Ten Second News Links and Open Thread for the week of 11/14/2022


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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178 Responses

    • Philip H in reply to Chris says:

      Chris, haven’t you heard? We are in a post-racial society. We don’t need affirmative action any more so stuff like this is surly in the past.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H says:

        Note that the study just takes the hypothesis that “weathering” is caused by racism for granted, and does not provide any actual evidence for this. The actual finding from the study is that estimates of median age of onset for various cardiometabolic disorders and risk factors were biased upwards by left-truncation (due to exclusion criteria) and left-censoring (due to some people having the disorders at the beginning of the study period). The racial angle is hugely overstated, as the degree of bias was not consistently greater for any one race than for others.

        Also, contrary to the claim made in the article that “Women of color…were more likely to have already experienced menopause, and therefore be excluded from the study,” the exclusion rates were considerably lower for Chinese and Japanese women, but very similar for black, white, and Hispanic women:

        Black women had the highest proportion of left-truncation (61.2%), followed by White (60.0%), Hispanic (59.5%), Chinese (48.1%), and Japanese (44.6%) women.

        Some of the unadjusted (for selection bias) estimates were pretty wild: The unadjusted median age of onset of insulin resistance for white, Chinese, and Japanese women was over 100.

        If you want to be a good scientist, you need to get better at reading studies critically instead of just falling for the PR tart-up.Report

        • Chris in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          You could have looked up weathering and health outcomes, and seen that it’s a fairly well studied phenomenon, or you could pretend that because a write-up for lay people doesn’t include all the cites, the research is just assuming the things you don’t like. You chose the latter, and that makes it easy to dismiss anything else you say.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

            What would you say are the strongest studies demonstrating that weathering specifically caused by racism (as opposed to lifestyle choices or even genetic factors) is a real phenomenon accounting for a non-negligible share of black-white disparities in healthoutcomes? Given your confidence in the correctness of the hypothesis, you must have seen the good papers.

            I’ve read my fair share of research on adjacent topics, and it’s pretty consistently crap. Obvious confounders are routinely ignored in favor of more ideologically appealing explanations. I’m aware that weathering is a much-studied topic, but I’m deeply skeptical of your claim that it’s been studied “well.”

            Also, the article you posted didn’t just oversimplify, which is to be expected from pop science journalism, but substantially misrepresented the main findings of the paper it was reporting on.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg says:


          So Chris presents a summary of the science, and I snarkily replied that it wasn’t necessary because folks like you keep telling us we don’t have racism anywhere anymore, and you go after me for posting a study summary you don’t agree with.

          Way to fail the reading comprehension test my dude.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

            The evaluation on Affirmative Action’s utility should be something other than “does any level of racism exist anywhere” (especially if we’re going to insist that unequal outcomes can only be the result of racism).

            How much of AA is captured by people that don’t need it (Obama’s children, the middle/upper class) or have never experienced racism (immigrants)?

            To what degree does AA created mismatching result in steering minorities to “soft” degrees where they earn less?

            How is it ethical to prevent Asians from attending colleges to create spaces for others?Report

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    On the day the crypto drea died: https://www.axios.com/2022/11/14/crypto-dream-dies-sbt-ftx

    Whenever I read about these giant collapses, there is always a scene of the visionary founder, a Newman or SBF or whoever meeting with the VCs and the articles always make the VCs sound like Fry from Futurama in the “shut up and take my money” sceneReport

    • Snarky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I somehow doubt you’ve read about many that were connected to the World Economic Forum, and the Democrats.

      Judging by your very conspicuous silence, I’m going to simply suggest that you’ve been blandly in favor of the Democrats money-laundering campaign money through the Ukraine.

      This election was bought in English schoolchildren starving, dark Dutch Greenhouses (who serve vegetables for the rest of Europe), and German grandmothers shivering through a cold, cruel winter, while the industries shut down for months on end.

      Hope you’re happy destroying Europe. America’s next.Report

  2. Chip Daniels says:

    Kurt Schlicter has done some soul searching, and has a plan for Republican victory:

    There’s a lot to talk about, from procedural questions like how we intend to cope with the new world of extended mail voting to substantive imperatives like how we must repeal the 19th Amendment as it applies to single, liberal women who vote for their Democrat Daddy in appalling numbers.

  3. Jaybird says:

    Reason has an article about Warshington’s pot prices.

    I’m always somewhat surprised when I hear that Colorado still has a black market but then I see the prices listed in the article and think “dang… no wonder we still have a black market”.

    Data from the ICPS survey of cannabis consumers indicate that legal marijuana in Washington is generally cheaper than illegal marijuana. In 2019, the average price of dried flower purchased from legal retailers was $6.06 per gram, compared to $7.01 for pot purchased from unlicensed dealers. According to the survey data, the gap has grown since then: In 2021, the average legal price was $6.51 per gram, compared to an average illegal price of $13.58, up sharply from $8.04 in 2020.

    A gram is the size of a hefty pre-rolled joint, suitable for passing around.

    Checking out Emerald Fields’ website (must be 21), 1g pre-rolls are selling for about $9 per (with the high-high end stuff selling for ~$25. You can get an eighth of flower for about $10 per gram ($35 for the eighth). (Competitor Maggie’s Farm is selling flower 50% off this month so I’m not sure how good a comparison that that makes but they are selling low-end eighths for $22.)

    An eighth cost this guy I know $30 in 1992 (quarters cost $55).

    So, like, these prices are a *LOT* lower than inflation would indicate (like televisions, I guess) but the race to the bottom seems to have reached an equilibrium here in Colorado… where the grey markets aren’t as bad as they were in the oughts.Report

  4. Philip H says:

    In news that I suspect surprises no one:

    Trump’s lawyers said in the court filings they’ve communicated with the House over the past week and a half as the subpoena deadlines neared, offering to consider answering written questions while expressing “concerns and objections” about the bulk of the document requests. After Trump missed his first deadline to produce documents on November 4, his team replied on November 9, according to court documents, saying that he wouldn’t testify and found no records to turn over related to personal communications.


  5. Philip H says:

    I’m very glad the school district fired him. We don’t need teachers indoctrinating students in our public schools:

    In one video, the teacher can be seen saying to his multi-racial class, “Deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one,” as students audibly react both on- and off-camera.

    A student off camera asks, “So White is better than all?”

    The teacher replies, “Let me finish. I think everybody thinks that. They’re just not honest about it.”

    After some other discussion in the video, a student asks, “You said you are a racist, right?”

    “I did, yeah, I’m trying to be honest,” the teacher replies.


  6. Jaybird says:

    If you were looking for an indicator, here’s a pretty good one:


    • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

      Yep. If it happens again NATO may actually have to make a mutual defense decision.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter says:

      istg, if I get *THIS* close to retirement just to have it interrupted by a MIRV, I’m going to be sooooo ticked off.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:



        • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

          It isn’t too surprising. Ukraine is still using Russian and Soviet made weapons. Though I’d like to hope cooler heads would prevail over something like this even if it was Russian, as long as the strike was inadvertent.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

            Russia’s constant lying would work against it in this situation. It could truthfully say the strike was inadvertent and various people (especially in Poland) wouldn’t believe it.

            There are serious big time politicians in Poland who still claim Poland’s loss of it’s entire leadership caste in an airplane crash (on a Russian airfield) was a Russian conspiracy.Report

            • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

              I understand that but I would think the adults in the alliance would need to talk Poland down off that ledge. It isn’t the whole story, but if we are going to run a proxy war that is to some degree a line in defense of former Russian vassals now in NATO then they need to be willing to exercise some restraint. If they’re really pissed about it they can send more weapons and money to Ukraine.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

                If memory serves, the guy running Poland believes Putin openly murdered his identical twin brother(*). My expectation is he’s already taken “weapons to Ukraine” up to 11.

                At this point he’s presumably trying to get other countries to do so.

                (*) Both of them were/are high level politicians. To be fair, the idea of Putin assassinating political rivals seems less conspiracy theory and more in character habit.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Lech Kaczynsky died in a plane crash en route to Russia. I’ve read there are conspiracy theories that Russia caused it but no proof. It certainly isn’t the most out there theory ever put forth. However I would also think that even the biggest Russia hawks would trade some incidents of this nature for the level of damage being done to Russian military power.

                Anyway it looks like Ukraine and Poland are all satisfied that it was an accidental result of Ukraine’s air defense.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

                In Russia, and it was…

                …the president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński… the former president of Poland in exile… the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Government officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy…

                I did a deep dive on this and concluded it was Poland’s fault. The air field was unsafe, and in a similar (and lesser) situation this pilot saw first hand a different pilot call off the landing (disobeying the President) which resulted in criminal charges which eventually found him not guilty but his career was mangled.

                This President had a history of taking that sort of thing personally, so either the Pilot landed or his career was over.Report

    • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

      What I’ve read suggests it was a missile that Ukraine shot down in which case it’s going to be mostly ado about nothing (though I’d imagine Ukraine would offer voluble apologies anyhow).Report

  7. InMD says:

    Republicans in disarray:


    Republicans in both chambers of Congress mounted challenges to their leaders Tuesday as disappointment over their lackluster performance in the midterm elections manifested in infighting and instability at the Capitol.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) won his party’s nomination for speaker Tuesday afternoon with 188 votes from the GOP caucus — well past the simple majority needed for victory. But 31 lawmakers voted for a challenger, presenting a steep obstacle for McCarthy come January, when he will need 218 votes to win the speakership when the 118th Congress convenes.

    And in the Senate, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) announced he would challenge Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) during an hours-long airing of grievances among party members frustrated over their failure to win back the chamber. McConnell conceded that the group’s leadership elections, set for Wednesday morning, could be delayed if a majority of the caucus votes to postpone them.Report

    • Philip H in reply to InMD says:

      This is just standard “Lets make a horse race” political reporting. McCarthy is not the first Republican to have Republicans vote against him in a leadership nomination contest, and McConnell has given Scott enough rope to hang himself in today’s caucus vote, what with Scott having led the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee right back to the stalemate where it started. Turtle will get reelected Minority Leader.Report

      • InMD in reply to Philip H says:

        I think McConnell is absolutely safe, especially if the only challenger is Rick Scott. It’s McCarthy’s fate that interests me. It’s a very open question of whether he will be able to govern his own party.Report

        • Philip H in reply to InMD says:

          I doubt he will, but if he has a majority – even 1 seat – the Freedom Caucus rump will line up behind him so as not to hand another victory to the Democrats. They will demand all sorts of concessions in doing so, including high profile chairmanships and hearings on all manner of Biden allegations. Which will go nowhere of course, but make actual governing next to impossible.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    Do you want to read about the drugs involved with the FTX Crash? Sure. We all do.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    The New York Post covers Donald Trump’s announcement:


  10. Chip Daniels says:

    Here is an audio of the anti-abortion lobbyists, at a strategy session in Tennessee, telling Republican lawmakers to wait a year or two, before attempting to make IVF and contraception illegal.

    This is called the “quiet parts” which unfortunately for them, were recorded.

    Oh, and another day, another horrific story, brought to you by those who love life:

    Christina Zielke is from Washington, DC, but was in the state for her brother’s wedding. She had found out a few weeks prior that her pregnancy was ending in a miscarriage, but she had just started bleeding once she got to Ohio—and heavily. But even though an ultrasound showed no heartbeat and Christina was filling up diapers with blood, the hospital emergency room refused to treat her. Christina told NPR, “They said they needed to prove there was no fetal development. I was told that I could come back in two days for a repeat hormone test to confirm I was miscarrying.”

    They didn’t even change course when Christina told them she had lab confirmation from her DC doctor that she was miscarrying.
    After being sent home, she continued to bleed so heavily that she got into an empty bathtub and started taking photos showing that the bottom of the tub filled with blood, “just trying to prove what was happening, because I felt like I wasn’t believed.” Then this happened:

    “‘That’s when I started to feel the world slip away,’ she says. ‘I looked at him and I said, ‘I don’t think I’m okay.’

    She’d lost so much blood, so quickly, her blood pressure had plummeted. [Her husband’] watched as her eyes rolled back. Her body went limp – she lost consciousness. He caught her neck so she didn’t bang her head against the tub. ‘I thought she was a goner,’ he says.”

    Her family called 911 and she was taken back to the emergency room where she was finally given a D&C. The hospital gave her the option to stay overnight, but she chose to go home because “it wasn’t a place I felt safe.” Report

    • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      “And maybe your [office? caucus?] gets to the point next year, two years from now, three years from now, where you do want to talk about IVF and how to regulate it in a more ethical way, or deal with some of the contraceptive issues, um, but I don’t think that that’s a conversation you need to have now, I wouldn’t recommend having it now in the context of your current [?] law.”

      So you realize that’s them talking about how these things aren’t on the table, right? It’s shushing a lawmaker who won’t stay on topic.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

        “And maybe your [office? caucus?] gets to the point next year, two years from now, three years from now, where you do want to talk about IVF and how to regulate it in a more ethical way, or deal with some of the contraceptive issues, um, but I don’t think that that’s a conversation you need to have now, I wouldn’t recommend having it now in the context of your current [?] law.

        So you realize that’s them talking about how these things aren’t on the table, right? It’s shushing a lawmaker who won’t stay on topic.

        No, it’s not. It’s telling the lawmaker to WAIT on that conversation. Plain as day.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

          Have you ever had a conversation with a person you weren’t supposed to talk down to? Without context to prove otherwise, that’s what I heard, plain as day. “Sure, that’s a great idea. I tell you what, let’s put all ideas like that in a folder, and we’ll put it over here.” Or, “no, don’t eat the eraser, here’s a bread stick, you like bread sticks, don’t you?”Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

            You can tell someone to take something off the table in a straight forward respectful manor. Those aren’t the words they chose. They chose words of delay and deflection, not words of removal.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to Pinky says:

            dude, the guy could literally say “we won’t ban abortion ever under any circumstances whatsoever we’ll never do it EVER HONEST” and people like Philip will still reply “yeah but you didn’t say never ever ever, so, the idea is still out there” because they’ve got too much of their identity bound up in the notion of the Demon Republican to ever let it go.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

        Like I said, IVF and contraception are the quiet parts they don’t want to talk about.


  11. Chip Daniels says:

    Karen Bass elected as the first Black woman mayor of Los Angeles:

    Rep. Karen Bass has defeated businessman Rick Caruso in the Los Angeles mayor’s race, according to an Associated Press projection Wednesday, making her the first woman and second Black Angeleno elected to lead the city in its 241-year history.

    The 69-year-old congresswoman achieved victory despite Caruso spending more than $100 million of his own fortune on his mayoral bid, shattering local spending records and pumping previously unprecedented sums into field outreach and TV advertising.

    Caruso, 63, outspent Bass more than 11 to 1 but was ultimately unable to prevail as a former Republican in a sapphire-blue California city.

  12. Jaybird says:

    Say what you will about Bernie Madoff, he didn’t spill his guts to a Vox reporter in his DMs.

    SBF tells all to a Vox Reporter.

    He makes a number of shocking confessions.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

        Somewhere his lawyers have their heads spinning.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter says:

          I can’t believe half of the stuff that is coming out about this. This thread is crazy.

          The high points:

          SBF got loaned $1B for personal use. (This probably ties into the #2 individual donor to Democrats thing.)
          FTX used customer funds to purchase houses for employees
          FTX did not have a list of employees
          FTX kept no records of its digital assets
          Alameda (SBF’s GF’s company) was exempted from auto-liquidation
          They built software to *HIDE* misuse of customer funds
          They had $400M in unauthorized transfers on the day they declared bankruptcy
          They had billions of investments in other stuff but did not keep records of it
          SBF made business decisions on apps that auto-delete conversations

          You’d think that this would be a bigger deal.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

            I suspect that both the SEC and the FBI are already into this in someway.Report

          • North in reply to Jaybird says:

            The exquisitely gruesome panorama of a regulation free financial sector in its anarchic glory.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

            I don’t know about anyone else, but I figured that the whole crypto industry was equally economically unsound. I never thought about exchange companies, but everyone involved is investing in literally nothing, so I wasn’t expecting generally accepted accounting principles.Report

            • North in reply to Pinky says:

              It’s like something a coked up hollywood exec would conjure. In the future people will trade pictures of monkeys around in the hopes that somehow it’ll create a financial system that’ll displace all the banks and fiat currencies.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

            They have no accounting department.
            They have something like 130+ interlocked companies (this company was founded in 2019 and hasn’t purchased any other companies).
            They’re missing something like $4 Billion(?) but “missing” doesn’t have to mean stolen because of the whole lack of control and accounting.
            And high level Venture Funds gave him a Billion or more when he gave a meeting while playing a video game.
            The cyber keys to company accounts were stored on a group chat.
            We’re deep past “Hollywood bad parody” movie.

            The guy who handled the Enron bankruptcy says this is by far the worst he’s seen.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

              It’s worth reminding people that the Enron bankruptcy was a bunch of accountants that were blatantly constantly lying. It wasn’t just Enron, it was Arthur Andersen, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, and the scandal destroyed it. Every single control put in places to keep the company honest was subverted and ignored by the accountant company that existed to audit it.

              The crypto people, through sheer incompetence, managed to make worse accounting than professional criminal accountants. And this isn’t just some rando crypto company, FTX was supposed to be one of The Reputable Crypto exchanges. So disorganized it managed to be worse than, again, a massive criminal conspiracy on a part of a energy conglomerate and their accounting firm.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Really well put. +1Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Intelligent review of the mess with more info and a lot of common sense evals on who was getting which Billions.

                9 of the execs were living together in a 5 bedroom apartment in the Bahamas in a commune. This is probably all of the main players. The whole thing sounds like a free love hippy commune without the drugs and with billions of dollars.

                The female “President” who was approving one company loaning billions to another sounds like a nitwit and was probably picked for that role because she’s FTX’s former/current girlfriend.

                FTX liked to present himself as not interested in money and just interested in everything as a technical challenge. There are extremely strong contra-indications as he was taking out dozens of millions for his own pocket.

                The lack of basic professionalism was apparently total and at every level.

                They were given serious money by serious players, supposedly after due diligence. That pretty much has to translate into zero due diligence at all, which implies these serious players are doing zero due diligence everywhere.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Well, the good news is we know where the bulk of FTX’s money went. The bad news OMG, these guys managed to destroy 6 to 10 Billion dollars.

                They had an exchange that was earning a billion dollars a year in profit just by being the middle man.

                They created their own coin. They decided to support it’s value. So when the price of that coin went down, they would buy it to make it go up.

                When the value of the coin was $25, they had $6B+
                That coin’s peak was 75$ (ish), so they probably started supporting it then.
                It’s current value is something like 1$

                So the money that was outright stolen or obviously misused to buy beach houses for SBF’s parents? The investors might get that money back.

                The investor (and depositor?) money that was spent on price supporting that coin is just gone. Doesn’t exist anymore.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Dark Matter says:

                “The whole thing sounds like a free love hippy commune without the drugs*”

                *Rich people who have NYT profiles don’t do drugs, they use Therapeutics.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:



  13. Chip Daniels says:

    Since the Trump circus will tend to drown out all other actual news, its important to keep tab on the Republican non-Trump bigotry which continues apace:

    Already this year, GOP politicians in 30 states have put forward 155 different bills banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, criminalizing drag shows, and forcing trans athletes in high schools to compete on teams that don’t match their gender identity.


  14. North says:

    Probably worthy of its own post but Pelosi isn’t standing for minority leader. It is the end of an era for the Democratic Party and the ends of the career of easily the most effective congressional leaders of my own lifetime and arguably of the last century. Maybe longer.Report

  15. Jaybird says:

    Forbes found a frame that will let them talk about the FTX thing:

    Here’s how the NYT covered it:

    Here’s how the WaPo covered it:


    • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

      Easy one. Violent crime has been going up.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:


        Annual government surveys from the Bureau of Justice Statistics show no recent increase in the U.S. violent crime rate. In 2021, the most recent year with available data, there were 16.5 violent crimes for every 1,000 Americans ages 12 and older. That was statistically unchanged from the year before, below pre-pandemic levels and far below the rates recorded in the 1990s, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.

        While the total U.S. violent crime rate does not appear to have increased recently, the most serious form of violent crime – murder – has risen significantly during the pandemic. Both the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a roughly 30% increase in the U.S. murder rate between 2019 and 2020, marking one of the largest year-over-year increases ever recorded. The FBI’s latest data, as well as provisional data from the CDC, suggest that murders continued to rise in 2021.

        Despite the increase in the nation’s murder rate in 2020, the rate remained well below past highs, and murder remains the least common type of violent crime overall.


        • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

          Really. It depends on the time frame, of course, but the US reported violent crime rate in the past three years was:
          2019 366.7 per 100k
          2020 398.5 per 100k
          2021 395.7 per 100k

          Of course, none of these rates have anything to do with what’s discussed in the story you linked to, which wasn’t about violent crime rates or even rates of reporting on violent crimes, but on the coverage on FNC of violent crimes over an 11-week period. Unless crime stats come out every week, there’s no way your intro to the article could even be accidentally correct.Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    Unsurprisingly, hundreds of twitter employees decided to accept three months of severance instead of working 80 hours a week in person for the very mecurial Elon Musk. I know someone who knows someone that works at SpaceX. Said person puts up with Musk’s arbitrary nature because of space. I doubt anyone feels as strongly about twitter.

    Twitter has no critical team members left or very few. From what I’ve read, it is basically on autopilot and any bad bit of code could bring the whole thing down quickly.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      McCarthy is hosed. He can’t give the Freedom Caucus everything they want because he has to deal with the Senate in Democratic hands. And if Biggs is a No, others will follow. Which means that if Kevin ol boy wants the gig as badly as he says, he now need Democrats to help him. The cognitive dissonance is huge.Report

  17. Saul Degraw says:

    Despite losing the state house, Pennsylvania Republicans impeach progressive Philadelphia attorney Larry Krasner: https://apnews.com/article/crime-pennsylvania-philadelphia-impeachments-government-and-politics-ecf663668f12422de42ba5cb5eaaeed7Report

    • Leonard Kelly in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Is your suggestion that the party in charge of lame duck legislatures, especially when they will no longer be in charge soon should not act? I think Nancy Pelosi may like a word …..Report

  18. Jaybird says:

    Good news! Biden chooses a sober path for our relationship with Saudi Arabia.


    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

      This is despicable.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

      On the one it is wrong to shield him from liability. On the other, characterizing Khashoggi as a journalist has always been… we’ll call it selective. A deeper dive suggests he got caught playing spy versus spy with some of the nastiest people on the planet. That sucks but I don’t know why it would be the driver of US foreign policy. The real reason to tell the Saudis to f— off is that they’re no longer pumping oil as we’d like in exchange for our military hardware and defense. Someone needs to give them a reminder that bribes are a quid pro quo.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

        InMD: On the one it is wrong to shield him from liability.

        Is it? A foreign leader killed one of his own subjects while inside his own country. It’s heinous, but I don’t see how our court system is (or should be) involved. There are states which are still executing their own citizens for blasphemy or wearing the wrong hat.

        He’s also a head of state, which means the argument for not shielding him is what? Some court in the US can set US policy? Other than moral outrage, how are we involved in this, and is it supposed to trump other concerns?Report

        • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Khashoggi was killed in Turkey outside of any legal process and his children are US citizens. Per google bin Salman has billions in assets in the US. I don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to sue and recover against those assets if they can make the case.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

            RE: outside of any legal process
            Yes, every murder is outside legal processes. However every murder in the world isn’t subject to US courts. And that’s even before things like diplomatic immunity.

            RE: Turkey
            He was killed in the Saudi embassy in Turkey which is legally in SA.

            RE: his children are US citizens
            Good for them.

            RE: I don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to sue and recover against those assets if they can make the case.

            I don’t see how US courts are involved other than feelings of outrage.

            If memory serves, Congress had to pass a law specifically allowing the Americans held hostage in the American embassy in Iran to give them the ability to go after Iran’s assets and give US courts the authority to do so.

            In this case, nothing similar to that has happened and the entire grubby set of events happened inside SA to a SA national. The courts that have jurisdiction will be SA courts.Report

            • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Maybe they’d lose in court maybe they wouldn’t. However there’s no reason to pre-empt it. If you put assets in a jurisdiction you are usually subjecting yourself to the authority of the courts there, for at least some purposes.

              The position you’re taking, that it doesn’t, involve us, is really belied by the action. If that were so clearly the case then why is this necessary? Well, we know why, because it might involve embarrassing a billionaire Saudi prince with all manner of even more embarrassing political and business connections in the United States.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                To the extent that it involves us, it doesn’t necessarily involve us in the nice way.

                “Oh, you’re going to freeze my assets? I, who knows where bodies are buried? Here is some information!”

                It’ll turn into a situation that gets escalated and escalated some more.

                Much, much easier to just declare that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should be shielded from lawsuits for his role in the killing of a U.S.-based journalistReport

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                Pretty much. And I try to not be too credulous about the Khashoggi story as presented by the media. It isn’t like this was a run of the mill news reporter. He was an intelligence asset working with multiple governments including our own. That’s what this is really about.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

                Well, we know why, because it might involve embarrassing a billionaire Saudi prince

                Why is embarrassing a foreign head of state on a case that has no merit but much emotion a legit use of the American legal system?

                Why is it a problem for our head of state to decide this isn’t a good use of the system?

                Big picture there’s going to be darn little justice for Khashoggi and his family. The US gov isn’t willing to make this a priority, much less let the interests of the Khashoggi family set our national policy.

                Nor should the US gov do that. We have other interests that are more important. There are things we can do other than that, we’ve done them. SA remains a close American ally for various reasons that aren’t going away.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

                How do you know the case would have no merit? The courts are where that question would be answered.

                Overall I’m at a bit of a loss as to what you’re arguing. It’s one thing to say this is sadly typical ass covering, and another entirely to look at it as a good use of authority by the administration.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

                How do you know the case would have no merit?

                Basically all foreign heads of state have assets in the US.

                When I look at how we’ve treated Putin, and Iran, and various others, going after their assets has always been specifically enabled at a Congressional or Presidential level, usually via sanctions.

                At the moment, we’re not treating SA as war criminals nor are we going after their assets as a matter of policy.

                If we do decide to do something like that, then it’s probably a choice made by the President (or Congress) and not the Khashoggi family.

                Simply as a matter of policy it seems like a really bad idea to do otherwise. Every time Israel shoots a Palestinian, are the US courts going to be used to seize assets belonging to the Israel state?Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I think that’s backwards reasoning. You’re assuming both an outcome and then comparing that assumed outcome to hypothetical parallels that we can’t even evaluate. It seems like a lot of gymnastics just to keep American citizens out of the courts.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD says:

                I am looking for other situations, some ongoing, where we’ve either used the courts in this way or not used them in this way.

                Faict, when we’ve used the courts this way it’s been with permission + enabling that we don’t have here.

                If the courts really do have the ability to judge heinous acts by foreign states in their own countries, well… can you site a few examples which showcase that I’m wrong?

                The world has lots of assets and heinous rulers, the US has lots of refugees who have fled them, why aren’t the courts doing smackdowns on dictators on a daily basis?Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Your understanding of what courts do seems so… off I’m not really sure how to answer. Suffice to say there are times where a foreigner can be sued in federal courts. Best to let them interpret the law on that point.

                Nevertheless there’s no higher principle or rule of law you’re arguing for here. Just a bad ally catching a break for bad reasons. And, hey, if you want to rationalize that you certainly can, just understand, that’s all it is.Report

  19. Saul Degraw says:

    Garland appoints Jack Smith as special investigator in crimes potentially committed by Trump on Jan 6 or in general.

    Jack Smith previously investigated war crimes in Kosovo at the HagueReport

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Did you also see that the “Trump selling nuclear secrets” story fell apart? That one stood out to me as a basic gullibility test. I don’t remember, were you one of the people who was pushing that line?Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Pinky says:

        I do remember how that whole thing was yet another “Wow, they’ve really got that Donnie now! Let’s see him wriggle out of this jam!” (Trump wriggles out of the jam easily) “Ah, well. Nevertheless…”Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

          “The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”Report

          • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Do you realize that the Dems / press are the totalitarian leaders if your quote is an analogy?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

              Is Trump innocent of corruption?

              No one even bothers to say that, because it is laughably absurd. Instead they just demand we admire the cleverness of his ability to escape justice.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I commented that the “Trump selling nuclear secrets” story didn’t pan out. DD replied that your side hyped it then ignored it when it failed. You gave a quote to the effect that totalitarians always make claims without regard to whether they’ll pan out. Was that just a throwaway line?

                The fun thing: either it was a throwaway or it wasn’t. If it wasn’t a throwaway, then you were making an analogy where the audacious fantasists are on your side. If it was a throwaway, then you’re making a claim without caring if it’s true, making you the audacious fantasist.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                You’re right.
                The Arendt quote would have been more appropriate after this quip:

                [Nancy Pelosi is] such an effective leader that her own party disobeyed her and instead impeached Trump twice, neither time managing to secure a conviction.

                Except…How many times have we heard this same zinger about Trump wriggling free, again and again, and again.
                Like, from the same Reasonable Totally Non Trumpists, right here at OT?

                Again- No one here proclaims Trump to be innocent. But instead they just smirk and admire his cleverness at escaping justice, again and again.

                So, the Arendt quote is apt, again, and again.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So, if we’re talking about Dems/libs making up stuff and not caring, and you jump in and say that it’s bad to make up stuff and not care, we’re just supposed to assume you’re talking about Trump? We can do so, but at the cost of not treating you like a person capable of carrying on a conversation. More like, treating you like a person who looks at his corn flakes every morning and complains about how Trump ruined corn flakes.

                Also, you’re not helping things by talking about the “Trump wriggles free” zinger coming from the right side. I’ve never said it, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone here say it. I think you’re projecting it rather than listening to what we’ve said.

                ETA: To clarify, I’ve laughed at how dumb your side is in thinking it “got” Trump without closing the deal, but that’s not laughing about how smart Trump is for wriggling out of things.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Also – This is a bit off-topic on my part, but I think it ties in. I can only think of one example of a politician admitting he cynically lied, and that was Harry Reid’s infamous, “Well, they can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win, did he?”.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I put Trump in the same category as Obama, knowing that his people will follow him so closely that he doesn’t even care whether his lies are convincing. But neither of them would admit that in public. That’s what Reid did.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Trump survives these accusations by creating overreach.

                He get the other side to make Na.zi accusations rather than accuse him of what he’s actually guilty of.
                Accusing him of selling nuclear secrets is a good example.

                By encouraging a constant stream of false accusations he removes the oxygen (and the public focus) on the real ones. It also damages the reps of whoever is involved.

                He also clearly believes that all publicity is good.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                No. His defenders latch onto any overreach as a way to avoid dealing with the things he has done or been found guilty of.

                Do we remember his defrauding charities? Cohen’s crimes were all in tfg service.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Greg In Ak says:

                I just looked up “tfg”, and right there, that’s a good sign of someone not addressing reality the way they used to. If you’re trying to make the case that his opponents don’t have a problem, you shouldn’t add “oh, and I’m not going to refer to Trump as an ex-president or even a human””.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Pinky says:

                The Hall Monitor is shocked – shocked! — that people say mean things about awful people. And TFG is an old meme. You have to keep up with this stuff if you want to keep the gig.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                My point, (and Arendt’s) isn’t that the Dear Leader escapes the noose by various technicalities.

                Its that the followers embrace cynicism, openly acknowledge his guilt, but celebrate his cleverness.

                There is not one person on this blog who thinks Trump isn’t guilty of a host of corrupt behavior.

                But we are treated over and over to the cynical smirking over his “wriggling free”.

                Imagine all those comments we’ve seen to that effect, except replace Trump with “Jeffrey Epstein”.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                IHMO Trump is guilty of insurrection or whatever the name is for what he tried to do after the election. Prison isn’t out of the question but I’d settle for him never being in office again.

                Trump also attracts a lot of “Because it’s Trump, he must be guilty” behavior and reasoning which then falls apart. That’s not his cleverness that’s getting him free and the MANY times we’ve seen it means we tend to expect it.

                I also think he’s NOT clever but is instead mentally ill. Ergo these various attacks falling apart showcase just how bad various groups are at things they’re supposed to be doing professionally.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I know what your point is. It’s the point you make every time. Do you realize that you made the exact opposite point due to context though? That’s the problem. You’re not even reading the comments before you make your one point. And again, who are the OT people who smirk over him? Since you made the accusation, who are they? Or was that just another regurgitation of the point you make? You can’t control Trump from making random assertions without fact or context – but can you control yourself?Report

  20. DavidTC says:

    Well, all the groomer talk by Colorado and other Republicans has finally produced the expected outcome:


    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      Some context for people who might not know what the political climate in Colorado and Colorado Springs is: https://twitter.com/HeidiBeedle/status/1594317038167592961

      Just adding that in case people get confused about the ‘Colorado has a gay governor’ thing. Yeah, it does, and that has been a constant point of attack by Republicans drumming up hatred.

      BTW, I know some people’s instincts will be ‘Wait and see what motivated this’, but accounts have the gunman entering and immediately opening fire. So it’s not an attack aimed at a specific person, at least.Report

      • Slade the Leveller in reply to DavidTC says:

        It would be interesting to read what our correspondent in Colo. Springs has to say.Report

        • I have no special insight or knowledge that I haven’t already picked up from the same twitter feeds or google searches that I’m sure others have done.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

            Why should now be any different?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

              Would it have been better had I said “nobody is paying me for my opinion”?Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wait are you saying I can’t bill my hourly for commenting here? To think that I’ve been keeping all of these spreadsheets for nothing…Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Maybe somebody here will believe that you have honestly missed the point, but I doubt it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                What do you want me to say?

                “It was a horrible tragedy and it’s likely that we’re going to find out that the guy was on law enforcement’s radar already but they dropped the ball because they’re only good at crimes that let them engage in civil forfeiture”?

                Something like that?

                “Obviously, we need to give law enforcement more power”?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                You seem to be under the impression that I want you to say something. That impression is a mistake. But when you find yourself in a situation where you can’t decently spin these events into something contrarian and above it all to own the libs, saying that you don’t have any special insight or knowledge because all you have to go on is your twitter feed or google-knowing, — your standard operating procedure — is simply not believable.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                It’s a horrible tragedy that happened in my hometown.

                I’m sorry that you’re disappointed that I’m not inclined to try to spin it for temporary political advantage.

                Have at it.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m not “disappointed” that you didn’t try to spin it. I’m just skeptical that you didn’t because you were “not inclined” as opposed to that you couldn’t game a way out to do it. What made me skeptical in the first place was your utterly implausible explanation for why you hadn’t said anything.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Your main comment about the atrocity seems to be “what did Jaybird say about it?”

                Mine is: “It was a horrible tragedy and it’s likely that we’re going to find out that the guy was on law enforcement’s radar already but they dropped the ball because they’re only good at crimes that let them engage in civil forfeiture”.

                But if you want to see a take from Twitter that I agree with, here:

                To sum up: It was a horrible tragedy and we’re going to find out a lot of bad stuff about the guy who did it and we’re going to find out that law enforcement knew that he was a bad guy who did bad stuff.

                We have one hell of a principal-agent problem.

                There. Is that what you’re looking for?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci says:

                “You seem to be under the impression that I want you to say something.”

                he was specifically called out about it, you dumb shitReport

              • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Indeed he was. By Slade the Leveller. And then he said what he said. And then I commented about what he said. And then he asked me what I thought he should have said. Then I told him he was mistaken in thinking I, not Slade, wanted him to say anything in particular. Then he said a bunch of stuff anyway, which is his right.
                You really need to work on this reading comprehension problem.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                I’m still boggling that you’ve spent more time talking about me than about the atrocity.

                For the record: My household didn’t lose anyone in the shooting, but friends of ours did. One degree of separation.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’ve spent no time talking about the atrocity and I don’t plan to talk about it. But I’m not going to say something transparently false about why I’m not talking about it either.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Well, I’ll let you get back to not talking about it.

                I hope you give me the same courtesy.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                You forget it was Slade who pressed you to talk not me. I was fine with you choosing, for whatever reason, not to talk about this, and didn’t ask for an explanation. You volunteered one no one who has been here for a while could possibly believe. Only then did I jump in.
                So if you decide in the future not to talk about something, rest assured that I’ll extend you the courtesy of not calling you out.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                I’m not going to apologize for saying that I didn’t have any special insight into the atrocity and, yep, I still don’t.

                And I can’t help but think that the fact that your mental image of me does not align with the me in real life is an opportunity for you to readjust your mental image rather than for you to call me out for not acting the way your mental image would have.

                And standing on corpses to do it.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Take that up with someone who asked for an apology. And for what it’s worth, I agree that you have no special insight or knowledge other than what crossed your Twitter feed and Google-knowing. But since that’s the norm for most of what you do here, I’m sure you can understand why that’s not a particularly convincing explanation. But I didn’t ask for one.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Again, you explain that my not aligning with your mental image of me is my problem rather than your own.

                And standing on corpses to do it.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                You keep saying that. But what you said, when you decided — not at my urging — to talk did align with my mental image of you. Maybe my mental image of you is wrong, but you have gone out of your way to make it harder to think that.
                And evoking corpses to do it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                When asked what my opinion on the atrocity was, I said that I didn’t have any special insight.

                You’re the one who immediate took issue with how what I did, in real life, didn’t align with your mental image of me. That happened. It’s right up there.

                You still seem to think that that’s my problem rather than your own.

                But I appreciate that you’re experiencing dissonance that I came out and said that I don’t have any special insight to this situation despite your mental image of me not saying that.

                And finding that more interesting than the actual atrocity, for some reason.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                But I appreciate that you’re experiencing dissonance that I came out and said that I don’t have any special insight to this situation despite your mental image of me not saying that.

                Reading comprehension, my dear boy, reading comprehension. I was fully aware that you said you had no special insight and said as much. No “mental image” involved; it was right out there. I took you at your word and said as much. No “mental image” involved; it was right out there. I never took you to task for not speaking and said as much. No “mental image” involved; it was right out there. I did say I thought your explanation — which I did not ask for — was out of character and gave my reasons for thinking so. No “mental image” involved; it was right out there. You can address them if you want, but if not, that’s fine too.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                “out of character”

                Again, you explain that my not aligning with your mental image of me is my problem rather than your own.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                I gave my reasons for thinking your response was out of character and you can address them if you choose. I am not insisting on it. If you’d rather repeat yourself, that’s your choice.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                And, again, you are explaining that I didn’t act in a way that aligned with your mental image of me and, again, saying that that’s my problem rather than your own.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                As I’ve said before, you did act in a way that aligned with my mental image of you once you acted. They’re my mental images, after all, so I would know. Maybe you and DD ought to take remedial reading together.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                You’re the one who is saying that my answers were “out of character” and that you did not believe my explanation for why I didn’t say something prior to Slade asking me to say something.

                That’s you expressing that your mental image of me isn’t mapping my behavior, CJ.

                But here: Here’s an opportunity for you to do something that isn’t explaining to me stuff for free:

                Buy some merch from the guy who stopped the shooter at the atrocity. They still have stuff for sale and I’m sure the guy could use your support. (We already bought ours.)Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Is this a 20+ comment thread about whether why one person hasn’t expressed an opinion on something? Holy shit, guys.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Chris says:

                this is a professional lawyer, currently in practice, presumably paid by people to be good at arguing a point, demonstrating that he is not capable of topping a retired fat guy from Colorado in the comments section of a third-rate weblog.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                We are a first-rate weblog.Report

      • KenB in reply to DavidTC says:

        I know some people’s instincts will be ‘Wait and see what motivated this’, but accounts have the gunman entering and immediately opening fire.

        Random violence can sometimes randomly get directed at a minority group. Especially gIven what we eventually learned about the Pulse shooting, it seems foolhardy to draw any conclusions at this point.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to KenB says:

          Yeah, no. The Pulse thing was a general event that happened in a somewhat random time. The only reason anyone had to assume it was targeted by the far right religious wackjob was due to it being a gay nightclub(1).

          Meanwhile, there have been _months_ of threats against trans people and any sort of drag performances, especially in Colorado and Colorado Springs. They’ve called in bomb threats on children’s hospitals. It’s a specific environment of directed hate, not just ‘attacked a gay nightclub, must be a hate crime’. (Which, again, Pulse actually was.)

          This is the sort of stuff that is happening now, at donut shop that merely had a drag event:

          No, that’s not Colorado, but Colorado has a _worse_, especially Colorado Spring, because it weirdly has eight billion Christian organizations HQ’d there for complicated reasons. Anyone remember that thing about the Air Force Academy having Evangelical Christian apparently running wild in positions of authority proselytizing to people under them? Yeah, that’s in Colorado Springs, and that entire thing was _because_ it’s in Colorado Springs.

          Attacking a nightclub in Colorado Springs, celebrating the Trans Day of Remembrance, advertising a drag show the next morning (Or possibly later that night, accounts vary.), is, uh, not a coincidence. It is exactly the obvious flashpoint of all this transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, one that could be trivially predicted in advance.

          1) Which is all 100% correct. It’s just his religion happened to be Islam and the Internet spiral he fell into was Jihadist videos instead of qanon or whatever.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

            RE: Pulse
            At the time, it was strongly believed to be anti-gay, even with the shooter calling up the news during the shooting and explaining exactly why he was there. Further there’s a ton of anti-gay stuff in Islam. It wasn’t until we found the shooter didn’t know it was a gay nightclub that it became obvious that he really wasn’t there for that.

            RE: _months_ of threats against trans people
            Pointing to someone else’s threats is less than convincing (or do you know he’s a member of some hate group?). My one minute of research yesterday suggested he had a history of “bomb threats” against his mother, and I found nothing to suggest he had any political ideology.

            There’s certainly room for him to be motivated by what you said, but at the moment he’s a rorschach test and jumping to “he must be motivated by people I don’t like” is close to wishful thinking.

            I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s exactly what you said. I also wouldn’t be shocked if he’s apolitical or incoherent. If I had to give odds, I’d guess the second is more likely than the first just because of how many times we’ve seen this play out.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

              It wasn’t until we found the shooter didn’t know it was a gay nightclub that it became obvious that he really wasn’t there for that.

              That’s not actually what the evidence says.

              So, to make a long story short, the FBI basically tried to railroad Omar Mateen’s wife by getting her to sign a coerced confession stating she knew he was going to attack Pulse. And so her defense presented quite a lot of evidence that he didn’t know in advance where he was going to attack, that he had in fact very little knowledge of Orlando nightlife at all, and had resorted to googling ‘downtown Orlando nightclubs’ the night of the attack, and he’d moved back and forth between Eve Orlando Nightclub and Pulse. Ergo, her confession that she knew where the attack was be was _obviously_ coerced. (And to be clear, I agree with that. I also agree with the jury that she probably did know he was going to attack someone, and also the FBI should stop coercing confessions because it makes it really hard to believe anything they say.)

              Something that is not known, and in fact probably cannot be known, is _why_ he picked Pulse at the last minute instead of where he was going to attack.

              Here’s the actual timeline: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/what-really-happened-night-pulse-n882571

              But it wasn’t until he was near Epcot that Mateen googled “downtown Orlando nightclubs,” which delivered Eve Orlando and Pulse as top results. Mateen then drove to Eve, where he stayed for six minutes before driving away. Eve Orlando, in a busy downtown nightclub district, is in an area with heavy police presence, Swift said.

              After 1 a.m. on June 12, the night of the attack, Mateen performed one final Google search for “downtown Orlando nightclubs” and began to drive to Pulse. He hesitated, turned back toward Eve, then turned around again and headed back to Pulse. “Finally, around 2 a.m., Mateen fired the first shots in the Pulse nightclub,” a motion filed by the defense read. There was no cellular evidence that he had ever been there before that night.

              So…ignoring the color commentary that the article decides to go with, he apparently had picked out Eve. He had scoped it out. And then…drove toward Pulse after googling to get directions. Possible considered changing his mind a few times…and then turned back to Pulse. Pulse was, to remind people, a place he’d never been, and _had no idea if the police pretense was less_, so it’s a kinda stupid premise that he decided based on that, and also why would he turn back?

              This is the sort of stuff that happens, this newspaper article is deliberately designed to try to not make the attack a hate crime, so…just sorta presents the idea that ‘The reason he changed his mind last minute is that he somehow telepathically knew that there would be less police at Pulse’ and hopes the reader just skims past it.

              We can’t possible know what actually made him pick Pulse at the last second instead of Eve, what made him keep turning back to Pulse instead of the place he had clearly planned to hit, one he had an actual plan for and keeps almost heading to because he scoped it out…

              …but right there in his search results would be the fact that Pulse was a gay nightclub. Something he easily could have missed the first search when deciding where to hit, and seen the second time.

              And we don’t actually have any other possible reason, because, again, Omar Mateen was not telepathic and would have no idea of the security setup at Pulse before he got there. (And in fact, the defense of his wife spent quite a lot of time demonstrating just how little Mateen knew about Orlando in general and the nightlife in specific.)Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                …but right there in his search results would be the fact that Pulse was a gay nightclub.

                Supposedly after he was there he asked someone where the women were at. If true then no, he didn’t pick it up from the search. If we’re talking about google maps and he never bothered checking their website then there’s no reason he would have.

                Pulse was, to remind people, a place he’d never been, and _had no idea if the police pretense was less_, so it’s a kinda stupid premise that he decided based on that…

                Pulse was the fourth place (that we know) he cased out.

                To get into Disney Springs you have to walk through a line of police/guards. Having done this, I can say Disney likes armed guards. That also covers Epcot.

                Eve had a large police presence in the area (your link) but apparently no actual guards(?). He apparently thought about it and eventually decided to give it a pass. All of this happened without any anti-gay internet searches.

                Then he got to Pulse, which unlike the first three didn’t have armed guards nearby, and he’d found his target. The expectation should be that if Pulse had armed guards then he would have gone to a fifth place, and then if need be a sixth.

                If he didn’t care about armed guards then he could have gotten himself killed at the Springs which was his first plan. However his goal was to create a large body count and not just get killed by the police.

                Nothing in his internet history/searches suggests he had any awareness of homosexuality. That’s not just in the context of looking for somewhere to commit mass murder. He wasn’t gay, nor conflicted about his sexuality, nor did he ever visit gay dating sites. He cheated on his wife but with women. The FBI thinks it wasn’t a hate crime.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

            We’re going to hear a lot over the coming days from Reasonable Republicans about how terrible this is and how they condemn the attack.

            And they’re not lying, they really do feel badly over it.

            But, and here is the important part, they don’t feel badly enough to oppose the larger campaign of hate. They will still continue to churn out essays “questioning” whether trans people are merely suffering from mental illness, they will continue to churn out and propagate rumors of LGBTQ people grooming children for sex, they will continue to spread lies about burly men in dresses barging into little girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

            Every campaign of hate in history was always like this, where they had a respectable face to complement the actual street violence. Not just complement, but provide the intellectual support and cover of defense.

            And as always, the respectable ones protest that they certainly don’t intend violence, but the fact remains that their goal is suppression of the hated Outgroup, and the victims of the violence are really just collateral damage, eggs broken to make the omelette.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              If you spread incitement across enough people, it vanishes, legally speaking.

              “All I said is that group X, who do Y, are horrible child molesters who clearly deserve death because they’re doing Y, that’s an opinion and my first amendment right.”

              “And all I did was point out that a bunch of people in group X were standing over there, doing Y, which is a true objective fact.”

              And in unison: “And we have no responsibility for the lynch mob that inexplicable happened.”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

                Awful things like pogroms and genocides require a few prerequisites, among them being intellectuals and opinion shapers who groom the public by dehumanizing and villifying the hated Outgroup.

                Then there are the mass of middling people who themselves aren’t violent and are generally pretty decent people most of the time, but can be counted on to avert their eyes or make excuses for the events that are happening, handwaving it away as isolated examples.

                This is what Arendt and all the post WWII writers were getting at.

                I like to say that if you want a picture of an Unfree America where unfavored minorities are persecuted and murdered, even to the point of genocide, all you have to do is walk down Main Street in Disneyland.

                Because that’s what it looked like, (1890-1910) during the time when native people were being rounded up and herded into camps and minorities could be murdered with impunity, and the majority of American people were legally not allowed to vote.

                Yet we look back at that time as some sort of golden age of peace and freedom. Because it was in fact a golden age of peace and freedom…for some people.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Random nuts are not “lynch mobs”.

                At the moment we can’t tell if we’re looking at a hate crime or a school shooter.

                However I hope we don’t find out. Enough with trying to read these guys minds and making them famous.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

        And…pretty much confirmed it was a hate crime, the shooter is the grandson of pro-insurrection GOP California State Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

        Which is possibly why he wasn’t prosecuted for the bomb threats he made a year ago.


      • Leonard D Kelly in reply to DavidTC says:

        But doesn’t the shooter identify as transgender?Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Leonard D Kelly says:

          His lawyers are claiming so.

          Both of his(?) parents are a mess. The father has multiple criminal convictions, was a porn actor and mixed martial arts fighter. The mother had “a tumultuous life” (first time I’ve seen that in a bio) which included multiple arrests and mental health evals.

          He’s supposedly anti-gay and has been subject to anti-gay(trans?) bullying. Some other red flags but his family didn’t turn him(?) in (to be fair his crazy mother was involved in the most serious incidents).

          So he’s trans, anti-gay, has had multiple crazy people in his life, was throwing red flags against his family and random people in general, and has also had contact with Randy Voepel.Report

          • Leonard Kelly in reply to Dark Matter says:

            I have read some speculation that the claim to be transgender may be a ploy to avoid hate crime enhancements? Or he (or his attorney) may just be the biggest troll ever in using the argument that anyone can claim any gender identity at any time (and later change that identity) and that society should accept it without question ….Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Leonard Kelly says:

              Can’t tell at this point.

              That might be a shameless ploy or it might be a refusal to believe that one of their own could do this, it has to be someone who fits nicely into their world view.

              However self hate is apparently a thing for suicide mass shooters, he might not have intended to live through this and might have been attacking aspects of himself.

              The thing about it being a ploy is it’s easily evaluated by law enforcement. I’ve heard nothing about him destroying his computers so probably we have them.

              He’ll get the same eval the Pulse shooter got. Either there’s gay/trans porn/whatever on his computer or there’s not. He was either comfortable with his sexuality up until his lawyer’s announcement or he wasn’t.Report

  21. Jaybird says:

    The crypto people are talking about tether blowing up (in the bad way) soon.

    If that happens, the optimistic view is that crypto will start to get really, really affordable for everybody who didn’t jump on the bandwagon.Report