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demmiblue's Journal
demmiblue's Journal
February 13, 2021

The 19th: Inside the Lincoln Project's 'toxic' workplace


A frequent quip from Schmidt overheard by multiple people was that the Lincoln Project was his vehicle to achieve “generational wealth.”

As senior management squabbled over how to divide the pieces of the project’s financial pie, dissatisfaction was growing within the organization’s more junior ranks, which were made up of largely young and liberal staffers who said they had different standards than some of the group’s leaders, citing Schmidt and Wilson specifically. There was language used in both the Lincoln Project’s ads and within its workplace about gender and sexuality that made many of them uncomfortable, the dozens of interviews revealed.

Young men were “wizards” while young women were “girls.” Political rivals were “pussies” or “cocksuckers” or “faggots.” By the time the staff convened in Park City, the situation had become so “toxic,” according to more than a dozen accounts, that at least two co-founders, neither of whom remain at the project, had tried unsuccessfully to intervene to improve working conditions.


There were few women in Lincoln Project’s leadership, and those who were there were treated differently than the men, multiple people said. Horn was left out of meetings and not consulted about key decisions or public statements. At points, others within the organization had to persuade her not to quit entirely.


Sources familiar with internal communications said that in June, multiple members of the Lincoln Project’s senior leadership team were told in conversations and in writing about allegations that Weaver had sexually harassed young men, including some who were doing work for the organization.

By August, nearly all of the co-founders still with the project were aware and a media plan was being crafted after the group’s employees and contractors were contacted by a news outlet working on a story about it. By the time staff gathered in Park City for the build-up to the election, it was an open secret even among junior staff, sources said.

February 13, 2021

Pete Souza: I can't help thinking: do photographs from the WH photographer exist of Trump between...

I can't help thinking: do photographs from the WH photographer exist of Trump between 1-4pm on Jan. 6? If so, can the House managers subpoena the National Archives for them?

February 13, 2021

McConnell reveals he will vote to acquit Trump

Source: Politico

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told GOP colleagues in a letter that he will vote to acquit Donald Trump in the former president's impeachment trial, according to sources familiar with the communication.

McConnell's announcement ends a long period of silence over whether he would consider convicting Trump for incitement of insurrection and could pave the way for many other Republicans to follow in acquittal. The Kentuckian shared his decision in a note to fellow GOP senators on Saturday morning, ahead of what could be the final day of Trump’s second impeachment trial.

“While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction,” McConnell wrote.

That position puts McConnell in line with the votes he and 43 other GOP senators already cast, declaring Trump’s second trial unconstitutional. But the Republican leader, who has not spoken to Trump for weeks, suggested that criminal prosecution of the former president could be appropriate as a remedy following the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/13/mcconnell-reveals-he-will-vote-to-acquit-trump-468988

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February 13, 2021

An Anti-Smartphone With a Rotary Designed and Built by Space Engineer Justine Haupt

Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.

The first version of Haupt’s anti-smartphone was made using a cellphone radio development board. As the project progressed, she worked out a way to make it compact, to view missed calls on a small display, and to ensure that the device could be taken apart and fixed if necessary. While the Rotary Cellphone may seem like a fun novelty, Haupt (until now a devoted flip phone user) says that is not the point. Everything from the removable antenna to dedicated speed dial keys for her husband and other contacts is utilitarian and a direct contrast to the devices many of you are reading this article on right now.

“This is a statement against a world of touchscreens, hyperconnectivity, and complacency with big brother watchdogs,” Haupt writes on her website. In a post sharing the open source design, she adds that “in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting.” (via Kottke)

February 13, 2021

Commentary: Business leaders want political civility? Show Mike Shirkey the door.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey's unchecked use of misogynist and xenophobic language and peddling of debunkable conspiracy theories are quickly becoming a black eye for the Michigan business community's long-stated goal of making our politics more civil.

Shirkey privately bragged last week about metaphorically spanking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and that he has pondered punching her.

While being secretly recorded Feb. 3 at a restaurant in Jonesville, the Legislature's senior Republican leader told a group of Hillsdale County Republican Party officials that he has even contemplated challenging Whitmer to a fistfight on the Capitol lawn — "once or twice."

Shirkey also fed these men the red meat they wanted to hear: Falsehoods that the Jan. 6 pro-Trump mob's attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was a "hoax" and a "staged" riot.

"That wasn't Trump people," Shirkey said.

And two weeks ago, Shirkey seemed fixated on Whitmer's appearance delivering her State of the State address — not the content of her speech — by saying she "looked delightful" not wearing a mask.

The week before that, Shirkey boasted that the "Chinese flu army sent in one of their best soldiers" when he contracted the coronavirus in December.

February 12, 2021

Everyone remembers when the Malarkey Boys ransacked the Capitol in response to Biden's call to...

everyone remembers when the Malarkey Boys ransacked the capitol in response to biden's call to action

Rep. Jim Jordan @Jim_Jordan

President Biden says, “Fight like hell.” He gets praised.

President Trump says, "Fight like hell.” He gets impeached.


February 12, 2021

DeJoy's new plan for USPS: Slower mail and higher prices, sources say

Source: WaPo

A key provision of the postmaster general’s strategy includes banning air travel for all first-class mail at a time when delivery rates are at historic lows.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is preparing to put all first-class mail onto a single delivery track, according to two people briefed on his strategic plan for the U.S. Postal Service, a move that would mean slower and more costly delivery for both consumers and commercial mailers.

DeJoy, with the backing of the agency’s bipartisan but Trump-appointed governing board, has discussed plans to eliminate a tier of first-class mail — letters, bills and other envelope-sized correspondence sent to a local address — designated for delivery in two days. Instead, all first-class mail would be lumped into the same three- to five-day window, the current benchmark for nonlocal mail.

That class of mail is already struggling; only 38 percent was delivered on-time at the end of 2020, the Postal Service reported in federal court. Customers have reported bills being held up, and holiday cards and packages still in transit. Pharmacies and prescription benefits managers have told patients to request medication refills early to leave additional time for mail delays. The agency has not disclosed on-time scores yet in 2021.

The new service standards are part of a strategic plan that DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major Republican donor, is set to roll out in the coming days. While the change is not expected to have a significant impact on local service, the people said, they have commercial mailers, including banks, insurers, retailers and publications, worried they may aggravate existing slowdowns for nonlocal mail.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/12/dejoys-new-plan-usps-slower-mail-higher-prices-sources-say/

February 12, 2021

Sen. Lisa Murkowksi on Trump team: "I think they, they are putting on a good defense today.

Sen. Lisa Murkowksi on Trump team: “I think they, they are putting on a good defense today. And the first two hours I thought were well put together."

Murkowski has made up her mind to acquit and is now fabricating her excuses to that end.


February 12, 2021

Keeping up the trend of the first family visiting local businesses, @FLOTUS stopped at DC cupcake...

Keeping up the trend of the first family visiting local businesses, @FLOTUS stopped at DC cupcake shop @TheSweetLobby this morning

(Not pictured: me standing outside as Secret Service blocked the door)


FLOTUS is spreading the love today!
February 12, 2021

After Disney firing, Gina Carano announces new film project with Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire

“The Mandalorian” star Gina Carano is partnering with Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire for a new film project after being fired by Disney for her social media posts.

“The Daily Wire is helping make one of my dreams — to develop and produce my own film — come true. I cried out and my prayer was answered,” Carano told Deadline.

Carano was fired for her social media posts after the actress compared Nazi Germany to politics today, mocked face masks and sent other posts blasted by critics.

"Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future," the production company said.

The Daily Wire, a conservative media brand, has moved into entertainment recently, releasing its first movie in January produced by Dallas Sonnier called “Run Hide Fight.”


Good luck with that.

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