The New Yorker:
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Donald Trump sold a superyacht to a Saudi prince. In 1991, the yacht in question was repossessed by the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Boston Company, itself a subsidiary of Shearson Lehman Brothers, when Trump defaulted on a loan. The yacht ended up in Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s ownership as a result of a transaction between Shearson Lehman Brothers and Prince Alwaleed
(click here to continue reading Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line | The New Yorker.)
That means that about 7.2 miles of the border belong to ports of entry, which leaves 1,366.8 miles.
The result? We need about 4.6 million steel slats to cover that ground. At a height of 28.4 feet and a presumed thickness of one inch, each slat requires a bit less than 2 cubic feet of steel. For all of the slats, we’d need about 9 million cubic feet of steel.
As CNBC notes, that steel is a lot pricier than it was a year ago, thanks to the tariffs Trump imposed on foreign steel. At the beginning of 2018, this barrier would have cost 25 percent less.
Update: A civil engineer wrote in to note that, at current prices of $160 per cubic foot, the steel alone would cost about $1.5 billion – excluding steel that would need to be used to extend the slats into the ground. She also noted that a 1-inch-thick wall wouldn’t be terribly sturdy
Artist Shepard Fairey said he will insist on removal of his Robert F. Kennedy mural if LAUSD paints over controversial artwork at school - Los Angeles Times
And the real truth:
“Zinke, a former Republican congressman from Montana, is leaving weeks before Democrats take control of the House, a shift in power that promised to intensify probes into his conduct.”
The New Yorker:
Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money.
By Jeffrey Toobin
(click here to continue reading Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line | The New Yorker.)
Society didn’t shift abruptly. Microaggressions aren’t new.
You’re just hearing about it more, because the people who have been suffering it for a long time have decided that they aren’t going to suffer it anymore. The disempowered recognize that it’s time for them to be heard.
Social media gives them a platform to broadcast that message for the first real time in history. Prior to a decade ago, they’d have to find some way to get their message out through media dominated by the very people who were looking down on them and oppressing them. The democratization of media gave them an equal playing field now.
Women are coming forward because there is either less of a penalty to doing so or a greater possibility that people will take them seriously.
Minorities are able to videotape their peers getting shot by police, and post that to the world in minutes.
These things happened for decades.
Now, they’re going to make sure you can’t just ignore it anymore and go back to your Jew jokes.
Society didn’t change. Your awareness of it did.
(click here to continue reading (5) Peter Kruger's answer to How did society shift so abruptly to a politically correct culture? Everyone was saying whatever they wanted and no one would bat an eye, but now everything's a micro-aggression? - Quora.)
Read the entire thing, really…
Crooks and Liars:
Maria Butina's Plea Binds GOP, NRA, Evangelicals And Russia Maria Butina operated at the highest levels of Republican politics with an express and defined goal of infiltrating the party and opening backchannel lines of influence with key American power players. At the very same time Trump was petitioning the Russian government to build Trump Tower Moscow.
(click here to continue reading Maria Butina's Plea Binds GOP, NRA, Evangelicals And Russia | Crooks and Liars.)
The New Yorker reports:
In 2001, seven years after joining the biology faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, Tyrone Hayes stopped talking about his research with people he didn’t trust. He instructed the students in his lab, where he was raising three thousand frogs, to hang up the phone if they heard a click, a signal that a third party might be on the line. Other scientists seemed to remember events differently, he noticed, so he started carrying an audio recorder to meetings. “The secret to a happy, successful life of paranoia,” he liked to say, “is to keep careful track of your persecutors.”
Three years earlier, Syngenta, one of the largest agribusinesses in the world, had asked Hayes to conduct experiments on the herbicide atrazine, which is applied to more than half the corn in the United States. Hayes was thirty-one, and he had already published twenty papers on the endocrinology of amphibians. David Wake, a professor in Hayes’s department, said that Hayes “may have had the greatest potential of anyone in the field.” But, when Hayes discovered that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs, his dealings with Syngenta became strained, and, in November, 2000, he ended his relationship with the company.
Hayes continued studying atrazine on his own, and soon he became convinced that Syngenta representatives were following him to conferences around the world. He worried that the company was orchestrating a campaign to destroy his reputation. He complained that whenever he gave public talks there was a stranger in the back of the room, taking notes. On a trip to Washington, D.C., in 2003, he stayed at a different hotel each night. He was still in touch with a few Syngenta scientists and, after noticing that they knew many details about his work and his schedule, he suspected that they were reading his e-mails. To confuse them, he asked a student to write misleading e-mails from his office computer while he was travelling. He sent backup copies of his data and notes to his parents in sealed boxes. In an e-mail to one Syngenta scientist, he wrote that he had “risked my reputation, my name . . . some say even my life, for what I thought (and now know) is right.” A few scientists had previously done experiments that anticipated Hayes’s work, but no one had observed such extreme effects. In another e-mail to Syngenta, he acknowledged that it might appear that he was suffering from a “Napoleon complex” or “delusions of grandeur.”
(click here to continue reading A Valuable Reputation | The New Yorker.)
Don’t know why, but this came to mind today. I wonder what updates have occurred since this New Yorker article by Rachel Aviv was published in 2014??
Reps. Jim Costa, Al Lawson, Collin Peterson, Dutch Ruppersberger and David Scott helped the GOP ensure the House won’t consider a companion bill to anti-Saudi legislation soon expected to pass the Senate.
(click here to continue reading 5 Democrats Bail Out Paul Ryan And Protect Saudi Arabia | HuffPost.)
Would be an interesting exercise to examine these 5 Reps' financials…
Trump “must have said the word ‘wall’ 30 times,” the House minority leader said, according to multiple sources in the room.
“I was trying to be the mom,” she added, but “it goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”
And then, Pelosi went for the most sensitive part of Trump’s ego.
“It’s like a manhood thing with him — as if manhood can be associated with him,” she deadpanned. “This wall thing.”
(click here to continue reading Pelosi privately disses Trump’s manhood after White House meeting - POLITICO.)
And to precise, semi-privately. There is no way that Ms. Pelosi didn’t expect her comments to be widely distributed…
Republicans happy to dance on George H.W. Bush’s grave
Trump Prepares to Unveil a Vast Reworking of Clean Water Protections
The New Yorker:
Who could have imagined that a creepy little app that scoured Facebook for pictures of women in bikinis might be the instrument that skewers the behemoth social network? Who, that is, besides Facebook executives and their lawyers? Until a little over a week ago, the company had successfully sequestered internal e-mails, which were obtained by the legal team of Ted Kramer, the founder of the app company Six4Three, during the discovery process in a 2015 lawsuit. At issue was Facebook’s policy of allowing third-party app developers to access the data of Facebook users’ friends—the very policy that enabled Cambridge Analytica to buy the data of eighty-seven million unwitting users on behalf of the Trump campaign. In Kramer’s case, his Pikinis app relied on that access; once Facebook changed its policy, in 2014, the app no longer worked. Kramer cried foul and sued Facebook for breach of contract.
(click here to continue reading Facebook’s Very Bad Month Just Got Worse | The New Yorker.)
One of these kinda days
film is not a vegan product. Film is made of gelatin, which, as you may know, is a product of animal bones.
(click here to continue reading How Many Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Camera Film?.)
As the article points out, the amount of gelatin used in film is tiny, and an easier way to think about it is as recycling already dead animals. In other words, animals are not slaughtered for their gelatin, it is a byproduct of animals dying for other reasons (meat, mostly, but old age, leather, etc.)
The New York Times:
The Pentagon Doesn’t Know Where Its Money Goes. The military finally submits to an audit, and the results are poor.
The Pentagon, defense hawks in Congress and defense contractors relentlessly push for bigger military budgets and will continue to do so. The commission that did the study recommended future annual increases of 3 percent to 5 percent above inflation, which could give the Pentagon a budget of $972 billion per year by 2024, a cumulative increase of 44 percent over the current budget, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. But throwing more money at the Pentagon doesn’t automatically make it more effective. Nor does it translate into better national security, as America’s “forever wars” in Afghanistan and elsewhere demonstrate.
(click here to continue reading Opinion | The Pentagon Doesn’t Know Where Its Money Goes - The New York Times.)
Something truly bipartisan: unlimited funds for the Pentagon, without any questions asked.
19 of 20 World Leaders Just Pledged to Fight Climate Change. Trump Was the Lone Holdout.
“The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”
(click here to continue reading 19 of 20 World Leaders Just Pledged to Fight Climate Change. Trump Was the Lone Holdout. – Mother Jones.)
Block Club Chicago reports:
After 24 years in Wicker Park and a very public and tumultuous battle to stay there, the owners of the Double Door are venturing way out of the neighborhood to reopen the iconic club —it’s headed to Uptown.
As first reported by neighborhood blog Uptown Update, the music venue is coming to the Wilson Avenue Theater, located at 1050 W. Wilson Avenue.
(click here to continue reading Double Door Reopening In Uptown’s Wilson Theater Building – Block Club Chicago.)
Cool. Double Door is the first music venue I went to when I moved to Chicago oh so many centuries ago…
Streetsblog Chicago, John Greenfield: Ice Ice, Baby: Long After Snowfall Ended, Bike Lane Conditions Are Still Treacherous
City of Chicago needs a better way to plow bike lanes, especially those with the concrete barriers which make it too narrow for normal snow plow
The Washington Post:
“If a president sold pardons for money, the president would be guilty of bribery. If a president sold nominations for money, he would be guilty of bribery,” wrote Fordham law professor Jed Shugerman in March. “So, too, if the president offered pardons in order to corruptly obstruct justice, that would be a felony.” He continued: “Those who say the president is immune for his official acts are essentially saying the president is uniquely above the law, that he should be held to a different standard from other officials who take bribes, buy off witnesses with public goods, or obstruct justice. That view is inconsistent with our democratic and republican notions of law.”
(click here to continue reading If Manafort is counting on a pardon, he shouldn’t - The Washington Post.)
The Nation reports:
The fraud works like this. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget.
Veteran Pentagon staffers say that this practice violates Article I Section 9 of the US Constitution, which stipulates that
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
(click here to continue reading Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed | The Nation.)
Here’s a big reason for the country’s deficit. Plug these holes, and perhaps universal healthcare won’t seem like such a pie-in-the-sky idea.
White House lacks lawyers to deal with empowered Democrats The office has been without a permanent leader since October and top deputies are departing, leaving just a skeletal staff in place.
(click here to continue reading White House lacks lawyers to deal with empowered Democrats - POLITICO.)
The best people, Trumpie, the best people…
Jimi Hendrix helped remind the world that black art wasn’t meant to be shackled by the expectations of racism. Or defined by it. He let his freak flag fly. And we’re all better off for it.
(click here to continue reading How Jimi Hendrix Set Black Artists Stone Free.)
In 1997 he contributed piano and vocals to the Spiritualized song "Cop Shoot Cop" which appears on their critically acclaimed 1997 album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
(click here to continue reading Dr. John - Wikipedia.)
Huh, never knew that…
The New York Times:
Farmers are feeling the pinch. Those in central Illinois could pay up to 40 percent more than in previous years to store crops over the coming weeks, agricultural consultant Matt Bennett estimated.
That amounts to between 3 cents to 6 cents a bushel, Bennett said, a painful expense for a crop that was already expected to deliver little income to farmers.
Storage rates are swinging wildly, depending on the elevator location. Grain dealers at rivers typically charge more than their inland counterparts because they are more dependent on export markets.
(click here to continue reading Harvesting in a Trade War: U.S. Crops Rot as Storage Costs Soar - The New York Times.)
Yeah, but her emails…
"Sen. Hyde-Smith's recent comments clearly do not reflect the values of our company and associates. As a result, we are withdrawing our support and requesting a refund of all campaign donations," Walmart said in the tweet.
Walmart is the third company in the past two days to ask Hyde-Smith for a refund of their campaign contributions. Union Pacific and Boston Scientific had asked her for their money back on Monday.
(click here to continue reading Walmart asks Hyde-Smith for donation back because of hanging outrage.)
When you are too toxic for Walmart…
Seriously, what do Mississippi voters think about all the national attention? Wonder if there will now be a backlash to the backlash?