…call it what you will [DOT 19/12/21]

what's in a name...

…so this was going to be about a bunch of different things…& I might still get to those…but I caught something else this morning so I’m going to start with a detour…because

Boris Johnson was dealt another major blow to his leadership on Saturday night as it emerged that the man overseeing Brexit was resigning from the cabinet.
[…]
The shock departure represents another dangerous moment for Johnson, following a series of scandals and a humiliating byelection defeat last week that saw his party lose a 23,000 majority.

Frost’s departure is also another sign of the major fissures opening up within the Tory party.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/18/brexit-ministers-shock-resignation-leaves-boris-johnson-reeling

…so…at the risk of boring you back to sleep on this sunday morning…a couple of things…byelections when there isn’t a general election in the offing aren’t often a particularly good guide to the fortunes of a sitting government…but this one has some characteristics that they generally lack…which is to say that the seat was only in contention because the MP stood down pretty specifically as a result of boris’ attempt to re-jig some rules so that he didn’t get into trouble for some shit he shouldn’t have done…& the fact that the MP in question held what was considered to be a “safe” seat…which is to say that for the 200-odd years that it’s been a seat it’s been a tory one…& from a part of the country that voted for rather than against brexit…so for that part of the country to have the vote swing so far away from them that the lib dems picked up the seat is something of a big deal…& that combined with frost stepping down from the post of brexit minister…well…that doesn’t look great for mr get-brexit-done…even if apparently that resignation had more to do with a domestic sort of dissatisfaction

Lord Frost, who has led negotiations with the EU, is reported to have handed in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson last week. But the Mail on Sunday reported he had been persuaded to stay on until January.

The newspaper reported it was the introduction of plan B coronavirus measures, including the implementation of Covid passes, that prompted Lord Frost’s decision. It also said he had become disillusioned by tax rises and the cost of net zero policies.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/18/brexit-minister-lord-frost-resigns-over-covid-plan-b-measures

…it really is hard to believe that passing the poisoned chalice of being responsible for brexit won’t have come as a relief for the man

The government’s retreat from its hardline position in negotiations with the EU over Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland has elicited a furious response from the most senior unionist in the House of Lords.

Lord Dodds, the former deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist party, has issued a veiled threat of “action” unless it restores the option of pulling the plug on the Northern Ireland protocol by using the article 16 process.
[…]
He was responding to reports that the UK has dropped its demands for removal of the role of the European court of justice from the Northern Ireland protocol.

Downing Street has conceded this week that it will prioritise removing barriers to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland over other constitutional issues that have bedevilled the talks. Talks will be suspended until after Christmas.
[…]
Dodds said it was now “abundantly clear” that the “protocol talks were being dragged out with little prospect of an outcome which meets the bar” set by Brexit minister Lord Frost’s command paper in July, which laid out the UK’s demands for a radical rewriting of the protocol.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/18/furious-response-from-dup-over-northern-ireland-protocol

…because although a bewildering amount of stuff has changed in the face of covid…the underlying facts of brexit…& in particular its relationship with matters that intersect with northern ireland…have not…& cover for whoever next steps into that breach is going to be thin on the ground

The EU has urged David Frost to end his “political posturing” over negotiations on the Northern Ireland protocol and accept that he cannot undo Brexit.

The European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič was commenting after Lord Frost, the UK’s Brexit minister, called for an injection of “more urgency” into the talks aimed at solving the dispute over checks and controls on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
[…]
Šefčovič told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show he was surprised by Frost’s call for urgency because “sometimes I have the feeling that in our meetings I’m the only one who pushes for urgent solutions”.

He said the EU had offered a solution on 30 June to one of the main issues over medicine supplies but that the UK was still dragging its heels.

“I remember very well Lord Frost telling me that what is very important for him is not only content but also process and therefore I was waiting [to see] if we can deliver on that solution jointly. And I have to say that [as of] today this is not the case.

“I don’t think that it will solve the most pressing issue for the people of Northern Ireland and therefore we might be acting alone to make sure that the Northern Ireland people have the medicines they need,” he said.

On the removal of checks down the Irish Sea, Šefčovič reiterated that the EU had already made proposals to cut customs paperwork by half and eliminate 80% of the checks on food.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/21/eu-calls-on-brexit-minister-to-stop-political-posturing-northern-ireland-protocol

…that last bit is from about a month ago…but it’s citing the same things that DUP guy was banging on about in the piece above it…so a cynical person might think that frost was quite glad to be able to avail himself of something else to claim to be resigning over rather than admitting that he’d been trying to find a way to pass the brexit buck without admitting that it was what some people call “a hospital pass“…speaking of which…more or less

It is highly unlikely that Britain or its allies will send troops to defend Ukraine if it is invaded by neighbouring Russia, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has said.
[…]
Wallace and the Ukrainian defence minister, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov, issued a joint statement on 16 November which said they were “concerned” by Russia’s military buildup.

“The United Kingdom stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will continue its longstanding determination to support them,” the statement added.

But in an interview with the Spectator, Wallace said Ukraine “is not a member of Nato so it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to send troops into Ukraine to challenge Russia”.

“We shouldn’t kid people we would. The Ukrainians are aware of that,” he added, in comments carried by the Times before the interview’s publication.
[…]
It comes days after Boris Johnson told the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, there would be “significant consequences” for Russia if it invaded Ukraine.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/18/uk-unlikely-to-send-troops-if-russia-invades-ukraine-says-defence-secretary

…which…not to put too fine a point on it…seems to be somewhat weak sauce in the face of vlad’s approach to that whole thing

Russia has put forward a highly contentious list of security guarantees it says it wants the west to agree to in order to lower tensions in Europe and defuse the crisis over Ukraine, including many elements that have already been ruled out.

The demands include a ban on Ukraine entering Nato and a limit to the deployment of troops and weapons to Nato’s eastern flank, in effect returning Nato forces to where they were stationed in 1997, before an eastward expansion.

The eight-point draft treaty was released by Russia’s foreign ministry as its forces massed within striking distance of Ukraine’s borders. Moscow said ignoring its interests would lead to a “military response” similar to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
[…]
A senior US official said on Friday that the Kremlin knows that some parts of its proposals were “unacceptable”.
[…]
Dmitri Trenin, the head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote that Russia’s public release of its proposed agreements “may suggest that Moscow [rightly] considers their acceptance by west unlikely”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/17/russia-issues-list-demands-tensions-europe-ukraine-nato

…demanding a bunch of stuff that you know full well the other side won’t swallow & making dire threats about the consequences of them not accepting your terms…not unlike that whole northern ireland thing…only worse what with the part where someone seems keen to get the russian army involved…& I know I tend to skip the upper case more often than not…but since when did NATO stop meriting capitalization?

…anyway…as ever it’s not too hard to find something that could leave you sobbing into your cornflakes (“other breakfast cereals are available” as they’d say on the BBC)

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/13/opinion/climate-change-effects-countries.html
[…they titled that one “postcards from a world on fire”…you know…if maybe you don’t feel like starting your last day of the weekend with another massive downer]

…maybe it might be more entertaining to have a look at how this guy accidentally demonstrated the profound depths of dumbassery people are capable of online

In October 2005, Bob Innes bought the website domain name “rentahitman.com.” It was the dotcom era and he was a business school student in North Carolina trying to advertise website traffic analysis services: the “hit” was a nod to clicks coming in on a client’s website.

“It was simply a play on words,” he says now, when contacted via email for an interview.

Little did he know that come 2021, he would be involved in hundreds of legal cases, handing people to the police for trying to solicit assassin services. This week, one woman was found guilty, after trying to have her husband killed through Innes’ website.
[…]
Then, in 2010, he returned to its inbox out of curiosity and was stunned to find a client – just not the type he had been looking for.

Innes had received a message from a woman named Helen. She was stranded in Canada, had lost her passport, and wanted three family members in the UK murdered for screwing her out of her father’s inheritance. He didn’t respond.

But she persisted: sending a second email, which included names, addresses and other corroborating information.
[…]
Within hours, Innes was in possession of the legal name, location, and phone number of a woman he thought was capable of serious harm.
[…]
Innes turned her in, and soon found out from detectives that ‘Helen’ was wanted in the UK on extraditable warrants for “more serious charges”.

It was at this point Innes realized his $9.20 website provided a little more value than he’d initially bargained for: he had just saved the lives of three people.
[…]
So he kept the site running, filling it with jokes and clues to show it wasn’t the real deal. “Your point and click solution,” the blurb for the website says when you search for it on Google. The website boasts providing services to children, and assures readers they are protected by the “Hitman Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA)”.

And then there’s the warning message that lurks on the front page. It reads: “Everyone should know by now that the Dark & Deep webs [sic] are not safe places to shop for your nefarious deeds. There are lots of potentially dangerous sites, ripe with viruses, and fraud runs rampant there. Your privacy is NOT guaranteed and your information could be leaked to thousands of less than stellar sites, including law enforcement, and that’s no fun!”
[…]
Does he ever worry that he is setting people up, just by keeping the website? “This is a stupid question,” Innes responds. “The site is not a ploy to lure or dupe people who want to have others killed. These people search the internet to contact a hitman,” he says – explaining that the website is not advertised anywhere. Innes also typically gives people a “cooling off” period of 24 hours after they try to procure him – for him to ascertain whether they are certain. “I’ll ask two simple questions,” he says: “Do you still require our services? And would you like me to place you in contact with a field operative for a free consultation?” If they don’t answer, he says they get a free pass. But if they do “then it’s game on,” he says.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/dec/17/bob-innes-rent-a-hitman-assassin-services-website

…sure…some people seem determined to make you feel like the world would be better off without them in it

Waiting around for Manchin has become something of a pastime in the nation’s capital. Hill reporters track his movements on the Senate floor, staking out his office, sometimes for hours, and then orbiting around him like electrons as he walks the halls of Congress. On a recent Monday morning, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) bumped into such a gaggle on the way to her office, which is near Manchin’s. “What are you guys doing here now?” she asked them. “It’s Monday, you know he’s not going to get here till 3 o’clock in the afternoon!”
[…]
These days everyone’s waiting on the Build Back Better bill, the Democrats’ signature piece of legislation, which “President Manchin” keeps vetoing before it gets to President Biden’s desk.
[…]
There is no shortage of people who think Manchin is doing the wrong thing. For climate activists, the West Virginia senator’s infamy has grown alongside his power. He’s been elemental in stripping environmental provisions out of the BBB, including a plan to phase out the types of coal plants that have made millions of dollars for his family’s business. Protesters have gathered in kayaks outside Manchin’s floating home. One time, they surrounded his Maserati as he tried to exit a garage.
[…]
Meanwhile, the GOP seems to love the guy. Even the Trumpiest Republicans are keen to praise him.
[…]
Another reason it’s good to be an ersatz president instead of a real one: You have a veto on legislation that would affect the whole country, but only have to answer to voters in a single state. Manchinologists — the sprawling network of friends, former staffers, close colleagues and journalists that chart his every move — will say that the senator is motivated by some combination of what his thinks is good for West Virginia, an extraordinarily right-wing state; what is good for him in West Virginia; and a desire to make his current job more like his old job as governor, which he left 11 years ago to join the Senate and is known to pine for on occasion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/joe-manchin-president-biden/2021/12/14/story.html

…& despite all the urgent concerns there are everywhere we look

The Trump administration engaged in “deliberate efforts” to undermine the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic for political purposes, a congressional report released Friday concludes.

The report, prepared by the House select subcommittee investigating the nation’s Covid response, says the White House repeatedly overruled public health and testing guidance by the nation’s top infectious disease experts and silenced officials in order to promote then-President Donald Trump’s political agenda.
[…]
Documents obtained by the committee also show that Trump political appointees tried to pressure the Food and Drug Administration to authorize ineffective Covid treatments the president was pushing, like hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma, over the objections of career scientists, the report said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/trump-white-house-made-deliberate-efforts-undermine-covid-response-report-n1286211

…assuming of course that somebody is in fact watching

Rittenhouse was acquitted of fatally shooting two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during racial justice protests last year. While they were not considered misconduct, the temperament and behavior of Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who presided over the trial, drew scrutiny, mainly because some said he appeared to have a soft and lenient stance toward Rittenhouse.

Interest in organizations like Court Watch PG, which train volunteers to observe both real and virtual court proceedings and report problematic practices by judges and prosecutors, has risen since the Rittenhouse trial as more people cite concerns about bias in courts. While the methods of reporting vary by organization, most use the compiled data to alert the public about issues and sound the alarm to officials, among other things.

“All kinds of injustice happens in empty courtrooms where no one is watching,” said Carmen Johnson, Court Watch PG’s director.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judging-judges-watchdog-groups-see-spike-interest-after-rittenhouse-trial

…let alone doing enough to stop things getting worse

Hopes that the attack on the Capitol would break the fever of Trumpism in the Republican party were soon dashed. All but a handful of its members in Congress voted against a 9/11-style commission to investigate the riot and many at national level have downplayed it, rallying to the former president’s defense.

But it is an attritional battle playing out state by state, county by county and precinct by precinct that could pose the bigger menace to the next election in 2024, a potential rematch between Trump and Joe Biden.

An avalanche of voter suppression laws is being pushed through in Republican-led states, from Arizona to Florida to Georgia to New Hampshire. Gerrymandered maps are being drawn up to form districts where demographics favour Republican candidates.
[…]
The all-out assault suggests that Trump and his allies learned lessons from their failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election, identifying weak points in the system and laying the groundwork for a different outcome next time.
[…]
Yet despite waves of media coverage – recently including the Atlantic magazine and the Guardian and New York Times newspapers – Democrats face the challenge of getting their voters to care. Many are confronting inflation, crime and other priorities and may assume that, having defeated Trump last year, they can stop paying attention.
[…]
Acolytes of the so-called “Stop the Steal” movement are drilling down even deeper, targeting local election oversight positions that have traditionally been nonpartisan and little noticed, with only a few hundred votes at stake and candidates often running unopposed. Yet these too could pull at the threads of the democratic fabric.

In Pennsylvania, for example, there is concern that election deniers are running for a position called judge of elections, a little-known office that plays a huge role in determining how things are run on election day.
[…]
Similar anxieties emerged earlier this week when the grassroots movement Indivisible ran a focus group with members from Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina and elsewhere.

Ezra Levin, the group’s co-founder and co-executive director, said: “They’re worried about their governors, they’re worried about their secretaries of state and they’re worried even at a more local level about previously nonpartisan or uncontroversial election administration officials being taken over by a well-funded and very focused operation led by people who have embraced the big lie.

“These are not positions, especially at the local level, that are getting as much attention but it’s real. We see Steve Bannon [former White House chief of staff, now a rightwing podcaster] trying to lead the charge, getting folks to take up the lowest level spots in the election administration ecosystem. It’s happening right in front of our eyes.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/19/republicans-subvert-democracy-democrats-paying-attention

…although of course if you’re moving at the pace of a turtle…you might be a little behind the curve

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that he looks forward to seeing what the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol finds in its probe.

“It was a horrendous event and I think what they are seeking to find out is something the public needs to know,” McConnell said in an interview with Spectrum News.

McConnell’s interest in the investigation is notable since he had opposed the creation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission, calling the idea “slanted and unbalanced.”

The minority leader’s comments are a stark contrast to those of his GOP counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who has denounced the committee’s work as purely partisan.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mcconnell-says-jan-6-committee-s-findings-are-something-public

…&…not to pile yet another downer on the heap…the thing about this information age of ours is…well…it’s not as resilient as we like to tell ourselves

In one of those delicious coincidences that warm the cockles of every tech columnist’s heart, in the same week that the entire internet community was scrambling to patch a glaring vulnerability that affects countless millions of web servers across the world, the UK government announced a grand new National Cyber Security Strategy that, even if actually implemented, would have been largely irrelevant to the crisis at hand.

Initially, it looked like a prank in the amazingly popular Minecraft game.[…]Since Minecraft (now owned by Microsoft) is the best-selling video game of all time (more than 238m copies sold and 140 million monthly active users), this vulnerability was obviously worrying, but hey, it’s only a video game…

This slightly comforting thought was exploded on 9 December by a tweet from Chen Zhaojun of Alibaba’s Cloud Security Team. He released sample code for the vulnerability, which exists in a subroutine library called Log4j of the Java programming language. The implications of this – that any software using Log4j is potentially vulnerable – were stunning, because an uncountable number of programs in the computing infrastructure of our networked world are written in Java. To make things worse, the nature of Java makes it very easy to exploit the vulnerability – and there was some evidence that a lot of bad actors were already doing just that.

At this point a short gobbledegook-break may be in order. Java is a very popular high-level programming language that is particularly useful for client-server web applications – which basically describes all the apps that most of us use.[…]

It’s a global-scale mess, in other words, which will take a long time to clear up. And the question of who is responsible for it is, in a way, unanswerable. Writing software is a collaborative activity. Re-using code libraries is the rational thing to do when you’re building something complex – why start from scratch when you can borrow? But the most persuasive critique from the software community I’ve seen this week says that if you’re going to re-use someone else’s wheel, shouldn’t you check that it’s reliable first? “Developers are lazy (yes, ALL of them),” wrote one irate respondent to Bruce Schneier’s succinct summary of the vulnerability. “They will grab a tool like Log4j because it’s an easy way to handle logging routines and someone else has already done the work, so why reinvent the wheel, right? Unfortunately most of them will not RTFM, so they have no idea if it can actually do the things it was designed to do and thus, [they] don’t take any precautions against that. It’s a bit of a Dunning-Kruger effect where devs overestimate their abilities (’cuz they have l337 coding skillz!).”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/18/how-cut-and-pasted-programming-is-putting-the-internet-and-society-at-risk

…& would you believe that turned out to be worse than it sounded?

A second vulnerability involving Apache Log4j was found on Tuesday after cybersecurity experts spent days attempting to patch or mitigate CVE-2021-44228.

The description of the new vulnerability, CVE 2021-45046, says the fix to address CVE-2021-44228 in Apache Log4j 2.15.0 was “incomplete in certain non-default configurations.”

https://www.zdnet.com/article/second-log4j-vulnerability-found-apache-log4j-2-16-0-released/

…so…there’s a patch for the patch…but there’s a lot that needing patching so it’s anyone’s guess how many of those vulnerabilities remain vulnerable…& let’s face it…however much zuck might prefer we believe that his lot are doing just a bang up job

Facebook has banned seven “surveillance-for-hire” companies from its platforms and will send warning notices to 48,000 people who the company believes were targeted by malicious activity, following a months-long investigation into the “cyber mercenary” industry.

The social media company said on Thursday that its investigation had revealed new details about the way the surveillance companies enable their clients to “indiscriminately” target people across the internet to collect intelligence about them, manipulate them – and ultimately compromise their devices.
[…]
The Facebook investigation is significant, however, because it reveals new details about the way parts of the surveillance industry use social media – from Facebook to Instagram – to create fake accounts to deceive their targets and conceal their own activities.

While many of the companies claim that they are hired to target criminals and terrorists, Facebook said the industry “regularly” enabled its clients to target journalists, dissidents, critics of authoritarian regimes and human rights activists and their families.
[…]
As Facebook announced its investigation, leading researchers at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto released a new report that zeroed in on one entity – Cytrox – whose spyware, called Predator, is alleged to have been used by an unknown client to hack the devices of two individuals.
[…]
In its threat report, it described three stages clients of most of the companies it investigated use to target individuals. First, the reconnaissance stage, which involves “surveillance from a distance” to discern an individuals interests. Second is what Facebook calls an “engagement stage”, in which companies’ clients then establish contact with targets and seek to build trust and solicit information, and “trick them” into clicking on links and downloading files.

Finally, Facebook said the final move involves “hacking for hire”, in which individuals are hacked or otherwise targeted by malware. The company said that it was important to focus and disrupt the first two stages of invasive surveillance, which have gotten less attention in media reports.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/dec/16/facebook-bans-surveillance-companies-warnings-malicious-activity

…that includes the brave new world of “the metaverse”

Warning: this article contains multiple references to the “metaverse”, which is an extremely annoying buzzword that extremely annoying people love throwing around, normally in conjunction with “blockchain” and “NFT”. If you’re anything like me, then seeing the word “metaverse” makes you a die little bit inside, so I wanted to prepare you in advance. This article also contains multiple references to sexual harassment because, as was utterly predictable, the metaverse has already become yet another place that is deeply hostile to women.
[…]
But, hey, what else would you expect from Meta? Facebook, let us remember, was first born as “Facemash”: a tool where students could rate their female classmates’ attractiveness. Misogyny is in the company’s DNA and, over the years, little seems to have changed. I don’t need to tell you that the company has repeatedly been criticized for ignoring misogyny and sexual harassment on the platform. It was also recently reported that Dani Lever, who is a Facebook communications executive, used to work for Andrew Cuomo and helped the disgraced former New York governor smear Lindsey Boylan, a staffer who had accused him of sexual harassment. “I think we can victim shame on the record,” Lever said of Boylan in a text message made public by the New York attorney general’s office.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/18/metaverse-new-venue-sexual-harassment-facebook

…but don’t take my word for it…someone already asked neal stephenson (in case you missed me going on about this part before…or that tweet with the clip of keanu being unimpressed about the whole “facebook’s metaverse” thing…stephenson wrote a basically great book called snow crash in which the metaverse plays a big part…& is often cited as the first person to coin the term…also…the main character in that book is called hiro protagonist)

Kara Swisher:
So Twitter co-founder and now former C.E.O. Jack Dorsey has been openly critical of Meta’s metaverse. He said you were right when you originally wrote about a virtual world owned by corporations where end users were treated as citizens in a dystopian corporate dictatorship. Do you continue to share those concerns, given that you were the one that put them forth?

Neal Stephenson:
It’s a little bit complicated. I mean, “Snow Crash” is clearly a dystopian novel, although it’s also kind of poking fun at dystopian novels. So it’s sort of both of those things. The metaverse, I think, is kind of neutral. I mean, it’s certainly part of this dystopian world, but in and of itself, it’s just an entertainment medium. It’s not inherently bad.

KS:
Well, Neal, people said that about the internet. You and I were around in the early days, and that was the idea, but people with giant corporations that made billions of dollars sort of botched it a little bit. Are you worried about that?

NS:
, they botched it from your point of view and my point of view. But from —

KS:
Not their point of view.

NS:
Not from their point of view. Yeah. So, I mean, what they did was they came up with a business model that’s not really anticipated in “Snow Crash,” which is this idea that you could give people a free-to-play application and then monetize their eyeballs and their personal data. And so, in retrospect, that seems like kind of the obvious play, but I didn’t see it coming, necessarily. So I think that’s kind of what we need to focus on if we’re talking about the future of metaverse-type applications. What’s the business model that is making it possible for people to make money off of it?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/13/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-neal-stephenson.html?showTranscript=1

…all of which is…well…optimistic isn’t exactly the word that springs to mind…sorry…but you know what?

…@EmmerdoesNOTrepresentme has your back…which is why I have this to end on

…well…that & some tunes…just as soon as I get around to that part

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12 Comments

  1. It is important to note that the departed Brexiteer-in-Chief, Lord Frost, David George Hamilton Frost, Baron Frost, CMG, PC, is not the same David Frost so well-known to American television viewers of a certain age—the Nixon interview, for example. No, that David Frost, Sir David Paradine Frost, OBE, died in 2013 of a heart attack while on the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth in the middle of a Mediterranean cruise, aged 74. That is exactly the way that I want to go.

  2. What happens to the GOPers if Trump finally rage strokes out and Chapter 7s out of this life and into the next say in 2023? Let’s be honest here and factor in his lousy health, mental state and the fact he was hospitalized for CoVID (which does increase the odds of dying.)

    Considering their entire roster of Preznit hopefuls are a bunch of chickenshits afraid of Baron Scumbag Trumponen and won’t run against him. I’ll bet even preparing in case of such an event would be not well received (I know the Cokehead Narcissist never had a plan B because she always assumed Plan A worked cause she was so fucking brilliant according to her.)

    • Massive Republican scrum. Looking at it from today’s perspective, I’d say DeSantis would emerge as the nominee, but my Magic 8-Ball is warning me that lots could change by then. Dumb and Dumber or Ivanka could make a play and screw up everything.

      The major factor is voter suppression. Republicans are pushing it at every level of government and Democrats are asleep. Utterly unconscious. If there is any coherent resistance I haven’t seen any signs of it. All I see now is them hoping the spending bill juices the economy, but even then, if Republicans own all the state-level voting oversight we’re screwed.

      I also think a big item in play is Roe v. Wade. If that gets eliminated, as seems likely, it will 1. galvanize Democrats and 2. erode some Republican support. There’s a significant percentage of right-wing voters for whom that is the ONLY issue, and they just might start thinking for themselves if that’s off the table. Maybe. If the Supremes thread the needle and just weaken Roe again, it might rile up that group, which may be the plan. “Oh, we got so close. We’ll get it next time! Just put us in office!”

       

  3. And here in New York, communications seem to breaking down…

    https://nypost.com/2021/12/18/there-are-fewer-ufo-sightings-in-nyc-in-2021/

    It does not surprise me that Brooklyn reports the largest number of sightings. After all, that is the borough where some are left agape at the sight of homemade grilled cheese sandwiches, home-brined pickles, non-supermarket mayonnaise, and avocado meat smeared on slices of toasted bread. Many of the observers on the ground are probably seeing late-night air traffic headed to Kennedy Airport or “news choppers.”

  4. We had an idiot state senator & Covid denier that went to El Salvador for???  He refused to give up his seat when Donald Trump gave him a cabinet position (it was only temporary!)  Shockingly, he died of Covid and nobody would tell us that he died or any details.  Bellingham has a great Reddit scene and they have been speculating of his death for quite awhile and bombarding his office with demands to know who is representing them.  It was finally confirmed…

    https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/politics-government/article256598511.html

    and if you are bored on this fine day and haven’t see this, I highly recommend it!  A new Christmas classic!

     

  5. …if I may…I have a philosophical conundrum…in a world that includes the likes of donnie dotard & mitch mcconnell…is it possible that joe manchin could be the lowest form of life?

    • If the White House and democrats are actually “blindsided “ then they are all a whole fucking lot dumber than I thought they were—which is saying a lot. I seem to recall commenting here a few months ago that Manchin would never vote for it no matter what. Anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together knew this bill was dead the moment it was born because of the 50/50 split.

  6. fwiw i do apreciate your posts….i just dont have much to say about them..so i keep quiet

    us and uk politics…..theres a lot of fucked up there i cant do anything about…

    too busy with the fucked up here i cant do anything about

    sooo thank you and here

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