Posts from February 2021

BuzzFeed News
"Zuckerberg’s “more nuanced policy” set off a cascading effect, the two former employees said, which delayed the company’s efforts to remove right wing militant organizations such as the Oath Keepers, which were involved the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. It is also a case study in Facebook’s willingness to change its rules to placate America’s right wing and avoid political backlash."
Confirmation that Facebook continually changed its rules for conservatives.
New York Times
"William W. Hogan, considered the architect of the Texas energy market design, said in an interview this past week that the high prices reflected the market performing as it was designed."
Any design that could potentially bankrupt people for buying a necessity like power is bad.

Music: Just a Little Rain Song

I haven't had a chance to mess around in GarageBand recently so I thought I'd release one from the vaults. Listening through the basement tapes from last September I found this version of The Rain Song. It's me struggling through the alternate tuning on acoustic, the electric guitar on lead vocals, and my favorite mellotron sound on strings. Apologies to Zeppelin.

BIG
"Antitrust law can be complex, but these actions aren’t. It’s just stealing. Facebook wants people to see this suit as just some disgruntled media outlets or advertisers, and some frustrated ex-employees angry at a successful business. The problem, for Facebook, is that this isn’t a one-off. It is the THIRD time Facebook has been caught for lying to advertisers in order to steal their money."
This is a good summary of Facebook’s current round of trouble, including the Australia news-sharing thing.
NBC News
"The funds raised by the progressive lawmaker will go toward 12 food banks and relief organizations, including the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas and the Houston Food Bank, according to the donations page."
Amazing work. I also wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need to do this kind of fundraising because the federal government would step in with this help.
FiveThirtyEight
"But it appears that none of the politicians who propagated the falsehoods about election fraud in 2020 — setting the conditions for the insurrection — will face any serious repercussions at all. That’s most notably Trump, but also figures like Sen. Josh Hawley. What’s to stop Republican officials in 2022 or 2024 from making up frivolous charges of election fraud and then watching as conservative voters take aggressive and even violent actions because they believe what prominent Republicans are saying?"
The Big Lie can continue because there have been no consequences for promoting it. Normalcy bias persists and we'll continue to have a criminal impunity party.
conradakunga.com
"So today I set out to actually see what it is one agrees to when they accept all."
Peeling back the layers on those cookie agreement dialogs helps us learn about how web advertising works (and how massive the industry is).
MSNBC News
"That Pence had a military aide and a briefcase was a surprise to many who aren’t familiar with the command and control of strategic nuclear forces. Suddenly the import of what happened acquired a new salience: Did Trump’s inaction place not only his vice president, but the security of the nuclear deterrent in jeopardy?"
The more we learn the worse it gets.
CNN
"I think it speaks to the former President's mindset," said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican who also voted to impeach Trump last month. "He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country."
After four years I knew this but I'm still surprised at the basic lack of human empathy at play here.
New York Times
"Is it enough that nearly every judge they faced booted out their cases unceremoniously? Is that sufficient deterrence to other attorneys to refrain from the egregious conduct that unnecessarily expended court resources, but also kept alive a fraudulent narrative advanced by the president that the election had been “stolen,” which ultimately led to the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6? Obviously not."
Will there be any professional accountability for enabling a coup attempt?
Vox
"In the video, after Trump urges thousands of his supporters to march toward the Capitol, a powerful series of clips shows how people stormed the building, overwhelmed Capitol Police, and broke in."
This video makes a powerful case on its own. Disturbing to relive this day, but necessary so we never repeat it.
impeachment.fyi
The historic second impeachment of a President trial begins tomorrow. Dan Sinker will follow the details so you don't have to. Impeachment.fyi was a great daily summary last time around and I'm already looking forward to not following every twist and turn myself again.
New York Times
"All of this is a choice. Every Senate rule can be changed by a simple majority vote. A simple majority could end or reform the filibuster — as we saw when Democrats ended it for most executive branch nominations and most judicial nominations in 2013, and when Republicans ended it for Supreme Court nominees in 2017."
This is a good summary of the problems with using budget reconciliation to pass legislation. Democrats should kill the filibuster. Kilibuster.
New York Times
"But the Trump campaign spent only a tiny fraction of its haul on lawyers and other legal bills related to those claims. Instead, Mr. Trump and the G.O.P. stored away much of the money — $175 million or so — even as they continued to issue breathless, aggressive and often misleading appeals for cash that promised it would help with recounts, the rooting out of election fraud and even the Republican candidates’ chances in the two Senate runoff races in Georgia."
Following the Big Lie money.