The good news is we have a Speaker of the House. The bad news is he’s Donald Trump’s man

I have mostly—only mostly—dug my way out of the latest round of technology issues. My new iPhone remains out of action—I had it checked at the Apple Store and confirmed that the problem is with my new carrier, who likely thought, but won’t admit to thinking I was running a server over their mobile data connection. I’ve got that misunderstanding straightened out, I think, but I still don’t have mobile data restored to the phone, rendering it mostly useless.

But along the way, my notebook started misbehaving. This required a wipe and reinstall. Fortunately, no data appears to have been lost.

On top of it all, the curtain rod I put in for blackout curtains started falling out of the wall. I seem not to have succeeded in finding a stud for the screws that hold it in the wall. Hopefully, the repair will last until I move out, probably next April.

Oh, and I had to arrange to have the window air conditioner taken down to my landlord’s garage for the winter.

Meanwhile, all this has distracted from working. The technology issues have been ludicrously time consuming, probably erasing any advantage that would be won with the new phone, at least in the short term, as the winter slowdown in business takes hold.

I did make a touch more money on the one day I was able to work with the new phone, so I do think there is an advantage, but one is a crappy sample size, so this remains to be seen. Whatever it is, I’ll be calling Boost tomorrow.



Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023

Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Clare Foran et al., “Tom Emmer drops out of speaker’s race, hours after being nominated,” Cable News Network, October 24, 2023,

Victor Reklaitis, “Tom Emmer nominated for speaker by House Republicans,” MarketWatch, October 24, 2023,

Victor Reklaitis, “Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson nominated for speaker by House Republicans,” MarketWatch, October 24, 2023,

Lauren Fedor, “Donald Trump ally Mike Johnson elected US House Speaker after weeks of gridlock,” Financial Times, October 25, 2023,

Bess Levin, “Mike Johnson Said Same-Sex Marriage Would Lead to People Marrying Their Pets, Wanted to Sentence Abortion Doctors to ‘Hard Labor,’” Vanity Fair, October 25, 2023,

Competitive authoritarian regime project

Fig. 1. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Clarence Mitchell during signing ceremony of the voting rights act. Yoichi Okamoto, August 6, 1965, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Jill Nolin, “Federal judge strikes down Georgia’s political maps, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board,” Georgia Recorder, October 26, 2023,



Fig. 1. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Annie Palmer, “Amazon’s focus on speed, surveillance drives higher warehouse worker injuries, study finds,” CNBC, October 25, 2023,

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