Wednesday, May 31, 2023

No Labels could field third-party candidate next year

I think the debt ceiling deal is such a fast-moving target that anything I write about it now will have the shelf life of milk in the sun, so I'm following through on my promise to examine No Labels' effort to gain ballot access in next year's elections. I begin with Stephanie Ruhle and her guests on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour" discussing Independent group 'No Labels' could field third-party candidate in 2024.

The centrist group “No Labels” is ramping up efforts to put a third party candidate on the ballot in 2024, but Democrats say this could help Donald Trump.
I'm glad I waited until MSNBC uploaded this segment, as it gave someone associated with No Labels a chance to respond. I personally think Mark McKinnon is giving the most charitable explanation — "break glass in case of emergency," meaning to prevent a second Trump presidency if Biden is too ill to serve. If that actually ends up happening next summer before the Democratic Party convention, then the scenario I described in Marianne Williamson and Nikki Haley, two women running for President on International Women's Day might come to pass.
[I]f Biden actually becomes vulnerable to a primary challenge, he would attract someone like Gavin Newsom to enter the contest. That would be a mistake if TFG is the Republican nominee again, but maybe not if DeSantis is. I think Newsom and DeSantis match up better than either Newsom and Trump or Biden and DeSantis. Still, I don't think Biden will fail be be renominated if he actually runs. Party discipline is not only much stronger in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, it's stronger than it was when i joined in 2004. As I wrote in 'SNL' shares scary news for Halloween 2022, "Re-nominating Joe Biden might be scary, but all the other potential candidates mentioned were even scarier, so back to Biden we go. I'm OK with that."
No Labels really doesn't need to do this, as the Democratic Party can take care of the problem itself, whether through new candidates entering the contest or the delegates nominating Kamala Harris instead. That would be a scenario right out of "Veep." Life imitating art!

CNN also examined this subject, which Third Way posted on its YouTube channel as CNN: Dems warn No Labels third-party ticket could split vote.

Third Way Senior Visiting Fellow Tim Ryan joins Michael Smerconish on CNN to explain why a No Labels third-party bid for the White House would re-elect Donald Trump.
That's an even more dire warning about what a No Labels candidate could do next year.

I stumbled across this subject by following up on Kyrsten Sinema becoming an independent. No Labels loves her and this effort helps her, too. No Labels will have ballot access in Arizona next year, including for U.S. Senate. Sinema now has a guaranteed spot waiting for her. Nice work, No Labels.

This concludes May 2023's blogging. Stay tuned for June, when I plan on writing about the debt ceiling tomorrow, after the House of Representatives votes on the measure. That should be interesting.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Russia issues arrest warrant for Lindsey Graham after banning 500 Americans from entering country

I found a shinier object than the debt ceiling deal, Russia issues arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham | NewsNation Now.

Russia’s Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, after he praised U.S. military aid to Ukraine as “the best money we’ve ever spent.” The South Carolina senator said Monday "it brings me immense joy" to know that his support for Ukraine “has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime.”
I have the same reaction to this news that I had to my ex-wife after she threatened to throw me out 30 years ago: "I can understand you throwing me out after doing the wrong thing. I don't understand you wanting to throw me out for doing the right thing." Russia is threatening to arrest Senator Graham after he did the right thing, so Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular can go fly a kite.

That's not to say that Graham may not be arrested in the future. One of the Trump investigations you should actually care about is Donald Trump's other 'perfect call' to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which resulted in Graham and others being subpoenaed followed by a grand jury report. Graham may yet face charges for that. If so, I support it, as he would have been caught doing the wrong thing.

This comes after Russia adds Trump's political enemies to sanctions list, as MSNBC reported last week.

Russia has banned hundreds of U.S. citizens, including former President Obama, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow and Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from entering its territory. The Morning Joe panel discusses.
I used that for the preview image, the subject line, and the description, which connected to what I wrote about Graham and Raffensberger. Joe Scarborough blustered a bit much to be very informative. For that, I'm turning to Joy Reid and her guest, who said ‘Putin is a sending signal to MAGA base’: Fmr. CIA director on Putin's sanctions, including Maddow.

Vladimir Putin has signaled support for Donald Trump with new sanctions targeting Trump’s critics. Putin’s likely subsequent influence on the MAGA base is analyzed by former CIA director John Brennan who tells Joy Reid, "I find it hard to believe in this day and age, particularly after the bloody assault and plundering of Ukraine, that any American would look favorably upon Vladimir Putin[.]”
All of this confirms what I wrote seven years ago: Trump and Putin have a bad bromance. I have something more complementary to say to Graham and the 500+ Americans on Russia's sanction list: Congratulations, you have the right enemies.

Monday, May 29, 2023

The origin and history of Memorial Day

I wish my readers a somber Memorial Day. For this year's observance, I'm doing something I've done for other holidays, like Labor Day and Cinco De Mayo, but not for Memorial Day, the history of the holiday. I begin with CBS Morning's The origin of Memorial Day from 2014.

Memorial Day has become the "summer is here" holiday, but of course there's more to it. Historian Kenneth C. Davis, author of the popular "Don't Know Much" history series, joins "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with a history lesson on the most solemn of the 11 federal holidays.
When the segment aired nine years ago, there were only ten federal holidays, but it looks like the number was corrected after Juneteenth became a national holiday two years ago. I'm glad someone is keeping the description current.

Kenneth C. Davis made two points that connect to the next video, a veterans organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, established the original Decoration Day and the holiday took on much of its current character during and after World War I. Watch and listen to The history of Memorial Day in the U.S. from CBS News, in which Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and USAA senior vice president John Bird describes how another veterans organization, the American Legion, promoted the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance after World War I.

As the country remembers all the lives lost during times of war, the Poppy Wall of Honor becomes available online for the first time. Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and USAA senior vice president John Bird joins CBSN's Tanya Rivero to explain the history of Memorial Day and how Americans can use the digital wall to learn more.
As my readers could probably tell, the second video is from 2020. Media made during the pandemic has a very distinctive style.

I hope my readers enjoyed the history lessons and remember that this isn't just a day for grilling to kick off what I'm calling "American cultural summer."

I leave my readers with FOX 17 WXMI Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek U.S. Air Force Band: 'Taps' to end today's observance.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Examinations of Disney v. DeSantis from CNBC, Wall Street Journal, and Yahoo! Finance

I told my readers to "stay tuned" yesterday, "as I plan on updating the Disney-DeSantis feud as tomorrow's Sunday entertainment feature." It's tomorrow, so I'm following through on my program note with the financial channels' examination of the conflict, beginning with CNBC's Disney V. DeSantis: Why Florida’s Governor Took On America’s Media Giant.

The political feud between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney has been heating up for the last few months. In April 2023, Disney filed a First Amendment lawsuit against DeSantis, accusing the governor of waging a ‘targeted campaign of government retaliation.” DeSantis, who’s preparing for a 2024 presidential campaign on the GOP ticket, says he isn’t backing down. So how did this all begin? And who will come out on top, once it’s all done?
I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling my reaction from last week.
[DeSantis is] "making himself look even worse while getting liberals to side with a big corporation. Nice trick, but not the one he's trying to pull."

Another trick he's pulling is continuing the trend that I saw developing more than a decade ago and summarized in DeSantis to sign replacement for Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government.
Aren't Republicans supposed to be the business-friendly party? Well, they were, but this split has been building for a decade since I wrote about how Newt Gingrich threw big business under the bus while campaigning against Mitt Romney. Ten years later, the rift between Republicans and big business has opened up wide enough for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe the Republican Party or at least DeSantis will fall into it. Break out the popcorn.
At the time, I thought DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party hadn't fallen into the rift between them and big business. Now, I think they haven't just fallen, but jumped into the widening and deepening chasm. That calls for more popcorn.
[The] observation that Republican primary voters are more interested in cultural issues than economic issues fits the shift in “the Republican Party’s base moving from country club to country” as CNN quoted Tom Davis, a former Republican representative from northern Virginia, in 2017. That's what I've been seeing since 2012.
[M]ajor U.S. political parties don't have consistent ideologies. They do, however, have consistent core interest groups and Gingrich is throwing one of them, the northeastern business interests, which have been with the GOP since it formed out of the remains of the Whigs in the 1850s, under the bus. That ended up being smart in the short run, given that he was angling for the votes of Southern populists, who don't care much for the northeastern business interests and haven't since before the founding of the republic.
DeSantis is hoping that will work in his favor.
Based on the polling data CNBC showed and the interviews with DeSantis supporters in Florida, it has so far. It remains to be seen how well it will continue to work now that Ron DeSantis is officially running for President against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, and, should he actually get the nomination, in the general election.

Follow over the jump for videos by The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Finance on the subject.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Mehdi Hasan takes a deep dive into 'The truth about DeSantis’ awful record on covid', a pandemic and primary election update

Now that Ron DeSantis is officially running for President, his record is receiving the kind of scrutiny a candidate for the highest office in the land should get. In this case, Mehdi Hasan took a deep dive into The truth about DeSantis’ awful record on covid.

Ron DeSantis is officially in the 2024 race, leaning on his partisan and polarizing approach to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, Mehdi says, his actual Covid record is nothing to brag about, and we shouldn’t let DeSantis rewrite the history of the pandemic in the Sunshine State.
Mehdi has learned from Republicans, just as much as the radical right has learned from the radical left. In this case, he's following Karl Rove's strategy to attack your opponent's strengths. Good. He's subjecting Ron DeSantis's claims of success during the pandemic by asking "oh, really?" and "at what cost?" Let's look at the numbers. First, here are the top five states with most COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC.

Next, the top twelve U.S. States by population 2020 and 2022 from Wikipedia.

The top five states by official COVID-19 deaths and population are the same. The only difference is that Florida and New York switch places between third and fourth. But there are more important statistics, as Mehdi Hasan pointed out in his tweets promoting this video. Follow over the jump for his receipts.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Supreme Court weakens EPA authority to enforce Clean Water Act

I am recycling my reaction to the Supreme Court deciding in favor of West Virginia and against the EPA to begin today's post.
This is indeed bad news for fighting climate change and could be a precedent that constrains regulations by many branches of government. The good news is that hasn't happened yet...May we continue to be so lucky.
That luck is running out, as PBS NewsHour reported Supreme Court decision weakens EPA authority, scales back scope of Clean Water Act.

The Supreme Court has again weakened the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency. The case involved the EPA blocking an Idaho couple from building a house near a lake on their property, saying the construction would pollute water protected by the Clean Water Act. William Brangham discussed the case with Coral Davenport.
While the court voted unanimously in favor of the landowners, so that was almost certainly the correct outcome, the opinions supporting that decision are another matter. I am a scientist, not a lawyer, but I think it was possible that the EPA overstepped its authority in this case even with its prior power over wetlands. Instead, it has now lost its ability to regulate half the nation's wetlands. This is great for property owners, but not good for the environment.

The Supreme Court may further restrict the ability of the federal government to regulate in its next term, as Ali Velshi on MSNBC explained in Velshi: This single SCOTUS case could upend our entire regulatory system.

Under the Executive Branch, there are 15 departments, each of which is led by an appointed cabinet member. And within those departments, there are more than 400 distinct agencies and sub-agencies. This is the so-called “Administrative State” that the GOP has been pushing to reform for decades. These agencies, among other functions, are the regulatory bodies on which we rely in nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Last week, the Supreme Court accepted a case that has the potential to upend our governments entire regulatory system.
This could be really bad news, even though a decision is not likely to come for a year or so. I'll be following it, so stay tuned.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

DeSantis DeClares he's running for President on Twitter

As expected, Ron DeSantis finally declared that he is running for the Republican nomination for President last night on Twitter. That didn't go so well, as Chris Hayes on MSNBC reported ‘Epic disaster’: DeSantis 2024 launch with Elon Musk on Twitter flops.

Remember that time Elon Musk unveiled the new Cybertruck, and when he went to demonstrate the vehicle's supposedly "bulletproof glass," two of the windows smashed? The Twitter rollout of the Ron DeSantis campaign went kinda like that.
LOL. The glitchy opening of the DeSantis-Musk Twitter space stole the show and made for an inauspicious opening to DeSantis's campaign.

PBS NewsHour put together a more serious segment explaining How DeSantis' campaign shapes the GOP presidential race.

The presidential race has a new big-name candidate as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially announced his run Wednesday. The Republican is a headline machine, shaping national fights over COVID policies, education and immigration. But he faces an uphill climb against former ally Donald Trump. Lisa Desjardins discussed the race with former Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who served in Congress with DeSantis.
That's a good summary and former Representative Carlos Curbelo at least made a good effort at answering "why Twitter?" PBS NewHour ignored the technical glitches. It was trying to be sober and impartial, which MSNBC certainly wasn't.

PBS NewsHour mentioned DeSantis's fight with Disney, so I turn to FiveThirtyEight, a now smaller part of ABC News, itself owned by Disney, which asked Does Ron DeSantis Have A Shot At Beating Trump?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is officially running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. What are his chances of winning the race?
The answer is still yes, better than any other candidate, but not a good one. Just the same, it's now officially a two-person race.

I'm sure I'll have lots more to write about the GOP primary in the coming year or so. Stay tuned and break out the popcorn.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Surprise! Kyrsten Sinema has moved to the left as an independent

I reacted to Kyrsten Sinema becoming an independent by writing "From now on, Voteview will plot Double-Doctor Sinema's ideological position with a black dot, just as it does for Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont." What I expected was that Sinema would move to the right and possibly down (more anti-establishment) on Voteview's two ideological dimensions once she untethered herself from the Democratic Party. That would be consistent with her previous behavior and On The Issue's characterization of her as "a Libertarian-Leaning Progressive", which she shares with her former colleague Tulsi Gabbard. Instead, she's moved left and up, as the images both above and below show.

Since becoming an independent, Kyrsten Sinema has moved from being the second most conservative Democrat to being left of the median Democrat in the Senate. She's also become more "establishment" than every other Senate Democrat. Surprise!

None of this has made a dent in perceptions of her, which seem rooted in her voting and other behavior while a Democrat, which placed her as the second most conservative Democrat in the U.S. Senate next to Joe Manchin, as shown below.

Both her critics on the left and within the Democratic Party and her supporters in groups like No Labels still think of her as a centrist who supports business interests, as More Perfect Union portrays in The Third Party Bid That Could Sabotage Trump and Biden.

A group calling themselves "No Labels" has suddenly emerged as a huge financial backer of Kyrsten Sinema.

They're also floating the idea of running Joe Manchin for President.

We dug into them, and found a whole lot of billionaires with a history of opposing democracy.
Moving left appears inconsistent with both her critics' and supporters' opinions of her. However, becoming more "establishment" (up along Voteview's second dimension) is another way to become more conservative and No Labels may be more interested in her being more supportive of "establishment" positions than in her staying in the center along the left-right axis. Also, Sinema may be trying to position herself to the left as a defensive move against the Democratic challenger. It remains to be seen how that works out.

On a related note, I should examine No Labels' effort to gain ballot access in next year's elections. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Bright Sun Films presents 'Bankrupt — Bed Bath & Beyond', a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

It's been one month since Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy, which is just enough time for Jake Williams of Bright Sun Films to put together Bankrupt — Bed Bath & Beyond, the tale of the Retail Apocalypse I promised yesterday.

For nearly 50 years, Bed Bath and Beyond was at the top of their game, known across the industry as a "category killer", able to stand up to the largest companies in America like Walmart and Target just by their niche in the market. Millions of deal-hungry shoppers, wedding registries and college young adults shopped here and helped skyrocket the company into massive success with over 1,500 stores. But just as quickly as their rise, the retailer then fell on hard times. In under a decade, the company went from record sales, to bankruptcy and a total collapse of the brand. Join me today as I explore why this happened and document the final moments for a beloved retailer.
Jake's video makes for a good update to Company Man asks 'The Decline of Bed Bath & Beyond...What Happened?' — a tale of the Retail Apocalypse. I'm being a good environmentalist and recycling my reactions from there.
Company Man Mike compiled this list to explain what happened.
When I told my wife that I was writing a blog post about Bed Bath & Beyond, she immediately brought up how their weak online presence hurt them in competition with Amazon based on her personal shopping experience.
Jake went beyond Company Man Mike by pointing out how awful Bed Bad & Beyond's website was. His take on competition was different. Bed Bath & Beyond outlasted its most direct competition, Linens and Things, but wasn't able to survive competing with Amazon and discount brick-and-mortar chains like Walmart and Target, which I mentioned in February.
We haven't been in one of their stores since COVID-19 hit, but we've bought plenty through Amazon. On the other hand, I've gone into the nearest Target if only to pick up online orders, which I did when I had an eventful three days and two nights because of a severe storm knocking out my power, and my wife and I have had a lot of Target orders delivered to our house. Target is beating Bed Bath & Beyond both online and in the store...
And people noticed, enough so that CNBC warned that Bed Bath & Beyond is 'facing extinction' four years ago. CNBC ended up being right.
Returning to Company Man Mike's list, he noted that the problem with the turnaround plan wasn't the plan itself, but management's rushing it in its impatience to get it to work. I think that's a common problem with American businesses, particularly publicly traded ones that are driven by quarterly bottom lines. Speaking of public trading, this is the second time I've seen stock buybacks being a driver of debt since GNC's bankruptcy. I wrote then "I might see stock buybacks as a cause of cash flow problems more often as the pandemic-caused recession continues." That recession ended almost as soon as it began and we may be closer to another recession later this year, but that prediction still came true.
Jake noted how stupid a move that ended up being, as all that stock is now worthless.

I close by recycling the end of the last post on Bed Bath & Beyond.
That's the latest on the Retail Apocalypse. I expect I'll be returning to this topic between now and the end of June. If nothing else, Erik of Retail Archaeology will be covering the shutdown of stores in Arizona and posting videos, which I will share here. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 22, 2023

'Prehistoric Planet 2' explores ancient biodiversity on International Day for Biological Diversity

I concluded PBS Terra on de-extinction for Endangered Species Day with an idea for today.
Monday is International Day for Biological Diversity. I'm tempted to recycle 'Prehistoric Planet' previews explore extinct biodiversity on International Day for Biological Diversity with the trailer for season 2. Stay tuned.
I decided exploring ancient biodiversity was still my favorite idea — I'm a paleontologist who wants to share my passion with my readers — so watch Prehistoric Planet — Season 2 Official Trailer | Apple TV+.

New dinosaurs. New habitats. New Season. Prehistoric Planet returns May 22 on Apple TV+...

Prehistoric Planet, from executive producers Jon Favreau and Mike Gunton, and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, combines award-winning wildlife filmmaking, the latest paleontology learnings and state-of-the-art technology to unveil the spectacular habitats and inhabitants of ancient Earth for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. The series is produced by the world-renowned team at BBC Studios Natural History Unit (“Planet Earth”) with support from the photorealistic visual effects of MPC (“The Lion King,” “The Jungle Book”) applied to concept art created by Jellyfish Pictures (“The Book of Boba Fett,” “Spirit: Untamed”). Prehistoric Planet season two continues to bring Earth’s history to life like never before as the series presents new dinosaurs, new habitats and new scientific discoveries while taking viewers around the world in an epic five-night adventure. With new dinosaurs like the Tarchia, one of the largest Ankylosaurus, to returning fan-favorites like the Tyrannosaurus rex, and many more, Prehistoric Planet returns with an all-new season of prehistoric wonders.

Theme by Hans Zimmer and Andrew Christie for Bleeding Fingers Music. Original score by Zimmer, Anže Rozman and Kara Talve for Bleeding Fingers Music.
That's the advertisement. Now for The Science Behind Prehistoric Planet 2 from IFL Science.

We sat down for an exciting chat with the producers of the second season of Prehistoric Planet on Apple TV+ to dig into the science behind the digital resurrection of these ancient animals.
That was informative and fun. I enjoyed the inclusion of prehistoric animals beyond dinosaurs and pterosaurs, who were the stars of Season 1. Mosasaurs, crocodylomorphs, turtles, mammals, and ammonites show how biologically diverse the terminal Cretaceous was. I also appreciated how the series didn't just present the latest science, but helped spur research that advanced the field of paleontology. Way to pay the field back beyond just popularizing it!

While I raved about the trailer and previews for season 1, my prediction that the series would receive multiple Emmy nominations still hasn't come true. Hans Zimmer took home two awards for its music at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards and it earned nominations at the Cinema Eye Honors Awards, Annie Awards, Visual Effects Society Awards, Television Critics Association Awards, and Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, but no Emmy nominations. I hope that was because Apple TV+ decided to submit it to the News & Documentary Emmy Awards instead of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. If so, I'll be looking for those nominations in a couple of months.

The producers mentioned how cute the baby Velociraptors were, so I'm closing with Prehistoric Planet — Cutest Dino Moments | Apple TV+.

Some were cautious forest dwellers. Others were fearful flyers. All of them were extremely squeezable. More cuteness to come. Prehistoric Planet Season 2 returns May 22 on Apple TV+...

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and featuring an original score by multiple Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, the captivating exploration of ancient Earth will debut with five all-new episodes in a week-long event.
I hope these clips help earn some Emmy nominations. In the meantime, I plan on posting a tale of the Retail Apocalypse tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Disney cancels billion-dollar project and keeps 2,000 jobs in California just before DeSantis declares he's running for Republican presidential nomination

An unknown reader (literally — Blogger identifies them as "Unknown") left a comment to Governor DeSantis and Florida Republicans repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government that made a couple of interesting suggestions.
Always love your prose. Pass the popcorn indeed. Always a bad policy to penalize a company since they "cannot" move. My guess is Disney will setup shop in a location that is more amenable to their business I threats and move the facility over time. Opportunity for GA or LA to get some jobs.
I gave a more practical action in my response.
Thank you. I hope I have enough popcorn. As for Disney moving the theme parks, they won't, although they might reconsider relocating Imagineering and Consumer Products from California to Florida. That's more than 1,000 jobs that the Orlando Metro Area won't get.
I wrote that in April 2022, more than a year ago. This past Friday, Disney made that exact decision. Watch and listen as CNN reports Disney cancels billion-dollar Florida campus, DeSantis says he’s ‘not surprised’.

Disney upped the ante in its battle with Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and it cost his state 2,000 white-collar jobs. Disney is scrapping plans to build a $1 billion office complex in Florida, citing “changing business conditions,” according to a memo provided by a Disney spokesperson.
Occasionally, I write that I wish I wasn't right. This isn't one of those times. I'm glad I saw this coming, I'm glad for the Disney employees who no longer have to move from California to Florida, and I'm glad Disney stuck it to Ron DeSantis the Friday before he declares he's running for Republican presidential nomination! As I last wrote in Disney sues DeSantis, "he's making himself look even worse while getting liberals to side with a big corporation. Nice trick, but not the one he's trying to pull."

Another trick he's pulling is continuing the trend that I saw developing more than a decade ago and summarized in DeSantis to sign replacement for Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government.
Aren't Republicans supposed to be the business-friendly party? Well, they were, but this split has been building for a decade since I wrote about how Newt Gingrich threw big business under the bus while campaigning against Mitt Romney. Ten years later, the rift between Republicans and big business has opened up wide enough for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe the Republican Party or at least DeSantis will fall into it. Break out the popcorn.
At the time, I thought DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party hadn't fallen into the rift between them and big business. Now, I think they haven't just fallen, but jumped into the widening and deepening chasm. That calls for more popcorn.

Follow over the jump for more reactions from myself and others as I continue today's Sunday entertainment feature.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Bumblebees show their intelligence by rolling balls and pulling strings for World Bee Day

Happy World Bee Day! Since honeybees have their own day, I'm looking at the other well-known group of social bees today, bumblebees. In particular, I'm examining their more fun behaviors as indicators of their intelligence, beginning with SciShow's Bumblebees Play ... And it's Adorable.

There’s just about nothing better than watching a kitty play with a ball of yarn, but there’s another unexpected animal that enjoys playtime, too! And certain birds appear to have the abilities of self-control!
The last year I took classes for my M.S. degree, I enrolled in both mammalogy and ornithology. One of the things that struck me after taking both classes was that mammals played a lot but birds played a lot less. The textbooks reflected this disparity, with pages and pages devoted to play in the mammalogy text, but maybe half a page in the ornithology text. The same professor taught both courses and I asked him about it and he said that the books accurately reflected the two classes' behavior, with the mammals playing more because they were more intelligent. Birds don't have to be as bright as long as the best solution to a problem is to fly away. No surprise that the most playful birds are the corvids, the same birds the video examined for their intelligence.

What does this have to do with play in bees? I found bees being bright enough to play a good argument in favor of them being brighter than I expected. However, I should have known better, as scientists have been studying intelligence in bumblebees for years. Follow over the jump for three more videos of bumblebees demonstrating their problem-solving skills from six years ago.

Friday, May 19, 2023

PBS Terra on de-extinction for Endangered Species Day

Happy Endangered Species Day! I'm taking a different tack on today's celebration by following up on a note to myself in 'SNL' shoots down the Chinese 'spy balloon' in its cold open and Weekend Update: "I'm glad to see de-extinction back in the news, which means I'll have to write about it." PBS Terra's "Far Out" series made that easy for me by uploading Why Scientists Want to Resurrect Extinct Species yesterday. I can't resist an attempt to make science fiction into science fact as a topic.

From the woolly mammoth to the passenger pigeon, extinct species once maintained the balance of the earth’s delicate ecosystems. But human interference has resulted in dramatic loss of biodiversity. Can science restore what has been lost? In this episode of Far Out, we dig into ‘de-extinction’ as geneticists and molecular biologists attempt to bring back species to restore the health of the planet.
While I've written about several times about mammoth de-extinction and mentioned Tasmanian wolves as a candidate before, I've discussed the passenger pigeon as a candidate for de-extinction twice before and was critical of the idea.
Swain points out two obvious flaw[s] in the headline example from the talk, reviving the passenger pigeon. That's a species that is well-known for only reproducing in large flocks. A single couple will not be enough. Instead,...there will have to be many thousands of them. I've even read estimates that it may take colonies of at least a million to induce the bird to breed. Also, the environment that supported these birds will have to be re-created if it's too degraded and fragmented. That's a lot of time, energy, and money to make this project succeed.
I repeated the first concern in KPBS on de-extinction.
[S]omeone finally presented a reason for bringing back passenger pigeons beyond "it's cool" and assuaging guilt over its extinction, one that helps organisms other than humans. Now they'll just have to produce a million birds within the lifetime of the first one, so the population can sustain itself in the wild. Passenger pigeons were not California Condors, which can go from 22 to more than 400 in three decades. They required huge flocks to induce them to breed. That's a major hurdle I don't think the techno-optimists have considered yet.
I still think so. Maybe the genetically engineered hybrid of the band-tailed pigeon and the passenger pigeon won't have the same need for a large flock to breed as the extinct species seemed to require, although that would be a characteristic that would demonstrate that these wouldn't really be passenger pigeons. If so, it might be worth doing, especially since the experts seem to think the eastern hardwood forest is not as far gone as I thought nearly a decade ago.

Speaking of a decade ago and de-extinction, I wrote Jurassic Park 20 years later and other paleontology news a decade ago. That might make a good topic for a Sunday entertainment feature, although I have something else planned this weekend. In the meantime, I'm not done with biodiversity as tomorrow is World Bee Day and Monday is International Day for Biological Diversity. I'm tempted to recycle 'Prehistoric Planet' previews explore extinct biodiversity on International Day for Biological Diversity with the trailer for season 2. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

George Santos evades expulsion, for now

The next step in George Santos being criminally charged almost happened yesterday, as MSNBC reported House Republicans stall effort to expel George Santos from Congress.

Instead of an up-or-down vote on whether to expel George Santos, Republicans voted along party lines to kick the issue over to the House Ethics Committee—which is already investigating Santos. Congresswoman Becca Balint joins Chris Hayes to discuss.
I'm repeating what I wrote earlier this month.
Kevin "Pickled Tongue" McCarthy and Elise Stefanik aren't going to ask for Santos to resign. They care about his vote more than the dignity and integrity of the House of Representatives. We're stuck with Santos until he either loses re-election or resigns upon conviction (this includes a plea deal, which wouldn't surprise me in the least). Sigh.
Being expelled wasn't among the outcomes I foresaw and this vote shows I was right by not including it. It's not happening.

As for the second Republican Representative Chris Hayes asked Becca Balint about, Paul Gosar, I'm surprised I haven't mentioned him on this blog before. It's about time I did and I should write more about him. Stay tuned.

I close by repeating Representative Balint's question, what has happened to this nation?

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

FiveThirtyEight examines 'How Climate Change Will Reshape Where Americans Live'

I'm returning to climate change today with a follow-up to PBS Terra revealed 'the Safest Place to Live as the Climate Changes' and PBS Terra asks 'What is the RISKIEST Region in the US as the Climate Changes?' I concluded the second post with "I just wish that the economics were such that people would move here instead of into harm's way. That would make a great subject for another post. Stay tuned." The FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast tackled that topic in How Climate Change Will Reshape Where Americans Live.

For decades, Americans have been moving south and west. That migration pattern become apparent in American politics, when seven congressional districts moved states after the 2020 census, and it continues to be visible in the booming construction and job markets in cities across the Sun Belt.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen speaks with author Jake Bittle, who argues that it’s only a matter of time before those trends reverse, or at least shift. Although, this time, he writes in his new book "The Great Displacement," it won’t be cheap housing, low taxes and plentiful jobs that attract people to new places. It will be a worsening climate that pushes them away.
On a local level, the result will look like the climate gentrification Miami is already experiencing.
Some climate refugees will only have to move a few miles, but in the process, they will raise prices for the people who already live there and in turn make them into internal economic migrants and indirect climate refugees as well. Not only does everything must go somewhere, but so does everyone. Without development that accommodate both the original and new residents, the lower income members of the community will have to move. That will just result in them being someone else's problem.
That will be an issue in places the climate migrants/refugees move to as well, climate havens like Michigan. I see this as both a crisis and an opportunity.
I'm in favor of getting people to move here, both because it's a safer place to live (but not immune from the extreme weather associated with climate change as the second video mentioned) and because the state has room. Detroit alone lost more than one million people since its 1950 peak and other Michigan cities have lost people as well, so they alone could take up the slack — that is, if they can become better places to live and work. People moved out of Michigan to seek work, so state and local governments need to work with businesses to promote and create sustainable industries to employ the people who move here and rebuild infrastructure to support them in a warmer and, for Michigan, wetter world. Infrastructure and housing construction to accommodate people moving here will provide a lot of jobs by themselves, but that only lasts so long. Ask Las Vegas, for example.
This might happen sooner than many people expect, as the U.S. is warming faster than the global average, so Michigan and other climate havens need to be prepared for it.

Mentioning Las Vegas reminded me that I should follow up on the water situation in the American West, including Great Salt Lake and Las Vegas. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Randy Rainbow sings 'Welcome to DeSantis!'

While the writers strike has canceled the late-night talk shows, it hasn't canceled Randy Rainbow, as he uploaded Welcome to DeSantis! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody yesterday. Take it away, Randy!

Parody of "Welcome to the 60s" from Hairspray (music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman)
Go Randy! Tell your audience what you really think about Ron DeSantis! Speaking of which, I'm sharing GAY! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody as an encore.

The Randy Rainbow Show: "GAY!"
(Based on "Shy" by Mary Rodgers from Once Upon a Mattress)
I really was in the mood for musical comedy today. How about you?

Monday, May 15, 2023

CNBC explains 'How The U.S. Is Stalling A Recession'

I haven't written about a possible recession since Mark Zandi explains 'What Broke U.S. Recession Indicators' on CNBC last October, focusing more on inflation. That's because inflation has been a more pressing concern than a possible recession, which still hasn't materialized. CNBC examines why there hasn't been a recession yet in How The U.S. Is Stalling A Recession.

Wall Street investors remain braced for a recession. But a turndown hasn't yet materialized, due to strong demand from U.S. consumers. Spending makes up roughly 68% of the U.S. economy. It's remained strong amid high inflation as high-income Americans draw down generous savings accrued in the pandemic. Lower-income Americans who may have exhausted their pandemic savings are increasingly turning to credit cards to finance daily life.
I'm recycling my reaction from Wall Street Journal and CNBC explain 'Why a 2022 Recession Would Be Unlike Any Other'.
The GDP numbers may signal a recession, but consumers and possibly even businesses aren't showing signs of it. We may end up having a "Wile E. Coyote moment" where both look down and realize they are over an abyss and then start falling, but that hasn't happened yet.
That didn't happen while GDP was decreasing during the first half of last year and it hasn't happened since, but we might get one for political reasons instead of economic ones because of the debt ceiling fight.
May we not get what I feared twelve years ago, when I channeled Monty Hall.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for today’s Big Deal. Today’s Big Winner can keep the sugar-coated Satan sandwich he just won, or he can trade it in for what’s behind our three doors. Behind one of them is a clean raising of the debt ceiling and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Behind another is a balanced budget amendment. Behind the third is a sovereign default. So, Big Winner, will you keep your prize, or trade it in for what’s behind Door #1, Door #2, or Door #3? Which do you choose?”
I followed up the next day by writing "We decided to keep the Satan Sandwich...Maybe next time we'll pick what's behind Door #3." Good lord, I hope not, but it looks more likely than a dozen years ago.
I leave my readers the following meme, which I use whenever the U.S. is about to bump its head on the debt ceiling.

May Debt Ceiling Cat be watching negotiations that result in a something other than a sovereign default, which will send the country, if not the world, into an avoidable recession.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

'Social Security’s Top 10 Baby Names of 2022' for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! For this year's celebration, I'm returning to a pre-pandemic theme of the previous year's popular baby names, which I had moved to Father's Day weekend because the announcement had been delayed during the pandemic. Watch Social Security’s Top 10 Baby Names of 2022.

Just arrived! Find out the top 10 baby names of 2022 from Social Security, the source for the most popular baby names each year!
From the SSA website.
Olivia and Liam are once again America’s most popular baby names in 2022.

Liam has topped the list for six years in a row, and Olivia has been the top choice for new parents for four years. There is only one new name in the top 10, with Luna crawling into the top 10 for the first time.
Luna replaced Harper, last year's number ten among girl's names. Here's the list of the top ten from the SSA website.

There was some shuffling of names in the top ten. Among boy's names, James and Elijah swapped places, Henry jumped over Lucas and Benjamin, which also swapped places, while the rest remained in their ranks from last year. Girl's names showed more stability, with Sophia and Isabella leaping over Ava, but the rest staying in their slots other than Luna replacing Harper, which appears in the next list.

Harper slipped to eleventh, as seen in the top 20 names, so it didn't fall far. On the other hand, a name I've been tracking for years, Mateo, the name of Jane's son in "Jane the Virgin," continued its rise to eleventh from fifteenth in 2021, twentieth in 2020, 26th in 2019, and 37th in 2018. I wouldn't be surprised if Mateo reached the top ten this year or next. Xiomara, the character's grandmother's name, also continued gaining in popularity, rising to 494 from 551 in 2021, 606 in 2020, and 652 in 2019. Considering the show ended its run on the CW in 2019, these names serve as testament to its continued popularity. On the other hand, the popularity of Jane itself continues to sink, dropping to 290 from 265 last year after peaking at 261 in 2020. Still, not bad.

AARP examined names from another popular show to bolster this as the Sunday entertainment feature.
Homer was a reasonably popular name in the early 20th century, ranking 80th in 1900, according to the SSA. Its last appearance on the list was in 1983, well before the debut of The Simpsons, which probably doomed the name for decades. (For completists, Maggie was the No. 295 girl’s name in 2022, Lisa was at No. 933, Bart last made the top 1,000 in 1987; and Marge dropped off the list in the late 1940s.)
Other than awards show nominations, I don't write about "The Simpsons" much here, even though I went to college with the animator of the show's opening sequences. I even marched in the UCLA Band and played in the same section as him.

Now for the fastest-rising names last year.

AARP had the following to say about this list.
For soon-to-be parents on the cutting edge, the fastest-rising names of 2022 were Dutton for boys, making its first appearance on the list at No. 835, and Wrenlee for girls, debuting at No. 712 (not to be confused — or, perhaps, often to be confused — with Wrenley, No. 284).
Amiri, this year's fifth-fastest rising name, made the list last year as a boy's name, where it's the fourteenth fastest rising name this year, jumping 238 places to 521 from 759. Search revealed that Amiri is the name of a fashion designer of men's and women's clothing, shoes, and accessories. It's still not as popular as a boy's name as Armani, which was 398 last year. I take both names as displaying aspirations of wealth and luxury, as well as being entertainment-adjacent.

I may return with "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones" names for Father's Day. In the meantime, Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

PBS Terra asks 'Why Is The U.S. Warming Faster Than Average?'

It's been nearly a month since PBS Terra asks 'Can Green Energy Make The Grid SAFER?' examined how energy, infrastructure, and technology can fight climate change, so it's time to return to the topic with PBS Terra asking Why Is The U.S. Warming Faster Than Average?

We’ve all heard that we should keep global climate change under 2 degrees of warming, but did you know that there are many places around the globe that have already surpassed that? Some places around the globe are experiencing extreme warming, while other places have actually seen some cooling. So what’s with all the variation?

In this episode of Weathered, we’ll talk with a couple climate scientists from NOAA to dive deep into the numbers, and we’ll call up a resident of the fastest warming county in the U.S. to see what it's like.

Weathered is a show hosted by weather expert Maiya May and produced by Balance Media that helps explain the most common natural disasters, what causes them, how they’re changing, and what we can do to prepare.
That's a good explanation for the stair-stepping pattern of warming over the past half-century in general and the temperature plateau since 2016 in particular, with 2020 only tying 2016. That's because of relatively weak El Niño years and three strong La Niña years in a row. As the video points out, El Niño is back in 2023, and that means higher temperatures globally and especially in the U.S. Prepare for a hot summer and a mild winter. The first isn't good, while the second will likely elicit a response like the skit in Classified documents leak headlines 'Weekend Update' on 'SNL'.
"It's mid-April here in New York City and the temperature hit 90 degrees this week, a full two months ahead of schedule. And while that may be terrifying on a climate level, the warm weather can only mean one thing. All the freaks, crazies, and weirdos are heading to Central Park." Yes, it is terrifying on a climate change level, but after even a mild winter, a week of summer temperatures would be considered "good weather" this time of year. Let's see if people still think that should the northeast and midwest suffer from excessive heat waves this summer.
I haven't changed my mind about this.

Stay tuned for Mother's Day, which might also be the Sunday entertainment feature.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Two Twitter announcements — Tucker Carlson's Twitter show and Elon Musk hiring a new CEO for Twitter

I told my readers to "Stay tuned for a retrospective of the blog's year on Twitter tomorrow for Flashback Friday" yesterday, so I looked for news about Twitter and, wow, did I find some! First, an update to the continuing saga of Tucker Carlson and leaving Fox News from NBC News, Former FOX host Tucker Carlson to launch a new show on Twitter.

Former FOX News host Tucker Carlson is relaunching his show on Twitter, which he announced in a three minute video posted to his account.
I should have figured that Fox News was still paying Carlson as long as he complied with the non-compete clause in his contract. I should have also figured out that Carlson, who is not only the son of a former head of the Voice of America, but also the stepson of Patricia Swanson, an heiress to the Swanson TV dinner company her grandfather Carl Swanson founded, might not be motivated enough by the money to stay "off the air." Technically speaking, neither cable nor the Internet are "on the air" the way broadcast radio and television are, but there isn't a better expression. Instead, he wants to be heard and seen by his audience and affect current events. Some things are more important than money.

The other news I found was Elon Musk announcing that he's hiring a CEO to replace him at Twitter. Yahoo! News has that story in NBCUniversal's Linda Yaccarino reportedly in talks to be named new Twitter CEO.

Yahoo Finance Live's Julie Hyman and Brad Smith report on NBCUniversal's Linda Yaccarino in talks to be named Twitter's new CEO, Elon Musk transitioning to CTO, and how this will impact Twitter.
Close listening to Brad Smith sounded like news of Linda Yaccarino's resignation broke as they were recording this segment. CNBC Television confirmed that news in NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino resigns amid talks for Twitter CEO.

CNBC's Julia Boorstin joins 'Squawk on the Street' to report on the latest news.
At least Musk found someone who has the skills to reverse Twitter's weakness among advertisers. Just the same, the jury's out, as it was when I last commented on his ownership in 'SNL' shares scary news for Halloween 2022.
'SNL' shares Easter wishes in its cold open included a Weekend Update clip about Elon Musk buying Twitter, but I haven't said anything about since because I wasn't sure it would happen and I wanted to see how would work out if it did. It has and so far I'm not positively impressed. I'm not surprised about that, either.
My opinion hasn't changed in the six months since.

As for Carlson's announced show on Twitter, I hope it will have the same result as Donald Trump returning to Facebook and Twitter, a reversal of his 2021 bans: "I think it will work out as well as reopening Jurassic Park, a spectacular and entertaining disaster."

Follow over the jump for a retrospective of the blog's year on Twitter.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

John Oliver on 'Biden & The Border' and FiveThirtyEight on immigration for the end of Title 42

The public health emergencies in response to the pandemic end today. One of those emergency responses is Title 42, which turned away undocumented immigrants, including legal asylum seekers, at the border as a public health measure. That ends today, too. I'm sharing two examinations of this situation, beginning with John Oliver's Biden & The Border from April 30, 2023.

John Oliver discusses the things Biden has promised to fix about our southern border, what he has and hasn’t done, and a magnificent pile of gators.
The anecdote that people working in the White House expressed relief when the courts blocked the lifting of Title 42 reminds me that a major reason Democratic leaners do not identify with the Democratic Party is frustration with the party’s leaders over inability to accomplish campaign promises and other Democratic agenda times. This story serves as an example of that and adds an extra layer of insufficient commitment to lifting the restrictions as well.

I also found comparing the asylum appointment app to Ticketmaster to be appropriately apt and insulting. I like it better than what first came to my mind, trying to get into the virtual queue for a hot new ride at Disney World through Genie+. I think more people have had bad experiences with Ticketmaster.

That was the comedic examination of the issue. Now for a serious one from FiveThirtyEight, Where The Immigration Debate Stands Today | FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast.

Title 42 is expiring on Thursday night, a pandemic-era rule allowing the U.S. government to turn away asylum seekers at the border as a public health measure. This comes at a time when apprehensions at the border are already at record highs and Americans give President Biden some of his lowest ratings on his handling of immigration.

According to Gallup, Americans say immigration is the third-biggest problem facing the country, behind the economy and poor leadership. And the number who say that the level of immigration in the U.S. should be decreased has doubled to 40 percent since Biden took office.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen speaks with Georgetown economics professor Anna Maria Mayda about what Americans think of immigration and why, its impacts on the U.S. and its politics, and how that compares with other countries.
Listening to the effects of immigration on wages, employment, local government, and the economy reminds me of a paragraph from CNBC asks 'Is The U.S. Running Out Of People?' that I recycled in Samantha Bee was prepared for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
[I]f not enough babies are born in the U.S. to meet our job demand, the country can allow more immigration. I'm O.K. with that, but Donald Trump became president in large part because many Americans weren't and still aren't. That's why, when one of my students asked in 2015 if the U.S. would ever adopt Chinese population policies, I responded no, that's not the American way. If the U.S. thinks it has an overpopulation issue, it would restrict immigration. The next week, Trump rode down the escalator and denounced immigrants. This is one of those cases where I hate being proved right.
If increasing immigration is not an acceptable solution, then increasing the U.S. birth rate would be.
That will alleviate labor shortages in the medium-to-long-term. It would not help with the current one. An apparent short-term solution is allowing more child labor; I expressed my disapproval in Fox News didn't have to apologize, so 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' did it for them.
I think relaxing child labor laws is not a good way to deal with a labor shortage. I prefer raising wages and improving working conditions so more adults will return to the workforce. Instead, Iowa has joined Arkansas and several other states in permitting teens to work more. I find that worrisome and a reversal of a century of progress.
That's a clear set of choices — increased legal immigration, improved wages and work conditions, or more child labor. I'm with Professor Mayda that the choices should be made clear to voters, whether French or American. I may disapprove of the eventual choice, but at least the voters will have made their decision consciously and explicitly instead of blundering into it. Also, everyone will know what their priorities really are.

Enough of this serious topic for today. Stay tuned for a retrospective of the blog's year on Twitter tomorrow for Flashback Friday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Trump found liable for sexual abuse and defamation and Santos reported criminally charged

Stephanie Ruhle hosted a panel about yesterday's legal news on MSNBC in Breaking down Trump sexual abuse verdict, George Santos federal charges.

The jury in E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit against the former president rejected the rape allegation. Meanwhile, Republican Congressman George Santos has reportedly been charged with federal offenses. Tim O’Brien, Cynthia Alksne and Charles Coleman break down the day’s legal bombshells.
Allow me this rant about the Republicans as "the party of law and order" — that's branding for being the party of using the law to maintain the social order. If the law doesn't maintain the social order, the party's not for it. It's right up there with "pro-life" for anti-abortion, "fiscal responsibility" for not spending money and people and causes the party disapproves of, regardless of whether it makes economic sense, and "pro-family" for discriminating against people who don't fit in the Twentieth Century nuclear family — all branding for gaining power to enforce the social order. Don't believe those slogans as anything else. Once that's clear, all the lawlessness by GOP members and politicians makes perfect sense.

PBS NewsHour went into more detail about yesterday's verdict in Breaking down the verdict as jury finds Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation, where it was the top story as well.

A New York jury found former President Trump liable for sexually abusing columnist E. Jean Carroll in the mid-90s and later defaming her. The nine jurors deliberated for a few hours before delivering their verdict and awarding Carroll $5 million. Trump called the verdict "a disgrace" and his lawyers said they will appeal. Amna Nawaz discussed the case with Andrea Bernstein and Laura Beth Nielsen.
Vox didn't list this case among The Trump investigations you should actually care about, but those were about criminal cases, this is a civil suit, but it turned out to be the first decided against Donald Trump since that video. It won't send him to jail — not that I think that will happen; as I wrote when TFG was indicted, "I expect he'll be sentenced to house arrest in Trump Tower with the Secret Service as his guards, at least for this set of crimes. He might get a more severe punishment if he's indicted and convicted for crimes in Georgia and Washington, D.C." — but it's a finding that he engaged in criminal behavior, even if he's not convicted of criminal charges. The judgment will hang over the rest of his re-election campaign. Too bad the lawlessness of the GOP primary voters is likely to allow him to be re-nominated.

On the other hand, George Santos is facing criminal charges, as MSNBC reported George Santos criminally charged by DOJ, calls for McCarthy to remove him from Congress on All In with Chris Hayes last night.

Congressman Dan Goldman (D-NY): “For George Santos to have a vote that counts as much as my vote is a travesty and I think that hopefully the Speaker will come around and recognize that that’s the right thing to do.”
Goldman's right. Kevin "Pickled Tongue" McCarthy and Elise Stefanik aren't going to ask for Santos to resign. They care about his vote more than the dignity and integrity of the House of Representatives. We're stuck with Santos until he either loses re-election or resigns upon conviction (this includes a plea deal, which wouldn't surprise me in the least). Sigh.

It's unfortunate that the writers strike has canceled the late-night talk shows. The jokes about these two stories would have been priceless.