…then again [DOT 8/6/21]

…some things move fast…not least on twitter…but some people are a little slow on the uptake…so you’ll notice that the tweet this was replying to is missing

…& you may or may not be as amused as I was to know that at least one of the tweets brooks removed included one image in which his gmail password was visible…so…yeah…that sounds like the sort of person who ought to be trusted with matters of electoral integrity & assumed to have a good grasp of technology & security…well…by GOP standards…but what do we expect?

Joe Biden may be pressing for 2021 to be a transformational year in tackling the climate crisis, but Republicans arrayed in opposition to his agenda have dug in around a unifying rallying theme – that the fossil fuel industry should be protected at almost any cost.

For many experts and environmentalists, the Republican stance is a shockingly retrograde move that flies in the face of efforts to fight global heating and resembles a head in the sand approach to the realities of a changing American economy.

Republicans pledge allegiance to fossil fuels like it’s still the 1950s [Guardian]

…I mean…I do like me some irony…but trying to intimidate banks & using the idea of a “sanctuary” (…presumably it’s only bad when it’s a city offering people that…whereas a state being a pollution sanctuary is obviously a great idea)…it might be a little much…not least given that while things are apparently going this way

Leading economies and international financial institutions have promised to help others make the transition away from fossil fuels, but the report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) shows many of their funding decisions remain stuck in the past.

Three governments – the US, Japan and China – provided 48% of the public funding for gas in the global south. The World Bank accounted for a further 12%. The authors of the study said this funding was being used to expand markets in Asia and Africa, which would benefit petroleum industries in wealthy nations.
The report notes that new gas projects are inconsistent with the Paris climate agreement. According to 1.5C scenarios published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global gas consumption must decline by 55% between 2020 and 2050. The just-published Net-Zero by 2050 report from the International Energy Agency notes there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply. More questionable still are new gas power plants, which – often built with a 30-year lifespan – would take the world past 2050 targets for achieving net zero.


…but looking this way

The economies of rich countries will shrink by twice as much as they did in the Covid-19 crisis if they fail to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to research.

The G7 countries – the world’s biggest industrialised economies – will lose 8.5% of GDP a year, or nearly $5tn wiped off their economies, within 30 years if temperatures rise by 2.6C, as they are likely to on the basis of government pledges and policies around the world, according to research from Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute.
Other nations will be hit much worse, including India, whose economy will shrink by a quarter owing to a 2.6C temperature increase, while Australia will suffer a loss of 12.5% of output, and South Korea will lose nearly a tenth of its economic potential.
The modelling by the insurance firm Swiss Re took account of the forecast direct impacts of climate breakdown, including extreme weather such as droughts and floods, as well as the effects on agricultural productivity, health and heat stress.


…not to mention


The Arctic’s ice is thinning faster than expected. It’s an ominous sign. [WaPo]


…& what with an awful lot of people doing an awful lot less over the last year than might be considered usual…this would certainly seem to suggest pretty strongly that it’s an industrial scale set of issues that we need to be addressing

Economies worldwide nearly ground to a halt over the 15 months of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a startling drop in global greenhouse gas emissions.

But the idle airplanes, boarded-up stores and quiet highways barely made a dent in the steady accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday had reached the highest levels since accurate measurements began 63 years ago.

The new figures serve as a sober reminder that even as President Biden and other world leaders make unprecedented promises about curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, turning the tide of climate change will take even more massive efforts over a much longer period of time.
“Fossil fuel burning is really at the heart of this. If we don’t tackle fossil fuel burning, the problem is not going to go away,” Ralph Keeling, a geochemist at Scripps , said in an interview, adding that the world ultimately will have to make emissions cuts that are “much larger and sustained” than anything that happened during the pandemic.
“While 2020 saw a historic drop in emissions, the fact that at certain points more than half the world’s population was under lockdown, and emissions ONLY fell 6 percent, should be a sobering reminder of how staggeringly hard it will be to get to net zero and how much more work we have to do,” Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s global energy center, said in an email.


…it can’t just be me that feels like sticking with what got us here is the kind of thinking you’d need to be an idiot to entertain…so…in other not-really-surprising-but-definitely-fucking-infuriating news

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said he would not support federal voting rights legislation that his party has argued is critical for preserving democracy, in an announcement that effectively turned the path ahead for all other major items on President Biden’s agenda into quicksand.


…I know it sounds like a broken record…because this asshole basically is a broken record in much the same way as the concept of “bipartisan” has been broken for at least as long as the asshole in question has been in the broken-ass senate…so he has exactly no excuses for providing the GOP with the excuses he consistently does for continuing to ensure that the legislative process is effectively bottlenecked by a minority wholly unprepared to stop trying to choke the last breath out of the idea that the majority of citizens get to make the call on how things work in their society

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has the right to live in a make-believe wonderland if he so chooses. But his party and his nation will pay a terrible price for his hallucinations about the nature of today’s Republican Party. And even this sacrifice might not guarantee that Manchin can hold on to support back home.
Manchin’s decision is a catastrophe not just for this particular bill, though he has almost certainly doomed the legislation. A senior administration official told me Monday that “none of this is a surprise to those who have heard Manchin’s views” and that the White House will continue working to “make progress notwithstanding the difficult challenges in front of us, including a 50-vote Senate.” But thanks to Manchin’s decision, Biden doesn’t even have a 50-vote Senate for what many Democrats see as an existential fight against the GOP’s attempt to gain and keep power through voter suppression. The 49 Senate votes left after Manchin’s defection will take Biden and the Democrats precisely nowhere.

Worse, Manchin is asking Democrats to respond to ruthlessness with delusion. In an op-ed in the West Virginia paper the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin said he will oppose the For the People Act, passed by the House in March, because it has no Republican support. “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy,” he wrote.
Inconveniently for Manchin’s fantasies of unity, the fact is that one of our major parties — the one Manchin ostensibly belongs to — believes in guaranteeing access to the polls for all eligible voters, making political donations more transparent, tightening ethics rules for members of Congress and ensuring that congressional districts are drawn fairly. The other party doesn’t want to do any of those things, because Republicans see these reforms as threatening the GOP’s ability to win national elections with the support of a minority of voters.

Trump’s incoherent policies so robbed the GOP of any consistent philosophy that last year’s national convention did not even attempt to produce a party platform. Republicans have replaced ideological litmus tests with pledges of loyalty to the former president. Opposing efforts to expand and guarantee voting rights appears to be the one policy idea they can all agree on.


…but there’s no shortage of “fuck that guy” news around, if we’re honest

The FBI investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy threatens to fray a fragile bipartisan and cross-industry coalition that supports financial relief legislation for the U.S. Postal Service, opening a new vein of turmoil for the embattled agency.

A DeJoy spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post on Thursday that the postal chief is cooperating with the inquiry tied to political fundraising at his now-defunct North Carolina business. Agents have interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy and New Breed Logistics in connection with allegations that employees donated to Republican candidates and were later reimbursed with workplace bonuses.
Though DeJoy has not been charged with any crimes, the inquiry presents a new political hazard as he presses forward with one of the biggest overhauls in the agency’s history, one contingent on winning legislative support to restructure its finances. Congressional and industry officials say his legal position could imperil bills advancing in the House and Senate that would relieve the Postal Service of $44 billion in debt, as well as its annual $5 billion retiree health-care payments.
DeJoy was met with suspicion nearly the moment the governing board announced his hiring in May 2020 because of his deep ties to President Donald Trump and history of political fundraising. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) labeled DeJoy a “crony” and has called his restructuring efforts a “Trojan horse.”
“For nearly a year, I have been clear that Postmaster General DeJoy would not be in his job if he worked for any other company,” [Rep. Carolyn B.] Maloney said. “If these allegations are true and Postmaster General DeJoy violated campaign finance laws, he must resign immediately or the Board of Governors must remove him.”


…& not for nothing but how effective you might say we’re being at getting through to the people that need to be disabused of their fevered beliefs in how things are going is…well…still dependent on who you ask & where you look for answers

The Global Disinformation Index, a nonpartisan nonprofit that studies disinformation, examined the political leanings of the top accounts sharing Mr. Trump’s statements online after he was barred from Facebook and Twitter. The group classified hundreds of accounts as either left- or right-leaning, or a mix of the two, relying on standards that it established through its work on disinformation risk ratings for news sites and other online media.

One thing that became immediately clear: Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters continue to spread his message — doing the work that he had been unable to do himself.


…that one’s worth a look…I can’t put all the graphics here but they’re worth a squint at…although squint is probably the term since they invoke a good deal of side-eye

…meanwhile…I don’t know who’s been following jen psaki’s entertaining side-project of making the likes of peter doocy look like the assholes they so undoubtedly are…but it’s not really all that funny in the grand scheme of things…because this has somehow become a legit point

Joe Biden’s White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, has likened reporters from Fox News and other rightwing outlets to “representatives of the Russian and Chinese media asking questions directed by their government … propaganda pushers” to be treated with extreme caution.
On CNN, Psaki said: “The things that get under my skin are when the premise of a question is based on inaccurate information, misleading information. That can be frustrating. I try not to show it too much, try not to let people see me sweat too much. But occasionally I have a moment of humanity.”
Stelter asked why some viewers celebrate when the press secretary is seen to “shut down” a questioner such as Doocy.

“I also have a responsibility not to allow the briefing room to become a forum for propaganda or a forum for pushing forward falsehoods or inaccurate information,” Psaki said.

“My best preparation for that was actually serving as the state department spokesperson when there were representatives of the Russian and the Chinese media in the briefing room asking me questions that were directed by their government.

Jen Psaki likens Fox News reporters to Russian and Chinese propagandists

…maybe it’s always been the case…but the idea that perpetuating conflict is a viable strategy for furthering political agendas strikes me as the sort of thing that maybe indicates we royally fucked up the way we let political instiutions evolve

It would be encouraging to think that the massive upheaval afoot in Israeli politics with the unseating of Benjamin Netanyahu also signals a seismic shift in political culture. Perhaps a turning point in its democratic decline, even a move towards ending its rule over millions of Palestinians.

Unfortunately, it signals none of these things. The burning desire to depose Israel’s longest serving leader is certainly the driving force behind the disparate eight-party coalition that hopes to replace him. But another factor also unites them – by default, if not by design: the consensus that in determining the future of the Jewish state, the conflict with the Palestinians can be managed in perpetuity.

Don’t expect Netanyahu’s departure to alter the course of politics in Israel [Guardian]

…ultimately the reality isn’t always a good match to the narrative we’d like to be able to embrace…in the realm of reality or in the virtual sense

Nearly 2 percent of Apple’s top-grossing apps on one day were scams — and they have cost people $48 million
Of the highest 1,000 grossing apps on the App Store, nearly two percent are scams, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. And those apps have bilked consumers out of an estimated $48 million during the time they’ve been on the App Store, according to market research firm Appfigures. The scale of the problem has never before been reported. What’s more, Apple profits from these apps because it takes a cut of up to 30 percent of all revenue generated through the App Store. Even more common, according to The Post’s analysis, are “fleeceware” apps that use inauthentic customer reviews to move up in the App Store rankings and give apps a sense of legitimacy to convince customers to pay higher prices for a service usually offered elsewhere with higher legitimate customer reviews.

Two-thirds of the 18 apps The Post flagged to Apple were removed from the App Store.
Apple has long maintained that its exclusive control of the App Store is essential to protecting customers, and it only lets the best apps on its system. But Apple’s monopoly over how consumers access apps on iPhones can actually create an environment that gives customers a false sense of safety, according to experts. Because Apple doesn’t face any major competition and so many consumers are locked into using the App Store on iPhones, there’s little incentive for Apple to spend money on improving it, experts say.


…so forgive me if I don’t feel like this is exactly an appealing idea

iPhones and Apple Watches will now be able to carry government IDs (from participating states), which could be great in bars and airports, unless your battery dies. And a handful of new health options let your devices look for patterns and send you reminders about your health — as well as give family members and doctors more ways to see other people’s health information.



…whereas this?


…but the tendency to make it harder for the people busy trying to save us is the sort of common that seems to have displaced sense


…although sometimes I confess I wonder what it would take to shift us back to sense being common…for example if I object to the price for a service then I mostly don’t consider getting it & then trying to shoot my way out of paying

A 21-year-old woman is accused of shooting a Texas nail salon owner because she wasn’t happy with the price of her manicure-pedicure, officials said.


…& I’d be inclined to think that the last people who need relief funding are wildly overfunded beneficiaries of fundamentally skewed municipal funding

Police say they deserve some of the relief money because, just like many other municipal services, their spending was cut during the pandemic as cities struggled with lost revenue.
Standing in the way, or at least hoping to, are those who envision a new system of public safety that relies less on police and invests more resources in treating crime’s root causes: poverty, mental illness, substance abuse.
The activists say that it is unjust to use Covid-19 relief money to boost officer pay or to fund ordinary police functions when so many residents are struggling.


…but I guess I have some funny ideas about some things…like I still think that (eventually) a certain someone might actually face some meaningful legal consequences…however unlikely that might seem

He’s Teflon Don no more, at least when it comes to court.

Donald Trump, no longer insulated by claims of presidential protections, faces a host of increasingly serious legal problems in some of the US’s most high-profile courts, including both criminal investigation and civil litigation.
Trump “can face criminal charges for activities that took place before he was president, after he was president, and while he was president – as long as they were not part of his duties while he was president of the United States,” said attorney David S Weinstein, partner at Jones Walker LLP’s Miami office.
The most threatening legal investigation, which involves potential for jail either for Trump or his associates if it proceeded and resulted in conviction, does not relate to his presidential duties.
Several experts said, however, that Trump could lose some support if allegations offended economically disadvantaged persons in his base – if he cheated the proverbial little guy, for example, those who feel cheated by the system might turn on him.
“The question is when you start looking at the fringes of the base, and you start looking at independent voters, not Republicans,” said Thomas Patterson, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School. With that group, legal action could carry the “possibility of erosion” in supporting Trump.
One New York courts insider told the Guardian that the frenzy would make the Harvey Weinstein case “look like somebody with training wheels”.

“I can only imagine what a circus it would be,” the insider said.

Trump teases 2024 run but legal threat rises as investigations ramp up [Guardian]

…I mean it says something when there are so many cases against someone that you can run an article just picking the highlights

Defamation to Georgia voting: the top Trump legal cases [Guardian]

…& sure it may still seem like somehow it’s inevitable that the shittiest outcome is invariably the one we wind up with in what many have latterly been referring to as “the worst timeline”…still…sometimes things can go the other way…even in texas





  1. Usually I start my day off slow, NYMag, CNN, and then hit DOT, but today there was a massive internet outage and I read DOT first. I wasn’t ready.
    Manchin, WTF, I guess retaining your idealism is a good thing? Nah, it’s stupid.
    At least the bakery is a feel-good story, thanks for that.

    • Do you read NYMag’s “Curbed” section? I used to, before NYMag took it over and hid it behind their paywall. I most read NYCurbed but I’d sometimes read their other cities’ coverage too, what little there was of it.
      If you read NYCurbed, do you remember a commenter named Views4Days? I wonder whatever happened to them. They were the ones who paraphrased the posts and took a very rah-rah attitude toward “luxury” development. Much speculation swirled around who this commenter was. Sometimes other commenters would contribute remarks in news’ voice: those were gems.
      Such happy memories but like 100 other online sites I used to read just memories. I’m still angry over the demise of Splinter and GroupThink and ClashTalk and the horrible, painful-to-see demise of Jezebel. The Takeout is worth a visit every now and again but that seems to have lost a lot of its wit and sparkle, an impression I have that I can’t really describe.

      • Views’ voice, not news’ voice.

      • I do read Curbed. I look at the apartment listings and the great rooms feature and the under a million articles. Mostly to feel good about where I actually live!

      • I only read Curbed intermittently, but if you’re a regular NYMag.com reader, you’ll no doubt recognize career commenters/trolls by the names of joanie and robstumpf? My goodness, one is still going after all these years.

    • It’s also exactly why eliminating the filibuster isn’t going to work the way people think it will.  If you can’t even count on Manchin to support something as basic as voting rights, then you can’t count on him at all.  Hell, he’d be just as likely to vote against every single Democratic bill out of sheer spite if they somehow managed to get rid of the filibuster without his support.  He’s the living embodiment of a DINO.

  2. I’m still stuck on facebooks statement about banning hair furher for 2 more years : ” the threat to public safety has receded” 
    The brevity of that statement is astounding. It’s mind blowing. 
    It sounds like they’re talking about quaddifi, or duarte or Saddam.  
    Nope, it’s the guy who was our own pres only 6 months ago .

    • Exactly. The fact that he ever was a threat to public safety should be sufficient to permanently ban him. That’s literally the exact opposite of what a president is supposed to do. I’ll give Twitter credit (which I never thought I’d ever say) — they didn’t screw around with that weaselly bullshit. They booted Bloated Orange. 

    • What they are clearly setting up is the idea that his relative quiet is a sign that he has reformed himself, and not a sign that he has less reach.
      They will pretend that Facebook isn’t Facebook — that all of their networking power somehow doesn’t exist, and then act surprised when everything they have designed to amplify messages kicks in.

  3. I was listening to Thom Hartmann talk about why Manchin would be not falling in line and the consensus was that he has been bought.  He was a member of ALEC and has a bunch of corporate donors that don’t want Biden’s agenda passed.  It is definitely not because he is representing his voters because they overwhelmingly support H.R.1, it is something like 70% support.  Same can be said of Sinema, I was shocked to learn that she was part of the green party at one point.  I see no way anything gets done unless somebody bribes them more than they have already been bribed.  

    • Exhibit A:

    • It chaps my ass when I hear people referring to Manchin as naive. He’s been in politics for almost 40 years. he’s worked closely with Mitch McConnell as a friend of coal. He saw the GOP shoot down the Jan 6 Commission. He knows exactly what he’s doing – hanging on to his seat in the senate. 

      • Well, and feathering his nest. I said weeks ago he was selling out to the highest bidder (and so is Sinema) and every day that goes by indicates that is clearly the case. The fact that he’s a “pivot” vote means that special interests are pouring money into his bank accounts and he’s not giving up that leverage for anything. 

      • He is the product of a familial line of dixiecrats…he knows exactly what he is doing and naivite ain’t it.

    • I don’t think they’ve been bought, not in the traditional sense. I think if money was the object, they’d have held out for a lot more.
      They just don’t have a core. It’s the same thing with your traditional CNN producer or NY Times editor. They are buried deep in a world of dolts and whatever money dribbles their way is just a signifier of where they are. It doesn’t take much to get them to settle for what was common wisdom when Reagan was president.

      • Maybe. I still think there is plenty of money getting funneled to them, but it’s just where we can’t see it. “Campaign contributions” is amateur night. Real money goes into offshore accounts from multinational conglomerates. 

        • Kushner was no doubt playing for billion dollar payoffs. Most of these people, though, sold their souls when they were 21 for a job or a smalltime business connection. Whatever money you see change hands now is just a monthly maintenance fee from the devil. They don’t even remember the terms of the contract they signed, they just know who calls the shots.

  4. it must be exhausting to be so full of hate that a goddamn cookie can set you off
    i know it isnt really about the cookie but still….how small does your life have to be for a cookie to ruin your day?

    • …& they like to claim “everything’s bigger in texas”…hadn’t previously occurred to me they meant the bigotry but it’s for sure some epically small-minded shit to get that bent out of shape over a picture of a cookie no one said they had to buy, eat, like or in fact have any kind of response to?

      • really is the kind of shit makes me think people need to find some fucking hobbies
        (or you know…stop being hatefull asshats…but a hobbie or two should at least eat into their hatefull asshat time…)

        • @farscythe I think for some people bigotry is their hobby. Bigotry and guns. At least the ones who haven’t been able to turn it into a career in law enforcement.

  5. Carolyn Maloney slow walking Postal Service reform in the hopes of a bipartisan coalition holding together drives me crazy. When push comes to shove the GOP will screw any real fix and then run on how the Dems failed.
    There is almost no issue that would be better to show how awful the Koch philosophy is, but she is determined to not be on the right side of privatization. And if she thinks voters will be glad about DHL and FedEx easing up their lobbying position slightly, instead of just going to any Post Office and listening to complaints, she’s nuts.

    • Maloney’s light may be dimming somewhat. In the 2020 primary she won with 43% of the vote. She had three opponents, and if there had only only been one of them (Suraj Patel) I bet she would have lost. It was a squeaker and famously took six weeks for the results to be certified, but that’s partly Board of Elections incompetence. She’s also 75 but in Congressional years that puts her in about her mid-40s out here where the rest of us live.
      Pelosi loves her, of course. When Elijah Cummings died Pelosi put her forward to be the chair of the House Oversight Committee, a post she holds today.
      Apologies if this is covered in the WaPo article. I really should subscribe. 

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