The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Republican incompetence

The Republicans in the House of Representatives made an own-goal just now as they failed to elect a House Speaker on the first ballot for the first time in over a century:

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California lost his first vote for speaker on Tuesday and was in a pitched battle for the top job in the House, amid a rebellion among hard-right lawmakers that left the post up for grabs and prompted a historic struggle on the floor at the dawn of the new Republican majority.

The Republican mutiny, waged by ultra conservative lawmakers who for weeks have held fast to their vow to oppose Mr. McCarthy, dealt a serious blow to the G.O.P. leader and laid bare deep divisions that threaten to make the party’s majority ungovernable. But it did not end the California Republican’s bid for speaker, which he has vowed to continue, forcing multiple votes if necessary until he wins the top post.

What was supposed to be a day of jubilation for Republicans instead devolved into a chaotic display of disunity within the party as it embarks on its first week in power in the House. And it all but guaranteed that even if Mr. McCarthy eked out a victory — an outcome that appeared remote, given the stalemate at hand — he would be a diminished speaker beholden to an empowered right flank.

With Democrats holding together behind their leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York won more votes than Mr. McCarthy did for speaker — 212 to 203 — a symbolic victory since Mr. Jeffries did not have the support to claim the top job, but an embarrassing metric for the California Republican who has been campaigning for the post for years.

Because the whole House votes for Speaker, the winner needs a majority of all representatives to win. With 435 seats, that means 218. So the Democrats' 212 occupied seats will not win unless 4 Republicans actually cross the aisle, which none of them will do.

And until the House has a Speaker, the House can't conduct any business. Which, as far as extremist Republicans care, works just fine.

Still, the Democratic candidate for House Speaker winning the plurality on the first ballot has to sting. It's a pity the right-wing arsonists in the GOP have no shame.

Stupid time zone tricks

This moment in the January 6th committee proceedings was total Daily Parker bait (h/t George Conway). It came as the committee interviewed Max Miller, former senior adviser to the XPOTUS and as of next Tuesday the US Representative for Ohio's 7th district. He wanted to establish that no one called his White House office for hours after the insurrection began, pointing to the phone logs as evidence.

I'll let the J6 lawyer explain it:

MILLER (p 120 line 15): I want you to pull up the time from when I left the White House, there's a period of time, there was about 4 or 5 hours, of no phone calls.

J6 LAWYER: And I think what you're referring to is, if we look here...you have a call from Mr. Caporale at 10:40 am.

A: Uh huh.

Q: And the next call that's reflected on your records is 6:40 p.m. on January 6th, so, as you said.

A: So I wanted you to to bring that up is to show you, look, no one called me, right, when things were going wrong....

Q (p 121 line 8): No, I appreciate your perspective, and actually my colleague just corrected me. I need to point something out about how the phone records is—

A: —it's 5 minutes, isn't it?

Q: No, no, no, no. So what that is, is a sign of Greenwich Mean Time. I don't know if in the military you know what that is. So each line reflects whether the time is either Greenwich Mean Time or off of Greenwich Mean Time by some amount. And, at that time of year, the East Coast is 5 hours off Greenwich Mean Time. So, when you see the 6:40 calls on January 6th, the one after Mr. Caporale, you have to take 5 hours off. So that would be...1:40 pm.

A: ...Time is not important...

Congratulations to the anonymous committee lawyer understanding that "18:40Z" is actually 13:40 -0500. Although, now that you mention it, maybe the phone log actually said "18:40 -0500" which would be the time Miller said it was? Too bad we can't see the exhibit.

Second day of sun, fading fast

What a delight to wake up for the second day in a row and see the sun. After 13 consecutive days of blah, even the -11°C cold that encouraged Cassie and me to get her to day care at a trot didn't bother me too much.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast says a blizzard will (probably) hit us next weekend, so I guess I'll have time to read all of these stories sitting on the couch with my dog:

Finally, one of my college music professors died this month. Herbert Deutsch co-created the Moog synthesizer and taught at Hofstra University for 40-plus years.

How is it 6:30?

With tomorrow night having the earliest sunset of the year, it got dark at 4:20 pm—two hours ago. One loses time, you see. Especially with a demo tomorrow. So I'll just read these while devops pipelines run:

Finally, John Seabrook takes a few pages to explain how to become a TikTok star. Hint: do it before you turn 22.

Making progress at work, slacking on the blog

Clearly, I have to get my priorities in order. I've spent the afternoon in the zone with my real job, so I have neglected to real all of this:

Finally, because only one guy writes about half of the songs on top-40 radio, modulations have all but disappeared from popular songs.

Spring, fall, winter...Chicago?

It's 14°C right now, going down to -3°C tonight. Then it's back up to 8°C on Friday. Because why wouldn't the beginning of winter feel like April?

While you ponder that, read this:

Finally, Whisky Advocate has a good explainer taking the water of life from barrels in Scotland to the glass in your American kitchen.

Probably the last warm day of the year

Cassie and I took a 33-minute walk at lunchtime and we'll take another half-hour or so before dinner as the temperature grazes 14°C this afternoon. Tomorrow and each day following will cool off a bit until Wednesday, the first official day of winter, which will return to normal.

Meanwhile...

Finally, Amazon's ads really have gotten to the point where it's "a tacky strip mall filled with neon signs pointing you in all the wrong directions."

And in just a few hours, I will tuck into this:

I may run out of mason jars though...

Scary deployment today

I'm just finishing up a very large push to our dev/test environment, with 38 commits (including 2 commits fixing unrelated bugs) going back to last Tuesday. I do not like large pushes like this, because they tend to be exciting. So, to mitigate that, I'm running all 546 unit tests locally before the CI service does the same. This happens when you change the basic architecture of an entire feature set. (And I just marked 6 tests with "Ignore: broken by story X, to be rewritten in story Y." Not the best solution but story Y won't work if I don't push this code up.)

So while I'm waiting for all these unit tests to run, I've queued all this up:

Finally, one of Chicago's last vinyl record stores, Dave's in Lincoln Park, will close at the end of this month. The building's owner wants to tear it down, no doubt to build more condos, so Dave has decided to "go out in a blaze of glory."

All right...all my tests passed locally. Here we go...

Poor, neglected dog

Between my actual full-time job and the full-time job I've got this week preparing for King Roger, Cassie hasn't gotten nearly the time outdoors that she wants. The snow, rain, and 2°C we have today didn't help. (She doesn't mind the weather as much as I do.)

Words cannot describe how less disappointed I am that I will have to miss the XPOTUS announcing his third attempt to grift the American People, coming as it does just a few hours after US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) announced his bid for Senate Minority Leader. Sad dog, sad turtle, sad party.

Now to walk the dog, pack the bag, and head to the Sitzprobe. But man, my sitz already feels probed.

Hobbs takes Arizona

The Democratic Party got another governor yesterday when Katie Hobbs beat election-denier and former news anchor Kari Lake 51%-49%.

Someday this won't make any sense at all, but this was the perfect meme for Hobbs' win:

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Lake also had a delicious spat on Twitter. Cheney's response gets a chef's kiss from The Daily Parker.

I recognize that links to Twitter will just be lint by this time next year, but for now, enjoy.