard to differentiate between Gloves and Reverse Gloves on Obama.  You will remember that we reluctantly supported him on trade.

We need information symmetry when reading commentary.  Associating with the Washington Post or CATO (no, not plus-size clothing) isn’t enough data.  Categories like Reverse Gloves would help but more details without information overload would be better. Another example is Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Cons.  We have very close to zero intersection with these folks but we are all called conservatives.  We really need is for commentators to have a convention card.  The challenge will be creating a political convention card with neutral terminology.  We suggests that you can pick either the Red Card (pro-life) or the Blue Card (pro-choice).  You have your homework.


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