Month: August 2020


I’m kind of surprised.  I knew that the DeSantis order was terminally stupid, but I did not think that it was illegal:

Florida’s state government cannot force schools to reopen this month, a judge ruled yesterday. The state’s order to reopen K-12 schools disregarded safety risks posed by COVID-19 and gave schools no meaningful alternative, according to the ruling issued by Judge Charles Dodson of the Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County.

On July 6, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order stating, “Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students.” Schools that don’t meet this requirement could lose state funding. Corcoran, Governor Ron DeSantis, and other state officials were then sued by the Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers’ union; the NAACP; and several individual teachers and parents.

After summarizing the health risks of reopening schools during the pandemic, the judge wrote that the state’s order to reopen schools “takes none of that into consideration. It fails to mention consideration of community transmission rates, varying ages of students, or proper precautions. What has been clearly established is there is no easy decision and opening schools will most likely increase COVID‐19 cases in Florida. Thus, Plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success in procuring a judgment declaring the Order is being applied arbitrarily across Florida.”

Dodson concluded that the state’s order violates the Florida state constitution “to the extent it arbitrarily disregards safety, denies local school boards decision making with respect to reopening brick and mortar schools, and conditions funding on an approved reopening plan with a start date in August.” Having found that the plaintiffs are likely to win at trial, the judge issued a temporary injunction that strikes down the controversial portions of the state’s school-reopening order.

Gee, guv, I think that this ruling will leave a mark.

This is Worse than I Had Imagined

I knew that hedge fund fees were excessive, but run the numbers, and it is beyond my wildest imaginings.

Their fees amount to 64% of all returns:

If you already see hedge fund fees as exorbitant, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Over the past two decades, the hedge fund industry has kept 64 cents of every dollar of gross profits that it has generated above the risk-free rate.

You’d be excused for thinking this is a mathematical impossibility. The predominant fee arrangement in the hedge fund industry is the so-called 2-and-20 fee structure, under which a fund charges an annual management fee of 2% of assets under management and a performance incentive fee of 20% of any profits. So how can hedge funds keep more than 20 cents of every dollar of profit, on top of management fees?

The answer is provided in a new study that the National Bureau of Economic Research recently began circulating. Entitled “The Performance of Hedge Fund Performance Fees,” the study was conducted by finance professors Itzhak Ben-David and Justin Birru, both of Ohio State University, and Andrea Rossi of the University of Arizona.

The professors analyzed a comprehensive hedge fund database containing nearly 6,000 funds over the 22 years from 1995 through 2016. Over that period these hedge funds collectively produced total gross profits of $316.8 billion. Of this total, fund managers kept $202 billion ($88.7 billion in management fees and $113.3 billion in performance incentive fees). The remainder—$113.3 billion, or 35.8% of total gross profits — went to investors. (See the chart below.)

That is almost 2/3 of returns, which means that even by hedge funds extravagant claims, they would never exceed the numbers of things like index funds.

What Duncan Said

But this isn’t like putting a sign in front of a cliff which says, “please don’t step right up to the edge of the cliff,” and then blaming the student who plunged to his death for failing to obey the sign. Though that’s the story university administrators want to tell.

The student who steps up to the edge of the cliff, idiot as he may be, is tethered to 5 more students, who are tethered to 5 more students, who are tethered to 5 more students…

That some number of students are dipsh%$s was known by the responsible adults making these plans. That each student dipsh%$ is going to infect some number of other “blameless” students is regularly ignored. 

Atrios, aka Duncan Black

(%$# mine)

He is completely right.  In the context of a residential educational institution, it is impossible to make ALL the students behave responsibly.

Administrators know this, and so the outbreaks are a direct result of their callously disregard for the safety of their students, because they wanted the tuition and fee money.

Worst Argument for Identity Politics Argument

I get that these folks want equal opportunity corruption, but that does not mean that they should some sort of special permission to install a revolving door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

A battle is brewing on K Street over an effort by progressives to ensure a Biden administration is devoid of any former Wall Street executives or corporate lobbyists.

Black and Latino lobbyists say a ban of that sort would end up shutting out minorities and could make the administration less diverse if Democrats win back the White House.

The tensions date back to April, when eight progressive groups wrote a letter calling on former Vice President Joe Biden to vow not to appoint any “current or former Wall Street executives or corporate lobbyists, or people affiliated with the fossil fuel, health insurance or private prison corporations” to his transition team, Cabinet or as top aides.

That demand did not sit well with some minority lobbyists, who argue that corporate lobbyists shouldn’t be denied a spot in the administration.

“Given the wokeness of these people, I find it odd they are so comfortable lumping a large group of people together. They have an agenda that is limiting and it has always been limiting,” said Michael Williams, founder of the Williams Group, one of the few Black-owned lobbying shops in D.C.


“Vice President Biden has made it clear that he’s going to make it a priority to clean up Trump’s mess by putting in place tough safeguards against the sort of rampant cronyism and lobbyist influence we’ve seen over the last four years, even as Biden ensures that his administration’s staffing reflects America’s diversity,” Biden for President spokesman Michael Gwin said.

Nicole Venable, a lobbyist at Invariant, criticized the effort by progressives, saying their goal to have a Biden administration filled with staff reflecting all of America is undercut by these types of restrictions.


Alliance for Youth Action, one of the groups that signed the April letter to Biden, stressed that progressives are particularly concerned about corporate lobbyists serving in a future administration.

“The letter we’ve sent doesn’t call for a ban on lobbyists, it calls for a ban on explicitly CORPORATE lobbyists like the ones who have been able to push a harmful agenda within the Trump administration which have taken away government’s ability to protect people of color, young workers and children from pollutants in our air and water and predatory economic practices which continue to hold them in poverty,” Carmel Pryor, senior director of communications at Alliance for Youth Action, told The Hill in an email.

They are literally arguing for corruption.

You want equal rights to profit off of government service.

I want no one to profit off of government service.

The Wheel Has Turned Full Circle

In 1987, following a series of financial and sex scandals, Jerry Falwell, Sr. took over Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL club, and now following a series of financial, educational, and sex scandals Jerry Falwell, Jr. has been forced to resign as president of Liberty University.

The sex scandal to the degree that we know anything, is (AT LEAST) his wife having an affair with a pool boy (not clear if it’s THEIR pool boy) while he watched, at least part of the time.  (I’m sure that there are more details to ……… come, but I won’t be discussing them unless some crime is involved)

The educational scandals involve rapes being covered up, athletes leaving because of a poisonous and racist atmosphere, and aggressively opening last spring, which led to a Covid outbreak.

The financial ones seem to be about opacity and a rather profligate life style.

As to the resignation, it was rather chaotic, with the board announcing his resignation, and his denial, and then his announcing that he had resign:

The evangelical leader and key Trump ally Jerry Falwell Jr confirmed on Tuesday he has resigned as president of Liberty University, following a sex scandal.

The confirmation came after conflicting reports of Falwell’s status on Monday night, in the wake of a Reuters report on a sexual relationship between him, his wife and a former business associate.

The board of the Lynchburg, Virginia, evangelical institution was meeting earlier on Tuesday regarding Falwell, who was its president for more than a decade.

Liberty University said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that the school’s trustees “acted today to accept the resignation of Jerry Falwell, Jr. as its President and Chancellor and also accepted his resignation from its Board of Directors. All were effective immediately”.

After Falwell agreed on Monday to “immediately resign then reversing course”, the university said, he sent his resignation letter through an attorney later that night.

The university’s executive committee convened on Tuesday morning and voted to accept Falwell’s resignation, recommending that the board of trustees accept it. The full board of trustees met via videoconference on Tuesday morning and “unanimously voted” to affirm the committee’s recommendation.

“The university’s heartfelt prayers are with him and his family as he steps away from his life’s work,” the statement said.

So, the University is sending him in their thoughts and prayers.  **snerk**

As I noted above, I do not know where the sexual misconduct leads, and I don’t care.

What I do know, having followed affairs at the former Lynchburg Baptist College since their Covid debacle, is that Falwell has been a supremely abusive boss, so I think that there will be a lot of evil stuff found as rocks get turned over.

With some luck, maybe some jail time.

Between Falwell and Bannon though, August has been a great month for Schadenfreude.

A Feature, Not a Bug

Admission to university in the UK is driven by the “A-Level” exams, which have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Boris Johnson government came up with an algorithm driven alternative, which turned out to be so biased against students from poorer publicly funded schools that they had to withdraw it following massive protests.

This article details all of the problems with the process that was developed, but ignores the underlying issue, that it was not a good faith effort.

The Tories were explicitly looking at finding a way of favoring the inbred elites of British society while depriving less affluent, and less-white students fair access to the the UK’s elite educational institutions:

When the UK first set out to find an alternative to school leaving qualifications, the premise seemed perfectly reasonable. Covid-19 had derailed any opportunity for students to take the exams in person, but the government still wanted a way to assess them for university admission decisions.

Chief among its concerns was an issue of fairness. Teachers had already made predictions of their students’ exam scores, but previous studies had shown that these could be biased on the basis of age, gender, and ethnicity. After a series of expert panels and consultations, Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, turned to an algorithm. From there, things went horribly wrong.

Nearly 40% of students ended up receiving exam scores downgraded from their teachers’ predictions, threatening to cost them their university spots. Analysis of the algorithm also revealed that it had disproportionately hurt students from working-class and disadvantaged communities and inflated the scores of students from private schools. On August 16, hundreds chanted “F%$# the algorithm” in front of the UK’s Department of Education building in London to protest the results. By the next day, Ofqual had reversed its decision. Students will now be awarded either their teacher’s predicted scores or the algorithm’s—whichever is higher.

(%$# mine)

The problem was not that education authorities failed, but that they over-succeeded.

If they had hit 10% or 20%, they would have gotten away with making higher education in the UK richer and whiter, and the students complaining would have been dismissed as ungrateful (insert race or class epithets here)s.

I Thought That the Political Silly Season Started Months Ago

Bogart Said it Best

I was misinformed.

The silly season starts today, because, as The Root so eloquently states, “‘I’m With Joe’: Punch-a-Nazi Poster Child Richard Spencer Tweets His Endorsement of Joe Biden.

The Biden campaign immediately disavowed the endorsement, but this is the day when the campaign went from weird to being narrated by Rod Serling:

2020 is officially M. Night Shyamalan’s worst movie.*

I mean, I thought this shitshow had already jumped the shark when the mistresses of minstrel, Diamond and Silk, decided they were ready to talk about systemic racism, but this infamous year has apparently decided to pull an Evel Knievel over a mile-long row of sharks as the alt-right favorite with America’s most punchable face, Richard Spencer, has announced his endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

On Monday, the tiki-torch boy-band leader (he changed the name of his group to “White Sheet Boys” because “NSYNC With White Supremacy” doesn’t roll off the tongue very well) tweeted an image of his photo next to the words “I’m with Joe” and a quote from an earlier tweet of his that reads, “Liberals are clearly more competent.”


Still, a neo-Nazi like Spencer—who the Southern Poverty Law Center described as “one of the country’s most successful young white nationalist leaders,” a “suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old,” and “a kind of professional racist in khakis”—throwing his lot behind the Democratic ticket is one weird plot twist.

Anyway, according to Andrew Bates, the director of rapid response for Biden’s campaign, Biden is rejecting Spencer’s friend request.

“When Joe Biden says we are in a battle for the soul of our nation against vile forces of hate who have come crawling out from under rocks, you are the epitome of what he means,” Bates tweeted. “What you stand for is absolutely repugnant. Your support is 10,000% percent unwelcome here.

Go to link above for a video of someone punching Richard Spencer in the face.

*Obviously, the author is younger than I am, as evidenced by the Serling/Shamalan dichotomy in analogies.
Also, I’ve only seen one of his movies, The Last Airbender, which was so bad that it scarred me for life.

Acknowledging Reality

The CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett, is walking back expectations on self-driving cars, suggesting that they be limited to dedicated roadways.

That has been the opinion of pretty much every expert whose paycheck is not dependent on selling the still distant technology:

Ford CEO Jim Hackett scaled back hopes about the company’s plans for self-driving cars this week, admitting that the first vehicles will have limits. “We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” said Hackett, who once headed the company’s autonomous vehicle division, at a Detroit Economic Club event on Tuesday. While Ford still plans on launching its self-driving car fleet in 2021, Hackett added that “its applications will be narrow, what we call geo-fenced, because the problem is so complex.”

Hackett’s announcement comes nearly six months after its CEO of autonomous vehicles, Sherif Markaby, detailed plans for the company’s self-driving car service in a Medium post. The company has invested over $4 billion in the technology’s development through 2023, including over $1 billion in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company that is creating a virtual driver system. Ford is currently testing its self-driving vehicles in Miami, Washington, D.C. and Detroit.

Driving cars is literally the most difficult things that people do on a routine basis, and it is made all the more complex because it involves incredibly complex interactions with other human beings who do not truly understand the limits of the 1½+ ton death machines.

People who suggest that this is just around the corner are deluded or liars, or both.

Don’t Accentuate the Positive

Ian Welsh makes a valid point, that there are times when negative emotions, even hate, are appropriate to the circumstances, and exhortations to eschew hate are self destructive:

There are no human emotions which are always bad. Every emotion is useful in certain circumstances. Emotions are bad when they provide incorrect guidance or they hijack you.


That said, even an emotion like hate has utility, if it’s correctly pointed. People like the person below have a problem.


Hate exists to tell you when someone is a threat, and you should do something about it. It often is hijacked, as with Americans thinking that foreign leaders like Putin are the primary threat, when it’s their own leaders who kill and impoverish them. When hate operates correctly, it points at actual threats.


Trump’s actually dangerous to a lot of people, and hating him is an appropriate emotion. Being consumed by it isn’t, but wishing that Trump would die of natural causes is entirely reasonable. (Granted, Pence might be worse, but you can hate him too.)

Emotions have purposes. Hate is meant to tell you who is a threat. Anger is meant to tell you that someone is doing something they really shouldn’t be doing. (This is one reason why, in spiritual communities which say one should never be angry, abusers manage to get away with abusing for a long, long time.) Jealousy tells you you’re falling behind and not living up to your potential.


Anyway, the main problem with hate and anger is that they are easily hijacked and hook onto targets who aren’t actually dangerous, but merely “foreign.” As with the companion feeling of loyalty, most of modern “leadership” is hijacking tribal emotions and pointing them in the wrong direction. Loyalty to Biden or Trump (both evil men who have done, and will do, horrible things) is insane unless you’re directly part of the gravy train.

We humans have very badly f%$#ed up our emotional guidance systems. They’re supposed to point you towards what’s good for you and warn you about what’s bad for you. Trump is bad for almost everyone, and so is Biden. So are most Democratic and Republican politicians, almost all CEOs of major companies, and so on and so forth.

So go ahead and hate them, just don’t let it be chronic or hijack your ability to make decisions. It’s definitely appropriate.

The people who are dangerous to you and who have, over 40 years, impoverished Americans, are your own leaders. Hate threats, they are a threat.

(%$# mine)

People who say that you should not hate are wrong.

You should watch yourself and make sure that your hate does not make you stupid.

A Special Message from the Writers at Jacobin

We Shouldn’t Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President

Seriously people:  He ran a relentlessly corrupt administration, brushed off the threats that led to the 911 attacks, killed somewhere between ½ and 1 million Iraqis, politicized threats to national security, eviscerated FEMA (Hurricane Katrina), etc.

Yeah, and his brother stole the election for him in 2000.

This is a bad man who should be spending his days in jail in The Hague.

He is a not a good person.

I’ve Seen This Play Before, and I Know Who Will Prevail

Do not pick a fight with this guy

It appears that the Mayor of Danbury, Connecticut is VERY angry about a recent bit that John Oliver did on juries.

Specifically, he’s angry that John Oliver had the throw-away line, “F%$# Danbury,” when he was discussing disparities in jury selections, and highlighted specific circumstances in Hartford and New Britain, Connecticut where the residents of those cities (about ⅔ of the minority population in those judicial districts) were excluded.

The Mayor of Danbury will not allow this to stand, and so will rename the local sewage treatment plant after the comedian, because, and this is a quote, “Why? Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”

I get that the Mayor of Danbury is offended, but I’ve seen what Oliver did to killer coal baron Bob Murray (Also here), and you ain’t gonna win this fight.

Picking a fight with John Oliver is like wrestling with a pig, you both get dirty, and the pig loves:

Officials in Danbury, Connecticut, say they will name their sewage plant after the comedian John Oliver, in retaliation for an expletive-filled rant about the city on his HBO show.

Mayor Mark Boughton announced the move on his Facebook page.

“We are going to rename it the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant,” the Republican mayor said. “Why? Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”

In a recent episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the British-born comic explored racial disparities in the jury selection process, citing problems in Hartford and New Britain.

“If you’re going to forget a town in Connecticut,” he said, “why not forget Danbury? Because, and this is true, f%$# Danbury!”

Noting Danbury’s “charming railway museum” and its “historic Hearthstone Castle”, he said: “Danbury, Connecticut can eat my whole ass.”

Oliver added that he knew “exactly three things about Danbury. USA Today ranked it the second-best city to live in 2015, it was once the center of the American hat industry and if you’re from there, you have a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver, children included, f%$# you.”

(%$# Mine)

I know very little about Danbury.  I’ve never been there, even when I was living in Connecticut, though I might have driven through it on the way to New York City, but I do know this:  Don’t pick a fight with John Oliver.

You have introduced yourself as a world of hurt.

A New Opiate for the Masses?

Caitlin Johnstone has a very interesting take on QAnon.

Specifically, she thinks that it is a deliberate attempt to sideline the. “Revolutionary Impulse,”.

If you subscribe to Marx’s theories on religion, there, as Zathras would say, “Symmetry.” There is an astonishing level of similarity between the tin-foil hat brigade and the more extreme religions:

The U.S. president has moved from tacit endorsement and evading questions on the toxic QAnon psyop to directly endorsing and supporting it, telling reporters “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” and saying they’re just people who love their country and don’t like seeing what’s happening in places like Portland, Chicago and New York City.

Asked about the driving theory behind QAnon — that Trump is waging a covert war against a satanic pedopheliac baby-eating Deep State —Trump endorsed the idea but reframed it by saying that he’s leading a fight against “a radical left philosophy.”


I write against QAnon periodically for the exact same reason I write against the plutocratic media: it’s an obvious propaganda construct designed to manufacture support for the status quo among people who otherwise would not support it. It presents itself as an exciting movement where the little guy is finally rising up and throwing off the chains of the tyrannical forces which have been exploiting and oppressing us, yet in reality all it’s doing is telling a discontented sector of the population to relax and “trust the plan” and put all their faith in the leader of the US government.

As the United States becomes less religious over time, classic Marxist analysis would suggest that something else would take its place, and that capital would support this to distract the masses.

QAnon does seem to check all the right boxes.

Your Post Office F%$#ery Update

This is not a surprise.  Postmaster Louis DeJoy has been lying about a lot, and he has continued to sabotage it while promising that he is not doing so:

Postal workers in Washington State have reinstalled high-speed mail sorting machines—dismantled after controversial orders from the U.S. Postal Service— despite USPS orders not to put machines back in use.


Only two facilities, Seattle-Tacoma and one in Dallas, seem to be ignoring the Postal Service’s directive to leave decommissioned sorting machines out of use.

I’m kind of surprised that we haven’t seen more insubordination from the Post Office rank and file.

In related news, it turns out that DeJoy lied about the extant of the slow-downs that he has created in mail delivery:

You’re not just imagining it: The mail really is experiencing widespread delays, according to new internal United States Postal Service documents.

The documents were published by Rep. Carolyn Maloney ahead of a Monday hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Motherboard previously reported that a mix of the coronavirus pandemic, more restrictive overtime policies, and a restriction on the amount of time that mail can be sorted and loaded onto mail trucks before they go out has led to delays in mail delivery. Maloney said that “these new documents show that the delays are far worse than we were told” by DeJoy.

The new documents, a Postmaster General “Service Performance Measurement” briefing prepared for DeJoy on August 12, seemingly show the actual impact of those policies. Across the board, “on-time” scores have fallen sharply since early July. Presorted first-class mail is getting delivered late 8.1 percent more often than baseline, marketing mail (8.42 percent), periodicals (9.57 percent), and even Priority Mail (7.97 percent) have seen similar drops.

Lies from Trump and his  Evil Minions?  Hoocoodanode?


They have been fighting this for years, and now that they are claiming that they are unprepared.

Seriously, they could outsource this to ADT and the like in a New York minute.

Let them pull the trigger on their threat:

A California appeals court judge blocked an order requiring Uber and Lyft to classify drivers as employees, averting an expected shutdown of the ride-sharing services in California at midnight tonight. The court granted Uber and Lyft a temporary stay while their appeals process play out.

Lyft had already announced it was planning to temporarily cease operations in the state earlier today, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had said the same about his company in an interview yesterday.

But the companies won an 11th hour reprieve from the California Court of Appeals hours before the shutdown was expected to go into effect. Uber and Lyft will now have until October to convince the court to throw out the order that it employ its drivers. If they are unsuccessful, the companies will be back where they started, and may again decide to shutdown.

They should be ready now, and there is no reason that they couldn’t be ready in October, but they won’t because they think that too many judges rely on the ride-sharing services, so the threat of a shut-down would be too disruptive to them.

F%$# that.  The drivers should be in contact with Ride Austin about creating a drivers’ cooperative.

We Are F%$#ed

It turns out that low relative humidity, of the sort that one would see as heating season starts in September, has a major impact on increasing the transmissivity of Covie-19.

This is common in Viruses (Viri?), and exactly the opposite of what one would see in bacteria.

We are in for a bumpy ride: (From the abstract)

There is growing evidence that climatic factors could influence the evolution of the current COVID‐19 pandemic. Here, we build on this evidence base, focusing on the southern hemisphere summer and autumn period. The relationship between climatic factors and COVID‐19 cases in New South Wales, Australia was investigated during both the exponential and declining phases of the epidemic in 2020, and in different regions. Increased relative humidity was associated with decreased cases in both epidemic phases, and a consistent negative relationship was found between relative humidity and cases. Overall, a decrease in relative humidity of 1% was associated with an increase in cases of 7–8%. Overall, we found no relationship with between cases and temperature, rainfall or wind speed. Information generated in this study confirms humidity as a driver of SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission.

This also explains why outdoor protests have not contributed in a significant way to the outbreak.

You don’t see the low humidities that you you do in at outdoor protests as you might, for example, in an indoor event facility like the Bank of Oklahoma Center where Trump held the rally that killed Herman Cain.

Nostalgia for Classic Russian Humor

Technically Belarusian humor, but still humor like this has been a part of the former USSR since before it was the USSR:

Good joke from #Belarus. Riot police (OMON) officers are beating a guy on the street. “Why are you beating me? I voted for Lukashenko!” he said. “Don’t lie to us. Nobody voted for him” they said. Classic dark Communist-time humor @thespybrief

— Paweł Burdzy (@pburdzy) August 19, 2020

This sort of humor appeals to me on a very deep and profound level.

Did This Joke Did Not Age Well?

Folks, this really happened.

— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) August 21, 2020


So, a few months back, Steve Bannon joked about how he and his literal partner in crime at the “Build the Wall” crowd-funding campaign were taking all of the money and living large on a yacht in the Mediterranean:

Welcome back and this is Stephen K. Bannon. We’re off the coast of Saint-Tropez in southern France, in the Mediterranean. We’re on the million-dollar yacht of Brian Kolfage. Brian Kolfage — who took all that money from Build The Wall.

No, we’re actually in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Now that Bannon and Kolfage have been arrested on fraud charges related to the effort, Bannon while he was LITERALLY onboard a plush mega-yacht, I’m thinking that this joke has not aged well.

Charlie, my son, and sometime standup comic, disagrees.  He thinks that this joke has aged like fine wine.

Maybe he and I should split the difference, and say that it aged like fine wHine.

Of Course They Would Say That

Yes, they are lying

AT&T and T-Mobile are objecting to the proposed FCC requirement that they actually test out their cellular coverage maps with tests.

They claim that it is too expensive, and too difficult, but the reality is that they have been marketing on a plausible lie, and good data will make those lies implausible:

AT&T and T-Mobile are fighting a Federal Communications Commission plan to require drive tests that would verify whether the mobile carriers’ coverage claims are accurate.

The carriers’ objections came in response to the FCC seeking comment on a plan to improve the nation’s inadequate broadband maps. Besides submitting more accurate coverage maps, the FCC plan would require carriers to do a statistically significant amount of drive testing.


This could prevent repeats of cases in which carriers exaggerated their coverage in FCC filings, which can result in government broadband funding not going to the areas where it is needed most. Small carriers that compete against the big three in rural areas previously had to conduct drive tests at their own expense in order to prove that the large carriers didn’t serve the areas they claimed to serve.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not punish Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular after finding that the carriers exaggerated their 4G coverage in official filings. But Pai is moving ahead with plans to require more accurate maps as mandated by Congress.


AT&T objected to the proposed drive-testing requirement in a filing to the FCC on Tuesday this week, saying that annual “drive testing is not the proper solution for verifying nationwide coverage maps” and that there is “potential difficulty in determining how to formulate a statistically valid sample for areas given the terrain variability nationwide.”

Also, they want the bad data, because it prevents subsidies going to small independent carriers in rural areas, and more than anything else, they want their oligopolies to remain intact.

F%$# the phone carriers, mobile and land line both.

What a Surprise

The Post Office has forbidden its letter carriers from witnessing absentee ballots.

Yet another way that Louis DeJoy is ratf%$#ing the election at Donald Trump’s bidding:

In a nationwide rule change that went unnoticed this summer, the U.S. Postal Service has forbidden employees from signing absentee ballots as witnesses while on duty. The change could make it more difficult for Alaskans, particularly rural residents, to vote by mail.

In Alaska and several other states, absentee ballots must be signed by a witness who can verify that a ballot was legitimately filled out by a particular voter. Without a signature, the ballot will not be counted.

Alaska’s ballot instructions say to “have your signature witnessed by an authorized official or, if no official is reasonably available, by someone 18 years of age or older.”

It lists postal officials as an example of an authorized official, but many Alaska voters said postal clerks told them they were forbidden from signing ballots.

Sooo I went to the post office to mail my absentee ballot and even tho it says very clearly on the instructions that postal officials can sign your witness affidavit, the folks working the counter downtown said they were not allowed 🤨 why?

— Sheli DeLaney (@SheLaney) August 18, 2020

I am completely unsurprised by this.

Screwing with the elections is literally the only priority of Trump and Evil Minions right now.