Tuesday, the Prince Edward-like Forgotten Workday [DOT 30/11/21]

But today is a very special Tuesday: it is the annual Giving Tuesday:

By tearing myself away from the tabloids and the other online trash I normally read to craft this DOT I learned many things.

For example, I found this. It’s a very long read (something that never puts me off.) I liked it because it’s about something I really don’t know or care about much, web comics, but I found it fascinating:

https://www.inputmag.com/culture/pictures-for-sad-children-webcomic-simone-veil-interview

The biggest story is actually coming tomorrow, when opening arguments at the Supreme Court are to be heard in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi case that seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade. For Clarence Thomas, that day can’t come soon enough. Clarence Thomas, who is on his second wife, has a long-forgotten first wife delightfully named Kathy Ambush. Though married for a total of 47 years he has precisely one child. I’m sure in his heart he wanted nothing more than a houseful, at least a dozen children, but, well, life didn’t work out that way. Sad, really.

https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-us-supreme-court-voting-rights-samuel-alito-07ecdb3661032c4c6ececd4d07c70655?utm_term=OZY&utm_campaign=pdb&utm_content=Monday_11.29.21&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email

Dehydrated Orange Peel Donald Trump’s “A-list” legal team is giving in to their various manias and psychoses, are at each other’s throats, and it seems like it was all started by some Midwestern teenager named Kyle Rittenhouse. Special cameo appearance by that li’l Georgia peach, Marjorie Taylor Greene:

Lin Wood Goes Off the Deep State Deep End, Accuses Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell and Stop the Steal of Grifting

Also from Rolling Stone: Yesterday New York’s Attorney General released a second trove of documents from the investigative report into Andrew Cumo’s high crimes and misdemeanors. This second set is from his henchmen and enablers. They’re mostly known only to New Yorkers, but they did call in Andy bro FredoChris, and here’s what they discovered:

Here’s another, even more damning deep dive on the unraveling of the Cuomo crime syndicate:

https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/11/29/22809162/andrew-cuomo-smear-team-brother-advisers

Actually everything about the Cuomos, except for Santa Matilda di Queens, is so tawdry it is probably best to follow them in the tabloids:

https://nypost.com/2021/11/29/chris-cuomo-silent-about-helping-embattled-brother-andrew-cuomo-during-cnn-prime-time-show/

Speaking of tabloid-ready circuses, the Ghislaine Maxwell trial kicked off in New York yesterday. How did it go?

https://nypost.com/2021/11/29/ghislaine-maxwells-lawyer-says-shes-a-scapegoat-for-jeffrey-epstein/

Speaking of New York, are you in the market for a Manhattan pied-a-terre?

https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/experience-new-york-from-atop-a-former-wrapping-paper-factory-01637929210

Here is a stonk:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down and his shareholders couldn’t be happier (ingrates):

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/29/tech/jack-dorsey-twitter/index.html

Update: Now they’re not. Stock down 2.47%; trading halted:

https://www.thestreet.com/markets/twitter-stock-leaps-amid-report-ceo-jack-dorsey-will-step-down

Despite the URL not being updated, the stock did indeed leap, and then ultimately sank. 🙁

Here is some (possibly old) sprots news:

https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/582244-enes-kanter-blasts-lebron-james-over-china-money-over-morals

I learned that New Zealanders are made of tough stuff:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/11/29/julie-anne-genter-biked-new-zealand-hospital-birth-labor/

Barbados has decided to become a republic, removing QEII as head of state and installing a President, but will remain a member of the Commonwealth:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/11/29/barbados-republic-queen/

There’s a large republican movement in Australia and I would imagine this is causing some debate there. For that matter there’s a not inconsiderable republican movement in Britain itself, and I’m sure plenty of Labourites and other members of the public at large are thinking, “If a tiny Caribbean island can rid themselves of the Royal Family, why can’t we?” 

Let’s go over to that other DOT favorite, the Guardian.

A new book claims that it was Prince Charles who idly mused about the skin tone of his newest grandchild Archie, son of Megs and Hazza:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/29/claim-prince-charles-speculated-on-grandchildrens-skin-colour-is-fiction

The Tube is continuing its strike, which seems very Thatcher era:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/27/tube-strike-disrupt-return-night-services-london-underground

One of my favorite aspects of the British Parliamentary system is that when you vote you really vote for the party, and the head of the Party becomes the Prime Minister. But, when you go to the voting booth, that Prime Minister already has a Cabinet in place, even if the party is not yet in power. So for example, when considering Joe Biden, along with Kamala Harris, we’d know that Antony Blinken would be Secretary of State, and Yellen at Treasury, and Austin at Defense. In Britain these are known as “Shadows.”

Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, the leader of he Labour Party (so, for now, the next PM if the electorate votes in the Labour Party at the next election) has done a “rejig” of his “front bench”, which contains Shadows and upon his election would take up Cabinet posts. Very civilized. None of this confirmation nonsense where the McConnells and the Cruzes and the other wackadoodles get to obstruct and delay.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/29/keir-starmer-to-reshuffle-labour-frontbench-for-second-time-in-a-year

This is, of course, not without its farcical elements.

Labour continues to have a shadow development secretary – Preet Gill – despite the fact the department has been abolished, for example, while there is no formal shadow for Michael Gove’s department of levelling up.

So there’s one person who will theoretically take over an office that doesn’t exist, and another post is vacant, and that post is head of the department of levelling up. I wonder if this is the successor to the Ministry of Silly Walks.

And now for the video component of our program:

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45 Comments

  1. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the royal family and their antics, but I do find the whole idea of theoretically independent nations continuing to keep the queen as their head of state endlessly fascinating.  Why the hell would they do this?  Do they just want political independence, but keep all the fancy hats?  Also, what exactly is the Commonwealth and why is the US not a part of it, but places like Virginia and Massachusetts still refer to themselves as “the Commonwealth of…”?  Are those states getting something out of the moniker that others aren’t, or are they just being pretentious?  So many questions.

    • It’s an old colonial/British imperial hangover term. Of the original thirteen colonies, three decided to call themselves commonwealths, MA, PA, and VA. When Kentucky broke off from Virginia (which used to be a vast territory) it, too, went with commonwealth. But by the the time West Virginia broke off from Virginia the term had fallen out of vogue so it is not a commonwealth. Puerto Rico is also a commonwealth and is not a state so who the hell knows what happened there.

    • I think being in the Commonwealth for former British Colonies makes it easier to move assets between countries. Like when I did grad research in Belize back in the day, tons of British folks retired there, and it was really easy for them to move.

      Also, it gives jolly old England an easier time doing Her Majesty’s Armed Forces training in climates it otherwise doesn’t have. Part of the reason so many Brits liked going to Belize was that the Royal Marines did their amphibious warfare training there and had fond memories of things outside of training.

  2. I like royal stuff, as I was raised on fairy tales and Prince Charming. And, I read my share of Regency romance novels, where Dukes, Earls, and Marquises abound. Cousin M., this was a masterful DOT, almost venturing into SplinterRIPian length! The apartment video was fun, and I also enjoyed the linked sad cartoonist story.

    • It was actually pretty fun to do and, via Better Half’s corporate subscriptions, led me to read things I wouldn’t normally, like the NY Times and the WaPo. I had a whole section devoted to the inanities that the Times publishes daily, but I couldn’t get the links to work. I guess that’s one of the reasons why the WaPo shows up in DOTs so often and the Times almost never does.

      • If you want a classic case of how rotten things are at the Times, this thread is a kick in the pants:

        The Times runs a horribly researched, biased article with a headline blaring the NYPD faced ‘Murders Doubled’ overnight.

        Except, of course, that didn’t happen. And as the thread details, sources cited were all police or former police with no alternative viewpoints or actual stats cited, and multiple police claims were easily disproved. A total screwup by the reporter and her editors.

        Who is the reporter, by the way? Ali Watkins, who had an affair with her major source at the Senate Intelligence Committee several years afo while working for another outlet and then was an a relationship with another staffer after that. Sleeping with sources is, needless to say, a major violation of journalistic ethics, but does the Times care? When they hired Watkins they decided her failure could be compartmentalized. And now she’s paying them back with terrible journalism, and her editors seem willing to join in.

        • I wanted specifically to comment on this strange, apparently ongoing “conversation” they print featuring Gail Collins and Bret Stephens. I guess it’s meant to be friendly sparring between two ideologically diverse opinion columnists.

          It was so mindless that I forget most of what they touched on, but they both took that “Where You Should Live” quiz. Gail mentioned that she got New York, which she thought was great, because she already lives here and enjoys all the diversity (eye roll) and public transit (maybe, but I know some of the NYT “stars” avail themselves of company-provided car services if they even go into the Times building. Some, I think, don’t even live in New York.)

          Bret agreed, saying that he didn’t think he could live anywhere not within 60 miles of NYC, mentioned his “farmhouse,” (eye roll) except for that recent period when he moved his family abroad to Hamburg (?) and the next time he will pack them all off to Taormina.

          Even I was shocked by how jaw-droppingly un-self-aware that sentence or two was. Just another day at America’s Newspaper.

          • I’ve said it before, but people like Stephens are forming bugout plans for Frankfort and Taormina. They will be leaving us with the disaster they have created, and I very much hope the people who find out about their plans — movers, IT people, interior decorators — leak their plans to the press to at least shame them before they flee.

          • Gail Collins used to do “The Conversation” with David Brooks. She’s one of the few NYT Op-Ed columnists I like, so it was always a bit dismaying to hear how she would handle Brooks with kid gloves, lay the flattery on thick, and he’d be too much of a middle-aged, conservative white man to notice or return the favour.

      • Jeffrey Zucker at CNN made it clear that Chris Cuomo was untouchable after the news broke about his line crossing with Andrew. Using the standards of reporter-source confidentiality to enable a coverup and intimidation campaign is inexcusable, and Zucker’s role in protecting Chris Cuomo needs to be a part of this. I think there is a non-zero likelihood Zucker has deeper connections to Andrew Cuomo than he’s let on, but how it worked — was it direct, or was Chris the go between — remains to be seen.

        At any rate, Zucker was responsible for the primetime Leno fiasco that hammered NBC, but who knows, this may do even worse damage to CNN than just his miserable ratings. He’s pretty obviously the most incompetent exec in TV history.

        • I read that Zucker has been carrying Cuomo’s water for a long time, chiefly because Cuomo is CNN’s highest rated show. He’s going to step down so Cuomo will lose his patron. However, the person widely expected to replace Zucker apparently loves Cuomo even more. Maybe not so much now, as that person is a woman, but I forget her name. Then again, Katie Couric will go to her grave defending her best buddy Matt Lauer, so who knows.

          • Highest rated show on CNN is sort of like being best Quarterback for the Detroit Lions.

            At a certain point people above Zucker on the corporate ladder should have asked to what degree Cuomo might have been a part of CNN’s ratings problems.

            If they actually cared, which is awfully debatable, considering their apparent satisfaction with whatever scraps of hard currency coming in from ads for med-alert necklaces rather than the BMW ad dollars spent on higher rated channels.

  3. Re: Dorsey and Twitter and the up/down stock ride:

    https://www.axios.com/ceos-social-media-fun-dorsey-twitter-5604a7b5-2017-46fb-a665-b23550f3ddbb.html

    The article’s thesis is that social media is becoming a millstone around the necks of tech management. It’s got a worse reputation than salmonella. I read other articles that said advertisers are beginning to shun platforms like Facebook because of the overwhelming evidence that it’s evil and they don’t want to be associated with it.

    Here’s hoping.

  4. I’m worried about this Supreme Court case. I can’t shake the feeling that we’re about to take a 70-year step back into the past on women’s rights. This is going to be ugly.

    • I don’t remember the specifics of how this will get done but I’ve read more than one analysis of how the right wingers will strike down both precedents without actually saying so. Basically they’ll process it to death while claiming they’ve left the precedents intact.

      • And at this point, we really don’t even have the hope of Roberts pulling off a sidestep that saves it  because he doesn’t want to go down as another Taney…

         

        No matter how Roberts may side, he’s a moot point, now that Gorbachev,** Gorsuch, Brett-Likes-Beer!, and Amy Schlafly Coney Barret, are there to make the unholy unbreakable 5+–since Mitch’s Trump’s 3 picks also have Scalito & Thomas–to overrule any possible CYA moves by Roberts siding with the “Liberals”🙃

         

        **leaving Gorby’s name there, because that autocorrect made me giggle!😉🤣😂

    • I’m expecting every red state in the country to end abortion services due to this case.

      My opinion on this, and I understand that what I am saying is both socially unacceptable and would be bad for early child development, is that there is exactly one strategy to get red states to reconsider this.

      Every single pregnancy that a woman couldn’t access abortion services for? Leave that infant at the hospital. Surrender the infant at a fire station or other safe drop place. Since the state wants to force women to have babies, the state can be responsible for those babies. They can pay for their needs. They can watch them. The state said those babies had to be born, it’s the state’s responsibility to care for them.

      And then we fucking point and yell about how all these motherfucking pro-life assholes won’t adopt. They already don’t. But that’s the favorite excuse for someone who should carry a pregnancy to term instead of abortion.

      • I vehemently disagree. These are going to be actual children and lives on the line, not some thought experiment in which the incredibly over-burdened and under-resourced state foster care and adoption services are used as ideological pawns.

        • You’re correct, and Brighter is basically exaggerating for emphasis to express frustration. That’s not going to happen, and we all know it, not any more than Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” happened.

          What will happen, however, is all these unwanted children WILL be cared for by social agencies, even with a parent present. Food programs, welfare, police, hospitals, schools, every single social agency will be impacted. It’s going to happen because it happens now. White babies have a good chance at adoption, but all the others don’t. Public adoptions of white children nearly outnumber adoptions of all other races combined –note that’s public.

          Baby “placement” through private agencies — which are really sales* — will skew the numbers even more toward white. And white babies only get adopted as babies. Once they’re older, they’re just part of the system too. Note those adoption figures — a total of about 60,000 kids in 2019. That means millions are already being cared for largely by the social service systems.

          I share Brigher’s frustration. I’ve posted before about an evangelical acquaintance who bragged about all the babies he “saved” by persuading teenagers to have children. When I asked about financial support or job training for the teenagers I got the standard “that’s not our problem” answer. He just wanted to “save babies” and didn’t care what happened after. Yes, a Republican, of course.

          *Aside that’s somewhat off-topic: Wealthy people buy babies. I personally know of several. You find the right person, write a big enough check, and wait for delivery. The broker finds an expectant mother of the correct race, medical background, etc., and money changes hands. Typically the person buying the child supports the birth mother throughout pregnancy by paying for medical bills and living expenses, with a larger payment at birth. The purchaser picks up the child at the hospital. Now these children are well-cared for and I’m not saying this is some form of abuse. The people I know who did this have great kids who have many more opportunities than they would have. But it’s disingenuous to pretend it doesn’t happen. However it only happens to a few relatively lucky children.

        • I agree with you. It’s completely the wrong thing to do to children. But I genuinely don’t see another outcome here in red states beyond –

          1. More women die from botched abortion attempts

          2. More families struggle with poverty dues to how we as a country don’t do shit to support families

          3. Increased numbers of children being given up for adoption

          We all know that Republicans don’t care if women die. We all know that Republicans don’t care if families starve, are evicted, etc etc because “BOOTSTRAPS!! JESUS!” etc.

          The only thing that they might care about is the optics of a ton of babies and children left in state care, not to mention the obvious expense to the state to care for them.

          • Just adding more links on this part, too, Brighter!💞💖💓💝

             

             

            Obviously, being in Early Childhood, and particularly ECSE, *all this stuff* is both “near & dear” for me, AND the hill i will fight on EVERY.SINGLE.TIME, when I see asshats who want to “reduce abortion” while also insisting that “we can (or should!) cut/limit access to Birth Control,” annnd who also want to keep on cutting “entitlements”

            (Bonus points, too, for the super-mega-asshats who also want to then increase funding, so they/their friends & fam can get that Sweeeeet, Sweeeeet, Gub’mint money, by funding “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”, but not actually help pregnant folks!🙄🙄🙄😠😠😡😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬)

            From the Minneapolis Fed–the Rolnik & Grunewald that i ALLLLLWAYS link, and the Minneapolis Fed’s page that has all the Child-impact/Child Development papers😉💖;

            (Edited because my phone refuses to put the “e” in Grunewald, every time my phone or Chrome update🙃)

             

            https://www.minneapolisfed.org/article/2003/early-childhood-development-economic-development-with-a-high-public-return

             

            https://www.minneapolisfed.org/topic/early-childhood-development

      • reasonably sure thats how you end up with kids raised to be supercops or soldiers

        normally terrible b movie stuff

        i can not say…given the states uhh.state…that is entirely beyond the scope of plausibility tho

        tho…i guess really really cheap labour is much more likely

  5. Even if it isn’t struck down or watered down or whatever, the courts are stocked with right wingers etc. and the future doesn’t look to bright in Congress….yikes,…sorry…..no point, just yikes…..

  6. My step-sister’s bff from high school set up a go fund me to help out my dad and step-mother with final costs. The burial alone is $12k. I don’t want to post the link here bc it links to the obituary, which has all our names and where the funeral is, etc. But if anyone would like to give, please dm me and i can send you the GFM link (no pressure!)

     

    However i would like you to consider if you’ve thought about your own final wishes. Most people don’t like to think about it and that’s understandable. But if you die suddenly, that can be expensive and stressful for your family to arrange. I have been pestering my dad FOR YEARS to tell me what he wants and only after all this did he finally realize (or verbalize) a plan. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

      • Yep. Been through this with two parents and one in-law. My father had most of the stuff prepaid, but not all. So we had to cough up money there (split between my siblings). With my mom, we were all aware of the problems, so that got pre-paid years in advance. My funeral scam anecdote: My dad had bought funeral plots. When my mom died, the funeral home tried to charge us for the plot we already owned, whereupon we produced my dad’s meticulous records (in a passbo0k, no less — if you youngsters need to know how those work, that’s a separate post).

        Funeral homes will try to scam you, particularly if you’re grieving and vulnerable. And old people lose records or get dementia and don’t recall ever setting up arrangements. You need copies of all your paperwork distributed to multiple relatives.

        My father-in-law had NO arrangements. Kept saying he was a veteran and the VA would cover it. This is NOT true and never was. You can have a free plot for yourself and a spouse. Period. Every other expense must be paid for by family. After dealing with that, my wife pre-paid all my MIL’s expenses.

         

      • My mom and step-dad started paying for their arrangements when my grandmother died 10 yrs ago. My dad finally started making arrangements (or at least told me the plan) when going through my step-sister’s ordeal. I am an only child, I can’t be burying all you people!

    • Just adding on, with that whole “Dementia” mention in the thread, snd that “planning ahead” bit💖;

       

      Get one of your kids/a family member you trust to not go messing in your accounts ON your bank & other financial accounts, and on your County/State assistance program “you can speak with ____” approval forms, while you are healthy & well!!!

      Because it’ll allow them to access your money and pay the bills from those accounts if you die, if you end up in the hospital for a bit,** and gives them the access they need to get information or apply for benefits for you, if they need to help in the “qualifying for long-term care payment-waivers” through your local (County & State) “welfare” programs!

      Applying for these programs can be a nightmare by themselves, with alllll the various documentation and verifications one has to gather…

      It’s a helluvalot easier to get the financial statements when one can simply speak with the County Caseworkers & then GO to that financial institution & ask THEM to pull the statement for you, because YOU have your name on that account too!

      (Trust me, I just had to DO all that this month, and unlike 8 years ago, when it took literal MONTHS to get done with Mom, I got Dad’s turned in by the end of the third week!)

       

      • One way to do this, is to put your kids’ names on your account(s) and have them sign the paperwork when they’re still minors.

        Names can be removed from the account pretty easily by the original account holder, if the kids turn out to be “not trustworthy” later on.

        You CAN also name a beneficiary you trust to do the right thing on your insurance policies, without having ALL their information like a social security number.

        If you know their full name, and their address, they can go on your policy as designated beneficiaries, without them knowing you plan to give them something!

        I have a cousin set up on my life policy for exactly that reason–the cousin is stable & VERY fiscally responsible, and I can trust that they’ll follow my wishes & establish a Trust that can take care of any incidental needs my parents may need, if I die first.

        If mom & dad were to receive the policy straight-out, it would either bump them OFF their waivers, or would have to be spent QUICKLY…

        Since I want them taken care of, if something happens to me–and $103 a month isn’t much to cover things like new winter coats/boots, cushions for wheelchairs, or the kind of walkers that have a seat, a Trust is a far better option, to make sure they would be able to get the things they need.

  7. – I feel a little gross for visiting a site called Mansion Global.

    – Enes Kantor. An NBA player I can actually like.

    – Web comic story is a real journey. Wow.

      • Poking around a bit over there was fascinating, tbh!

        So FEW pictures, for such expensive places!!!

        I’ve seen dumpy 1960’s-era campers & mobile homes listed as “lake cabins” in this part of the country (west-central MN’s “Lakes Area”) with 40-100 pictures, that are listed at 100K or less, just for comparison!😆😂🤣🤣🤣

        The other thing that killlllls me, are the “6-million and above” homes, where the bathroom looks (from the pictures, anyway!) basically the same as any 90’s/early 00’s suburban ranch-home’s bathroom… I’m sure the mansion has real stone countertops & tiles… but it doesn’t look all that different than the now-outdated ranch home’s “suburban mom aesthetic”!😉

      • i like the big moving boxes uhaul has

        and a roll of bubble wrap…mmm..best thing ever

        (but seriously…. house prices around here are not even close to what blue collar can afford)

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