Cornel West advocates abandoning the Democratic Party: Daily Bullshit, April 26-28, 2017

Updates

  1. April 27, 1:51 am:
    • Two photographs added under Homelessness
    • With the Republicans in power, net neutrality is under renewed attack.[1] (Net Neutrality)
    • The American Civil Liberties Union explains clearly what it thinks the judge meant in issuing a temporary injunction against Donald Trump’s order on sanctuary cities.[2] (Unauthorized Migration)
    • Barack Obama has apparently decided to take a page from the Clinton playbook, giving a speech to financiers for $400,000.[3] (Democrats)
  2. April 27, 12:43 pm:
    • The Left is making an ass of itself (as Bernie Sanders recognized[4]) again, this time over now-aborted plans for Ann Coulter to speak at the University of California, Berkeley.[5] (Political Correctness)
  3. April 28, 5:13 am:
    • Republicans are still having trouble coming up with the votes to pass a “repeal and replace” plan for Obamacare[6] and even if they do, their bill still appears dead on arrival at the Senate.[7]
    • Jonathan Haidt condemns the violence perpetrated by the Left against conservative speakers on campuses and argues for enforcement of policies that he says, in most cases, already exist.[8] (Political Correctness)
    • Fortunately, the aforementioned violence mostly did not materialize Thursday in Berkeley.[9] (Political Correctness)
    • Democrats think they can channel the anti-Trump resistance.[10]
    • Commentary further developed under Political Correctness.
    • Purdue University is buying the Kaplan chain of For-Profit Schools.[11]
    • Science has published a research article showing that social mobility has substantially decreased in correlation with increased income inequality.[12] (Social Inequality)
    • The Uber executive at the center of Waymo’s lawsuit alleging stolen intellectual property is stepping aside pending the case’s outcome.[13]
  4. April 28, 11:51 am:
    • An economist reduces the U.S. economy to two classes, one well-educated, tech-savvy, well-off, and politically influential, and the other none of the above and effectively condemned to poverty in service to the well-off.[14] (Social Inequality)
  5. April 29, 01:24 am:

Democrats

I admire and respect Cornel West for his heart, which I think is clearly in the right place. His is one of the very few voices on the political Left that seriously advocates for economic justice as indispensable in the quest for social justice. But it’s time to admit he’s a little slow on the uptake.

I realized that Barack Obama was not really a progressive even before he was elected and I have long been skeptical of the Democratic Party.[15] West continued to express confidence in Obama in his memoir[16] but, years later, eventually came to realize that Obama was a “counterfeit.”[17] Now West is recognizing that the Democratic Party is hopelessly in bed with neoliberals and corporations.[18]

Credit where credit is due: West does eventually get there. This is much, much further than most folks ever get. But he consistently expresses a misguided and wholly undeserved patience with people and institutions that lasts years until at some arbitrary point he suddenly sees what I have been seeing for a long time and loses that patience. And when he loses that patience he says some very astute things. My disappointment is with the patience he expresses in the first place.

Cornel West, “The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment,” Guardian, April 24, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/democrats-delivered-one-thing-100-days-disappointment

Michael D. Shear, “Obama reportedly accepts $400,000 for Wall Street speech,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 26, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/obama-reportedly-accepts-400-000-for-wall-street-speech/420487353/

Elana Schor, “Trump resistance tries to channel its anger,” Politico, April 27, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/27/trump-congress-democrats-237535


Homelessness

This encampment, near the Oakland Coliseum, has plenty of room for growth.

This encampment, near the Oakland Coliseum, has plenty of room for growth.

Possibly a better shot of the encampment in Berkeley I photographed earlier.

Possibly a better shot of the encampment in Berkeley I photographed earlier.


Net Neutrality

Probably a good general rule for emotion-laden and vaguely-defined terms such as “freedom” is that their use should be interrogated: “Free” for whom, to do what to whom?

Net neutrality is an outstanding example of the problem. According to Margaret McGill’s article,

“For decades before 2015, we had a free and open Internet,” the [FCC Chairman Ajit Pai] said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington co-hosted by FreedomWorks, a limited-government group. “Indeed, the free and open Internet developed and flourished under light-touch regulation. We were not living in some digital dystopia before the partisan imposition of a massive plan hatched in Washington saved all of us.”[19]

The insinuation that the Internet is not now “free and open” must be interrogated. Not “free and open” for whom? The answer, obviously, is the Internet service providers, whose “freedom” to throttle traffic to and from various sites was infringed.

Conversely, the present rules protect small, underfunded sites, including mine. This guarantees my (and other small sites’) freedom of speech (but not an audience). The rules changes being proposed would infringe that freedom. So an obvious question is why Pai values the “freedom” of rich corporations like Comcast over that of sites like my own. And the answer to that, alas, is probably entirely too obvious.

Margaret Harding McGill, “FCC chairman announces start of net neutrality pullback,” Politico, April 26, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/net-neutrality-pullback-fcc-237644


Unauthorized Migration

Cody Wofsy and Skadden Fellow, “Federal Court Calls Trump’s Threats to Defund Sanctuary Cities Unconstitutional,” American Civil Liberties Union, April 26, 2017, https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/federal-court-calls-trumps-threats-defund-sanctuary-cities-unconstitutional


Political Correctness

In the past, “political correctness” has been a dubious term. Free speech is not—and never has been—an unlimited right. Classically, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater (unless there really is one). But more to the point, there is a point when speech shuts other voices down and I accept that it is possible to argue that Ann Coulter reaches that threshold.

However, the folks objecting to Coulter’s speech are supposed to be students (unfortunately, it appears that not all are[20]) in a university which is supposed to value critical inquiry (and which the University of California at Berkeley has arguably failed to do[21]). Audience members—whether students or not—in this setting are supposed to be able to do just what Bernie Sanders suggests, which is indeed to “ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments.”[22]

While I have my own skepticism about nonviolent tactics,[23] to justify violence against speakers requires, in my view, that their speech poses an imminent physical danger to the audience or other human or nonhuman beings, a conclusion which is, I think, in this case, a few too many steps removed from any factual premises. Nor do I endorse violence as a method of protest—if employed, violence must be proportionate to the threat and strictly directed at and limited to averting that threat. (Note that this formulation in no way immunizes the politically or economically powerful from whatever means are necessary to avert the lethal or injurious consequences of social inequality.)

So I absolutely agree with Jonathan Haidt,[24] Sanders,[25] and Peter Van Buren[26] that protesters absolutely should not resort to violence to suppress speakers they disagree with.

[P]ersons who believe that in Trump’s America violence to silence speech they do not agree with is justified . . . probably are unaware their tactics were once used to silence civil-rights marchers, anti-war protesters, abortion-rights advocates, and the women’s movement. Because the law that now shames Berkeley and NYU comes from earlier efforts to protect those groups’ right to speak.[27]

We have reached a point with the Left where there is one correct way of thinking and if you commit any heresy against this allegedly correct way of thinking or even abstain from condemning such heresy, you are a fascist subject to violence[28] (which fortunately mostly did not materialize in Berkeley on Thursday[29]). Which is to say that the Left has itself become fascist.

Daniel Marans, “Bernie Sanders Condemns Threats Against Ann Coulter Speech At Berkeley,” Huffington Post, April 22, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-ann-coulter-berkeley_us_58fb7006e4b00fa7de14bc3d

Jonathan H. Adler, “Bernie Sanders defends Ann Coulter’s right to speak,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/23/bernie-sanders-defends-ann-coulters-right-to-speak/

Jonathan Haidt, “Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Intimidation-Is-the-Newmal/239890

Chris Quintana, “At Berkeley, a Speaker’s Cancellation Spurs New Battles Over Free Speech,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/At-Berkeley-a-Speakers/239915

Paige St. John, Veronica Rocha, and Corina Knoll, “Anticipated showdown at UC Berkeley over Ann Coulter invitation is more of a shouting match than a melee,” Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-ann-coulter-protests-20170427-story.html

Peter Van Buren, “The Mob Vetoes Ann Coulter,” American Conservative, April 27, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/


Obamacare

Republicans are trying to be mean, by cutting coverage, and nice, by not cutting coverage, at the same time. It might be possible to resolve a paradox, but this looks like a contradiction and, if so, until they agree on one course of action—which they probably can’t do—the “repeal and replace” effort is almost certainly doomed.

Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett, “GOP senators not so keen on House’s Obamacare repeal,” Politico, April 27, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/27/senate-republicans-obamacare-repeal-237656

Scott Wong, “Republicans won’t vote on ObamaCare repeal bill this week,” Hill, April 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/331018-republicans-wont-vote-on-obamacare-repeal-bill-this-week


For-Profit Schools

Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn, “Purdue University to Acquire Kaplan University,” Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/purdue-university-to-acquire-kaplan-university-1493304763

Andy Thomason, “Purdue U. Buys Mega For-Profit Kaplan U., Plans to Turn It Into a ‘Public University,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/purdue-u-is-expected-to-buy-mega-for-profit-kaplan-u-turn-it-into-a-public-university/118020


Social Inequality

Raj Chetty et al., “The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940,” Science 28 (April, 2017): 398-406, doi:10.1126/science.aal4617

Gillian B. White, “Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong,” review of The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, CityLab, April 28, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/work/2017/04/escaping-poverty-requires-almost-20-years-with-nearly-nothing-going-wrong/524727/


Uber

Michael Liedtke, “Uber self-driving car exec steps aside during Google lawsuit,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 27, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/uber-self-driving-car-exec-steps-aside-during-google-lawsuit/420676163/


  1. [1]Margaret Harding McGill, “FCC chairman announces start of net neutrality pullback,” Politico, April 26, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/net-neutrality-pullback-fcc-237644
  2. [2]Cody Wofsy and Skadden Fellow, “Federal Court Calls Trump’s Threats to Defund Sanctuary Cities Unconstitutional,” American Civil Liberties Union, April 26, 2017, https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/federal-court-calls-trumps-threats-defund-sanctuary-cities-unconstitutional
  3. [3]Michael D. Shear, “Obama reportedly accepts $400,000 for Wall Street speech,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 26, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/obama-reportedly-accepts-400-000-for-wall-street-speech/420487353/
  4. [4]Jonathan H. Adler, “Bernie Sanders defends Ann Coulter’s right to speak,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/23/bernie-sanders-defends-ann-coulters-right-to-speak/; Daniel Marans, “Bernie Sanders Condemns Threats Against Ann Coulter Speech At Berkeley,” Huffington Post, April 22, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-ann-coulter-berkeley_us_58fb7006e4b00fa7de14bc3d
  5. [5]Chris Quintana, “At Berkeley, a Speaker’s Cancellation Spurs New Battles Over Free Speech,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/At-Berkeley-a-Speakers/239915; Peter Van Buren, “The Mob Vetoes Ann Coulter,” American Conservative, April 27, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/
  6. [6]Scott Wong, “Republicans won’t vote on ObamaCare repeal bill this week,” Hill, April 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/331018-republicans-wont-vote-on-obamacare-repeal-bill-this-week
  7. [7]Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett, “GOP senators not so keen on House’s Obamacare repeal,” Politico, April 27, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/27/senate-republicans-obamacare-repeal-237656
  8. [8]Jonathan Haidt, “Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Intimidation-Is-the-Newmal/239890
  9. [9]Paige St. John, Veronica Rocha, and Corina Knoll, “Anticipated showdown at UC Berkeley over Ann Coulter invitation is more of a shouting match than a melee,” Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-ann-coulter-protests-20170427-story.html
  10. [10]Elana Schor, “Trump resistance tries to channel its anger,” Politico, April 27, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/27/trump-congress-democrats-237535
  11. [11]Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn, “Purdue University to Acquire Kaplan University,” Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/purdue-university-to-acquire-kaplan-university-1493304763; Andy Thomason, “Purdue U. Buys Mega For-Profit Kaplan U., Plans to Turn It Into a ‘Public University,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/purdue-u-is-expected-to-buy-mega-for-profit-kaplan-u-turn-it-into-a-public-university/118020
  12. [12]Raj Chetty et al., “The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940,” Science 28 (April, 2017): 398-406, doi:10.1126/science.aal4617
  13. [13]Michael Liedtke, “Uber self-driving car exec steps aside during Google lawsuit,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 27, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/uber-self-driving-car-exec-steps-aside-during-google-lawsuit/420676163/
  14. [14]Gillian B. White, “Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong,” review of The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, CityLab, April 28, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/work/2017/04/escaping-poverty-requires-almost-20-years-with-nearly-nothing-going-wrong/524727/
  15. [15]David Benfell, “No way,” Not Housebroken, July 9, 2008, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=1916
  16. [16]Cornel West, with David Ritz, Living and Loving Out Loud (Carlsbad, CA: Smiley, 2009).
  17. [17]Thomas Frank, “Cornel West: ‘He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency’,” Salon, August 24, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/08/24/cornel_west_he_posed_as_a_progressive_and_turned_out_to_be_counterfeit_we_ended_up_with_a_wall_street_presidency_a_drone_presidency/
  18. [18]Cornel West, “The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment,” Guardian, April 24, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/democrats-delivered-one-thing-100-days-disappointment
  19. [19]Margaret Harding McGill, “FCC chairman announces start of net neutrality pullback,” Politico, April 26, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/net-neutrality-pullback-fcc-237644
  20. [20]Jonathan Haidt, “Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Intimidation-Is-the-Newmal/239890; Chris Quintana, “At Berkeley, a Speaker’s Cancellation Spurs New Battles Over Free Speech,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/At-Berkeley-a-Speakers/239915
  21. [21]Peter Van Buren, “The Mob Vetoes Ann Coulter,” American Conservative, April 27, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/
  22. [22]Bernie Sanders, quoted in Daniel Marans, “Bernie Sanders Condemns Threats Against Ann Coulter Speech At Berkeley,” Huffington Post, April 22, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-ann-coulter-berkeley_us_58fb7006e4b00fa7de14bc3d
  23. [23]David Benfell, “Change For The Improbable: Change For Human and Non-Human Survival,” December 17, 2013, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2013/09/27/change-improbable-change-human-and-non-human-survival; David Benfell, “It’s time to shut up about nonviolence,” Not Housebroken, April 29, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=7488; also see Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds., Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, (New York: Lantern, 2004); Benjamin Ginsberg, “Why Violence Works,” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Violence-Works/140951/.
  24. [24]Jonathan Haidt, “Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Intimidation-Is-the-Newmal/239890
  25. [25]Jonathan H. Adler, “Bernie Sanders defends Ann Coulter’s right to speak,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/23/bernie-sanders-defends-ann-coulters-right-to-speak/
  26. [26]Peter Van Buren, “The Mob Vetoes Ann Coulter,” American Conservative, April 27, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/
  27. [27]Peter Van Buren, “The Mob Vetoes Ann Coulter,” American Conservative, April 27, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/
  28. [28]Jonathan Haidt, “Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Intimidation-Is-the-Newmal/239890
  29. [29]Paige St. John, Veronica Rocha, and Corina Knoll, “Anticipated showdown at UC Berkeley over Ann Coulter invitation is more of a shouting match than a melee,” Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-ann-coulter-protests-20170427-story.html

Finally, an explanation for why Laura Poitras was detained so many times at airports: Daily Bullshit, April 25, 2017

Updates

  1. April 25, 2:31 pm:
    • A judge has granted preliminary injunctions against Donald Trump’s order on sanctuary cities.[1] (Unauthorized migration)

Watch Lists

It appears Laura Poitras was detained over fifty times at airports because

Members of a U.S. Army National Guard unit from Oregon reported seeing a “white female” holding a camera on a rooftop just before they were attacked. David Roustum, 22, an Army National Guardsman from West Seneca, New York, was killed. Several troops were wounded. Some guardsmen who saw Poitras suspected she had a heads-up about the attack and didn’t share that information with American forces because she wanted to film it. If true, Poitras would have broken U.S. criminal law.[2]

This, of course, is the problem with this kind of system: There was apparently never a proper identification of that “white female,” but soldiers and the keepers of the watch lists just decided it was Poitras.

In Germany, [Poitras] was told her name lights up “like a Christmas tree” when security officials scan flight rosters. In Austria, she was told her threat score was “400 out of 400.”[3]

Poitras had to sue to find out what the fuck was going on and it wasn’t until she took action that the detentions ceased. Short of that, she had been presumed guilty and never even allowed the opportunity to prove her innocence. Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, is a reversal of the normal presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Poitras called the allegation false and said she didn’t film the attack.

“There is no ambush footage,” Poitras told the AP. “That’s the narrative that they created, but it doesn’t correspond with any facts.”[4]

Deb Riechmann, “Filmmaker learns why she endured airport stops for years,” Associated Press, April 17, 2017, https://apnews.com/d69a8e6db867477795f4152d0511bbf9


Unauthorized migration

Paulina Firozi, “Federal judge blocks Trump’s sanctuary cities order,” Hill, April 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/330516-federal-judge-blocks-trumps-sanctuary-cities-order


  1. [1]Paulina Firozi, “Federal judge blocks Trump’s sanctuary cities order,” Hill, April 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/330516-federal-judge-blocks-trumps-sanctuary-cities-order
  2. [2]Deb Riechmann, “Filmmaker learns why she endured airport stops for years,” Associated Press, April 17, 2017, https://apnews.com/d69a8e6db867477795f4152d0511bbf9
  3. [3]Deb Riechmann, “Filmmaker learns why she endured airport stops for years,” Associated Press, April 17, 2017, https://apnews.com/d69a8e6db867477795f4152d0511bbf9
  4. [4]Deb Riechmann, “Filmmaker learns why she endured airport stops for years,” Associated Press, April 17, 2017, https://apnews.com/d69a8e6db867477795f4152d0511bbf9

The U.S. has found a way to charge Julian Assange: Daily Bullshit, April 20-24, 2017

Updates

  1. April 21, 1:30 pm:
    • The Justice Department has warned several jurisdictions that have designated themselves “sanctuaries” from immigration law enforcement to cooperate.[1] (Unauthorized Migration)
  2. April 22, 1:54 am:
    • In a brief, attorneys general from sixteen states are supporting the state of Washington in its suit against Donald Trump’s revised Muslim Ban.[2]
  3. April 22, 11:48 am:
  4. April 23, 1:30 am:
    • Another photograph added under Homelessness.
    • Waymo denies Uber‘s claim to be using different “lidar” technology in its self-driving cars, alleging that Uber withheld evidence on some projects.[3]
  5. April 23, 12:01 pm:
  6. April 24, 2:01 am:
    • Some psychiatrists have decided that a “duty to warn” about Donald Trump supersedes the “Goldwater Rule” against offering public diagnoses of figures whom they have not examined personally.[5] (Donald Trump)
  7. April 24, 11:01 pm:
    • Yes, Donald Trump and the Republicans are “out of touch” with the country, but a poll finds that people think the Democrats are even more so.[6]

Homelessness

How many of these

How many of these “recreational vehicles” are being used for recreation? The bucolic background might seem misleading: This photograph (by David Benfell, April 21) was taken in an industrial section of one of Oakland’s remaining poorer neighborhoods.

How many of these tents in Berkeley house activists? But also, how many homeless do they represent? If memory serves, this community was previously on a median strip, as a protest either on behalf of or by the homeless. (David Benfell, April 22)

How many of these tents in Berkeley house activists? How many of these activists are “legitimately” (what defines “legitimacy” in this context?) homeless themselves? But also, how many homeless do they represent? If memory serves, this community was previously on a median strip, as a protest either on behalf of or by the homeless. (David Benfell, April 22)


As I’ve previously noted,

in denying the homeless a place even to legally be, the powers that be effectively deny the homeless their right to even exist. The homeless won’t stop being homeless because they’ve been evicted from yet more locations. But, perhaps, they’ll be less visible. And the needs of the homeless—and their rights—won’t be any less urgent because they’ve been evicted from yet more locations. But, perhaps, we’ll be able to pretend they don’t exist.[7]

This is a point underscored in the Truthdig article.[8] Ironically, Fountain Alley, which serves as a locus in that article, is near a vegan restaurant named Good Karma that has, in recent years, transformed itself into a hipster beer joint (that still serves vegan food). And please notice that this fascism of erasing human beings is occurring in west coast so-called liberal cities. I have little doubt that it also occurs in more conservative places, but the public policy response to homelessness illustrates that the entire mainstream political spectrum in this country is fascist.

Rich Gutierrez and Leslie Patron, “Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in California’s San Jose,” Truthdig, April 22, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/displacing_unprofitable_undesirable_in_san_joses_fountain_alley_20170419


Julian Assange

It has, until now, always been a matter of speculation that the U.S. would seek Julian Assange’s extradition even though the fear that it would led to Ecuador’s decision to grant him asylum.[9] This is no longer a matter of speculation.[10]

Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, Shimon Prokupecz, and Eric Bradner, “Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange,” CNN, April 20, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html


Unauthorized Migration

Joseph Tanfani, “Justice Department warns sanctuary cities in California, 8 other jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration enforcement,” Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-justice-formally-wans-sanctuary-1492788670-htmlstory.html


Muslim Ban

Ignore Jeffrey Sessions’ attempt to defend his comments belittling Hawaii. Those comments, referring to “some island in the Pacific,” mean just what they sound like they mean. They 1) ignore Hawaii’s status both as an illegally colonized and conquered nation[11] and as a state, and 2) treat this illegally conquered nation and state as something foreign to the United States, all to 3) attack a judge who, inconveniently for the Trump administration, apparently recognizes Islamophobia when he sees it.

Joel Connelly, “Connelly: West Coast states fight against Trump’s ‘Muslim ban 2.0,'” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 21, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Washington-West-Coast-states-in-legal-fight-11090186.php


Uber

Tim Higgins, “Alphabet’s Waymo Claims Uber Hid Self-Driving Tech From Court,” Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/waymo-claims-uber-hid-self-driving-tech-from-court-1492828943


Donald Trump

Gail Sheehy, “At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their ‘Duty to Warn’ About an Unfit President,” New York, April 23, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/yale-psychiatrists-cite-duty-to-warn-about-unfit-president.html


Democrats

Philip Bump, “Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/04/23/two-thirds-of-americans-think-that-the-democratic-party-is-out-of-touch-with-the-country/

  1. [1]Joseph Tanfani, “Justice Department warns sanctuary cities in California, 8 other jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration enforcement,” Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-justice-formally-wans-sanctuary-1492788670-htmlstory.html
  2. [2]Joel Connelly, “Connelly: West Coast states fight against Trump’s ‘Muslim ban 2.0,'” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 21, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Washington-West-Coast-states-in-legal-fight-11090186.php
  3. [3]Tim Higgins, “Alphabet’s Waymo Claims Uber Hid Self-Driving Tech From Court,” Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/waymo-claims-uber-hid-self-driving-tech-from-court-1492828943
  4. [4]Rich Gutierrez and Leslie Patron, “Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in California’s San Jose,” Truthdig, April 22, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/displacing_unprofitable_undesirable_in_san_joses_fountain_alley_20170419
  5. [5]Gail Sheehy, “At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their ‘Duty to Warn’ About an Unfit President,” New York, April 23, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/yale-psychiatrists-cite-duty-to-warn-about-unfit-president.html
  6. [6]Philip Bump, “Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/04/23/two-thirds-of-americans-think-that-the-democratic-party-is-out-of-touch-with-the-country/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “The Calexit Proposition is dead. Long Live the Calexit Proposition,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, April 19, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/04/19/the-calexit-proposition-is-dead-long-live-the-calexit-proposition-daily-bullshit-april-17-18-2017/
  8. [8]Rich Gutierrez and Leslie Patron, “Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in California’s San Jose,” Truthdig, April 22, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/displacing_unprofitable_undesirable_in_san_joses_fountain_alley_20170419
  9. [9]Paul Lewis, “Ecuador seeks to stop ‘evil’ of Julian Assange US extradition,” Guardian, July 26, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jul/26/ecuador-julian-assange-extradition-us
  10. [10]Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, Shimon Prokupecz, and Eric Bradner, “Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange,” CNN, April 20, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html
  11. [11]Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Kingdom of Hawaii may still exist, challenges US over sovereignty,” May 22, 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-22/kingdom-of-hawaii-sovreignty-challenge/5467832; Taylor Kate Brown, “Aloha to the US: Is Hawai’i an occupied nation?” British Broadcasting Corporation, November 2, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34680564; Cathy Bussewitz, “Native Hawaiians debate best path to sovereignty,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 16, 2015, http://www.startribune.com/nation/288871031.html; Catherine Elsworth, “Queen of Hawaii demands independence from ‘US occupiers’,” Telegraph, June 30, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/hawaii/2218343/Queen-of-Hawaii-demands-independence-from-US-occupiers.html; New York Times, “Native Hawaiians Seek Redress for U.S. Role in Ousting Queen,” December 11, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/11/us/native-hawaiians-seek-redress-for-us-role-in-ousting-queen.html

The Calexit Proposition is dead. Long Live the Calexit Proposition. Daily Bullshit, April 17-19, 2017

Updates

  1. April 18, 8:33 am:
    • Theresa May is calling for an early election in a bid to increase her majority in the United Kingdom parliament.[1] (Brexit)
  2. April 19, 1:49 am:
    • Timothy Stafford argues that in calling for an early election, Theresa May stands to substantially increase her party’s majority in Parliament.[2] (Brexit)
  3. April 19, 2:10 pm:

In the previous issue, I wrote:

I drive around the San Francisco Bay Area a lot these days and it’s a rare freeway underpass that doesn’t have at least one homeless person with a tent set up. Often there are many tents, all pitched right next to each other, with chairs and other property set around them. I don’t know whether to call them Trumpvilles (it seems a bit early for that), Obamavilles, Bushvilles, or even Clintonvilles, but make no mistake, Hoovervilles have returned.[3]

I guess the homeless have become too visible for the powers that be. The Gilman underpass on I-80 now has a fence (that impedes visibility and makes an already-difficult intersection even more dangerous) to keep the homeless out. On an otherwise vacant lot adjacent to I-880 in Oakland, I noticed an eviction notice for an “illegal encampment.”

All of this underscores my longstanding point that in denying the homeless a place even to legally be, the powers that be effectively deny the homeless their right to even exist. The homeless won’t stop being homeless because they’ve been evicted from yet more locations. But, perhaps, they’ll be less visible. And the needs of the homeless—and their rights—won’t be any less urgent because they’ve been evicted from yet more locations. But, perhaps, we’ll be able to pretend they don’t exist.

We are erasing human beings here rather than helping them. And yes, that’s fascism.


Calexit

Don Thompson, “Calexit backers drop 1 California secession bid, try again,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 17, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/calexit-backers-withdraw-2018-california-independence-bid/419654653/


H-1B Visas

Catherine Lucey and Scott Bauer, “Trump order would target high-skilled worker visa program,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 17, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/trump-order-would-target-high-skilled-worker-visa-program/419664223/


Brexit

If I’m understanding correctly, Theresa May is attempting to solve a problem with her own backbenchers, Tories who would advocate an even harder Brexit than the one she seems to be seeking.[4] Which would seem to assume that newly elected ministers would be more cooperative than the backbenchers she’s seeking to overcome. More seriously, if something goes wrong, it could backfire on May. But May is also seizing an apparent opportunity to substantially increase her party’s parliamentary majority.[5]

Jenny Gross and Jason Douglas, “U.K.’s Theresa May Calls Early Election, Seeking Brexit Leverage,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-prime-minister-theresa-may-calls-general-election-1492510159

Timothy Stafford, “Theresa May’s Risky General Election Plan,” National Interest, April 18, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/theresa-mays-risky-general-election-plan-20255


  1. [1]Jenny Gross and Jason Douglas, “U.K.’s Theresa May Calls Early Election, Seeking Brexit Leverage,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-prime-minister-theresa-may-calls-general-election-1492510159
  2. [2]Timothy Stafford, “Theresa May’s Risky General Election Plan,” National Interest, April 18, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/theresa-mays-risky-general-election-plan-20255
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Probably not the right way to raise graduation rates,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, April 14, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/04/14/probably-not-the-right-way-to-raise-graduation-rates-daily-bullshit-april-11-2017/
  4. [4]Jenny Gross and Jason Douglas, “U.K.’s Theresa May Calls Early Election, Seeking Brexit Leverage,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-prime-minister-theresa-may-calls-general-election-1492510159
  5. [5]Timothy Stafford, “Theresa May’s Risky General Election Plan,” National Interest, April 18, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/theresa-mays-risky-general-election-plan-20255

Probably not the right way to raise graduation rates: Daily Bullshit, April 11-14, 2017

Updates:

  1. April 12, 2:55 am:
    • Lawmakers and their aides from both major parties say Susan Rice did nothing wrong in asking for the identities of U.S. citizens caught up in spying allegedly directed at foreign nationals.[1] (Golden Showers)
    • A rather thin silver lining to the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies is that Jeff Sessions is pushing for the hiring of more immigration judges.[2] (Unauthorized Migration)
  2. April 12, 3:17 am:
    • The Federal Bureau of Investigation did obtain a FISA warrant on one of Donald Trump’s advisors.[3] (Golden Showers)
    • Yet another top executive is leaving Uber.[4] (Ride-sharing)
    • An article I forgot to include earlier: The New York Times editorial criticizing the “gig” economy.[5] (Ride-sharing)
  3. April 12, 11:25 am:
  4. April 13, 1:14 am:
  5. April 13, 11:40 am:
    • Rents are rising as more commute to Silicon Valley, leading to rising Homelessness.[8]
  6. April 14, 5:17 am:
    • The border wall may remain a Trump fantasy, even as his administration solicits bids for its construction.[9] (Unauthorized Migration)
    • Richard Florida offers a look at who’s driving up the rent.[10] (Rent)
    • Yet another Uber scandal.[11] (Ride-sharing)
    • The assertion that Barack Obama didn’t order wiretaps on Donald Trump’s campaign increasingly appears as a distinction without a difference.[12] (Golden Showers)
    • Donald Trump may be in trouble with the larger part of his base, even if they haven’t stopped supporting him—yet.[13] (Authoritarian Populists and Donald Trump)
    • Any further attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare may be dead—so-called “centrist” Republicans say they won’t support it.[14]
  7. April 14, 12:15 pm:
    • Donald Trump is going more mainstream (for which, read more neoconservative and—unsurprisingly since for neoconservatives, neoliberalism is a moral imperative, neoliberal) on foreign and economic policy.[15] (Authoritarian Populists and Donald Trump)
    • Another day (although, admittedly, I’ve gotten the scandals in reverse order chronologically), and yet again, another Uber scandal[16]—I mean really, now, when do you vulture capitalists pull the plug? (Ride-sharing)

For-Profit Schools

A historically Black college is teaming up with University of Phoenix to offer online courses to college drop-outs. But “[South Carolina] State has a six-year graduation rate of 37 percent, slightly below the national average of 42 percent, according to the latest U.S. Department of Education data. University of Phoenix has a nationwide graduation rate of 16 percent, and an even lower rate of 11 percent at its campus in Columbia.” Skeptics (count me among them) argue that this is just a way to funnel money from a state-supported public institution to a for-profit scam. The latter could make up to nearly $1 million as “S.C. State has agreed to pay $395 to University of Phoenix for every online course in which each student enrolls, starting this fall.”[17]

Paul Bowers, “South Carolina State online program could be a cash cow for University of Phoenix,” Charleston Post and Courier, April 10, 2017, http://www.postandcourier.com/news/south-carolina-state-online-program-could-be-a-cash-cow/article_185285c4-1872-11e7-8a0c-9bc8648bf5f7.html


Ride-sharing

If—admittedly, a big ‘if’—I’m understanding correctly, the judge’s ruling in Waymo’s suit against Uber is an early defeat for Cory Levandowski’s assertion of fifth amendment privilege that might not mean much in the end, as “[t]he judge is not at this time requiring that the report be opened up to the court, but is ordering it to be included in that list [of documents that a party in a lawsuit argues should not be opened up to the court because they contain privileged information] without basic details redacted.” Still, it seems striking, to me, at least that Levandowski seeks to assert the privilege against self-incrimination over “[a] due diligence report . . . conducted by a third party as part of an acquisition.”[18] What? Really?

There are a couple things about this that make absolutely no sense to me. First, how can a report prepared by a third party be self-incrimination? Second, how can a report on due diligence be self-incrimination? Which, admittedly, doesn’t leave much about this that does make any fucking sense at all. Something has to be deeply wrong here and people ought to be a more suspicious of and less acquiescent to the mysteries of an incomprehensible legal system. Especially when Uber is shedding executives like there’s no tomorrow.[19] Once upon a time we surely would have said something stinks to high heaven or something’s rotten in Denmark. But I guess we don’t do that anymore.

New York Times, “The Gig Economy’s False Promise,” New York Times, April 10, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/the-gig-economys-false-promise.html

Tess Townsend and Johana Bhuiyan, “The judge in the Alphabet/Uber lawsuit rejects a Fifth Amendment claim to keep key details private,” Recode, April 10, 2017, https://www.recode.net/2017/4/10/15252660/judge-denies-privelege-log-report-alphabet-uber

Eric Newcomer, “Uber Loses Another Senior Executive Amid Turmoil,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-12/uber-loses-another-senior-executive-amid-turmoil

Heather Somerville, “Lyft lands $600 million in fresh funding; company valued at $7.5 billion,” Reuters, April 11, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-funding-idUSKBN17D2I8

Steve Gorman, “Uber may face $1 million fine over California drunken-driving complaints,” Reuters, April 13, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-drunken-idUSKBN17G06D

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Report: Uber used secret program to track Lyft drivers,” April 14, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/business/technology/article/Report-Uber-used-secret-program-to-track-Lyft-11072027.php


Golden Showers

Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett, and Adam Entous, “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page,” Washington Post, April 11, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-obtained-fisa-warrant-to-monitor-former-trump-adviser-carter-page/2017/04/11/620192ea-1e0e-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html

Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju, and Eric Bradner, “Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say,” CNN, April 11, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/11/politics/intelligence-contradicts-nunes-unmasking-claims/index.html

Jim Sciutto, Pamela Brown, and Eric Bradner, “British intelligence passed Trump associates’ communications with Russians on to US counterparts,” CNN, April 14, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/trump-russia-british-intelligence/index.html


Unauthorized Migration

Danny Vinik, “The one area Jeff Sessions and immigration advocates agree,” Politico, April 11, 2017, http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/04/the-one-area-jeff-sessions-and-immigration-advocates-agree-000411


Homelessness

I drive around the San Francisco Bay Area a lot these days and it’s a rare freeway underpass that doesn’t have at least one homeless person with a tent set up. Often there are many tents, all pitched right next to each other, with chairs and other property set around them. I don’t know whether to call them Trumpvilles (it seems a bit early for that), Obamavilles, Bushvilles, or even Clintonvilles, but make no mistake, Hoovervilles have returned.

Lauren Hepler, “‘It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley,” Guardian, April 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/13/california-homelessness-silicon-valley-tech-commuters


Rent

Richard Florida, “Mapping the New Urban Crisis,” CityLab, April 13, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/04/new-urban-crisis-index/521037/

Unauthorized Migration

Robin Marty, “That Mexican Border Wall May Be Even Worse Than You Thought,” Truthout, April 13, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40196-that-mexican-border-wall-may-be-even-worse-than-you-thought


Authoritarian Populists and Donald Trump

Alexander Bolton, “Conservative activists want action from Trump,” Hill, April 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328778-conservative-activists-want-action-from-trump

Alex Isenstadt and Madeline Conway, “Trump’s base turns on him,” Politico, April 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-base-supporters-turn-on-him-237200


Obamacare

Peter Sullivan and Scott Wong, “GOP centrists push back on ObamaCare repeal,” Hill, April 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/328769-gop-centrists-push-back-on-obamacare-repeal

Tracy Wilkinson and Brian Bennett, “President Trump has backed off many of his provocative foreign policy promises,” Los Angels Times, April 13, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-foreign-policy-20170413-story.html


  1. [1]Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju, and Eric Bradner, “Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say,” CNN, April 11, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/11/politics/intelligence-contradicts-nunes-unmasking-claims/index.html
  2. [2]Danny Vinik, “The one area Jeff Sessions and immigration advocates agree,” Politico, April 11, 2017, http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/04/the-one-area-jeff-sessions-and-immigration-advocates-agree-000411
  3. [3]Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett, and Adam Entous, “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page,” Washington Post, April 11, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-obtained-fisa-warrant-to-monitor-former-trump-adviser-carter-page/2017/04/11/620192ea-1e0e-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html
  4. [4]Eric Newcomer, “Uber Loses Another Senior Executive Amid Turmoil,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-12/uber-loses-another-senior-executive-amid-turmoil
  5. [5]New York Times, “The Gig Economy’s False Promise,” New York Times, April 10, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/the-gig-economys-false-promise.html
  6. [6]Heather Somerville, “Lyft lands $600 million in fresh funding; company valued at $7.5 billion,” Reuters, April 11, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-funding-idUSKBN17D2I8
  7. [7]Heather Somerville, “Lyft valued at $7.5 billion in new funding round: source,” Reuters, April 6, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-funding-idUSKBN1782GW
  8. [8]Lauren Hepler, “‘It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley,” Guardian, April 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/13/california-homelessness-silicon-valley-tech-commuters
  9. [9]Robin Marty, “That Mexican Border Wall May Be Even Worse Than You Thought,” Truthout, April 13, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40196-that-mexican-border-wall-may-be-even-worse-than-you-thought
  10. [10]Richard Florida, “Mapping the New Urban Crisis,” CityLab, April 13, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/04/new-urban-crisis-index/521037/
  11. [11]Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Report: Uber used secret program to track Lyft drivers,” April 14, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/business/technology/article/Report-Uber-used-secret-program-to-track-Lyft-11072027.php
  12. [12]Jim Sciutto, Pamela Brown, and Eric Bradner, “British intelligence passed Trump associates’ communications with Russians on to US counterparts,” CNN, April 14, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/trump-russia-british-intelligence/index.html
  13. [13]Alexander Bolton, “Conservative activists want action from Trump,” Hill, April 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328778-conservative-activists-want-action-from-trump; Alex Isenstadt and Madeline Conway, “Trump’s base turns on him,” Politico, April 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-base-supporters-turn-on-him-237200
  14. [14]Peter Sullivan and Scott Wong, “GOP centrists push back on ObamaCare repeal,” Hill, April 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/328769-gop-centrists-push-back-on-obamacare-repeal
  15. [15]Tracy Wilkinson and Brian Bennett, “President Trump has backed off many of his provocative foreign policy promises” target=”_blank”>President Trump has backed off many of his provocative foreign policy promises
  16. [16]Steve Gorman, “Uber may face $1 million fine over California drunken-driving complaints,” Reuters, April 13, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-drunken-idUSKBN17G06D
  17. [17]Paul Bowers, “South Carolina State online program could be a cash cow for University of Phoenix,” Charleston Post and Courier, April 10, 2017, http://www.postandcourier.com/news/south-carolina-state-online-program-could-be-a-cash-cow/article_185285c4-1872-11e7-8a0c-9bc8648bf5f7.html
  18. [18]Tess Townsend and Johana Bhuiyan, “The judge in the Alphabet/Uber lawsuit rejects a Fifth Amendment claim to keep key details private,” Recode, April 10, 2017, https://www.recode.net/2017/4/10/15252660/judge-denies-privelege-log-report-alphabet-uber
  19. [19]Eric Newcomer, “Uber Loses Another Senior Executive Amid Turmoil,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-12/uber-loses-another-senior-executive-amid-turmoil

Being a less obnoxious capitalist libertarian has its rewards: Daily Bullshit, April 7-9, 2017

Updates

  1. April 7, 2017, 12:32 pm:
    • The Bloom County cartoon under Ride-Sharing.
    • I have updated my Employment Calculations after a long hiatus.
    • A Wall Street Journal columnist warns that companies are replacing equity with debt and that if the assumptions that underlie this move prove wrong, the results could be “ugly.”[1] (Bubbles)
  2. April 8, 03:47 am:
    • Uber is being sued for allegedly charging riders for long trips while paying drivers for short trips.[2]
    • People in the U.S. might finally be wising up to the reality that hard work does not pay off.[3] (Capitalist Mythology)
    • The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.[4]
    • California Governor Jerry Brown has declared the drought emergency over.[5] (California Drought)
    • The Washington Post tells the story of a pregnant woman who went to work driving for Uber.[6] (Ride-Sharing)
  3. April 9, 1:55 am:
    • Some possibly gullible people might actually believe that Donald Trump has burnished some sort of anti-Russian credential by striking at Syria.[7] (Golden Showers)
  4. April 9, 11:23 am:
    • Republicans are balking at the cost of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.[8]

Ride-Sharing

Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed, April 7, 2017, on Facebook (fair use).

Fig. 1. Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed, April 7, 2017, on Facebook (fair use).

Lyft has managed to keep whatever troubles it has mostly quiet. In stark contrast to Uber.[9] So investors reward Lyft with a higher than expected valuation in their latest fundraising round.[10]

As to Uber, however, on top of all their other problems, somebody needs to explain to them that if they’ve got to be capitalist libertarians, they should at least be honest capitalist libertarians. Because between the problems with Waymo over allegedly stolen intellectual property[11] and, now, with allegedly paying drivers for short rides while charging riders for long rides,[12] now they just look like thieves. And the vulture venture capitalists who are funding Uber look like complicit idiots.

David Kravets, “Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers,” Ars Technica, April 6, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/uber-said-to-use-sophisticated-software-to-defraud-drivers-passengers/

Heather Somerville, “Lyft valued at $7.5 billion in new funding round: source,” Reuters, April 6, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-funding-idUSKBN1782GW

Danielle Paquette, “She was pregnant and broke. Signing up for Uber drove her into debt,” Washington Post, April 7, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/she-had-a-newborn-and-no-money-signing-up-for-uber-drove-her-into-debt/2017/04/07/b5ee9510-05d1-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html


Employment Calculations

In essence, the way unemployment is coming down is by driving people out of the labor market. When they’re no longer in the labor market, the Bureau of Labor Statistics no longer counts them as unemployed. All this is based on BLS data, released April 7. See here for more.

Fig. 2. Labor Market Participation rate during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Fig. 3. Labor Market Participation Rate, seasonally unadjusted, historical.


Bubbles

I’m actually hearing more about San Francisco Bay Area rents, which are well into the realm of not making sense. And I have no idea how a rent bubble bursts.

James Mackintosh, “Not a Dot-Com Bubble, Not 2007, but a Nasty Mix of Both,” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/not-a-dot-com-bubble-not-2007-but-a-nasty-mix-of-both-1491500666


Capitalist Mythology

Bourree Lam, “Americans Are Skeptical That Hard Work Will Pay Off,” CityLab, April 7, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/work/2017/04/americans-are-skeptical-that-hard-work-will-pay-off/522342/


Neil Gorsuch

Lisa Mascaro and David G. Savage, “Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gorsuch-confirmed-20170407-story.html


California Drought

Bettina Boxall, “Gov. Brown declares California drought emergency is over,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-brown-drought-20170407-story.html


Golden Showers

I guess it just wouldn’t be an issue without another installment of the Golden Showers scandal.

This piece by Nahal Toosi is especially lovely because it surrounds an accusation that can’t be effectively denied. If the Trump administration or its defenders deny that its intent in striking Syria following yet more civilian poison gas deaths was to show that Donald Trump is not Vladimir Putin’s puppet, well of course it would! Which, of course, is just a small step short of confirmation that he really is and and that Putin and Trump plotted all this to shore up Trump’s credibility in the face of the long-running scandal.

As a scholar, I have to be more careful than that. A lot more careful. I don’t want to call the questions of whether this allegation or any other allegation in the Trump-Russia scandal is true bullshit—they aren’t. But questions surrounding Trump’s relationship with Russia need to remain questions until we have actual evidence. It’s when people—especially journalists, who sure as fuck should know better—treat the questions as answers that we veer into bullshit. (To her credit, Toosi does stop short of crossing that line, at least on this occasion, but the implication is there.)

Nahal Toosi, “Syria strike gives Trump anti-Kremlin credential,” Politico, April 8, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-syria-kremlin-credentials-237021


Unauthorized Migration

I think Donald Trump may find himself in real trouble with authoritarian populists if, as now seems possible, Republicans don’t deliver them their precious Mexican border wall.[13] But it seems a lot easier to underestimate Trump’s support than it is to overestimate it.

Rafael Bernal and Mike Lillis, “Dems winning fight over wall,” Hill, April 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/latino/327916-dems-winning-fight-over-wall


  1. [1]James Mackintosh, “Not a Dot-Com Bubble, Not 2007, but a Nasty Mix of Both,” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/not-a-dot-com-bubble-not-2007-but-a-nasty-mix-of-both-1491500666
  2. [2]David Kravets, “Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers,” Ars Technica, April 6, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/uber-said-to-use-sophisticated-software-to-defraud-drivers-passengers/
  3. [3]Bourree Lam, “Americans Are Skeptical That Hard Work Will Pay Off,” CityLab, April 7, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/work/2017/04/americans-are-skeptical-that-hard-work-will-pay-off/522342/
  4. [4]Lisa Mascaro and David G. Savage, “Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gorsuch-confirmed-20170407-story.html
  5. [5]Bettina Boxall, “Gov. Brown declares California drought emergency is over,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-brown-drought-20170407-story.html
  6. [6]Danielle Paquette, “She was pregnant and broke. Signing up for Uber drove her into debt,” Washington Post, April 7, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/she-had-a-newborn-and-no-money-signing-up-for-uber-drove-her-into-debt/2017/04/07/b5ee9510-05d1-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html
  7. [7]Nahal Toosi, “Syria strike gives Trump anti-Kremlin credential,” Politico, April 8, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-syria-kremlin-credentials-237021
  8. [8]Rafael Bernal and Mike Lillis, “Dems winning fight over wall,” Hill, April 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/latino/327916-dems-winning-fight-over-wall
  9. [9]Laura Bliss, “Is Uber Over?” CityLab, March 9, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/03/is-uber-over/518727/; Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Melanie Zanona and Ali Breland, “Uber shifts into damage control mode,” Hill, March 4, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/322317-uber-shifts-into-damage-control-mode
  10. [10]Heather Somerville, “Lyft valued at $7.5 billion in new funding round: source,” Reuters, April 6, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-funding-idUSKBN1782GW
  11. [11]Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo-Uber judge says may grant injunction if key witness doesn’t testify,” Reuters, March 30, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN17206X; Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo targets second senior executive in Uber self-driving dispute,” Reuters, April 3, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN1752LW
  12. [12]David Kravets, “Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers,” Ars Technica, April 6, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/uber-said-to-use-sophisticated-software-to-defraud-drivers-passengers/
  13. [13]Rafael Bernal and Mike Lillis, “Dems winning fight over wall,” Hill, April 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/latino/327916-dems-winning-fight-over-wall

The worm turns on domestic spying: Daily Bullshit, April 6, 2017

Golden Showers

Rebecca Savransky, “Nunes steps aside from Russia investigation,” Hill, April 6, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/327570-nunes-steps-aside-from-russia-investigation

Katie Bo Williams and Morgan Chalfant, “Surveillance uproar puts GOP on the spot,” Hill, April 6, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/327519-surveillance-uproar-puts-gop-on-the-spot


Neil Gorsuch

Lisa Mascaro, “Senate Republicans invoke ‘nuclear option’ to overcome Democrats’ filibuster of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee,” Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-gorsuch-showdown-20170406-story.html


The paradox of Theresa May’s arguments against Scottish independence: Daily Bullshit, April 4-5, 2017

There is a new blog post up. It is refined and expanded from comments originally posted here (but now moved) in the previous issue.


Updates

  1. April 5, 2017, 1:24 pm:
    • A study published on the New York Federal Reserve blog reports, among other things, that it is much harder to find work if you are out of work.[1]

Scottish Independence

I think George Monbiot correctly captures the paradox of Theresa May’s arguments against a Scottish referendum on independence. What May alleges is good for the United Kingdom, for which we might actually read little England, with Brexit, she seems to argue, is not good for Scotland with regard to a referendum on independence.[2]

And I certainly agree that neoliberalism, as practiced in the U.K. (and the U.S.) is a humanitarian catastrophe. Finally, I think a major problem with our present system of social organization is that we have centralized too much authority in too few hands, so I favor decentralization, which leads me to sympathize with the drive for Scottish independence.

The trouble I see with Monbiot’s argument is that if we think neoliberalism is terrible, leaving the U.K. to rejoin the European Union, dominated by Germany and ordoliberalism (a less insane—which doesn’t say much—version of neoliberalism), really isn’t an answer, as we see with the northern European attitude toward southern Europe—especially Greece.[3]

George Monbiot, “Scot Free,” April 3, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/04/03/scot-free/


Uber

Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo targets second senior executive in Uber self-driving dispute,” Reuters, April 3, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN1752LW


For-Profit Schools

James F. Peltz, Nina Agrawal, and Paloma Esquivel, “Westech College’s abrupt closure raises questions about training options,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-westech-college-20170403-story.html


Unemployment

R. Jason Faberman, et al., “How Do People Find Jobs?” Liberty Street Economics, April 5, 2017, http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2017/04/how-do-people-find-jobs.html


  1. [1]R. Jason Faberman, et al., “How Do People Find Jobs?” Liberty Street Economics, April 5, 2017, http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2017/04/how-do-people-find-jobs.html
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “Scot Free,” April 3, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/04/03/scot-free/
  3. [3]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013).

Not just whites. Humans need real jobs. And tragedy follows when they can’t get them: Daily Bullshit, April 3, 2017

Austerity and suicide

Noelle Sullivan, “Neoliberalism Is Killing Us: Economic Stress as a Driver of Global Depression and Suicide,” Truthout, April 2, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40064-neoliberalism-is-killing-us-economic-stress-as-a-driver-of-global-depression-and-suicide


Uber

Update, April 4, 2017: I have moved and refined my response to Noam Scheiber’s article here.

Noam Scheiber, “How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons,” New York Times, April 2, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/02/technology/uber-drivers-psychological-tricks.html


Uber’s woes continue to mount: Daily Bullshit, March 27-April 1, 2017

A gentle reminder that while I have always regarded April Fools Day as stupid and pointless, there are a great many folks, journalists included, who plainly derive a great deal of pleasure from it.


Updates

  1. March 28, 1:59 pm:
    • What it was like on earth following the meteor impact that killed off the dinosaurs and most of the life on earth.[1] (Extinction)
    • Democrats are threatening to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and Mitch McConnell is threatening to go nuclear.[2] (Neil Gorsuch)
    • Republicans can still kill Obamacare without new legislation.[3] (Obamacare)
  2. March 29, 3:01 am:
    • Do I really need to say more than, “Fast Radio Bursts,” “aliens,” and “space arks” or “world ships?”[4]
    • Scotland’s parliament has enabled Nicola Sturgeon to ask for a second Scottish referendum on independence.[5] (Scottish Independence)
    • The Brexitprocess will begin on Wednesday just after 1.30pm in Brussels.”[6]
  3. March 30, 2:09 am:
    • The letter invoking Article 50 to begin the Brexit process was delivered.[7]
    • The judge in Hawaii who issued a restraining order against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban has converted that order into a preliminary injunction.[8]
  4. March 30, 11:58 am:
    • Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed, Republicans say, even if it means the “nuclear option,” as Democrats oppose him and threaten a filibuster.[9]
    • The British government has rejected the Scottish bid for a new referendum on independence.[10] (Scottish Independence)
    • Uber has a hostile workplace culture, probably pretty much regardless of who you are.[11]
  5. March 30, 12:48 pm:
    • The Trump administration is looking at regulatory remedies to its perception of the Obamacare problem.[12]
  6. March 31, 2:50 am:
    • Donald Trump criticized the House Freedom Caucus for its failure to support the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare,[13] which I had associated with authoritarian populism—the larger part of Trump’s base.
    • The BBC is reporting that a claim in the dossier (the one which includes allegations that Trump at least viewed “Golden Showers”) has been verified by intelligence agencies, suggesting that the entire dossier is being treated as more credible.[14]
  7. March 31, 1:59 pm:
    • Updated commentary on Golden Showers, Uber.
    • The April Fools Day reminder above.
    • The judge in Waymo’s suit against Uber has threatened to grant the injunction Waymo (Google) requested.[15]
  8. April 1, 1:47 am:
    • Nicola Sturgeon has formally requested a second referendum on Scottish Independence—and bared her teeth for the likelihood that Theresa May will not acquiesce.[16]
    • The European Union will probably view the matters of Brexit and any future trade deal between the E.U. and the United Kingdom as separate issues—to be negotiated in that order,[17] which would seem to me to cast doubt on the ability of Scots to make a “fully informed” decision on Scottish Independence on the timetable that Sturgeon expects.[18]
    • Trump’s (already!) former national security advisor has offered to be interviewed in connection with the Trump team’s alleged contacts with Russia in exchange for immunity.[19] (Golden Showers)
    • Neoconservative Charles Krauthammer, who favors market-based solutions to health care, believes we are now on the road to a single-payer system.[20] (Obamacare)
    • Caitlin Dewey looks at the biblical passage Republicans frequently invoke to require food stamp recipients to work.[21] (Social Safety Net)

Uber

Uber’s woes[22] continue to mount,[23] although the latest setback, a collision involving one of its self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona, appears to have been temporary. The outcome of legal action taken by Waymo against Uber for allegedly stealing its technology for self-driving cars, however, remains to be seen.[24]

As to that lawsuit, the judge noted that former Waymo executive Anthony Levandowski “download[ed] 14,000 documents and [took] them, if he did. But I don’t hear anybody denying that.” Uber’s strategy, apparently, is not to deny that the theft occurred but “to convince the court that Uber was ‘not using any of these things’ Waymo says he stole.”[25] This looks to me like Waymo is relying on circumstantial evidence, damning circumstantial evidence, but circumstantial evidence nonetheless and I’m not seeing, yet anyway, how Levandowski’s testimony would alter this—he would be just another Uber executive denying Waymo’s allegation. This is a civil suit so the standard of evidence required to find for the plaintiff is far lower than the “reasonable doubt” standard in criminal prosecutions. So this is looking to me like Waymo may well prevail.

The harder question would be how an injunction that Waymo is requesting to bar Uber from using its secrets could be enforced. Uber, denying that it is using Waymo’s secrets, could just carry on with its self-driving car testing. Unless the judge shuts down that program, which Uber has apparently bet its bank on.[26] This is looking very, very ugly for Uber.

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Resumes Self-Driving-Vehicle Program After Arizona Accident,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-resumes-self-driving-vehicle-program-after-arizona-accident-1490641844

Adrienne LaFrance, “Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?” CityLab, March 27, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/03/can-uber-survive-without-self-driving-cars/520911/

Georgia Wells and Greg Bensinger, “Uber Releases Workforce Data Amid Criticism of Company Culture,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-releases-workforce-data-amid-criticism-of-company-culture-1490721521

Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo-Uber judge says may grant injunction if key witness doesn’t testify,” Reuters, March 30, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN17206X


Calexit

Tim Shipman, “The bad boys of Brexit join fight to break up California,” Times, March 26, 2017, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/the-bad-boys-of-brexit-joinfight-to-break-up-california-k86ptklw3


Extinction

Brian Switek, “What Happened in the Seconds, Hours, Weeks After the Dino-Killing Asteroid Hit Earth?” Smithsonian, August 9, 2016, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-happened-seconds-hours-weeks-after-dino-killing-asteroid-hit-earth-180960032/


Neil Gorsuch

Jordain Carney, “Path to 60 narrows for Trump pick,” Hill, March 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/326042-path-to-60-narrows-for-trump-pick

Byron Tau, “More Than Half of Senate Democrats Say They Will Vote Against Neil Gorsuch,” Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than-half-of-senate-democrats-say-they-will-vote-against-neil-gorsuch-1490741697


Obamacare

Given the visceral Republican reaction to all things Obama, this option[27] must seem awfully tempting.

Stephanie Armour, “After GOP Bill’s Failure, Health-Law Lawsuit Takes Center Stage,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-gop-bills-failure-health-law-lawsuit-takes-center-stage-1490643053

Juliet Eilperin and Mike DeBonis, “Trump administration still plans to undo parts of the ACA, Tom Price testifies,” Washington Post, March 29, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-still-plans-to-undo-parts-of-the-aca-tom-price-testifies/2017/03/29/236f633a-14a5-11e7-9e4f-09aa75d3ec57_story.html

Charles Krauthammer, “The road to single-payer health care,” Washington Post, March 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-road-to-single-payer-health-care/2017/03/30/bb7421d0-156c-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html


Fast Radio Bursts

Jake Ellison, “Coolest thing about theory of fast radio bursts powering starships,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 26, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/science/article/Here-s-the-coolest-thing-about-fast-radio-11024387.php


Scottish Independence

Deutschewelle, “Scotland: Lawmakers back independence vote,” March 28, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/scottish-parliament-backs-second-independence-referendum-vote/a-38173306

Jason Douglas, “U.K. Government Rejects Move for Another Scottish Independence Vote,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-government-rejects-move-for-another-scottish-independence-vote-1490722198

Elizabeth Roberts, “Scottish lawmakers back call for independence vote,” CNN, March 28, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/europe/scottish-indy-vote/index.html

Hamish Macdonell, “Don’t stand in our way, PM told,” Times, April 1, 2017, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/don-t-stand-in-our-way-pm-told-h0djtmgxf


Brexit

British Broadcasting Corporation, “‘No turning back’ on Brexit as Article 50 triggered,” March 29, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39431428

George Parker and Alex Barker, “May ready to compromise as Brexit letter heads for Brussels,” Financial Times, March 29, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/d4be8236-13a8-11e7-b0c1-37e417ee6c76

Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-rules-out-u-k-trade-deal-before-brexit-is-finalized-1490950492


Muslim Ban

Laura Jarrett, “Federal judge in Hawaii extends ruling halting travel ban indefinitely,” CNN, March 30, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/politics/hawaii-trump-travel-ban-extended/index.html


Golden Showers

It’s important to note that we still don’t know how much of the information in this dossier is true. But my suspicions run deeper.

To come out with an unsubstantiated (publicly) allegation, as the U.S. intelligence services have done,[28] and then to claim afterwards that a supporting dossier is gaining credibility[29] looks too much like a post hoc rationalization. There’s still no real evidence here. Only investigations being conducted by folks who are seeking to protect their own credibility and political interests. Sorry, still bullshit.

Paul Wood, “Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified,'” British Broadcasting Corporation, March 30, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786

Philip Bump, “Why Michael Flynn may be seeking immunity,” Washington Post, March 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/31/why-michael-flynn-may-be-seeking-immunity/

Nolan D. McCaskill, “Chaffetz: ‘Very mysterious’ why Flynn suddenly wants immunity,” Politico, March 31, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/jason-chaffetz-michael-flynn-immunity-donald-trump-236749

Byron Tau and Carol E. Lee, “President Trump Backs Michael Flynn’s Request for Immunity,” Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-urges-mike-flynn-to-seek-immunity-in-witch-hunt-1490963697


Social Safety Net

Caitlin Dewey, “GOP lawmaker: The Bible says ‘if a man will not work, he shall not eat,’” Washington Post, March 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/31/gop-lawmaker-the-bible-says-the-unemployed-shall-not-eat/


  1. [1]Brian Switek, “What Happened in the Seconds, Hours, Weeks After the Dino-Killing Asteroid Hit Earth?” Smithsonian, August 9, 2016, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-happened-seconds-hours-weeks-after-dino-killing-asteroid-hit-earth-180960032/
  2. [2]Jordain Carney, “Path to 60 narrows for Trump pick,” Hill, March 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/326042-path-to-60-narrows-for-trump-pick
  3. [3]Stephanie Armour, “After GOP Bill’s Failure, Health-Law Lawsuit Takes Center Stage,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-gop-bills-failure-health-law-lawsuit-takes-center-stage-1490643053
  4. [4]Jake Ellison, “Coolest thing about theory of fast radio bursts powering starships,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 26, 2017, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/science/article/Here-s-the-coolest-thing-about-fast-radio-11024387.php
  5. [5]Deutschewelle, “Scotland: Lawmakers back independence vote,” March 28, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/scottish-parliament-backs-second-independence-referendum-vote/a-38173306; Elizabeth Roberts, “Scottish lawmakers back call for independence vote,” CNN, March 28, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/europe/scottish-indy-vote/index.html
  6. [6]George Parker and Alex Barker, “May ready to compromise as Brexit letter heads for Brussels,” Financial Times, March 29, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/d4be8236-13a8-11e7-b0c1-37e417ee6c76
  7. [7]British Broadcasting Corporation, “‘No turning back’ on Brexit as Article 50 triggered,” March 29, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39431428
  8. [8]Laura Jarrett, “Federal judge in Hawaii extends ruling halting travel ban indefinitely,” CNN, March 30, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/politics/hawaii-trump-travel-ban-extended/index.html
  9. [9]Byron Tau, “More Than Half of Senate Democrats Say They Will Vote Against Neil Gorsuch,” Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than-half-of-senate-democrats-say-they-will-vote-against-neil-gorsuch-1490741697″ target=”_blank”>https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than-half-of-senate-democrats-say-they-will-vote-against-neil-gorsuch-1490741697
  10. [10]Jason Douglas, “U.K. Government Rejects Move for Another Scottish Independence Vote,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-government-rejects-move-for-another-scottish-independence-vote-1490722198
  11. [11]Georgia Wells and Greg Bensinger, “Uber Releases Workforce Data Amid Criticism of Company Culture,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-releases-workforce-data-amid-criticism-of-company-culture-1490721521
  12. [12]Juliet Eilperin and Mike DeBonis, “Trump administration still plans to undo parts of the ACA, Tom Price testifies,” Washington Post, March 29, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-still-plans-to-undo-parts-of-the-aca-tom-price-testifies/2017/03/29/236f633a-14a5-11e7-9e4f-09aa75d3ec57_story.html
  13. [13]John T. Bennett, “Trump Ready to Fight House Freedom Caucus,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, March 30, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/70187-2
  14. [14]Paul Wood, “Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified,'” British Broadcasting Corporation, March 30, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786
  15. [15]Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo-Uber judge says may grant injunction if key witness doesn’t testify,” Reuters, March 30, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN17206X
  16. [16]Hamish Macdonell, “Don’t stand in our way, PM told,” Times, April 1, 2017, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/don-t-stand-in-our-way-pm-told-h0djtmgxf
  17. [17] Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-rules-out-u-k-trade-deal-before-brexit-is-finalized-1490950492
  18. [18]Hamish Macdonell, “Don’t stand in our way, PM told,” Times, April 1, 2017, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/don-t-stand-in-our-way-pm-told-h0djtmgxf
  19. [19]Philip Bump, “Why Michael Flynn may be seeking immunity,” Washington Post, March 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/31/why-michael-flynn-may-be-seeking-immunity/; Nolan D. McCaskill, “Chaffetz: ‘Very mysterious’ why Flynn suddenly wants immunity,” Politico, March 31, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/jason-chaffetz-michael-flynn-immunity-donald-trump-236749; Byron Tau and Carol E. Lee, “President Trump Backs Michael Flynn’s Request for Immunity,” Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-urges-mike-flynn-to-seek-immunity-in-witch-hunt-1490963697
  20. [20]Charles Krauthammer, “The road to single-payer health care,” Washington Post, March 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-road-to-single-payer-health-care/2017/03/30/bb7421d0-156c-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html
  21. [21]Caitlin Dewey, “GOP lawmaker: The Bible says ‘if a man will not work, he shall not eat,’” Washington Post, March 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/31/gop-lawmaker-the-bible-says-the-unemployed-shall-not-eat/
  22. [22]Associated Press, “Uber to ban ‘greyball’ tool used to stymie regulators,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, March 8, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/uber-to-ban-greyball-tool-used-to-stymie-regulators/415730554/; Laura Bliss, “Is Uber Over?” CityLab, March 9, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/03/is-uber-over/518727/; Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Reuters, “Uber’s turmoil continues as president Jeff Jones quits,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, March 20, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-president-jeff-jones-quits-turmoil-1.4032107; Melanie Zanona and Ali Breland, “Uber shifts into damage control mode,” Hill, March 4, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/322317-uber-shifts-into-damage-control-mode;
  23. [23]Adrienne LaFrance, “Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?” CityLab, March 27, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/03/can-uber-survive-without-self-driving-cars/520911/
  24. [24]Greg Bensinger, “Uber Resumes Self-Driving-Vehicle Program After Arizona Accident,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-resumes-self-driving-vehicle-program-after-arizona-accident-1490641844
  25. [25]William Alsup, quoted in Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, “Waymo-Uber judge says may grant injunction if key witness doesn’t testify,” Reuters, March 30, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-alphabet-lawsuit-idUSKBN17206X
  26. [26]Adrienne LaFrance, “Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?” CityLab, March 27, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/03/can-uber-survive-without-self-driving-cars/520911/
  27. [27]Stephanie Armour, “After GOP Bill’s Failure, Health-Law Lawsuit Takes Center Stage,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-gop-bills-failure-health-law-lawsuit-takes-center-stage-1490643053
  28. [28]David Benfell, “Blaming the Russians,” Not Housebroken, December 17, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9151
  29. [29]Paul Wood, “Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified,'” British Broadcasting Corporation, March 30, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786