Yes Please [DOT 14/1/23]

Welcome to the weekend. Possibly a 3 day weekend depending on your employer!
I hope you had a good week! Better than this guy at least…


Sure Jan Dot Gif

George Santos said accused ‘Ponzi scheme’ he worked at was ‘100% legitimate’ when accused of fraud in 2020
https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/13/politics/george-santos-ponzi-scheme/index.html


Still thinking it’s cheaper than the “Winter White House”

Document discovery spotlights Biden’s frequent use of Wilmington home
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/01/13/biden-classified-documents-wilmington-home/


Stonks!

U.S. will begin ‘extraordinary measures’ to stay under debt limit
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2023/01/13/debt-limit-extraordinary-measures-treasury/


Good luck Deadsplinters!

Mega Millions draws numbers for $1.35 billion jackpot – the 2nd largest in history – on Friday
https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/13/us/mega-millions-jackpot-drawing-numbers-friday/index.html


If not friend, then why friend shaped?

Dallas zoo closes after clouded leopard escapes its enclosure
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/13/dallas-zoo-closes-leopard-escapes


Monorail!


Have a great day!
[Fritz just walked across my keyboard and wants to tell you have a great weekend as well: fgcccccvghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhb]

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21 Comments

  1. Back in December when I’d heard that the Democrats decided not to deal with the debt ceiling I was so pissed. It’s not like these assholes didn’t know what was going to happen. Yes the deadline moved up from what they thought it would be but they could have at least pushed it back to 2024.
    Brace yourselves.

    • …the part that threw me was I swear just a few days ago I was reading things saying the limit had been forecast as getting hit in the autumn but since then best guesses were the summer

      …& that skipped straight to “actually next thursday…but we can fudge it until the summer”…it might be an effort to put the pressure on the idiots trying to use it to play chicken…which they may even deserve…but it doesn’t help the impression that it’s all just made up

      …I think it was maybe ben elton when things crashed in the 80s who had a bit about no one understanding the financial headlines & firing up the kettle for a cup of tea when that bit came on…complete with “we’ve lost tens (hundreds?) of millions” making him think “well, where did you last see it – it’s a lot, it shouldn’t be that hard to spot – I’ll help, have you looked down the back of the sofa?”

      …I know it doesn’t work like that but when it comes to this sort of thing it feels like that might be how some of them are actually approaching it?

      …seeking to blackmail the state with the threat of defaulting on money it owes in order to invoke a form of minority rule that would raise that debt at the expense of voters…or at least the ones that pay taxes…is a hell of a look for a party that claims to champion fiscal responsibility

      …could it be that cooked books are so prevalent in the GOP that none of them actually know how this stuff works…because following through on that seems like a brexit level of gratuitously self-inflicted injury?

      • Late to the party, sorry. My take: The Democrats want the fight and they want the fight now. The GQP has stupefyingly low popularity right now, and Qevin is actually less popular than syphilis. The Dems have indicated they’re not playing chicken with the maniacs, and they actually have a few options:

        The debt ceiling is officially a hostage of House maniacs. Biden needs to neutralize the issue

        There’s the platinum coin plan (I find that goofy but damn, it could work).

        There’s the 14th Amendment, which I find much more plausible, which says that fucking with America’s debts is unconstitutional. Specifically: “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” There would be lawsuits but let the fucking Supreme Taliban argue against the Founders (spoiler: they totally will).

        Last, but not least, there’s the “fuck it, just ignore it” option. This is tangentially related to the 14th Amendment, but the theory is that Congress borrowed money, Congress budgeted money, and Congress can’t refuse to pay that money back. They don’t have the authority to default on debts they incurred, and it’s the President’s job, as spelled out in the Constitution, to make sure that government pays. On a micro scale, it’s like you or me running up our Visa card and then saying, nope, not my problem. It’s illegitimate based on the fact that they knew what they were doing when they borrowed and budgeted money. They took the first two steps, they have to follow through. Gotta say, I like this one. Give the fucking GQP a taste of their own medicine — “What if we just … didn’t?” So the House of Fools could flap and squawk and squeal, but Biden could just direct the Treasury to pay the damn bills. Period. 

        • …I think I stuck something about at least the first part of that 14th amendment stuff in a DOT the other day…& it sure would be nice if for once it was possible to just call their bluff on the batshit blackmail routine on the basis that it’s absolutely a crock of shit from the ground up…so I guess that last part appeals to me even if the supreme court angle has all the appeal of the brett-likes-beer state of that bench

          …& I can see at least some rationale to trying to force the issue now rather than when the default is unavoidable if you want to make clear what kind of crazy they want to play while it just threatens to fuck over a whole bunch of people instead of when it imminently will

          …but I still have a bit of cognitive whiplash from the goalposts (sort of) shifting from “sometime, maybe the summer, possibly autumn” to “literally this thursday” in what seemed like less than a week…during which nothing specifically seemed to happen to trigger that kind of alteration in circumstances

          …which is very possibly more of an observer effect problem than a lack of actual basis…but…there are people out there ostensibly on the (D) supporting side of the equation talking as though biden & dolt45 are somehow both guilty of the same shit with classified documents…in defiance of basically everything we know about those two sets of facts being pretty much the exact opposite of one another barring the words “classified documents”…so…probably we need to use short words…& some people may need someone to draw them a picture or two before “popular sentiment” gets mixed up with “political reality”

          …biden may not be as ancient as the mariner…but he doesn’t need any kind of an albatross hanging round his neck?

          • It’s not actually running out this Thursday. We won’t hit the ceiling until summer or fall. Yellen is just saying that we have to “prepare” for it, which strikes me as odd. Which is one of the reasons I think the Dems may be precipitating the fight now. I don’t remember these “announcements” in the past.

            I know it’s totally out of character, but I feel like the Dems are baiting a trap here. It would be amazing if they actually were planning ahead and strategizing, rather than waiting until the GQP makes a move and then reacting incoherently.

            • …so…& there’s a decent chance I have some part of this wrong…but on the one hand yellen’s choice of phrasing seems to at least imply that were it not for whatever extraordinary measures they plan to employ thursday would be “X day” as apparently it’s referred to…& in terms of a proximate cause it seems like they decided to pull that pin after this part happened on fri

              The Washington Post reported late on Friday that House Republicans had prepared an emergency plan for breaching the debt limit. The proposal, which was in the preliminary stages of being drafted, would direct the treasury department to prioritize certain payments if the US hits the debt ceiling, according to the newspaper.
              […]
              The proposal from House Republicans reported by the Washington Post would call on the Biden administration to make only the most critical federal payments if the treasury department comes up against the statutory limit on what it can legally borrow. The plan will call on the department to keep making interest payments on the debt, the newspaper reported, citing sources.

              House Republicans’ payment prioritization plan may also stipulate that the treasury department should continue making payments on social security, Medicare and veterans benefits, as well as funding the military, the newspaper added.

              Yellen said that while the treasury can’t estimate how long the extraordinary measures will allow the US to continue to pay the government’s obligations, “it is unlikely that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted before early June.”
              https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/13/treasury-secretary-janet-yellen-debt-ceiling

              …all of which sounds a lot like this is somewhat a shot across the bows in terms of calling the bluff of the let’s-play-chicken caucus while the cliff-edge is still some months out…& maybe even with some wiggle room between the june & september estimates for when there ceases to be any way of denying that there’s a point of no return in the rear view

              Yellen said that there was “considerable uncertainty” around the length of time that extraordinary measures could stave off default, due to a variety of factors, including the challenges of forecasting the government’s payments and revenues months into the future.

              …which…not an unreasonable tactic & I hope it works

              …this part still seems like something at least some people might have had an inkling of with a bit more of a heads up, though?

              As of Wednesday, Treasury data showed that U.S. federal debt stood $78 billion below the limit, with a Treasury operating cash balance of $346.4 billion. The department on Thursday reported an $85 billion December deficit as revenues eased and outlays grew, particularly for debt interest costs.
              https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/yellen-urges-us-congress-act-quickly-debt-limit-2023-01-13/

              …I’m not trying to suggest she’s making statements in bad faith…but I think there has to be some degree of trying to wrong-foot the would-be pro-default mob by putting them on notice that their spending plans betray a serious shortfall in terms of understanding how to read the books, let alone balance them?

              …maybe not quite calling their bluff…but a & see & a raise sort of a thing?

  2. This was interesting but it raises far more questions that it answers. I guess Ithaca took the #1 slot because Ithaca College and Cornell admit a lot of foreign students. Colleges like doing this: not eligible for financial aid so they pay the actual sticker price. I’m guessing that’s also why Manhattan, KS, is #2, because of Kansas State University. But what in the world drew almost 1,200 foreigners to Hinesville, GA and 3,300 to Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana? Is that Purdue? How many students does Purdue enroll?

    If you skip down you get the New York stats. The ones for the NYC metro area are completely bogus. Just 158,000 in the entire almost-20-million region. The City itself estimates about 500,000 undocumented, which is another way of saying “moved from abroad,” and that’s probably a low estimate. Queens alone must have more than 158,000.

    But I like trivia like this so I pass it along.

    • Cousin Matty, I think you’re bang-on, on your Purdue guess–when I did a quick Google, first the chicken company came up (just the word, “Purdue”), then the next response–when I searched “Purdue College” before “regular” Purdue University was, “Purdue University Global

      If that one’s appearing before the Big10 “original” Purdue, i suspect it’s bigger/at least the bigger moneymaker of the two!

      And after searching Huntington, I suspect that high Georgia number might have something to do with Fort Stewart… iirc, just like *elsewhere* in the US, when Allied troops are brought in, to learn how various weapons & equipment systems? The Army’s 3rd infantry is based out of there, and apparently they’re the largest training facility East of the Mississippi River…

      So I’d venture a guess that the various units of allied soldiers (like the Ukrainian troops headed here to learn the new Missile Defense System they’re getting), come to GA for those trainings.

    • My college had a ton of students from Nepal and Bulgaria.

      The college (in northeastern fucking miserable Missouri) also used pictures of Chicago when recruiting overseas. Chicago was like 4 hours away by car.

  3. The one thing I don’t get, in that Hugh Jackman quick-change, is WHY aether allowing him to take off & put on his pants?!?!???

     

    He *should* be unbuttoning them, and *starting* to push them down!

    But, there *ought* to be a dresser (typically behind/maybe to his right & behind–since there’s already the person in front & left-back), who does the pants.

    They would typically drop the existing pair, and have the next pair staged for him to step *directly* into–then pull them *up* and hand them off to Jackman to button/close & zip.

    That goes much faster *and* is less dangerous, than seeing him do the one-foot “hopping” thing he’s doing in the clip!

    and staging the pants that way gets the actor changed much faster, too!

    The fastest quick-change i ever saw & took part on, was when I was out at the Shakespeare festival. We had 38 seconds, between when our actor walked off the upper-level stage-right door, to get him out of his “Soldier” uniform into the “Priest” garb.

    He lost the jacket, pants, hat/wig (sewn together) & boots–he was left in just his “base costume” consisting of an “outer later” of tights & v-neck t-shirt. Then he put on the robe, beard, hat, & shoes–and he went down the stairs, crossed backstage & entered downstairs, stage-left.

    The first few times we tried it, it felt like we were NEVER going to get him down the stairs & back out on time…

    But we had it DOWN quickly, and he didn’t miss a cue all summer–iirc, when someone decided to re-time the change later that summer (three dressers, one hair & makeup crew member & the actor basically just *standing there* letting us dress him–he told us, the *hardest* part of the whole thing was getting past his own very human notions of wanting to “help,” because he KNEW he’d just slow us down!😉), we had gotten it down *under* the 38 seconds–and sometimes it was as short as 35-30 seconds😁💖

    One of the biggest hurdles, in all the quick-changes i saw, was–like with that great guy–just getting past actors’ own “wanting to help” instinct. It feels unnatural for us as humans, to just stand there as someone else dresses us, once we’re adults! Buuuut, sometimes, that other person *doing* the “dressing” has better access to the closures, and can whip the garment closed much faster than that actor who’s got adrenaline coursing through, because they just ran down/up an entire staircase!

    Also? Those of us who are the “dresser” on the wardrobe crew have typically practiced opening & closing all the garments fasteners so much on the dressmakers’ dummy, that we can literally accurately open & close them ALL *with* our eyes closed, in the dark!!! Because you can’t always guarantee that someone’s flashlight won’t run out of battery power mid-show, that it won’t get bumped/dropped, or that you’re going to have *space* for the whole garment to be lit enough to see, where your change has to happen.

    Quick-chamges have to be done on the basis of muscle-memory & “being able to think/operate in 3-D…. otherwise they won’t work!

    • @brightersideoflife thanks for your concern.  Yesterday they switched focuses and are now doing more blood work for auto-immune issues.  She ate for the first time last night and I thought we turned a corner but today she feels like crap again though eating a little.  She is supposed to go back to school in 2 days and my wife is a wreck.  She wants me to fly back with her to feed her and get her to classes.  I think it will be a last second decision on that.  Hopefully we will get some results on the blood work before she has to leave.

      • It might be worth her emailing her professors and giving a very high level explanation – “Hi I’ve been going to the hospital to try to diagnose an illness and we’re still trying to figure it out. I do not think I will be able to attend classes the first few days of the semester. Can you recommend anything to help me stay current in the classes?” that sort of thing. Advance notice means the world to basic accomodation often with professors.

        • We have been in contact with her advisor & most of her teachers so I’m sure that part will work out.  She is also taking a leave of absence from her job.

      • …damn…was hoping you’d had better news than that so all the ineffectual well-wishing an internet random can bestow definitely headed your way

        …best of luck to you all…& hope the daughter gets better soon…or at the very least someone can figure out what’s ailing her so you have a better sense for what might help

        …you (…& she…& you & yours generally) have my sympathies, either way

  4. Manhattan’s population is up almost 4% over pre-pandemic levels.

    https://nypost.com/2023/01/10/manhattans-population-has-rebounded-in-the-wake-of-covid-19/

    This is the study cited:

    https://www.placer.ai/blog/post-pandemic-migration-trends-in-new-york

    Obviously this varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. But I’m guessing there is a lot of memory holing of thumbsucking posts on social media lamenting how sad it was to leave Manhattan and how it will never be the same (sob).

    What’s interesting is that by 2021 demographers were already calling out as BS the idea that everyone was leaving NYC and were predicting increased population growth. But the rebound from chattering class doom and gloom has taken a lot longer than what people are actually doing all by themselves. Note that this was reported by the NY Post but not the Times.

  5. cashiers never fail to amaze me

    just now one of them corrected my french

    turns out mercy buckets is not how you say thank you

    who knew?

    (i mean…i did..but when you get corrected so seriously you just gotta play along……the sarcasm went right over his little head and i may need surgery to remove the smirk from my face now)

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