TGIF [DOT 21/4/23]

Yesterday it was TINF but now it’s actually Friday, yay! I’m going to work from home today; I have to take Fritz to the vet. It’s always an adventure and we’ll see how many scars he leaves on me while I jam him in his crate.

You love to see it

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell ordered to follow through with $5 million payment to expert who debunked his false election data


‘Cop City’ activist’s official autopsy reveals more than 50 bullet wounds

Merica going extra Merica this week

Man shoots girl, six, and her parents after ball rolls into his backyard


Good for him.

How Brad Paisley became the most outspoken country star to support Ukraine

Ok I love this kid

Dying laughing. Some people should stay home.

Have a great day!



    • Same. And once again I have to let our crappy work travel agent make the arrangements, which means I’m flying on the shittiest airline imaginable, Southwest. The only silver lining is that the flight is 2.5 hours. This year I’m not doing my normal “get up at 4 am fly by 7” routine. I’m just flying in the middle of the day, which means I’ll probably never get there. So be it. I’ll hopefully be well-rested.

    • Just tell yourself over and over and over that these days the odds are incredibly low that the plane will be experiencing rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation.

  1. Have we discussed yet how excited we are by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s 2024 Presidential bid? I enjoy a good political circus act so this came as great news to me. I wonder who and when will be the first to ask his third wife, Cheryl Hynes, “He drove his second wife to suicide with his relentless cheating and womanizing. Do you think he’s cheating on you? Are you in an open marriage? Who, exactly, will be moving into the White House if he wins this?”

    I also thought it was telling that Bobby, Jr. made this thrilling announcement at the Park Plaza in Boston. Is that where his uncle, the martyred St. John of Hyannis, announced his bid for the Presidency 60+ years ago? Because Bobby, Jr. has almost no ties to Massachusetts. He grew up in DC (his father started his legal career working with Roy Cohn on Senator Joe McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunting HUAC; I hope that gets brought up!) and then Dad was helicoptered in to New York to be our notional Senator, just like Hillary, before launching his own Presidential bid, just like Hillary. Bobby, Jr. has lived his entire working life in metro NYC, I think, although now he’s in LA with Cheryl and makes occasional drop-ins at the haunted amusement park/family compound in Hyannis. In the early 80s he was an ADA here in NYC but then was caught for possession of heroin so he had to give up that gig and while on probation (Kennedys never do jail time) that’s what got him involved in environmental justice. Where he picked up his nutty ideas about vaccines I don’t know. I just hope that one of his kids (he has 6) doesn’t cough on me.

    • He used to be on a Youtube channel talking about Progressive issues. Apparently he seemed quite sane, but something popped in his brain.

      Especially when he’s taking “dark money” from presumably GOPer operatives for this “run.” Funny, his anti-vax bullshit would draw more morons… uh anti-vax loons aka RW fundie nutjobs.

    • It’s pretty depressing how much coverage his dead-end Trojan Horse (for Steve Bannon, no less) campaign has already received. Both the media’s desperation for celebrity and somehow still the name “Kennedy” still means something to them. People scoffed when Trump said he could kill a guy and nobody would care, but Teddy dropped off a campaign worker at the bottom of a river and … hey, the name still works!

      • I used to read a website, I can’t remember which one and it’s defunct, but it was from the golden age of commenting, around 2000–2010, and one of the commenter’s names was “Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquidick Oldsmobile.”

  2. Also, à propos of nothing, I just love the New York Post‘s commenting section. It used to be a total free-for-all, then they shut it down entirely for a while, and now they moderate and only open up comments on stories that don’t have a racial tinge.

    Here’s a good comment from a true American patriot:

    It is getting to the point where people will have to make a stand in order to fulfill our duties that the forefathers left for us in The Constitution of The United States of America and The Bill of Rights.

    What has gotten this commenter so excited that he wants to grab his musket and join a locally organized militia? Basically, he is concerned that Hunter Biden has not been given a death sentence yet.

    • This is late and I’m commenting to myself but I am sucker for this kind of faux-Jeffersonian/Federalist Papers kind of writing. One I read a few years ago went, “Congress Shall make No Laws that Abridge the Freedoms of the Citizens of the United States of America to Travel Freely and Secure in their Body and Possessions” and it went on. This was in response to NYC  hoping to implement congestion taxes/tolls.

  3. I might be a grumpy older man now, but when my neighbor’s children asked if they could get their errantly thrown balls into my yard I said “Sure! Go ahead.”

    What kind of ultimate psychotic shithead do you have to be to be willing to shoot a kid?

      • One of my best friends from university gives where I live side eye because it is a majority brown neighborhood (this is formerly lily white Brampton, what do you expect?)

        He thinks being one of the few non brown folks here, makes me some sort of target.

        I feel a touch safer than I did when I lived in a lily white neighborhood as a kid. At least I don’t see sour faced people glaring out their windows at me here when I’m walking on the street.

        He’s also a conservative… big surprise…

        • I can totally understand that. My neighborhood is majority Black, and what whites are up here are all good limousine Liberals who vote for Bernie Sanders and feel very, very bad about the plight of their darker neighbors as they leave their million-dollar condos and jump into their Ubers for the ride farther south, into the parts of Manhattan where they prefer to hang out, especially after dark.

          NOT ME! I mean yes, for the restaurants, the restaurants around here absolutely suck, but there are two decent and very pricey Italian ones and one French one. The owners are right off the boat (or the Air France redeye) and for some reason these Italians and French people have decided that what our little nabe needs is restaurants transplanted whole from the home countries with absolutely no concessions to American tastes or expectations. Thus, the French restaurant offers rabbit stew and frog’s legs, among other things, and one of the Italian restaurants always has something featuring a ragù of wild boar, while the other one is is a Northern Italian seafood place where sea urchins are used in imaginative ways.

          Anyway, once I went into my physical decline and started using my rollater my (white) neighbors started fearing for my safety. Didn’t I feel even more vulnerable than before? I hadn’t felt vulnerable at all before. And I explained to them, as I have to you all, I think, it was my golden ticket to almost regal deference. People holding doors open for me, letting me cut in lines, store employees appearing as if from nowhere to assist me (and no one else), people started calling me “Pops” and “Uncle.” It’s almost all worth it.

          • You’re talking about intracity discussions, but it’s even funnier to talk to people who don’t live in NYC (or any big city, really) about what goes on there. I met a businessperson at an event the other night and she mentioned her son is in the military and wasn’t sure if it was safer to deploy than it was to take a job in Chicago and … like … where do you even start with that. The more conservative side of my family always talked about NYC like it was Fallujah crossed with Hamsterdam from “The Wire.” People are just afraid most of the time, mostly racism, but also just a generalized fear of the life they don’t understand.

            • In my case, I’ve been coupled off with Better Half since forever, it seems, so I have no fear of Black men, since he is one, and though I don’t use slang that seems to change every two weeks, I don’t flinch when young Black men approach me. Plus often I have a dog with me, first the German shepherd and now the black Lab, and the locals seem to be afraid of dogs. But not always do I have Faithful Hound by my side. I’m well aware of the mayhem going on around me, thanks to local media, but I personally have never witnessed wholesale looting of a retail outlet like a Nike store or a Louis Vuitton down in SoHo, nor am I prone to be hanging around a housing-project street corner at 3 am so I’ve never witnessed a drive-by shooting. Just lucky, I guess.

            • Also, about 20 years ago I attended a family reunion (we have have them every year) and the host’s house was within hearing distance of a firing range. I said to one of my cousins, “What is that noise? Are people shooting off fireworks at noon in the middle of June?” And the cousin said, “Oh, c’mon [Mattie], you know what that sound is, you live in New Yawk City. It’s bullets from the firing range. You must hear that all the time.”

              I said, “No, we live downtown, and we’re more concerned about how toxic the collapse of the World Trade Center was for air quality, and I live across an avenue from the historic district but that’s where all my dog-run friends live, so we’re busy organizing a Summer Fling Thing in a local park for the kids…”

              Just then one of my sisters joined us. “It’s true. [Mattie] lives on Sesame Street. I’ve been. He seems to know everyone. Lots of kids, rainbow coalition thing going on, some elderly people that [Mattie] likes to speak Spanish to. It seems like Hell on earth to me but [Mattie] seems to like it.”

  4. Crackhead Packet Capture Lindell better have some of that money saved up for when Dominion comes a knocking looking for that $1.3 billion dollar judgement against his pillow slinging cocaine snorting ass.

    I’ve been saying for a long time that he’s brought a pillow to a legal gun fight.

  5. …I think this is why I still feel like the fox settlement thing is not good enough

    …these are huge numbers to most people…but if fox pays out direct they can knock hundreds of millions off their tax bill to leave a smaller net figure…or they could have insurance that can cover it…& they get to deduct those premium payments instead…all of which most likely goes for the illegally-over-polluting companies that likewise get to settle without just how dirty their laundry is being exhaustively detailed by the courts

    …remind me again how we get people to stop making shit worse…you know…without making shit worse in the process?

    …maybe introduce a second weekend for morale purposes?

    • Of course not. Anything that’s a fine means it’s perfectly legal for rich people (or giant corporations).

      But Dominion is a corporation and therefore exists to make money. It was never going to hit Fox harder if it meant the $$$ was in jeopardy. They likely would have won as much at trial and quite possibly more, but “likely” is never going to beat “definitely” in the eyes of a corporate lawyer, who ultimately doesn’t care about democracy as much as the entity that is signing his paycheck.

      (Edit to add: Worth remembering as the other lawsuits like this go forward. Their lawyers will no doubt invoke the same “saving democracy” language but will aim to win the most money possible and absolutely nothing else come settlement time.)

      • Things to consider too are that Fox and their insurer are corporations too.

        No insurer is going to say “sure, here’s $787 million, and we look forward to another payout when the others come knocking.” They’re going to pull up their contract and all of the evidence Dominion dug up, and then say “we’ll happily see you in court. Here’s a list of additional evidence we want to prove a claim of gross negligence so we don’t have to pay, and we’ll put Rupert on the stand while we’re at it.” They may decide to pay something in the long run, but they’ll put Fox through the wringer to get whatever they get.

        Fox is a corporation, and the settlement is *half* of their profits last year. And they’re facing a whole lot more. There is simply no way that simply gets written off as a cost of business internally. There are major shareholders inside and outside the family who will be demanding stronger controls on the crazies. Attorneys who were ignored before will be pointing out that patterns of negligence put them in an even worse position next time.

        I think it’s accurate to say this won’t really have the full impact of a 50% cut in annual profits, or whatever the followup suit will add to the ledger. But maybe a 25% or 15% cut?

        No matter how focused you think corporations are over money — whether it’s “all about the money” or like me, a mix of money and ideology — that’s still big.

        There’s a definite problem though that the US legal system is terrible at producing comprehensive justice.

        Even if the case had gone to trial, there is no way Fox would ever have been forced to apologize. They could have just said they disagreed with the verdict, it was a travesty of justice, and they were going to drag this out for a million years. Courts never see an avenue to install management oversight, which is what is really needed.

        Seth Rich’s family has written how they realized that they could get money from Fox, but the courts simply weren’t going to force Fox to make any changes. So it’s fair to say that this is not a great result. But it’s still a good one.

        • It’s not nothing, but Fox makes more than that in revenue in a month, and as other people have noted, they have lots of ways to make more in the short- and long-term. They’ll be just fine. Which is the point: The system is not meant to actually endanger any of these companies no matter what they do and like I said, so long as the endgame is a fine — even a big one! — it means it’s legal so long as the company can afford it.

          • People trying to minimize this keep focusing on revenue, which is flat out wrong.

            For public companies it’s about profits. Wall Street doesn’t get a share of revenue, only profits, and this is a major hit on profits. And they’re facing a lot more.

            Fox is set up to give the family a majority of the votes for control, and Wall Street is only OK with that kind of risk if the family can generate above average profits. And now there are serious questions about where family control is taking them.

            Shareholders can’t directly force the Murdochs to yield control, which is why it’s a mistake to think there will be quick changes. But Fox needs investors, and they can’t afford to stiff them.

            To be clear, a lot of investors have the same ideological blindnesses as Rupert Murdoch, so bringing in new blood may not change much. But at a minimum pressures are going to strengthen the hand of the legal department and the standards and practices types.

            It’s going to be slow, but there will be a course correction for the ship. But we also don’t know if it steers clear, or ends up stuck like the Ever Given, or completely trashed like the Exxon Valdez.

        • Love to see it happen, but it won’t. Cable needs eyeballs and Fox is (sadly, grossly, horrifyingly) one of the biggest regular providers of them. If cable was doing better against streaming, OK maybe, but right now, they’re pretty desperate and are unlikely to do the moral thing against the simple economic thing, especially because nobody circles the wagons to be louder than a right-wing minority.

          • They want more eyeballs, but they’re killing their audiences with fee increases. The days of just paying content companies whatever they want are over, which is why even top tier products like ESPN are feeling the squeeze. And Fox only has a fraction of the audience of ESPN.

            Cable companies can’t afford to cut Fox, but they also can’t afford to swallow a fee increase no questions asked. They know Murdoch is in deal mode. They’re going to push back.

            And this is where the size of the settlement, plus what Fox is due to pay for followups comes back to bite them. The logic of modern capital means investors don’t want  declining profits due to lawsuits, they want big growth. This settlement, even if you discount insurance and taxes, makes that kind of growth even harder to achieve.

            To be realistic, nothing major changes tomorrow at Fox compared to today. But this worsens financial pressures, and added to Rupert’s failing health, it makes their situation volatile. One possible solution is that Fox sells the news division to a third party. And what that means, who knows.

            Maybe it goes to a Musk-style bozo who blows it up in the lanch pad. Maybe it goes to someone who makes a desperate bid to “normalize,” like Licht is failing to do at CNN, and they just sink slowly.

            And maybe they go to a deep pocketed oil country’s investment arm, and go even deeper into propaganda.

            But over the next five years, something changes, maybe for the worse, maybe for the better. Just having those bozos see their audience continue to age out is worth something.

            • The funny thing is that leaving aside the Fox angle, cable actually has half a chance to swing back around and win. Streaming is in a lot of economic trouble, and we’re getting to the point where if you want everything, it’s now almost as expensive as keeping the cord! I doubt the cable companies will be smart or flexible enough to capitalize (they’re all public companies so the shareholders will demand quarterly wins even if it means death in the long run) but they’re gonna get a second chance to compete in a market where it may no longer be the most expensive and least interesting option available.

              But back on Fox, I think you’re right, broadly, in that they’re in worse shape to negotiate. But given how high their fee is now, even a loss in not getting what they’re asking for is not going to be enough to sink them in the short- or medium-term. If cable companies said “We’ll pay you half” then we might be getting somewhere, but I really sincerely doubt that’s the ballpark they’re playing in just because both sides do need each other.

      • “Want” is the operative word, though. Cable carriers won’t say sure, add more to our carriage fees. They’re coming back to Fox and saying in light of this case and what’s coming up, we want to pay less.

        Likewise, the IRS has no reason to just accept this as a legitimate business expense. The shoe is on the other foot now, and they can drag out granting the deduction for years and force Fox to carry the liability on its books, in the same way that companies will refuse to pay tax bills and drag out the cost for years.

        This settlement is a sign to all parties that Fox wants this over, and will pay a premium to make it go away. They won’t be rushing to hand Fox money back.

        Fox may well be able to recoup some of the costs of this. But think about unseen costs, like insurance. Whoever they’re going to will be treating them like the guy who submits a claim to his homeowners insurance for the garage fire caused by all of the fireworks he was storing. They still need to borrow from Wall Street — that’s going to come with a premium and more strings.

        People shouldn’t overthink this. It’s not the end of the world for Fox, but it’s still a big deal.

  6. no work today…blue skies dotted with happy little clouds…70f…jazz band playing a street corner in town

    this is the life!

    gotta make the most of today and tomorow tho as we are dropping right back down to the low 40s and rain on sunday

    welp…time to get cracking in the garden!

    (goddamn its nice to be out in shorts and a shirt again)

  7. The husk of Musk’s programmers finally managed to get rid of all of the non-paying blue checks, and it’s hilarious to see what’s left.

    It’s overwhelmingly a mix of awful people. Lots of whiny right wingers and some thirsty people of all stripes. There are a few people like Steven King and LeBron James who were given one for free even though they didn’t pay, apparently because Musk wanted to make it seem like they were onboard with his plan.

    It had been an absolute article of faith among the right and the patronizing punditry that their liberal critics were obsessed with blue checks. And as it turns out, they were only projecting their own worst attributes on their critics. Because it so often comes down to projection.

    • …from what I gather it’s all been implemented alongside some other changes…so now there’s a lack of validation/verification that an account isn’t an attempt to impersonate…& when they ditched the state-sponsored tags for the likes of the BBC…they also did it for actual-propoganda-outlets

      …oh…& changed the ToS to remove protection for trans accounts getting griefed

      …because…it’s just good business sense?

  8. Crying babies are annoying, that is accurate.

    You know what triggers panic and stress responses in a lot of people though? Screaming asshole adult men. If I were sitting near him, I’d he going through all the physiological panic responses and trying to claw back them because I was in a fucking plane and unable to get away.

    Guarantee that dude is verbally abusive to at least one person in his life, that wasn’t an accidental outburst. I hope the airline bans him.

    • I have never complained about a crying baby and here’s why. I don’t have children so I love to drop in on people who have them or host them and their parents, and then I’m one and done. Auntie Grizelda, the bitchy self-shut-in gay male busybody who now lives next door to us, can’t stand the sound of crying babies and when we had one on the floor (we used to have many, but luckily he wasn’t around for that) he was constantly complaining. I said to this bitch, “Knock it off. That crying is the sound of new life. With no new life there is no renewal. You must have cried as a baby because you’re crying and screaming now and you should know better.”

        • I told you all how I set up a baby bar, didn’t I? Not exactly babies, toddlers. We have a kitchen island, and back in the old days when most men went into offices and most mothers stayed home with their infants (this would have been around 2011 for my situation) I worked from home and I was bored and I had the very elderly German shepherd so I used to invite the mothers and pre-schoolers over. I’d put out Mom-approved snacks for the kids and they’d sit at the island and I’d serve them flavored seltzer water and tell them it was Champagne. I’d also put on disco music and try to teach the little kids rudimentary dance moves. Oh my God. When I was in my 20s I never imagined there would come a day when I would be nostalgic for my late 40s.

      • …I think there’s some irony in the mix…there are sound evolutionary reasons why it’s hard-coded into people to find it hard/impossible to ignore that sound…& making out it’s something the parents are immune to because it’s their kid is…well…backwards…but seems to be the underlying premise a good bit of the time?

        …it’s not as though everyone in the vicinity wouldn’t be happier if there wasn’t a bunch of screaming & crying going on but having a tantrum about it is about the least constructive approach I can think of…particularly on a flight

        …at least in my experience it seems like a failure of empathy & a belief that they are somehow owed a pass for that while presuming everyone will empathize with their suffering rather than…say…a wailing infant who doesn’t understand the ear-popping discomfort of air-pressure at elevation…which can be plenty uncomfortable even for grown up people who know the deal?

  9. Anti-abortion extremists are attacking Trump for backing a state by state approach on abortion.

    Realistically this won’t stop Trump from saying whatever he wants, but it still matters. These people are flexing not just for the presidential race but everywhere, and they’re signalling that they are going to hold the GOP’s feet to the fire on extremism. If they’re doing this to Trump himself, imagine what they’re going to do to candidates for governor and Congress?

      • Fake news! Jeanine Pirro was born upstate, Elmira to be exact, and was a judge in Westchester County, which is on the mainland. She may have a place in the Hamptons, probably she does, but she is not particularly Long Island associated.

        And I will say that I have a great affection for Long Island Italians, because they tend to be funny and friendly and “when you’re with us you’re like family.”

  10. …for the record…raab’s resign-to-not-get-fired statement gives fox a run for their money in the non-apology stakes

    …he pretty much decided to claim it’s a conspiracy of activist civil servants trying to draw a line in the sand that would make it impossible for ministers to govern effectively if they can’t be bullies about it?

    • That is a pity because of all the people who cycle(d) in and out of the several Conservative governments over the past dozen years, Raab is the one I’d most like to submit my brief to, if you get my drift, after Dishi Rishi, who actually is looking a little exhausted and emaciated nowadays.

      • …not judging…but I confess I fail to see any appeal to spending time in proximity to either

        …mind you…attractive-for-a-UK-politician is a pretty low bar…if I were you I’d allow fictional pols & associates…then you could get dressed down by malcolm tucker…& at least get to meet peter capaldi?

        • Yes, but the problem with Peter Capaldi is, and you know this would come up, when he gets into the rough stuff and tells you he wants to handcuff you to the bedposts you’ll have to ask him to repeat himself three times, to understand what he’s asking, and that kind of ruins the fun. At least in my imagination.

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