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February Thread

by Bjinse Mon Feb 4th, 2019 at 11:22:44 PM EST

Might you have thought that winter's woe was past;

so fair the sky was and so soft the thread


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Epstein was close friends with Trump, Bill Clinton, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Britain's Prince Andrew, all of whom were known to have attended his parties.

More ...


Justice Department opens probe into Jeffrey Epstein plea deal

France: opening a can of worms ...

French 'boys' club' of journalists accused of bullying women online | The Guardian |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 03:27:25 AM EST
Ligue du LOL: further details here

A fratboys gang, which started as a joke ten years ago on Twitter, but has become a bullying gang whose members have now reached management positions in the Parisian media landscape. Of course, it helped that their female competition has been put down. White male privilege in action.

by Bernard on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 09:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same story, told by a French female journalist who witnessed the cool kids' but managed to avoid their attention:

French media faces hard truths after #MeToo moment

As of Tuesday, eight journalists from five news organizations -- all of whom were members of an informal group called La ligue du LOL -- were suspended or had quit as a result of the harassment claims.

A number of them held top management positions in prominent newsrooms. All were young white men. The victims who spoke up were young journalists and bloggers, mostly women, some of them outspoken feminists. The fact that the group was active for years, but until last week didn't attract scrutiny, has led to a great deal of industry soul-searching.

Career buildup:

"The LOL League really had an impact on women journalists' careers, with their skills being put into question," said Aude Lorriaux, a freelance journalist, writer and spokesperson for Prenons la une ("Let's take over the front page"), a group that advocates for gender equality in newsrooms and more visibility for female journalists. "Some women were blacklisted on Twitter, had to leave social media. These men's careers were really built up on the back of [their alleged victims]."
by Bernard on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 07:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tesla's fart mode is a real gem - Mashable


After getting a rundown on how the car works and what all the different buttons on the touchscreen controlled, I reached for the Tesla icon on the home screen. From there I knew I could slide open the hidden tricks and games, including the newest app: Emissions Testing Mode, aka "fart mode."

Sure enough, I could control which seats in the ironically emissions-free vehicle gave out a loud, noxious toot. Impressively, the farting noises really did sound like they were coming from the front passenger seat or the back seat. There's a drop-down menu of fart sound options, all named for inside jokes and nods to other Tesla CEO Elon Musk ventures and interests.

One of the seven fart options, Ludicrous (named for the all-out setting on some Tesla vehicles that can send the car practically flying), was the best. That emission option was perfectly juicy, but realistic -- all while still staying in the humorous realm. It never got too disgusting. And (for now) it's an odor-free experience, so it's more than tolerable. If you can't decide which fart you like best, there's an option for random gassing.

You can also set the farts to go off every time you use the turn signal, which is peak ridiculousness.

If Tesla ever goes belly-up, we now know why.

by Bjinse on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 08:16:42 AM EST
Whelp, the US is now being run by Emergency Decree.

The problem is our national Fuck-Up forgot to have a Mexican communist burn down the Capitol Building first.

At the moment it seems the outcome will be a bit of kabuki where Congress overrides the decree with a majority vote, Trump vetoes the bill, and Congress is unable to muster a 2/3 majority to override the veto.  

The only alternative is for some GOP Senators to vote for the Rule of Law.

Don't hold your breath.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2019 at 05:44:54 PM EST
we all live in interesting times

Jim Wright noted that;-

"I didn't need to do this... I just want to do it faster."

I didn't need to do this. I just want to do it faster. Emergency. Hmmm.

I expect "I didn't need to do this..." will be the lede in every legal filling later today.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 15th, 2019 at 08:59:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Nation posted an article by Elie Mistal which is, I think, intended to roust the indignation of its readers against this not real emergency. Mistal sketches 3 scenarios to thwart execution of Trmp's proclamation. Two of these involve litigation. The third is congressional "termination". Hold that thought: US constitutional case law affirms immediate effect of presidential proclamation. Hitch that wagon to two horses --Patriot Act and re-authorizations, including extraordinary powers delegated to the executive branch by US Congress since 2002, and the bottomless DOD budget harnessed with EOs.

I'm 99% certain litigation will go no where, except to stay pending judgment (in the popular imagination) which will ultimately rule in favor of the POTUS inter alia. Furthermore, in arguing against Trump pretext Mistal includes a link to CNN collation of proclamations in xer estimation "--which, again, are stupid--". Mistal declines to explore eminent domain orders, of course.
Trump's wall would be the 32nd active national emergency, illustrated

In fact, the US has been in a perpetual state of declared national emergency for four decades, and the country is currently under 31 concurrent states of emergency about a spectrum of international issues around the globe, according to a CNN review of documents from the Congressional Research Service and the Federal Register.
Adam Schiff, Mueller's puppet master, is an incompetent reader of US history and case law. For example, the Emancipation Proclamation (which proceeded from a series of controversial congressional acts confiscating "enemy" private property) has no relation to Youngstown (1952) union-busting or to oblique definitions of "national security" and "national interest" measures funding the GWOT which the US Congress has indeed endorsed with unanimity.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff told CNN's Jake Tapper [!] on "State of the Union" on Sunday that Trump doesn't have the authority to declare an emergency. "If Harry Truman couldn't nationalize [sic] the steel industry during wartime [sic], this President doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border. So, that's a nonstarter."
The salient point in this exercise is, a whole lot of Americans have no idea what they've got themselves into. That ignorance is as much a problem for the "union" as is the absence of any coherent goal besides the benjamins and Anyone Buttrump executing legislation by feckless sessions of Congress that they have install.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Feb 16th, 2019 at 02:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Between bi-partisan purges of "commies" fed gov and "pinko" in every civic organization they could haul into a hearing, Taft-Hartley Act (1947) and the Youngstown (1952) gamble to enforce it retarded the market power of workers, organized "resistance" to domination of labor by capital in USA for generations to come.

All was not well when the GIs returned. Industrial action in USA during the so-called golden age of TV in the 50s is nearly lost to history.

Here's where the millenials are today, ostensibly led by "progressive" flights of fancy from a trench across the "developed" nations.

UNION MEMBERS -- 2018   The union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions--was 10.5 percent in 2018, down by 0.2 percentage point from 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.7 million in 2018, was little changed from 2017. In 1983 [REAGAN admin!], the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers. ...


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Feb 17th, 2019 at 04:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Green New Deal"
H. Res 109, Ocasio-Cortez (not a legislative draft)
S. Res 50, Markey (not a legislative draft)

The Real Deal
H.J.Res. 31 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, enrolled and awaiting signature

DIVISION A--DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019 : please make a note of it, if ever you wonder where Trump will get $$$ to construct walls.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Feb 17th, 2019 at 04:21:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Tue Feb 19th, 2019 at 04:42:43 PM EST
Not as fast as listening to 45 minutes of speech at the Libertarian Party convention in '16. C-SPAN broadcast radio. I did it. Commuter captured audience.

A reading The Wealth of Nations or Theory of Moral Sentiments in its entirety, for example, might as well be a life time.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 20th, 2019 at 06:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Wed Feb 20th, 2019 at 01:39:45 PM EST


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