I'm movin' out. A lovely young couple have offered to buy Inner Drive World Headquarters v5.0, and the rest of the place along with it. I've already gotten through the attorney-review period for IDTWHQ v6.0, so this means I'm now more likely than not to move house next month.
Which means I have even less time to read stuff like this:
Finally, American Airlines plans to get rid of its First Class offerings, replacing them with high-tech Business Class and more premium coach seats. I'd better use my miles soon.
It happens every September in the mid-latitudes: one day you've got over 13 hours of daylight and sunsets around 7:30, and two weeks later you wake up in twilight and the sun sets before dinnertime. In fact, Chicago loses 50 minutes of evening daylight and an hour-twenty overall from the 1st to the 30th. We get it all back in March, though. Can't wait.
Speaking of waiting:
Finally, Fareed Zakaria visited Kyiv, Ukraine, to learn the secret of the country's success against Russia.
My commute to work Friday might get a little longer, as Metra has announced that 9 out of its 11 lines (including mine) would likely not operate if railroad engineers and conductors go on strike Friday. Amtrak has already started cancelling trains so they won't get stranded mid-route should the strike happen.
In other news:
- Cook County tax bills won't come out until late autumn, according to the County President, meaning no one knows how much cash they have to escrow when they sell real estate.
- The Post has an interactive map showing everywhere in the US that hit a record high temperature this summer.
- US Rep. Marjorie Taylor "Still Smarter than Lauren Boebert" Greene (R-GA) has come up with a climate-change theory so dumb it actually seems smart.
- US Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), another intellectual giant of the 117th Congress, proposed a Federal abortion ban, demonstrating a keen command of how most people in the United States view the issue.
- Robert Wright explores "why we're so clueless about Putin."
- Block Club Chicago explains why my neighborhood and a few others experienced massive geysers coming out of storm drains during Sunday's flooding rains.
Finally, right-wing lawyer Kenneth Starr died at age 76. No reaction yet from Monica Lewinsky.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the British National Anthem has changed back to "God Save the King" for the third time in 185 years. In other news:
By the way, the UK has a vacancy for the post of Prince of Wales, in case anyone would care to apply. I think we can bet on nepotism, though.
I took Friday off, so it felt like Saturday. Then Saturday felt like Sunday, Sunday felt like another Saturday, and yesterday was definitely another Sunday. Today does not feel like Tuesday.
Like most Mondays, I had a lot of catching up at the office, including mandatory biennial sexual harassment training (prevention and reporting, I hasten to point out). So despite a 7pm meeting with an Australian client tonight, I hope I find time to read these articles:
Finally, the Hugo Awards were announced in Chicago over the weekend, and now I have a ton more books to buy.
Yesterday, Democrat Mary Peltola beat former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin in the special election to fill deceased Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) seat:
Peltola finished fourth in a crowded nonpartisan primary in June, when 48 candidates battled to secure one of the four spots on the Aug. 16 special election ballot. But heading into Wednesday’s final tabulation, Peltola was leading the pack.
The special election was the state's first test of ranked-choice voting, which was implemented after a 2020 ballot measure. The same system will be used in November.
With 93% of votes counted in the ranked-choice results Wednesday night, Peltola had 51.5% of the vote to Palin's 48.5%.
Voters cast their ballots more than two weeks ago to determine who will serve out the final four months of Rep. Don Young's term after he died in March at age 88. The longtime GOP lawmaker represented Alaska for almost 50 years in Congress.
Even more fun, the same four candidates will have at it again in November. But we can take two things from this: first, even hard-core conservative Alaska really can't stand Palin, and second, a majority of the United States' land area now has Democratic Party representation.
So I'm going to have to postpone reading all of these:
And Cassie, who has not actually had much patience the last few minutes, will now get a walk.
In her last column, the Washington Post veteran warns that journalists still have a long way to go to properly deal with the anti-democratic party to the right:
Here’s the good news: The media has come a long, long way in figuring out how to cover the democracy-threatening ways of Donald Trump and his allies, including his stalwart helpers in right-wing media. It is now common to see headlines and stories that plainly refer to some politicians as “election deniers,” and journalists are far less hesitant to use the blunt and clarifying word “lie” to describe Trump’s false statements. That includes, of course, the former president’s near-constant campaign to claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged to prevent him from keeping the White House.
And yet, I worry that it’s not nearly enough. I don’t mean to suggest that journalists can address the threats to democracy all by themselves — but they must do more.
The deeper question is whether news organizations can break free of their hidebound practices — the love of political conflict, the addiction to elections as a horse race — to address those concerns effectively.
For the sake of democracy, they must.
Journalists certainly shouldn’t shill for Trump’s 2024 rivals — whoever they may be — but they have to be willing to show their readers, viewers and listeners that electing him again would be dangerous. That’s a tricky tightrope to walk.
James Fallows has said a lot of the same things. Maybe mainstream journalists will listen?
If Cassie could (a) speak English and (b) understand the concept of "future" she would be quivering with anticipation about going to Ribfest tonight after school. Since she can't anticipate it, I'll do double-duty and drool on her behalf. It helps that the weather today looks perfect: sunny, not too hot, with a strong chance of delicious pork ribs.
Meanwhile, I have a few things to read on my commute that I didn't get to yesterday:
Finally, as I ride on the UP-N commuter line in an hour or so, I can imagine what it will be like when the train gets a battery-powered locomotive in a few years.
The former president's stooges have no idea how to deal with the Justice Department's allegations that he essentially stole highly classified nuclear secrets from the White House:
We should not lose ourselves in the logic of this inane claim – a fake claim of authority (in pectore declassification) wrapped in a demonstrable lie (the standing order). What is more noteworthy is that these are the claims of someone who is not getting any legal advice. Not bad legal advice. No legal advice. At present Trump is represented by two women, one an unknown lawyer from New Jersey and another former OAN host. But I don’t think this is even coming from them. These sound like panicked claims of someone improvising without the benefit of legal counsel. What I draw from this is the real facts of the case are likely worse than they appear.
This doesn’t mean necessarily that the President is in grave legal peril. What it tells me – pulling all these indications together – is that the President’s actions are simply impossible to defend. Why was he refusing to relinquish material the US government thought so sensitive and secret that they had little choice but to seize them at the first opportunity?
The other measure of this is the reaction from Republican elected officials over the last 48 hours, which as near as I can tell is total silence. It’s hard to march without marching orders and Trump is giving them very little to go on about what the facts are and what the bases are for defending him.
The Atlantic's Tom Nichols tries to wrap his head around what the actual fuck:
Perhaps the former president is worried about documents mixed in among other materials that could implicate him in various kinds of wrongdoing; this is my working theory, based on the fact that the search warrant cites three criminal laws, two referring to the unlawful removal and retention of records (including information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary) and one regarding the destruction or concealment of documents in order to obstruct government investigations or administrative proceedings. (Interestingly, none of these laws require the information involved to be classified.)
Nothing can ever be ruled out where Donald Trump is concerned, and it’s certainly possible that Trump—whose history suggests that he never does anything for reasons other than profit or to service his debilitating narcissism—thought he could use America’s secrets for his own financial or political gain. But there’s no point in trying to pin this kind of intent on the former president, thus setting up impossibly high expectations of prosecution that will likely be dashed in the near future—especially when Trump may have already committed severe violations of a law that he himself signed in 2018 that makes his current actions a potential felony.
The short-term danger that the U.S. government had to avert comes from the possibility that Donald Trump as a citizen is as incompetent and lazy as he was when he was president, and that he could lose control of the materials he was keeping in his house.
The more indefensible his actions, the more his supporters defend him. It took certain European countries 12 years of extremist rule and several million allied troops to snap out of their delusions. I hope the Republican Party snaps out of theirs with less bloodshed.