The pro-Israeli scorpion is only part of this story

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 18, 2:59 pm.
  2. February 19, 12:52 am:
    • Oh wow. I forgot to give this post a title. It has one now, “The pro-Israeli scorpion is only part of this story.”
    • Several states have sued over Donald Trump’s border wall ’emergency.’[1] (Unauthorized migration)
    • British businesses want Theresa May to rule out a hard Brexit.[2] (Brexit)
  3. February 19, 2:29 pm:
    • To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to summarize this New Yorker article on so-called Ridesharing services. It covers a lot of ground, rambles a bit, and, I suspect, just might be the pre-runner to a book.[3]
    • Jeff Sparrow writes of Australia, but his comments regarding the politics of Climate Change[4] apply more broadly.
    • One thing I can promise is that the Census Bureau’s claim to be able to overcome the problem of an incompletely estimated 630,000 people failing to respond to the 2020 Census questionnaire due to the citizenship question will not work out the way the Bureau now—in stark contrast to earlier opposition to the question—claims it will.[5] And I’m pretty confident that, while they will likely remain silent, most Census Bureau workers, certainly those above the level of field representative, are quite well aware of this. (Unauthorized migration)
  4. February 20, 2019, 1:08 am:
    • Originally, I wasn’t going to archive this story,[6] but it neatly encapsulates the ideology that lends weight to my conviction that traffic engineers are actually malicious.[7] It’s about Cambridge, Massachusetts, where officials decided a while ago to reduce the rate of car ownership in their town. They have not been as successful as they hoped,[8] which should be an object lesson on the topic of “getting people out of their cars,” a planning mantra, that Sebastopol implemented with its “Cittaslow” (I’ll call it “ShitAssSlow“) program that took away car lanes on a state highway in favor of (so far) lightly used bike lanes.[9] Unfortunately, this article is entirely too optimistic about the Cambridge project,[10] offering other strategies that Sebastopol officials might emulate. I just can’t wait.
  5. February 20, 3:26 am:
    • So the latest developments in a story I’ve mostly been rolling my eyes about and not archiving because some things are just too much, are that newly-inaugurated California Governor Gavin Newsom temporarily scaled back now-former Governor Jerry Brown’s pet California High-Speed Rail project to something that might actually be achievable, even unambitious, and certainly not sexy, while the rest is to be reconsidered. So now Donald Trump has gotten involved, demanding California refund federal contributions for the project. The article includes a lot of background (and yeah, as if you had to ask, of course, Trump is full of shit).[11]

Brexit

The anti-Semitism issue has been doing a bit more than simmering for a while. At least part of it—I don’t know the whole of it—is that anything less than full support for Israeli ethnic cleansing amounts to, in some eyes, especially the eyes of those who support Israeli policies in the occupied territories, anti-Semitism.

Blower.png
There’s a point here, too. Cartoon by Patrick Blower, February 19, 2019, fair use.[12]

There is a parallel between turmoil in the Labour Party in Britain and the U.S. Democratic Party in that both parties suffer a split between progressive and mainstream factions, with the mainstream utterly convinced of neoconservative and neoliberal righteousness and progressives increasingly saying no more. Look at who resigned: The politics of this split figures prominently as some of the newly self-styled “independents” have even lost confidence votes in their erstwhile local parties.[13] That said, the emphasis is different. In Britain, even conservatives admit that austerity needs to end and of course the huge issue is Brexit. The argument is not nearly so well developed in the U.S., where neoliberalism, despite its intellectual bankruptcy,[14] is simply seen as pragmatic even as it destroys millions of lives.

I’m treating all this as a Brexit sideshow for now. That may change.

Jessica Elgot and Daniel Boffey, “Cabinet ministers tell May: stop using no-deal threat to negotiate,” Guardian, February 18, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/18/ministers-tell-may-stop-using-no-deal-threat-as-negotiating-tactic

Eliza Mackintosh, “Turmoil in British politics as Labour MPs quit over Brexit and anti-Semitism,” CNN, February 18, 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/18/uk/labour-mps-resign-gbr-intl/index.html

Oliver Wright, “Labour Party split: who are the seven MPs who quit to form the Independent Group?” Times, February 18, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/profiles-labour-party-split-who-are-the-seven-mps-who-quit-nfwnjpsvl


Unauthorized migration

It is almost as if authoritarian populists believe—almost by definition, they lack coherence, so it is impossible to be sure—that the reason they’re losing the culture wars is because of unauthorized migration.

Amy Goldstein, “Coalition of states sues Trump over national emergency to build border wall,” Washington Post, February 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/coalition-of-states-sues-trump-over-national-emergency-to-build-border-wall/2019/02/18/9da8019c-33a8-11e9-854a-7a14d7fec96a_story.html

Gregory Wallace, “Census Bureau: 630,000 expected to not complete survey due to citizenship ,” CNN, February 19, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/19/politics/census-citizenship-question/index.html


Ridesharing

Nikil Saval, “Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life,” New Yorker, February 19, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/uber-and-the-ongoing-erasure-of-public-life


Climate Change


Certainly, climate change denial is a problem. But so, too, are those who think action can wait. Cartoon by Tom Toles, Washington Post, February 18, 2019, fair use.[15]

Jeff Sparrow, “Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in,” Guardian, February 18, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/19/centrism-isnt-the-solution-out-of-the-mess-were-in


ShitAssSlow

David L. Ryan, “Cambridge wanted a big drop in car ownership by 2020. That hasn’t exactly happened,” Boston Globe, February 18, 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/18/cambridge-wanted-big-drop-car-ownership-that-hasn-exactly-happened/sBu3TbWIBQLi5Nlo00L6AM/story.html


California High-Speed Rail

Ralph Vartabedian and Matthew Ormseth, “Trump administration to cancel $929 million in California high-speed rail funding,” Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-high-speed-rail-20190219-story.html


  1. [1]Amy Goldstein, “Coalition of states sues Trump over national emergency to build border wall,” Washington Post, February 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/coalition-of-states-sues-trump-over-national-emergency-to-build-border-wall/2019/02/18/9da8019c-33a8-11e9-854a-7a14d7fec96a_story.html
  2. [2]Jessica Elgot and Daniel Boffey, “Cabinet ministers tell May: stop using no-deal threat to negotiate,” Guardian, February 18, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/18/ministers-tell-may-stop-using-no-deal-threat-as-negotiating-tactic
  3. [3]Nikil Saval, “Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life,” New Yorker, February 19, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/uber-and-the-ongoing-erasure-of-public-life
  4. [4]Jeff Sparrow, “Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in,” Guardian, February 18, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/19/centrism-isnt-the-solution-out-of-the-mess-were-in
  5. [5]Gregory Wallace, “Census Bureau: 630,000 expected to not complete survey due to citizenship ,” CNN, February 19, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/19/politics/census-citizenship-question/index.html
  6. [6]David L. Ryan, “Cambridge wanted a big drop in car ownership by 2020. That hasn’t exactly happened,” Boston Globe, February 18, 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/18/cambridge-wanted-big-drop-car-ownership-that-hasn-exactly-happened/sBu3TbWIBQLi5Nlo00L6AM/story.html
  7. [7]I’ve spent an unfortunate number of decades of my life driving for work, and I see far too many traffic restrictions that make absolutely no sense, either from a traffic or a safety standpoint. At the heart of nearly every traffic jam in San Francisco, for example, I’ll wager there’s at least one driver absolutely baffled by how they’re to do what they need to do with ubiquitous “No Left Turn” signs, a seemingly infinite number of never-ticketed and even self-righteous jaywalkers, a dire shortage of parking, and other traffic control strategies that essentially require drivers to have expert-level knowledge of every street and intersection they need to traverse in order to correctly navigate. My view of such controls is that far from “calming,” they are far more likely to make drivers desperate, and therefore dangerous.
  8. [8]David L. Ryan, “Cambridge wanted a big drop in car ownership by 2020. That hasn’t exactly happened,” Boston Globe, February 18, 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/18/cambridge-wanted-big-drop-car-ownership-that-hasn-exactly-happened/sBu3TbWIBQLi5Nlo00L6AM/story.html
  9. [9]E. I. Hillin, “Bike lane baffler,” Sonoma West Times and News, September 14, 2018, http://www.sonomawest.com/sonoma_west_times_and_news/news/bike-lane-baffler/article_82f34016-b87c-11e8-94a0-6fa4f923792f.html
  10. [10]David L. Ryan, “Cambridge wanted a big drop in car ownership by 2020. That hasn’t exactly happened,” Boston Globe, February 18, 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/18/cambridge-wanted-big-drop-car-ownership-that-hasn-exactly-happened/sBu3TbWIBQLi5Nlo00L6AM/story.html
  11. [11]Ralph Vartabedian and Matthew Ormseth, “Trump administration to cancel $929 million in California high-speed rail funding,” Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-high-speed-rail-20190219-story.html
  12. [12]Patrick Blower, [cartoon], Telegraph, February 19, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/telegraph-cartoons-february-2019/
  13. [13]Oliver Wright, “Labour Party split: who are the seven MPs who quit to form the Independent Group?” Times, February 18, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/profiles-labour-party-split-who-are-the-seven-mps-who-quit-nfwnjpsvl
  14. [14]Richard Alford, “Why Economists Have No Shame – Undue Confidence, False Precision, Risk and Monetary Policy,” Naked Capitalism, July 19, 2012, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/richard-alford-why-economists-have-no-shame-undue-confidence-false-precision-risk-and-monetary-policy.html; Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind, “Econ 101 is killing America,” Salon, July 8, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/07/08/how_%e2%80%9cecon_101%e2%80%9d_is_killing_america/; Dean Baker, “Discredited Harvard Austerity-Pushers Reinhart and Rogoff Keep Lying to Protect Themselves,” Alternet, April 26, 2013, http://www.alternet.org/economy/discredited-harvard-austerity-pushers-reinhart-and-rogoff-keep-lying-protect-themselves; Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); Ha-Joon Chang and Jonathan Aldred, “After the crash, we need a revolution in the way we teach economics,” Guardian, May 10, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/11/after-crash-need-revolution-in-economics-teaching-chang-aldred; Jefferson Cowie, “Why Are Economists So Small-Minded?” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Are-Economists-So/235159; Barry Eichengreen, “Economists, Remove Your Blinders,” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 12, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Economists-Remove-Your/151057/; Ross Gittins, “Rescue economics from the folly of neoliberalism,” Sydney Morning Herald, December 10, 2017, http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/rescue-economics-from-the-folly-of-neoliberalism-20171209-h01sq4.html; Mike Konczal, “Reinhart/Rogoff-gate isn’t the first time austerians have used bad data,” Washington Post, April 20, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/20/reinhartrogoff-gate-isnt-the-first-time-austerians-have-used-bad-data/; Paul Krugman, “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?” New York Times, September 2, 2009, https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/magazine/06Economic-t.html; Simon Kennedy, “Krugman Wishes He Were Wrong Amid EU Austerity Backlash,” Bloomberg, October 12, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-02/krugman-wishes-he-was-wrong-amid-eu-austerity-backlash.html; Paul Krugman, “Myths of Austerity,” New York Times, July 1, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/opinion/02krugman.html; Paul Krugman, “Economics in the Crisis,” New York Times, March 5, 2012, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/economics-in-the-crisis/; Paul Krugman, “The Austerity Agenda,” New York Times, May 31, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/krugman-the-austerity-agenda.html; Paul Krugman, “1937,” New York Times, June 3, 2012, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/1937-2/; Paul Krugman, “The Austerity Debacle,” New York Times, January 29, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/opinion/krugman-the-austerity-debacle.html; Paul Krugman, “How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled,” review of The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire, by Neil Irwin, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, by Mark Blyth, and The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, by David A. Stockman, New York Review of Books, June 6, 2013, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/jun/06/how-case-austerity-has-crumbled/; Paul Krugman, “The Depressed Economy Is All About Austerity,” New York Times, September 24, 2013, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/the-depressed-economy-is-all-about-austerity/; Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/austerity_never_works_deficit_hawks_are_amoral_and_wrong/; Matt O’Brien, “Why is the recovery so weak? It’s the austerity, stupid,” Washington Post, October 10, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/10/why-is-the-recovery-so-weak-its-the-austerity-stupid/; Lynn Stuart Parramore, “Meet the 28-year-old Student Who Exposed Two Harvard Professors Whose Shoddy Research Drove Global Austerity,” Alternet, April 18, 2013, http://www.alternet.org/economy/meet-28-year-old-student-who-exposed-two-harvard-professors-whose-shoddy-research-drove; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Austerity-Has-Been-Tested-and/139255/; Dani Rodrik, “Free-Trade Blinders,” Project Syndicate, March 9, 2012,  http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/free-trade-blinders; Robert B. Reich, “Economics Is Too Important to Be Left to Economists,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 23, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Economics-Is-Too-Important-to/233335/; John Paul Rollert, “Greed Is Good: A 300-Year History of a Dangerous Idea,” Atlantic, April 7, 2014, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/04/greed-is-good-a-300-year-history-of-a-dangerous-idea/360265/; Howard Schneider, “An amazing mea culpa from the IMF’s chief economist on austerity,” Washington Post, January 3, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/03/an-amazing-mea-culpa-from-the-imfs-chief-economist-on-austerity/; Matthew Schofield, “Europe elections aside, experts say austerity is far from dead,” McClatchy, May 14, 2012, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/05/07/148037/europe-elections-aside-experts.html; Andreas Whittam Smith, “The age of austerity is over. Why? It doesn’t work,” Independent, April 25, 2013, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-age-of-austerity-is-over-why-it-doesnt-work-8586201.html; Noah Smith, “Most of What You Learned in Econ 101 Is Wrong,” Bloomberg, November 24, 2015, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-11-24/most-of-what-you-learned-in-econ-101-is-wrong; Mark Thoma, “Are Economists Driven by Ideology or Evidence?” Fiscal Times, November 3, 2015, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2015/11/03/Are-Economists-Driven-Ideology-or-Evidence
  15. [15]Tom Toles, “Climate deniers finally change their tune” [cartoon], Washington Post, February 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/18/climate-deniers-finally-change-their-tune/

It’s an emergency because Donald Trump ‘look[s] weak’

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 15, 2:03 am.
  2. February 15, 11:53 pm:
  3. February 16, 1:42 am:
    • Federal workers can breathe a little easier, for now, anyway, as Donald Trump signed the budget deal that only gave him a fraction of the money he wanted for his wall. But with his declaration of an emergency, he thinks he can pull together $8 billion for that wall.[2] As upsetting as this is, I’m trying to be optimistic that the wall will never actually be built, even if Trump gets a victory in the Supreme Court.[3] (Unauthorized migration)

Unauthorized migration

Quite possibly the best argument for Donald Trump losing the latest round (I’m tentatively, assuming the present deal goes through, calling the third round a draw[4] after awarding the first two to Nancy Pelosi) is this:

White House lawyers have told Trump he could reprogram money without calling an emergency, according to the person familiar with the discussions who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. But Trump is concerned there is not enough money in those pots to show meaningful progress on the wall and has been determined to declare an emergency, partially for fear of looking weak, the person familiar with the matter said.[5]

If Trump is afraid of looking weak, he probably does. But as I noted,

It is true that this deal falls far short of what Donald Trump wants. But just last month, Nancy Pelosi had called his proposal for a border wall immoral.[6] If something is immoral, you don’t do it, especially when, as in this case, human rights are involved. The Democrats are accepting

$1.375 billion for physical barriers — a type of fencing that resembles the ‘steel slats’ that Trump has specifically called for, according to a congressional aide briefed on the talks. It includes a total of 55 miles, which is just 9 miles shy of Trump’s last budget request.[7]

Further, Trump is apparently planning to rearrange funding to get more for the wall, even if he doesn’t declare an emergency to do it. It is not clear that this deal will go through,[8] but if it does, round three between Trump and Pelosi will be a draw.[9]

The only change here is that it looks like Trump will declare the emergency after all.[10] And you don’t get points from me for calling something “immoral” and then supporting it anyway. You just don’t.

Rebecca Ballhaus, Kristina Peterson, and Natalie Andrews, “Trump to Sign Spending Deal, Declare National Emergency,” Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawmakers-set-to-vote-on-spending-package-to-keep-government-open-11550157589

Fred Barbash, Ellen Nakashima, and Josh Dawsey, “An emergency declaration by Trump will lead to lawsuits. Lots of them,” Washington Post, February 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/an-emergency-declaration-by-trump-will-lead-to-lawsuits-lots-of-them/2019/02/14/4aef5828-3098-11e9-8781-763619f12cb4_story.html

Noah Bierman, “Trump declares border emergency, testing the limits of presidential authority,” Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-emergency-20190215-story.html

Damian Paletta, Mike DeBonis, and John Wagner, “Shutdown averted: President Trump has signed a sweeping spending bill hours before funding expired for parts of the government,” Washington Post, February 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-border-emergency-the-president-plans-a-10-am-announcement-in-the-rose-garden/2019/02/15/f0310e62-3110-11e9-86ab-5d02109aeb01_story.html


Brexit

Rowena Mason, Jessica Elgot, and Daniel Boffey, “Theresa May defeated on Brexit again as ERG Tories abstain,” Guardian, February 14, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/14/theresa-may-defeated-on-brexit-again-as-erg-tories-abstain


  1. [1]Noah Bierman, “Trump declares border emergency, testing the limits of presidential authority,” Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-emergency-20190215-story.html
  2. [2]Damian Paletta, Mike DeBonis, and John Wagner, “Shutdown averted: President Trump has signed a sweeping spending bill hours before funding expired for parts of the government,” Washington Post, February 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-border-emergency-the-president-plans-a-10-am-announcement-in-the-rose-garden/2019/02/15/f0310e62-3110-11e9-86ab-5d02109aeb01_story.html
  3. [3]Elie Mystal, “Can All Lawyers Just Admit The Wall Will Never Be Built Because Of The Fifth Amendment?” Above The Law, January 10, 2019, https://abovethelaw.com/2019/01/can-all-lawyers-just-admit-the-wall-will-never-be-built-because-of-the-fifth-amendment/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “As usual, the Democrats cave,” Irregular Bullshit, February 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/02/12/as-usual-the-democrats-cave/
  5. [5]Fred Barbash, Ellen Nakashima, and Josh Dawsey, “An emergency declaration by Trump will lead to lawsuits. Lots of them,” Washington Post, February 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/an-emergency-declaration-by-trump-will-lead-to-lawsuits-lots-of-them/2019/02/14/4aef5828-3098-11e9-8781-763619f12cb4_story.html
  6. [6]Peter Baker, “Trump’s National Address Escalates Border Wall Fight,” New York Times, January 8, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/us/politics/donald-trump-speech.html
  7. [7]Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Burgess Everett, “Negotiators reach deal ‘in principle’ to avert shutdown,” Politico, February 11, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/shutdown-congress-border-security-1163824
  8. [8]Erica Werner et al., “Trump criticizes bipartisan border deal but predicts there won’t be another shutdown,” Washington Post, February 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/white-house-wont-commit-to-congress-border-deal-to-avert-shutdown/2019/02/12/16275638-2ed9-11e9-813a-0ab2f17e305b_story.html
  9. [9]David Benfell, “As usual, the Democrats cave,” Irregular Bullshit, February 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/02/12/as-usual-the-democrats-cave/
  10. [10]Fred Barbash, Ellen Nakashima, and Josh Dawsey, “An emergency declaration by Trump will lead to lawsuits. Lots of them,” Washington Post, February 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/an-emergency-declaration-by-trump-will-lead-to-lawsuits-lots-of-them/2019/02/14/4aef5828-3098-11e9-8781-763619f12cb4_story.html

As usual, the Democrats cave

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 12, 4:48 pm.
  2. February 12, 10:28 pm:

    1. Unauthorized migration

      It is true that this deal falls far short of what Donald Trump wants. But just last month, Nancy Pelosi had called his proposal for a border wall immoral.[1] If something is immoral, you don’t do it, especially when, as in this case, human rights are involved. The Democrats are accepting

      $1.375 billion for physical barriers — a type of fencing that resembles the ‘steel slats’ that Trump has specifically called for, according to a congressional aide briefed on the talks. It includes a total of 55 miles, which is just 9 miles shy of Trump’s last budget request.[2]

      Further, Trump is apparently planning to rearrange funding to get more for the wall, even if he doesn’t declare an emergency to do it. It is not clear that this deal will go through,[3] but if it does, round three between Trump and Pelosi will be a draw.

      Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Burgess Everett, “Negotiators reach deal ‘in principle’ to avert shutdown,” Politico, February 11, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/shutdown-congress-border-security-1163824

      Erica Werner et al., “Trump criticizes bipartisan border deal but predicts there won’t be another shutdown,” Washington Post, February 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/white-house-wont-commit-to-congress-border-deal-to-avert-shutdown/2019/02/12/16275638-2ed9-11e9-813a-0ab2f17e305b_story.html


      Brexit

      4822

      Martin Rowson, in the Guardian, February 11, 2019, fair use.[4]


      1. [1]Peter Baker, “Trump’s National Address Escalates Border Wall Fight,” New York Times, January 8, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/us/politics/donald-trump-speech.html
      2. [2]Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Burgess Everett, “Negotiators reach deal ‘in principle’ to avert shutdown,” Politico, February 11, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/shutdown-congress-border-security-1163824
      3. [3]Erica Werner et al., “Trump criticizes bipartisan border deal but predicts there won’t be another shutdown,” Washington Post, February 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/white-house-wont-commit-to-congress-border-deal-to-avert-shutdown/2019/02/12/16275638-2ed9-11e9-813a-0ab2f17e305b_story.html
      4. [4]Martin Rowson, [cartoon], Guardian, February 11, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2019/feb/11/martin-rowson-on-may-rejecting-corbyns-brexit-compromise-cartoon

The impasse continues

Am I talking about the border wall (Unauthorized migration) or Brexit? Yes. Sorry.


Unauthorized migration

Erica Werner, Damian Paletta, and Seung Min Kim, “Shutdown looms as border talks break down over immigration enforcement,” Washington Post, September 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/border-talks-at-impasse-as-shutdown-looms-friday-officials-say/2019/02/10/aa8ef08c-2d36-11e9-813a-0ab2f17e305b_story.html

Jazmine Ulloa and Taryn Luna, “Gov. Gavin Newsom to pull National Guard from California’s border with Mexico,” Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-california-national-guard-withdraw-immigration-20190211-story.html


Brexit

I think I now see only one way for this to play out: A hard Brexit. Too many people are clinging to their delusions for way too long.

The honest thing would be to go to the people. Brexiteers should confess that 1) they did not anticipate the difficulties of the Irish border, and 2) that these difficulties are real.[1] Remainers should admit 1) that they’ll probably lose even though the deal Britain is getting is worse than the one it presently has, and 2) that the deal Britain got with the European Union was and may well continue to be unsatisfactory for a substantial portion of the electorate, even if for both legitimate (economic-left, economic-right) and illegitimate (xenophobic or racist) reasons. And Theresa May should admit 1) that she can’t get her plan or—I’m betting—any plan through Parliament, and 2) that it is time for the United Kingdom to dissolve in favor of an independent England, Scotland, Wales, and, perhaps tentatively, northern Ireland.[2] Don’t hold your breath.

Peter Walker, “May rejects Corbyn’s offer as businesses warn of Brexit cliff edge,” Guardian, February 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/10/brexit-mps-will-have-another-say-by-end-of-month-says-minister


  1. [1]Henry Farrell, “The Irish Question: The Consequences of Brexit,” Foreign Affairs, June 28, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ireland/2016-06-28/irish-question; Peter Foster, “EU rejects Theresa May’s Brexit Irish border solution as doubts grow over whether UK can leave customs union,” Telegraph, April 19, 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/19/exclusive-eu-rejects-theresa-mays-brexit-irish-border-solution/; Paul Hannon, “Ireland Rules Out Bilateral Deal With U.K. for Brexit,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/ireland-rules-out-bilateral-deal-with-u-k-for-brexit-1481883968; Conor Humphries and Amanda Ferguson, “How Brexit has suddenly made the prospect of a united Ireland thinkable,” Independent, July 3, 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-what-it-means-forthern-ireland-united-eu-referendum-result-irish-passport-a7117166.html; Philip Jenkins, “How Brexit is Turning into a Disaster for Ireland,” American Conservative, December 13, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-brexit-is-turning-into-a-disaster-for-ireland/; Peter O’Dwyer, “Good Friday agreement ‘can stop hard Brexit,’” Times, February 26, 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/good-friday-agreement-can-stop-hard-brexit-khlw9gfrx; Alanna Petroff, “New legal challenge to Brexit from Northern Ireland,” CNN, August 12, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/12/news/brexit-legal-cases-lawsuits/; Steven Swinford, “DUP threatens to bring down Theresa May’s Government if it crosses Customs Union red line,” Telegraph, April 26, 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/25/dup-threatens-bring-theresa-mays-government-climbs-brexit/
  2. [2]Fintan O’Toole, “How Brexit Broke Up Britain,” New York Review of Books, November 13, 2018, https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/11/13/how-brexit-broke-up-britain/

Betrayals

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 5, roughly 3:00 pm.
  2. February 6, 1:01 pm:
  3. February 6, 2:43 pm:
    • I’m a bit behind. Comcast went down at my house shortly after I got home last night. You ask why, in God’s name, am I using Comcast? It certainly isn’t that I don’t know better. It’s the only option where I am, in Graton, a small town (in the “blink and you’ll miss it” category) just north of Sebastopol. Sonic deserves public humiliation for still, after all these years, having been founded in Sonoma County, having expanded even to other states, and providing service to towns on both sides of Graton, simply bypassing Graton, where people have been clamoring for its service for years.
    • To be honest, I haven’t even been trying to keep track of all the various forms of trouble Donald Trump is in. Aaron Blake, however, apparently has a bit more patience than I do.[1] There can be no serious doubt this guy is going down—he will not be exonerated in all of these investigations. The question is when and how.
    • I’m not archiving the article in CityLab, but look at this picture of a restored 1930’s-era streetcar from London (which I found via a newsletter from the Atlantic). Now go get on your local public transit and tell me about how London doesn’t—and didn’t, even during the worldwide Great Depression that proximally led to the rise of Nazism in Germany—have the problems of any major city and then tell me how we’ve made progress.940While you’re at it, go check out Moscow subway stations. We cannot have nice things because they’re too labor-intensive for our present system of social organization;[2] this, while millions (including myself) cannot find gainful employment and are forced into the so-called “gig economy”[3] because the neoliberal imperative is to reduce labor costs at all cost.[4]
  4. February 6, 8:31 pm:
    • I’m not calling it round three, but Nancy Pelosi attracted attention for her improvisation of a “sarcastic clap” at Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.[5] Certainly any child who’s been caught doing something s/he shouldn’t will recognize the expression on Pelosi’s face in the photograph.
  5. February 7, 4:30 am:
    • There still isn’t anything really new with Brexit but the Telegraph has another ascerbic cartoon[6] on the matter.
    • Elizabeth Warren has apologized for calling herself Native American. The apology is belated and comes as she intends to run for president.[7] I remain skeptical that such an apology is warranted in the first place,[8] but now it’s all just icky and I can’t see how she’s helped herself. If the claim is really that bad, it will stick regardless of any apology.
    • Speculation that Robert Mueller is wrapping up his investigation may be premature.[9] (James Comey)
    • Okay, so it seems I read (see the update above for February 6, 8:31 pm) Nancy Pelosi’s expression correctly. I’ve quoted a tweet from her daughter below.
    • It’s 04 fucking 30 in the goddamned morning. It is long past my bedtime. Honestly, I haven’t had so much trouble keeping up in a while. But I just gotta stop for now.
  6. February 8, 3:00 am:
    • I guess, when it rains, it pours. I was already behind. Then I had server trouble (I’m hoping it’s resolved). Now I’m probably even farther behind.
    • Because this is what Democrats do: The Wall Street Journal reports that Democrats are preparing to compromise on the wall, you know, where they can call it a flood control project or something.[10] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Ew. Yuck. But I guess it pays to be as rich as Jeff Bezos, who is disclosing what he describes as the National Enquirer’s attempt to blackmail him over the Washington Post’s coverage of efforts to “catch and kill” stories.[11] This is a ballsy move, figuratively, but in a couple ways. And it confirms your darkest, sleaziest suspicions about the Enquirer. Also, there is a priceless “David Frum tweet that sums it up.
    • I have to pause here. The Los Angeles Times appears to be reporting that Amazon used driver tips to fill in their base pay. I haven’t read or archived the story. I’ve just hit my daily tolerance for evil. I will return.
  7. February 8, 2:05 pm:
    • I honestly don’t understand how people rationalize stealing workers’ tips. But that’s what Amazon has been doing with delivery drivers’ tips.[12] (Yes, this is the story that made me pause on February 8, 3:00 am).
  8. February 9, 1:13 am:
    • I’m finally caught up. Mainly because it’s Friday night/Saturday morning and the pace of news slows for the weekend.
  9. February 9, 5:45 pm:
    • In case you’re wondering why Jeff Bezos’ allegation against the National Enquirer is important, this Washington Post story pulls together the pieces. In essence, the Enquirer almost certainly, and consistent with its behavior toward other celebrities, paid significant sums of money to “catch and kill” stories that might harm Donald Trump’s election chances, but strenuously denies that its coverage was politically motivated. The Post, owned by Bezos, was investigating this motivation and the Enquirer, presumably fearing the outcome of this investigation, wanted it stopped. In pursuit of this objective, the Enquirer went after Bezos who, as far as anyone can tell, and very much to his credit, has pretty much kept his hands off the Post (the one thing I’ve seen is that there is now an option to pay for your subscription through Amazon). If indeed this amounts to blackmail, the Enquirer will have violated its cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors and could thus be charged with campaign finance violations.[13]

Ridesharing

It’s possible the California Legislature will enact the state supreme court ruling all but abolishing the “independent contractor” scam. It’s also possible the legislature will eviscerate the ruling entirely.[14]

Carolyn Said, “California to thrash out gig worker status in upcoming bills,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-to-thrash-out-gig-worker-status-in-13585979.php


Unauthorized migration

Some Democrats are talking about a “virtual wall.”[15]

David Lightman, “Democrats ready to deal on border barrier — just not a ‘wall,’” McClatchy, February 1, 2019, https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article225392700.html?rh=1

Natalie Andrews and Louise Radnofsky, “Democrats Could Back Some Funds for New Barriers on U.S.-Mexico Border,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-could-back-some-funds-for-new-barriers-on-mexico-border-11549494681


Donald Trump

Prosecutors at the Southern District of New York have issued a wide-ranging subpoena for documents from Donald Trump’s inaugural committee.[16] This is not the Robert Mueller investigation.

Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Kranish, “Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe,” Washington Post, February 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-prosecutors-issue-sweeping-subpoena-for-documents-from-trump-inaugural-committee-a-sign-of-a-deepening-criminal-probe/2019/02/04/b6382642-28e5-11e9-8eef-0d74f4bf0295_story.html

Aaron Blake, “Virtually every organization Trump has run in recent years has been under investigation. Here’s where those probes stand,” Washington Post, February 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/02/05/big-investigations-trump-explained/


James Comey

I’ll say this for Robert Mueller: His team has done a mighty good job of maintaining what I used to hear called “radio silence.” So much so that I’m wondering about my mother’s advice on conspiracies that it would be impossible to expect all participants to keep their mouths shut, especially when they stopped in to a bar for a drink or two or three (too many). It wasn’t that long ago that a reporter happened to overhear a sensitive—and consequently embarrassing—conversation at the next table in a restaurant. The simple fact is that people talk and I’m pretty sure my mother repeated that for emphasis. But not Mueller’s team. How does that even fucking work? Really, now?

I’ve been inclined to go along with speculation that Mueller’s investigation is wrapping up, only because I’d seen so much of it. But the truth is, we don’t fucking know. Really we don’t.[17]

Morgan Chalfant, “Mueller probe filings raise prospect of more indictments,” Hill, February 6, 2019, https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/428616-mueller-probe-filings-raise-prospect-of-more-indictments


Nancy Pelosi

Honestly, I came upon this Tweet, courtesy of a Hill newsletter after I’d updated (on February 6, 8:31 pm) for the story by Allyson Chiu.

So here’s a sample of what I receive daily in my ongoing research. I haven’t actually clicked the link and I’m not recommending that you do, but it’s there:

Notepad and pencil.
BEST OF THE WEB

Viewers, Pelosi Applaud Trump

A nonpartisan speech scores with voters across the political spectrum.
With a substantive address that was among the least partisan State of the Union messages in recent memory, President Donald Trump appears to have impressed a significant majority of Tuesday night’s sizable television audience. Meanwhile Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi offered a generally respectful welcome to America’s 45th President.

The photograph accompanying this column seems to capture the ambivalence of a Speaker who felt compelled by respect for his office and hers—or by the demands of politics—to welcome Mr. Trump to the House chamber, but wasn’t happy to see him. And yes, during the speech there were some frowns appearing over Mr. Trump’s left shoulder as he promoted ideas vigorously opposed by Mrs. Pelosi. But the Speaker was acting like a typical politician in our boisterous republic, not pretending to “resist” a tyrant. She clapped in response to some of his comments and even stood and applauded when early in the speech Mr. Trump said:

But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.

Much later in the speech, Mrs. Pelosi sat and clapped without enthusiasm after the President offered these beautiful words:

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence–-not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

Whether one is appalled that such a declaration didn’t elicit more energetic applause from the Speaker or relieved that she offered a mild endorsement depends on individual judgments about how far her party has moved leftward in recent years.

See More Coverage ›

I copied and pasted the above from a Wall Street Journal newsletter.[18] I honestly don’t know what to say. Just about each and every inference this writer draws is wholly, flatly, and blatantly wrong, at least in the part we see in this newsletter. Honestly, now, you really think people believe this crap? Wow!

Allyson Chiu, “‘Queen of Condescending Applause’: Nancy Pelosi clapped at Trump, and the Internet lost it,” Washington Post, February 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/02/06/queen-condescending-applause-nancy-pelosi-clapped-trump-internet-lost-it/


Brexit

The shuttlecock is batted back and forth, seemingly unaffected by the aggression unleashed upon it.
Blower
Patrick Blower, February 6, 2019,[19] fair use.

The trouble in this, I think, is in that it depicts Theresa May as passive. Given that she and her government negotiated the agreement and she at least appears to be trying to find some tweak—which pretty clearly does not exist and cannot exist because, fundamentally, either you have a border or you do not have a border—to salvage that same agreement. You can call this any or all of a lot of things. But not passive.

Patrick Blower, “Shuttle Diplomacy” [cartoon], Telegraph, February 6, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/telegraph-cartoons-february-2019/blower-cartoon-february-6/


Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren now—to the extent she didn’t already—has an authenticity problem. First, she’s apologizing as she begins her presidential candidacy,[20] suggesting that what she’s really doing is kissing the requisite asses. But also, as a human scientist, I can see family traditions, even exaggerations, fibs, or outright lies, as a form of truth.

If we are simply to dismiss the tale, or the legend, or the myth as falsehood or even as nonsense, what about the experience of that tale, or that legend, or that myth? What do we learn, for example, when we study ancient gods? Is this really all false, even if it offers true or even merely interesting insights? And what about when we encounter people for whom this tale, or this legend, or this myth, have been a significant part of their social conditioning? What does this tale, or this legend, or this myth tell us about them—or even us? Really? All false?

Annie Linskey and Amy Gardner, “Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American,” Washington Post, February 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-apologizes-for-calling-herself-native-american/2019/02/05/1627df76-2962-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html


Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” Medium, February 7, 2019, https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146e3922310f

Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, and Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., “Federal prosecutors reviewing Bezos’s extortion claim against National Enquirer, sources say,” Washington Post, February 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-prosecutors-reviewing-bezoss-extortion-claim-against-national-enquirer-sources-say/2019/02/08/def45464-2bc6-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html

Paul Farhi, Sarah Ellison, and Emily Yahr, “The National Enquirer’s tactics have been revealed. But they’re not new,” Washington Post, February 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-national-enquirers-tactics-have-been-revealed-but-theyre-not-new/2019/02/08/0f1354d8-2bc7-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html


Amazon

Johana Bhuiyan, “Where does a tip to an Amazon driver go? In some cases, toward the driver’s base pay,” Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-amazon-drivers-tips-20190207-story.html


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “Virtually every organization Trump has run in recent years has been under investigation. Here’s where those probes stand,” Washington Post, February 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/02/05/big-investigations-trump-explained/
  2. [2]Peter Kropotkin, The State: Its Historic Role, Vernon Richards, trans. (1898; repr., London: Freedom Press, 1997).
  3. [3]Katie Benner, “A Secret of Uber’s Success: Struggling Workers,” Bloomberg, October 2, 2014, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-10-02/a-secret-of-uber-s-success-struggling-workers; Lydia DePillis, “How Uber-type jobs are driving inequality, and what to do about it,” Washington Post, May 21, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/21/how-uber-type-jobs-are-driving-inequality-and-what-to-do-about-it/; Cyrus Farivar, “What’s Uber and Lyft drivers’ median hourly wage? $10 or lower, report finds,” Ars Tehnica, March 6, 2018, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/whats-uber-and-lyft-drivers-median-hourly-wage-under-4-report-finds/; Tara Golshan, “Uber just settled 2 major lawsuits, and its drivers still aren’t employees,” Vox, April 22, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/4/22/11486576/uber-lawsuit-settlement-drivers-contractors; Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick; New York Times, “The Gig Economy’s False Promise,” New York Times, April 10, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/the-gig-economys-false-promise.html; Danielle Paquette, “She was pregnant and broke. Signing up for Uber drove her into debt,” Washington Post, April 7, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/she-had-a-newborn-and-no-money-signing-up-for-uber-drove-her-into-debt/2017/04/07/b5ee9510-05d1-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html; Amber Petrovich, “The gig worker’s lament,” Washington Post, December 26, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gig-workers-lament/2018/12/26/085fce64-cd76-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html; Carolyn Said, “Lyft drivers to remain contractors in lawsuit settlement,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 27, 2016, http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Lyft-drivers-to-remain-contractors-in-lawsuit-6787390.php
  4. [4]Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, 30th anniversary ed. (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
  5. [5]Allyson Chiu, “‘Queen of Condescending Applause’: Nancy Pelosi clapped at Trump, and the Internet lost it,” Washington Post, February 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/02/06/queen-condescending-applause-nancy-pelosi-clapped-trump-internet-lost-it/
  6. [6]Patrick Blower, “Shuttle Diplomacy” [cartoon], Telegraph, February 6, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/telegraph-cartoons-february-2019/blower-cartoon-february-6/
  7. [7]Annie Linskey and Amy Gardner, “Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American,” Washington Post, February 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-apologizes-for-calling-herself-native-american/2019/02/05/1627df76-2962-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Criticism of Elizabeth Warren for revealing her DNA test confuses the potential for the actual,” Not Housebroken, October 18, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/10/18/criticism-of-elizabeth-warren-for-revealing-her-dna-test-confuses-the-potential-for-the-actual/
  9. [9]Morgan Chalfant, “Mueller probe filings raise prospect of more indictments,” Hill, February 6, 2019, https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/428616-mueller-probe-filings-raise-prospect-of-more-indictments
  10. [10]Natalie Andrews and Louise Radnofsky, “Democrats Could Back Some Funds for New Barriers on U.S.-Mexico Border,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-could-back-some-funds-for-new-barriers-on-mexico-border-11549494681
  11. [11]Jeff Bezos, “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” Medium, February 7, 2019, https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146e3922310f
  12. [12]Johana Bhuiyan, “Where does a tip to an Amazon driver go? In some cases, toward the driver’s base pay,” Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-amazon-drivers-tips-20190207-story.html
  13. [13]Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, and Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., “Federal prosecutors reviewing Bezos’s extortion claim against National Enquirer, sources say,” Washington Post, February 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-prosecutors-reviewing-bezoss-extortion-claim-against-national-enquirer-sources-say/2019/02/08/def45464-2bc6-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html; Paul Farhi, Sarah Ellison, and Emily Yahr, “The National Enquirer’s tactics have been revealed. But they’re not new,” Washington Post, February 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-national-enquirers-tactics-have-been-revealed-but-theyre-not-new/2019/02/08/0f1354d8-2bc7-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html
  14. [14]Carolyn Said, “California to thrash out gig worker status in upcoming bills,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-to-thrash-out-gig-worker-status-in-13585979.php
  15. [15]David Lightman, “Democrats ready to deal on border barrier — just not a ‘wall,’” McClatchy, February 1, 2019, https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article225392700.html?rh=1
  16. [16]Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Kranish, “Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe,” Washington Post, February 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-prosecutors-issue-sweeping-subpoena-for-documents-from-trump-inaugural-committee-a-sign-of-a-deepening-criminal-probe/2019/02/04/b6382642-28e5-11e9-8eef-0d74f4bf0295_story.html
  17. [17]Morgan Chalfant, “Mueller probe filings raise prospect of more indictments,” Hill, February 6, 2019, https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/428616-mueller-probe-filings-raise-prospect-of-more-indictments
  18. [18]Wall Street Journal to Best of the Web list, “Opinion: Best of the Web Today – Viewers, Pelosi Applaud Trump,” February 6, 2019, https://bestoftheweb.cmail19.com/t/ViewEmail/d/2E796E6C515A894B2540EF23F30FEDED/1767FC5ADE4552A0AF060D6555554232
  19. [19]Patrick Blower, “Shuttle Diplomacy” [cartoon], Telegraph, February 6, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/telegraph-cartoons-february-2019/blower-cartoon-february-6/
  20. [20]Annie Linskey and Amy Gardner, “Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American,” Washington Post, February 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-apologizes-for-calling-herself-native-american/2019/02/05/1627df76-2962-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html

Paging Doctor “No”

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 2, 3:17 am.
  2. February 2, 3:22 pm:
    • Kamala Harris laughed about bullying poor people when prosecuting parents for their kids truancy.[1]
  3. February 3, 1:00 am:
    • So what’s going on with Brexit? Oh, um, nothing new. But the Telegraph has a cartoon[2] that captures the moment. I realize the Tories are the party of Empire, but I honestly don’t know why British politicians think the Europeans will negotiate with them further.

Brexit


Cartoon by Andy Davey for the Telegraph, January 31, 2019 (published on line the day before).[3]

Andy Davey, [cartoon], January 30, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/01/telegraph-cartoons-january-2019/


Net Neutrality

Jon Brodkin, “FCC struggles to convince judge that broadband isn’t ‘telecommunications,’” Ars Technica, February 1, 2019, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/02/throttling-of-firefighters-hurts-fcc-case-as-it-defends-net-neutrality-repeal/


Unauthorized Migration

Donald Trump is hearing the word “no” a lot, lately. I know he doesn’t like being told “no,” so what happens when he’s told “no” by forces that won’t take “no” for an answer?

Sean Sullivan, Erica Werner, and Seung Min Kim, “McConnell privately cautions Trump about emergency declaration on border wall,” Washington Post, February 1, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/mcconnell-privately-cautioned-trump-about-emergency-declaration-on-border-wall/2019/02/01/5ff1262c-2646-11e9-81fd-b7b05d5bed90_story.html


Kamala Harris

I am remembering about Hillary Clinton laughing about attacking a rape victim in defending her client.[4]

Joe Patrice, “Kamala Harris Chuckling About Bullying Poor People Should Be Disqualifying — That It’s Not Says Something Deeply Disturbing,” Above The Law, February 1, 2019, https://abovethelaw.com/2019/02/kamala-harris-chuckling-about-bullying-poor-people-should-be-disqualifying-that-its-not-says-something-deeply-disturbing/


  1. [1]Joe Patrice, “Kamala Harris Chuckling About Bullying Poor People Should Be Disqualifying — That It’s Not Says Something Deeply Disturbing,” Above The Law, February 1, 2019, https://abovethelaw.com/2019/02/kamala-harris-chuckling-about-bullying-poor-people-should-be-disqualifying-that-its-not-says-something-deeply-disturbing/
  2. [2]Andy Davey, [cartoon], January 30, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/01/telegraph-cartoons-january-2019/
  3. [3]Andy Davey, [cartoon], January 30, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/01/telegraph-cartoons-january-2019/
  4. [4]Josh Rogin, “Exclusive: ‘Hillary Clinton Took Me Through Hell,’ Rape Victim Says,” Daily Beast, June 20, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/20/exclusive-hillary-clinton-took-me-through-hell-rape-victim-says.html

Hard Brexiteers twist and turn, but whose neck is in the noose?

Updates

  1. Originally published, January 29, 2:42 am.
  2. Added discussion of my experience driving with Uber and Lyft, January 29, 5:42 am.
  3. January 29, 7:52 pm:
    • Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy is likely to be extraordinarily expensive while yielding little relief from the wildfire-related liabilities it faces.[1]
    • Parliament has voted against a hard Brexit, but 1) the vote is non-binding (as was the original referendum), and 2) the premise that Theresa May will be able to renegotiate the backstop continues to appear impossible.[2]
  4. January 30, 12:56 am:
    • Added a New Yorker cartoon. I didn’t see who the artist might be.
    • The Wall Street Journal article[3] noted above (January 29, 7:52 pm) apparently isn’t reassuring very many people.[4] I’m perplexed: Both sides in this seem legally informed to me. Perhaps I’m wrong about that.
  5. January 30, 8:20 pm:
    • Kevin McCarthy has drawn suspicion for delays in appointing Republican members to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. With the delay, he has delayed the hand over of transcripts to Robert Mueller,[5] who is widely thought to be nearing completion of his investigation. Given that Donald Trump has blown his opportunity to fire Mueller,[6] I’m not actually seeing Mueller’s limits here: Can he not extend his investigation as long as necessary? (James Comey)
    • Epistemologically, conservatives are an interesting case, often tending to prefer almost anything, be it ideology or a notion of how things ought to be to empirical information about how things actually are.[7] It’s harder to know with authoritarian populists, as Donald Trump demonstrates yet again.[8]
  6. January 30, 11:21 pm:
    • I’m all in favor of sticking it to Pacific Gas and Electric over the California wildfires, and probably just on general principle, but William Alsup, the judge in PG&E’s criminal conviction and subsequent probation for the San Bruno gas line explosion seems to go a little overboard as he criticizes both the company and the California Public Utilities Commission for their handling of fire safety.[9]
    • At least for this issue, it seems the New Yorker is on a roll. Another of their cartoons added.
  7. January 31, 11:38 pm:
    • So I’ve been leaving this, um, conflict, ahem, between Donald Trump and the intelligence community—The Deep State—to simmer for a while. The spitballs, even when thrown in public, just don’t impress me much. But now, in the wake of Senate testimony given by intelligence agency heads, Trump is discovering that there are limits to his support even in the Republican-controlled Senate.[10] I was wondering a bit, not very much, what was happening with neoconservatives who opposed Trump. Now, it seems like when the Republican neoconservatives can get a few of their Democratic neoconservative colleagues to join in, well, it’s just a bit reminiscent of old days. (You may ask me if this is a good or bad thing; just don’t ask me if this is a good or bad thing relative to the present good or bad thing. There! Did I just answer the question I’d have let you ask without you even having to ask it?)

When I say I’m a BA-A-AD vegan, this is what I mean:NewYorker
via the New Yorker, fair use (I hope).

Well, that, and a few other things.


I generally think music—including that crap I’m inclined not to count as ‘music’—is one of the ways that generations create their own identities. Just as rock and roll irritated earlier generations, rap and hip hop irritate me. But then there are my less charitable moments. The gist of which an unknown cartoonist for the New Yorker has captured well:DC013019
Sadly, many folks around where I live will fail to appreciate the noises that a radiator makes when it heats a room. They’re pretty discordant and often startling.


One of the things that really sucks about driving for work is that people who don’t actually have to do your job get to make decisions about how you’ll do it. So, for example, Uber and Lyft simply relay orders for riders to be picked up where it is illegal, unsafe, or otherwise problematic to pick up. Except, that is, with Uber’s Express Pool service, where Uber sets the illegal, unsafe, or otherwise problematic pick up locations just to make riders walk to them (to save money and, supposedly, but not really, time).

San Francisco blames Uber and Lyft for its traffic problems,[11] allegedly targets drivers for additional enforcement,[12] then uses the results of this alleged targeting to justify blaming Uber and Lyft,[13] expects drivers to pony up for a business license (to my knowledge, no other city in California does this), and then, after picking drivers’ pockets every way it can, demands to know if drivers are making a minimum wage[14] (we generally do not[15]). Nobody makes any effort to make our jobs legally easier, we have no control over pickup locations, and we’re just sitting ducks.

There are places I avoid picking up. I go off line to avoid pickups in San Francisco because one $300 ticket (for picking up in a bus stop where there really was no alternative pickup location available) for a $5 fare is enough, thank you very much; and in Sonoma County, where the business seems disproportionately about drunks who drink to get drunk and conflate such drinking with sociability (and no, this has little to do with the growing winery or microbrew industries). But even so, I still occasionally encounter cops who only care about the law, not about the practicalities of some poor schmuck trying to make a living. In their honor, I present the latest Existential Comics strip:socratesTheCop1
socratesTheCop2

The philosopher-cop is Socrates. I didn’t study a lot of philosophy in my academic career but whoever it is that draws this strip is brilliant.


Brexit

Boris Johnson imagines that the European Union will grant Britain an out from the backstop.[16] It won’t[17] and everything else is a sideshow that can, at best, only delay the inevitable. So fasten your seat belts and hold on tight: The powers that be have apparently agreed there will be no second referendum. That means a hard Brexit.

Joe Watts, “Brexit: Theresa May’s renegotiation hopes dealt blow as Ireland says backstop ‘isn’t going to change,’” Independent, January 27, 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-backstop-theresa-may-ireland-border-simon-coveney-deal-vote-parliament-commons-a8749076.html

Peter Foster, “What is the Brexit backstop, and why is the Irish border so important to the deal?” Telegraph, January 28, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/0/brexit-backstop-irish-border-important-deal/

James Rothwell, “The Brexit ‘Freedom Clause’ – key questions answered,” Telegraph, January 28, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/28/brexit-freedom-clause-key-questions-answered/

William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “Parliament asserts that Britain shouldn’t leave E.U. without a deal, sends Theresa May back to Brussels,” Washington Post, January 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-theresa-may-tells-a-divided-parliament-she-wants-to-reopen-talks-with-eu/2019/01/29/66ebca3a-1fe9-11e9-a759-2b8541bbbe20_story.html


Pacific Gas and Electric

Oh gawd. Yet more “[w]e are fully committed”[18] crap. Somebody really needs to explain to Pacific Gas and Electric’s public relations folks that they have completely and totally annihilated the credibility of that phrase through extreme overuse.

Seriously, when it seems virtually every public statement you issue contains those words, it all adds up to an acknowledgment of numerous commitments that, since you’re constantly having to talk about them, obviously have gone unfulfilled.

Peg Brickley and Andrew Scurria, “As PG&E Enters Bankruptcy, Professionals Flock to Potential Fee Bonanza,” Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-pg-e-prepares-for-bankruptcy-professionals-flock-to-potential-fee-bonanza-11548715723

Subrat Patnaik, “PG&E, owner of biggest U.S. power utility, files for bankruptcy,” Reuters, January 29, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pg-e-us-bankruptcy-idUSKCN1PN0PX

Dale Kasler, “‘Safety is not your No. 1 thing.’ Judge rips PG&E over California wildfires,” Sacramento Bee, January 30, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article225289445.html


James Comey

Mike Memoli, Ken Dilanian, and Alex Moe, “GOP delay in naming House Intelligence Committee members may have cost Mueller,” NBC News, January 30, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/gop-delay-naming-house-intelligence-committee-members-may-have-cost-n964781


Donald Trump

Shane Harris and John Wagner, “In latest attack on intelligence agencies, Trump ignores where they actually agree,” Washington Post, January 30, 2019, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/comment/18412#comment-18412


The Deep State

Karoun Demirjian, “Senate rebukes Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, Afghanistan,” Washington Post, January 31, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-backs-mcconnells-rebuke-of-trumps-military-drawdown-plans-in-syria-afghanistan/2019/01/31/5812d058-2584-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html


  1. [1]Peg Brickley and Andrew Scurria, “As PG&E Enters Bankruptcy, Professionals Flock to Potential Fee Bonanza,” Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-pg-e-prepares-for-bankruptcy-professionals-flock-to-potential-fee-bonanza-11548715723
  2. [2]William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “Parliament asserts that Britain shouldn’t leave E.U. without a deal, sends Theresa May back to Brussels,” Washington Post, January 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-theresa-may-tells-a-divided-parliament-she-wants-to-reopen-talks-with-eu/2019/01/29/66ebca3a-1fe9-11e9-a759-2b8541bbbe20_story.html
  3. [3]Peg Brickley and Andrew Scurria, “As PG&E Enters Bankruptcy, Professionals Flock to Potential Fee Bonanza,” Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-pg-e-prepares-for-bankruptcy-professionals-flock-to-potential-fee-bonanza-11548715723
  4. [4]Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak, “‘We have been shorted.’ Why wildfire survivors are furious about PG&E’s bankruptcy filing,” Sacramento Bee, January 29, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article225246820.html
  5. [5]Mike Memoli, Ken Dilanian, and Alex Moe, “GOP delay in naming House Intelligence Committee members may have cost Mueller,” NBC News, January 30, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/gop-delay-naming-house-intelligence-committee-members-may-have-cost-n964781
  6. [6]Aaron Blake, “Trump backers just had their anti-Mueller hopes and dreams dashed,” Washington Post, December 18, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/18/trump-backers-just-had-their-anti-mueller-hopes-dreams-dashed/; Paul Waldman, “Trump’s battle to destroy the Mueller investigation is officially doomed,” Washington Post, November 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/11/16/trumps-battle-to-destroy-the-mueller-investigation-is-officially-doomed/; Benjamin Wittes, “It’s Probably Too Late to Stop Mueller,” Atlantic, November 9, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/10-reasons-whitaker-might-not-foil-mueller/575467/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  8. [8]Shane Harris and John Wagner, “In latest attack on intelligence agencies, Trump ignores where they actually agree,” Washington Post, January 30, 2019, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/comment/18412#comment-18412
  9. [9]Dale Kasler, “‘Safety is not your No. 1 thing.’ Judge rips PG&E over California wildfires,” Sacramento Bee, January 30, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article225289445.html
  10. [10]Karoun Demirjian, “Senate rebukes Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, Afghanistan,” Washington Post, January 31, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-backs-mcconnells-rebuke-of-trumps-military-drawdown-plans-in-syria-afghanistan/2019/01/31/5812d058-2584-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html
  11. [11]Katie Dowd, “Why is San Francisco traffic so bad? Uber and Lyft are to blame, says city,” SFGate, December 13, 2016, http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-traffic-Uber-Lyft-SFMTA-blame-10791265.php
  12. [12]One of my passengers informed me that she worked for San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency and that the agency had a team assigned to target Uber and Lyft drivers.
  13. [13]Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, “SFPD: Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of congestion-related traffic violations downtown,” San Francisco Examiner, September 25, 2017, http://www.sfexaminer.com/sfpd-uber-lyft-account-two-thirds-congestion-related-traffic-violations-downtown/
  14. [14]City Attorney of San Francisco, “Herrera investigates Uber, Lyft over driver pay and benefits,” PR Newswire, May 29, 2018, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/herrera-investigates-uber-lyft-over-driver-pay-and-benefits-300655892.html
  15. [15]Cyrus Farivar, “What’s Uber and Lyft drivers’ median hourly wage? $10 or lower, report finds,” Ars Tehnica, March 6, 2018, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/whats-uber-and-lyft-drivers-median-hourly-wage-under-4-report-finds/
  16. [16]James Rothwell, “The Brexit ‘Freedom Clause’ – key questions answered,” Telegraph, January 28, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/28/brexit-freedom-clause-key-questions-answered/
  17. [17]Peter Foster, “What is the Brexit backstop, and why is the Irish border so important to the deal?” Telegraph, January 28, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/0/brexit-backstop-irish-border-important-deal/; Joe Watts, “Brexit: Theresa May’s renegotiation hopes dealt blow as Ireland says backstop ‘isn’t going to change,’” Independent, January 27, 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-backstop-theresa-may-ireland-border-simon-coveney-deal-vote-parliament-commons-a8749076.html
  18. [18]John Simon, quoted in Subrat Patnaik, “PG&E, owner of biggest U.S. power utility, files for bankruptcy,” Reuters, January 29, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pg-e-us-bankruptcy-idUSKCN1PN0PX

The “independent contractor” scam gets a lease on life

Ridesharing

It’s been the better part of a year since the California State Supreme Court handed down a ruling that’s been widely understood to mean Uber and Lyft drivers likely are employees, putting an end to the “independent contractor” scam that capitalists have used to rip off workers for a while.[1] Now it appears that the National Labor Relations Board favors that very scam.[2] The Board is not a federal court and the California ruling applies only in California. I do not know how the rulings interact.

Laura Bliss, “Another Study Blames Uber and Lyft for Public Transit’s Decline,” CityLab, January 24, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/01/uber-lyft-ride-hailing-impact-public-transit-ridership/581062/

Alison Griswold, “The Trump presidency is paying off bigly for Uber,” Quartz, January 26, 2019, https://qz.com/1534331/uber-wins-big-in-supershuttle-ruling-made-by-trump-appointed-nlrb/


Unauthorized migration

Kevin Liptak, Dana Bash, and Jim Acosta, “Inside the White House, aides and advisers are despondent over a wasted month,” CNN, January 26, 2019, https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/01/26/politics/white-house-aides-despondent/index.html


  1. [1]City Attorney of San Francisco, “Herrera investigates Uber, Lyft over driver pay and benefits,” PR Newswire, May 29, 2018, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/herrera-investigates-uber-lyft-over-driver-pay-and-benefits-300655892.html; Lydia DePillis, “California ruling puts pressure on Uber, Lyft and other gig economy employers,” CNN, May 1, 2018,http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/01/news/economy/california-gig-employer-ruling/index.html; Bryan Menegus, “San Francisco Subpoenas Uber and Lyft for Proof Drivers Aren’t Employees,” Gizmodo, May 29, 2018, https://gizmodo.com/san-francisco-subpoenas-uber-and-lyft-for-proof-drivers-1826398148; Heather Somerville, “San Francisco subpoenas Uber, Lyft on driver classification,” Reuters, May 29, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ridehailing-sanfrancisco/san-francisco-subpoenas-uber-lyft-on-driver-classification-idUSKCN1IU2IX
  2. [2]Alison Griswold, “The Trump presidency is paying off bigly for Uber,” Quartz, January 26, 2019, https://qz.com/1534331/uber-wins-big-in-supershuttle-ruling-made-by-trump-appointed-nlrb/

Robert Mueller’s spokesperson speaks!

Updates

  1. Originally published, January 20, 1:09 am.
  2. January 20, 6:53 am:
    • Harbin Hot Springs has re-opened. Some, anyway. And as long as we’re badly misappropriating tired clichés for headlines,[1] let’s try “Rick and Ilsa might always have Paris. California has Harbin.” No?
  3. January 21, 12:39 am:
    • Nothing really, yet. I just finished looking at my Twitter feed; even it’s relatively quiet. I’m wondering if it is the calm before the storm and thinking almost certainly, it must be. Between Brexit and the Robert Mueller investigation, there is much that is pending. I’m adding some analysis to the commentary under the latter.
  4. January 21, 2:26 pm:
    • Iran’s PressTV reports that the U.S. Army has concluded that Iran was the only victor in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[2] PressTV is subject to Iranian government control.
    • Ilya Somin visits Donald Trump’s eminent domain problem with the border wall.[3] (Unauthorized migration)
  5. January 21, 8:10 pm:
    • Amid local resentment at the latest regulations permitting Marijuana delivery to any address in California, the California Highway Patrol has been exploiting arcane regulation to increase its seizures.[4]
    • I worried about the PressTV story about the Army saying Iran was the only winner of the Iraq war.[5] It turns out the Wall Street Journal had the story a few days ago, though it does not repeat the specific claim about Iran being the sole victor.[6]
  6. January 22, 12:29 am:
    • Theresa May’s Brexit Plan B looks a lot like her Plan A. And underwhelms accordingly.[7] Meanwhile, the Telegraph has a report on ways forward, including that Jeremy Corbyn has backed down from his opposition to a second referendum.[8]
  7. January 22, 1:58 pm:
    • Is it really news that Kim Jong Un pulled the wool over Donald Trump’s eyes? Of course not. This wasn’t even news during the summit. Which is why I’ve held back on what I viewed as “I told you so” stories. But an occasional reckoning is nonetheless in order. Yes, we know Trump is a delusional raging narcissist, an easy mark for any foreign leader worth his or her salt. But twenty undisclosed nuclear missile sites? Twenty? In North Korea?[9] Are you fucking kidding me?
  8. January 23, 11:00 pm:
    • Round one to Nancy Pelosi as Donald Trump abandons effort to give State of the Union Address at the regularly scheduled bat-channel, at the regularly scheduled bat-location, at the regularly scheduled bat-time, or even one or two of the three.[10]
  9. January 24, 5:17 pm:
    • An appeals court has ruled that legislation that protects against Ageism bias does not cover job applicants.[11]
    • Take this with more than a grain of salt, but allegedly, Republican senators’ patience is wearing thin with the shutdown.[12] Meanwhile, Donald Trump is apparently returning to his idea to declare a national emergency on the border.[13] (Unauthorized migration)
    • So, um, here’s a fire Pacific Gas and Electric actually might not be liable for. The Tubbs Fire, one of three that devastated Sonoma County in 2017. The folks who are suing PG&E over the fire are still suing and the utility is still planning to file for bankruptcy.[14] (Sonoma County Wildfires)
  10. January 25, 3:40 pm:
    • Donald Trump historically blinks and gets revenge—sometimes even petty revenge—later.[15]
    • And Donald Trump blinked and appears to be staggering.[16] The government will reopen for at least three weeks and there is no money for the border wall. Round two to Nancy Pelosi. She’s having an easier time of this than I expected.
    • The Doomsday Clock remains at two minutes before midnight.[17]
  11. January 25, 11:19 pm:
    • Donald Trump’s capitulation to Nancy Pelosi is now official. He has signed the bill ending a record government shutdown. It is unclear when or if he will give his State of the Union Address. He denies capitulating and still threatens to attempt to use emergency authority,[18] but he now has zero leverage for his fucking wall.

James Comey

We still don’t know—really—what specifically was so exceptional about this Buzzfeed story that Robert Mueller’s team felt it necessary to comment when they’ve let so much speculation, some of which has to have been erroneous, go by before.[19]

I see a couple ways to interpret this. I embrace neither of them:

  1. To some degree, and not necessarily in the sense of factuality of reporting, the story may have been more wrong than others that preceded it. The Washington Post reports that “[i]nside the Justice Department, the statement [denying the Buzzfeed story] was viewed as a huge step, and one that would have been taken only if the special counsel’s office viewed the story as almost entirely incorrect.”[20] Notice the structure of the implication in that quotation. Other stories might have been as incorrect but the decision-making process may have relied on contingencies that are different now.
  2. This story, uniquely of all the coverage to date, somehow threatens the Mueller investigation. Well, um, Donald Trump does think he can fire Mueller. I suppose there might be other problems as well, like that the report might prejudice potential jurors. Or that it is somehow impacting an active area of the investigation. I don’t know.
  3. Some combination of the above.

Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, and Karoun Demirjian, “In a rare move, Mueller’s office denies BuzzFeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie about Moscow project,” Washington Post, January 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2019/01/18/b9c40d34-1b85-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html

Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, “Inside the Mueller team’s decision to dispute BuzzFeed’s explosive story on Trump and Cohen,” Washington Post, January 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inside-the-mueller-teams-decision-to-dispute-buzzfeeds-explosive-story-on-trump-and-cohen/2019/01/19/d89dba5b-fa0f-445b-9fd3-72f0e911e28d_story.html


Brexit

unnamed
Via the Telegraph, January 21, 2019, fair use.

Christopher Hope, “Second Brexit referendum: Official Government guidance says it will take a year to organise, Telegraph, January 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/17/revealed-official-government-guidance-saying-will-take-year/

Karla Adam and William Booth, “Theresa May’s Brexit Plan B leaves Parliament underwhelmed,” Washington Post, January 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/theresa-mays-brexit-plan-b-leaves-parliament-underwhelmed/2019/01/21/1b7e43bc-1b5b-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

Steven Swinford and Jack Maidment, “Where next: With Theresa May losing control of Brexit which rival plans have a chance of success?” Telegraph, January 21, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/21/next-theresa-may-losing-control-brexit-rival-plans-have-chance/


Harbin Hot Springs

Kurtis Alexander, “New Age nudist retreat Harbin Hot Springs rises from embers in Lake County,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/New-Age-retreat-rises-from-embers-13546291.php


Sonoma County Wildfires

Joseph Serna and Taryn Luna, “Private power lines, not PG&E, caused wine country fire that killed 22, investigation finds,” Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2019, Private power lines, not PG&E, caused wine country fire that killed 22, investigation finds


Iraq

PressTV, “US Army study of its Iraq invasion concludes Iran was ‘the only victor,'” Global Security, January 20, 2019, https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2019/iraq-190120-presstv01.htm


Unauthorized migration

Ilya Somin, “To build the wall, Trump might make thousands of Americans suffer,” Washington Post, January 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-build-the-wall-trump-might-make-thousands-of-americans-suffer/2019/01/19/fd39abe6-150e-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html

Priscilla Alvarez and Tammy Kupperman, “White House preparing draft national emergency order, has identified $7 billion for wall,” CNN, January 24, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/24/politics/trump-border-wall-emergency-draft/index.html

Alexander Bolton, “GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes,” Hill, January 24, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/426896-gop-senators-read-pence-riot-act-before-shutdown-votes


Nancy Pelosi

Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html

Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez, “Pelosi tells Trump: No State of the Union address in the House until government is reopened,” Washington Post, January 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-hell-deliver-state-of-the-union-at-the-capitol-despite-pelosis-request-to-postpone/2019/01/23/d171dfae-1f33-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html

Kevin Liptak, “Pelosi denies Trump use of House chamber for State of the Union,” CNN, January 23, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-state-of-the-union/index.html

Jennifer Haberkorn and Noah Bierman, “Trump agrees to temporarily end government shutdown without any border wall money,” Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-congress-shutdown-talks-20190125-story.html

Rebecca Ballhaus, Kristina Peterson, and Vivian Salama, “Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Longest Government Shutdown in U.S. History,” Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-considering-agreeing-to-sign-three-week-spending-bill-as-early-as-friday-11548439078


Donald Trump

Marc Fisher, “Bluster, bombast, backing down: What happens when someone says no to Trump?” Washington Post, January 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bluster-bombast-backing-down-what-happens-when-someone-says-no-to-trump/2019/01/24/359df148-1f66-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html


Marijuana

Andrew Sheeler, “Marijuana is legal in California. So why is the CHP arresting delivery drivers?” Sacramento Bee, January 21, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article224079655.html


North Korea

Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, “Report finds another undisclosed North Korea missile site, says there are 19 more,” NBC News, January 21, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/report-finds-another-undisclosedth-korea-missile-site-says-there-n958801


Donald Trump

Marc Fisher, “Bluster, bombast, backing down: What happens when someone says no to Trump?” Washington Post, January 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bluster-bombast-backing-down-what-happens-when-someone-says-no-to-trump/2019/01/24/359df148-1f66-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html


Ageism

Jonathan Stempel, “Age bias law does not cover job applicants: U.S. appeals court,” Reuters, January 23, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-labor-age-bias/age-bias-law-does-not-cover-job-applicants-u-s-appeals-court-idUSKCN1PI02N


Doomsday Clock

Julian Borger, “Doomsday clock stays at two minutes to midnight as crisis now ‘new abnormal,’” Guardian, January 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/24/doomsday-clock-2019-two-minutes-midnight-nuclear-war-new-abnormal


 

  1. [1]Kurtis Alexander, “New Age nudist retreat Harbin Hot Springs rises from embers in Lake County,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/New-Age-retreat-rises-from-embers-13546291.php
  2. [2]PressTV, “US Army study of its Iraq invasion concludes Iran was ‘the only victor,'” Global Security, January 20, 2019, https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2019/iraq-190120-presstv01.htm
  3. [3]Ilya Somin, “To build the wall, Trump might make thousands of Americans suffer,” Washington Post, January 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-build-the-wall-trump-might-make-thousands-of-americans-suffer/2019/01/19/fd39abe6-150e-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html
  4. [4]Andrew Sheeler, “Marijuana is legal in California. So why is the CHP arresting delivery drivers?” Sacramento Bee, January 21, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article224079655.html
  5. [5]PressTV, “US Army study of its Iraq invasion concludes Iran was ‘the only victor,'” Global Security, January 20, 2019, https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2019/iraq-190120-presstv01.htm
  6. [6]Michael R. Gordon, “Army Releases a Critical History of the War in Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/army-releases-a-critical-history-of-the-war-in-iraq-11547768863
  7. [7]Karla Adam and William Booth, “Theresa May’s Brexit Plan B leaves Parliament underwhelmed,” Washington Post, January 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/theresa-mays-brexit-plan-b-leaves-parliament-underwhelmed/2019/01/21/1b7e43bc-1b5b-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  8. [8]Steven Swinford and Jack Maidment, “Where next: With Theresa May losing control of Brexit which rival plans have a chance of success?” Telegraph, January 21, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/21/next-theresa-may-losing-control-brexit-rival-plans-have-chance/
  9. [9]Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, “Report finds another undisclosed North Korea missile site, says there are 19 more,” NBC News, January 21, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/report-finds-another-undisclosedth-korea-missile-site-says-there-n958801
  10. [10]Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html<; Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez, "Pelosi tells Trump: No State of the Union address in the House until government is reopened," Washington Post, January 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-hell-deliver-state-of-the-union-at-the-capitol-despite-pelosis-request-to-postpone/2019/01/23/d171dfae-1f33-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html; Kevin Liptak, “Pelosi denies Trump use of House chamber for State of the Union,” CNN, January 23, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-state-of-the-union/index.html
  11. [11]Jonathan Stempel, “Age bias law does not cover job applicants: U.S. appeals court,” Reuters, January 23, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-labor-age-bias/age-bias-law-does-not-cover-job-applicants-u-s-appeals-court-idUSKCN1PI02N
  12. [12]Alexander Bolton, “GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes,” Hill, January 24, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/426896-gop-senators-read-pence-riot-act-before-shutdown-votes
  13. [13]Priscilla Alvarez and Tammy Kupperman, “White House preparing draft national emergency order, has identified $7 billion for wall,” CNN, January 24, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/24/politics/trump-border-wall-emergency-draft/index.html
  14. [14]Joseph Serna and Taryn Luna, “Private power lines, not PG&E, caused wine country fire that killed 22, investigation finds,” Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2019, Private power lines, not PG&E, caused wine country fire that killed 22, investigation finds
  15. [15]Marc Fisher, “Bluster, bombast, backing down: What happens when someone says no to Trump?” Washington Post, January 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bluster-bombast-backing-down-what-happens-when-someone-says-no-to-trump/2019/01/24/359df148-1f66-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html
  16. [16]Jennifer Haberkorn and Noah Bierman, “Trump agrees to temporarily end government shutdown without any border wall money,” Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-congress-shutdown-talks-20190125-story.html
  17. [17]Julian Borger, “Doomsday clock stays at two minutes to midnight as crisis now ‘new abnormal,’” Guardian, January 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/24/doomsday-clock-2019-two-minutes-midnight-nuclear-war-new-abnormal
  18. [18]Rebecca Ballhaus, Kristina Peterson, and Vivian Salama, “Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Longest Government Shutdown in U.S. History,” Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-considering-agreeing-to-sign-three-week-spending-bill-as-early-as-friday-11548439078
  19. [19]Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, and Karoun Demirjian, “In a rare move, Mueller’s office denies BuzzFeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie about Moscow project,” Washington Post, January 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2019/01/18/b9c40d34-1b85-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html; Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, “Inside the Mueller team’s decision to dispute BuzzFeed’s explosive story on Trump and Cohen,” Washington Post, January 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inside-the-mueller-teams-decision-to-dispute-buzzfeeds-explosive-story-on-trump-and-cohen/2019/01/19/d89dba5b-fa0f-445b-9fd3-72f0e911e28d_story.html
  20. [20]Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, and Karoun Demirjian, “In a rare move, Mueller’s office denies BuzzFeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie about Moscow project,” Washington Post, January 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2019/01/18/b9c40d34-1b85-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html

Brexit hits the fan

Updates

  1. Originally published, January 14, 11:56 pm.
  2. January 15, 6:55 am:
    • It’s probably pointless to forecast Theresa May’s demise as prime minister following an expected massive defeat for her Brexit plan. But the Telegraph article says something about the machinations involved. “Normally,” we would be looking at some sort of election here. The “normal” question would be whether it will be a general election as Labour seeks to maneuver into power (I don’t believe this will succeed) or a second referendum (or maybe even both).[1] The knives are out for May[2] as politicians maneuver for advantage but at this point, the question of the deal itself isn’t even so much about whether it can pass—it almost certainly can’t—but rather about the scale of the defeat and whether May can survive that defeat.[3] I still think those who insist they can get a better deal should be required to say how; details here seem notably absent. The real drama is now simply, baldly, a power struggle.
  3. January 15, 1:13 pm:
    • As widely expected, the U.K. Parliament voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It did so by a margin of over 200 votes.[4] Going by the earlier Telegraph coverage, that should mean she will have to resign.[5] As also expected,[6] Jeremy Corbyn has put forward a no-confidence motion.[7] But, unbelievably, May apparently intends to carry on.[8]
  4. January 16, 1:02 am:
    • Allan Lichtmann is just pointing out that Nancy Pelosi is now second in the line of succession to the presidency, immediately behind the vice president.[9] Y’know, just sayin’.
    • Yasmeen Serhan’s take on the Brexit vote is to point out that “[Theresa] May has insisted that the only thing worse than leaving the EU without a deal would be to leave it with a bad one.” Parliament, Serhan argues, took May at her word.[10] May also insisted the choice was between her deal and no deal, rebuffing calls for a second referendum on grounds that “Brexit supporters might even lose that second vote and be saddled with a bitterly divided nation and the status quo,”[11] which is true enough—indeed, it’s probably fair to say that a narrow outcome, reflecting bitter division, would be the most likely result, no matter which way it came out.[12] But with European Union diplomats insisting that May’s deal was the best that could be gotten,[13] the choice is no longer between May’s deal and no deal. It’s now between a second referendum and no deal,[14] and ministers should consider, given dire predictions of what will happen in the absence of a deal,[15] what their constituents will think of them as a hard Brexit unfolds.
  5. January 16, 4:55 pm:
    • As expected,[16] Theresa May survived the no-confidence motion in the U.K. Parliament.[17] (Brexit)
  6. January 17, 12:08 pm:
    • So I thought that Nancy Pelosi, despite her problematic position within the mainstream of the Democratic Party, might be the right person to take on Donald Trump over his stupid border wall. I noted my reasons could be construed as sexist.[18] But she might be vindicating me and, indeed, I might have been able to handle the issue differently had I had the quotes available to me when I wrote that blog entry that are available now.[19]
  7. January 17, 3:30 pm:
    • Maybe this matters more than I think, but Donald Trump responded to Nancy Pelosi’s move to postpone the State of the Union address by cutting off her access to military aircraft for a planned trip.[20] I just don’t see her trip to Afghanistan mattering as much to her as his planned appearance on national television addressing a joint session of Congress does to him. I think it’s understood that Pelosi’s move was an opening gambit. Trump’s response looks astonishingly weak to me—it certainly reflects uncertainty at the White House over how to respond.[21]
    • The judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric’s probation for a gas line explosion in San Bruno blames uninsulated conductors for many wildfires in which the utility has been implicated.[22] Hint to PG&E: Your repeated responses about how you “are committed to” whatever are getting really tired. And I’m not arguing if people say they’re empty.
  8. January 18, 12:35 am:
    • Theresa May has been accused of “pandering to the hard right of [her] party”[23] in what now appears to be a careen toward a hard Brexit. But it seems many in Labour, including members of the shadow cabinet, are equally adamant that there should be no second referendum. The logic seems to be that a second referendum would betray those who supported the outcome of the first one,[24] and I’m pretty sure[25] this argument is common to similarly opposed Tories (Conservatives). Which is to say that a naïvely (I include myself in this naïeveté,[26] abysmally unaware of the complications of the Irish border) taken vote must be adhered to regardless of the consequences? Even when consequences which were not as well known—perhaps even not known at all—become much more clear? Which is to say that unappetizing options for compliance with the first outcome may not be subject to debate and vote? Really? Really? Oh and which is to say that voters might never change their fucking minds? Really? Does anyone else see that this is more about parties jostling for power, desperately seeking to avoid punishment from some folks with some really rather perverse notions of sovereignty? Certainly, it’s less than an honest admission that the options—each unappetizing in one way or another—might deserve popular consideration.
  9. January 18, 01:00 am:
    • It turns out the government has been exploring the feasibility of a second referendum on Brexit—you know, someone was asking for a friend.[27]

Brexit

MayWalksThePlank
Patrick Blower, January 15, 2019, via the Telegraph, fair use.

Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/

Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/

Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/

Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Theresa May survives confidence vote, even after Brexit failure,” Telegraph, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/theresa-may-expected-to-survive-confidence-vote-even-after-brexit-failure/2019/01/16/80863074-1914-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat

Heather Stewart, Peter Walker, and Rajeev Syal, “Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs ‘people’s vote,’ ” Guardian, January 17, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/17/corbyn-could-face-string-of-resignations-if-he-backs-peoples-vote

Christopher Hope, “Second Brexit referendum: Official Government guidance says it will take a year to organise, Telegraph, January 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/17/revealed-official-government-guidance-saying-will-take-year/


Pacific Gas and Electric

Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak, “PG&E calls bankruptcy ‘only viable option’ in California wildfire crisis,” Sacramento Bee, January 14, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article224504140.html


Nancy Pelosi

Allan Lichtman, “Could Nancy Pelosi be the next president of the United States?” Hill, January 15, 2019, https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/425344-could-nancy-pelosi-be-the-next-president-of-the-united-states

John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle, and Rachael Bade, “‘She’s satin and steel’: Pelosi wages war on Trump,” Politico, January 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/16/has-trump-met-his-match-pelosi-1106624

Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html

Paul Kane, Philip Rucker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘She wields the knife’: Pelosi moves to belittle and undercut Trump in shutdown fight,” Washington Post, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/she-wields-the-knife-pelosi-moves-to-belittle-and-undercut-trump-in-shutdown-fight/2019/01/16/e6861fbe-19b0-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html


Pacific Gas and Electric

Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, “Judge blames deadly California wildfires on PG&E’s uninsulated power conductors,” Sacramento Bee, January 17, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article224709110.html


  1. [1]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  2. [2]Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/
  3. [3]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  4. [4]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html; Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230
  5. [5]Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/
  6. [6]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  7. [7]Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230
  8. [8]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  9. [9]Allan Lichtman, “Could Nancy Pelosi be the next president of the United States?” Hill, January 15, 2019, https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/425344-could-nancy-pelosi-be-the-next-president-of-the-united-states
  10. [10]Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/
  11. [11]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  12. [12]Heather Stewart, “No 10 denies making plans for second Brexit referendum,” Guardian, December 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/16/no-10-denies-making-plans-for-second-brexit-referendum
  13. [13]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  14. [14]Michael R. Bloomberg, “A Brexit Choice Between Bad and Worse,” Bloomberg, April 27, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-27/brexit-michael-bloomberg-on-the-customs-union-choice; Gavin Cordon, “Brexit: Theresa May warns EU exit may not happen ‘at all’ if rebel Tories don’t play ball,” Independent, July 15, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-brexit-tory-rebels-trade-chequers-donald-trump-a8447776.html; Oliver Wright, “Brexit: Starmer insists a second vote may be the only way out,” Times, January 10, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/brexit-starmer-insists-a-second-vote-may-be-the-only-way-out-3tkzc9mdq
  15. [15]Tom Rees, “Pound suffers biggest plunge since 2017 election as global stocks slide amid Brexit worries,” Telegraph, November 15, 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/11/15/city-backs-pms-brexit-deal-pound-left-limbo-rebellion/
  16. [16]Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230; Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  17. [17]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Theresa May survives confidence vote, even after Brexit failure,” Telegraph, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/theresa-may-expected-to-survive-confidence-vote-even-after-brexit-failure/2019/01/16/80863074-1914-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html; Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat
  18. [18]David Benfell, “It might actually be a good thing that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House right now,” Not Housebroken, January 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/01/12/it-might-actually-be-a-good-thing-that-nancy-pelosi-is-speaker-of-the-house-right-now/
  19. [19]John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle, and Rachael Bade, “‘She’s satin and steel’: Pelosi wages war on Trump,” Politico, January 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/16/has-trump-met-his-match-pelosi-1106624; Paul Kane, Philip Rucker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘She wields the knife’: Pelosi moves to belittle and undercut Trump in shutdown fight,” Washington Post, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/she-wields-the-knife-pelosi-moves-to-belittle-and-undercut-trump-in-shutdown-fight/2019/01/16/e6861fbe-19b0-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html
  20. [20]Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html
  21. [21]Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html
  22. [22]Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, “Judge blames deadly California wildfires on PG&E’s uninsulated power conductors,” Sacramento Bee, January 17, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article224709110.html
  23. [23]Heidi Allen, quoted in Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat
  24. [24]Heather Stewart, Peter Walker, and Rajeev Syal, “Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs ‘people’s vote,’” Guardian, January 17, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/17/corbyn-could-face-string-of-resignations-if-he-backs-peoples-vote
  25. [25]I’m failing right now to find cleanly where this is. Certainly, the sentiments led up to a conclusion much like that expressed by Labour politicians here.
  26. [26]David Benfell, “The ‘Brexit’ vote may signify the end of the illusion of ‘progress,’” Not Housebroken, June 26, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/06/26/the-brexit-vote-may-signify-the-end-of-the-illusion-of-progress/
  27. [27]Christopher Hope, “Second Brexit referendum: Official Government guidance says it will take a year to organise, Telegraph, January 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/17/revealed-official-government-guidance-saying-will-take-year/