Today’s Long Reads

Things I read today:

The Five Families of Feces– The porta-potty business is as dirty as you’d think. But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses.

What It’s Like to Survive Being Shot 16 Times- One man’s life seven years after a gruesome and miraculous run-in with the police

‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak

Fight the Ship- Death and valor on a warship doomed by its own Navy.

Do you all like this or am I just wasting my time?

122 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I think I’ll just click on Balloon Juice and then go fix breakfast
    The Five Families of Feces– The porta-potty business is as dirty as you’d think. But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses.

  2. 2
    Aziz, light! says:


  3. 3
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Hey, Hub people, what’s a good place to eat dinner in the North End, near the Garden?

  5. 5
    tam1MI says:

    As my good deed for the day, I am asking folks to check out the Cat Bleg down below. There’s an awfully sweet kitty there that needs a home!

  6. 6
    jacy says:

    LIKE! I find it helpful to have things people find interesting curated — then I can choose to look or not. Most of the worthwhile things I read are suggested by other people.

  7. 7
    Sourmash says:


  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jacy: Agreed. This will date me (as if other comments haven’t) but there was an e-mailed newsletter long, long ago called the Red Rock Eater News Service that provided an eclectic, wide-ranging set of links that gave me many invaluable resources. The writer, unfortunately, went off the grid more or less completely quite a while ago.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I like it, a lot. I’m always looking for good stuff to read and in the AM I pass on what I think might interest others. I’m not often on line at this time so you won’t often see me comment

  10. 10
    khead says:

    Do you all like this or am I just wasting my time?

    Hey, I love this shit. I mean, really. I enjoyed the port-a-potty story.

  11. 11
    Elroys Lunch says:

    Appreciated the link to the destroyer Fitzgerald collision. I sent it on to a friend who was a destroyer captain whose ship ran on the rocks and suffered as much damage but without the loss of life. He found the article to be well written and a harsh reminder of things that ring true across Navies.

  12. 12
    dlwchico says:

    From the measles story. You know she voted for Jill Stein.

    A Portland mom who didn’t vaccinate her two children until recently, said the anti-vaccine community uses fear to raise doubts about vaccine safety. But parents who support immunizations can be belittling.

    “On one side, they make you afraid, and the other side they make you feel stupid, and you get stuck in this middle where you feel beat up by both sides,” she said.

    Clements eventually changed her mind, deciding to give her kids the shots after a doctor at a vaccine workshop answered her questions for more than two hours, at one point drawing diagrams on a whiteboard to explain cell interaction. He was thoughtful, factual and also “still very warm,” she said.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Like. The measles outbreak is unnecessary and frightening. In a school district north of me, letters were sent out yesterday from two different schools about possible exposure to whooping cough.
    This should not be happening here.

  14. 14
    Ohio Mom says:

    @jacy: Me too. I like seeing what other people have found interesting. I get stuck in ruts otherwise.

    I only have one question: between work, animals, watching TV, and all the extra driving living in the boondocks requires, when does Cole find the time to do all this surfing and reading?

  15. 15
    oldster says:


    I had already started reading that piece on the destroyers, tipped off by the Twitter feed at LGM.

    What a gut-punch. The USN needs to do way, way better. We need to provide more people, more resources, more training, more leaves, more rest, more everything. (Possibly fewer over-priced weapons-systems.)

    Reading about basic failures of competence, command-and-control, ability to perform routine operations, is gut-wrenching. It’s like reading about the Soviet navy just pre-break-up. This sort of dysfunction gets you outcomes like the Kursk on the bottom of the ocean.

    Damnit, I want our navy to be functional!

    Another side to this story? Inequality and plutocracy. I’m not making it up. Look at the “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal that ensnared a lot of the top brass. What you’ll see is that military guys who used to work their whole life for their mission, and received ample compensation in respect and prestige, are now looking at the billionaires and wondering why they shouldn’t cash in, too.

    Did the Navy brass get a whole lot more morally weak? Nope; the inequality of wealth got a whole lot more glaring, and the crushing inequity got harder to resist.

    We need to crush the billionaires. It’s a matter of battle-readiness and national defense.

  16. 16
    J R in WV says:

    I like it. Curated surfing, less time wasted on, well, Marylin Monroe MAY be in disguise as Melania — John Cole Might be superman hiding out in rural WV, and Trump might be, well, I gotta stop there!!!

    One rule should be no conditionals in headlines, any supposition with a conditional in it might, could be, is possibly, true, but probably not.

  17. 17

    @Gin & Tonic: Just about any family owned place. Seriously.

  18. 18
    Renie says:

    Has anyone come across stories about people being shocked filing their income tax returns this year? Saw a lot of tweets about people angry they are paying a lot more. Living in NY, I’m afraid to even do my taxes since I always had to pay in the past.

  19. 19
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    Not a waste of time. As someone said above, I love having pieces brought to my attention.

    The portable potty piece was fascinating. I do think the author missed to point about when the bidness took off. I can remember when “Don’s Portable Johns” started bidness in the DC metro area back in the 60s. Don’s Johns cornered the market, it seemed, early on. I wonder if each metro area’s portable poop businesses are the same as that described in NYC?

  20. 20

    My cousin was in the port-a-potty business, he also dug septic tanks. He retired a multi-millionaire and now owns a bunch of real estate as his retirement. Total blue-collar guy. Hard work, well deserved retirement.

  21. 21
    RoonieRoo says:

    I love this! Please keep posting your daily reads. As others have said, it is a kick out of the rut.

  22. 22
    Sandia Blanca says:

    Although it sometimes seems that we all read all the same sites, we obviously don’t, so I also appreciate you sharing links to stories that might have escaped my attention. Part of the full service we’ve come to expect at this top-10,000 blog. Thanks!

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    The Five Families of Feces– The porta-potty business is as dirty as you’d think. But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses.

    There’s a sentence you don’t read everyday.

    I like these posts…..Might find something interesting that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

  24. 24
    Aleta says:

    A group at San Diego State U has been writing letters to detainees.

    (NYT) Last week, the university library made public the digital archive of hundreds of letters from detainees.

    The Otay Mesa Detention Center Detainee Letter Collection documents the hidden stories of hundreds of refugees from human rights hot spots around the world–including Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Cameroon, Eritrea and China. Each of them has sought asylum in the United States and has been held at the San Diego, California Otay Mesa Detention Center operated by a private corrections company, CoreCivic. These letters provide insight into the lives of asylum seekers and migrants both before and during detention. Identifying information has been redacted to protect the privacy and safety of the writers. Letters date from July 2018 to present.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:


    Have come upon tweets…folks talking about it…and other folks like….we told your dumb azzes that the GOP Tax Plan was nothing but a SCAM..and you want sympathy?

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:


    the anti-vaccine people get on my last phucking nerve, because they endanger the rest of us!!

  27. 27
    Ceci7 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: For seafood, Daily Catch. Debbie Downer observation: it’s been a long, long time since I found a North End Italian restaurant to be as good as Rino’s Place in East Boston.

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    Read the USS Fitzgerald story. So things haven’t changed much in 35 years.

  29. 29
    Jude says:

    It’s cool and fun to see what you filled your head with that day, but vital you tell us where the link goes to. I still refuse to give The Times one penny for their non-apology of destroying Hillary’s electability. That leaves 10 articles per month so I have to be picky. I know people have said to open them in an incognito window, but it doesn’t seem to work for me.
    The Post link was fine since I have a subscription, but others may not.

  30. 30
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I like so many, but I keep going back to Aria or Artu.

    ETA There is an ARTU on Charles as well, but the one in the Northend is great.

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    Like it.@Renie: The problem isn’t necessarily that they’re paying more. It’s that their withholding went down, such that their rebate is smaller. But taxes are difficult for most people to understand – both the marginal rates, but also most people think a big rebate means a big windfall when it really means they really overpaid during the year. The IRS isn’t a terrible savings plan, but at least acknowledge that it’s just a savings plan.

    So most of the people that are upset that I’ve seen have actually paid less, but because their rebate is lower, they think they’re paying more. I’d be sympathetic if all of my sympathy wasn’t being directed to the victims of more pernicious GOP policies.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    this Abramson plagiarism, coming in a book in which the former editor of the most prestigious paper in the country makes snap judgments about young reporters' qualifications based on whether they look too "alt" and went to the correct schools, is prime Twilight of the Elites shit— Italian Alex Pareene (@pareene) February 7, 2019

  33. 33
    Faithful Lurker says:

    The Long Reads is a really good idea. We all live in different parts of the country (world?) and can miss interesting stories about other places. The measles epidemic is happening in my back yard but the other stories were interesting. Also too, I’m tired (exhausted and disgusted) of only reading long pieces about the Trump disaster.
    Thank you for this addition to BJ

  34. 34
    germy says:

    Prediction: she'll blame a researcher and implicitly admit she let an underpaid "researcher" do the actual writing of some significant portion of her book— Italian Alex Pareene (@pareene) February 7, 2019

    (as some of you may remember a plagiarism accusation is how Maureen Dowd admitted that sometimes she doesn't actually "write" "her" column herself)— Italian Alex Pareene (@pareene) February 7, 2019

  35. 35
    debit says:

    @Renie: I work in a tax office. Lots of unhappy people this year, either they owe, owe more or have a much smaller refund. I also usually owe a small amount and am holding off on doing my return.

    ETA: I knew it was going to be an issue and we tried to let our clients know beforehand so they could prepare, but… My situation is more about the ACA subsidy (income unexpectedly went up mid year).

  36. 36
    randy khan says:

    I think they’re interesting.

    But I still want Rosie and Steve photos.

  37. 37
    ThresherK says:

    If that porta-potty read isn’t enough, there’s a good book out there about the wider picture. And there’s always The Ghost Map.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @debit: I ran mine through TurboTax and am getting a $4k+ refund. I don’t know that I did anything special so. . . ?

  39. 39
    Casey says:

    I like it and hope you keep doing it, John

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    So wrong on so many levels 😥😥😰😰😪

    “The parking lot suicides” — important story by @emily_wax about veterans who are taking their own lives on VA hospital campuses because they believe the system has failed them

    — Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) February 7, 2019

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    Things I read today:

    The Five Families of Feces– The porta-potty business is as dirty as you’d think. But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses.

    What kind of shit is this? :)

    Interesting, fun stuff. Some of these pop up in my google news feeds, some are totally new and unexpected.

  42. 42
    ThresherK says:

    @rikyrah: I’ve read about the Bonus Marchers. Not a direct comparison, but this is starting to sound too familiar for comfort.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage:

    he portable potty piece was fascinating. I do think the author missed to point about when the bidness took off.

    Blew the toilet lid off, as it were.

  44. 44
    errg says:

    I love the long reads, already have read some interesting stories that I would have missed otherwise.

  45. 45
    ellie says:

    I like this! Please keep posting articles like these. Thx

  46. 46
    Fair Economist says:

    I like you posting these. It’s like those teaser ads for stories except that I know if I click on them I won’t encounter s***.

    Well, ok, maybe once today.

  47. 47
    bemused says:


    Yes, I have. My first thought was why didn’t they know this. They sure don’t bother to do their homework, just trust, forget about verifying. These dopes spend a lot of time researching buying a lawnmower or even a damn toaster than they do on the scam bills legislators are inflicting on them.

  48. 48
    Mary G says:

    Keep it up, please.

  49. 49
    kjazz says:

    Yep, thanks for the links! Keep posting the interesting reads.

  50. 50
    jl says:

    Respectable features like this keep the place an almost top 10,000 blog. Some interesting links.

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:


    Has anyone come across stories about people being shocked filing their income tax returns this year? Saw a lot of tweets about people angry they are paying a lot more.

    The Trump administration over-sold the benefits of his tax cuts to ordinary people, and most folks ignored the more sober analyses coming from business media. It’s hard to say that on average people are getting refunds or having to pay. Really depends on individual circumstances and sometimes whether people were able to adjust their withholding with new tax law changes in mind.

    I deal with tax preparers, and many of them are reporting a wide variation in the results people are getting, compared to last year. Some folks are getting smaller refunds, and there is sometimes a disparity between federal and state results.

    Dirty little insider secret. Tax software companies are having problems with states, but this is in part because states were late in reacting to federal changes, so you got a cascade effect. Also, the cut in funding for the IRS and the government shutdown is having a bigger impact than any Trump official will admit. If you need to call the IRS for customer service, good luck and may God have mercy on your soul.

  52. 52
    dnfree says:

    @dlwchico: For TWO HOURS the doctor answered her questions, and was warm, and not condescending. That is one heck of a story. We’ll just send that doctor out to talk to every vaccine denier.

  53. 53
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: A family friend joked that he was going to open a septic system cleaning company with the following slogan:
    “Your Shit Is Our Bread And Butter!”

  54. 54
    dnfree says:

    I LIKE the “curated” article selection. I can go read the ones that sound interesting and ignore the ones that don’t. I appreciate John taking the time to do this. I also like the book/literature posts that Major Major Major Major sometimes posts.

    Does anyone else do the Crickler online crossword puzzle? There is a daily version that incorporates news stories, and that’s the one I do. It’s a combination of knowing news events and knowing the terms that journalists might routinely use to describe such an event. It’s also got a “handicap”, so you get more clues when you first start doing the puzzles and as you establish that you are better at it, you get fewer clues. The reason this is relevant is that one of the things I like about that puzzle is that I sometimes find scientific or archaeological articles through it that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.

  55. 55

    @TaMara (HFG): Hey, TaMara. I’m reading Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend, which won the National Book Award. The central character inherits a Great Dane while living in a 500 square ft NYC apartment.

  56. 56
    weasel says:

    Even though I’ve already got more than enough to read online, I appreciate being pointed to good reads I’d have otherwise missed. Keep ’em coming, please and thank you!

  57. 57
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Here’s my tax question: how do I get my taxes done if my CPA is in Itaí, Brazil, and won’t be back for 5-7 years?

  58. 58
    Ruviana says:

    I love this idea and already read the “Down the Rabbit Hole” story. Can I play? I read this story about trying to recover from hate groups (the article focuses on white supremacy) that was very interesting.

  59. 59
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    1. File for a 7 year extension. I’m sure there’s a form for that somewhere.
    2. Fly to Brazil and deduct the costs as “tax preparation expenses”.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    It’s your blog. Go wild.

  61. 61
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Greenwald is your accountant?

  62. 62
    Brachiator says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Here’s my tax question: how do I get my taxes done if my CPA is in Itaí, Brazil, and won’t be back for 5-7 years?

    Well, Carnival is coming up soon…

  63. 63
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Here’s the URL for a great site which varied reading material, calling, amazingly enough, long reads.

  64. 64
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    I like it! But I’d like to add:

    Cindy McCain tries to SWAT interracial mother and child at airport – forced to look up word ‘hypocrisy’ in dictionary.

    Matt Gaetz turns gun violence hearing into pitch for Trump’s wall – cites parliamentary proceedure.

    New documents reveal Iran’s press crackdown – President Trump says, “Hold my beer.”

    Sorry, no links.

  65. 65
    suezboo says:

    This is definitely one of my favourite things from a Full Service blog. I only read things recommended by people I know and trust and this old curmudgeon somehow falls in that category.;

  66. 66
    Avery Greynold says:

    Good stories that can only be told in length. Thank you, please continue as a regular feature. Ok, since this is Cole I’ll be grateful for an occasional feature.

  67. 67
    EMedPA says:

    Like. Keep posting this stuff, please .

  68. 68
    Immanentize says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    won’t be back for 5-7 years?

    Statute of limitations, I suspect?

  69. 69
    Middlelee says:

    I appreciate your picks. Keep up the good work, please. I’m not a fast reader and would never find all this interesting stuff on my own.

  70. 70
    chopper says:


    i love these people who don’t vaccinate and are all worried now that measles is ripping through their community.

    like, this is the easiest-spreading disease known to mankind. the highest R0 of anything. what the fuck did they expect?

  71. 71
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: @Brachiator: @EMedPA: @Immanentize: apparently the Sao Paolo airport police are WAY uptight and get all bent out of shape when you try to go through security with 4 keys of white in your briefcase….

  72. 72

    Can someone explain this to me? If he’s going to testify, what’s different doing it under subpoena?

    New: Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said he will not appear before Congress Friday without assurances he won't be subpoenaed — giving Democrats a deadline of 6 p.m. Thursday to respond.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 7, 2019

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    For everyone who was asking “where are the Republican yearbooks?”

    The Virginian-Pilot
    ‏Verified account
    Follow Follow @virginianpilot
    Breaking: Virginia Sen. Tommy Norment was an editor for VMI yearbook filled with racist photos and slurs

    But you knew that. It won’t be just the one either. If Democrats were doing it then sure as shit Republicans were too. Ronna Romney or whatever her alias is, now has to do an abrupt, screeching turn to defense :)

  74. 74
    chopper says:


    in order to sell his bogus tax bill, trump had the IRS change withholding amounts so everybody’s paycheck looked bigger. now all these people have to pay the difference all at once. it’s gonna go down as one of the dumber moves trump has pulled, and that’s saying something.

  75. 75
    C Stars says:

    @John Cole: Like. Keep doing it. I mainly like it because it’s a much-needed break in the running commentary about our dystopian political situation.

    @JPL: Got a notice from the school about whooping cough exposure in the fall (same day that I was taking in my youngest for his last set of childhood vaccines). In the previous schoolyear, two notices about measles exposure. California now mandates that any child attending public school has been vaccinated for these illnesses, so I don’t understand why this keeps coming up.

  76. 76
    The Phnom Penh says:

    Very longtime reader — but very infrequent commenter — here.

    LIKE. Please keep doing this.

  77. 77
    Immanentize says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Is his name Dr. Gonzo? Is he Samoan? Does he weigh 300 pounds?

  78. 78
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @chopper: ddin’t W do that too and the proles all got excited about their slightly goosed paychecks?

  79. 79
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Immanentize: believe it or not, we call him Uncle Bob. Uh, uncle by marriage. And he is uber white and Southern Baptist. He’s so white bread that Wonder could sue him for infringement.

    ETA: if he were anywhere near as interesting as HST, I’d be working on the screenplay right now….

  80. 80
    germy says:

    Well well well

    BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A self-described white nationalist, whose alleged harassment of Vermont’s only female black legislator led her to resign, is facing a charge he possessed illegal, large capacity gun magazines.

    State Police say 36-year-old Max Misch, of Bennington, was arrested Wednesday after troopers searched his home and found evidence he had purchased large capacity ammunition feeding devices. He’s due in court Thursday.

    Last year, the Vermont Legislature passed a law banning large capacity magazines.

    Former Democratic State Rep. Kia Morris resigned in September after receiving what she said were racial threats from Misch. Prosecutors said Misch’s actions violated no laws and declined to prosecute.

  81. 81
    Immanentize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Fewer rules for those who appear voluntarily. For one, he might be allowed to speak NOT under oath. Also, if subpoenaed, and you refuse to answer a question, the remedy is to subpoena the guy. I would allow him to present not under subpoena, but if he refuses to answer necessary questions, then subpoena his butt. Be nice once, but only once.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @germy: no worries–that ban will be overturned shortly by SCOTUS, with a ludicrously broad opinion written by super pro-life Justice Kavanaugh

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I was on the dock waiting for a miracle to happen, for my husband to come home,” she told the crowd. “And then I realized that the miracle was you guys, the crew.”

  85. 85

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: LOL. Bixby and I lived in 600 sq ft while waiting for the house to close. Walking furniture is always fun.

  86. 86
    germy says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Maybe Democrats will overturn Kavanaugh.

  87. 87
    Immanentize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: He should be. And Trump calls Schiff a “hack.”

  88. 88
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: This is probably why it wasn’t used previously against Democrats.

  89. 89
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    Like it. Thanks!

  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    one of the great legal minds of the trump post office hotel bar, after Rudi Giuliani has passed out face down in the pretzels

    Andrew deGrandpre @ adegrandpre
    BREAKING: Acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker says he will not appear before Congress tomorrow without assurances he won’t be subpoenaed

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    Started to read the USS Fitzgerald story. Two years I spent on a destroyer that this class of ship replaced. Sounds like less has changed than one might imagine. We did have more bodies, thanks to Vietnam, which helped a lot but still, upper management seemed to not be on the same page as reality.

  92. 92
    R-Jud says:

    Love it. The Port-a-potty story is so New York it hurts. “Who does this scumbag think he is? He looks like he crawled out of a dumpster.”

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I picked the wrong line at EZE the other day and found that they have *one person* assigned to looking at the x-ray screen and then poking through your stuff. So something looked hinky, apparently, in the backpack of some guy about 3-4 in front of me, and the line stopped. For at least 15 minutes. And security is before passport control, another line. Barely made the flight. Never saw the guy later, either – he was still at the security line when they brought somebody else in to help out.

  94. 94
    WereBear says:

    @Renie: Yes. Such indignant tweets about their own higher taxes usually start, “I’m a Republican and I just did my taxes.”

  95. 95
    J R in WV says:

    The potentially interesting WaPo piece about the measles epidemic in Washington State is apparently fatally broken. I can’t make the page scroll at all.

    There is no scroll bar, the page down button doesn’t work, none of the myriad of ways I scroll down normal web pages worked.

    That complaint made, I think the governor should declare a genuine state of emergency, and require everyone not already provably vaccinated against this dangerous disease to be vaccinated before being allowed out in public.

    If that has a bad outcome for a few, that is still better than hundreds or thousands of children, not vaccinated because of the wilful neglect of their parents or guardians, becoming ill and suffering as a result of lies about vaccinations, the most fabulous health care innovation of the past 2 centuries.

    I say this because these naive and ignorant people are making other people vulnerable to disease and death by destroying herd immunity, not to protect them, they don’t deserve it. Only by protecting even the ignorant and misled can we protect the truly vulnerable immune-compromised population.

  96. 96
    chopper says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    W gave out actual checks IIRC.

  97. 97
    sdhays says:

    @Steve in the ATL: People just a few days ago were telling us to E-File ourselves because filing your own taxes is actually really simple. So just do them all yourself, save the money, and everything will be fine. //

  98. 98
    C Stars says:

    @J R in WV: There’s a little Russian two-step going on. Right (and left)-wing wackos destroy herd immunity (encouraged by Russian-sponsored antivaxx websites/propaganda). Then the GOP fascists and their troll assistants step in and say that undocumented people are the ones bringing in these infectious diseases that threaten our children. I’d bet a thou that some Russian/GOP troll has gamed this one out.

    (Am I being paranoid? Tell me if I’m being paranoid. But it just seems completely within the realm of feasibility these days…)

  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    @J R in WV:
    Working for me in Chrome FWIW.

    “Measles is exquisitely contagious.” This is the crux of the matter. Virtually everybody susceptible will become infected if exposed. The aerosol remains viable in the air for hours after an infected person passes. If I were the parent of a newborn I’d be petrified right now.

    Those states need to follow California’s lead. Full stop.

  100. 100
    Fair Economist says:

    @C Stars: In addition to the Russians spreading antivax propaganda, remember the study all the antivaxer nonsense is based on is a lie. Not an exaggeration, not a misinterpretation, not a fluke result; the researcher made everything up and lied his ass off.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: Is it possible that he is just buying time until Barr is confirmed.

  102. 102
    catclub says:

    @Martin: Thanks to everyone for the heads up. My income was about the same (within 2%)
    in 2017 and 2018, but tax withholding was 20% lower in 2018. I see it as a dumb move if it makes people think taxes went up by lowering their withholding until they file.
    I can understand the desire to lower with holding if taxes end up lower.

  103. 103
    Adam says:

    Please keep doing this, love.

  104. 104
    Marcopolo says:

    Speaking of important reads, today the Green New Deal resolution sponsored by Congresscritters AOC & Markey was released to the public. Here is a rundown of what is in it from one of the excellent folks at Vox (if you don’t think most of the folks at Vox are excellent then don’t read it). I think it is one of the most important legislative initiatives that Congress will need to grapple with over the next decade or two which is why you should know as much about it as you can.

    But for now, I just want to share a few initial impressions after reading through the short document a few times.

    It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center.

    And of course, it eventually has to give birth to real legislation.

    Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools.

    The resolution consists of a preamble, five goals, 14 projects, and 15 requirements. The preamble establishes that there are two crises, a climate crisis and an economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality, and that the GND can address both.

    The goals — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, providing for a just transition, securing clean air and water — are broadly popular. The projects — things like decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and industry, restoring ecosystems, upgrading buildings and electricity grids — are necessary and sensible (if also extremely ambitious).

    There are a few items down in the requirements that might raise red flags (more on those later), but given the long road ahead, there will be plenty of time to sort them out. Overall, this is about as strong an opening bid as anyone could have asked for.

    Finally, for the originalists out there, here is the actual text of the resolution.

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    catclub says:

    @chopper: Jan 2008! as they were simultaneously saying “Everything is Fine!”
    GOP could not find it’s way clear to get on board sending out checks in 2009. When everything was clearly NOT fine.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @WereBear: I was seeing those, but not just Republicans. The howls from the Rs were pretty loud, and most said they’d never vote for him again. After about 6 tweets like that on that thread, other people said they must be Russian trolls. I laughed.
    We noticed an extra $300 in our retirement paycheck last February and couldn’t account for it until we checked the withholding. We adjusted for that nonsense and now we’re hoping we did enough. Will find out in a couple of weeks when we meet with our CPA. We told everyone in our family and friends to check their withholding and make the adjustments necessary, especially if their pay had gone up in early 2018.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @catclub: No, you misunderstand. They did it to pretend everyone got a tax break. “OOOH, more money in my paycheck and I didn’t get a raise! It must be thanks to the Trump tax law.”
    It was a fake tax break.
    Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

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    @opiejeanne: This!! I’ve been preaching for the past year about it.

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    Immanentize says:

    @JPL: Perhaps, but that won’t stop him from being asked to testify about actions he took as AG at some later point. He may hope it does….

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    opiejeanne says:

    @TaMara (HFG): A couple of nights ago I told the story of overhearing two contractors in the parking lot of a big box store, discussing how well they were doing, how much more money they were getting. This was probably in May, 2018. From the way they were talking I figured they were MAGAs and I didn’t interrupt their discussion to warn them. Maybe it was wrong of me but I don’t feel too guilty now.

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    martha says:

    @Kay: I have to say, as the editor of my high school yearbook, back in the dark ages, that this brouhaha makes me laugh (cynically). The teacher who oversaw our work wouldn’t have allowed it. Heck, she wouldn’t let us put anything in there that she couldn’t defend to parents or administrators or her peers.

    So yes, I’m guessing most of these yearbooks were vetted by “adults,” which begs more interesting questions yet to be asked.

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    Brachiator says:


    No, you misunderstand. They did it to pretend everyone got a tax break. “OOOH, more money in my paycheck and I didn’t get a raise! It must be thanks to the Trump tax law.”
    It was a fake tax break.

    No, it’s a real tax break. It’s just that a lot of ordinary folk will be pennies, while the ultra-wealthy will get the big dollars.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @Brachiator: nope, that $300 extra in my paycheck was not from a tax break, it was from the withholding tables being fiddled with to make it look like a tax break.
    And yes, a few people got some pennies worth of tax break. We are in that group but it’s definitely pennies. Or peanuts. We lost more because of the caps on deductions for property taxes.

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    Brachiator says:


    nope, that $300 extra in my paycheck was not from a tax break, it was from the withholding tables being fiddled with to make it look like a tax break.

    Sorry. I did not mean to comment on your specific tax situation, ’cause I don’t know the details.

    However, for a good chunk of people, the increased Standard Deduction results in lower taxable income, which results in lower taxes. The tax brackets have been tinkered with a bit as well.

    The withholding issue also is a little more complex. The IRS was late in coming up with new withholding tables to account for the tax law changes. Because of this, some people might end up with balances instead of refunds.

    Trump and the Republicans couldn’t even manage a tax cut law competently.

    And yes, a few people got some pennies worth of tax break. We are in that group but it’s definitely pennies. Or peanuts. We lost more because of the caps on deductions for property taxes.

    We are seeing this with a certain portion of California taxpayers. It ain’t pretty when they lose the benefit of prior deductions.

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    Mnemosyne says:


    They actually think that there’s something special and damaging about the vaccine that won’t happen if their kids catches the real disease.

    Pro-tip: if your kid got fever-related seizures after getting the measles vaccine, that means that they’re going to be prone to getting seizures from FEVERS, not from vaccines. It’s medically best to skip other vaccines and let herd immunity protect them, but if everyone else starts skipping vaccines, it actually ENDANGERS your child because now they’re going to end up with seizures from the fever they get from the real thing.

    (Obviously, I mean “you” in a general sense, not that you, chopper, don’t understand this.)

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    Obvious Russian Troll says:

    The lurkers love the long form links. Ur, sorry, the trolls. Lurking trolls. Trolling lurkers.

    Anyway, I think they’re great.

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    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m guessing they thought it would help them win the 2018 elections and then they would have 2 years to come up with another scam.

    Whoops! 😈

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    AThornton says:

    From the WaPo:

    Libertarian-leaning lawmakers, meanwhile, have bowed to public pressure to relax state laws to exempt virtually any child from state vaccination requirements whose parents object.

    They are called “Libertarian” because “ignorant dumbass” was already taken.

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    Sherparick says:

    @oldster: This is the problem with simply saying “cut the defense budget,” but don’t cut the missions and imperial project. The overall strategic mission of the 7th Fleet is the defense of Japan, the projection of U.S. Forces to protect U.S. interests in the Western Pacific and East Asia, and deter Chinese imperial interests. The Fitzgerald and McCain were being run ragged with short crews and faulty equipment because of tactical missions in support of that strategy. Now an argument from the Left is is we should drop that mission, tell Japan and South Korea that they have to defend themselves, ditto the rest of Southeast Asia and the ANZACs, and let China know that they can do whatever they think they can get away with (which might not be pleasant for non-Han Chinese. Then we can cut the Navy and Air Force (if not we should increase them and make sure training and maintenance is funded). But the what the foreign policy and imperial strategy retreat should come first.

    P.S. John, I love the articles.

    P.S.S. A Republican has joined the Al Jolson imitation contest her in the Commonwealth.

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    alikins says:

    Love it! Please keep it up.

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    barbequebob says:

    Loved the Call A Head story. I lived in Broad Channel from 1981 to 1996 and worked at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge referenced in the article that Call A Head was polluting. Between that and the fact that they used Cross Bay Blvd to park all their trucks overnight, they were a real nuisance as well as a dominant presence. Mr Howard’s edifices derived from the same catalog of “classy” (tacky-gaudy) that Trump’s come from.

    Still, it’s a great place to live in NYC if you like being close to nature, including having it flow through your house during storm surges.

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