Still the delusional raging narcissist-in-chief

Gilead

Donald Trump

Finances


Fig. 1. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

We’re seeing it again: Donald Trump’s strategy is to stall, stall, stall, until, he hopes, he can get back in the White House.

“No Congress has ever wielded its legislative powers to demand a President’s tax returns,” [Donald] Trump argued to the Supreme Court, as he warned of the “far-reaching implications” implications of the DC Circuit’s ruling.[1]

I’m not a lawyer but it looks to me like Trump still doesn’t understand that he’s a private citizen now.

Tierney Sneed, “Trump asks Supreme Court to stop IRS from turning over his tax returns to the House,” CNN, October 31, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/31/politics/trump-supreme-court-appeal/index.html


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Annexations


Fig. 2. Photograph by author, November 25, 2020.

The ruling by Common Pleas Judge Joseph James suggests that the 1903 law on which those in favor of annexation to the city of Pittsburgh have hung their argument was essentially repealed decades ago.

That means the only path forward would be through a ballot initiative in both Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh.[2]

The sense I’m getting here is that a ballot initiative would likely fail in both municipalities.

Judge James wrote Friday in his ruling that that law was basically repealed by a constitutional amendment passed in 1968. The amendment, which went into effect in 1970, directed the state legislature to come up with a uniform procedure for municipality mergers and consolidation.

The legislature, though, never did that. A 1994 law further limited options by setting forth three avenues for merger or consolidation — except for Pittsburgh.

That, Judge James wrote, means “the only procedure for annexation is set forth in Article IX Section 8.”

That part of the state constitution dictates that a consolidation or merger must be voted upon by constituents in both municipalities. To move forward, the ballot initiative would have to receive a majority of votes in both communities.[3]

Pittsburgh residents will surely say that Pittsburgh has enough problems already. And I think the only folks in Wilkinsburg who favor it are property owners, whose property taxes would drop;[4] they’ll be outvoted by renters, whose income taxes would go up.[5] And the thing is, there is still no compelling argument, no clear plan, at least that I’ve seen, for how a merger with Pittsburgh would help Wilkinsburg. It’s still just neoliberal bullshit.[6]

Megan Guza, “Wilkinsburg annexation process halted after judge rules current avenue invalid,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 31, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/10/31/wilkinsburg-merger-petition-judge-ruling-procedure-annexation-with-pittsburgh-1903-law-ballot-initiative/stories/202210310062


Twitter


Fig. 3. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[7] fair use.

Dean Seal, “Elon Musk Ousts Twitter Board, Named Sole Director,” Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/musk-ousts-twitter-board-named-sole-director-11667234297


  1. [1]Tierney Sneed, “Trump asks Supreme Court to stop IRS from turning over his tax returns to the House,” CNN, October 31, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/31/politics/trump-supreme-court-appeal/index.html
  2. [2]Megan Guza, “Wilkinsburg annexation process halted after judge rules current avenue invalid,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 31, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/10/31/wilkinsburg-merger-petition-judge-ruling-procedure-annexation-with-pittsburgh-1903-law-ballot-initiative/stories/202210310062
  3. [3]Megan Guza, “Wilkinsburg annexation process halted after judge rules current avenue invalid,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 31, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/10/31/wilkinsburg-merger-petition-judge-ruling-procedure-annexation-with-pittsburgh-1903-law-ballot-initiative/stories/202210310062
  4. [4]Charlie Wolfson, “If Wilkinsburg is annexed into Pittsburgh, what would happen to its residents’ taxes?” Public Source, November 16, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/wilkinsburg-pittsburgh-annexation-merger-property-taxes-school-pennsylvania/
  5. [5]Charlie Wolfson, “Pittsburgh City Council hears public comment on divisive Wilkinsburg annexation issue,” Public Source, December 4, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/civic-briefs-wilkinsburg-pittsburgh-annexation-council-hearing/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Wilkinsburg voters should insist on a better argument than ‘trickle-down’ for a merger into Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, September 30, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/01/06/wilkinsburg-voters-should-insist-on-a-better-argument-than-trickle-down-for-a-merger-into-pittsburgh/
  7. [7]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Elon Musk is part of the problem of hate speech on Twitter

Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Mauricio Saverese and Diane Jeantet, “Lula defeats Bolsonaro to again become Brazil’s president,” Associated Press, October 30, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/jair-bolsonaro-religion-caribbean-voting-ed2130a095ca42ff1be324a3dea9f355

Anthony Faiola, Paulina Villegas, and Gabriela Sá Pessoa, “Lula defeats Bolsonaro to win third term as Brazil’s president,” Washington Post, October 30, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/30/lula-wins-brazil-election/


Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

The social media platform said it has been targeted with an attempt to make users think Twitter has dropped or weakened its content policies after the world’s richest man bought the company for $44bn (£38bn) last week.

Twitter’s head of safety and integrity said those running the site had not changed content policies but had been subject to “an organised effort to make people think we have”.

In a Twitter thread posted on Sunday, Yoel Roth said the company had seen a “ton” of tweets posted by a small number of accounts featuring slurs and other derogatory terms. To illustrate the scale of the attack, he said more than 50,000 tweets that repeatedly used one unspecified slur came from just 300 accounts.

Roth said most of those accounts were “inauthentic” and the users involved had been banned.[2]

Content moderation policy changes may not have changed,[3] but the damage has been done:[4]


Long-time Internet users know from long and painful experience that there is no value in responding to trolls—it only encourages them.

The ADL, a Jewish advocacy group that examines anti-Semitism in the U.S., said it identified more than 1,200 tweets and retweets spreading anti-Semitic memes and called it a coordinated effort that followed Mr. Musk’s takeover. The Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies online social threats, tweeted data Friday showing that the use of the N-word on Twitter jumped 500% in the previous 12 hours.

The National Basketball Association star LeBron James quoted the data Saturday, tweeting, “I dont know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary.” He added: “So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech.”[5]

The trouble on Twitter, however, is that its new chief executive officer is a big part of the problem:

Mr. [Elon] Musk also waded into controversy. On Sunday morning, he tweeted a link to an internet post speculatively calling into question what happened in the violent Friday morning attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” Mr. Musk tweeted. He later deleted the tweet.[6]

The “speculation that Elon Musk retweeted was vile, despicable, and unfounded, itself hate speech, and part of a pattern of utterances of a similar kind in which white Christian nationalists use yet more hate speech to fend off accusations that their hate speech provokes violence.

I like LeBron James’ formulation: “So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech.”[7] As I have elsewhere pointed out, “the evil here is enormous, . . . encompassing many issues that distinguish a civilized society from barbarity. We tolerate it at our own peril.”[8]

Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/

Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

Elon Musk, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Twitter, October 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585341984679469056

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jake Johnson, “‘Dangerous for Us All’: Elon Musk, World’s Richest Man, Completes Twitter Takeover,” Common Dreams, October 28, 2022, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/10/28/dangerous-us-all-elon-musk-worlds-richest-man-completes-twitter-takeover

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/

Mira Sorvino, “Anyone using any form of hate speech will be immediately unfollowed, blocked, and either called out, not responded to or both. There is no place for hate speech here,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/

Shonda Rhimes, “Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” Twitter, October 29, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-clues-and-an-ma-hail-mary/

Alexa Corse and Salvador Rodriguez, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts in Whirlwind First Weekend Under Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301

Dan Milmo, “Twitter trolls bombard platform after Elon Musk takeover,” Guardian, October 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/twitter-trolls-bombard-platform-after-elon-musk-takeover


  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  2. [2]Dan Milmo, “Twitter trolls bombard platform after Elon Musk takeover,” Guardian, October 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/twitter-trolls-bombard-platform-after-elon-musk-takeover
  3. [3]Dan Milmo, “Twitter trolls bombard platform after Elon Musk takeover,” Guardian, October 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/twitter-trolls-bombard-platform-after-elon-musk-takeover
  4. [4]Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/
  5. [5]Alexa Corse and Salvador Rodriguez, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts in Whirlwind First Weekend Under Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301
  6. [6]Alexa Corse and Salvador Rodriguez, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts in Whirlwind First Weekend Under Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301
  7. [7]LeBron James, quoted in Alexa Corse and Salvador Rodriguez, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts in Whirlwind First Weekend Under Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301
  8. [8]David Benfell, “It might be time to bring back frontal lobotomies,” Not Housebroken, October 27, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/10/25/it-might-be-time-to-bring-back-frontal-lobotomies/

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wins Brazil presidential election; still no concession from Jair Bolsonaro

Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

With 99.9% of the votes tallied in the runoff vote, [Luiz Inácio Lula] da Silva had 50.9% and [Jair] Bolsonaro 49.1%, and the election authority said da Silva’s victory was a mathematical certainty. At about 10 p.m. local time, three hours after the results were in, the lights went out in the presidential palace and Bolsonaro had not conceded nor reacted in any way.[1]

But as with Donald Trump, this might not be over:

[Jair Bolsonaro] has for years sowed doubt over the integrity of Brazil’s electoral system, raged at high court judges impeding his will and voiced nostalgia for the days of the country’s right-wing military dictatorship.[2]

Mauricio Saverese and Diane Jeantet, “Lula defeats Bolsonaro to again become Brazil’s president,” Associated Press, October 30, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/jair-bolsonaro-religion-caribbean-voting-ed2130a095ca42ff1be324a3dea9f355


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence


Fig. 1. “A woman reacts at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday’s shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, 2018,” photograph by Cathal McNaughton for Reuters, via ABC News, October 29, 2018,[3] fair use.

There is a new blog post, an open letter “To Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey.”

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh Mayor asks for public’s help to get guns off streets amid Brighton Heights shooting,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 30, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-mayor-ed-gainey-asks-public-for-help-getting-guns-off-the-street-after-brighton-heights-shooting/


Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[4] fair use.

William Cohan updates[5] his earlier analysis of Elon Musk’s Twitter financing[6] since capitulating[7] to a near-certain loss in court over his attempt to get out of the deal.[8]

In essence, though the banks have, for now, decided to hang on to the debt in the deal, hoping to avoid writing it down at least as far as a fire sale now would require, they’ll likely only be able to do that for so long, at which point Musk himself might buy the debt at a deep discount. Yes, you read that right. He borrowed $13 billion. He’ll pay it off for, maybe, $4 billion.[9] That’d be $9 billion in free money.

Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/

Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

Elon Musk, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Twitter, October 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585341984679469056

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jake Johnson, “‘Dangerous for Us All’: Elon Musk, World’s Richest Man, Completes Twitter Takeover,” Common Dreams, October 28, 2022, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/10/28/dangerous-us-all-elon-musk-worlds-richest-man-completes-twitter-takeover

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/

Heather Kelly, “You’ve decided to quit Twitter. Here’s what you can use to replace it,” Washington Post, October 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/

William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Clues and an M&A Hail Mary,” Puck News, October 30, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-clues-and-an-ma-hail-mary/

Alexa Corse, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts, Days After Elon Musk’s Takeover,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301


  1. [1]Mauricio Saverese and Diane Jeantet, “Lula defeats Bolsonaro to again become Brazil’s president,” Associated Press, October 30, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/jair-bolsonaro-religion-caribbean-voting-ed2130a095ca42ff1be324a3dea9f355
  2. [2]Ishaan Tharoor, “Brazil’s election offers even more intense echo of U.S. culture war,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/10/27/brazil-culture-war-election/
  3. [3]Bill Hutchinson et al., “Pittsburgh synagogue-shooting suspect wheeled into courtroom; Trump to visit city Tuesday,” ABC News, October 29, 2019, https://abcnews.go.com/US/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect-discharged-hospital-set-make/story?id=58825389
  4. [4]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  5. [5]William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Clues and an M&A Hail Mary,” Puck News, October 30, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-clues-and-an-ma-hail-mary/
  6. [6]William D. Cohan, “The Elon Financial Mindfuck,” Puck News, October 12, 2022, https://puck.news/the-elon-financial-mindfuck/
  7. [7]Emily Bary, “Twitter stock jumps after report says Elon Musk now wants to buy Twitter at original offer price,” MarketWatch, October 4, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-stock-jumps-after-report-says-elon-musk-proposed-to-buy-twitter-at-original-offer-price-11664900696
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Elon Musk’s Achilles’ heel,” Not Housebroken, October 30, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/07/10/elon-musks-achilles-heel/
  9. [9]William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Clues and an M&A Hail Mary,” Puck News, October 30, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-clues-and-an-ma-hail-mary/

If it looks like a death spiral and it sounds like a death spiral, is it a death spiral?

Hypertension

Hannah Webster, “Pitt researchers’ finding may help treat high blood pressure,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 30, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2022/10/30/blood-pressure-kidneys-genetic-screening-pitt/stories/202210230020


Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

It might not[2] be the earlier threatened three quarters of the workforce,[3] but

The proposed [broad] layoffs are expected to reduce engineering positions as well as affect other areas at the company, one of the people said. Twitter has roughly 7,500 employees, according to a disclosure earlier this year. The full scale of cuts being discussed couldn’t be determined. . . .

Several employees have said they are worried that Mr. [Elon] Musk could move to cut jobs before [November] 1, which is a vesting date for Twitter’s compensation program. Employees’ grants were expected to be paid as cash after Mr. Musk’s acquisition, according to people familiar with the issue. A number of employees have said they are concerned Mr. Musk could try to avoid making those payments if their employment is terminated before Nov. 1.[4]

This’d certainly be a way to accelerate that downward spiral I warned about earlier.[5]

A few folks in my feed have noticed significant drops in followers since Elon Musk’s takeover. I’ve seen a small drop, from 800 to 797. It’s very apparent, however, that my feed is much less active. Folks might not be deleting their accounts, but as Reuters reported, they’re leaving[6] nonetheless.

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jake Johnson, “‘Dangerous for Us All’: Elon Musk, World’s Richest Man, Completes Twitter Takeover,” Common Dreams, October 28, 2022, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/10/28/dangerous-us-all-elon-musk-worlds-richest-man-completes-twitter-takeover

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/

Heather Kelly, “You’ve decided to quit Twitter. Here’s what you can use to replace it,” Washington Post, October 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/

Alexa Corse, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts, Days After Elon Musk’s Takeover,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301


  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  2. [2]Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/
  3. [3]Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/
  4. [4]Alexa Corse, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts, Days After Elon Musk’s Takeover,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Elon Musk’s Achilles’ heel,” Not Housebroken, October 28, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/07/10/elon-musks-achilles-heel/
  6. [6]Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

To state the obvious, Elon Musk taking over Twitter is not just about Musk taking over a social network

Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Ishaan Tharoor, “Brazil’s election offers even more intense echo of U.S. culture war,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/10/27/brazil-culture-war-election/

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/


Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Ukraine war: Russian tactics on eastern front ‘crazy’, says Zelensky,” October 27, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63408506

Catherine Belton, “Russia’s security service works to subvert Moldova’s pro-Western government,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/28/russia-fsb-moldova-manipulation/

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/


Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[2] fair use.

I finally broke down and created a page with all the articles I’ve archived in this long, sorry saga. I have not yet decided to categorize it under Gilead, but we’ll see what happens: Greg Sargent points to a number of risks, including that Twitter may become far friendlier for the competitive authoritarian regime project and to illiberalism generally.[3]

I guess what I would say about Twitter alternatives[4] is that none of them really hit the spot for me. I have set up a Discord server (contact me for an invitation) and, as of now, I think this is the closest I’m going to get. What you do with Discord is sign up with servers that seem interesting, on a similar theory to that as you follow folks on Twitter, but they each have their own feeds, usually more than one, and there’s no way to combine these feeds into a single feed anything like you have on Twitter or Facebook.

Every time I look at Mastodon, I’m perplexed as to which server to sign up with and, to be honest, not really comfortable with any of them. In theory, I could start my own, but my experience with this sort of project is that you really need database expertise to fix the problems that inevitably crop up, and I don’t.

Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/

Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

Elon Musk, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Twitter, October 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585341984679469056

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/

Heather Kelly, “You’ve decided to quit Twitter. Here’s what you can use to replace it,” Washington Post, October 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence


Fig. 1. “A woman reacts at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday’s shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, 2018,” photograph by Cathal McNaughton for Reuters, via ABC News, October 29, 2018,[5] fair use.

Justin Vellucci, “Pittsburgh’s soaring homicide rate leaves officials baffled,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 27, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburghs-soaring-homicide-rate-leaves-officials-baffled/

Eric Jankiewicz, “Funeral shooting in Brighton Heights reflects cycle of violence and spiral of pain, advocates and officials say,” Public Source, October 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/brighton-heights-funeral-shooting-pittsburgh-gun-violence-homicide/

Justin Vellucci, “Police: 6 people shot outside Brighton Heights church,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/police-respond-to-shooting-scene-in-brighton-heights/


  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [2]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  3. [3]Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/
  4. [4]Heather Kelly, “You’ve decided to quit Twitter. Here’s what you can use to replace it,” Washington Post, October 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/
  5. [5]Bill Hutchinson et al., “Pittsburgh synagogue-shooting suspect wheeled into courtroom; Trump to visit city Tuesday,” ABC News, October 29, 2019, https://abcnews.go.com/US/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect-discharged-hospital-set-make/story?id=58825389

Gilead · Twitter

Gilead

Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

See also:

Margi Murphy, “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lock Donald Trump’s accounts after praise for Capitol Hill rioters,” Telegraph, January 7, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/01/06/calls-twitter-facebook-mute-donald-trump-violence-breaks-capitol/

Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says,” Washington Post, January 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/07/trump-twitter-ban/

Nitasha Tiku, Tony Romm, and Craig Timberg, “Twitter bans Trump’s account, citing risk of further violence,” Washington Post, January 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/08/twitter-trump-dorsey/

Josh Gerstein, “Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump’s social media ban,” Politico, April 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/05/justice-clarence-thomas-trump-twitter-ban-479046

Jacob Silverman, ”Trump’s Social Media Lawsuit Is Doomed to Fail (and Work Exactly as Planned),” New Republic, July 7, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162917/trump-lawsuit-facebook-twitter-youtube-speech

Zoe Tillman, “Trump’s Social Media Lawsuits Feature A Mashup Of Arguments Courts Have Already Rejected,” Buzzfeed, July 7, 2021, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/trump-twitter-facebook-youtube-lawsuits-rejected-arguments

Amanda Marcotte, “Right-wing Twitter imitations don’t work — and Trump desperately wants back on real social media,” Salon, July 8, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/08/right-wing-twitter-imitations-dont-work–and-trump-desperately-wants-back-on-real-social-media/

Cat Zakrzewski and Rachel Lerman, “Trump files class action lawsuits targeting Facebook, Google and Twitter over ‘censorship’ of conservatives,” Washington Post, July 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/07/07/trump-lawsuit-social-media/

Adela Suliman, “Trump asks court to force Twitter to reinstate his account,” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/02/trump-twitter-ban-court-filing/

David Smith, “The silence of Donald Trump: how Twitter’s ban is cramping his style,” Guardian, October 9, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/oct/09/the-silence-of-donald-trump-how-twitters-ban-is-cramping-his-style

Timothy Bella, “Florida judge rules Trump can’t skirt Twitter’s terms just because he was president, in latest legal setback,” Washington Post, October 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/27/trump-twitter-lawsuit-president-judge/

William D. Cohan, “The Twitter Board’s Panic Room,” Puck News, April 14, 2022, https://puck.news/the-twitter-boards-panic-room/

Rob Copeland, Rebecca Elliott, and Cara Lombardo, “Elon Musk Makes $43 Billion Bid for Twitter, Says ‘Civilization’ At Stake,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-offers-to-buy-rest-of-twitter-for-54-20-a-share-11649932296

Dan Gallagher, “Musk Gives Twitter’s Board an Expensive Out,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/musk-gives-twitters-board-an-expensive-out-11649954729

William D. Cohan, “How Elon Can Get That $40B,” Puck News, April 20, 2022, https://puck.news/how-elon-can-get-that-40b/

Russ Mitchell, “‘Free speech absolutist’ Elon Musk has a long history of opposing speech and transparency,” Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-04-20/news-analysis-what-does-elon-musk-know-about-free-speech-or-transparency-or-truth

Cara Lombardo and Will Feuer, “Elon Musk Says He Has Commitments for $46.5 Billion in Financing for Twitter Deal,” Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-says-he-has-commitments-for-46-5-billion-in-financing-for-twitter-deal-11650549097

Douglas MacMillan et al., “Elon Musk acquires Twitter for roughly $44 billion,” Washington Post, April 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/04/25/twitter-elon-musk-deal/

Dan Milmo and Mark Sweney, “Twitter takeover: EU and UK warn Elon Musk must comply or face sanctions,” Guardian, April 26, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/apr/26/twitter-takeover-jack-dorsey-elon-musk

William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Gamble: Imagining Tesla Stock Judgment Day,” Puck News, April 27, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-gamble-imagining-the-tesla-stock-judgment-day/

Rebecca Elliott, “Elon Musk Says He Would Reverse Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban,” Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-would-reverse-twitters-donald-trump-ban-11652204279

Spencer Jakab and Dan Gallagher, “Musk’s Twitter Deal Is No Sure Thing,” Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/musks-twitter-deal-is-no-sure-thing-11652287373

William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Next Moves,” Puck News, May 18, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-next-moves/

Sarah E. Needleman, “Elon Musk’s followers include a lot of bots,” MarketWatch, June 5, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musks-followers-include-a-lot-of-bots-11654478074

Faiz Siddiqui and Gerrit De Vynck, “Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/07/elon-musk-twitter-jeopardy/

Danny Fortson, “Erratic Elon Musk leaves Twitter with three unbearable choices,” Times, July 9, 2022, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/erratic-elon-musk-leaves-twitter-with-three-unbearable-choices-g3tg5zlbt

William D. Cohan, “The Musk Reckoning,” Puck News, July 10, 2022, https://puck.news/the-musk-reckoning/

Cara Lombardo and Robert Wall, “Twitter Didn’t Seek a Sale. Now Elon Musk Doesn’t Want to Buy. Cue Strange Legal Drama,” Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-twitter-strange-legal-fight-11657488572

Cara Lombardo and Sarah E. Needleman, “Twitter Sues Elon Musk to Enforce $44 Billion Merger,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-sues-elon-musk-over-attempt-to-walk-away-from-44-billion-deal-11657660307

Gerrit De Vynck, “Why Elon Musk can’t get out of Twitter deal even if his lenders bail,” Washington Post, July 15, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/15/elon-musk-debt-financing-twitter/

William D. Cohan, “The Case Against Elon,” Puck News, July 17, 2022, https://puck.news/the-case-against-elon/

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Gerrit De Vynck, “Judge grants Elon Musk an October court date, in early win for Twitter,” Washington Post, July 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/19/twitter-elon-musk-trial/

Ankush Khardori, “I Used to Work on Cases Like Twitter v. Musk. Here’s What Will Happen Next,” New York, July 30, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/07/what-will-happen-next-with-the-twitter-v-musk-lawsuit.html

Dave Michaels, “Judge in Twitter, Elon Musk Case Known for Quick Work,” Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-in-twitter-elon-musk-case-known-for-quick-work-11659791075

Elon Musk, “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Twitter, August 10, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-10/elon-musk-sells-4-3-billion-of-tesla-shares-first-since-april

Emily Bary, “Twitter stock jumps after report says Elon Musk now wants to buy Twitter at original offer price,” MarketWatch, October 4, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-stock-jumps-after-report-says-elon-musk-proposed-to-buy-twitter-at-original-offer-price-11664900696

William D. Cohan, “The Elon Financial Mindfuck,” Puck News, October 12, 2022, https://puck.news/the-elon-financial-mindfuck/

Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/

Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/

Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

Elon Musk, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Twitter, October 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585341984679469056

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jake Johnson, “‘Dangerous for Us All’: Elon Musk, World’s Richest Man, Completes Twitter Takeover,” Common Dreams, October 28, 2022, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/10/28/dangerous-us-all-elon-musk-worlds-richest-man-completes-twitter-takeover

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154

Greg Sargent, “The hidden danger lurking behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/28/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-russia-ukraine-war-big-tech/

Mira Sorvino, “Anyone using any form of hate speech will be immediately unfollowed, blocked, and either called out, not responded to or both. There is no place for hate speech here,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/29/twitter-alternatives/

Shonda Rhimes, “Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” Twitter, October 29, 2022, https://twitter.com/shondarhimes/status/1586399694896390147

William D. Cohan, “Elon’s Clues and an M&A Hail Mary,” Puck News, October 30, 2022, https://puck.news/elons-clues-and-an-ma-hail-mary/

Alexa Corse and Salvador Rodriguez, “Twitter Is Drafting Broad Job Cuts in Whirlwind First Weekend Under Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-is-drafting-broad-job-cuts-days-after-elon-musks-takeover-11667143301

Dan Milmo, “Twitter trolls bombard platform after Elon Musk takeover,” Guardian, October 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/twitter-trolls-bombard-platform-after-elon-musk-takeover

Dean Seal, “Elon Musk Ousts Twitter Board, Named Sole Director,” Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/musk-ousts-twitter-board-named-sole-director-11667234297

Nick Bonyhady, “Twitter is no LinkedIn. Charging for blue ticks won’t work,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 1, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/technology/twitter-is-no-linkedin-charging-for-blue-ticks-won-t-work-20221101-p5bum9.html

Elon Musk, “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. . . .” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587498907336118274

Elon Musk, “Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587499283573530625

Elon Musk, “You will also get . . .” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587500060853424129

Elon Musk, “And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587500624098246656

Elon Musk, “This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587505731611262976

Elon Musk, “There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587527711228149765

Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “Ad Giants Advise Brands to Pause Spending on Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ad-giants-advise-brands-to-pause-spending-on-elon-musks-twitter-11667333021

Edward Ludlow and Kurt Wagner, “Musk Plans to Eliminate Half of Twitter Jobs to Cut Costs,” Bloomberg, November 2, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-02/musk-plans-to-eliminate-half-of-twitter-jobs-in-cost-cut-drive

Naomi Nix, “Elon Musk says Twitter won’t restore banned accounts for weeks,” Washington Post, November 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/02/musk-twitter-bans-trump/

David Frum, “Why I Logged Off Twitter,” Atlantic, November 3, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-changes/671980/

Mike Isaac and Ryan Mac, “Elon Musk, Under Financial Pressure, Pushes to Make Money From Twitter,” New York Times, November 3, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/03/technology/elon-musk-twitter-money-finances.html

Catherine Rampell, “World’s richest man decides to set $44 billion on fire,” Washington Post, November 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/03/elon-musk-twitter-advertisers-content-moderation/

Samuel Stolton, “EU Twitterati plot escape amid Musk takeover,” Politico, November 3, 2022, https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-twitterati-plot-escape-plan-amid-elon-musk-twitter-takeover/

Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “General Mills, Audi and Pfizer Join Growing List of Companies Pausing Twitter Ads,” Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/general-mills-audi-and-pfizer-join-growing-list-of-companies-pausing-twitter-ads-11667507765

Josh Eidelson, “Twitter Sued for Mass Layoffs by Musk Without Enough Notice,” Bloomberg, November 4, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-04/twitter-sued-for-mass-layoffs-by-musk-without-enough-notice

Drew Harwell, Cat Zakrzewski, and Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Twitter layoffs gutted election information teams days before midterms,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/05/twitter-layoffs-election-impact/

Sarah E. Needleman and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Says Twitter Has Had Massive Revenue Drop as Layoffs Begin,” Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-says-twitter-has-had-massive-revenue-drop-11667573127

Sanjay Patnaik, Robert E. Litan, and James Kunhardt, “The national security grounds for investigating Musk’s Twitter acquisition,” Brookings, November 4, 2022, https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-biden-would-be-justified-in-blocking-or-modifying-musks-twitter-acquisition-on-national-security-grounds/

Faiz Siddiqui, Naomi Nix, and Will Oremus, “Advertisers fleeing, workers in fear: Welcome to Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/04/twitter-layoffs-musk/

Shanti Das, “‘Elon Musk doesn’t know what he’s doing’, says former Twitter executive,” Guardian, November 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/05/elon-musk-doesnt-know-what-hes-doing-says-former-twitter-executive

Tim Higgins, “Twitter Rolls Out Blue Check Marks for Paying Customers,” Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-rolls-out-blue-check-marks-for-paying-customers-11667681496

Kevin V. Nguyen, “How Musk’s Twitter Layoffs Went Down—And What’s Next,” San Francisco Standard, November 5, 2022, https://sfstandard.com/business/how-musks-twitter-layoffs-went-down-and-whats-next/

Natalie Ching Mun Choy, “Twitter to Ban Impersonation If Not Labeled Parody, Musk Says,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-07/twitter-to-ban-impersonation-if-not-labeled-parody-musk-says

David Frum, “Probably too late, but . . .” Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1589469860655923205

Kurt Wagner, “Twitter Delays Change to Check-Mark Badges Until After Midterms,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-06/twitter-to-delay-changes-to-check-mark-badges-nyt-says

Kurt Wagner and Edward Ludlow, “Twitter Now Asks Some Fired Workers to Please Come Back,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-06/twitter-now-asks-some-fired-workers-to-please-come-back

Stephen Wilmot, “Twitter’s Free Speech Problem Is Tesla’s, Too,” Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitters-free-speech-problem-is-teslas-too-11667818396

Rebecca Elliott, “Elon Musk Sells Almost $4 Billion of Tesla Stock After Twitter Takeover,” Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-sells-almost-4-billion-of-tesla-stock-after-completing-twitter-takeover-11667957983

Joseph De Avila, “Twitter Ditches Gray ‘Official’ Label Hours After Launching It,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-launches-gray-official-label-to-verify-certain-accounts-11668008210

Johana Bhuiyan, “Exodus continues at Twitter as Elon Musk hints at possible bankruptcy,” Guardian, November 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/10/exodus-twitter-elon-musk-possible-bankruptcy

Joseph Menn et al., “Twitter’s content moderation head quits as departures alarm the FTC,” Washington Post, November 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/10/twitter-security-resignations/

Jared Yates Sexton, “Once more. Musk is doing us an incredible favor by demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no meritocracy and that wealth and power do not, in any way, denote talent or competence,” Twitter, November 10, 2022, https://twitter.com/JYSexton/status/1590831348511834112

Alyssa Lukpat, “Twitter Stops Giving Out Blue Check Marks After Impersonators Take to the Platform,” Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-real-and-what-isnt-on-twitter-under-elon-musk-it-is-really-unclear-11668184148

Lora Kolodny and Erik Ortiz, “Twitter pulls paid verification after impersonators flourish,” NBC News, November 11, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/crypto/twitters-subscription-service-not-available-impersonators-flourish-rcna56730

Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “Twitter’s Advertising Exodus Accelerates, Despite Outreach From Elon Musk,” Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitters-advertising-exodus-accelerates-despite-outreach-from-elon-musk-11668262920

Natasha Lomas, “Is Elon Musk’s Twitter about to fall out of the GDPR’s one-stop shop?” TechCrunch, November 14, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/11/14/is-elon-musks-twitter-about-to-fall-out-of-the-gdprs-one-stop-shop/

Faiz Siddiqui and Jeremy B. Merrill, “Musk issues ultimatum to staff: Commit to ‘hardcore’ Twitter or take severance,” Washington Post, November 16, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/16/musk-twitter-email-ultimatum-termination/

Joseph Menn, Nitasha Tiku, and Faiz Siddiqui, “Hundreds said to have opted to leave Twitter over Musk ultimatum,” Washington Post, November 17, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/17/twitter-musk-easing-rto-order/

Johana Bhuiyan, “Elon Musk summons Twitter engineers amid mass resignations and puts up poll on Trump ban,” Guardian, November 18, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/18/elon-musk-twitter-engineers-workers-mass-resignation

James Clayton and Peter Hoskins, “Twitter locks staff out of offices until next week,” British Broadcasting Corporation, November 18, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/business-63672307

Annie Gaus, “Twitter Teeters as Offices Shut Down, Employees Flee,” San Francisco Standard, November 18, 2022, https://sfstandard.com/business/twitter-teeters-on-collapse-as-offices-shut-down/

Elon Musk, “How do you make a small fortune in social media? . . .” Twitter, November 18, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1593415171149791232

Sky News, “World Cup risks knocking out Twitter after staff exodus, industry expert warns,” November 18, 2022, https://news.sky.com/story/twitter-reportedly-closes-offices-over-sabotage-fears-as-more-employees-resign-12749959

Faiz Siddiqui, Drew Harwell and Isaac Arnsdorf , “Elon Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account,” Washington Post, November 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/19/trump-musk-twitter/

Ron Kampeas, “Welcome to the new Twitter: Kanye West returns with ‘shalom’ and Elon Musk trolls the ADL,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 20, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/11/20/united-states/welcome-to-the-new-twitter-kanye-west-is-back-and-elon-musk-trolls-the-adl

Liz Moyer, “Elon Musk Reinstates Trump on Twitter. Trump Shrugs,” Barron’s, November 20, 2022, https://www.barrons.com/articles/elon-musk-reinstates-trump-on-twitter-trump-shrugs-51668964354

Kelly Rissman, “Donald Trump’s Twitter Account Has Been Reactivated But Will He Return?” Vanity Fair, November 20, 2022, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/11/donald-trump-twitter-account-has-been-reactivated

Vlad Savov, “Musk Welcomes Ye Back to Twitter After Inviting Trump’s Return,” Bloomberg, November 20, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-21/musk-welcomes-ye-back-to-twitter-after-inviting-trump-s-return

Duty To Warn, “Elon Musk tweeted this meme. . . .” Twitter, November 21, 2022, https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1594655174852755460

Naomi Nix and Jeremy B. Merrill, “Advertisers are dropping Twitter. Musk can’t afford to lose any more,” Washington Post, November 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/22/twitter-advertiser-exodus-musk/

Kali Hays, “Elon Musk fired dozens more Twitter staff the night before Thanksgiving — days after saying he was done with layoffs,” Business Insider, November 24, 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-fires-dozens-more-twitter-staff-night-before-thanksgiving-2022-11

Laurel Wamsley, “Looking to leave Twitter? Here are the social networks seeing new users now,” National Public Radio, November 24, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/11/24/1139079748/leave-twitter-social-networks-mastodon-hive-post

Reuters, “Twitter CEO Musk says user signups at all-time high, touts features of ‘everything app,’” November 27, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/twitter-ceo-musk-says-user-signups-all-time-high-touts-features-everything-app-2022-11-27/

  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

‘The bird is freed’ and may now crash

Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

Now that Elon Musk has completed his purchase of Twitter,[2] I’m seeing some folks looking around, wondering what’s different. I’m seeing a lot more advertising. I suspect I’m also seeing what Reuters is reporting, that Twitter’s most active users are leaving the platform or at least posting a lot less.[3]

My expectation, given Musk’s since rescinded[4] threats to fire three quarters of the company’s staff,[5] has to be that many of these workers are already seeking other employment. (Even without Musk’s takeover, Twitter had apparently planned a 25 percent layoff.[6])

The impact of these departures, whether voluntary or not, remains to be seen. If it’s true that Twitter was genuinely overstaffed,[7] and that the cuts are indeed not so drastic,[8] then impacts might be limited to those of a demoralized, dispirited workforce,[9] much of which is presumably looking for other work. The impacts on site experience might be slight to moderate.

If, however, too many workers depart, it should be fairly obvious that Twitter would be on a downward spiral, with a deteriorating site experience losing users and therefore advertising revenue, leading to further departures (both voluntary and involuntary).

It is awfully hard for me to imagine that Musk will get this right, which will surely mean that William Cohan’s warnings about finances and the possible intrusion of “loan-to-own debt vultures” will be even more likely to come into play,[10] further accelerating the spiral.

This in turn makes it awfully hard to be optimistic about the future of Twitter. I’ve posted invitations to my Discord server on my private Twitter account but am not planning to make that server public. Friends, family, and followers may contact me for an invitation.

Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/

Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/

Elon Musk, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Twitter, October 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585341984679469056

Elon Musk, “the bird is freed,” Twitter, October 28, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1585841080431321088

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154


Self-driving cars


Fig. 2. Photograph by Mark Doliner, August 1, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Over the past few years, driverless cars have represented a high-stakes bet on the future of automotive travel — one that jazzed traditional carmakers including Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen, which were among Argo’s biggest investors. But failures are not uncommon in blue-sky kind of startups, Mr. [Rich] Fitzgerald said.

“This is going to be driven by market forces,” said Mr. Fitzgerald, adding that there may be future discussions with the city’s robotics industry. “Right now, quite frankly, it’s an industry that needs a return” on investment.[11]

What remains clear, however, is that such a return on investment is unlikely for many years if ever.[12]

Computers can’t deal with ambiguity quite the way humans can. What backers have to be counting on is that artificial intelligence idiocy[13] in combination with truly ubiquitous lightning-fast data networks (even most 5G, at least as I experience it, won’t do) and lightning-fast reaction times can substitute. Maybe it can, but the longer this drags on, the more I suspect that some way, somehow, as a practical matter, it can’t, at least for the foreseeable future.

Ryan Deto, “Argo AI, a Pittsburgh driverless car pioneer, goes out of business,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 26, 2022, https://triblive.com/business/technology/ford-cuts-investment-in-autonomous-vehicle-unit-posts-loss/

Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/

Christiaan Hetzner, “Tesla may have hidden a federal criminal investigation into its self-driving tech from shareholders,” Fortune, October 27, 2022, https://fortune.com/2022/10/27/tesla-autopilot-elon-musk-federal-criminal-investigation-justice-department/

Stephen Wilmot, “Ford Can’t Afford Other Bets Like Driverless Cars,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ford-cant-afford-other-bets-like-driverless-cars-11666861656

Kris B. Mamula, “What does Argo’s closing mean for Pittsburgh’s robotics future?” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 28, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2022/10/28/argo-ai-closing-rich-fitzgerald-pittsburgh-robotics-carnegie-mellon/stories/202210270156


Gilead

Police White supremacist gangs


Fig. 3. Image credited to Darnella Frazier, made from a video posted to Facebook, of Minneapolis white supremacist gangster Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck, May 25, 2020, via ABC News,[14] fair use.

Tom Jackman, “U.S. Capitol Police officer convicted of obstructing Jan. 6 probe,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/10/28/capitol-police-officer-guilty-jan6/

Evangelical Protestants


Fig. 4. “You shall have no other gods before me.”[15] Photograph posted to Twitter by Antonia Lee Donnelly, February 16, 2020,[16] fair use.

Olivier Knox, “Nearly half of Americans say they want a ‘Christian nation,’” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/10/28/nearly-half-americans-say-they-want-christian-nation/

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 5. Department of Justice photograph of seized materials, reportedly partially redacted, via the Washington Post, August 31, 2022,[17] public domain.

Tara Palmeri, “Trump ’24 Foreplay,” Puck News, October 27, 2022, https://puck.news/trump-24-foreplay/

Devlin Barrett, Perry Stein, and Josh Dawsey, “Top national security prosecutor joins Trump Mar-a-Lago investigation,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/10/28/raskin-mar-a-lago-trump-documents/

Tom Jackman, “U.S. Capitol Police officer convicted of obstructing Jan. 6 probe,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/10/28/capitol-police-officer-guilty-jan6/


  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  2. [2]Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/; Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031
  3. [3]Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/
  4. [4]Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/
  5. [5]Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/
  6. [6]Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/
  7. [7]Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/
  8. [8]Rebecca Bellan, “Now Elon Musk says he won’t fire 75% of Twitter’s staff,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/now-elon-musk-says-he-wont-fire-75-of-twitters-staff/
  9. [9]Elizabeth Dwoskin et al., “Documents detail plans to gut Twitter’s workforce,” Washington Post, October 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/20/musk-twitter-acquisition-staff-cuts/
  10. [10]William D. Cohan, “The Elon Financial Mindfuck,” Puck News, October 12, 2022, https://puck.news/the-elon-financial-mindfuck/
  11. [11]Kris B. Mamula, “What does Argo’s closing mean for Pittsburgh’s robotics future?” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 28, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2022/10/28/argo-ai-closing-rich-fitzgerald-pittsburgh-robotics-carnegie-mellon/stories/202210270156
  12. [12]Ryan Deto, “Argo AI, a Pittsburgh driverless car pioneer, goes out of business,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 26, 2022, https://triblive.com/business/technology/ford-cuts-investment-in-autonomous-vehicle-unit-posts-loss/; Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/; Stephen Wilmot, “Ford Can’t Afford Other Bets Like Driverless Cars,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ford-cant-afford-other-bets-like-driverless-cars-11666861656
  13. [13]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, April 5, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/
  14. [14]Catherine Thorbecke, “Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, complaint says,” ABC News, May 29, 2020, https://abcnews.go.com/US/derek-chauvin-knee-george-floyds-neck-minutes-complaint/story?id=70961042
  15. [15]Exod. 20:3.
  16. [16]Antonia Lee Donnelly, “Now I've seen everything,” Twitter, February 17, 2020, https://twitter.com/DonnellyAntonia/status/1229227422836559873
  17. [17]Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-documents-removed-storage-room/

It’s the fourth anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. We aren’t getting better.

Update, October 28, 2022: The sections on Ukraine and Twitter have been updated since this post was first published.


Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Ishaan Tharoor, “Brazil’s election offers even more intense echo of U.S. culture war,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/10/27/brazil-culture-war-election/


Ukraine


Fig. 2. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

This section was updated on October 28, 2022.

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Ukraine war: Russian tactics on eastern front ‘crazy’, says Zelensky,” October 27, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63408506

Catherine Belton, “Russia’s security service works to subvert Moldova’s pro-Western government,” Washington Post, October 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/28/russia-fsb-moldova-manipulation/


Gilead

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)


Fig. 3. A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Gainesville, Florida, Dec. 31, 1922, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

When I arrived in Pittsburgh, in the year following the Tree of Life massacre,[2] Confederate flags were everywhere to be seen, flying proudly in people’s front yards. To say I was horrified understates it, as I rather rapidly pieced this together with the even more prominent support for Donald Trump, the guns meant to honor veterans but mostly found in and around conflict zones where working class white people fear their Black neighbors, the banners also honoring veterans but extraordinarily rarely veterans of color, an insanity in which you might as well ask Pennsylvania men to cut off their own penises as ask them to give up their guns, and a widespread support for police white supremacist gangsters that was an obvious reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, that all seemed inescapably to add up to one very ugly white supremacist picture.[3] My mother had warned me about racism in Pittsburgh but I was unprepared for its prominence and unprepared for how widely these views were manifest.

Even neglecting any knowledge of U.S. history, with my mother’s warning in mind—she had grown up in Dormont, a Pittsburgh suburb, in the 1940s and 1950s—it was incoherent to suggest that such racism was anything new. Rather, I came to understand, Trump had made white supremacists feel comfortable enough to openly display their bigotry.

I was thinking principally of Black people, who live with a wide intersection of race and class where Black people number disproportionately and visibly among the poor and white people number disproportionately and visibly among the well off, evidence of systemic racism. But there was also that Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.[4] (This synagogue remains closed.)

While at a generalized level, antisemitic attitudes have dropped, the incidents have risen because there is less shame. People feel they can say and do anything.[5]

I realized quickly that I was seeing more broadly and boldly than I had ever imagined, what I understood as authoritarian populism and paleoconservatism in my dissertation[6] and, quite unintentionally, my time in Pittsburgh has served to increase my understanding of these tendencies, now part of a wider phenomenon of a White Christian nationalist conservatism,[7] encompassing most of the tendencies I had earlier identified,[8] that Trump has made nearly monolithic.[9]

Whether intentionally or unwittingly, Trump tapped into a movement I had woefully underestimated, that dates back a millenium.[10] He was not even on the radar as a possible presidential contender, let alone president, in 2013 when Kim Messick wrote this:

[T]he Republican Party’s extremism can be traced to its increased dependence on an electorate that is largely rural, Southern and white. These voters, who figure prominently in the Tea Party, often decline to interpret political conflict as a struggle among interest groups or a good-faith clash of opinion. Instead, they tend to identify the country as a whole with an idealized version of themselves, and to equate any dissent from their values with disloyalty by alien, “un-American” forces. This paranoid vision of politics, I argued, makes them seek out opportunities for dramatic conflict and to shun negotiation and compromise.[11]

This “idealized version” is white, evangelical Protestant, and incoherently conservative, more against anything perceived to be “liberal,” let alone “socialist” or “communist,” than for any coherent program.[12] To be otherwise, in this view, is to be disloyal, alien, unAmerikkkan.[13] Trump has relentlessly exploited this[14] and now, look what’s happened:

We’re in an era when the MAGA movement’s boundaries of who is considered a real, good, authentic American are mutating and the future is very unpredictable.[15]

One thing we’re seeing here is a narrowing of who, under a white Christian nationalist construct, is Amerikkkan. But the hell of it is that this is really a twofer. Not only do white supremacists denigrate, threaten, and even commit acts of violence against Jews, but in doing so, they rationalize Zionist occupation, in which the existence—whether we admit it or not—of Israel is a reaction to the Holocaust and to a relentless series of pogroms dating back centuries,[16] aggravating the Palestinian problem.

When Kanye West pits Black people against Jews,[17] he thus in fact also betrays a legacy of Black support for the Palestinian cause.[18]

But the evil here is enormous, much, much wider than Jews and Palestinians, encompassing many issues that distinguish a civilized society from barbarity. We tolerate it at our own peril.

Michelle Boorstein and Isaac Arnsdorf, “Overt U.S. antisemitism returns with Trump, Ye: ‘Something is different,’” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2022/10/27/antisemitism-kanye-trump-adidas-jews/

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 4. Department of Justice photograph of seized materials, reportedly partially redacted, via the Washington Post, August 31, 2022,[19] public domain.

Not that this will be a surprise to anyone, but reportedly, Donald Trump will run in 2024. The only things that have stopped him from announcing already are that to do so now would cost more money and would also raise regulatory obstacles.[20] Of course, if Trump does announce, that would give Merrick Garland what he so desperately wants: yet another excuse for not prosecuting him.[21]

Tara Palmeri, “Trump ’24 Foreplay,” Puck News, October 27, 2022, https://puck.news/trump-24-foreplay/


Self-driving cars


Fig. 5. Photograph by Mark Doliner, August 1, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Ryan Deto, “Argo AI, a Pittsburgh driverless car pioneer, goes out of business,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 26, 2022, https://triblive.com/business/technology/ford-cuts-investment-in-autonomous-vehicle-unit-posts-loss/

Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/

Christiaan Hetzner, “Tesla may have hidden a federal criminal investigation into its self-driving tech from shareholders,” Fortune, October 27, 2022, https://fortune.com/2022/10/27/tesla-autopilot-elon-musk-federal-criminal-investigation-justice-department/

Stephen Wilmot, “Ford Can’t Afford Other Bets Like Driverless Cars,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ford-cant-afford-other-bets-like-driverless-cars-11666861656


Twitter

This section was updated on October 28, 2022.

Elon Musk has now taken over Twitter. All of a sudden, things sound different:[22]

Chief executive officer Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, were all fired, according to the people. Sean Edgett , the company’s general counsel, was also pushed out, one of the people said. The top executives were hastily shuttled from the building, the people said. . . .

Musk has publicly criticized Twitter’s outgoing management over product decisions and content moderation, as well as saying he would restore former president Donald Trump‘s account.[23]

In a message to advertisers on Twitter on Thursday, Mr. [Elon] Musk said he was buying the company to “have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.” He said Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”[24]

And yet, somehow not so different: Musk now owes over $200 million to those executives[25] he was so ungracious with.[26]

Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031

Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154


  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [2]Campbell Robertson, Christopher Mele, and Sabrina Tavernise, “11 Killed in Synagogue Massacre; Suspect Charged With 29 Counts,” New York Times, October 27, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/us/active-shooter-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting.html
  3. [3]David Benfell, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, October 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/20/the-banners-and-the-guns-flagrant-racism-in-pittsburgh/
  4. [4]Campbell Robertson, Christopher Mele, and Sabrina Tavernise, “11 Killed in Synagogue Massacre; Suspect Charged With 29 Counts,” New York Times, October 27, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/us/active-shooter-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting.html
  5. [5]Jonathan Greenblatt, quoted in Michelle Boorstein and Isaac Arnsdorf, “Overt U.S. antisemitism returns with Trump, Ye: ‘Something is different,’” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2022/10/27/antisemitism-kanye-trump-adidas-jews/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  7. [7]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, October 14, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  9. [9]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, October 14, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/
  11. [11]Kim Messick, “Modern GOP is still the party of Dixie,” Salon, October 12, 2013, https://www.salon.com/2013/10/12/modern_gop_is_still_the_party_of_dixie/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  13. [13]Kim Messick, “Modern GOP is still the party of Dixie,” Salon, October 12, 2013, https://www.salon.com/2013/10/12/modern_gop_is_still_the_party_of_dixie/
  14. [14]Jelani Cobb, “Donald Trump’s Idea of Selective Citizenship,” New Yorker, July 29, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/donald-trumps-idea-of-selective-citizenship
  15. [15]Benjamin Lorber, quoted in Michelle Boorstein and Isaac Arnsdorf, “Overt U.S. antisemitism returns with Trump, Ye: ‘Something is different,’” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2022/10/27/antisemitism-kanye-trump-adidas-jews/
  16. [16]Avigail Abarbanel, “A change needs to come,” Electronic Intifada, May 25, 2008, http://electronicintifada.net/content/change-needs-come/7529; Albert Memmi, Portrait of a Jew (New York: Viking, 1971).
  17. [17]Michelle Boorstein and Isaac Arnsdorf, “Overt U.S. antisemitism returns with Trump, Ye: ‘Something is different,’” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2022/10/27/antisemitism-kanye-trump-adidas-jews/; Philissa Cramer and Ron Kampeas, “Kanye West’s vow to ‘go death con 3’ on Jews and his antisemitism controversy, explained,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 12, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/10/12/united-states/kanye-wests-vow-to-go-death-con-3-on-jews-and-his-antisemitism-controversy-explained; Oren Segal, “Hate in America: Yesterday, the head of an antisemitic and white supremacist group (and his supporters) dropped banners over the 405 in Los Angeles. One banner read, ‘Kanye is right about the Jews,’ Twitter, October 23, 2022, https://twitter.com/orensegal/status/1584132843285794816; Times of Israel, “Antisemites hang banner over LA freeway declaring Kanye ‘right about the Jews,’” October 23, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/antisemites-hang-banner-over-la-freeway-declaring-kanye-right-about-the-jews/; Grace Toohey and Salvador Hernandez, “Kanye West’s brazen antisemitism gives hate a celebrity mouthpiece. ‘There’s real harm,’” Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-25/response-to-antisemitic-acts-in-los-angeles
  18. [18]Jewish Women’s Archive, “Tensions in Black-Jewish Relations,” n.d., https://jwa.org/teach/livingthelegacy/tensions-in-black-jewish-relations
  19. [19]Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-documents-removed-storage-room/
  20. [20]Tara Palmeri, “Trump ’24 Foreplay,” Puck News, October 27, 2022, https://puck.news/trump-24-foreplay/
  21. [21]David Benfell, “It is now even more urgently orange jumpsuit time,” Not Housebroken, October 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/24/it-is-now-even-more-urgently-orange-jumpsuit-time/; Michelle Onibokun and Chuck Rosenberg, “The Justice Department’s Policy Against Election Interference is Open to Abuse,” Lawfare, September 11, 2020, https://www.lawfareblog.com/justice-departments-policy-against-election-interference-open-abuse
  22. [22]Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/; Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031
  23. [23]Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/
  24. [24]Lauren Thomas and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-completes-twitter-takeover-11666918031
  25. [25]Jeremy C. Owens, “Elon Musk on the hook to pay more than $200 million to 3 fired Twitter execs,” MarketWatch, October 28, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-must-pay-more-than-200-million-to-3-fired-twitter-execs-11666927154
  26. [26]Faiz Siddiqui and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Top Twitter executives fired as Elon Musk takeover begins,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/27/twitter-elon-musk/

Don’t hold your breath for self-driving car technology

Pennsylvania

2022 election


Fig. 1. John Fetterman as mayor of Braddock, photograph uncredited and undated, via Next Pittsburgh,[1] fair use.

Aaron Blake, “4 takeaways from the Fetterman-Oz debate,” Washington Post, October 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/10/25/fetterman-oz-debate-pennsylvania-senate-race/

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Who won the debate? Our Opinion staff weighs in,” October 25, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/inq2/john-fetterman-dr-mehmet-oz-debate-winner-20221025.html

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman debate in confrontation heavier on attacks than substantive policy,” October 25, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/10/25/fetterman-oz-debate-pa-senate-race-candidates-midterms/stories/202210250124

Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels to Playbook Daily Briefing list, “How much will John Fetterman’s rocky night matter?” Politico, October 26, 2022, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2022/10/26/how-much-will-john-fettermans-rocky-night-matter-00063500

Tina Nguyen, “Oz’s Perfect Storm & MAGA’s Ye Problem,” Puck News, October 26, 2022, https://puck.news/ozs-perfect-storm-magas-ye-problem/

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Medical experts weigh in on John Fetterman’s stroke recovery after U.S. Senate debate with Mehmet Oz,” October 26, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/10/26/pennsylvania-senate-debate-fetterman-oz/stories/202210260083


Self-driving cars


Fig. 2. Photograph by Mark Doliner, August 1, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

It appears that Christopher Mims’ article observing that driver assistance systems were improving significantly[2] from about three years ago was prescient:

Ford said in its third-quarter earnings report released Wednesday [October 26, 2022] that it made a strategic decision to shift its resources to developing advanced driver assistance systems, and not autonomous vehicle technology that can be applied to robotaxis. The company said it recorded a $2.7 billion non-cash, pretax impairment on its investment in Argo AI, resulting in an $827 million net loss for the third quarter.

That decision appears to have been fueled by Argo’s inability to attract new investors. Ford [chief executive officer] Jim Farley acknowledged that the company anticipated being able to bring autonomous vehicle technology broadly to market by 2021.[3]

It seems that, no matter what Elon Musk keeps saying about it, full self-driving capability is still quite a very long ways off.[4]

I was just thinking about the problem this morning and realized, especially in Pittsburgh, there are numerous ambiguous situations—and computers just don’t do well with ambiguity. I’m not sure this is a problem that even can be solved.

Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/


  1. [1]Kim Lyons, “Braddock Mayor John Fetterman keeps on truckin’ in his quest for the Senate,” Next Pittsburgh, March 11, 2016, https://nextpittsburgh.com/features/the-challengers-braddock-mayor-john-fetterman-keeps-on-truckin/
  2. [2]Christopher Mims, “Self-Driving Cars Have a Problem: Safer Human-Driven Ones,” Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/self-driving-cars-have-a-problem-safer-human-driven-ones-11560571203
  3. [3]Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/
  4. [4]Kirsten Korosec, “Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down,” TechCrunch, October 26, 2022, https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/

John Fetterman’s mind might be fine; his mouth is not

Pennsylvania

2022 election


Fig. 1. There’s much too much of this kind of thing to be seen around Pittsburgh. Photograph taken by author through his windshield, May 17, 2022, just outside Braddock, Pennsylvania.

In a campaign for a U.S. Senate seat that has brought out the worst in John Fetterman, I was bracing for the worst in a debate between Fetterman and Mehmet Oz.

That’s not to say I watched it. I don’t really care what they have to say because I already know their positions well enough. Having made my choice, it’s now all about the horse race for me. I’m more interested in how it plays.

I think there is a difference between how educated, even if still ignorant columnists at the relatively liberal Philadelphia Inquirer will interpret Fetterman’s performance[1] and how often-conservative, often-uneducated, often-anti-intellectual voters will interpret the performance. And as I read the comments on Twitter about the performance, it’s clear to me that Fetterman most certainly did not seal the deal. Some even refer to Fetterman’s performance as “cringeworthy.”

WILL IT MATTER? — Voters are not doctors. Many are myopic, distracted, and quick to make judgments with limited information. If there’s one thing everyone knows about campaign debates, it’s how superficial they are. We all remember RICHARD NIXON’s suspicious stubble and GEORGE H.W. BUSH’s impatient glance at his watch and AL GORE’s annoying sighs and DONALD TRUMP’s manic interruptions more than anything any of them said.

The median voter in Pennsylvania is a middle-aged white person with a mid-five-figure salary who did not attend college. That demographic is perhaps the least likely to be following the Fetterman ableism debate on Twitter and MSNBC.[2]

The same goes for Oz. Philadelphia Inquirer columnists criticize Oz for being a “snake oil salesman”[3] (which he actually is[4]), for being too slick.[5] I’ll take for granted that this is true. But remember that with the COVID-19 pandemic, many—far too many—Pennsylvania voters resisted Tom Wolf’s state of emergency and trimmed his powers,[6] resisted masks, continue to resist vaccines. I heard folks in my back seat advocate ivermectin. A lot of Pennsylvania voters are all about snake oil, by the barrel.

It’s obvious that Rep. DAN CRENSHAW is sightless in one eye or that Sen. TAMMY DUCKWORTH lost her legs. Nobody questions whether those injuries have an impact on their ability to serve in Congress.

But [John] Fetterman’s disability is different. It prevents him from performing adequately in a candidate ritual — the campaign debate — that has long been associated, correctly or not, with electability and effectiveness in Congress. The plain fact is that Fetterman was not capable of debating Oz. He could have skipped the debate, as some Democrats suggested he should have after it was over, but the Fetterman campaign gambled that the media would educate voters about his auditory issues and then referee any attacks on him with charges of ableism.

THE TRANSPARENCY ISSUE — But reporters are not doctors either. And Fetterman again declined Monday night to release comprehensive medical records about his condition. Instead he has gone the Trumpian route and issued a letter from his doctor, who has not made himself available to reporters.[7]

I think I agree that Fetterman would have been better off if he could have declined the debate. The problem here is that he’s already on the defensive, as Democrats already are generally, facing a midterm election where typically they would face a wipeout (though there are wildcards in this cycle[8]), having suffered a stroke and sounding inarticulate as a result, and with the economy and crime (for example, in Pittsburgh, see below) counting (unfairly) as strikes against Democrats. I don’t think he had that choice.

There are two well-worn cliches about debates: (1) They are rarely won but can sometimes be lost. (2) They are decided by the coverage in subsequent days rather than on debate night itself.

[John] Fetterman clearly lost last night. ”[T]he biggest issue was John Fetterman’s health and his ability to comprehend speech, and to then speak coherently on the issues of the day,” said LELAND VITTERT of NewsNation, which sponsored the debate, in what was typical of the immediate coverage.

But the Fetterman campaign is betting that Oz will lose the all-important post-debate conversation. Fetterman has a potent weapon: Oz’s statement that abortion should be left up to “women, doctors, local political leaders.”

The Fetterman campaign immediately seized on the line, promising it “will be putting money behind making sure as many women as possible hear Dr. Oz’s radical belief that ‘local political leaders’ should have as much say over a woman’s abortion decisons as women themselves and their doctors.” More than $1 million poured in from online donors in the hours after the debate, the campaign announced.[9]

Aaron Blake, “4 takeaways from the Fetterman-Oz debate,” Washington Post, October 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/10/25/fetterman-oz-debate-pennsylvania-senate-race/

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Who won the debate? Our Opinion staff weighs in,” October 25, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/inq2/john-fetterman-dr-mehmet-oz-debate-winner-20221025.html

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman debate in confrontation heavier on attacks than substantive policy,” October 25, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/10/25/fetterman-oz-debate-pa-senate-race-candidates-midterms/stories/202210250124

Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels to Playbook Daily Briefing list, “How much will John Fetterman’s rocky night matter?” Politico, October 26, 2022, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2022/10/26/how-much-will-john-fettermans-rocky-night-matter-00063500

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence


Fig. 1. “A woman reacts at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday’s shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, 2018,” photograph by Cathal McNaughton for Reuters, via ABC News, October 29, 2018,[10] fair use.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “3 wounded in shootings on South Side, Arlington,” October 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/10/23/pittsburgh-shooting-south-side-gas-station/stories/202210230184

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Police: Man shot and killed in vehicle in Wilkinsburg,” October 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/10/24/wilkinsburg-shooting-police-allegheny-county/stories/202210240052

Megan Guza, “Shots fired in Downtown hit charter school; no one injured,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 25, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/10/25/downtown-pittsburgh-shooting-near-passport-academy-charter-school-shots-hits-building/stories/202210250127


  1. [1]Philadelphia Inquirer, “Who won the debate? Our Opinion staff weighs in,” October 25, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/inq2/john-fetterman-dr-mehmet-oz-debate-winner-20221025.html
  2. [2]Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels to Playbook Daily Briefing list, “How much will John Fetterman’s rocky night matter?” Politico, October 26, 2022, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2022/10/26/how-much-will-john-fettermans-rocky-night-matter-00063500
  3. [3]Philadelphia Inquirer, “Who won the debate? Our Opinion staff weighs in,” October 25, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/inq2/john-fetterman-dr-mehmet-oz-debate-winner-20221025.html
  4. [4]Trip Gabriel, “Dr. Oz Says He’s Running for Senate in Pennsylvania,” New York Times, November 30, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/us/politics/dr-oz-senate-run-pennsylvania.html; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman debate in confrontation heavier on attacks than substantive policy,” October 25, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/10/25/fetterman-oz-debate-pa-senate-race-candidates-midterms/stories/202210250124
  5. [5]Philadelphia Inquirer, “Who won the debate? Our Opinion staff weighs in,” October 25, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/inq2/john-fetterman-dr-mehmet-oz-debate-winner-20221025.html
  6. [6]Ballotpedia News, “The State and Local Tap: Pennsylvania voters pass constitutional amendments to limit governor’s emergency orders,” May 22, 2021, https://news.ballotpedia.org/2021/05/22/the-state-and-local-tap-pennsylvania-voters-pass-constitutional-amendments-to-limit-governors-emergency-orders/; Sarah Anne Hughes, “Voters back curtailing Wolf’s emergency powers in win for GOP lawmakers,” Spotlight PA, May 19, 2021, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2021/05/pa-primary-2021-ballot-question-disaster-declaration-results/
  7. [7]Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels to Playbook Daily Briefing list, “How much will John Fetterman’s rocky night matter?” Politico, October 26, 2022, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2022/10/26/how-much-will-john-fettermans-rocky-night-matter-00063500
  8. [8]David Benfell, “The really, really, really wild wildcards in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/17/the-really-really-really-wild-wildcards-in-the-2022-and-2024-elections/
  9. [9]Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels to Playbook Daily Briefing list, “How much will John Fetterman’s rocky night matter?” Politico, October 26, 2022, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2022/10/26/how-much-will-john-fettermans-rocky-night-matter-00063500
  10. [10]Bill Hutchinson et al., “Pittsburgh synagogue-shooting suspect wheeled into courtroom; Trump to visit city Tuesday,” ABC News, October 29, 2019, https://abcnews.go.com/US/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect-discharged-hospital-set-make/story?id=58825389