Once again, I have too much to read:
Finally, it was 20 years ago tonight that Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had city workers vandalize Meigs Field so that he could sell the land to his pals. The Tribune has a photo history.
Media reports, including the XPOTUS's own social-media posts, suggest the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York will issue an historic indictment on Tuesday:
The Manhattan district attorney's office is expected to issue criminal charges against Trump in a case centering on a payment that Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney and fixer at the time, made to the adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen told CNN Thursday that he believed an indictment of Trump was "imminent."
Trump has maintained his innocence in the case and claims he did not have an affair with Daniels. His attorneys have also argued the investigation is politically motivated. Trump attacked Daniels Wednesday on his social media platform Truth Social.
To secure a conviction, prosecutors would have to prove Trump knowingly broke state law by reimbursing Cohen for his payment to Daniels and then falsifying his business records to cover it up.
There is also no guarantee the case will go to trial.
Of course this won't go to trial. The XPOTUS may have massive lacunae in his higher functions, but I'm sure he's canny enough to realize that he can't afford politically to have Stormy Daniels take the stand.
If you think the Democratic Party wouldn't be as hard on one of our own as we think the Justice Department should be about the XPOTUS, here's just one of the things I wrote about Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich—who I fucking voted for—when it turned out he was unfit for office. Heck, read all of the things I wrote.
See, it's not about partisan politics; it's about not wanting our politicians to do crimes. And it's about wanting something approaching ethics based on a simple fear of consequences to guide these narcissists, as actual moral philosophy is simply beyond them.
Also, this is likely only the first indictment coming for the XPOTUS. There are at least two other grand jury investigations in other jurisdictions, operating on their own timetables. The next election will not be fun.
The rain has stopped, and might even abate long enough for me to collect Cassie from day camp without getting soaked on my way home. I've completed a couple of cool sub-features for our sprint review tomorrow, so I have a few minutes to read the day's stories:
Finally, Friends of the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse hope to tap into National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act funds to turn their organization's namesake into a museum. That would be cool.
I spent way more time than I should have this morning trying to set up an API key for the Associated Press data tools. Their online form to sign up created a general customer-service ticket, which promptly got closed with an instruction to...go to the online sign-up form. They also had a phone number, which turned out to have nothing to do with sales. And I've now sent two emails a week apart to their "digital sales" office, with crickets in response.
The New York Times had an online setup that took about five minutes, and I'm already getting stuff using Postman. Nice.
Finally, I've got a note on my calendar to check out the Karen's Diner pop-up in Wrigleyville next month. Because who doesn't want to be abused by servers?
Let's start with combat-actor Jill Bearup explaining how the Netflix-ITV-BBC ban on corsets solves entirely the wrong problems:
Meanwhile, in the modern world:
- The National Transportation Safety Board reported that an axle on the 23rd car of the train that derailed in East Palesine, Ohio, had a bearing temperature 140°C over normal—which is 30°C over "critical." The crew were trying to stop the train when the bearing failed. Perhaps if the train had fewer cars, or more crew, or the proper braking system...if only.
- New York Magazine reports on the 20-something scammers who brought down Three Arrows Capital, and the people who should have known better before loaning them over $3 billion.
- Twitter has decided to shut off SMS-based multifactor authentication for most accounts, and most people don't understand that this is exactly the right thing to do. Use an authenticator app, people!
- I completely agree with Helen Lewis that the entire point of Roald Dahl's novels is his nastiness.
- Food manufacturers, including Kraft and Heinz, have started to squawk that the proposed (and I sincerely hope soon-halted) Kroger-Albertsons merger will lower their margins, which is what happens when monopolies are permitted. (Never mind what it will do to consumer prices.)
- I might have to miss the craft beer festival taking place less than 2 km from my house this weekend. Dang.
Finally, I missed an anniversary yesterday. On 22 February 2003, Saturday Night Live aired this bit of Tina Fey's genius:
I spent the morning going over an API for standards and style, which will result in an uncomfortably large commit before I leave the office today. I prefer smaller, more focused commits, but this kind of polishing task makes small code changes all over the place, and touches lots of files.
So while I have my (late) lunch, I'm taking a break to read some news:
Finally, the Securities and Exchange Commission has fined the Mormon Church $5m for failing to disclose its holdings as required by law. As the Church has some $32 billion in holdings worldwide, that $5m fine will sure sting.
I released 13 stories to production this afternoon, all of them around the app's security and customer onboarding, so all of them things that the non-technical members of the team (read: upper management) can see and understand. That leaves me free to tidy up some of the bits we don't need anymore, which I also enjoy doing.
While I'm running multiple rounds of unit and integration tests, I've got all of this to keep me company:
- US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who even people who love her wonder if she knows where she is half the time, announced she's finally retiring from the Senate at the end of this Congress.
- Both Paul Krugman and Josh Marshall call bullshit on the GOP's (latest) plans to steal my social security contributions. (Note to the masses: the only way Social Security could be in trouble is if the United States somehow lost its taxing authority.)
- Air India has ordered 220 airplanes from Boeing and 250 from Airbus, including 70 long-haul A350s and 777s.
- Cranky Flier chides United Airlines for publishing a flight schedule they have no intention of flying over the summer.
- In other "fictional schedule" news, the CTA hasn't fixed its own frequency and reliability problems even after six months of trying.
- Rick Steves recommends traveling to Europe's second cities, like Manchester, Lyon, and Hamburg.
- Timothy Noah draws a straight line from railroad cost-cutting through crew size reductions and the massive derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, last week.
- Corrupt former Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts, whose misconduct has led prosecutors to throw out more than 200 felony convictions and will probably cost the city half a billion dollars in settlements, blamed his downfall on "anti-police atmosphere" without the self-awareness required to see his part in that.
- Bruce Schneier bemoans the lack of urgency in Washington (and other capitals) to regulate cybersecurity.
Finally, you may not want to know what the CBP beagle squad has found in baggage at O'Hare.
Molly White would like major news outlets to treat the accused fraudster like the grown-ass adult he is:
[R]eading headlines and news stories, you would be forgiven if up until now you had thought he was a teenager still driving around on a learner’s permit, who picked up cryptocurrency trading to avoid the types of high school summer jobs that might force him to go outside.
SBF is being extended the benefit of the doubt that many are not so lucky to get. He is affluent, white, male, and accused of white-collar crimes, and so he is granted the charitable characterization of a naive boy. Meanwhile, the perception that Black children, particularly those accused of violent crimes, are adult criminals has earned its own term: adultification bias. The same term is used when abuse of Black children is ignored or even rationalized based on the perception that they are older than they are.
It’s jarring to read a story about a neighbor calling the police on a nine-year-old Black girl spraying for invasive lanternflies, describing the girl to a dispatcher as a “little Black woman walking, spraying stuff”, and then switch over to another tab with a story on the 30-year old “crypto kid” who might’ve just made an oopsie with billions of dollars of customer funds. On one hand, literal children are portrayed in the media as adults, and treated as such in the prison system; on the other, a man who’s been old enough to vote for over a decade is being described as “a young man in need of both defense and a friend” offering refreshments to a reporter “as if we were there for a playdate”.
Sam Bankman-Fried is continuing to cultivate this persona, hanging his head and slumping his shoulders to portray boyish shame, repeating “I made a lot of mistakes”. If he can keep it up, and if news outlets continue to fall for his narrative, perhaps he can sway not just some of the general public, but members of a jury.
As an aging Gen-Xer who couldn't wait to grow up, I have to wonder, is this a late-Millennial thing? Or just, as White says, a carefully-cultivated image that Boomer reporters are buying at a discount?
I finished a couple of big stories for my day job today that let us throw away a whole bunch of code from early 2020. I also spent 40 minutes writing a bug report for the third time because not everyone diligently reads attachments. (That sentence went through several drafts, just so you know.)
While waiting for several builds to complete today, I happened upon these stories:
Finally, a school district food service director ordered more than 11,000 cases of chicken wings worth $1.5m over the last three years, which the State's Attorney says never got to the kids.
And now, since the temperature has risen from this morning's -17°C all the way up to...uh...-11.4°C, I will now walk the adorable creature who keeps nosing me in the arm as I type this.
The sun finally came out around 3:30 this afternoon, as a high overcast layer slid slowly southeast. Of course, the temperature has fallen to -11°C and will keep sliding to -18°C overnight, but at least the gloom has receded! January will still end as the gloomiest ever, however, with around 18% of possible sunshine all month, plus whatever we get tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I want to come back to these articles later:
Finally, looking back a little farther (about 13 billion years), the James Webb Space Telescope has picked out some of the oldest galaxies in the universe. And they're really weird.