Finally Friday Reads: Your Extra Hour comes on Sunday!

EMIL NOLDE, Lake Lucerne, 1931-34

Good Day Sky Dancers!

We’re closing in on “the most wonderful day of the year!” Since it’s my birthday, I’m allowed one rant, and annually, it has to do with “Rejoice in the End of Daylight Saving Time.” This is from The Atlantic, and the opinion’s written by Katherine J. Wu.

This weekend, I’ll be waking up to one of my favorite days of the year: a government-sanctioned 25-hour Sunday. Forget birthdays, forget my anniversary; heck, forget the magic of Christmas. On Sunday, I’ll get to do a bit of time traveling as most of the United States transitions out of daylight saving time back into glorious, glorious standard time.

I may be a standard-time stan, but I’m no monster. I feel for the die-hard fans of DST. With the push of a button, or the turn of a dial, most Americans will be cleaving an hour of brightness out of their afternoons, at a time of year when days are already fast-dimming. Leaving work to a dusky sky is a bummer; a pre-dinner stroll cut short by darkness can really be the pits.

But if we all put aside our differences for just a moment, we can celebrate the fact that this weekend, nearly all Americans—regardless of where they sit on the DST love-hate spectrum—will be blessed with a 25-hour day, and that freaking rocks. If we must live in a dumb world where the dumb clocks shift twice a dumb year, let’s at least come together on the objective greatness of falling back.

I don’t want to minimize the nuisance of the time shift. Toggling back and forth twice a year is an absolute pain, and many Americans cheered when the Senate unanimously passed a proposal earlier this year to move the entire U.S. to permanent daylight saving time. But Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and the host of the podcast Choiceology—who, by the way, loathes the end of DST—told me we can all reframe the autumn clock change “as a windfall.” Sunday will contain a freebie hour to do whatever we like. Rafael Pelayo, a sleep specialist at Stanford, will be spending his at the farmers’ market; Ken Carter, a psychologist and self-described morning person at Emory University, told me he might chill with an extra cup of coffee and his cats. I’m planning to split my minutes between a nap and Paper Girls (the graphic novel, not the show).

I will probably walk Temple a little longer that morning and then enjoy some tea and breadmaking.

I got a pretty good laugh as some friendly remaining Twitter employer or algorithm has fact-checked the Chief Twit.

And here’s the fun part!

And let’s just track some of those down!

This is from Newsweek. “Every Advertiser to Pull Out of Twitter Since Musk’s Takeover—Full List”. Many businesses don’t want to be associated with a site that lets NAZIs, Racists, and nasty-talking idiots run amok, according to those asking those businesses.  For some reason, everyone but Musk gets it.

Since Elon Musk‘s takeover of Twitter last week, at least six major companies have stopped advertising on the platform over concerns about how the billionaire will affect content moderation policies on the app.

During the rocky process of acquiring the platform, marked by U-turns, controversies, and lawsuits, Musk pledged to make Twitter a champion of free speech. This promise led many right-wingers to see Musk’s takeover as a victory for conservatives over political correctness, though the Tesla CEO is yet to implement any changes to the way the platform moderates content.

But where right-wingers saw potential, many companies appear to have spotted a risk of damage to their business, especially after a sudden surge of slurs and hateful comments were reported on the platform immediately following Musk’s takeover.

This could be a problem for Musk’s Twitter: before his takeover, the company reported making 90 percent of its revenue from advertisers. Now that Twitter is set to charge its blue-tick users $8 per month to keep their verified badge, it’s unclear whether this could make up for lost revenues from advertising.

Marsh Landscape with Farmhouses at Utenwarf, Emile Nolde,

Most of us can live without “slurs and hateful comments.”  This list is from The Daily Mail.

General Mills, Audi and Pfizer join growing list of companies pausing advertising on Twitter amid fears the platform won’t be a ‘safe place for brands’ after Musk’s $44B takeover

  • Audi and Cheerios-maker General Mills confirmed an ad pause on Thursday
  • Pfizer and Oreos-maker Mondelez also reportedly halted Twitter spending
  • Brands are watching nervously to see how Twitter evolves under Elon Musk
  • Musk insists that it will be safe for brands and not a ‘free-for-all hellscape’
  • General Motors previously announced a pause in its Twitter ad spending
  • Carmakers are especially worried about fair treatment from Tesla CEO Musk 

And you can check this out of you want from the Washington Post: “Elon Musk begins mass layoffs at Twitter. Employees said the layoffs came across teams, as Twitter broadly reduced its workforce. Musk originally pitched investors on cutting Twitter’s staff up to 75 percent.” Sounds like they’re in serious need of a union.

Elon Musk is beginning mass layoffs at Twitter, sharply reducing the company’s workforce of 7,500 and kicking off his wholesale overhaul of the company.

An email went out to the company’s employees late Thursday notifying employees of plans to cut jobs, informing them that by 9 a.m. Pacific time Friday, workers would receive an email with the subject line: “Your Role at Twitter.”

Those keeping their jobs would be notified on their company email. Those losing them would be told via their personal email.

Marshy Landscape Under the Evening Sky, c.1943

What a guy!

All of this becomes before the Hatefest of our Times.  The Midterm ballots probably won’t be counted by November 14, but that will not stop Orange Caligula’s big announcement. This is from Axios: “Scoop: Trump team eyes Nov. 14 announcement,” reported by Jonathan Swan.   I need a replacement for my now deceased 1976 RCA TV in my bedroom.  Maybe, I’ll just extend my shopping past that date so I don’t have to see any of it anywhere.

Former President Trump’s inner circle is discussing announcing the launch of a 2024 presidential campaign on Nov. 14 — with the official announcement possibly followed by a multi-day series of political events, according to three sources familiar with the sensitive discussions.

Why it matters: Trump and his top advisers have been signaling for weeks that a 2024 announcement is imminent. But those discussions have reached the point that allies are blocking off days in their calendars for the week after the midterms — and preparing to travel.

What we’re hearing: With polls pointing toward a good night for Republicans on Tuesday, Trump plans to surf the GOP’s expected post-midterm euphoria to build momentum for his own effort to retake the White House.

  • Look for Trump to take credit for Republican victories across the board —including those he propelled with his endorsements, and even those he had nothing to do with.

Between the lines: Trump has long planned to announce shortly after midterms — and even toyed with announcing before Nov. 8 — in an effort to get ahead of potential rivals for the GOP’s 2024 nomination, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

  • In recent weeks, Trump has been inching closer and closer to saying he is running, relishing the applause as he hints to his rally crowds that he’s doing it.
  • At his Thursday rally in Sioux City, Iowa, Trump said: “In order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again … Get ready that’s all I’m telling you — very soon. Get ready.”
  • A Trump spokesman declined to comment. The discussions are still fluid and could change depending on Tuesday’s results, especially if the Senate still hangs in the balance and the Georgia race between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock goes to a run-off.

Reality check: It’s Trump. So anything could happen — or not. He’s conflicted on the timing and nothing is ever certain. But people who have been close to him for many years are lacing up for the next race.

Emil Nolde, Meer mit zwei qualmenden Dampfern [Sea With Two Smoldering Steamboats], 1930,

Maybe the Justice Department will fit the frogmarch in before then.  We can always hope.  CNN also has an exclusive: “Exclusive: DOJ mulling potential special counsel if Trump runs in 2024”.

Now federal investigators are planning for a burst of post-election activity in Trump-related investigations. That includes the prospect of indictments of Trump’s associates – moves that could be made more complicated if Trump declares a run for the presidency.

“They can crank up charges on almost anybody if they wanted to,” said one defense attorney working on January 6-related matters, who added defense lawyers have “have no idea” who ultimately will be charged.

“This is the scary thing,” the attorney said.

Trump and his associates also face legal exposure in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the Peach State and expects to wrap her probe by the end of the year.

Indicting an active candidate for the White House would surely spark a political firestorm. And while no decision has been made about whether a special counsel might be needed in the future, DOJ officials have debated whether doing so could insulate the Justice Department from accusations that Joe Biden’s administration is targeting his chief political rival, people familiar with the matter tell CNN.

Special counsels, of course, are hardly immune from political attacks. Both former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe came under withering criticism from their opponents.

Milkmaids I, 1903 by Emil Nolde,© Nolde Stiftung Seeb

I wonder if we’ll get an increase or a decrease in White Christiani Nationalist Activity if any of this comes to pass. This morning, the New York Times had this frightening headline: “F.B.I. Locates Suspect After Warning of Security Threat at New Jersey Synagogues. Officials said the man holds “radical extremist views.” On Thursday, they had alerted congregations across the state to be on alert.”

It was not clear whether he was in custody, but officials said the threat had been “mitigated.”

“He no longer poses a threat to the community at this time,” James E. Dennehy, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Newark office, said during a morning conference call with state and federal law enforcement officials and more than 500 Jewish leaders.

Mr. Dennehy said investigators believed that the man, who is from New Jersey, was acting alone, but they are continuing to pursue leads about people he might have been in contact with. The man was not publicly identified, and officials offered no additional information about whether he had been charged with a crime.

He was located Thursday night, officials said, and questioned for a “few hours.”

“He expressed radical, extremist views and ideology, as well as an extreme amount of hate against the Jewish community,” Mr. Dennehy said.

Hakeem Jeffries may follow Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.  This is from Politico: “How a secret meeting put Hakeem Jeffries on track to replace Pelosi. Behind the scenes, House Democrats battle to anoint their next generation of leaders.”

The race to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats may have been clinched at a meeting in the Capitol on Sept. 1.

That’s when House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York slipped back to Washington to connect in Clyburn’s office during the summer congressional recess at Jeffries’ request.

Jeffries, the fifth-ranking House Democrat who aspires to be the first-ranking House Democrat in the next Congress, was picking up heightened chatter from colleagues about California Rep. Adam Schiff’s outreach expressing his own interest in the top caucus job.

The 52-year-old Jeffries was concerned enough that he offered to fly to South Carolina to seek the counsel of the 82-year-old Clyburn. The younger lawmaker wanted to gently make sure his elder in the Congressional Black Caucus knew of Schiff’s quiet campaign — and to even more gently warn Clyburn about the risk of splitting votes between them and opening a path for the ambitious Californian.

Jeffries need not have been alarmed.

“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” Clyburn said in an interview about Jeffries. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”

Asked if he would be willing to serve in an emeritus role in the leadership, Clyburn said he is “willing to do anything the caucus thinks is to their benefit,” noting that Jeffries has “referred to me as a mentor.”

Evening Glow, 1915
Emil Nolde (born Emil Hansen)

I’m going to end with a question by Greg Sargent at The Washington Post who asks a question that I frequently ask: “Why isn’t Trumpism hurting the GOP?” 

Something extraordinary just happened: In the space of just this week, a president and an ex-president warned that the opposition poses an existential threat to our political way of life. Joe Biden declared that “MAGA Republicans” have placed democracy “under threat.” Barack Obama warned that if GOP election deniers win in Arizona, “democracy may not survive.”

Yet the ongoing MAGA threat to U.S. democracy, including from Donald Trump himself, isn’t harming Republican chances of winning the House and very plausibly the Senate. Some think Democratic warnings are backfiring: Former Obama strategist David Axelrod suggested vulnerable Democrats don’t want the unpopular Biden to elevate himself in the election’s home stretch.

Why hasn’t the threat to democracy extracted a heavier price from Republicans? Is it true that vulnerable Democrats don’t want Biden to prominently address the topic? If so, should he have stood down, since Democrats themselves think protecting democracy above all requires keeping MAGA Republicans out of power? Could a more forceful case have made this a bigger voting issue?

I raised these questions with a number of senior Democratic strategists and pollsters working on tough House and Senate races. The answers that emerged are complicated, nuanced — and ultimately vexing.

First, it’s critical to note that messages about the threat to democracy mean different things to different voter groups, which means they help Democrats in some ways but not in others.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake has found this mixed picture in extensive work withfocus groups. Elevating threats to democracy, political violence and the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Lake tells me, “helps mobilize the Democratic base,” and, importantly, this kicked in at a key moment, when anger over the demise of abortion rights was “receding” in late summer.

Thisis not a small matter. Threats-to-democracy talkalso galvanizes volunteers, who are critical amid soaring polarization and races decided on the margins, says Ezra Levin, co-founder of the progressive group Indivisible.

I think it’s because many Republicans see their ability to be public assholes and not be held to account for it as their idea of democracy. Correct me if I am wrong.  Anyway, I’m going to have a nice quiet day, with the only goal being to relax and not let things get to me.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

21 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: Your Extra Hour comes on Sunday!”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a great weekend! Remember, Election Day is Tuesday! Vote and watch the returns with us!

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    This is so unbelievable!

  5. NW Luna says:

    Many businesses don’t want to be associated with a site that lets NAZIs, Racists, and nasty-talking idiots run amok, according to those asking those businesses.

    Many businesses have been quite happy to be associated with a site that lets misogynists and nasty-talking idiots run amok making rape and death threats against women, and which bans women and a few men for stating biological facts.

    I don’t like Musk, but everyone who’s now upset about Musk’s editorial philosophy seems to have no idea that pre-Musk Twitter was women-hating.

    • NW Luna says:

    • darthvelma says:

      I hear ya. All the people losing their mind over the increased use of the “n” word on Twitter last week…yes, racist slurs are terrible. But so are misogynist slurs and I didn’t hear them raising a fuss over Twitter letting people call women all sorts of vile names for years.

  6. NW Luna says: