A criminal in 10 Downing Street

Brexit

Boris Johnson has threatened to refuse to comply with the law requiring he seek an extension to Brexit.[1] Sound like someone else we know? I mean, this is more explicit—with Donald Trump, on the other hand, it’s more like a denial the law even applies to him.

Heather Stewart and Severin Carrell, “Boris Johnson short of options as rebels vow to secure Brexit delay,” Guardian, September 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/06/boris-johnson-short-of-options-as-rebels-vow-to-secure-brexit-delay


Hong Kong

Steven Lee Myers, Chris Buckley, and Keith Bradsher, “Is Xi Mishandling Hong Kong Crisis? Hints of Unease in China’s Leadership,” New York Times, September 7, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/world/asia/china-hong-kong-xi-jinping.html


Veganism

There is a new blog post entitled, “The question of methodology and that allegedly higher risk of stroke for vegans.”

Nina Avramova, “Vegetarians might have higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, study says,” CNN, September 4, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/health/vegetarian-vegan-diet-stroke-heart-disease-risk-intl/index.html


  1. [1]Heather Stewart and Severin Carrell, “Boris Johnson short of options as rebels vow to secure Brexit delay,” Guardian, September 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/06/boris-johnson-short-of-options-as-rebels-vow-to-secure-brexit-delay

Fun with a cell phone

So Android 10 came out yesterday and as near as I can tell, it still doesn’t support dual SIM, dual standby (DSDS), which enables me to combine my two old phones onto one. It had been expected to do so.

That meant going down to the Apple Store to get an unlocked cell phone.

Then nobody local knew how to get DSDS working at least with my particular set up. AT&T put in a nanoSIM card such as is the usual. But I needed Verizon to go on something called eSIM.

Fortunately I got somebody at Verizon online chat who knew how to do it.

So now I have both lines running on one phone instead of having to carry two of the damned things.

Unfortunately, I have to learn my way around an iPhone.


Hong Kong

There is a new blog post entitled, “Treading on a tiger’s tail.”

Lily Kuo and Verna Yu, “Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam denies offering to resign,” Guardian, September 3, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/03/hong-kong-protests-carrie-lam-denies-she-considered-resigning

Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, “Hong Kong leader fully withdraws extradition bill, a demand of protesters,” Washington Post, September 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hong-kong-leader-expected-to-fully-withdraw-extradition-bill-a-demand-of-protesters/2019/09/04/b3ca1dec-cee0-11e9-87fa-8501a456c003_story.html


Brexit

Boris Johnson followed through[1] on his threat to “deselect” Conservative members of Parliament who voted against him.[2]

So Tuesday night, Boris Johnson found “himself at the command of a minority government 22 MPs short of a majority, having effectively sacked some of his own most eminent MPs.”[3] It didn’t get better for Johnson: “By Wednesday, after defections and excommunications, he was 43 seats short of a working majority, making it nearly impossible for him to pass any legislation, even on non-Brexit bills.”[4] With tactics like this, it does not appear likely this will be his last comeuppance.[5]

So, now what? The Times has a flowchart.[6] No wonder you’re confused. I know I am.
methodetimesprodwebbinb3e05f1e-c
Start with “Rebels take control of order paper” and proceed directly to “Extension Bill Passes Commons.” Times graphic, September 4, 2019,[7] fair use.

The Lords are expected to pass the legislation requiring Johnson to request an extension, which would take us to Johnson scrambling to try to defer royal assent or failing. And the Commons refused to endorse an election because they couldn’t trust Johnson to call it before the current Brexit day, October 31. Oh, but Donald Trump still thinks Johnson can get the job done.[8]

I gotta tell you, I don’t remember ever seeing a political collapse like this. This is like carefully setting explosives in a building for demolition, detonating them, and then being surprised and even angered when the damned thing actually comes down.

Charlie Cooper, Annabelle Dickson, and Emilio Casalicchio, “Boris Johnson loses control,” Politico, September 4, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-loses-control-brexit/

Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7

Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson suffers two major losses in Parliament, leaving his governing authority and the terms of Brexit in doubt,” Washington Post, September 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-parliament-brexit-vote/2019/09/04/cc934b1c-cb6d-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html


  1. [1]Charlie Cooper, Annabelle Dickson, and Emilio Casalicchio, “Boris Johnson loses control,” Politico, September 4, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-loses-control-brexit/; Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7
  2. [2]Jessica Elgot, “Johnson could sacrifice majority by withdrawing whip from rebel MPs,” Guardian, September 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/01/boris-johnson-brexit-sacrifice-majority-by-withdrawing-whip-from-rebel-mps
  3. [3]Charlie Cooper, Annabelle Dickson, and Emilio Casalicchio, “Boris Johnson loses control,” Politico, September 4, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-loses-control-brexit/
  4. [4]Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson suffers two major losses in Parliament, leaving his governing authority and the terms of Brexit in doubt,” Washington Post, September 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-parliament-brexit-vote/2019/09/04/cc934b1c-cb6d-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html
  5. [5]Charlie Cooper, Annabelle Dickson, and Emilio Casalicchio, “Boris Johnson loses control,” Politico, September 4, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-loses-control-brexit/; Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7; Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Britain may face snap elections after Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffers major loss in Parliament,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/showdown-set-for-the-british-parliament-as-legislators-return-from-summer-recess/2019/09/03/105ecca6-cb6c-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html; Esther Webber and Kate Devlin, “Try and stop me rebelling, Philip Hammond tells No 10,” Times, September 3, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/try-and-stop-me-rebelling-philip-hammond-tells-no-10-kbdzj8nwf
  6. [6]Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7
  7. [7]Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7
  8. [8]Francis Elliott and Oliver Wright, “Moderates attack Boris Johnson after Tory rebels have whip removed,” Times, September 4, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-rebels-defy-boris-johnson-in-historic-vote-hbnhhpzh7; Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson suffers two major losses in Parliament, leaving his governing authority and the terms of Brexit in doubt,” Washington Post, September 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-parliament-brexit-vote/2019/09/04/cc934b1c-cb6d-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html

The world’s worst poker player

Brexit

Boris Johnson keeps raising the ante. There is a new blog entry entitled, “The world’s worst poker player, on a jet-powered bicycle at full throttle toward a brick wall.” He might be strapping on a rocket next.

Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Britain may face snap elections after Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffers major loss in Parliament,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/showdown-set-for-the-british-parliament-as-legislators-return-from-summer-recess/2019/09/03/105ecca6-cb6c-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html

Peter Walker and Jessica Elgot, “Boris Johnson’s ultimatum: back me or face 14 October election,” Guardian, September 2, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/02/boris-johnson-threatens-to-ignore-mps-on-no-deal-brexit

Esther Webber and Kate Devlin, “Try and stop me rebelling, Philip Hammond tells No 10,” Times, September 3, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/try-and-stop-me-rebelling-philip-hammond-tells-no-10-kbdzj8nwf


Recession

I’ve been inclined to think a recession is on the way for a while now[1] for a bunch of reasons.[2] Now Aaron Back, writing for the Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column opines that “[s]igns of a possible recession keep stacking up. At some point it no longer makes sense to keep explaining them away.” The manufacturing index dipping below 50 is not a perfect recession signal and Back seems to think it’s less reliable than the inverted yield curve. But he concludes, “With both the yield curve and manufacturing surveys flashing red at the same time, it would be foolish to dismiss them both. No wonder investors are spooked.”[3]

Ruth Simon, Megumi Fujikawa, and Paul Hannon, “U.S.-China Trade War’s Global Impact Grows,” Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-china-trade-wars-global-impact-grows-11567466809

Aaron Back, “Another Recession Sign to Ignore at Your Peril,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-recession-sign-to-ignore-at-your-peril-11567530230


Hong Kong

Natasha Khan and Eva Dou, “Beijing Asserts Power to Declare Emergency to Quell Hong Kong Unrest,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/beijing-asserts-power-to-declare-emergency-to-quell-hong-kong-unrest-11567509276


Dorian

Continental US - Clean Longwave Window - IR
As of 8:00 am, Dorian’s eye had moved off of Grand Bahama, but the storm was still lashing the island. The storm had weakened to category 3,[4] but appeared to be beginning to affect Florida. It killed at least five people on the Abaco islands, to the east of Grand Bahama.[5]

The storm has weakened further since, to category 2, but looks set to graze the Atlantic Coast all the way up to Newfoundland.[6]
eusgm-2019-09-03-20FireShot Capture 083 - HURRICANE DORIAN - www.nhc.noaa.gov
72-hour gif, images 2 hours apart, as of 8:00 pm and National Hurricane Center storm track forecast as of 8:00 pm.

Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “Dorian expands in size as tropical storm conditions hit Florida and the hurricane risk increases in the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/03/hurricane-dorian-is-set-creep-north-closer-florida-georgia-carolinas-after-pounding-bahamas/

Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839


  1. [1]David Benfell, “About that recession timing and the 2020 election,” Not Housebroken, August 25, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/25/about-that-recession-timing-and-the-2020-election/
  2. [2]Jon Hilsenrath, “After Record-Long Expansion, Here’s What Could Knock the Economy Off Course,” Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-record-long-expansion-heres-what-could-knock-the-economy-off-course-11559591043; John Kemp, “Global economy is probably in recession,” Reuters, August 7, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-economy-kemp/column-global-economy-is-probably-in-recession-idUKKCN1UX1OF; Colin Kruger, “‘Insane levels’: Can a world where profitless companies are flying last?” Sydney Morning Herald, August 10, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/insane-levels-can-a-world-where-profitless-companies-are-flying-last-20190808-p52f3d.html; Damian Paletta, Thomas Heath, and Taylor Telford, “Stocks tank as another recession warning surfaces,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/14/stocks-tank-another-recession-warning-surfaces/; Tim Wallace, “‘Very real’ recession risk as economy contracts for first time in seven years,” Telegraph, August 9, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/08/09/recession-risk-now-real-economy-contracts-first-time-seven-years/; Tim Wallace, “World economy faces a risk that’s far bigger than Trump’s trade war,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 9, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/world-economy-faces-a-risk-that-s-far-bigger-than-trump-s-trade-war-20190809-p52ffs.html
  3. [3]Aaron Back, “Another Recession Sign to Ignore at Your Peril,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-recession-sign-to-ignore-at-your-peril-11567530230
  4. [4]Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839
  5. [5]Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839
  6. [6]Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “Dorian expands in size as tropical storm conditions hit Florida and the hurricane risk increases in the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/03/hurricane-dorian-is-set-creep-north-closer-florida-georgia-carolinas-after-pounding-bahamas/

Boris Johnson isn’t even a bad poker player

Brexit

There is a new blog post entitled, “Even bad poker players know better.”

Jessica Elgot, “Johnson could sacrifice majority by withdrawing whip from rebel MPs,” Guardian, September 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/01/boris-johnson-brexit-sacrifice-majority-by-withdrawing-whip-from-rebel-mps

Kate Proctor, “Irish border after Brexit – all ideas are beset by issues says secret paper,” Guardian, September 2, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/02/irish-border-after-brexit-all-ideas-beset-by-issues


Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has pounded the northernmost islands of the Bahamas with winds gusting to more than 220mph (355km/h), the biggest storm to hit the Caribbean island chain in modern times.[1]

And of course this somehow has to be about Donald Trump, his astonishing ignorance, and his raging narcissism:

The storm decreased to category 4 and is expected to weaken further.[2] I would be cautious about that: The eye was passing over land, even if only the northwestern Bahama Islands; storms have been known to regain strength when they return to open water. It now appears to be turning north, off of Grand Bahama.
eusgm-2019-09-02-20
72-hour gif, images two hours apart (missing two images, from 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, from yesterday), as of 8:00 pm.

Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “Historic Hurricane Dorian unleashing ‘catastrophic’ blow in northern Bahamas. Hurricane warnings posted for Florida’s east coast,” Washington Post, September 1, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/01/catastrophic-hurricane-dorian-unleashes-devastating-blow-northern-bahamas-takes-aim-southeast-us/

Richard Luscombe, “Hurricane Dorian: first reported death as category 5 storm hits Bahamas,” Guardian, September 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/01/hurricane-dorian-bahamas-us-flooding-florida-south-north-carolina

Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman, “‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Dorian blasting Bahamas while bearing down on Florida, threatening Georgia and the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/02/catastrophic-hurricane-dorian-blasting-bahamas-bearing-down-florida-georgia-carolinas/


Hong Kong

Stack-HongKongDispatch
Undated photograph attributed to Anthony Kwan, via the New Yorker.[3]

I have wondered since Britain agreed to hand over Hong Kong how this could possibly end well. It seems we’re seeing the answer. I hope I’m wrong.

Megan K. Stack, “Bravery and Nihilism on the Streets of Hong Kong,” New Yorker, August 31, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/bravery-and-nihilism-amid-the-protests-in-hong-kong

Violet Law, “Looking to future, school students join Hong Kong protests,” Al Jazeera, September 2, 2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/future-school-students-join-hong-kong-protests-190902082122134.html

Iain Marlow, Aaron McNicholas, and Natalie Lung, “Hong Kong Officials Urge Calm While Warning of ‘Signs of Terror,’” Bloomberg, September 2, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-02/hong-kong-officials-urge-calm-while-warning-of-signs-of-terror


  1. [1]Richard Luscombe, “Hurricane Dorian: first reported death as category 5 storm hits Bahamas,” Guardian, September 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/01/hurricane-dorian-bahamas-us-flooding-florida-south-north-carolina
  2. [2]Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman, “‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Dorian blasting Bahamas while bearing down on Florida, threatening Georgia and the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/02/catastrophic-hurricane-dorian-blasting-bahamas-bearing-down-florida-georgia-carolinas/
  3. [3]Megan K. Stack, “Bravery and Nihilism on the Streets of Hong Kong,” New Yorker, August 31, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/bravery-and-nihilism-amid-the-protests-in-hong-kong