All my Russian friends are back. I missed you guys. Well, not really, but I'm glad we're not spoofing addresses. We shouldn't have secrets between us.
America, you gotta step up to the plate. Hits from Russian IP addresses are overtaking you. ("I'm big in Russia, apparently")
This one is for you guys. "Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings." Naughty naughty. Again, Putin's game is not a Trump Presidency, it's an unstable and weakened West. A Trump Presidency just helps that along, it has a multiplying effect. "An official familiar with Facebook’s internal investigation said the company does not have the ability to determine whether the ads it sold represented any sort of coordination." Dear Congress, only Mueller is going to do your homework for you. Nobody else is going to do it.
The Earth Wind Map focused on Irma. Updated every 3 hours. (Grokked from John)
Because you knew there were conspiracy theories around Irma… "The ominous warning from conservative fire starter Rush Limbaugh was this: Don't trust those meteorologists." Because, apparently, meteorologists are in the pocket of big-media and big-retail, or something. Meanwhile on the other side of the island, "…Alex Jones of Infowars began a segment this week by claiming, 'I’m not saying Irma is geoengineered.'" But it was aliens. Oh wait, that's the other show. Okay Rush and Alex, put your money where your mouth is and go down to Florida (well, Rush is already there), say to one of the Southern and Eastern beaches, and stand there while Irma comes in (or brushes the coast depending on where she turns). Do that. Broadcast live from there and I'll believe you.
For any of my readers along the East Coast, Irma is not a "evacuate if you want" kind of storm. It's a "get the fuck out if you can" storm. Get the fuck out if you can. For South Florida and the Keys, no matter which track Irma heads on, you're screwed. She's a big storm and even if she just goes up the coast, you all are going to be inundated. Unless Houston looked like a load of laughs to you, understand that the Houston level of flooding and damage is going to be the least you'll see. If Irma hits and comes up the peninsula, forecast are for her to be a Level 3 storm when she hits the Georgia line. My suggestion is if you have somewhere West of the Appalachians you can hold up, go there.
How prevalent are plastics? "Research published by Orb Media, a nonprofit journalism group, has revealed that microplastics have contaminated high proportions of drinking water and bottled water. Samples from the United States tested positive in 94% of instances, while Europe's contamination averages around 72%." We're boned. (Grokked from Dan)
"Food prices in America were down for the longest period in about 60 years." Yeah, I didn't notice either. But note on the chart of retail food prices, the time the green line is above 0% is much more than the time below. This is bad statistics.
"A trial kicking off Wednesday morning in federal court in Louisville will decide whether Kentucky will become the first state without a single (abortion) clinic."
"But scientists at NASA have sketched the rough outlines of a plan that they say would not only spare us from a deadly super-eruption but also turn the Yellowstone supervolcano into a source of electric power. In a write-up of the plan first shared with the BBC, the team argues that we could siphon heat from the caldera until it becomes too cool to erupt — and convert the geothermal energy into electricity." Uh, yeah, Bob. One of the things that remains with me from my trip to Yellowstone is the number of geysers destroyed by human activity. At the beginning of the park, even the rangers would throw items into geysers to watch them blow out. Things like little rocks, sticks, trees, boulders… and many of these were the premier geysers (height and intensity of eruptions, not to mention regularity). And they're all ruined now. Including the "spectacular" geyser just up the hill from Old Faithful Inn. They attempted to tap it's heat to provide hot water for the inn. That plan didn't work, and the geyser now mostly just bubbles (instead of "spectacularly" erupting every 35 minutes or so). (Grokked from Kelly Swails)
Here we go, here we go again. "On Wednesday, McCain told the Hill that he backed a proposal from Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that would end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, and instead dole out money to states for whatever health insurance programs they favored. McCain, Graham’s closest friend in the Senate, said that he would obviously support Graham’s bill. After killing the GOP’s last repeal attempt, saying that the Senate needed to return to regular order, McCain hinted that he could make an exception." (Grokked form Chuck Wendig)
"The wife of the U.S. Treasury secretary, Louise Linton, has called the Instagram picture she posted last month and the subsequent comments-section argument she got into with a follower 'indefensible.'" Well, that only took a few weeks. But at least there's one person near the White House that can have a moment of self-reflection.
"A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is stepping down as pastor of a North Carolina church after negative reactions to his comments supporting racial justice activists on an MTV broadcast." Because heritage something something.
Take a deep breath. "President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to restore the balance of executive power." So the guy who boasted about signing the most executive orders EVAR is now screwing over almost 800,000 people because he's trying to bring balance back to executive power. So after that laugh, aren't you glad I said to take a deep breath first. I mean, you could've popped a lung.
"Chris Crandall… studies prejudice. In 2016, Crandall did a study examining how then-candidate Trump's rhetoric affected people's standards of what speech is permissible… 'It's not so much what's in your head and heart, as it is you looking around and seeing what's acceptable, seeing what's okay, seeing what people will tolerate. And the election changed people's notion of what was tolerable,' Crandall says." The Hidden Brain Podcast about free speech, when we defend it or abandon it, and how that ties into racism. The text article is fairly light on the subject, I highly recommend listening to the podcast.
"A GOP sponsor of a bill that would protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children said Republicans like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are part of a 'fringe' group who like to use immigrants as a scapegoat for economic struggles." Dear Rep. Carlos Curbelo, um, I'm not sure how to say this, but maybe you should look at who doesn't have a problem with ending DACA. It's more than the "fringe." They're the fucking base. People like Kobach who pretends to be smart about others, but is suddenly stupid when it comes to looking at himself.
"Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government… The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans." Well, I'm sure it's only a problem if they intentionally lose at golf to the President. Sorry, the link has a wonky version of USA Today (at least for me). (Grokked from Kelly Link)
Why 3 months? "Democrats believe kicking the debt limit debate into December would increase their leverage on Republicans to secure stabilization funds for health-care markets and resolve the legal status of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children." Dear GOP, stop the bellyaching. You control Congress and the Senate, if you want something different you can pass it yourself.