Illustration: Nicolas Ortega Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the first person in human history to draw inspiration from Augustus Caesar, the founder of the Roman Empire, but he’s one of a very few for whom the lessons of Augustus’s reign have a concrete urgency. Both men, after all, built international empires before the age of 33. “Basically, through a really harsh approach, he established 200 years of world peace,” Zuckerberg explained to a New Yorker reporter earlier this year. “What are the trade-offs in that?” Augustus, Zuckerberg explained, “had to do certain things” to ensure the stability of his empire. So too, apparently, does Facebook. A 6,000-word report published in the New York Times last week disclosed in humiliating detail the lengths to which Facebook has gone to protect its dominance and attack its critics. As various interlocking crises concerning hate speech, misinformation, and data privacy widened, top executives … [Read more...] about The Decline and Fall of the Zuckerberg Empire
Bears packers week 1
A gas-burning generator at a Huntington Beach power plant could keep firing until as late as 2023, following a state commission’s recent vote.The AES facility was scheduled to close by the end of next year, but the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously last week to extend its operating life for up to three additional years.Pushing back the plant’s retirement would delay remediation of the site, as well as prolong the practice of “once-through” cooling — a process that uses seawater to cool the coastal energy transformers, which can kill fish and other marine life.The proposed extension now heads to the California State Water Resources Control Board, which will consider the matter at an undetermined date. Advertisement AES, which could not be reached for comment, is replacing the 1950s-era plant at 21730 Newland St. with a modernized one that will use air instead of seawater for cooling, among other updates. The new plant is slated to … [Read more...] about State panel backs extending life of gas-burning generator at Huntington Beach power plant
Should House Democrats spend the next two years arguing with each other over a policy agenda? Photo: James Hager/Getty Images After a good election result, the conventions of American politics dictates that the winners boast of a popular mandate to do whatever it is they want to do. And if said election delivers less than total power, it’s customary to pledge a robust effort to reach across the aisle to the other party and get things done in the national interest. You can see both of these conventions reflected in a letter that 46 of the 66 newly elected House Democrats sent to their leadership this week. They claim “a responsibility and mandate for change in the U.S. Congress,” and profess “the importance of addressing concerns that cross party lines.” In reality, of course, bipartisan legislation has become an endangered species, and the remaining Republican minority in the House is more obdurately conservative and partisan than ever. And there … [Read more...] about Messaging or Investigating? How Should House Democrats Use Their Very Limited Power?
Illustration: Intelligencer A Twitter mystery is afoot! The official Fox News Twitter account hasn’t tweeted since November 8; the last activity on its Fox Business counterpart is dated November 9. Conspiratorially minded Twitter brainiacs have speculated that the silence is related in some way to the Mueller investigation. But — and I take no pleasure in reporting this — the Marshal of the Supreme Court has not given the Fox Twitter the death penalty. The real reason for the weeklong silence is an almost comfortingly familiar one: Fox News is furious with Twitter. Fox’s silence reportedly stems from a protest held last week outside Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s home by a group called Smash Racism D.C. Protesters spray-painted an anarchy symbol on Carlson’s driveway and knocked on (but didn’t break down) his door, frightening his wife, who was home alone. According to the Daily Caller, the Smash Racism Twitter account — among … [Read more...] about Fox News’ Silent War on Twitter
In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October 22, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a Missoula ordinance that purported to restrict city residents’ ability to transfer firearms. On October 29, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph M. James struck down a raft of Pittsburgh ordinances that purported to regulate the use of firearms in public places within the city and provide for the confiscation of firearms without due process. In both instances the tribunals pointed to the state firearms preemption statute as precluding the locality’s anti-gun efforts. Today, almost all states have a firearms preemption law that prohibits localities from regulating firearms in a manner more stringent than state law. These laws are vital as they prevent localities from enacting an incomprehensible patchwork of local ordinances. … [Read more...] about Strong Firearms Preemption Laws Are More Important Than Ever