Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
Morning Consult
"While Republicans offered the lowest amount of support, more than half of GOP voters still back the stimulus package at 60 percent. Thirty percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose the package."
People are not divided on this. Everyone knows the country needs help to get through this pandemic and it has been a long time coming. No Republicans in the House voted for the stimulus. Are they representing their constituents who have to live in objective reality or are they owning the libs to score points in conservative media reality? (rhetorical question)
CNN
"A similar emoji, called 'Rolling on the Floor Laughing', is also no longer in vogue. When asked about that emoji over a video call, Thiru visibly grimaced. 'I don't like that one,' she said. 'My mom doesn't even use it.'"
this CNN Business generational conflict article about emoji style. They missed the real story that Gen X only uses one emoji that isn't even an emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
AP News
"A huge bust of York, a Black man who was enslaved by William Clark and who was the first African-American to cross the continent and reach the Pacific Ocean, is sitting atop a pedestal amid a lushly forested park in Portland, Oregon. It was placed there in the dead of night last weekend by persons unknown."
This is an amazing project. I didn't know about York.
The Guardian
From coronamüde (tired of Covid-19) to Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle), a German project is documenting the huge number of new words coined in the last year as the language races to keep up with lives radically changed by the pandemic.
This is great, Schnutenpulli (pout sweater?) for mask is not in this article but I like it so much better than "mask". The full list.
BuzzFeed News
"Zuckerberg’s “more nuanced policy” set off a cascading effect, the two former employees said, which delayed the company’s efforts to remove right wing militant organizations such as the Oath Keepers, which were involved the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. It is also a case study in Facebook’s willingness to change its rules to placate America’s right wing and avoid political backlash."
Confirmation that Facebook continually changed its rules for conservatives.
New York Times
"William W. Hogan, considered the architect of the Texas energy market design, said in an interview this past week that the high prices reflected the market performing as it was designed."
Any design that could potentially bankrupt people for buying a necessity like power is bad.

Music: Just a Little Rain Song

I haven't had a chance to mess around in GarageBand recently so I thought I'd release one from the vaults. Listening through the basement tapes from last September I found this version of The Rain Song. It's me struggling through the alternate tuning on acoustic, the electric guitar on lead vocals, and my favorite mellotron sound on strings. Apologies to Zeppelin.

BIG
"Antitrust law can be complex, but these actions aren’t. It’s just stealing. Facebook wants people to see this suit as just some disgruntled media outlets or advertisers, and some frustrated ex-employees angry at a successful business. The problem, for Facebook, is that this isn’t a one-off. It is the THIRD time Facebook has been caught for lying to advertisers in order to steal their money."
This is a good summary of Facebook’s current round of trouble, including the Australia news-sharing thing.
NBC News
"The funds raised by the progressive lawmaker will go toward 12 food banks and relief organizations, including the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas and the Houston Food Bank, according to the donations page."
Amazing work. I also wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need to do this kind of fundraising because the federal government would step in with this help.
FiveThirtyEight
"But it appears that none of the politicians who propagated the falsehoods about election fraud in 2020 — setting the conditions for the insurrection — will face any serious repercussions at all. That’s most notably Trump, but also figures like Sen. Josh Hawley. What’s to stop Republican officials in 2022 or 2024 from making up frivolous charges of election fraud and then watching as conservative voters take aggressive and even violent actions because they believe what prominent Republicans are saying?"
The Big Lie can continue because there have been no consequences for promoting it. Normalcy bias persists and we'll continue to have a criminal impunity party.
conradakunga.com
"So today I set out to actually see what it is one agrees to when they accept all."
Peeling back the layers on those cookie agreement dialogs helps us learn about how web advertising works (and how massive the industry is).
MSNBC News
"That Pence had a military aide and a briefcase was a surprise to many who aren’t familiar with the command and control of strategic nuclear forces. Suddenly the import of what happened acquired a new salience: Did Trump’s inaction place not only his vice president, but the security of the nuclear deterrent in jeopardy?"
The more we learn the worse it gets.
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