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Apple's bet on wearable technology, with devices like the Apple Watch Series 5 and AirPods, has already paid off in a big way. But the company's earnings in this regard will continue to rise according to a new report.
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Apple has partnered with Samsung, eBay, and Sprint on a brand new 500-megawatt wind farm located in Texas.
Next to Donald Trump, there may be no White House figure who is so clearly headed to a future of prosecution and shame than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Yes, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney assembled Trump’s “three amigos” hit squad to go twist arms in Ukraine and was directly responsible for pulling the plug on already approved military assistance. And sure, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry was actually on the ground, participating in creating an existential crisis for an allied nation in exchange for lies. Attorney General William Barr had his name literally all over the not-a-transcript of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president. And Mike Pence was … there. But no one else was as deeply involved, and as deeply complicit, in every step of the process as Pompeo.
What the record shows for Mike Pompeo—West Point and Harvard Law School graduate—is simply a staggering, staggering, degree of cowardice. Pompeo was the man in place between the diplomats trying to maintain a semblance of orderly foreign policy in the face of a Trump White House that was flip-flopping madly on the basis of Sean Hannity monologues, what sports figures were refusing to come to the White House on a given day, and Trump’s semi-secret history of failed real estate deals. It was up to Pompeo to maintain vital relationships, protect national security, and reassure allies even as Trump was breaking treaties and tossing his arm around tyrants. And he failed. He failed hard.
Again and again, Pompeo was given the opportunity to salvage both America’s standing in the world and his own dignity. He was approached repeatedly by people on his own staff warning him about the damage being done and the genuinely criminal figures moving against the diplomatic staff. His staff. But rather than stand up for his people, Pompeo refused to help. More than that, he made himself utterly complicit in schemes to defraud the nation, destroy alliances, and demean the people he was supposed to protect.
Donald Trump may be the main villain of the last four years. William Barr may be his most odious henchman. But no one defines utter failure to act in the face of wrongdoing like Mike Pompeo.
Why am I blogging at 6:30 am Pacific time? In fact, why have I been blogging and reading all night?
You may recall that back in 2018 I took 8mg of Dexamethasone once a week. It kept me up all night, and I mostly used those nights to take pictures and to write idiosyncratic explanations of general relativity. In January I rebelled and stopped taking the dex. It took two months to wear off, but by March I felt pretty good—which is to say, normal. In May I took a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sadly, my cancer load increased, and in July I restarted the dex along with a new drug. In August I was casting around for a trip to take before the dex kicked in, and that’s when I went to Colombia.
Now, my doctor and I had agreed on an experiment: instead of 8mg of dex once a week, I would take 4mg of dex twice a week. This might allow me to sleep on dex nights and would have a milder side effects on the other days.
The first part worked: with a big slug of Ambien in hand, I could manage 5-6 hours of sleep. Not bad. The second part was a failure. Not only were the side effects just as bad—fatigue, lots of napping, etc.—but they pretty much lasted all week. There was no break from feeling lousy.
So yesterday I went back to the old regime: 8mg of dex on Monday. So far I’ve noticed two things: I’ve been more talkative than usual and I was up all night despite taking the strongest Ambien I have. I expected that. So I’ll ditch the Ambien completely and just become a talkative night owl on Mondays. I will still suffer the side effects, of course, but hopefully they will last two days, maybe three at most, and I will have at least Thursday-Monday to feel relatively normal. We’ll see.
The Apple TV app launched on the Amazon Fire TV Stick recently, and is coming to other Amazon Fire TV devices soon. However, users are hitting a very common roadblock when trying to set up and sign in to the TV app on their Fire Stick. Here’s the fix …
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The Republican National Committee has poured money into swamping House Democrats’ offices with anti-impeachment phone calls in recent weeks. This isn’t your standard campaign of sending an email urging supporters to call. It’s not just about pressuring lawmakers, either.
“The fact that the calls to congressional offices, estimated to number 11,000, were partly intended to jam the phone lines of House Democrats—potentially thwarting access to government offices—was described at a recent dinner of more than a dozen Republican aides, advisers and elected officials, known as the ‘Off the Record’ dinner,” The New York Times reports. “Officials with the Republican National Committee told others at the dinner about the calls, suggesting they were automated and indicating that the aim was to tie up the phones in Democratic offices, according to two people briefed on what was said.”
The RNC used a vendor to “survey” voters, then offered the strongly anti-impeachment voters the opportunity to be patched through to their House member’s office. That’s part of a broader effort including scripts handed out at Trump rallies, texts, and more.
Getting people to call their representatives to express their opinions is a good thing. Doing so with the express intention of jamming phone lines is … a very Republican thing, anyway.
As of Monday morning, 2,071 of you signed up to help Get Out The Vote today to help in Virginia, Texas, and Mississippi. That's on top of what the Daily Kos community has done so far with your small dollar donations to help. Literally small dollar—the average donation to these campaigns is $3.76, to contribute to a total of $400,000 raised for the 2019 general election. That's as grassroots as it gets.
In Virginia, we've helped a slate of diverse and fantastic, progressives to be in a position to flip the state legislature. In Texas, we've boosted Eliz Markowitz in her bid to start the coming blue wave in a special election run for a state House seat. And in the deepest red state of the deep south, Jennifer Riley Collins is poised to make history in a bid to become attorney general of Mississippi.
Today is the final push. If you live in Virginia, or Texas, or Mississippi, you can volunteer to GOTV in person. But if you're invested in these campaigns but don't live there, you can still help.
And always, thanks for everything that you do!
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Stephen Colbert discussed the procedures for an impeachment trial in the Senate with Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who was plugging his new book, "Desk 88."
"When it comes to the Senate, what's that going to be like? A jury of 100 people seems a little excessive. Twelve is hard to wrangle. Who is going to be in charge of the Democrats?" Colbert asked.
Sen. Brown said he didn't think anyone was in charge.
"I think we're told -- I've never been through this and most senators have, I believe we're told we have to remain silent every hour of every day until the trial is over," he said.
"You can't talk -- which is a constitutional crisis of its own," Colbert quipped. "You can't talk to each other or have phones. Which will be the hardest?"
Brown said his wife (columnist Connie Schultz) told him "it's hardest for me not to talk that long."
He went on to praise Nancy Pelosi and called her "the best legislative leaders since Lyndon Johnson and maybe more. So I trust her to do this right, I expect the impeachment to happen. We will have this trial and what I'm hopeful is, the hundred senators, just like in a court of law, doesn't listen to public opinion, a jury doesn't listen to public opinion, the hundred of us should base this on the facts and the evidence.
"I'm hopeful the Republicans and Democrats alike take it that seriously."
I know that what I’m about to write is obvious to a lot of people, but I think it’s probably worth making a lot more obvious. Here goes.
Elizabeth Warren announced her Medicare for All plan last week, and since we’re liberals we immediately jumped on it, demanded more details, deconstructed it, analyzed its benefits, and blue-penciled its costs and funding sources. There’s no help for that. As the Geico ad says: we’re liberals, it’s what we do.
Fine. But we all recognize that it doesn’t matter, don’t we? For starters, to put her plan in place we’d need to win the presidency and the Senate, and that’s a tough task. Then we’d need to eliminate the filibuster, which is very, very unlikely since a few Democrats have already said they wouldn’t join in.
But suppose we miraculously do all that. Actual legislation depends mostly on the Senate, not on President Warren or Speaker Pelosi. This means that health care legislation can’t be more progressive than the 50th most liberal senator, which is likely to be someone like Joe Manchin or Doug Jones. So even in the best case we won’t get the M4A plan that Warren is campaigning on. Not even close.
What this means is that these M4A plans shouldn’t be treated like real legislation to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Rather, they should be treated like Republican tax cut proposals. Nobody bothers to analyze them (except for liberal think tanks, natch) because no one takes them seriously. They are meant merely as markers to show where your heart is. A weak plan shows that you’re a RINO. A big tax cut shows you’re a strong conservative. And a ridiculous plan shows that you’re a lunatic—which might or might not be a good thing depending on the mood of the electorate.
So forget the details. Warren and Sanders are deliberately selling themselves as lunatics. Their plans mean nothing except that they are true blue liberals. Don’t try to read any more than that into them. Biden and Buttigieg and Booker are demonstrating that they’re part of the mainstream Obama wing of the party. And Amy Klobuchar is . . . not trying to demonstrate her DINO credentials, but she’s close.
Bottom line: stop sweating the details. Candidate plans aren’t meant to pencil out with a lot of precision. They’re rough drafts designed to show where their hearts are at. Smart analysts will mosttly take them that way.
Researchers have shown lasers and other focused light sources can be used to inject voice commands from a distance on Siri and other voice assistants.
While there are many Thunderbolt 3 docks on the market already, OWC has designed its latest release for professional creators and producers. It includes 10Gb Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, CFast 2.0 and SD 4.0 card readers, an eSATA port, and more.
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Microsoft Outlook for Mac is getting a long-overdue user interface overhaul, performance improvements and added functionality, according to the Verge.
The scheduled witnesses are expected to be no-shows, but Tuesday's transcripts could be blockbusters
Dig hole, insert head. It’s not exactly a new strategy for the Trump White House, but it is being executed at a high level this week as a whole line-up of potential witnesses for the House impeachment inquiry go mysteriously missing. The House leadership held the vote that Republicans said they wanted. The judiciary has weighed in to say that the inquiry is absolutely legitimate and the subpoenas being produced carry the full weight of any other impeachment process. And still the inquiry is expected to see nothing but empty chairs on Tuesday, just as it did on Monday.
On Monday, the no shows included Robert Blair, a top aide to acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; senior OMB official Brian McCormack, National Security Council attorney Michael Ellis; and chief attorney for the NSC—and man with a highly secure server he’s not afraid to use in burying Trump secrets—John Eisenberg. For Tuesday, expect empty chairs that represent yet another OMB no-show in the non-form of Michael Duffey, and Wells Griffith, who is an assistant to Energy Secretary Rick Perry. All of them will be nice footnotes on the one or more charges of contempt of Congress that are certain to adorn Donald Trump’s articles of impeachment.
But while the only testimony being generated on Tuesday will be of the kind that speaks to a failure to cooperate or obey the law, that doesn’t mean some important words won’t be emerging. Because another pair of transcripts will be released on Tuesday, as Adam Schiff and Democratic leadership does just what Republicans have been claiming they wanted all along — make every word of what was said in closed door hearings visible to the public.
This set of transcripts are expected to come from the depositions of acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and the special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. The two are something of a study in contrast. Volker is one of the “three amigos” put together by Mulvaney and charged with arm-twisting to get the “investigations” that Trump wanted from Ukraine. Taylor is an experienced diplomat, horrified by the treatment of former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch—whose deposition was released on Monday—and repeatedly shocked by the clear intentions of Trump’s team to bludgeon Ukrainian officials into providing political dirt in exchange for survival.
After initially using the baseline iPhone 11 as my daily driver, I transitioned over to the iPhone 11 Pro Max in order to see if Apple’s top-of-the-line hardware was good enough to justify its price premium. As you’ll see in this hands-on iPhone 11 Pro review, I came away with a conclusion that largely mirrors last year’s efforts.
Like last year, I think it’s wise for the majority of users to opt for the entry-level iPhone, as that device will more than meet the needs of most customers who are looking to upgrade. However, there are a few use cases that warrant splurging for the iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max over the baseline model. Have a look at the full video review for the details. more…
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Donald Trump just struck a blow for every white person who ever asked in February why there’s no White History Month. (Answer, as always: Because that’s every damn month.) Since a 1990 proclamation by Republican President George H.W. Bush, November has been Native American Heritage Month. Trump himself proclaimed Native American Heritage Month in 2017 and 2018, but in 2019 he decided to go full white nationalist, proclaiming November to be "National American History and Founders Month."
Because who really doesn’t get enough credit? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton … yeah, those guys are basically forgotten and unacknowledged. And what do you know: honoring them turns out to be all about the Trump agenda. “From overthrowing tyrannical rule in the Revolutionary War to liberating Europe from Nazi control during World War II, the United States will always remain steadfast in our dedication to promoting liberty and justice over the evil forces of oppression and indignity,” the proclamation reads. “This same truth fuels us in our efforts to confront the challenges that face our citizens here at home, including protecting precious religious liberties, securing our Nation’s borders, and combating the opioid crisis.” (Paging Lin-Manuel Miranda here.)
Trump offers a charge that he himself has so blatantly ignored. “To continue safeguarding our freedom, we must develop a deeper understanding of our American story. Studying our country’s founding documents and exploring our unique history—both the achievements and challenges—is indispensable to the future success of our great Nation.”
I’m sorry—Mr. “The emoluments clause is phony” wants us to study our country’s founding documents? Sure, guy, take a look into not just the emoluments clause but the impeachment power. For that matter … Donald Trump is endorsing the study of history of any kind?
”To continue to advance liberty and prosperity, we must ensure the next generation of leaders is steeped in the proud history of our country,” the proclamation proclaims. Hey, you know what else is part of the proud history of our country? Native American heritage.
It appears that Team Trump didn’t give an advance heads up on the new plan for White Nationalist Heritage Month to the folks over at NativeAmericanHeritageMonth.gov, where “The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.” They’d already planned events for the month—events that are still, or even more, worth checking out in the face of this erasure.
Apple has a new $5 movie sale going today alongside the usual $1 rental of the week and various other deals. You’ll want to hit the jump to see all of our top picks and browse through the entire sale.
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