There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads

Friday, November 15, 2019

Linkee-poo, bah bah bempbah beh bah bah bempbah, I wanna be sedated

(Edited for last minute story of importance) Roger Stone, a veteran Republican political operative and longtime confidant of Donald Trump, was found guilty by a federal jury in Washington, D.C. on Friday in his false statements and obstruction trial… The verdict, announced after two days of deliberations by the jury, adds another chapter to Stone's long and colorful history as a self-described dirty trickster." Chuck Wendig on doing what you're told (in writing). "But then, ideally, as you get older and more experienced in writing you realize, fuck that." I'm still working on that.

"Here’s a list of 100 common publishing terms and their definitions, including the meanings of ARC, high concept, simultaneous submissions, and so much more."

"'I've been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year,' (Taylor) Swift wrote in a lengthy statement she shared." A warning call to creatives to always control your IP.

"Boeing's per-seat price already seemed like it would cost more than SpaceX. The company has received a total of $4.82 billion from NASA over the lifetime of the commercial crew program, compared to $3.14 billion for SpaceX. However, for the first time the government has published a per-seat price: $90 million for Starliner and $55 million for Dragon. Each capsule is expected to carry four astronauts to the space station during a nominal mission." And yet Boeing continues to get favored status.

"The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to Dollar Tree for receiving over-the-counter drugs produced by foreign manufacturers that have been found to be adulterated, including acne treatment pads and Assured brand drugs." But they're cheaper.

"Above all: why was the information being handed over in a form that had not been 'de-identified' – the term the industry uses for removing all personal details so that a patient’s medical record could not be directly linked back to them? And why had no patients and doctors been told what was happening?" Google gets its own whistleblower. HIPAA compliance, if you don't have medical information experience, it can be a little confusing. But HIPAA is a sledgehammer, and someone needs to start swinging. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"The man busted for eating a sandwich at a BART station last week has taken a first step toward suing the transit agency, CBS San Francisco reports. In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Bay Area civil rights attorney John Burris announced he had filed a claim against BART on behalf of Steven Foster." Eating while black.

"Natural gas is mostly used for heating homes or fueling power plants. But when it comes out of the ground it contains another key ingredient — ethane, a building block of plastics — and that is now fueling another booming industry."

Instant Karma… "Veneto regional council, which is located on Venice's Grand Canal, was flooded for the first time in its history on Tuesday night -- just after it rejected measures to combat climate change." (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"World-famous St Mark's Square, a magnet for tourists, has been closed, and schools are shut for a third day."

"The change, first announced over the summer, would eliminate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP, as the food stamps program is now known, for more than 3 million people by eliminating something called broad-based categorical eligibility, a policy that gives states the flexibility to waive some asset and income limits for households that receive both SNAP and other welfare benefits." More people going hungry, another generation of poor kids that we'll rob them of their futures.

"Three off-duty officers dropping off their children Thursday at a Southern California school rushed in seconds after gunfire erupted, likely saving lives… The shooter opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, killing two students and wounding three others before turning the gun on himself. The suspect… allegedly carried out the attack on his 16th birthday."

"North Korea may be preparing a military air demonstration of a sort it hasn't carried out for over a year." Who doesn't love a parade?

"Trump is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 400% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula, a congressional aide and an administration official confirmed to CNN." We're arguing over the price of the hose.

"U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pressed South Korea on Friday to pay more for the cost of stationing U.S. troops in the country and to maintain an intelligence-sharing pact with its other Asian ally Japan that Seoul is about to let lapse." America, your money or your life. Seriously, our military presence in the world shouldn't be run as a protection racket.

"Amazon has revealed that it's formally challenging Pentagon's decision to award Microsoft the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract. The project would modernize the agency's cloud infrastructure and would connect the different divisions within the agency, which currently has over 500 separate clouds." Because of course they are.

"Turkey has said it sent eight people with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group to Germany and the United Kingdom."

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.) over allegations of campaign finance violations, the House Ethics Committee announced Thursday."

Breaking government. "Patterson's story showcases a growing trend in the Trump era: career civil servants enduring attacks on their credibility in conservative media. And it is more than just unflattering coverage. The campaigns against government workers have resulted in harassment, or in the case of the whistleblower at the heart of impeachment inquiry, death threats."

"The official in question is Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a 36-year-old national security specialist fluent in Persian and Arabic who helped craft the Iran nuclear deal in the Obama administration… Back in 2017, conservative websites labeled her a 'a trusted Obama aide,' and called her 'a Muslim spy,' among other allegations."

"With this fight over borrower defense still working its way through the courts, it's unclear when the (D)epartment (of Education) will process those 200,000-plus outstanding claims and how it will determine debt relief. That's why Rep. Bobby Scott had threatened to subpoena department documents — and potentially testimony from DeVos herself — to shed light on the department's thinking." With a transcript of this article how it played on All Things Considered. I'll point you to the exchange between DeVos and Patty Murray. "After the hearing, the department did answer Murray's question in writing. It had not approved a single borrower defense claim in nearly a year since June 2018. Instead of granting defrauded borrowers full loan forgiveness, the department has tried to use student earnings data to make a new argument that defrauded borrowers who end up earning a decent wage shouldn't have their loans totally forgiven."

"A vast hall filled with members of the conservative Federalist Society on Thursday night welcomed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a conquering hero, while outside on a large screen protesters played video from Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing of testimony by Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual misconduct." The Federalist Society, destroying America from within.

"Back in May, three Indiana judges got into a fight. It was the crescendo of an incident brimming with colorful details: a gaggle of judges drinking the night before a judicial conference, a failed attempt to visit a strip club called the Red Garter, a brawl in the parking lot of an Indianapolis White Castle." There is so much in there to unpack.

"President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court Thursday to block a Manhattan grand jury subpoena for copies of his financial records and tax returns, teeing up a test of Trump's expansive claims of immunity." No kings or landlords.

"FRONTLINE investigates how President Trump turned immigration into a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence. The documentary goes inside the efforts of three political insurgents to tap into populist anger, transform the Republican Party and crack down on immigration." It was always about racism.

"The number of people apprehended by U.S. authorities, either attempting to cross the southwest border illegally or presenting themselves at a port of entry, declined for the fifth consecutive month, according to new figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection."

"The first day of public impeachment hearings reinforced what the previous month of closed-door depositions all but confirmed: that President Trump attempted to extort Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election. Witnesses George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, and Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, laid out the case in exacting detail, while also revealing additional damning information, including that Trump was more concerned with Ukraine investigating Biden than the 2016 election… Nevertheless, Republicans have claimed victory." Debunking the Republican's defense tactics. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's cell phone call to President Donald Trump from a restaurant in Ukraine this summer appears to be a shocking security breach that raises significant counterintelligence concerns, according to several former officials, who told CNN there is a high probability that intelligence agencies from numerous foreign countries, including Russia, were listening in on the conversation." Okay, now tell us how the president using his personal cell phone in the White House has lured at least 3 spurious cell-phone "repeaters" to appear around the White House. (and I thought long about including this line) It just saves the president another phone call.

"A second U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his ambassador to the European Union discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue 'investigations,' The Associated Press has learned." Waits for the president to try and tell us he never calls anyone.

"President Donald Trump on Friday released the summary transcript of an April congratulatory call with Ukraine President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the latest salvo in the White House struggle to blunt Democrats’ contention that Trump abused his power in calling on a foreign leader to involve himself in the U.S. presidential election." First, it's not the call in question, and second after promising a full transcript again we just get notes. "The memo was released minutes before former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch began her testimony. The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Devin Nunes, read the rough transcript aloud into the congressional record." Also, again, corruption is never mentioned on the call.

"Former U.S. Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch provided chilling detail in Trump impeachment hearings Friday of the “big threat” she felt upon suddenly being ousted from her post and learning President Donald Trump had denounced her in his July phone call with Ukraine’s president."

And for dessert, "David Holmes, a career diplomat, is testifying Friday afternoon to lawmakers behind closed doors and is expected to discuss his recollection of a July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union."

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