DNC hired one group of ex-Hillary staffers to design broken vote app that’s undermining confidence in integrity of Iowa vote count—and another group of ex-Hillary staffers policing social media for “disinformation” about integrity of Iowa vote count. Because Russia. https://t.co/xVSbx7xk0h
-Iowa Democratic Party uses secretive app for caucus reporting
-App stops working a few hours before caucus begins
-Results trickle in but show dominating performance for Sanders, death knell for Biden camp
-Counting now shut down by DNC for “quality control”
This is about the DNC denying Sanders & the Not Me-US campaign the recognition & momentum of the first step in the primaries. This is 1% hired help Buttigieg showing he is Carl Rove's protege. This deliberate cock-up is an "honorable" out for the dead on arrival Biden campaign
First, Pete Buttigieg stops Iowa polls from being published. Then, with 111 votes for Bernie and 47 for Pete, they both receive 2 delegates at a caucus. Now, he funded the app that was supposed to track the caucus but ended up crashing, delaying the results.
A whole new generation of voters is energized and excited by #Bernie and #NotMeUs. They are the future of our democracy. And this pathetic display by the Democratic Party risks demoralizing and alienating them.
Things didn’t go smoothly in the Iowa caucuses as the Democratic Party cited ‘inconsistencies’ for delaying results. It’s to be expected that some will say, especially after 2016, that Bernie Sanders winning would be ‘inconsistent’ with Party dogma. But of course, proper answers won’t be forthcoming.
One of my reasons for skepticism about private space initiatives is that I am reluctant to trust my safety to the profit motive. You won’t find me in Elon Musk’s obsessive Mars colony or on Jeff Bezos’ space station, and not simply because it’s a moot point anyway. It’s yet another reason (I mainly abhor the security procedures) I am reluctant to fly; at least with my admittedly capitalist-built car, the speeds are a lot lower, I have a much shorter distance to fall, and I control the maintenance.
It’s about avoiding EU regulations that scotch innovation. On many matters of regulation, Brussels follows a precautionary principle – that is, a product must be proved safe to be approved, rather than proved dangerous to be banned.
As trade talks loom between the United Kingdom, demanding a neoliberal freedom from European Union regulation to innovate, and the more cautious E.U., it is apparent that this is what gives Boris Johnson his hard-on, even as British regulation is, in many areas, more stringent than European and Johnson “pinky promises” not to relax it.
That said, this is looking like a very hard Brexit, which some will say breaks yet another Johnson promise. Y’all should be used to that by now, but what really bugs me is the oh, so very familiar, neoliberal hubris: “In either case [whether a Canadian- or Australian-style deal with the E.U.], I have no doubt that Britain will prosper.” This is the same rhetoric that propelled so-called “free” (for whom, to do what, to whom?) trade in the U.S., the same hubris that the U.S. could “compete with the world.” Post-industrial decline and abusive jobs prove it wrong.
Hillary Clinton just won’t shut the fuck up. And whatever each of their supporters may be doing,she’s the one setting the tone here, certainly not Bernie Sanders. In general, there’s a shrillness to the neoconservative (and therefore neoliberal) wing of the party that does nothing to refute my contention that the party is determined to stop Sanders.
Brace yourself, the DNC is launching its troll army (branded as “troll fighters”😂) headed by a former Hillary staffer to counter “disinformation”. If you use the word “rigged”, they will come after you. Get ready to be called a Russian all over again. https://t.co/qxROS9lrQ3
After 2016, and in light of the above, not a lot of people anywhere near my end of the spectrum are going to trust the Democratic National Committee as it goes after people complaining the contest in 2020 is rigged.
But as I’ve said before, the principle here is not victory, but neoliberalism. Donald Trump may not be much of a neoliberal, but with deregulation and tax cuts, he’s certainly more of one than Sanders.
As I wonder how in the world I’m going to pay my taxes this year, I see one of my neighbors may have a more pressing dilemma.
There’s a bright pink notice taped to her door informing her of an arrest warrant. Assuming its veracity, she was busted for speeding and not having had her vehicle inspected (Pennsylvania has an annual vehicle inspection scheme to help keep local mechanics afloat).
From what I gather, such violations are how the local cops harass Blacks. Whites rarely face such tickets.
And it’s not like I’m the only white noticing this. Sure, I talk about all this with Blacks, but I also talk about it with whites. And a few of them have noticed at least some of what I’ve noticed. Those that grew up here are less likely to have noticed, but when I inform them of my observations, I don’t even have to explain my logic—they, too, are often horrified.
As this issue goes online, the hour for Brexit has now passed.
It’s not at all uncommon to see squirrels in the roadway as I drive around Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, quite a few end up as roadkill.
But today I saw one of a sort I hadn’t seen before. S/he saw me coming, scampered off to the side by a parked car, turned around, and stood on his/her hind legs, revealing a white chest and belly.
Against an otherwise grey coat, it was really rather fetching.
Boris Johnson accepted border checks on the Irish Sea. Now, it seems, he’ll have them in the English Channel as well, suggesting that this state of affairs will not be temporary.
The Prime Minister will say sovereignty is more important than frictionless trade, defying warnings from Brussels that the UK must accept EU standards on goods if it wants the best possible deal.
Whitehall sources have told The Daily Telegraph that while Mr [Boris] Johnson wants to avoid tariffs and quotas on cross-Channel trade, he will never cave in to demands for alignment on regulations, despite knowing “the consequences that flow from that”.
Look for long lines in Dover and shortages in Britain as distributors adjust. But hey, wave that Union Jack.
Not seein’ much love for Donald Trump’s plan from anyone except the Israelis and the Trump administration.
I saw a comment correctly emphasizing that Palestinian voices should be heard on Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” But the truth is, their reaction is no more surprising than that of the Israelis. The so-called deal—a ‘diktat,’ as multiple scholars have labeled it—stinks and Palestinians know it. What’s more interesting is when pretty much everyone else recognizes it as well.
In normal times, this would suggest that Trump has failed at his ostensible aim. His ‘deal’ has no credibility. But we must remember that for Trump, the only people who matter are those who vote for him, principally authoritarian populists and social conservatives. The former have made clear they will carry on worshipping him as a hero regardless. The latter, especially those who see Jewish control of Jerusalem as indicating the second coming, will be thrilled. And he’ll at least split neoconservatives (this group includes #NeverTrump holdouts like Bill Kristol) who are unambiguously pro-Israel, joining Israel’s government in labeling anyone who opposes Israel’s policies as anti-Semitic.
Binyamin Netanyahu thinks he’s gotten a good deal. Natan Sachs notes that his “preferences on nearly everything are reflected here.” But Bruce Riedel recalls that “President Ronald Reagan tried to get the Arabs to accept his plan in 1982. Despite considerable pressure, King Hussein rejected it. The Trump plan is likely heading for the same outcome.” Which means it’s Trump who’s gotten the deal. And pretty much no one else.
I’m uneasy in my mind as to how closely to follow this. I generally prefer to wait for resolutions rather than taking note of every twist and turn. But to lump this issue in with others in how I treat it may not be just. Whatever I decide, this article summarizes the state of play, with lawsuits both in favor of and opposing ratification.
To the extent there was ever a possibility that the Senate might call witnesses in the impeachment of Donald Trump, it appears to be fading fast. In the meantime,
For more than a week, House managers prosecuting the impeachment case against Trump have argued that the Senate’s failure to convict him would make Trump an unaccountable leader; in effect, a dictator or a king. When [Alan] Dershowitz spoke, it was as if he completely agreed with them. Two days earlier, Dershowitz had told senators that Presidential “abuse of power” should not be considered an impeachable offense under the Constitution. On Wednesday, he took that further—much further. “If a President does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” he argued. Dershowitz was offering Trump—and all future Presidents—a free pass. His argument seemed unbelievable: as long as the President thinks his reëlection will benefit the country, he can do anything in pursuit of it without fear of impeachment.
I guess we should just start calling him King narcissist-in-chief.
My guess is that this is not what Gavin Newsom, who has, on balance, been governing as a progressive, means:
PG&E had been on the defensive for months after a group of bondholders made their own alliance with wildfire victims and mounted a hostile takeover bid for the utility. The bondholders, led by Wall Street hedge fund Elliott Management, insisted their takeover plan is still better for California and said PG&E’s proposal would burden the company with billions in new debt.
With Newsom rejecting PG&E’s plan, the bondholders’ effort gets new life.
I’m thinking more along the lines of,
“Nothing I can think of says, ‘screw the public interest’ like a hedge fund-owned public utility,” [Dave] King said.
It’s a historic defeat for Labour, not only because of the new margin in Parliament, but because so many voted.
I’m not sure how much attention I’ll pay to the analysis. But it appears that Labour’s manifesto was not more attractive to voters than the Tories’ certainty on Brexit.
Having studied conservatism exhaustively for my dissertation, if I had to boil it all down to a single word it would be this: hateful. In its various forms, conservatism hates the “other” and identifies with the powerful, utterly disdaining the weak. And this is what Britons have voted for.
Having studied conservatism exhaustively for my dissertation,https://t.co/k2Ua2wEMiu if I had to boil it all down to a single word it would be this: hateful. In its various forms, conservatism hates the "other" and identifies with the powerful, utterly disdaining the weak. 1/2
As near as I have been able to determine, the resolution passed by the Senate is correct. As David Fromkin puts it,
There are historians today who continue to support the claim of Enver and Talaat that the Ottoman rulers acted only after Armenia had risen against them. But observers at the time who were by no means anti-Turk reported that such was not the case. German officers stationed there agreed that the area was quiet until the deportations began.
A few days ago, I found a couple more gratuitous guns. One is actually not very far from my apartment, just on a street I don’t drive on very often, and because my complex includes many Black residents, I can accept that this one might be metaphorically aimed at Blacks. The other is in an area I’m much less familiar with, along the Monongahela River in Washington County. I don’t know the racial make-up near the latter location but an initial impression suggests this one is not so metaphorically aimed.
Both of these additions raise an issue of how I am assessing metaphorical aims. I need to dredge up demographic maps, preferably spanning several decades. Such demographics need to cover both race and class.
Just a quick note on Brexit: The British Press is already in full horse race mode coverage of the forthcoming election. You might have already gathered that this is not the sort of coverage that interests me and that I think political surveys—now boasting a nine percent response rate—should be discounted entirely. Which is to say campaign coverage is bullshit. All of it. Every last diarrhetic drop spewed from the bulls’ asses with such a velocity and range as to cast doubt as to whether any green grass may be found.
Originally published, October 26, 7:14 pm. Note: All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) unless otherwise noted.
October 26, 9:39 pm:
The mandatory evacuation area for the Kincade fire has expanded. Notably, it now includes my mother’s house. Areas being warned have shifted south (figure 1). Graphics have been updated.
October 27, 4:36 am:
To be honest, I’m somewhat perplexed. Even as it appears firefighters are gaining significant control over the Kincade fire and that it has not advanced in the direction of Highway 101, evacuation warnings have now been issued for a relatively small part of northwest Santa Rosa that, ominously, approaches an evacuation center (figure 1). Winds have shifted and are now strongly off-shore. In addition, the evacuation zones are now numbered. Graphics and text have been updated.
October 27, 8:28 am:
I haven’t received notifications, which may mean that map updates were out of sync with the notifications I received. It now appears more of Santa Rosa is under mandatory evacuation (figure 1). Winds are now off-shore at 40+ miles per hour. It seems to me that the Santa Rosa evacuation center is now being encroached upon with mandatory evacuation orders on the north and west sides (figure 1). According to the Cal Fire incident page, Kincade fire containment is at 10 percent. Graphics have been updated.
It is harder for me to keep up to date during the day, while I’m working, but I’m packing my Chromebook today. I will try.
October 27, 1:05 pm:
A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for another piece of Santa Rosa, drawing very near the evacuation center there and the Kincade fire looking very much more serious than it did overnight (figure 1). Wind speeds appear to exceed 50 miles per hour. The fire is now up to 30,000 acres and still at only 10 percent containment.
Amidst all the drama, there is, of course, a very real human toll. Some folks are saying they don’t want to repeat their experience from two years ago. As the evacuation orders arrive, they are considering more permanent departures. And it really is something to think about when you can’t rely on the lights being on, as aquifers draw ever lower, and as suffocating smoke becomes an annual occurrence. This isn’t civilization anymore. It may be spectacular, but it’s hell.
October 27, 9:12 pm:
Be sure to look through the slide show in this Press-Democrat coverage. I recognize some of the places as places I’ve been.
They’re ordinary places really. The sort of places you take for granted as you drive right on by. Ordinary, that is, except for those who lived and worked in them. Their lives are forever changed.
And if you feel a sense of deja vu, that’s kind of my point. This is how it’s been for fire after fire after fire. That bravado we always cheer, where victims swear they’ll rebuild, seems hollow now.
October 28, 4:30 am:
Containment is now at 5 percent of over 54,000 acres in the Kincade fire. I’m having trouble telling from the Incident map (figure 1) how far into Windsor the fire has reached. The distance from northern Windsor to my mother’s house is a little less but traverses the same rugged dry terrain that a spread from Healdsburg would. It appears there is a shift in the weather pattern (figure 2) but I am not at this moment able to determine its significance. The winds have dropped but that may only be because it is night time. Graphics have been updated.
October 28, 10:09 am:
It kind of looks like I failed to publish the 4:30 am update. Oops.
As of now, the Incident Map (figure 1) is making clear that where previously the main part of the Kincade fire had seemed to be in mountainous terrain, it now seems to be moving towards, if not into, Healdsburg and Windsor. Containment is at five percent of over 66,000 acres. Winds seem to have weakened for the moment and it appears the region is in for a bit of a respite on Monday (today) before conditions worsen again on Tuesday.
“Cal Fire officials said they were concerned that the fire would jump Highway 128 into fuel-laden land that has not burned in decades.” I’m not sure what the Sacramento Bee reporters mean when they talk about Highway 128, which runs into Mendocino County north of Cloverdale, along Highway 101 to Geyserville, and then east over the mountains into Lake County. Though there’s certainly land there that hasn’t burned yet, Lake County burned before Sonoma County in several massive fires over several years.
My concern however is with the fire’s move toward Windsor and Healdsburg. If the Kincade fire jumps Highway 101 (the latest incident map, figure 1, suggests it’s reaching right to it), which is what the Tubbs Fire did two years ago, and heads towards my mother’s house, I don’t think any of that territory has burned in decades either. And it looks to me like it’s getting close.
In the meantime,
The Kincade Fire and other blazes that erupted Sunday during the heavy winds closed several major roadways, including Interstate 80, the main east-west highway through Northern California between San Francisco and the Nevada state line. I-80 was closed for several hours between Vallejo and Crockett because of brush fires raging at both ends of the Carquinez Bridge, but reopened by mid-afternoon.
Apparently this is happening all over the state. I said earlier that this is hell. It’s hell. And yeah, reminiscent of when the Sonoma County fires broke out in 2017.
October 28, 8:13 pm:
The humiliation of Boris Johnson continues as “he was forced to grudgingly accept the European Union’s offer to delay Brexit until January, and then lost a motion in Parliament to stage a general election before Christmas.” (Brexit)
There’s apparently no real news on the Kincade fire. I am updating the graphics nonetheless. The fire does seem like it is spreading towards Healdsburg if not into it (figure 1) and winds are currently on shore.
October 29, 3:51 am:
As if Brexit was ever, even once, really on track, it’s gone off the rails again as Boris Johnson has “abandoned” the withdrawal bill because he wants an election so bad. You know, like he wants Brexit itself. And yeah, I’m not the only one calling bullshit.
The evacuation orders for much of west Sonoma County, including (just barely) my mother’s house, have been reduced to warnings, though the incident map (figure 1) also seems to show the fire further encroaching on Healdsburg. Cal Fire says it has achieved fifteen percent containment on over 74,000 acres. The winds are shifting again, in line with earlier forecasts. The warning means people need to be ready to leave on a moment’s notice, so this isn’t really clearance for people to return home. This fire still looks incredibly dangerous to me and if those forecasts hold, I expect we’ll see a much more alarming picture later in the day. Text below has mostly been removed—look to these updates instead. Graphics have been updated.
October 29, 10:13 am:
Labour will back an election, improving the likelihood that one will occur in December. The call for such an election was likely to succeed anyway, leaving Labour in the unenviable position of going into an election it had opposed. (Brexit)
People are mad at Pacific Gas and Electric, and have reason to be, especially with the Kincade fire, but it’s worth remembering the climate crisis is a major contributor. Winds are still relatively weak but have now shifted to an off-shore direction. They keep changing how they show the fire intensity and spread in the Sonoma County Incident Map and I am especially unfond of the latest iteration.
I see now (figure 1) that Healdsburg is across the Russian River from the fire and the fire has not jumped the river there. But parts of Windsor, especially the north and east are on fire.
The fire is very close to Highway 101 (figure 1). The road, which is marked as closed, is only four lanes (plus a median) wide there. I can’t imagine that a good gust of wind won’t enable the fire to jump the highway into terrain that I don’t think has burned in a very long time. But they’ve still got a lot of west Sonoma County only on an evacuation warning phase.
I gotta tell you, this doesn’t help to bolster confidence in their logic for how they ordered evacuations and when. Graphics are updated.
October 29, 2019, 9:06 pm:
Parliament has approved an election to be held on December 12, which is just what Boris Johnson wanted. I am disappointed the franchise will not be extended to 16-year olds and European Union nationals: Their futures are at stake, even more than those of the old fogies who so desperately want out of the E.U.
The Kincade fire is now 15 percent contained at over 75,000 acres. The fire remains close to, but on the east side of Highway 101. Evacuation warnings are now shown for adjacent parts of Lake County (figure 1). Winds are strongly in an off-shore direction, but not so strong over such a wide area as before.
October 30, 4:33 am:
Little seems to have changed with the Kincade fire since the last update, except that stronger winds are appearing over a broader area. Which is to suggest that firefighters seem to be pretty much holding the line, and that if the wind forecast holds, the worst should be over. For now. Graphics have been updated.
The Kincade fire is at 30 percent containment and nearly 77,000 acres. Firefighters seem to be holding the line in areas I’ve been most concerned with but I think maybe not so well to the north and east. Unfortunately there’s a weird cut off in the graphics in figure 1 that makes this harder to discern. Winds are strong and off-shore but not as strong and not as strongly over as wide an area as before. Graphics have been updated.
October 30, 7:00 pm:
Asserting the supremacy of state law, an Allegheny County judge struck down Pittsburgh’s gun control laws, which were passed in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting last year.
My methodology here is weak beyond compare, but I’m guessing from his avatar that Nathan Heller is a lot younger than I am. That said, his recollection of fires in the San Francisco area is about like mine. California just isn’t the place it used to be. It is, as the headline on Annie Lowrey’s exploration of how the Wildlife-Urban Interface came to be so heavily populated proclaims, becoming unlivable. (Kincade fire)
Winds are still offshore, but not nearly so strongly as earlier even today. Updated containment figures are not yet available. A lot of east Windsor appears to have burned or to be on fire but Healdsburg continues to be spared. Overall, the Kincade fire looks much less active and evacuation orders and warnings seem to be receding (figure 1). My mother will be going home tomorrow. Graphics have been updated.
Barring unforeseen developments, I will end this issue here. It’s become unusual for me to hold an issue open like this for several days on end but I did so on account of the Kincade fire. At this moment, that no longer seems to be justified.
I’ve been working on my page entitled, “Pittsburgh driving for the uninitiated anyway, but it turns out that Pittsburgh navigation is sufficiently difficult that it merits a CityLab article. Yes, it really is that bad. And worse.
Fig. 1. Screenshot of Sonoma County Incident Map, taken on October 30, 2019, at 7:37 pm EDT (4:37 pm PDT). Click on this static image to open the source.
Fig. 2. 72-hour gif of Northeast Pacific satellite photos, taken two hours apart, as of October 30, 6:00 pm EDT (3:00 pm PDT).
Jonathan Cox, another Cal Fire spokesman, called the evacuation orders a preventive measure against “a worst-case scenario for this fire.” Capt. Stephen Volmer, a fire behavior analyst with the agency, said the winds were expected to start blowing the fire in a southwesterly direction beginning about 8 p.m. [PDT] toward Highway 101.
A lot of Sonoma County still has visible scars from the fires two years ago. The psychic scars are, of course, longer lasting. But all I can really say is that the scenes I have seen there are, in a way, beyond description. There is an impact just from seeing the burned areas, or even just driving around a curve and being confronted with burned vegetation. Let alone seeing pads where homes used to be.