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.
- As every lawyer who paid attention predicted, Justice Clarence Thomas's (R) opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen last summer articulated a Republican policy platform while providing absolutely no useful guidance.
- Jamelle Bouie points to that particular justice, along with his brother-in-arms Samuel Alito (R), as great reasons to institute term limits on the Supreme Court.
- Looks like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), plans to take his 5-seat majority out for a spin come January. Can't wait. (Remember, the Republican Party wants you to think the US Government is a joke. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!)
- Robert Wright reminds everyone that Ukraine's interests differ from those of the EU, NATO, and the US, which puts Ukrainian president Zelensky's behavior regarding the accidental missile detonation in Poland in context.
- Julia Ioffe reminds everyone that the Pentagon's and White House's strategies also differ from one another.
- Now that I've moved, I need to update my drivers license, which means finally getting a Real ID. I mean, other than my passport or passport card. (Oooo, maybe I can get a CAC?)
- Toronto gave up a few dozen parking spaces to make room for sidewalk cafes, only to discover that the restaurants made 49 times more money than the parking spaces.
- The US faces a critical shortage of bomb-sniffing dogs.
- Thousands of cranes have migrated through Chicago in the last few days, and wow, are they loud.
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...
With only about a week of autumn left officially, we have some great weather today. Cassie is with her pack at day care and I'm inside my downtown office looking at the sun and (relative) warmth outside, but the weather should continue through Friday.
What else is going on?
Finally, I hate to tell you, we will never find any real evidence to support the existence of Noah's Ark.
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:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced today that she will step down from her party leadership role when the 118th Congress meets on January 3rd.
- This came on the heels of a loser Florida retiree trying to get his old job back. Tina Nguyen looks at who might challenge the loser retiree for the same job. One thing I know: this won't end well for the Republican Party.
- Maybe that's why 12 Republicans in the US Senate crossed party lines to vote on moving the Same-Sex Marriage bill forward?
- Aaron Gordon investigates why American transit projects cost so much more than any other country's (hint: they have stronger anti-corruption laws).
- And yet, Washington got a Metro line to Dulles after waiting only 60 years, just slightly longer than we in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood have waited for the inbound Metra platform to open.
- Speaking of corruption, Kelsey Piper got a phone call from Sam Bankman-Fried, the guy who made a couple billion in crypto go *poof* last week, so he could clear the air. On the record. With pending litigation. (Seriously, who's his dealer?)
- For no reason anyone can determine, certainly not the recent dismissal of half its workforce including the only engineers who know where the bolts go, Twitter has experienced some intermittent problems with its multifactor authentication setup. Even better, "a researcher contacted Information Security Media Group on condition of anonymity to reveal that texting 'STOP' to the Twitter verification service results in the service turning off SMS two-factor authentication." Oh my!
- Speaking of that dying company, Elon Musk has done his utmost to hasten the exodus of engineering talent by giving everyone until (checks watch) two hours from now to choose a lifetime of misery or a three-month severance. Because we software engineers do our best work for narcissists with whips. (There simply isn't enough popcorn in San Francisco for this shit show.)
- Sadly, Republican speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson has died at 58. I didn't agree with him much, but he remained one of the sane ones till the end.
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...
I mean, why? Just why?
- The XPOTUS, as predicted, announced his run for the 2024 election, despite looking like a total loser in the 2022 election. But narcissists gonna narcise.
- The Illinois Worker Rights Amendment passed, and will now become part of the state constitution. I think this will have a bunch of unintended consequences not beneficial to workers, so I voted against it. We're stuck with it now.
- Boomer Kathleen Parker spends her column today tut-tutting Boomers for not understanding Millennial jobs, picking "influencer" as just one example. I'm an X-er who completely understands "influencer" (i.e., children monetizing their own narcissism) and "change manager" (i.e., operations flunky) just fine, and suggests that the problem lies not with the Boomer parents but with the Boomer executives. (Longer post, maybe?)
- Pushwoosh, a Russian software company that writes spyware has pretended to be an American company, for reasons left as an exercise to the reader. About 8,000 apps use their stuff. As Bruce Schneier has said, supply-chain security is "an insurmountably hard problem."
- Bloomberg laments that "the wrong Americans are buying electric cars."
- Julia Ioffe cautions that Ukraine's re-taking of Kherson could lead to dangerous overreach as the war goes on—and a difficult diplomatic situation for the US.
Finally, the Missouri Department of Transportation proudly announced the 50th anniversary of their engineers killing downtown Kansas City, and the Internet let them have it.
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.
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.
US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) held her seat, as did Mark Kelly (D-AZ), meaning the Democratic Party has held the Senate:
[W]ith Ms. Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada, Democrats have nailed down the 50 seats they need to retain control of the upper chamber, a major feat considering that voters typically punish the president’s party during the midterms.
The Democratic victory will bolster Mr. Biden’s political capital as he moves toward a possible bid for a second term. Even if Republicans do take the House, he will be able to stock the judiciary with his nominees and will be insulated from politically freighted G.O.P. legislation. And Democrats will be free to mount their own investigations to counter the threatened onslaught from a Republican-controlled lower chamber.
A Democratic Senate will be invaluable to Mr. Biden, even if Republicans narrowly secure control of the House. In addition to having two more years to confirm judges, the president will have more control over personnel in his government with the confirmation of nominees under the guidance of Mr. Schumer.
There was fist-pumping at my table last night at Rachael Yamagata's concert. I don't know if Yamagata knew the result during her set, but I'd like to think I saw an extra bit of optimism in her eyes.
It does look like we will lose the House, but I do love these two bits:
- Democrats picked up a seat in the 3rd congressional district in Washington state, a district that had been held by a Republican, Jamie Herrera Beutler. But she voted for former President Trump's impeachment and was ousted by the right in the primary. There's an irony in the fact that she was ousted because she voted to impeach Trump and, now, a Democrat has taken over that seat. It's indicative of the broader message in this election.
- One of the other races with a razor-thin margin is Rep. Lauren Boebert's seat. The conservative lightning rod had been trailing in this right-leaning district on Election Night, but is now up by just over 1,000 votes. The race appears to be trending in her direction. But it's a result that is far closer than what was expected.
On Boebert's race, keep in mind she beat a sitting Republican 55-45 in the June 2020 primary and went on to win 52-45 in the general by running as a MAGA extremist. Will she feel any contrition? Probably not. But she hasn't said anything since Tuesday, so we know she's rattled.
James Fallows wants to put the domestic political press in a time-out:
[I]n historic terms, the midterm results under Joe Biden in 2022 are likely to be far better for the incumbent party and its president than for other modern presidents. As Biden would say, it’s a BFD.
[But] what has happened appears to be entirely at odds with what the political-reporter cadre — the people whose entire job is predicting and pre-explaining political trends — had been preparing the public for.
The Democrats have “defied expectations,” as the Post headline above puts it, largely because of the expectations our media and political professionals had set.
The premises of “analysis” pieces and talk shows over the past year-plus have been:
“Biden is unpopular,” which may be true but seems not to have been decisive.
“Afghanistan was the effective end of his presidency,” a widespread view 14 months ago. You can look it up.
“Democrats have no message” — which in turn is an amalgam of (a) “Roe was a long time ago,” (b) “no one cares about infrastructure,” (c) “it’s all about crime” [or immigrants], and (d) “it’s all about Prices At The Pump.”
- “Dems in disarray.” On the day before people went to the polls, the Times’
front page had two “analysis” stories on how bleak the Democratic prospects looked.
It’s not so much that this proved to be wrong. It’s that they felt it necessary and useful to get into the "expectations" business this way
How about this, in practical terms: For the next three stories an editor plans to assign on “Sizing up the 2024 field,” or the next three podcasts or panel sessions on “After the midterms, what’s ahead for [Biden, Trump, DeSantis, etc.],” instead give two of those reporting and discussion slots to under-reported realities of the world we live in now.
Whatever you say about the 2024 race now will be wrong. And what you say about the world of 2022 could be valuable.
Fallows, I should remind everyone, started his career as a speechwriter for President Carter and went on to write some of the most salient and prescient analyses of news media in the last 30 years.
Right now, however, I'm just glad I won't get 30 texts a day from candidates I've never heard of.
Democrats picked up a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania with Lt Governor John Fetterman defeating charlatan carpetbagger Oz Mehmet handily. And at least one far-right troll, US Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO), may lose her seat to a challenger. So far, though, control of the House remains unknown, even as Democrats look likely to hold the Senate.
One of the night's biggest losers was the XPOTUS, whose hand-picked candidates—not one of them qualified for office—did worse than expected.
Even better, states resoundingly defeated anti-abortion measures and supported pro-choice ones, including in Kentucky, Michigan, California, and Vermont.
Plus, it looks like Republicans failed to win a veto-proof majority in their heavily-Gerrymandered legislature, even though Republican Ted Budd won the open US Senate seat.
Finally, in an historic win, Democrat Wes Moore beat his Republican challenger to become the first African-American governor of Maryland.
So we ended the night very close to where we started, albeit with hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may well become House Speaker on January 3rd, but with a 2- or 3-vote majority—which still means endless hearings, but also means he'll have to hold his caucus together with spit and baling wire.
Even with Chicago's 1,642 judges on the ballot ("Shall NERDLY McSNOOD be retained as a circuit court judge in Cook County?"), I still got in and out of my polling place in about 15 minutes. It helped that the various bar associations only gave "not recommended" marks to two of them, which still left 1,640 little "yes" ovals to fill in.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world...
Finally, Chicago gets a new brewery taproom on Thursday when Hop Butcher to the World opens in Half Acre's former Lincoln Avenue space, just over 2 km from my house. Cassie and I might find out on Saturday whether they let dogs in, assuming the forecast holds. (And there it is: a post that literally checks all the boxes for Daily Parker categories!)