There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Spring Break

Sorry for the lack of posting. Many things happening this past month including troll fights, having a hard drive meltdown, home repairs, unexpected computer and power interruptions, and working several extra shifts and plenty of double shifts. So, yeah, exhausting. Hopefully back at it in April (but I already have a schedule of things including our mandate switch to "all black scrubs" without any reason given). I'm going to call this an unnounced (and hopefully temporary) Spring Break. Hope your time has been going better.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Linkee-poo Saturday March 18

"The retailer hopes this will turn a new leaf. Barnes & Noble sales have been rising, and last year grew more than 4%, according to Shannon DeVito, director of books."

"The remains of a glacier have been found near the Martian equator, suggesting that some form of water could still exist in a region on the red planet where humans may one day land… The ice mass is no longer there, but scientists spotted telltale remains among other mineral deposits near Mars’ equatorial region. The deposits there usually contain light-colored sulfate salts."

"The Webb Space Telescope has captured the rare and fleeting phase of a star on the cusp of death."

"Moonwalking astronauts will have sleeker, more flexible spacesuits that come in different sizes when they step onto the lunar surface later this decade." Lookin' slim, Buzz.

"Nuclear power is pollution free," they say. Hold my beer for a second… "Water containing tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, leaked out of Xcel Energy's nuclear power plant in Monticello, Minn. in November, state officials said Thursday… Xcel reported that about 400,000 gallons of the tritiated water leaked from a water pipe between two buildings." It's true that they don't spew carbon dioxide and other gases, and that the amount of pollution is much less, but what does come out is deadlier and lasts way longer.

"It stretches over 5,000 miles. It weighs over 10 million tons. And it's circling around the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-Atlantic, where the right combination of currents and wind could push it ashore… If you haven't heard of the great Atlantic sargassum belt, or even if you have, chances are high that you'll see it pop into your news feed at least once this summer. After a decade of record-breaking blooms, 2023's sargassum mass is again shaping up to cause headaches (literally and figuratively) for beachside towns and tourists." The blob is coming for Florida.

One of the major problems of climate change… "Some of the tall, stately trees that have grown up in California's Sierra Nevada are no longer compatible with the climate they live in, new research has shown… Hotter, drier conditions driven by climate change in the mountain range have made certain regions once hospitable to conifers — such as sequoia, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir — an environmental mismatch for the cone-bearing trees." Now do where we live and grow our crops.

Apparently they held the Oscars again. "Making this the comeback Oscars was, of course, consistent with the industry's chosen narrative of rebirth. But it's also part of the Academy's effort to revive interest in the ceremony after years of hearing the theory that the ratings were dropping because blockbusters weren't being nominated. That theory might turn out to be right or it might be wrong, but if this year didn't do it, then nominating big movies isn't a solution to the ratings problem as has so often been speculated."

"What's the big deal? You mean aside from the prospect of having your brain tracked? Farahany worries about potential privacy issues, and outlines various scenarios in which access to this information could be problematic, if the right protections aren't put in place."

"Almost four years ago, Gray became one of the first patients with a genetic disorder — and the first patient with sickle cell disease — to get an experimental treatment that uses the revolutionary gene-editing technique known as CRISPR."

"A rare tick-borne disease is on the rise in the northeastern United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… Cases of babesiosis rose by 25% from 2011 to 2019, causing the CDC to add three states — Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire — to the list of those where the illness is considered endemic."

"Mint Mobile, partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, is being acquired by T-Mobile as part of a cash-and-stock deal worth as much as $1.35 billion."

"For workers, there were jobs; for employers, there were workers filling shortfalls caused by the pandemic; for the Federal Reserve, there were indications that the labor market was loosening and wage pressures were easing… Then again, the total of 311,000 net jobs added was significantly higher than expectations of 205,000, and the unemployment rate surprisingly grew to 3.6%."

"An unexpected spending spree by U.S. shoppers seems to have calmed… Retail spending declined 0.4% in February compared to January, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That's after a surprise start-of-the-year shopping spree that contradicted the Federal Reserve's goal of cooling down the economy to fight high prices."

"Latitude’s pricey AI bills underscore an unpleasant truth behind the recent boom in generative AI technologies: The cost to develop and maintain the software can be extraordinarily high, both for the firms that develop the underlying technologies, generally referred to as a large language or foundation models, and those that use the AI to power their own software." Still, the rise of this AI (which is just machine learning married with big data) was founded exactly on how low the cost of storage and processing power has become. But I still wonder when the switch from CPU to GPU will happen. We tried that slightly with the advent of RIS chips being used as CPUs. Also, much of these costs should come down in the next few years, and then drop significantly as the Biden initiative to bring chip manufacture back to the US engages and bears fruit. IT will also be interesting when the developers of these AI models realize that each "inference" is an opportunity for the machine learning program to continue to train (but then, that will also require more GPU cycles…).

"The Biden administration has announced that customers of Silicon Valley Bank will have full access to their deposits, an extraordinary move by federal officials to backstop billions of dollars in uninsured money amid fears that the bank's collapse could lead to greater panic."

But they're going to let the investors take the hit, like Ohio's STRS which will lose $27.2 million.

"Shares in the globally connected Swiss bank Credit Suisse plunged Wednesday and dragged down other major European lenders as fears about deeper problems in the world banking system spread in the wake of bank failures in the United States." Rhut rho.

"Banks across the nation are reassuring their customers that they will not collapse like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says Congress and the Federal Reserve are to blame for bank failures." Could be, Rabbit, could be.

"The biggest banks in the U.S. are stepping in to save First Republic Bank… A group of 11 lenders says they will deposit $30 billion in the beleaguered midsized lender in an effort to prop it up."

"French President Emmanuel Macron ordered his prime minister to wield a special constitutional power Thursday that skirts parliament to force through a highly unpopular bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote." "We're gonna see a brave new world where they run everyone a wire and hook us all up to the grid. Yessir, a veritable age of reason - like they had in France."

"The Pentagon and U.S. European Command said that two Russian Su-27 aircraft dumped fuel on the MQ-9, which was conducting a routine surveillance mission over the Black Sea in international airspace. They said the Russian jets flew around and in front of the drone several times for 30 to 40 minutes, and then one of the Russian aircraft 'struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters.'" Naughty naughty, my Russian friends.

"The Kremlin said the incident proved again that Washington is directly involved in the fighting and added that Moscow would try to recover the wreckage of the drone from the Black Sea. U.S. officials said the incident showed Russia’s aggressive and risky behavior and they pledged to continue their surveillance." Of course they will, that was the whole objective of this exercise. The question is did the drone have internal destruction charges, were they activated, and how badly did the drone crash (like, how many pieces does Russia have to put back together).

"The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes involving accusations that Russia has forcibly taken Ukrainian children… The ICC also issued a warrant for Putin's commissioner for children's rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova." Well, it doesn't mean much, except that it will curtail their travel outside the Russian sphere. Sleep safe, my Russian friends.

But what does it really mean? "Poland’s prime minister said Tuesday that his government may hand its Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters jets over to Ukraine 'within the next four to six weeks.'" And there have been other pledges made recently.

"The United States has described the China-brokered normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran as a 'good thing', despite the message it may send about waning US influence in the region… The pact between Riyadh and Tehran, announced last week in Beijing, merely cements the reality of China’s growing role as a significant trade — and now diplomatic — partner in the Gulf, analysts say." Good for them. Although in the long run I expect it will mean as much as when Sadat and Begin shook hands, which mostly signaled a long term cease fire.

"Ohio filed a lawsuit against railroad Norfolk Southern to make sure it pays for the cleanup and environmental damage caused by a fiery train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month, the state's attorney general said Tuesday."

"A Wisconsin man who drove past the vacation home of Michigan’s governor during a scheme to kidnap her in 2020 is returning to court to change his not-guilty plea, records show."

"The shortage in this conservative region has not been driven by political forces, national efforts to reform law enforcement or the movement of funding to programs that help reduce crime, but rather years-long labor issues. The sheriff’s office in the county, one of the poorest in the state, has pay rates far below nearby agencies and has struggled to recruit and retain its employees." We had similar problems in my little part of the world, so I know first hand that pay is not the only problem. It took years to restructure my police department, and I'm quite proud of that work and the people I hired, and it took the county to elect a new sheriff to change things. We won back the confidence of the local populace. Then we added extra money, and everything got a little easier.

"Florida Republicans on Tuesday advanced a proposal to ban classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity through the eighth grade, expanding the controversial law critics call 'Don’t Say Gay.'"

"Federal prosecutors in New York involved in the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s social media company last year started examining whether it violated money laundering statutes in connection with the acceptance of $8m with suspected Russian ties, according to sources familiar with the matter." Once again, for no collaboration or coordination, there sure a lot of fucking Russians around.

"The U.S. government on Wednesday charged Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese businessman with ties to former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, with leading a complex conspiracy to defraud Guo's online followers out of more than $1 billion." (Grokked from Dan)

"At least two dozen people – from Mar-a-Lago resort staff to members of Donald Trump’s inner circle at the Florida estate – have been subpoenaed to testify to a federal grand jury that’s investigating the former president’s handling of classified documents, multiple sources familiar with the investigation told CNN." Like my friend Jim says, "We've got Skynet by the balls now."

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Linkee-poo Sunday March 12

"As for how small the chance of impact (from a newly discovered asteroid) is currently estimated to be, NASA puts it at '1 in 560 odds of impact.' Put another way, there is only a 0.18% chance of hitting Earth, or a 99.82% chance that the asteroid will streak harmlessly past our planet."

"Last winter, most ski resorts at Lake Tahoe had to postpone their usual November openings because there wasn’t enough snow… This season, several have been forced to close at times because there’s been too much."

"A new study in the journal PLOS Biology finds that (bees) can actually learn to solve puzzles from one another, suggesting that even some invertebrates like these social insects have a capacity for what we humans call 'culture.'" But we already knew bees "danced" to show other bees where to go for pollen.

"School cafeterias typically don’t turn away a hungry kid, but debts for unpaid school meals have been rising — showing the level of need, and raising questions about how schools will keep feeding everyone, without federal money to do it. The neediest kids are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, as before the pandemic, but qualifying for those benefits requires applications that haven’t been necessary for several years."

"U.S. health officials are alerting consumers about two more recalls of eyedrops due to contamination risks that could lead to vision problems and serious injury… The announcements follow a recall last month of eyedrops made in India that were linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections. One person died and at least five others had permanent vision loss."

"Some studies suggest that rates of (transgender people completing transitioning) regret have declined over the years as patient selection and treatment methods have improved. In a review of 27 studies involving almost 8,000 teens and adults who had transgender surgeries, mostly in Europe, the U.S and Canada, 1% on average expressed regret. For some, regret was temporary, but a small number went on to have detransitioning or reversal surgeries, the 2021 review said."

"Researchers have found long-term evidence that actively monitoring localized prostate cancer is a safe alternative to immediate surgery or radiation… The results, released Saturday, are encouraging for men who want to avoid treatment-related sexual and incontinence problems, said Dr. Stacy Loeb, a prostate cancer specialist at NYU Langone Health who was not involved in the research."

"It is a nail-biting limbo state that many tech startups deeply entrenched in Silicon Valley Bank are now facing in the wake of the bank's implosion, the largest American bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis… For tech startups, which for decades have relied heavily on the bank based in Santa Clara, Calif., it has set off a crisis that could lead to mass layoffs, or hundreds of startups collapsing, according to industry insiders." Sure seems different when rich people are about to lose everything as compared to less well off people who lost everything in 2007. The FDIC is supposedly holding an auction for SVBs business.

"Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the federal government would not bail out Silicon Valley Bank, but is working to help depositors who are concerned about their money." Just going to give a gentle reminder about all the times the tech industry has yelled that they don't want any government interference of regulations.

"More than a dozen retailers have dropped a flurry of financial reports in recent weeks. They have a broad view of consumer spending, which is a key driver of the U.S. economy. Here's what they say… People are still spending, though stores' forecasts are cautious…"

"The maker of the Funko Pop! collectibles plans to toss millions of dollars' worth of its inventory, after realizing it has more of its pop culture figurines than it can afford to hold on to." Funko Pop!, 2020's Beanie Baby.

"News Corp., the parent company of The Wall Street Journal and several other news outlets, said that hackers were inside its network for nearly two years and made off with private documents and emails… News Corp. first disclosed the breach in February 2022, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and an article in The Wall Street Journal. The company said at the time that it discovered “persistent cyberattack activity” a month earlier in a third-party cloud service it used. Security firm Mandiant, which aided News Corp. in investigating the intrusion, told the WSJ it believed the attack was conducted by a threat actor aligned with the Chinese government."

"In one exchange, Lavrov received loud applause for accusing the West of having a double standard, noting its heavy criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine despite Western powers having invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. In another, the reaction was less positive… 'The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people,' he said… Before Lavrov could finish his sentence, the audience laughed and groaned — loud enough for the foreign minister to pause and stumble on his words."

"Russian forces have made progress in their campaign to capture the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the focus of the war’s longest ground battle, but their assault will be difficult to sustain without more significant personnel losses, British military officials said Saturday." Russian military doctrine has a very different view of losses when compared to the West.

"'It is not a crime to give someone the finger. Flipping the proverbial bird is a God-given, Charter enshrined right that belongs to every red-blooded Canadian,' Judge Dennis Galiatsatos wrote in the Feb. 24 ruling." Fucking right.

"A new bill introduced in the South Carolina Statehouse could put the death penalty on the table for women who get an abortion." Remember when it was about the "sanctity of life"?

"Five women who were denied abortions under Texas law while facing medical crises are suing the state, asking a judge to clarify exceptions to the laws… '[The women] have been denied necessary and potentially life-saving obstetrical care because medical professionals throughout the state fear liability under Texas's abortion bans,' says the lawsuit, filed in state court by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the five women and two doctors."

"A new bill in the Ohio House would strike out all references to federal firearm policy from state law in an attempt to render state and local law enforcement in Ohio no longer responsible for enforcing federal gun laws." Ohio, where the crazy comes to live.

"A federal jury found both former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and ex-Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges guilty of racketeering conspiracy Thursday – a dramatic outcome in the biggest public corruption case in state history." And while the nuclear plant bailout part of the bill has been repealed, most of House Bill 6 remains in effect, including the bailout for the coal powered plants. So Ohioans are still getting ripped off.

"Former Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday harshly criticized former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, widening the rift between the two men as they prepare to battle over the Republican nomination in next year’s election." But he's still going to kiss Trump's ass.

"The states announced in tandem Monday that they were beginning the process to pull out, after weeks of tense negotiations over potential changes the organization could make to appease GOP members who have been facing constituent pressure about ERIC, in part due to a sustained misinformation campaign from the far-right." For the far right there is never a "too far to the right", and for authoritarians there can be no other expert, no-one else in the spotlight.

Just like… "In writing, the new board will end Disney's long practice of taxing itself to develop on the 25,000 unincorporated acres sandwiched between Osceola and Orange counties. It'll oversee services like sewage treatment and maintain the local roads, as well as decide how much Disney will pay for those services… But in effect, DeSantis said last week, the board will also serve as a moral arbiter."

"But the five board members appointed by DeSantis hinted Wednesday at future controversial actions they may take, including prohibiting COVID-19 restrictions at Disney World and recommending the elimination of two cities that were created after the Florida Legislature in 1967 approved the theme park resort’s self-governance."

Friday, March 3, 2023

Linkee-poo, in like a lion, March 3

Sorry about the chaotic pubishing lately. I think part of it is the distraction of the t-shirt business, but part of it is my subonscious rebelling at still going at 7 years after I said I would take a hiatus. I'm realy glad these last few years I can focus on something other than politics, and I'm resentful that the GOP and certain assholes remain committed to making politics the main point of discussions and news. I'm not sure how to fix this at the moment. It may be I need to step away for a little bit, but we're already into the election positioning for 2024 and lots of pieces are moving quickly (including my suspecion that Trump installed his own Deep State to wage an information battle which is just gearing up as exemplified by the DoJ announcement of the possibility that COVID-19 was a lab leak, even while being stated that it's own conclusion was of "low confidence" which almost lost during the first few days it made a splash, and which fortunately burried the story in irrelevance except for far right corners). Plus part of the time has been adsorbed (yes, that's the word) by playing with AI tools. Which I should probably talk about at some point. Right now I'm trying to see if they can be a starting point for designs I can't find references for, and use as a photo scrap book for novel writing (in the same way writes clip photos). BEcause right now while some people can create journeyman level pieces, mostly it's crap, just interesting looking crap.

"Jimmy Carter took great pride in pointing out that the United States didn't start any new wars during his term as president. But after he left office he launched a war against 'neglected' diseases — diseases in far-off lands that most Americans will never suffer from and may not have even heard of. Diseases like lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, river blindness, schistosomiasis ... and a nasty little bug called Guinea worm disease."

Fish on Fridays? "Alas, Christendom never really developed a hankering for snake. But fish — well, they'd been associated with sacred holidays even in pre-Christian times. And as the number of meatless days piled up on the medieval Christian calendar — not just Fridays but Wednesdays and Saturdays, Advent and Lent, and other holy days — the hunger for fish grew. Indeed, fish fasting days became central to the growth of the global fishing industry. But not because of a pope and his secret pact."

"Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, went on a racist rant this week on his Coffee with Scott Adams online video show, and we will no longer carry his comic strip in The Plain Dealer."

"The distributor of Scott Adams' 'Dilbert' comic strip, Andrews McMeel Universal, announced Sunday it was severing ties with the cartoonist." Note that this isn't the first time Mr. Adams has done this kind of thing. This is, IIRC, about the 4th major blowup regarding his racist viewpoint.

"Things took a weird turn when Associated Press technology reporter Matt O'Brien was testing out Microsoft's new Bing, the first-ever search engine powered by artificial intelligence, last month." Hey, remember when Microsoft released their first social media chatbot and then had to pull the plug less than 8 hours later because it had become a raving Nazi? It seems that Skynet or the paranoid and psychotic HAL9000 is the inevitable end of the process.

"On February 15, Neil Clarke shared a graph showing an exponential jump in submission bans for Clarkesworld, with nearly 350 bans in the first half of this month alone. The graph accompanied his essay 'A Concerning Trend' on how AI chatbot stories were responsible for the vast majority of these bans." This is not the robot uprising I was promised. Jason Sanford has been doing some good work here, and this Grapevine post also includes a story about Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki detention and denied admission to the US to attend another award ceremony, and an update about the Chengdu Worldcon.

"The key to being a good writer? It’s being a good reader, authors including Carol Ann Duffy and Alan Moore have said this World Book Day. However, commonly doled-out advice such as 'write what you know' is 'dreadful', says Lee Child."

"Don't mess with Roald Dahl's language or his 'swashboggling' fans. When his UK publisher announced it would be changing some of his words, the response was fierce. 'An affront to democracy,' wrote one reader responding to The Daily Telegraph's report on the proposed changes. 'An exercise in priggish stupidity,' read a headline in The Sydney Morning Herald. Even the Queen Consort and U.K. Prime Minister dismissed the idea of tampering with Dahl's original language."

"Dr. Seuss fans might find their hearts growing three sizes this coming holiday season with the release of a sequel to the 1957 classic children’s book 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'" Ugh.

"A dozen dead whales have washed up on New York and New Jersey beaches since December. It's part of a years-long trend in whale deaths up and down the east coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is trying to figure out what's going on."

Something new has been added… "Egypt's antiquities authorities on Thursday unveiled a newly discovered, sealed-off chamber inside one of the Great Pyramids at Giza, just outside of Cairo, that dates back some 4,500 years ago… The corridor — on the northern side of the Pyramid of Khufu — was discovered using modern scanning technology. It measures nearly 30 feet in length and is over 6 feet wide, perched above the main entrance of the pyramid."

"It's been nearly a month since a Norfolk Southern train derailed and spilled hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, soil and water around East Palestine, Ohio. In the weeks since, authorities have undertaken a massive operation to clean up the hazardous materials." A story exploring the difficulties of cleaning up toxic waste, and some of the unique challenges of this accident site.

"Seeing a political opportunity, former President Donald Trump and a cadre of other conservatives descended on the small town of fewer than 5,000 residents. Trump handed out campaign hats, 'Trump'-branded water and Trump-branded insults of the Biden administration. Then, under political pressure, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made his way there, too, met with local leaders and offered his own rejoinders for the former president." I wonder if anyone reminded East Palestine that Trump rolled back the rules that might have prevented the derailment or have reduced the impact and scale of the disaster?

"As Women’s History Month gets underway, mobile billboards are visiting college campuses in 14 states with abortion bans carrying a reminder that abortion pills are still accessible all across the country… Mayday.Health, a nonprofit launched last year after legal abortions were heavily restricted or banned in 26 states, was created to provide information on where and how to safely order abortion pills. The traveling billboards are fitted with QR codes that direct people to resources specific to the state where they are hoping to have pills delivered."

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raising warning doctors and the public about an increase in extensively drug-resistant (XDR) cases of Shigella, a highly transmissible bacteria that causes an infection called shigellosis, an inflammatory diarrhea."

"Black married couples, in general, pay more in tax costs than white, married couples, according to a new report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center… Officially, the U.S. tax code is considered race blind, William Gale, one of the report's authors, told NPR… 'But what we've suspected, and what we found, was that the income tax can still impose differential burdens on Black and white households' because of several factors, he said."

They will greet us as liberators is always a lie… "Kherson was the first major city occupied by Russian forces. With Kherson's deep historical ties to Russia, Moscow did not expect it to be a center of resistance. But the city, like the rest of Ukraine, defied the Kremlin's expectations."

"We firmly believe that it is journalism’s sacred duty to endanger the lives of as many trans people as possible… Indeed, there are critical questions to be asked about the social complexities of gender, as well as medical ethics in a profit-driven healthcare system. We are simply not interested in any of that. Instead, we will use flawed data and spurious logic to repeatedly write the same hand-wringing arguments asking whether there are suddenly too many trans people around. Journalistic integrity demands nothing less." Oh Onion, don't ever change.

"Former College Park, Maryland, Mayor Patrick Wojahn was arrested Thursday on several charges of child pornography, city officials announced… The Prince George's County Police Department was notified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Feb. 17 that there was a social media account in the county posting child pornography, and police tracked it back to Wojahn, 47, the department said." Still not a drag show to be found.

"Transgender youth may soon no longer be able to access gender-affirming health care. A ban on medical transitioning for minors has passed the Tennessee General Assembly and is on its way to the governor’s desk… The bill would mean no hormone therapy, no surgeries and no puberty blockers — with two exceptions. One is for intersex kids who aren’t easily assigned a gender at birth. Another would be a temporary exception for trans kids who are already taking hormones before the law goes into effect July 1. After that, minors have until March of 2024 to stop their treatments."

"One side effect of political division in the states — blue states getting bluer and red states getting redder — is that some policies don't have a chance of getting passed by partisan state legislatures, even if a majority of voters back them… But a left-leaning advocacy group called the Fairness Project has created a playbook for using ballot initiatives to go around GOP-led state legislatures." And now you know why some states are making it harder to get initiatives on the ballot.

"The event may be the closest thing yet to Greene’s vision for the GOP, which she has urged to become the 'party of Christian nationalism.' The Idaho Panhandle’s especially fervent embrace of the ideology may explain why Greene, who has sold T-shirts reading 'Proud Christian Nationalist,' traveled more than 2,300 miles to a county with fewer than 67,000 Republican voters to talk about biblical truth: Amid ongoing national debate over Christian nationalism, North Idaho offers a window at what actually trying to manifest a right-wing vision for a Christian America can look like — and the power it can wield in state politics." Cue up Poltergeist clip of little girl saying, "They'e here."

"The report describes attempts by top officials to link protesters to an imaginary terrorist plot in an apparent effort to boost Trump’s reelection odds, raising concerns now about the ability of a sitting president to co-opt billions of dollars’ worth of domestic intelligence assets for their own political gain. DHS analysts recounted orders to generate evidence of financial ties between protesters in custody; an effort that, had they not failed, would have seemingly served to legitimize President Trump’s false claims about 'Antifa,' an 'organization' that even his most loyal intelligence officers failed to drum up proof ever existed." Who was weaponizing the government?

"Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the former chair of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, says House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's decision to release security video of that day to Fox News host Tucker Carlson could compromise the security of the U.S. Capitol by exposing the placement of cameras throughout the complex."

"A Republican state senator in Florida has introduced a bill that, if passed, would require bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, his Cabinet or state legislators to register with the state." Fuck this Nazi shit, and fuck the Florida Mussolini DeSantis.