Sunday, August 29, 2021

Last Call For Crossfire Hurricane

Hurricane Ida has made landfall in Louisiana, just short of Category 5 with winds of 150 MPH, and all of NOLA is without power.

All of Orleans Parish — which is the city of New Orleans — is without power, according to NOLA Ready, New Orleans' emergency preparedness campaign.

If anyone in the parish has power, it's coming from a generator, NOLA Ready says.

Across Louisiana, more than 700,000 customers are without power as Hurricane Ida continues to pound the coastal state.

Power outages are expected to continue increasing as the storm moves inland.
Ida is a slow moving storm and is expected to spend days over Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, bringing drenching rains, flooding, and more power outages before heading into the mid-Atlantic and New England by the end of the week.

Be careful out there, folks.

The Big Lie, Actual Truth Edition

So turns out we've actually found election fraud committed by corrupt state election officials, and of course they're Republicans failing to count votes in order to help GOP candidates.
Seated onstage at the most-hyped election conspiracy event of the year, the clerk of Mesa County, Colorado, Tina Peters, described herself as a crusader for election security.

“I’ve looked at it objectively,” Peters said of supposed issues in election data during her speech at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” this month. “There’s some discrepancies there that I cannot deny, and I tell people, ‘I cannot unsee some of these things.’ If I’m going to be honest with the people of Mesa County and Colorado and all of you, I cannot unsee some of these things.”

But at home in Mesa County, some current and former officials have a different recollection of Peters’ tenure overseeing elections.

During Peters’ first year as clerk, in 2019, her office was blamed for leaving more than 570 uncounted ballots in a box, long past an election. Less than a year later, one of her office’s drop boxes leaked ballots, sending some floating in the summer breeze. Now Peters has gone underground, reportedly hiding in a safe house provided by Lindell, after she allegedly participated in a breach of Mesa County voting machine data this year. That data soon wound up on conspiracy websites, making Peters a folk hero among the MAGA set and the subject of an FBI investigation.

Peters (who did not return requests for comment) took office in 2019, after her predecessor, Sheila Reiner, reached her term limit. What followed was an unusually bombastic tenure in a typically low-drama role.

While overseeing the November 2019 general election, Peters’ office forgot to count 574 ballots, instead leaving them unattended in a drop box outside her office for months. That slip-up coincided with a rush of departures from Peters’ office. In December 2019, nearly 20 of Peters’ 32-person staff had departed, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported at the time. More staff quit days after the missing ballots were discovered, in late February 2020, bringing the departure count over two dozen.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office told Peters to get her act together.

“The Secretary of State’s Office appointed someone to be in the [clerk’s] office to help with the election,” Amanda Polson, who served as elections director under Reiner, told The Daily Beast.

Patti Inscho, a Democrat and an experienced former Mesa County Clerk employee, was hired to help Peters with elections. But just two months into Inscho’s role, Peters fired her, accusing her of not doing assigned work—an allegation Inscho firmly denied. The rift turned ugly, with a Peters staffer filing a criminal complaint against Inscho for allegedly not working during a pandemic, the Colorado Sun previously reported. Police dismissed the report.

“Tina didn’t want to fight facts,” Inscho told The Daily Beast. “She wanted to damage people. She did and said a lot of things about me that are untrue. It hurt my reputation, and it’s hard to fight back against.”

Polson, who had been hopeful about Inscho’s hiring, saw her termination as a bad omen.

“Essentially, that person [Inscho] got shut out,” Polson said. “Nothing had improved in the office. She was still, we thought, not handling the ballot issue correctly. There are some lines you can’t cross in an election administration. That is one of them: not counting ballots that should be counted.”

In May 2020, Polson formally began an effort to recall Peters. The campaign took issue with Peters’ handling of the lost ballots, as well as her staff turnover, a series of controversial business expenses (including more than $3,000 in food), and her decision not to oversee a pair of town-level elections. (The towns were forced to oversee their own elections, costing them two to three times the typical cost of a county-run vote.)

Soon the recall campaign had another data point: a ballot drop-off box, installed by Peters’ office for the 2020 primary election, appeared defective, sending completed ballots blowing across a parking lot. Peters claimed the leak was staged and blamed a local couple who’d reported the issue. The couple denied the allegation in an interview with the Daily Sentinel, where a reporter also noted ongoing issues with ballots becoming lodged in the drop box.

Polson was joined in her signature-gathering campaign by Inscho and even, on occasion, Peters’ predecessor Sheila Reiner. “I agreed with the group that things weren’t being done properly,” Reiner told The Daily Beast. “I didn’t believe that Tina was doing a good job.”

She said she collected some signatures for the recall, but was not one of its organizers. Still, her involvement cost her. Reiner said she was antagonized by Peters loyalists who objected to the recall.

“I'm a Republican,” she said. “There are some other Republicans that felt like that I wasn't being loyal to the brand, let’s put it that way.”
Remember, this is someone who is a GOP hero because she actually committed election fraud, with the justification that it was "correcting" election fraud by the Democrats that didn't actually exist

I expect a lot more of this in 2022 and especially 2024, especially since it's clear that Democrats aren't going to kill the filibuster to pass federal voting rights legislation, and no Republican will ever vote for it.

They've been screaming about election fraud for over a year now -- before even the 2020 election - so they have cover to steal the next several ones.

Sunday Long Read: Prime Time Slime

Maybe I should stop referring to Republicans and corporate criminals (often the same overlapping categories in the big venn diagram) as "slimeballs" because it turns out slimes are actually fascinating, and they even love oatmeal as Orion Magazine's Lacy M. Johnson tells us in this week's Sunday Long Read. No, seriously, they love oatmeal.

IT IS SPRING IN HOUSTON, which means that each day the temperature rises and so does the humidity. The bricks of my house sweat. In my yard the damp air condenses on the leaves of the crepe myrtle tree; a shower falls from the branches with the slightest breeze. The dampness has darkened the flower bed, and from the black mulch has emerged what looks like a pile of snotty scrambled eggs in a shade of shocking, bilious yellow. As if someone sneezed on their way to the front door, but what came out was mustard and marshmallow.

I recognize this curious specimen as the aethalial state of Fuligo septica, more commonly known as “dog vomit slime mold.” Despite its name, it’s not actually a mold—not any type of fungus at all—but rather a myxomycete (pronounced MIX-oh-my-seat), a small, understudied class of creatures that occasionally appear in yards and gardens as strange, Technicolor blobs. Like fungi, myxomycetes begin their lives as spores, but when a myxomycete spore germinates and cracks open, a microscopic amoeba slithers out. The amoeba bends and extends one edge of its cell to pull itself along, occasionally consuming bacteria and yeast and algae, occasionally dividing to clone and multiply itself. If saturated with water, the amoeba can grow a kind of tail that whips around to propel itself; on dry land the tail retracts and disappears. When the amoeba encounters another amoeba with whom it is genetically compatible, the two fuse, joining chromosomes and nuclei, and the newly fused nucleus begins dividing and redividing as the creature oozes along the forest floor, or on the underside of decaying logs, or between damp leaves, hunting its microscopic prey, drawing each morsel inside its gooey plasmodium, growing ever larger, until at the end of its life, it transforms into an aethalia, a “fruiting body” that might be spongelike in some species, or like a hardened calcium deposit in others, or, as with Stemonitis axifera, grows into hundreds of delicate rust-colored stalks. As it transitions into this irreversible state, the normally unicellular myxomycete divides itself into countless spores, which it releases to be carried elsewhere by the wind, and if conditions are favorable, some of them will germinate and the cycle will begin again.

From a taxonomical perspective, the Fuligo septica currently “fruiting” in my front yard belongs to the Physaraceae family, among the order of Physarales, in class Myxogastria, a taxonomic group that contains fewer than a thousand individual species. These creatures exist on every continent and almost everywhere people have looked for them: from Antarctica, where Calomyxa metallica forms iridescent beads, to the Sonoran Desert, where Didymium eremophilum clings to the skeletons of decaying saguaro cacti; from high in the Spanish Pyrenees, where Collaria chionophila fruit in the receding edge of melting snowbanks, to the forests of Singapore, where the aethalia of Arcyria denudata gather on the bark of decaying wood, like tufts of fresh cotton candy.

Although many species are intensely colored—orange, coral pink, or red—others are white or clear. Some take on the color of what they eat: ingesting algae will cause a few slime molds to turn a nauseous green. Physarum polycephalum, which recently made its debut at the Paris Zoo, is a bright, egg yolk yellow, has 720 sexual configurations and a vaguely fruity smell, and appears to be motivated by, among other things, a passionate love of oatmeal.

Throughout their lives, myxomycetes only ever exist as a single cell, inside which the cytoplasm always flows—out to its extremities, back to the center. When it encounters something it likes, such as oatmeal, the cytoplasm pulsates more quickly. If it finds something it dislikes, like salt, quinine, bright light, cold, or caffeine, it pulsates more slowly and moves its cytoplasm away (though it can choose to overcome these preferences if it means survival). In one remarkable study published in Science, Japanese researchers created a model of the Tokyo metropolitan area using oat flakes to represent population centers, and found that Physarum polycephalum configured itself into a near replica of the famously intuitive Tokyo rail system. In another experiment, scientists blasted a specimen with cold air at regular intervals, and found that it learned to expect the blast, and would retract in anticipation. It can solve mazes in pursuit of a single oat flake, and later, can recall the path it took to reach it. More remarkable still, a slime mold can grow indefinitely in its plasmodial stage. As long as it has an adequate food supply and is comfortable in its environment, it doesn’t age and it doesn’t die.

Here in this little patch of mulch in my yard is a creature that begins life as a microscopic amoeba and ends it as a vibrant splotch that produces spores, and for all the time in between, it is a single cell that can grow as large as a bath mat, has no brain, no sense of sight or smell, but can solve mazes, learn patterns, keep time, and pass down the wisdom of generations.

It turns out that slimes are pretty cool. I really should stop using it as an insult. After all, they're more useful than Republicans.
Related Posts with Thumbnails