Theresa May still can’t get her Brexit deal through Parliament.

Updates

  1. Originally published, March 12, 1:43 pm.
  2. March 13, 12:36 am:
    • Katy Collin explains why a second Brexit referendum might not actually solve the problem.[1]
  3. March 13, 1:48 pm:
    • Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has likely escaped criminal charges in the Sonoma County wildfires a couple years ago.[2] This is a different outcome from the Camp Fire of late last year, in which PG&E has admitted probable blame.[3]
    • It should not be taken as a given that the European Union will agree to an Article 50 extension because European leaders will want to know how Britain intends to make any more progress on agreeing what it wants with Brexit with an extension than it has absent an extension.[4] Put more bluntly, they want to know, and they’re far from alone, if British politicians are even capable of recognizing reality (no sign of this yet).
  4. March 13, 10:03 pm:
    • Parliament voted to oppose a hard Brexit. Apparently, this is a surprise: The government has been banking on the prospect of no deal for leverage in negotiations, both with Brexiteers and the European Union.[5]
  5. March 14, 1:44 am:
  6. March 14, 12:45 pm:
    • “Brussels has said a vote by UK MPs to block a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances is a meaningless move, with one senior EU negotiator describing it as ‘the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way.'” And the European Union’s top negotiator, Michael Barnier, sees no point to an Article 50 extension.[6] (Brexit)
  7. March 15, 2:43 am:
    • Parliament voted to ask the European Union for a Brexit delay. It also—for now—voted against a second referendum.[7] It remains to be seen if the E.U. will, in fact, grant that extension.[8]
    • Round Four goes to Nancy Pelosi. The House Resolution opposing Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency to fund his border wall has passed the Senate. Trump, of course, is expected to veto it.[9] Pelosi previously won rounds one and two. Round three was a draw. (Unauthorized migration)

Brexit

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament overwhelmingly rejects Theresa May’s plan, diminishing chance of withdrawal on March 29,” Washington Post, March 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-parliament-to-vote-tuesday-on-theresa-mays-new-brexit-plan-but-the-tweaked-deal-faces-strong-opposition/2019/03/12/850e2c52-4405-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html

Katy Collin, “Could there be a second Brexit referendum?” Washington Post, March 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/12/could-there-be-second-brexit-referendum/

Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin, “EU on no-deal Brexit motion: ‘like Titanic voting for iceberg to move,’” Guardian, March 13, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/eu-extend-brexit-talks-complete-barnier-brussels-assurance

William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “Brexit: Parliament rejects a no-deal departure,” Washington Post, March 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/no-deal-brexit-vote/2019/03/13/b79d2c86-4405-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html< Peter Foster, "Brexit delay: How the EU is hardening its battle lines against Article 50 extension," Telegraph, March 13, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/13/article-50-extension-eu-doesnt-want-delay-brexit/

William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “British Parliament votes to delay Brexit, rejects a second referendum for now,” Washington Post,
March 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-delay-and-second-referendum/2019/03/14/d97ffdd8-4405-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Brexit: MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit,” March 14, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47562995


California marijuana

Andrew Sheeler, “California’s marijuana industry needs an intervention to avoid an ‘extinction event’,” Sacramento Bee, March 11, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/article227324114.html


Michael Jackson

Steve Knopper, “Five myths about Michael Jackson,” Washington Post, March 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-michael-jackson/2019/03/07/255266fe-4101-11e9-922c-64d6b7840b82_story.html


Sonoma County wildfires

Julie Johnson, “Sonoma County DA: No criminal charges for PG&E in 2017 wildfires,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 12, 2019, https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9382417-181/sonoma-county-da-no-criminal

J. D. Morris, “Sonoma, Napa counties won’t criminally prosecute PG&E over 2017 fires,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Sonoma-Napa-counties-won-t-criminally-13683526.php


Unauthorized migration

Jordain Carney, “Senate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump,” Hill, March 14, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/434086-senate-rejects-border-declaration-teeing-up-trumps-first-veto


  1. [1]Katy Collin, “Could there be a second Brexit referendum?” Washington Post, March 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/12/could-there-be-second-brexit-referendum/
  2. [2]Julie Johnson, “Sonoma County DA: No criminal charges for PG&E in 2017 wildfires,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 12, 2019, https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9382417-181/sonoma-county-da-no-criminal; J. D. Morris, “Sonoma, Napa counties won’t criminally prosecute PG&E over 2017 fires,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Sonoma-Napa-counties-won-t-criminally-13683526.php
  3. [3]Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak, “PG&E admits equipment ‘probably’ caused Camp Fire, says its future is in doubt,” Sacramento Bee, February 28, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article226921019.html
  4. [4]Peter Foster, “Brexit delay: How the EU is hardening its battle lines against Article 50 extension,” Telegraph, March 13, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/13/article-50-extension-eu-doesnt-want-delay-brexit/
  5. [5]William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “Brexit: Parliament rejects a no-deal departure,” Washington Post, March 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/no-deal-brexit-vote/2019/03/13/b79d2c86-4405-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html; British Broadcasting Corporation, “Brexit: MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit,” March 14, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47562995
  6. [6]Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin, “EU on no-deal Brexit motion: ‘like Titanic voting for iceberg to move,’” Guardian, March 13, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/eu-extend-brexit-talks-complete-barnier-brussels-assurance
  7. [7]William Booth, Karla Adam, and Michael Birnbaum, “British Parliament votes to delay Brexit, rejects a second referendum for now,” Washington Post,
    March 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-delay-and-second-referendum/2019/03/14/d97ffdd8-4405-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html
  8. [8]Peter Foster, “Brexit delay: How the EU is hardening its battle lines against Article 50 extension,” Telegraph, March 13, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/13/article-50-extension-eu-doesnt-want-delay-brexit/
  9. [9]Jordain Carney, “Senate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump,” Hill, March 14, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/434086-senate-rejects-border-declaration-teeing-up-trumps-first-veto

Fiddling while the planet burns

Updates

  1. Originally published, March 3, 5:01 pm.
  2. March 4, 8:28 pm:
    • Aaron Blake thinks Rand Paul’s rebuke of Donald Trump’s border wall state of non-emergency might matter.[1] (Unauthorized migration)
  3. March 5, 12:00 noon:
  4. March 6, 2019, 8:33 pm:
    • A second federal judge has struck down the citizenship question proposed for the 2020 U.S. Census.[2] (Unauthorized migration)

Once again, even as I continue to add stories to my archive, there is little that focuses my mind. Almost nothing here is surprising.


Stephon Clark

Anita Chabria, “Sacramento police officers who shot Stephon Clark will not face criminal charges,” Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-stephon-clark-sacramento-shooting-20190302-story.html

Madeline Holcombe, “DA painted picture of Stephon Clark as ‘troubled.’ His fiancée gave a tearful rebuke,” CNN, March 3, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/03/us/sacramento-police-shooting-stephon-clark-investigation-sunday/index.html


California High Speed Rail

Ralph Vartabedian, “Newsom’s shorter California bullet train plan likely to run out of money before completion,” Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-plan-challenges-20190303-story.html


Russian River flooding

Mary Callahan, “Another major flood along Russian River raises question of what’s to be done,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 3, 2019, https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9339847-181/another-major-flood-along-russian


Pacific Gas and Electric

Katherine Blunt and Russell Gold, “PG&E Delayed Safety Work on Power Line That Is Prime Suspect in California Wildfire,” Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-delayed-safety-work-on-power-line-that-is-prime-suspect-in-california-wildfire-11551292977


Donald Trump

Isaac Chotiner, “A Legal Editor on What We Learned from Michael Cohen’s Congressional Testimony,” New Yorker, February 27, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/a-legal-editor-on-what-we-learned-from-michael-cohens-congressional-testimony


Brexit

William James, Kylie MacLellan, and Elizabeth Piper, “May’s Brexit deal, no-deal or delay? British PM offers lawmakers a choice,” Reuters, February 26, 2019, https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1QF0LZ

Steven Swinford et al., “More than 100 Tory MPs revolt over Brexit Article 50 as Eurosceptics accuse Theresa May of ‘buckling,’” Telegraph, February 27, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/brexit-latest-newstheresa-may-tells-parliament-do-duty-support/


Unauthorized migration

Aaron Blake, “Rand Paul’s big rebuke of Trump’s ‘national emergency,’ and why it could actually matter,” Washington Post, March 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/04/rand-pauls-big-rebuke-trumps-national-emergency-why-it-could-actually-matter/

Maddy Ashmun, “California scores win against Trump’s citizenship census question,” Sacramento Bee, March 6, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article227206259.html


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “Rand Paul’s big rebuke of Trump’s ‘national emergency,’ and why it could actually matter,” Washington Post, March 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/04/rand-pauls-big-rebuke-trumps-national-emergency-why-it-could-actually-matter/
  2. [2]Maddy Ashmun, “California scores win against Trump’s citizenship census question,” Sacramento Bee, March 6, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article227206259.html

We don’t need no stinkin’ Robert Mueller report

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 25, 12:27 am.
  2. February 25, 12:36 pm:
    • It looks to me like an update got lost. I don’t know what happened, but I’m trying to incorporate it here.
    • Japan’s central government will overrule a referendum result in Okinawa opposing construction of a replacement for the U.S. military base in Futenma.[1]
    • Some former national security officials have condemned Donald Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency to build his border wall.[2] (Unauthorized migration)
  3. February 25, 8:29 pm:
  4. February 25, 11:58 pm:
    • It appears Labour will be supporting a second Brexit referendum after all.[4]
  5. February 26, 11:36 am:
    • Theresa May will offer Parliament the option to delay Brexit in an effort to avert a hard Brexit.[5]

James Comey

David A. Graham, “Americans Don’t Need the Mueller Report to Judge Trump,” Atlantic, February 23, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/02/trump-mueller-report-smoking-guns/583336/

Michael Burke, “Schiff warns against withholding Mueller report: ‘We are going to get to the bottom of this,'” Hill, February 24, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/431306-schiff-warns-justice-department-not-to-withhold-mueller-report


James Comey

Aaron Blake, “What Robert Mueller could say on the witness stand,” Washington Post, February 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/02/25/democrats-say-theyll-force-robert-mueller-testify-what-could-he-say/


Israel

Binyamin Netanyahu may have taken a step too far to the right.[6] I suppose it’s an understandable mistake. For all the yammering about how “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,”[7] it’s the right that much more consistently wins elections, while the rest of us are in denial about fascism.

Times of Israel, “AIPAC to boycott ‘racist and reprehensible’ Kahanist party wooed by Netanyahu,” February 22, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/major-us-jewish-groups-slam-racist-and-reprehensible-extremist-israeli-party/

Times of Israel, “After AIPAC rebuke, Netanyahu defends aiding Kahanists: ‘Hypocrisy by the left,’” February 23, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-aipac-rebuke-pm-defends-aiding-kahanists-hypocrisy-by-the-left/


Okinawa

Simon Denyer, “In Japan’s Okinawa, voters deliver a resounding no to new U.S. military base,” Washington Post, February 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-japans-okinawa-voters-deliver-a-resounding-no-to-new-us-military-base/2019/02/24/95283a46-3858-11e9-b786-d6abcbcd212a_story.html

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Okinawa: Tokyo to overrule referendum on US base,” February 25, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47353504


Unauthorized migration

Ellen Nakashima, “Former senior national security officials to issue declaration on national emergency,” Washington Post, February 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-senior-national-security-officials-to-issue-declaration-on-national-emergency/2019/02/24/3e4908c6-3859-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html


Brexit

Jessica Elgot, “Jeremy Corbyn: we’ll back a second referendum to stop Tory no-deal Brexit,” Guardian, February 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/25/labour-to-back-moves-for-second-brexit-referendum

William James, Kylie MacLellan, and Elizabeth Piper, “May’s Brexit deal, no-deal or delay? British PM offers lawmakers a choice,” Reuters, February 26, 2019, https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1QF0LZ


 

  1. [1]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Okinawa: Tokyo to overrule referendum on US base,” February 25, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47353504; Simon Denyer, “In Japan’s Okinawa, voters deliver a resounding no to new U.S. military base,” Washington Post, February 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-japans-okinawa-voters-deliver-a-resounding-no-to-new-us-military-base/2019/02/24/95283a46-3858-11e9-b786-d6abcbcd212a_story.html
  2. [2]Ellen Nakashima, “Former senior national security officials to issue declaration on national emergency,” Washington Post, February 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-senior-national-security-officials-to-issue-declaration-on-national-emergency/2019/02/24/3e4908c6-3859-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html
  3. [3]Aaron Blake, “What Robert Mueller could say on the witness stand,” Washington Post, February 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/02/25/democrats-say-theyll-force-robert-mueller-testify-what-could-he-say/
  4. [4]Jessica Elgot, “Jeremy Corbyn: we’ll back a second referendum to stop Tory no-deal Brexit,” Guardian, February 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/25/labour-to-back-moves-for-second-brexit-referendum
  5. [5]William James, Kylie MacLellan, and Elizabeth Piper, “May’s Brexit deal, no-deal or delay? British PM offers lawmakers a choice,” Reuters, February 26, 2019, https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1QF0LZ
  6. [6]Times of Israel, “AIPAC to boycott ‘racist and reprehensible’ Kahanist party wooed by Netanyahu,” February 22, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/major-us-jewish-groups-slam-racist-and-reprehensible-extremist-israeli-party/; Times of Israel, “After AIPAC rebuke, Netanyahu defends aiding Kahanists: ‘Hypocrisy by the left,’” February 23, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-aipac-rebuke-pm-defends-aiding-kahanists-hypocrisy-by-the-left/
  7. [7]Matt Lewis, “Obama Loves Martin Luther King’s Great Quote—But He Uses It Incorrectly,” Daily Beast, January 16, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/obama-loves-martin-luther-kings-great-quotebut-he-uses-it-incorrectly

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, 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]
  6. February 21, 1:41 am:
    • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against state Civil Asset Forfeiture abuses.[12]
    • After Jeremy Corbyn suffered from seven[13] eight defections from the U.K. Labour Party, Theresa May suffered from three defections from her Conservatives.[14] I’m definitely counting this as a Brexit sideshow for now.
  7. February 21, 4:23 pm:
  8. February 22, 2:30 am:
    • “Theresa May has been warned by a group of 100 moderate Tory MPs that they are prepared to rebel against the Government to force her to delay Brexit if she cannot reach a deal.” They want her to rule out a hard Brexit.[15] I would suggest that there needs to be some evidence that delay can solve anything. All I can see is that it would shield some delusions.

I’ve lived on the west coast almost my entire life. Almost.

But one of the things I remember from a couple years back east is a change in the wind.

It’s really just a slight gust of wind that comes from a different direction. You hear it in the leaves of the trees and you feel it not only for the gust but because it heralds a different air mass that literally feels different. Back east, it portends a change in the weather. If it’s sunny, hot, and humid, and you feel that gust, you know that in a little bit, the weather will be very different, possibly pouring down rain, with lightning and thunder.

People back east get attuned to this. They notice it and react; I remember retreating to a veranda to watch the show, maybe with a glass of lemonade.

I’m still attuned, but out here, that little gust doesn’t mean as much. Our weather grows warmer during the day, the fog may burn off, but we don’t often go from sunny, hot, and humid to pouring down rain, lightning, and thunder. I notice the gust in the fall, when it tells me the season has arrived.

As I stepped out of the house this morning (February 20), I felt that gust of wind. The clouds are weird—one of the ways the weather has changed around here since I was a child—but when I looked at the satellite photo, it appears we’re sheltered from rain by high pressure for now.

I know, you’re expecting some dramatic point to all of this. But this isn’t back east. Like that gust of wind I felt this morning, it probably means nothing at all. Probably.


The text formerly here has been edited and posted in a new research journal entry, “The tragedy of the roads.”


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.[16]

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.[17] 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,[18] 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

Anna Mikhailova and Steven Swinford, “Group of 100 Conservative MPs ready to force Brexit delay if May’s deal fails,” Telegraph, February 22, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/21/brexit-latest-news-labour-tories-brace-walkouts-defectors-reshape/


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.[19]

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


Civil Asset Forfeiture

Richard Wolf, “Supreme Court strikes blow against states that raise revenue by hefty fines, forfeitures,” USA Today, February 20, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/20/supreme-court-states-cant-impose-excessive-fees-fines-forfeitures/2919411002/


  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]Richard Wolf, “Supreme Court strikes blow against states that raise revenue by hefty fines, forfeitures,” USA Today, February 20, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/20/supreme-court-states-cant-impose-excessive-fees-fines-forfeitures/2919411002/
  13. [13]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
  14. [14]William Booth, “Disgusted by Brexit hard-liners, three lawmakers abandon Theresa May’s Conservative Party,” Washington Post, February 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/disgusted-by-brexit-hard-liners-three-lawmakers-abandon-theresa-mays-conservative-party/2019/02/20/20f77b30-3503-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html
  15. [15]Anna Mikhailova and Steven Swinford, “Group of 100 Conservative MPs ready to force Brexit delay if May’s deal fails,” Telegraph, February 22, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/21/brexit-latest-news-labour-tories-brace-walkouts-defectors-reshape/
  16. [16]Patrick Blower, [cartoon], Telegraph, February 19, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/telegraph-cartoons-february-2019/
  17. [17]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
  18. [18]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
  19. [19]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