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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Whitehall, OH
Home country: USA
Current location: Australia
Member since: Thu Sep 27, 2018, 05:37 PM
Number of posts: 7,277

About Me

gone fishing

Journal Archives

Cats Movie Video Review (language warning)

I didn't like it; I felt uncomfortable; I fucking hated it; I really, really, really didn't like this movie.

Chris Stuckmann is a respected film reviewer who usually delivers measured, thoughtful reviews. He seldom lapses into profane bad taste but Cats, The Movie, got the better of him.

538: Who won the December debate? My take - all candidates moved ahead

on the metric that matters - being considered as a nominee, with Biden consolidating his dominance (54%), and Klobuchar gaining most (+6%) from a low base.

Who won the Wine Cave exchange? A: (at this instant) Warren, who improved her net favorables, while Buttigieg (alone), went backwards.

Chance of beating Trump? Biden 66.6%, 2nd. Sanders 56.8%, most improved, Klobuchar.


Daily Beast: The Shady History of Mayor Pete's Wine Cave -and the Ultra-Rich Couple That Owns It

The Shady History of Mayor Pete’s Wine Cave—and the Ultra-Rich Couple That Owns It

(snip) The cave in question—more of a wine basement, if you want to get specific, built for storing and aging wine in barrels—has been a gathering place for Democratic politicians long before Warren pointed to it as evidence that Buttigieg is too close with wealthy donors to be able to deny them access, appointments and special favors down the road. Owned by Dallas billionaires Craig and Kathryn Hall, the cave’s fundraisers have benefitted at least a hundred Democrats over the years, in the estimation of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

(snip) The Halls are the near-typification of what Warren described in the debate as “people who can put up $5,000 or more in order to have a picture taken, in order to have a conversation, and in order, maybe, to be considered to be an ambassador.” In 1997, one year after donating hundreds of thousands to Democrats seeking reelection, Kathryn Hall was nominated and confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to Austria, a position for which she had been angling for close to a year.

(snip) Although the practice of rewarding heavy-hitting fundraisers and donors with ambassadors is common—roughly a third of such positions are traditionally given to financial backers—Kathryn Hall’s four-year tenure in Vienna was not the only benefit of the couple’s close relationship with the politically powerful.

Craig Hall’s real-estate empire—facing massive debt as the Texas oil boom weakened in the late 1980s—was saved when then-House Speaker Jim Wright held up a bill meant to help recapitalize the struggling Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation in an apparent attempt to force federal regulators to let Hall’s company restructure its debt.

(snip) The eventual ethics investigation into Wright’s role in the savings-and-loan scandal would force him to resign from Congress. Hall would later pay $102.5 million to settle claims by a taxpayer-funded asset management company, which had paid out $364 million to cover insured deposits in Hall’s insolvent savings-and-loan operation.


Slate: Bernie won the Battle of the Wine Cave.

Grapes of Wrath

Bernie won the Battle of the Wine Cave.

On Thursday, Democrats held their sixth presidential debate in Los Angeles and Sen. Elizabeth Warren sparked the biggest moment of the night when she attacked Mayor Pete Buttigieg for holding a large-donor fundraiser at a posh, Swarovski crystal–filled wine cave in California’s Napa Valley.

The clear winner of the bold, crisp, and delicious exchange between Warren and Buttigieg, though, was not the senator from Massachusetts or the mayor from South Bend: It was the senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ team of surrogates had come prepared for a showdown about the wine cave: senior aide Jeff Weaver and national co-chairwoman Nina Turner both wore black T-shirts emblazoned with the URL to a website called PetesWineCave.com. (The link redirected to a fundraising page for Sanders.) “You see my T-shirt?” Turner asked reporters. “Yeah, we want to have this fight.”

But it was Warren who brought up the cave, and Warren who drew the counterattack from Buttigieg. In the post-debate spin room, Sanders’ supporters seemed practically giddy that two of their candidate’s biggest rivals had spent the most memorable moment of the debate tearing each other down on what has long been one of his signature issues, the corrupting influence of money in politics.


Still No.1 on Twitter #IMPOTUS

You've got yourself a winner @gtconway3d


Elizabeth asks the question

If you can’t stand up and take the steps that are relatively easy, can’t stand up to the wealthy and well connected when it is relatively easy, when you are a candidate, then how can the American people believe you will stand up to the wealthy and well-connected when you are president and it is really hard?

'Getting money out of politics is Warren’s signature issue'

From the outset 'Warren declared that her presidential primary campaign “will be run on the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it."'

Ring cameras hacked: Families compromised, abused.

We Tested Ring’s Security. It’s Awful.

Ring lacks basic security features, making it easy for hackers to turn the company's cameras against its customers

(snip) Last week a wave of local media reports found hackers harassed people through Ring devices. In one case a hacker taunted a child in Mississippi, in another someone hurled racist insults at a Florida family. Motherboard found hackers have made dedicated software for more swiftly gaining access to Ring cameras by churning through previously compromised email addresses and passwords, and that some hackers were live-streaming the Ring abuse on their own so-called podcast dubbed "NulledCast."

(snip) Ring is not offering basic security precautions, such as double-checking whether someone logging in from an unknown IP address is the legitimate user, or providing a way to see how many users are currently logged in—entirely common security measures across a wealth of online services.

"They are worth billions so where is the investment in security," Daniel Cuthbert, who is on the committee for annual cybersecurity conference Black Hat, and who is also a Ring owner, told Motherboard.

(snip) On a desktop web browser, someone who is logged in is able to watch historical, archived footage. From a smartphone app, someone who is logged in can watch live and historical footage, listen through the camera's microphone, speak through the camera's speaker, play an alarm, see the name of the specific Wi-Fi network the camera is connected to, see the address the user originally registered the Ring camera with, see the phone number a user has entered into the app, and see nearby crime "incidents." This shows the specific, user-selected home address plotted on a map. Ring requires that a user input a home address to set up the camera.


Australia heatwave: Nation endures hottest day on record

Source: BBC

Australia has experienced its hottest day on record with the national average temperature reaching a high of 40.9C (105.6F).

The Bureau of Meteorology (Bom) said "extensive" heat on Tuesday exceeded the previous record of 40.3C set on 7 January 2013.

Taking the average of maximum temperatures across the country is the most accurate measure of a heatwave.

The record comes as the nation battles a severe drought and bushfire crisis.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50817963

Why Australia's PM is facing climate anger amid bushfires

(PM) Morrison called them a "national disaster" this week, but he has often been accused of downplaying the severity of the crisis. He has readily offered "thoughts and prayers" to victims, toured fire zones and praised crews - most of whom are trained but unpaid volunteers.

Earlier this week, Mr Morrison rejected calls for greater funding of firefighters, saying existing resources were sufficient and that volunteers "want to be there".

(snip) When the crisis escalated in New South Wales (NSW) last month, Mr Morrison refused to be drawn on questions about climate change - saying his "only thoughts" were with people affected by the fires.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack rejected such questions as the concerns of "raving inner-city lefties", adding: "We've had fires in Australia since time began."


Prime Minister Morrison has responded to the heatwave / bushfire emergency by taking his family on holiday to Hawaii.

Why UK Labour Lost part 1 - Brexit

Boris: 'Get Brexit done'

Labour: 'We will request another extension from the EU and tear up the deal, the Boris one, negotiate a new one, a good one, different but better than Teresa May's, could take some time though, hold a new referendum with another extension, if rejected we stay in, if accepted we're out, but can't say how we will campaign, in or out, because we do respect the result of the old vote, the one that settled it, you know, last referendum, like we said at time, also last election, and will never ever crash out on a hard Brexit'.

Got it?

Forbes: Thousands Of Misleading Facebook Ads Help Conservatives To 'Crushing' UK Election Victory

Thousands Of Misleading Facebook Ads Help Conservatives To ‘Crushing’ UK Election Victory

The Conservatives' social media election strategy involved subjecting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters to false ad after false ad.

At the end of October, Twitter announced that it was banning political advertisements. The announcement came after its bigger rival Facebook ruled out the possibility of banning political ads on its own social network. But not only did Facebook refuse to ban political ads, but it also refused to subject such ads to fact-checking, something which critics said was necessary in view of the often deceptive nature of posts from political sources.

(snip) According to research from fact-checking non-profit First Draft, 88% of the Facebook ads the Conservatives posted in the first four days of December were deemed misleading by Full Fact, one of the UK’s biggest fact-checking organisations. By contrast, First Draft said that none of the Facebook ads posted by Labour over the same four-day period contained misleading claims.

In particular, First Draft noted that 5,000 of the 6,749 ads paid for by the Conservatives contained references to the construction of 40 new hospitals. This figure was disputed by Full Fact, given that it not been costed and given that the Conservatives' spending plans for the next Parliament had allocated funding only for six hospitals to be upgraded by 2025.

Not only that, but false claims about the cost of Labour's spending plans to the average tax payer made an appearance in more than 4,000 Facebook ads paid for by the Conservatives, while 500 promoted the widely refuted claim that the Tories will create jobs for 50,000 more nurses, even though the promise actually includes simply retaining 18,500 nurses already on the job.

In other words, the Conservatives' social media election strategy involved subjecting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters to false ad after false ad. Perhaps voters were swayed more by the desire to progress with Brexit when casting their votes, but the simple fact that the Conservatives paid for these 'post-truth' ads indicates that the party believed they would have a tangible effect. If not, then why pay for them?

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