…one day [DOT 13/11/22]

but...not today...

…it’s sunday…& however it’s going, I’m pretty sure you’re having a better day than some people

Twitter has suspended sign-ups for its Blue subscription service […]

Twitter users first began noticing the change late Thursday night when the Blue subscription option was no longer in the sidebar menu of the app. The sign-up page for Twitter Blue appears to still direct to a page with information about the service but without an option to sign up.
The sudden absence of the service — which CEO Elon Musk has touted as an important step as Twitter looks to increase revenue and decrease the prevalence of bots and trolls — adds to a series of whiplash product moves in the two weeks Musk has controlled the company.

…well…maybe not…once burned twice shy & such

Eli Lilly’s stock price dropped sharply after the fake tweet was posted, as did those of other pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, which was also impersonated. […]

Internal communications obtained by CNBC indicate that Twitter support initially determined that the tweet impersonating Eli Lilly did not constitute a violation of the company’s terms of service. A sales employee said they encouraged clients to tweet directly at Elon Musk about their problems.
Twitter is currently under a consent decree from the FTC, which forces it to notify the agency about new products with a written plan, among other things.

…not that they’d really have to…the…let’s call it subtext…is not exactly subtle

In his other businesses, Tesla and SpaceX, Musk often clashes with government regulators. For example, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, has proclaimed that he does not respect the financial regulators and accused them in court of trying to “chill” his free speech rights through their oversight of his Tesla shareholder communications.

He has also accused the federal vehicle safety regulators, NHTSA, of hiring a safety adviser who was biased against Tesla, and of using “outdated and inaccurate terminology.” And he has accused the Federal Aviation Administration of having a “fundamentally broken regulatory structure,” after it failed to promptly approve a SpaceX test launch.

Justin Brookman, a former FTC official and now the director of technology policy for the advocacy group Consumer Reports, said Musk would be risking Twitter’s finances if it is found to be violating the terms of the consent decree. And the cost will likely be a lot more than the $150 million fine imposed this past spring on the social media giant by federal regulators over accusations of deceptive practices.
Should Twitter be found in violation of the consent decree, Musk would face major fines akin to the $5 billion settlement that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reached with the FTC in 2019 over alleged violations of user privacy data, Kovacic added.

“Not only will you have to write a big check, but you’ll see the imposition of further controls,” he said.

Twitter’s consent decree does not require its CEO to have to certify compliance, but the FTC could force Musk to personally file reports confirming that every facet of the agreement is being followed, just as Zuckerberg has had to do as part of Facebook’s settlement.

…you mean this zuckerberg?

Comparing the market value of Meta from when it was first announced on Oct 28, 2021, with today, the company has shrunk by an astonishing US$650 billion.

…for context…that’s from a thing that came out on the “anniversary”…which was Oct 28th

Since changing its name to Meta and investing heavily to create the “metaverse,” a virtual reality world, Facebook’s parent company has been plagued with woes. From the start of 2022 to now, the company has shed 70 per cent of its value.

[…] in July, Meta reported its first ever revenue decline […]

…I dunno…maybe these astronomically rich dudes are…like…not as smart as they’re made out to be…but still, there’s always that bezos guy…I bet it’s all still going pretty good for him, right?

Amazon, one of the first companies to join the prestigious $1 trillion dollar valuation club, just passed another, admittedly less desirable milestone. This week, Jeff Bezos’ Everything Store became the first publicly traded company to lose $1 trillion in market valuation.

…ok…sure…but the windows guy, amirite?

Microsoft, which briefly surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company last year, wasn’t far behind, with market valuation losses hovering around $900 billion.

…I mean…neither of those have gone bust or anything…but there isn’t a long list of companies (at least relatively speaking) who could find themselves that many hundreds of billions of dollars less valuable & survive

Those declines aren’t just limited to Amazon and Microsoft. The top five most valuable U.S. tech companies reportedly lost a combined $4 trillion in value this year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the combined GDPs of Turkey, Argentina, and Switzerland.

…& I’m pretty sure even for the ones that could…that’s got to hurt

Zooming out, the record valuation losses arguably say just as much about the peculiarities of the modern global economy as it does about one single company. Just four years ago, Apple became the first company to achieve the $1 trillion valuation mark. Apple somehow managed to briefly triple that valuation in the years since and around a half a dozen other companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and Saudi Aramco, all managed to surpass the once unfathomable figure. Now, in 2022, rather than write stories on companies achieving that trillion dollar mark, the more meaningful story centers around those who can lose that same amount and still maintain untoward levels of wealth.

…but…you know…everything’s got to come back in line with pre-pandemic levels, right?

…which, in case you were wondering…is…like…totally not in any way connected to that whole brexit thing



…uhhhh…well…yeah…but…ummm…it’s…like…not the only reason…there’s other stuff that’s happened…& what would the office of budget responsibility know, anyway?

The independent Resolution Foundation calculates that the Truss government was responsible for about £30bn of the fiscal hole which the Treasury puts at £60bn, and which Hunt will have to tackle in the autumn statement on Thursday.
The RF’s economists estimate that in her seven-week premiership £20bn was blown by Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on unfunded cuts to national insurance and stamp duty, with a further £10bn added by higher interest rates and government borrowing costs as the markets reacted with dismay to the former prime minister’s dash for growth.
On Thursday Hunt will announce £25bn of tax rises, alongside £35bn of departmental spending cuts as he aims to restore at least some of his party’s battered reputation for economic management. The vast majority of the rises will be so-called “stealth taxes”, achieved by freezing thresholds on income tax, national insurance, inheritance tax, pensions savings and the threshold at which companies have to register for VAT. By not raising these thresholds by the rate of inflation, more people are brought into the tax net or dragged into paying at higher rates.
Hunt is expected to raise pensions and benefits in line with inflation to protect the most needy from the cost of living crisis. But all government departments will be told they have to live within their 2021 budgets this year, meaning huge extra pressures on schools and hospitals, which are having to fund inflation-plus pay rises for staff.
However, the lion’s share of the extra funds was slated to be directed towards the health service, funded in part by a 1.25% rise in national insurance. With the national insurance rise scrapped, the health service is likely to receive a less generous funding deal, and unprotected departments such as transport and the Home Office will suffer real-terms cuts.

Government departments and local councils have complained that the practical effects of inflation leave them out of pocket. Hospitals and schools are expected to fall further into debt next year without a larger boost to their funding. Councils says they are trying to tackle a £3.2bn budget shortfall next year that they expect will need to be closed by higher council tax bills.

…but you know what…it turns out that in this world…maybe money actually can buy happiness

A study published Monday in the journal PNAS looked at the effects of giving 200 people a one-time sum of $10,000.
The group that got $10,000 reported higher levels of happiness than those who did not after their three months of spending. Then, after three more months had passed, the recipients still reported levels of happiness higher than when the experiment started.

…well…up to a point, anyway

However, people with household incomes above $123,000 did not report noticeable improvements in their happiness.
Those in the study came from three low-income countries — Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya — and four high-income countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S. The findings indicated that participants from the low-income countries gained three times as much happiness as those from high-income countries. And people who earned $10,000 a year gained twice as much happiness as those making $100,000 annually.
A famous study published in 2010 suggested that emotional well-being improved as incomes got higher for those making up to $75,000 a year. However, a 2020 study found that no such cap existed and that people making $80,000 or more a year reported higher levels of positive feelings and fewer negative feelings as their incomes rose.
That makes it challenging to compare his results to those of experiments with basic income, which have given smaller stipends on a regular basis.

Such pilot programs have largely focused on lower-income, unemployed or unhoused people. For example, a city-led experiment in Stockton, California, gave people $500 monthly stipends. Participants, who had to live in neighborhoods where the median household income was $46,000 or less per year to qualify, reported improvements in their emotional well-being, decreases in anxiety and depression and increases in full-time employment after a year.

…I know…shocking…sort of amazing it never occurred to anyone before, really

[…] On the first page of his 2015 blockbuster book, Prisoners of Geography, Marshall invited readers to contemplate Russia’s topography. A ring of mountains and ice surrounds it. Its border with China is protected by mountain ranges, and it is separated from Iran and Turkey by the Caucusus. Between Russia and western Europe stand the Balkans, Carpathians and Alps, which form another wall. Or, they nearly do. To the north of those mountains, a flat corridor – the Great European Plain – connects Russia to its well-armed western neighbours via Ukraine and Poland.[…]

There is a name for Marshall’s line of thinking: geopolitics. Although the term is often used loosely to mean “international relations”, it refers more precisely to the view that geography – mountains, land bridges, water tables – governs world affairs. Ideas, laws and culture are interesting, geopoliticians argue, but to truly understand politics you must look hard at maps. And when you do, the world reveals itself to be a zero-sum contest in which every neighbour is a potential rival, and success depends on controlling territory, as in the boardgame Risk. In its cynical view of human motives, geopolitics resembles Marxism, just with topography replacing class struggle as the engine of history.

Geopolitics also resembles Marxism in that many predicted its death in the 1990s, with the cold war’s end. […] “The world is flat,” the journalist Thomas Friedman declared in 2005. It was an apt metaphor for globalisation: goods, ideas and people sliding smoothly across borders.

[…] This outlook openly guides Russian thinking, with Putin citing “geopolitical realities” in explaining his Ukraine invasion. Elsewhere, as faith in an open, trade-based international system falters, map-reading pundits such as Marshall, Robert Kaplan, Ian Morris, George Friedman and Peter Zeihan are advancing on to bestseller lists.

…could be those folks have a point…unless of course we’re all in uncharted territory?

The era we are now in the midst of might be defined, most notably, by the omnipresence of disaster. Plagues, droughts, floods, toxic air and water, wars, massacres, famines, earthquakes, heat waves, wildfires, recessions, dust storms, despotism — slow-motion nightmares are crashing into fast-moving catastrophes, each one amplifying the next.
I lead the Headway team at The New York Times, which explores global challenges through the lens of progress. We wanted to understand how people around the world approach rebuilding in this state of continuous disaster. Everywhere we looked, long-simmering crises had reached breaking points: For example, a hurricane that on its own would be an emergency hits a brittle food system misshapen by colonialism, sparking a crisis. These ruptures carry both the threat and possibility of broader transformations. Disasters compress time, and in a world besieged by them, dramatic shifts occur: For planners and architects and officials, whose work typically unfolds over years, disaster recovery requires and enables otherwise-unthinkable haste. For survivors, unfathomable loss creates what the psychologist William James called an “awful discontinuity of past and future.” This essay is part of a special issue of The New York Times Magazine about rebuilding. In creating it, we found ourselves widening the lens, from singular dislocations caused by disaster to the wider possibilities for change that emerge as society seesaws between creeping calamities and sudden shocks.
For a glimpse at how a different world might take root even in the middle of a system shock, consider the case of West Street Recovery. In the days after Houston was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, Andrew Barley responded to a Facebook post calling for help with water rescues. Soon enough, he had joined a small crew of volunteers. “Water rescue turned into passing out hot meals, turned into muck and guts — which is cleaning out houses after the storm — turned into passing out clean clothes and cleaning supplies,” Barley says. The crush of disaster meant there was little time at first for deliberation and bureaucracy. Even in the crucible of calamity, they managed to articulate a set of shared values and an agreement: Decisions would be made by consensus, but one voice could not overrule an otherwise unanimous choice. Before long, the volunteer operation had become a formal nonprofit.

Many such efforts emerge in the immediate aftermath of disaster, then dissipate as the recovery reaches its limits and compassion fatigue sets in. “The real question is not why this brief paradise of mutual aid and altruism appears, but rather why it is ordinarily overwhelmed by another world order,” Solnit writes in her book. But five years after Harvey, West Street Recovery has not only continued ongoing disaster response, but spawned a spinoff effort that’s also focused on organizing residents around political aims. Perpetual disaster has been the context for that work. “From our perspective, it was Harvey; and then from Harvey, there was a tropical storm two years after,” Barley reflected. “And from that, there was the pandemic; and then from the pandemic, there was social uprising. And then from social uprising, there was winter storm Uri. From winter storm Uri to now, we’re facing levels of inflation that our working-class communities haven’t seen, or their generation hasn’t seen, in years.” Ben Hirsch, West Street co-director, shares the group’s fundamental philosophy: “We’re trying to imagine the world that we want, and act and run our organization in that way.”
The stealthiest danger in a world shaken by ongoing calamities might be that calamity becomes ordinary. We learn to cope with it from day to day, but lose the ability to imagine beyond it. I hope the articles in this special issue about rebuilding are an antidote to that danger. Disaster may be our present and future, but may the certainty of a vastly changing world keep us also alert to its vast possibility.

…calamity becomes ordinary…well…the math seems to check out on that part…although

Democrats have kept control of the Senate after the crucial race in Nevada was announced in their favor, cementing a midterms election performance for the party that widely beat expectations.

…maybe we’re due something out of the ordinary

Democratic strategists who work on House races this cycle say it would take a “miracle,” but Democrats do have a possible path to retaining the majority. Their path to do so would require a clean sweep in all 13 remaining uncalled seats that are designated by CBS News as “likely” Democrat or “lean” Democrat. This includes nine seats in California alone, with several Democrats in tight races.

They would then have to win at least 7 of the 13 seats that are rated as “toss ups” or “Lean Republican” by CBS News.

…either way…it looks like both houses are going to be sporting very thin majorities…& with georgia most likely headed to a runoff for the senate…& boebert’s result probably not being final until december…little is certain…but what do we care…it’s a day of rest…right?



  1. Ah, yes, the old stealth tax, where you don’t adjust the bands upward. Here are the current New York State rates:


    $0 to $8,500

    4% of taxable income


    $8,501 to $11,700

    $340 plus 4.5% of the amount over $8,500


    $11,701 to $13,900

    $484 plus 5.25% of the amount over $11,700


    $13,901 to $21,400

    $600 plus 5.9% of the amount over $13,900


    $21,401 to $80,650

    $1,042 plus 5.97% of the amount over $21,400


    $80,651 to $215,400

    Notice the bottom four bands. That only takes you up to $21,400. No doubt when they were instituted (New York imposed a state income tax in 1919; the rates were far lower) few could have imagined making the princely sum of $21K a year so it must have been kind of the “millionaire’s tax” of its day.

    I read recently that when the US had those magical top rates of 90% or whatever it got up to there was one year when precisely 2 individuals paid the top rate. Everyone else found a way around them; the 2 who paid probably did so for patriotic reasons, because the year was 1949 or 1950 I think and we would have been paying off the WWII debt.

    • One of those odd wrinkles of history is that the super high top rate mostly hit people like athletes and movie stars who had big salaries, while people who traded in real estate and stocks could pretty easily move assets around to create paper losses that offset real gains.

      A few stars, like Bob Hope, were able to funnel their cash effectively into investments like real estate, and he became the largest individual owner of real estate in California, but most never figured it out or were ruined by unscrupulous hangers on.

      Fast forward to the 1986 Tax Act pushed by Senator (and one time highest paid NBA star) Bill Bradley and Ronald Reagan (I’m pretty sure he made a lot more in Hollywood than his costar Bonzo).

      It made a good faith effort to cut top rates, eliminate deductions, and raise the capital gains tax. Since George HW Bush lost, though, it’s been the absolutely top priority of every Republican to wipe out Reagan’s legacy, including the ridiculous tax cuts under Bush and Trump.

      To be fair, Democrats have been wishy washy to hold the line, but they’ve taken harder line recently with measures like the new 15% minimum tax on large corporation profits. But obviously there’s room for more.


  2. When I applied for a job at Nortel in June 2000… Nortel would soon hit a peak value of $124.40 CDN a share.

    When I joined Nortel in late Aug 2000… Nortel stock was around $110 a share.

    When I was sold to Ericsson Jan 1, 2009… Nortel stock was $0.00 (in any currency) a share.

    Hmmm. Am I a jinx?

  3. every facet of the agreement is being followed, just as Zuckerberg has had to do as part of Facebook’s settlement.

    It’s awfully interesting to me that Facebook finally started filing more modest claims about its numbers of users after Zuckerberg was forced to be personally liable in that agreement.

    Although the agreement focused on privacy, it probably provided a lot of leverage over Facebook’s notoriously inflated user numbers.

    And even more than the Apple privacy decision and Zuckerberg’s Meta disaster, the reality of Facebook’s user base problem is what’s driving the stock price disaster. I don’t think the FTC enforcement is the only reason Zuckerberg is inflating user numbers less aggressively, but it’s probably part of the reason.

    • Also the market also recognizes that FB’s primary user base is angry middle aged/old people (I’m almost that demo except not white and more annoyed than angry).

      Same reason why AM toxic/talk radio is filled with Penis Pill and Pickup Truck Ads. Not where the cool people go, hang out or post.

      Facebook is the AM radio of social networks.

      • Zuckerberg leaned so heavily into hate posts for traffic because he was so bad at leading development of new products and improving what he had.

        If he’d been in charge of Apple, his only plan to increase iPhone usage would have been to load a stupid newsfeed on the default screen and make it easier for infuriating spammers to send you texts.

  4. Whoever claimed that money doesn’t solve your problems had no idea what they were banging on about. Money would solve basically all of my problems right now. Other-Husband didn’t get paid Thursday because there was some snafu with payroll. He’s getting a paper check tomorrow,  which will, naturally, take a few more days to clear. So, now, credit card payments, car payment, and electric bill are all late, there was barely enough to fill up the van, and we had to cancel our plans for yesterday. Oh, and I need a root canal and crown, which insurance won’t cover. So, yes. Money would solve most of my problems!

  5. welp…im going to jail tomorow

    someone just nicked me bike outside the supermarket and i know exactly who it was

    if you hear about 5 morrocans getting stabbed to death in the netherlands…please know it wasnt racial…it was vengeance

  6. On the election: Dems hold the Senate, no matter what. So we won. That’s important because it will act as a check on Republican fuckery (they’re planning Benghazi 2.0 as fast as they can so as to impeach Biden). Arguably, the judicial nominees are even MORE important, because as we’ve seen from Loose Cannon, Trump appointees have no morals, scruples, or shame. Biden gets to put his people in.

    The House is going to be a massive dumpster fire, with pro-Trump forces fighting against the Republicans who have enough self-interest to realize that’s a political disaster long-term. But a razor-thin majority means that Iron Nancy or her successor as minority leader can seriously fuck up any Republican initiatives, if they can stop attacking each other long enough to put any together.

    Big picture — all the gains made in the last two years are staying put. That’s a serious win.

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