November, Seriously? [DOT 2/11/22]

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Look I know spooky season is over and it’s ALL XMAS ALL THE TIME now (at least it was at Bath and Body Works the other day). But I love this little image from our archives. So Happy Wednesday everyone.

Hope your week is going well so far.

Who the hell is in charge of the Capitol Police?

Capitol Police cameras caught break-in at Pelosi home, but no one was watching


Bolsonaro breaks election silence but refuses to recognise Lula’s victory

I am Ok with this.

Huge ‘planet killer’ asteroid discovered – and it’s heading our way (Spoiler Alert: “it has ‘no chance’ of hitting Earth”)


Univ. of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh expects Michigan State football players to be charged


The Fed is expected to raise interest rates by three-quarters of a point and then signal it could slow the pace


Julie Powell, food writer behind ‘Julie & Julia,’ dead at 49

Wow, this was all done with stop motion!

How an artist captured Fauci’s career in a genre-defying new portrait

Have a great day!



  1. I signed up to get New York Post news alerts, because it is America’s Finest Newspaper and also its oldest (that is true; it was founded by Alexander Hamilton sometime around 1800 or something.) They were the ones who alerted me that Julie Powell had died, which is very sad, so I clicked on the link and now that they’ve allowed comments I was astonished to see that there were many dozens, I think they’re approaching 200.

    That’s odd, I thought. Who knew that so many Post readers read Julie Powell’s blog, and then read it when it was picked by Salon, and then read the book, and then enjoyed Julie & Julia (the movie based on the blog and book) as much as I did?

    A very few of the commenters praised Julie Powell for doing what she did and said that they, too, had been inspired to reach for Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But overwhelmingly the comments posited, with no evidence whatsoever, that Julie Powell had died at 49 because she was Covid-vaccinated or had recently received a booster.

    I know lots of people are “vaccine-” or “booster-hesitant,” in the words of one of my doctors, who has to work with people who share this view (the lower-level support types, some nurses, and they work in healthcare) but what a strange experience that was, reading those comments.


    • Edit: I really signed up to get late-breaking news about issues of vital importance, like how the Brady/Bündchen divorce is going, and anything that mentions Biden, Pelosi, etc. I avoid like the plague.

    • Murdoch operations have had very strict vaccination requirements for employees — they have rules to get vaxxed or get fired. But their happiness to encourage death in the general population and their audience in particular is a sign of how much they treat their fans as suckers.

      • Indeed they do. I have friends who are on staff at the Wall Street Journal (they’re on the culture/business side, not the politics/editorial side). They also have a generous “work-from-anywhere” policy, as my closest staff-member friend who now lives mostly in Florida will attest.

    • You know this already, but there is zero evidence of covid vaccinations causing any deaths at all:

      That being noted, onward. I have a lot of family that are nurses, and I think the level of ignorance among them would surprise a lot of people. They benefit from the cachet of being in a medical field and are perfectly happy to dispense medical advice for which they aren’t remotely qualified.

      That’s because you can become a registered nurse after studying for two years at community college. They really don’t learn much more than care protocols. Certainly they don’t study immunology or even biology that closely.

      Most four-year degrees that have a science requirement probably require more rigorous science study. I’m quite certain my honors science courses were well beyond what my family studied. The limited curriculum is particularly exacerbated by the nursing shortage, so schools are encouraged to pump these individuals out as quickly as possible.  Licensed practical nurses require a year of study, and certified nurses aides take six months.

      I’m not saying that they aren’t hard-working, and they’re very necessary. Many are heroic. And I will point out that there are four-year nursing degrees and other advanced study that some have engaged in.

      But there’s a reason that doctors diagnose and nurses don’t. And every time I see mentions of them undercutting science and denying vaccines, I’m reminded of family members who got certified by studying for a few months. I have only one (my sister) whose opinion I’d ask for, and even then I’d follow up with an actual doctor.

      Final caveat: I mean an actual doctor in a relatively urban setting. You wouldn’t believe the quackery of the doctors in the rural counties in Florida. That’s another post though.

      • Most of your comment, I agree with but I need to point out a few things.  My wife is a nurse practitioner, she has a 4 year degree plus a masters plus a 2 years post-masters.  In our state, she can do everything a doctor can do independently & NP’s have been proven to statistically have better outcomes than primary doctors (probably because they listen and don’t jump to diagnose).  She took this route after working with doctors for years that were incompetent & I convinced her to go back to school if she didn’t want to take orders from these fools.  She tells me all the time about having to deal with local doctors that are vaccine deniers.  Education doesn’t always equal smarts and lots of doctors are just educated idiots.

        • Absolutely. A nurse practitioner is at a whole different level than RNs or LPNs. I’ve gone to them myself and so has my wife. And as an aside, they really need to change that designation. They should call it medical practitioner or something to indicate it’s a much higher level than an RN.

        • You made me curious. It’s still a valid license designation in all 50 states, apparently:

          That said, around here there are more nursing and retirement homes than pretty much anywhere else in the US. They employ a constant stream of LPNs and CNAs simply because the elderly frequently don’t require the intense care that hospitalized people do. So it’s a HUGE career option here.

          It also doesn’t hurt that the lower nursing certifications still have an impressive ROI, considering Florida’s state college system subsidies and scholarships. Pay ranges from $40-$80K for LPNs and $30-$45K for CNAs. Getting $60K for a one-year certification is nothing to sneeze at. And job growth is currently 22%. If you can pay a few hundred dollars to earn that kind of money, it’s a smart move.

    • It is the oldest in NYC — which as a city resident I understand is the only place that matters to you — but it’s by no means the oldest in the U.S. The Hartford Courant is the oldest continually publishing paper in America and was founded in the 1760s; the Post doesn’t even crack the top 10 in oldest papers.

      • That’s odd. In the old design on the front page the red top used to say “America’s Oldest Newspaper” but I haven’t seen a print edition in probably 20 years, just the free online stuff. So I searched for an image of the front cover and sure enough that tagline has vanished along with “Founded by Alexander Hamilton.” I am shook. And yet here it is on their website:

        America’s oldest continuously-published newspaper, the New York Post has evolved into a national digital presence… [it continues]

        Is the Post lying to me? So does this mean all the backgrounders about the various “Real Housewives” franchises also might not be true?

        I will say in my defense that for real news I read what I can of the Albany Times Union (paywall) for local-ish (to me; they kind of have to cover a lot of NYC) and state stuff, and for the announcement that a second location of a beloved wings bar is opening in Colonie or whatever. I will always be grateful to them for hastening Emperor Andreus Maximus Cuomo’s departure from the Executive Mansion, at great personal and professional risk to themselves. For national I read what I can of The Washington Post. When I’m in desperate need of a $3,400 small-batch fair-trade ethically sourced organic wool blanket, or when I want to read about where in Brooklyn a a couple in their late-20s will wind up on a budget of $1.6 million, then of course I reach for The New York Times.

    • Vaccine and booster “hesitant” people who work in healthcare really surprise me. I’ve started searching for an overnight doula and a lot of them are not vaccinated. Our first doula interview that was going really well until the vaccine came up at the end. The doula started squirming and regurgitated a bunch of non scientific excuses for being hesitant. It was surreal for my husband and I how quickly our perception of her changed from 100% would trust her with our newborn to nope no way. I’ve since learned to specify that they must be bivalent boosted before setting up an interview. It’s a deal breaker for me. I rather suffer the sleep deprivation and a prolonged postpartum recovery than be stressed about my family and newborn catching Covid. Had I known that being “hesitant” was so prevalent in this field, I would have started my search earlier. I still have a month to go, so I’m not too concerned just a fit flabbergasted.

      • The vaccine/booster hesitancy seems to be a pincer movement from the right and left. The right sees it as yet another big-government conspiracy, and the left as somehow…I don’t know. Comes from the same strain of thought that crystals can cure cancer and childhood vaccinations cause autism, with an unhealthy dose of government-conspiracy paranoia thrown in, I think. Then there are the religious (“religious”) ones who are beyond redemption. Recently I was reading that students at Fordham, a Jesuit university, are up in arms about a booster mandate, and members of the Law School have filed a suit against it, but meanwhile Pope Francis himself said to the flock early on, “Get the vaccine.” His views on boosters I don’t know, and the Jesuits and other Catholic orders are frequently at odds with each other, but Pope Francis is himself a Jesuit (the Papacy’s first) so you’d think…

      • Super duper catholic cousin had like kids numbers 4 through 8 at home with doulas, with varying experiences. One of them the aunts were livid about how rough the delivery was and how tore up cousin was. Other experiences were great. Like I don’t think she had a midwife, I think it was just a doula. Homebirths with midwives aren’t legal in the state they live in, so I assume that’s part of it. Anyways, some of the doulas were very very woo, which I can see dovetailing with vaccine hesitancy.

  2. The big financial firms that backed $13 billion of the debt behind the $44 billion Twitter deal are now realizing they won’t be able to flip it any time soon “and will probably end up incurring huge losses on the financing package.”

    In situations like this you can bet there are lower level numbers people who were screaming internally not to do this deal. There had to have been execs who simply blocked those objections.

    Meanwhile major ad market player IPG has recommended that brands freeze Twitter advertising until it is clear whether they clean up their act. The risks of fabric softener and string cheese getting linked to Nazis seems too high.

    This doesn’t mean that all advertisers will flee. But the basic rule is top brands reinforce audience choices — when BMW flees and you end up with Discount Herbal Manhood Supplements, a platform ends up with an audience that other advertisers will pay less and less to reach fown the road.

    • Basically, the corporate oligarchs were attempting to co-opt another disinformation vector to try and reach more susceptible idiots. Garbage sites like Truth Social and Parler haven’t given them the access they crave. Musk is their tool, and even he eventually realized it was a bad idea from a financial standpoint. It’s going to crash spectacularly, but I think they hoped it might affect the midterm elections if they moved fast enough, though it’s doubtful at this point. Campaigners say that the election is “baked” now and the only thing left is to count votes. No amount of propaganda will move the needle.

      • My take is that it is less about Twitter in particular for the people who jammed through the backing for this, and more about a general feeling about finance.

        I think they subscribe to a giants among men mania where people like them can simply bend the world their way, and backing Musk was a vote for making the world the way they want it to be.

        One of the things I always find fascinating about these dramas is how quickly the press narrative shifts from capitalism as an arena with virtuous predators enhancing the herd to passive voice depictions of CEOs as innocents buffeted by unpredictable winds.

        Why, interest rates, supply chains, shifts in the market — anything but blunders by Zuckerberg or Musk that should get them dumped ASAP. How quickly things change when it’s firing 1,000 employees vs. one CEO.

    • Something I’ve learned in my life: The people who are good at sales — especially the ones who go the extra step to be con men — tend to also be shockingly easy marks when it comes to a slick pitch. There was never any path to making a Twitter purchase be profitable at that price. None! I get why Musk wanted to buy it, and I certainly get why various dictatorships wanted to throw money into it, but the financial firms? They pretty much said “Hey the really rich guy wants to do this, we should glom on!” I hope they eat maximum shit.

      • I think there is a huge network effect at play, where members of the network feel predisposed to buy in to pleas to reinforce the network.

        And it’s definitely true that dupes often end up like Linus getting more frantic about his faith in The Great Pumpkin and more likely to blame his own sliver of doubt for the ultimate failure.

        Which is one reason why I think a lot of attacks on these deals need to focus more on the network failure than the narrower factual failures. When the argument boils down to a laundry list of missteps, the underlying assumption is the network is sound and just needs tweaking. Push the core issue up front — treating CEOs as gods creates situations where sound analysis never stops blind rolls of the dice.

        • …I haven’t seen it detailed anywhere but I’d be interested to know how much of the funding for the twitter purchase when it went through was different from when the offer was made

          …it was an overbid at the outset…$50/share plus that weed joke premium for a bonus $4.20…& whoever was responsible for twitter’s end of it deserves their paycheck because even that $1billion penalty only replaced the full sale price if the deal fell through because the financing fell apart or twitter could be proven to have meaningfully misleading in their dealings…& he couldn’t prove that despite trying…so his cheapest out would have been investors backing out…presumably some of them couldn’t because why else would you take a bath like that as the value of the thing you’re financing tanks while your bid remains fixed…but at least some of the money got out & had to be replaced, in so far as I follow it…& I’d like to know more than I do about who ponied up to keep the train rolling down those tracks?

  3. The continuous bullshit ads of the Rethugs is driving me crazy.  I saw the woman running for governor in OK state this and the audience (and her opponent) laughed at her…

    Why we can’t get climate change under control?



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