Texas troopers to arrest ‘trespassers’ on southern border

White supremacist gangs

Adisa Hargett-Robinson, “Supreme Court excessive force ruling could be ‘a big deal,’ lawyer says,” ABC News, July 22, 2021, https://abcnews.go.com/US/supreme-court-excessive-force-ruling-big-deal-lawyer/story?id=78638482


Migration

Not all counties along the Texas-Mexico border agree even that the migration constitutes an emergency, let alone that state troopers should be arresting “trespassers” without a complaint from landowners.[1]

Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Arrests Migrants Crossing the U.S. Border for Trespassing,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-arrests-migrants-at-u-s-border-but-some-counties-arent-on-board-11626946201


Donald Trump

Eugene Scott, “Pennsylvania decertifies county voting system following private company audit promoted by pro-Trump state senators,” Washington Post, July 21, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pennsylvania-decertifies-county-voting-system-following-private-company-audit-promoted-by-pro-trump-state-senators/2021/07/21/cee5bf38-ea4e-11eb-97a0-a09d10181e36_story.html


Pandemic

Siobhan Hughes, “Bill Would Strip Social Media of Protections for Health Misinformation,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/bill-to-strip-social-media-of-protections-for-health-misinformation-11626976800


Abortion

Ariane de Vogue, “Mississippi asks US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” CNN, July 22, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/22/politics/mississippi-roe-v-wade-abortion/index.html


Computer chips

Asa Fitch, “Intel CEO Says Chip Shortage Could Stretch Into 2023,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/intel-intc-2q-earnings-report-2021-11626899296


Iraq

A ‘withdrawal’ in name only.[2]
Michael R. Gordon, “U.S., Iraq to Agree That Combat Troops Should Leave by End of 2021,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-iraq-to-agree-that-u-s-combat-troops-should-leave-by-end-of-2021-11626975666


  1. [1]Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Arrests Migrants Crossing the U.S. Border for Trespassing,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-arrests-migrants-at-u-s-border-but-some-counties-arent-on-board-11626946201
  2. [2]Michael R. Gordon, “U.S., Iraq to Agree That Combat Troops Should Leave by End of 2021,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-iraq-to-agree-that-u-s-combat-troops-should-leave-by-end-of-2021-11626975666

When they’re about to be intubated, that’s when they want the vaccine

Gig economy

Kari Paul, “Uber and Lyft drivers to join day-long strike over working conditions,” Guardian, July 21, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jul/21/uber-lyft-drivers-strike-app-based-work-gig-economy


Work

Michael Sainato, “Companies claim there’s a labor shortage. Their solution? Prisoners,” Guardian, July 20, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/20/companies-claim-theres-a-labor-shortage-their-solution-prisoners


Pandemic

“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote [Brytney] Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, in an emotional Facebook post Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been widely available in Alabama for months now, yet the state is last in the nation in vaccination rate, with only 33.7 percent of the population fully vaccinated. COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging yet again due to the more contagious Delta variant of the virus and Alabama’s low vaccination rate.[1]

Brianna Abbott, “Delta Variant Accounts for 83% of Known U.S. Covid-19 Cases,” Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/delta-variant-accounts-for-83-of-known-covid-19-cases-11626807019

Michael M. Grynbaum, Tiffany Hsu, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “On Fox News, Vaccination Pleas Intensify, but Skepticism Persists,” New York Times, July 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/20/business/media/fox-news-covid-vaccines.html

Bryan Pietsch, “Twitter suspends Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for spreading covid-19 misinformation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/20/marjorie-taylor-green-twitter-suspended-covid/

Reis Thebault, “In latest clash over Wuhan lab, Fauci tells Sen. Rand Paul: ‘You do not know what you’re talking about,’” Washington Post, July 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/20/fauci-paul-wuhan-lab/

Kari Paul, “‘A systemic failure’: vaccine misinformation remains rampant on Facebook, experts say,” Guardian, July 21, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jul/21/facebook-misinformation-vaccines

Dennis Pillion, “‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients,” Advance Local, July 21, 2021, https://www.al.com/news/2021/07/im-sorry-but-its-too-late-alabama-doctor-on-treating-unvaccinated-dying-covid-patients.html

Katherine S. Xue, “Coexisting With The Coronavirus,” New Yorker, July 21, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/coexisting-with-the-coronavirus


Donald Trump

Bess Levin, “Report: Prosecutors Have Obtained Damning Information Allegedly Implicating Trump In His Company’s Crimes,” Vanity Fair, July 19, 2021, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/07/jennifer-weisselberg-donald-trump-prosecutors


  1. [1]Dennis Pillion, “‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients,” Advance Local, July 21, 2021, https://www.al.com/news/2021/07/im-sorry-but-its-too-late-alabama-doctor-on-treating-unvaccinated-dying-covid-patients.html

Joe Biden somersaults to keep Mark Zuckerberg’s money flowing

Pandemic

My god. Watch Joe Biden do somersaults over his claim that Facebook is killing people[1] after, really, having gotten it right. The simple fact is that Facebook, not alone but nonetheless, has been enabling all sorts of right-wing misinformation.[2] And yes, some of that misinformation, about vaccines and masking, is indeed at least putting people in the hospital (with deaths surely to follow).[3] So-called “free speech” isn’t “free” when people die from it and, yes, Facebook, but again, not only Facebook, is culpable in those deaths, even if not legally so.

What we are surely seeing is a craven capitulation for campaign money.[4] But if Joe Biden really wants a Democratic Congress and if he really wants to be re-elected himself, then he really should do something about voting rights[5] instead of just yammering about it.[6]

Libby Cathey, “Biden tries to clarify comment that Facebook is ‘killing people,’ ABC News, July 19, 2021, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-clarify-comment-facebook-killing-people/story?id=78927017

Brianna Abbott, “Delta Variant Accounts for 83% of Known U.S. Covid-19 Cases,” Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/delta-variant-accounts-for-83-of-known-covid-19-cases-11626807019

Bryan Pietsch, “Twitter suspends Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for spreading covid-19 misinformation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/20/marjorie-taylor-green-twitter-suspended-covid/


Philadelphia

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Evicted without warning, again: As lockouts resume, tenants are left scrambling for homes,” July 19, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/eviction-philadelphia-tenants-landlord-housing-20210719.html


Billionaire space race

Adam Gabbatt, “Bezos blasted for traveling to space while Amazon workers toil on planet Earth,” Guardian, July 20, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jul/20/bezos-space-travel-blue-origin-amazon-criticism

Samantha Masunaga and Andrew Mendez, “Jeff Bezos launches new era of space travel with Blue Origin ride,” Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-07-20/jeff-bezos-launches-blue-origin-new-shepard


Labor

Michael Sainato, “Companies claim there’s a labor shortage. Their solution? Prisoners,” Guardian, July 20, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/20/companies-claim-theres-a-labor-shortage-their-solution-prisoners


  1. [1]Libby Cathey, “Biden tries to clarify comment that Facebook is ‘killing people,’ ABC News, July 19, 2021, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-clarify-comment-facebook-killing-people/story?id=78927017
  2. [2]Jason Togyer, “How Facebook has undermined communal conversation in McKeesport,” Columbia Journalism Review, June 18, 2020, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/year-of-fear-chapter-19-facebook-undermined-conversation-in-mckeesport.php
  3. [3]Joel Achenbach, “In this summer of covid freedom, disease experts warn: ‘The world needs a reality check,’” Washington Post, July 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/in-this-summer-of-covid-freedom-disease-experts-warn-the-world-needs-a-reality-check/2021/07/17/895be6e8-e58c-11eb-b722-89ea0dde7771_story.html; Dan Diamond, Hannah Knowles, and Tyler Pager, “Vaccine hesitancy morphs into hostility, as opposition to shots hardens,” Washington Post, July 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/covid-vaccines-biden-trump/2021/07/15/adaf6c7e-e4bd-11eb-a41e-c8442c213fa8_story.html; Melanie Evans and Julie Wernau, “Unvaccinated Americans Are Behind Rising Covid-19 Hospitalizations,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/unvaccinated-covid-19-hospitalizations-11626528110; Hannah Knowles, “DeSantis sells ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida’ merch as new coronavirus cases near highest in nation,” Washington Post, July 14, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/desantis-fauci-florida/; Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin, II, “Tougher tactics targeting the unvaccinated needed to stop new COVID-19 spike, experts say,” Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-14/to-slow-covid-19-rise-door-to-door-vaccine-outreach-and-workplace-requirements-could-help; Ed Pilkington and Lauren Aratani, “US seeing ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ as cases rise in every state,” Guardian, July 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/covid-19-us-delta-variant-unvaccinated
  4. [4]Julia Ioffe, “Zuckerberg, Biden, and the End of an Obama-Era Romance,” Tomorrow Will be Worse, July 19, 2021, https://ckarchive.com/b/zlughnh2l3ze
  5. [5]Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead
  6. [6]Philip Bump, “Biden warns that American democracy is under threat — a message targeting many in his own party,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/biden-warns-that-american-democracy-is-under-threat-a-message-targeting-many-his-own-party/

A rigidity to their stupidity

There is a new blog post entitled, “A rigidity to Uber’s stupidity.”


Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

But the report showed that a worker would need to earn $24.90 per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom home at Fair Market Rent. And a $20.40 “housing wage” would be needed for a one-bedroom. Fair Market Rents are government estimates of what a person should expect to pay for a modest home in their area.[1]

Were we being real about minimum wage, it would be over $24 per hour,[2] which would bring rent within range. But instead, capitalists, resenting every last penny they have to pay workers, complain about an entirely bogus “labor shortage.”[3]

Anna Bahney, “Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent anywhere in America,” CNN, July 15, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/homes/rent-affordability-minimum-wage/index.html


Pandemic

I think it’s safe to say that Britain’s reopening isn’t quite going according to plan:

One of Britain’s largest retailers warned of “major disruption” that could leave gaps on shelves, while parts of the London Underground closed yesterday because of the number of staff instructed to self-isolate.

[Boris] Johnson and several other senior cabinet ministers were warned that they could have to self-isolate after Sajid Javid, the health secretary, who has championed the economic arguments for opening up, disclosed that he had showed up positive on a lateral flow test. Javid, 51, who has been double-jabbed, said his symptoms were mild.[4]

The U.K. is said to be suffering a “pingdemic,” as a contact tracing app informs users they’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19[5] (figure 1).

Fig. 1. Cartoon by Matt Pritchett, July 17, 2021, Telegraph, via his newsletter, fair use.


Greg Sargent thinks the Republican message on vaccines implicitly is: “If you want us to help you vaccinate our own populations, you’d better stop calling out our voter suppression efforts for what they are.[6]

People are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don’t trust [Joe Biden’s] Administration. They don’t trust the Election results, and they certainly don’t trust the Fake News.[7]

In short, Republicans are willing to let their own voters die for Donald Trump and to suppress the nonwhite vote.[8] Which is, of course, absurd: Your vote can’t count when you’re dead; you’re handing a voting advantage to those with immunity. But not much makes any sense at all anymore.

“Clearly, from what we’re seeing in the natural experiment of vaccinated versus unvaccinated Americans, those who are unvaccinated almost exclusively are the ones who are in hospitals with Covid,” said Jonathan Perlin, HCA’s chief medical officer. He noted data includes information reported by patients.[9]

Melanie Evans and Julie Wernau, “Unvaccinated Americans Are Behind Rising Covid-19 Hospitalizations,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/unvaccinated-covid-19-hospitalizations-11626528110

Michael Laris and Lori Aratani, “Unruly airplane passengers are straining the system for keeping peace in the sky,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/18/airplane-fight-behavior-faa-arrests/

Caroline Wheeler and Louise Eccles, “Johnson swelters over ‘freedom day’ mayhem,” Times, July 18, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/johnson-swelters-over-freedom-day-mayhem-35mrj0s6v

Amanda Coletta, “Canada to open border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens on Aug. 9,” Washington Post, July 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/19/canada-us-border-open/

Christopher Hope, “Freedom Day farce as Boris Johnson urged to end ‘pingdemic,’” Telegraph, July 19, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/07/18/freedom-day-farce-boris-johnson-urged-endpingdemic/

Greg Sargent, “A vile new Trump-GOP claim about vaccines suggests trouble ahead,” Washington Post, July 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/19/vile-new-trump-gop-claim-about-vaccines-suggests-trouble-ahead/


Jerusalem

If indeed, as many social conservatives posit, the Bible is the literal word of God, then it would seem that God has some explaining to do. Perhaps he can just strike down those blaspheming archaeologists instead.

Amanda Borschel-Dan, “First Temple-era walls, razed in biblical account, found unbreached in Jerusalem,” Times of Israel, July 14, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/first-temple-era-walls-razed-in-biblical-account-found-unbreached-in-jerusalem/


Donald Trump

Associated Press, “Pennsylvania election audit gets GOP campaign trail embrace,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 18, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-election-audit-gets-gop-campaign-trail-embrace/


White supremacy

Sarah Brown, “U. of South Carolina Wants to Rename Buildings. State Politics Will Stop It,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 16, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/u-of-south-carolina-wants-to-rename-buildings-state-politics-will-stop-it


Residential schools


CTV News, “Sask. Indigenous leader says Catholic Church releasing records for 13 residential schools,” July 18, 2021, https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/sask-indigenous-leader-says-catholic-church-releasing-records-for-13-residential-schools-1.5514044

Jeff Gammage, “Rosebud Sioux teens, now young adults, return to claim relatives’ remains from Carlisle Indian School Cemetery,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 18, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/news/rosebud-sioux-carlisle-indian-school-repatriation-boarding-school-army-cemetery-20210717.html


Higher education

Not what’s happening:

[George] Orwell wanted readers to see that writing clearly and truthfully is a moral act. This is why, for instance, it is so wrong to argue that the primary value of college writing instruction is give students “communication skills” for their future jobs. Teaching writing is teaching thinking, and thinking well is a moral virtue. “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity,” Orwell wrote; to be insincere is to be untrue.[10]

Important as the foregoing excerpt is, it misrepresents Lee Vinsel’s thrust. His critique aims not at the teaching of English but instead at universities’ self-promotion:[11]

Now, I realize that “Students Load Up on Debt While Wages for College Grads Stagnate” is not a winning headline for a glossy PR publication. But universities have a moral duty to bring their rhetoric back down to earth. Shouldn’t their publications educate and inform? Is it OK for university organs to spout bullshit? Indeed, the duty to inform is especially true of land-grant universities, which have an explicit mission to educate the public at large, as our agricultural-extension programs have done for over a century.[12]

Lee Vinsel, “Marketing and PR Are Corrupting Universities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/marketing-and-pr-are-corrupting-universities


Used cars

Nora Naughton, “Selling Your Used Car? You Could Turn a Profit,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/selling-your-used-car-you-could-turn-a-profit-11626606000


Surveys

Public opinion polls in the 2020 presidential election suffered from errors of “unusual magnitude,” the highest in 40 years for surveys estimating the national popular vote and in at least 20 years for state-level polls, according to a study conducted by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).[13]

They consider just about every possible explanation[14] except that they’re working with a six or seven percent response rate[15] when it should be ninety percent.

The fundamental problem that no amount of statistical magic can address is that, with such a low response rate, your sample is self-selecting, specifically, of people who choose to be polled; these respondents are different in utterly unknown and utterly unpredictable ways from non-respondents. So your sample cannot be representative of the over eighty percent who should respond but do not. This completely invalidates the methodology.

Dan Balz, “2020 presidential polls suffered worst performance in decades, report says,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020-poll-errors/2021/07/18/8d6a9838-e7df-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html


Technology

Julia Ioffe: So Teddy, you’re in San Francisco, where you write about the egos and influence of Silicon Valley, and I’m a Luddite who likes reading books on paper in Washington. Over the weekend, there were a couple tech stories that made me panic just a little. First, there were the dancing robots—including the terrifying police “dog,” the one the N.Y.P.D. had sent into the projects—doing the running man. Then there was the story about the experimental brain implant that can translate thoughts into words, which seems great for helping paralyzed people who can’t speak but also potentially terrifying if, say, the Chinese government used it to thought-police the Uyghurs. Am I needlessly freaking out or do our brightest technological minds often fail to consider how their inventions might be used for ill?

Teddy Schleifer: Fail to consider, or aren’t incentivized to consider? There is little market pressure to reckon with the social consequences of any innovation. Companies are rewarded for growth, which often forces them to deprioritize anything that hinders that until it is too late. That’s why the Bay Area posturing that I find most grating is all the high-minded talk of social conscience. “Impact investing.” “New capitalism.” “Connecting the world.”​​ But all of these businesses primarily care about one thing: maximizing shareholder value.[16]

This discussion is priceless. Read the whole thing. And yeah, I’m going to plug Julia Ioffe’s newsletter again. Subscribe, damn it.

Julia Ioffe, “Zuckerberg, Biden, and the End of an Obama-Era Romance,” Tomorrow Will be Worse, July 19, 2021, https://ckarchive.com/b/zlughnh2l3ze


  1. [1]Anna Bahney, “Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent anywhere in America,” CNN, July 15, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/homes/rent-affordability-minimum-wage/index.html
  2. [2]Dean Baker, “This is What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with Productivity,” Center for Economic Policy and Research, January 21, 2020, https://cepr.net/this-is-what-minimum-wage-would-be-if-it-kept-pace-with-productivity/
  3. [3]Abha Bhattarai, “Retail workers are quitting at record rates for higher-paying work: ‘My life isn’t worth a dead-end job,’” Washington Post, June 21, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/21/retail-workers-quitting-jobs/; Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html; Eric Levitz, “Letting the Economy Create Jobs for Everyone Is (Sadly) Radical,” New York, June 4, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/06/biden-full-employment-policy-labor-shortage-inflation.html; Heather Long, “It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America,” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/; Greg Rosalsky, “Is There Really A Truck Driver Shortage?” National Public Radio, May 25, 2021, https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2021/05/25/999784202/is-there-really-a-truck-driver-shortage; Eli Rosenberg, “These businesses found a way around the worker shortage: Raising wages to $15 an hour or more,” Washington Post, June 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/10/worker-shortage-raising-wages/; Jon Schwarz, “The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries,” Intercept, May 7, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/05/07/worker-shortage-slavery-capitalism/
  4. [4]Caroline Wheeler and Louise Eccles, “Johnson swelters over ‘freedom day’ mayhem,” Times, July 18, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/johnson-swelters-over-freedom-day-mayhem-35mrj0s6v
  5. [5]Christopher Hope, “Freedom Day farce as Boris Johnson urged to end ‘pingdemic,’” Telegraph, July 19, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/07/18/freedom-day-farce-boris-johnson-urged-endpingdemic/; Caroline Wheeler and Louise Eccles, “Johnson swelters over ‘freedom day’ mayhem,” Times, July 18, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/johnson-swelters-over-freedom-day-mayhem-35mrj0s6v
  6. [6]Greg Sargent, “A vile new Trump-GOP claim about vaccines suggests trouble ahead,” Washington Post, July 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/19/vile-new-trump-gop-claim-about-vaccines-suggests-trouble-ahead/
  7. [7]Donald Trump, quoted in Greg Sargent, “A vile new Trump-GOP claim about vaccines suggests trouble ahead,” Washington Post, July 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/19/vile-new-trump-gop-claim-about-vaccines-suggests-trouble-ahead/
  8. [8]Greg Sargent, “A vile new Trump-GOP claim about vaccines suggests trouble ahead,” Washington Post, July 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/19/vile-new-trump-gop-claim-about-vaccines-suggests-trouble-ahead/
  9. [9]Melanie Evans and Julie Wernau, “Unvaccinated Americans Are Behind Rising Covid-19 Hospitalizations,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/unvaccinated-covid-19-hospitalizations-11626528110
  10. [10]Lee Vinsel, “Marketing and PR Are Corrupting Universities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/marketing-and-pr-are-corrupting-universities
  11. [11]Lee Vinsel, “Marketing and PR Are Corrupting Universities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/marketing-and-pr-are-corrupting-universities
  12. [12]Lee Vinsel, “Marketing and PR Are Corrupting Universities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/marketing-and-pr-are-corrupting-universities
  13. [13]Dan Balz, “2020 presidential polls suffered worst performance in decades, report says,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020-poll-errors/2021/07/18/8d6a9838-e7df-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html
  14. [14]Dan Balz, “2020 presidential polls suffered worst performance in decades, report says,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020-poll-errors/2021/07/18/8d6a9838-e7df-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html
  15. [15]Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/
  16. [16]Julia Ioffe, “Zuckerberg, Biden, and the End of an Obama-Era Romance,” Tomorrow Will be Worse, July 19, 2021, https://ckarchive.com/b/zlughnh2l3ze

Impossible CEO thinks he can eliminate the nonhuman animal flesh industry

Fake meat

Laura Reiley, “Why the CEO of Impossible Foods thinks he can eliminate all animal-based meat in 15 years,” Washington Post, July 16, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/07/16/impossible-foods-pat-brown-interview/


Employment

Paul Constant, “Kroger closed grocery stores rather than give workers a $4 raise. Now it’s padding shareholders’ pockets with a $1 billion stock-buyback scheme,” Business Insider, July 16, 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/kroger-closed-grocery-stores-worker-raises-stock-buyback-2021-7


White supremacist gangs

Amina Khan, “Police officers treat Black and white men differently. You can hear it in their tone of voice,” Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-07-16/cops-treat-black-and-white-men-differently-you-can-hear-it-in-their-tone-of-voice


Voting rights

Abby Livingston and Carla Astudillo, “Sen. Joe Manchin, key Democratic holdout on federal voting protections, coming to Texas for fundraiser hosted by several GOP donors,” Texas Tribune, June 16, 2021, https://www.texastribune.org/2021/07/15/joe-manchin-texas-fundraiser-republicans/


Pandemic

Ed Pilkington and Lauren Aratani, “US seeing ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ as cases rise in every state,” Guardian, July 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/covid-19-us-delta-variant-unvaccinated

Joel Achenbach, “In this summer of covid freedom, disease experts warn: ‘The world needs a reality check,’” Washington Post, July 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/in-this-summer-of-covid-freedom-disease-experts-warn-the-world-needs-a-reality-check/2021/07/17/895be6e8-e58c-11eb-b722-89ea0dde7771_story.html


When everything is anti-Semitic, then nothing is

My car is now through the break-in period. All I can really say about that is that I tried. One reason I took special trips was to try to avoid or at least minimize situations where I would violate the break-in guidelines and I hope I mostly succeeded. The trouble is that these guidelines are stated vaguely: How hard is braking too hard? How fast is too fast? How much acceleration is too much?

These break-in drives have been hard drives, not at all because of the car—on the contrary—but because with all the excitement, I’m tired. I am seeing how very much safer this car is and how drives that I might have bad to back off from, maybe staying a night in a motel, became possible, because this car does so much automatically that it really is that much an easier car to drive.

I’m still not back to work. Before I can return to work, I have to have all the paperwork in order for the car for Uber (really, Lyft too). I have a temporary registration from the dealer, so I thought the problem would be with getting the insurance card, but I was actually able to straighten out the insurance situation within an hour or so. Lyft doesn’t recognize the temporary registration and Uber is still thinking about it (not a good sign). I don’t know when I’m going to get back to work.

This has been a long stretch financially, nearly all on credit, and some of the rest on smaller payments than usual or bills I haven’t paid immediately on receipt. I’m still hoping to move in October and to visit my mother next February; but now there is damage to be repaired.


Higher education

Deb Erdley, “Plan approved to continue with consolidation of California, Clarion and Edinboro universities,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 14, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/plan-approved-to-continue-with-consolidatation-of-california-clarion-and-edinboro-universities/

Eric Kelderman, “The Plan Is ‘Not Perfect,’ but Pa.’s Public-College System Will Turn 6 Campuses Into 2,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-plan-is-not-perfect-but-pa-s-public-college-system-will-turn-6-campuses-into-2


Pandemic

The notion that the vaccine drive is pointless or harmful — or perhaps even a government plot — is increasingly an article of faith among supporters of former president Donald Trump, on a par with assertions that the last election was stolen and the assault on the U.S. Capitol was overblown.[1]

Dan Diamond, Hannah Knowles, and Tyler Pager, “Vaccine hesitancy morphs into hostility, as opposition to shots hardens,” Washington Post, July 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/covid-vaccines-biden-trump/2021/07/15/adaf6c7e-e4bd-11eb-a41e-c8442c213fa8_story.html


Donald Trump

Ed Kilgore, “Trump’s Kind of Coup Is Indeed a Contested Election,” New York, July 15, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/trumps-kind-of-coup-is-indeed-a-contested-election.html


Voting rights

David Weigel, “Clear eyes, fully entrenched base: Why Texas Democrats think they can’t lose by fleeing the state,” Washington Post, July 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/15/trailer-clear-eyes-fully-entrenched-base-why-texas-democrats-think-they-cant-lose-by-fleeing-state/


Anti-Semitism

Look, I despise Mark Zuckerberg as much as anybody. He’s a filthier-than-filthy rich, arrogant, entitled asshole, but here is yet another example[2] of anti-Semitism claims gone wild.[3] When everything is anti-Semitism, then nothing is, and these idiots really need to be thinking about that.

Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the term Zuckerbucks perpetuates an age-old antisemitic stereotype claiming that rich Jews use their money to exercise inordinate control over governments. Zuckerberg is the fifth-richest person in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of approximately $97 billion.[4]

Who knew that Jews were the only ones to do this? That we should blame Jews exclusively for the constitutional oligarchy?[5] I sure didn’t.

Again, while lots of corporations spend lots of money on lobbying—in this case, it was to aid local election offices, which is pretty fucking innocent unless you’re trying to stop a nonexistent “steal”[6]—the slur becomes anti-Semitic because we’re talking about one particular corporate leader who happens to be Jewish.[7]

Ron Kampeas, “Republicans are trying to brand Mark Zuckerberg as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ Antisemitism watchdogs aren’t happy,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 14, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/07/14/politics/republicans-are-trying-to-brand-mark-zuckerberg-as-zuckerbucks-antisemitism-watchdogs-arent-happy


Washington Post

The Washington Post has a new executive editor, Sally Buzbee.[8]


  1. [1]Dan Diamond, Hannah Knowles, and Tyler Pager, “Vaccine hesitancy morphs into hostility, as opposition to shots hardens,” Washington Post, July 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/covid-vaccines-biden-trump/2021/07/15/adaf6c7e-e4bd-11eb-a41e-c8442c213fa8_story.html
  2. [2]Ron Kampeas, “Republicans are trying to brand Mark Zuckerberg as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ Antisemitism watchdogs aren’t happy,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 14, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/07/14/politics/republicans-are-trying-to-brand-mark-zuckerberg-as-zuckerbucks-antisemitism-watchdogs-arent-happy
  3. [3]David Benfell, “On ‘anti-Semitism,’” Not Housebroken, June 27, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/27/on-anti-semitism/
  4. [4]Ron Kampeas, “Republicans are trying to brand Mark Zuckerberg as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ Antisemitism watchdogs aren’t happy,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 14, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/07/14/politics/republicans-are-trying-to-brand-mark-zuckerberg-as-zuckerbucks-antisemitism-watchdogs-arent-happy
  5. [5]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, July 3, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  6. [6]Ron Kampeas, “Republicans are trying to brand Mark Zuckerberg as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ Antisemitism watchdogs aren’t happy,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 14, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/07/14/politics/republicans-are-trying-to-brand-mark-zuckerberg-as-zuckerbucks-antisemitism-watchdogs-arent-happy
  7. [7]Ben Sales, “How Mark Zuckerberg embraced his Judaism,” Times of Israel, October 3, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-mark-zuckerberg-embraced-his-judaism/
  8. [8]Sally Buzbee to subscribers, July 16, 2021, https://washingtonpost.com/

Yes, let’s talk about ‘freedom,’ shall we? Will I, despite Republicans’ vaccine resistance, be able to visit my mother next February?

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 14, 2021 at 9:19 am.

  2. July 15, 2021, 1:49 am:

    • Some folks in California are being a bit more forceful about getting people vaccinated.[1]

    • The Amazon rainforest is now a net carbon emitter and by no small amount.[2]

    • I’m just not trusting mainstream media coverage on Cuba: Of course they hate Cuba’s government. Of course they’re boosting dissent. They’ve been doing this literally my entire life. And indeed it looks like the real issue is an economic crisis for which the U.S. embargo is largely responsible.[3] Such a surprise.

    • Under [Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker’s] plan, states would be able to write their own cannabis laws and marijuana would be eliminated from the federal list of controlled substances within 60 days of implementation. The bill would shift the regulatory jurisdiction from the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.[4]

      Californians, however, might spot something familiar:

      As is the case with alcohol and tobacco, cannabis and its products would be subject to an excise tax. The tax rate would increase over a five-year period after enactment, starting at 10% and gradually increasing to 25% after five years.[5]

      Revenue, baby. It’s all about the revenue.


    • Fig. 1. My new car. Photograph by author, July 14, 2021.

      I picked up my new car late this afternoon. I was a bundle of nerves but everything went smoothly. I got the car one-third of the way through the break-in (to 200 miles) tonight; I can now brake hard if necessary. Now I need another 400 miles without high speed or hard acceleration; this is my project for tomorrow.

      One thing I notice right away is that the odometer is the most accurate I’ve ever seen, probably to within 1 mile in 100. That made it possible for me to get home right at the 200 mile mark.

      The car hates my garage, which is ridiculously narrow. I have alarms going off all while I’m pulling in or out. It’s only a half inch wider than the Camry Hybrid was.


My new car has arrived. I’ll be going in at 4:00 pm to trade in my poor old 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid and take delivery on the new car.


Pandemic

I had planned to drive cross country next February to visit my mother and retrieve more of my stuff that I left behind when I moved back to Pittsburgh a couple years ago. The trouble is that the route I would use, a southern route to limit winter weather, traverses a bunch of states where vaccine resistance is high.[6] The absolute last thing I dare do, however, is carry the coronavirus to my mother and I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m going to be able to make this trip.

As things stand, the answer is probably yes. My mother and I are both fully vaccinated, so even if I were exposed, I would be unlikely to transmit the virus.[7] But new variants, some perhaps more likely to “break through” vaccinations, have to be expected.[8]

Brett Kelman, “Tennessee abandons vaccine outreach to minors — not just for COVID-19,” Nashville Tennessean, July 13, 2021, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2021/07/13/tennessee-halts-all-vaccine-outreach-minors-not-just-covid-19/7928701002/

Hannah Knowles, “DeSantis sells ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida’ merch as new coronavirus cases near highest in nation,” Washington Post, July 14, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/desantis-fauci-florida/


Voting rights

Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Senate Passes Voting Bill, as Democratic Rivals Push Federal Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-senate-expected-to-take-up-vote-on-election-legislation-11626176054

Amy Gardner et al., “Inside the secret plan for the Texas Democratic exodus: A phone tree, a scramble to pack and a politically perilous trip,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-democrats-voting-exodus/2021/07/13/f391dc9e-e3ce-11eb-a41e-c8442c213fa8_story.html


Climate crisis

Damian Carrington, “Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs,” Guardian, July 14, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/14/amazon-rainforest-now-emitting-more-co2-than-it-absorbs


Cuba

Democracy Now! “‘We Just Want the Basics’: Rare Protests in Cuba Amid Deep Economic Crisis, Ongoing U.S. Blockade,” July 14, 2021, https://www.democracynow.org/2021/7/14/cuba_protests_covid19_us_blockade


Marijuana

Jack Turman, “3 Senate Democrats draft plan to end federal ban on marijuana,” CBS News, July 14, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ending-federal-ban-on-marijuana-senate-plan/


  1. [1]Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin, II, “Tougher tactics targeting the unvaccinated needed to stop new COVID-19 spike, experts say,” Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-14/to-slow-covid-19-rise-door-to-door-vaccine-outreach-and-workplace-requirements-could-help
  2. [2]Damian Carrington, “Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs,” Guardian, July 14, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/14/amazon-rainforest-now-emitting-more-co2-than-it-absorbs
  3. [3]Democracy Now! “‘We Just Want the Basics’: Rare Protests in Cuba Amid Deep Economic Crisis, Ongoing U.S. Blockade,” July 14, 2021, https://www.democracynow.org/2021/7/14/cuba_protests_covid19_us_blockade
  4. [4]Jack Turman, “3 Senate Democrats draft plan to end federal ban on marijuana,” CBS News, July 14, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ending-federal-ban-on-marijuana-senate-plan/
  5. [5]Jack Turman, “3 Senate Democrats draft plan to end federal ban on marijuana,” CBS News, July 14, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ending-federal-ban-on-marijuana-senate-plan/
  6. [6]Max Boot, “Republicans are preventing America from reaching Biden’s vaccination goal,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/06/republican-antivaxxers-biden-vaccination-goal/; Philip Bump, “A third of White conservatives refuse to get vaccinated — a refusal shown in polling and the real world,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/06/third-white-conservatives-refuse-get-vaccine-refusal-shown-both-polling-real-world/; Maggie Fox, “Unvaccinated people are ‘variant factories,’ infectious diseases expert says,” CNN, July 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html; Courtney Ann Jackson, “Mississippi doctors still urging folks to get vaccinated as Delta variant becomes dominant COVID strain,” WLBT, July 5, 2021, https://www.wlbt.com/2021/07/06/mississippi-doctors-still-urging-folks-get-vaccinated-delta-variant-becomes-dominant-covid-strain/; Peter Jamison, “Their neighbors called covid-19 a hoax. Can these ICU nurses forgive them?” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/07/06/appalachian-covid-deniers-nurses-virginia/; Ron Kampeas, “In latest Nazi analogy, Marjorie Taylor Greene invokes ‘medical brown shirts’ in decrying vaccination outreach,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 7, 2021, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/in-latest-nazi-analogy-marjorie-taylor-greene-invokes-medical-brown-shirts-in-decrying-vaccination-outreach; Brett Kelman, “Tennessee abandons vaccine outreach to minors — not just for COVID-19,” Nashville Tennessean, July 13, 2021, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2021/07/13/tennessee-halts-all-vaccine-outreach-minors-not-just-covid-19/7928701002/; Dhruv Khullar, “One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic,” New Yorker, June 23, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-delta-variant-is-a-grave-danger-to-the-unvaccinated; Ed Kilgore, “The Willfully Unvaccinated Are the Newest Republican Martyrs,” New York, July 13, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/the-willfully-unvaccinated-are-the-newest-republican-martyrs.html; Paul Waldman, “Right-wing anti-vaccine hysteria is increasing. We’ll all pay the price,” Washington Post, July 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/08/right-wing-anti-vaccine-hysteria-is-increasing-well-all-pay-price/
  7. [7]Dhruv Khullar, “One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic,” New Yorker, June 23, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-delta-variant-is-a-grave-danger-to-the-unvaccinated; Rong-Gong Lin, II, “Confidence grows that COVID-19 vaccines hold their own against variants,” Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-05-10/covid-vaccines-holding-their-own-against-coronavirus-variants; German Lopez, “Got the vaccine? Experts say you can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really,” Vox, May 11, 2021, https://www.vox.com/22423098/covid-19-vaccine-coronavirus-protection-herd-immunity; Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo, “‘Great day for America’: Vaccinated can largely ditch masks,” Associated Press, May 13, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-masks-cdc-guidelines-9d10c8b5f80a4ac720fa1df2a4fb93e5; Don Sweeney and Katie Camero, “Face masks not necessary in US to curb Delta variant, CDC chief says,” Sacramento Bee, June 30, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article252469793.html;
  8. [8]Maggie Fox, “Unvaccinated people are ‘variant factories,’ infectious diseases expert says,” CNN, July 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html

Academic casualties in the culture war

Weather

At about 4 am, this morning, I had begun writing a new blog post, entitled, “Cornel West’s resignation and neoliberalism’s pernicious influence on academia,” when this[1] happened:


The beep that occurs somewhere in this recording is not your microwave. It’s an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) chirping. I lost power just long enough that I had to restart my air filters and fans.

I was not struck down. So, um, no promises, but it might be safe to read it.

Royce Jones, “Overnight Storms Cause Extensive Damage As Pittsburgh Braces For Round 2,” KDKA-TV, July 13, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/07/13/pittsburgh-severe-storms-weather-damage/


Higher education

Brendan Cantwell, “The Culture War Has Come for Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-culture-war-has-come-for-higher-ed

Timothy Bella, “Cornel West says in resignation letter over tenure dispute that Harvard is in ‘decline and decay,’” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/07/13/cornel-west-harvard-tenure-resignation/

Megan Zahneis, “Cornel West’s Resignation Letter Cites ‘Decline and Decay’ at Harvard Divinity School,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/cornel-wests-resignation-letter-cites-decline-and-decay-at-harvard-divinity-school


Donald Trump

Jan Wolfe and David Thomas, “Judge eyes sanctions on pro-Trump lawyers who claimed voter fraud,” Reuters, July 12, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/judge-blasts-ex-trump-lawyer-sidney-powell-over-lawsuit-overturn-us-election-2021-07-12/


Voting rights

By virtually all accounts, Republicans, even in the judiciary, are desperately attempting to ensure that Democrats never win another election ever again.[2] If we were speaking of a party that actually wanted to win elections, to hold power, you might think the Democrats would see this as an existential threat.[3]

[Joe] Biden’s substance fell far short of his rhetoric. Nowhere in the address did Biden mention the filibuster, which allows a minority of Republican senators to block any voting rights legislation from making it through the chamber. Earlier this year, Biden expressed some support for modest reforms, such as the so-called talking filibuster, that would make the practice harder to sustain. But he appeared to back down from that position on Tuesday. His speech included no call for even minor filibuster reforms, nor did it put any serious pressure on known Democratic holdouts, such as Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, to rethink their entrenched position.[4]

It might be possible to argue that Texas Democrats perceive an existential threat.[5] But their urgency seems only to be matched by Republicans’ determination to suppress voting.[6]

Philip Bump, “Biden warns that American democracy is under threat — a message targeting many in his own party,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/biden-warns-that-american-democracy-is-under-threat-a-message-targeting-many-his-own-party/

Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead

Amy Gardner and Eva Ruth Moravec, “Texas governor says Democratic lawmakers who left state to stop passage of voting restrictions could face arrest when they return,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-democrats-voting-restrictions/2021/07/12/99d35154-e326-11eb-8aa5-5662858b696e_story.html


Pandemic

Helen Branswell, “WHO director-general slams notion of Covid-19 vaccine booster doses given global health needs,” Stat, July 12, 2021, https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/12/who-director-general-slams-notion-of-covid-19-vaccine-booster-doses-given-global-health-needs/

Maria Cheng, “WHO: Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters,” Associated Press, July 13, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-health-government-and-politics-coronavirus-pandemic-02b1157d4f0def0460c9c4548f1c7679

Ed Kilgore, “The Willfully Unvaccinated Are the Newest Republican Martyrs,” New York, July 13, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/the-willfully-unvaccinated-are-the-newest-republican-martyrs.html


  1. [1]Royce Jones, “Overnight Storms Cause Extensive Damage As Pittsburgh Braces For Round 2,” KDKA-TV, July 13, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/07/13/pittsburgh-severe-storms-weather-damage/
  2. [2]Philip Bump, “Biden warns that American democracy is under threat — a message targeting many in his own party,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/biden-warns-that-american-democracy-is-under-threat-a-message-targeting-many-his-own-party/; Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/; Stephen Collinson, “Revolt by Texas Democrats heaps pressure on Washington to act on voting reform,” CNN, June 1, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/politics/texas-democrats-voting-reform-pressure/index.html; Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Democrats to Stage Walkout to Kill Voting Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-democrats-to-stage-walk-out-to-kill-voting-bill-11626110179; Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead; David Gans, “Selective originalism and selective textualism: How the Roberts court decimated the Voting Rights Act,” SCOTUSblog, July 7, 2021, https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/selective-originalism-and-selective-textualism-how-the-roberts-court-decimated-the-voting-rights-act/; Amy Gardner and Eva Ruth Moravec, “Texas governor says Democratic lawmakers who left state to stop passage of voting restrictions could face arrest when they return,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-democrats-voting-restrictions/2021/07/12/99d35154-e326-11eb-8aa5-5662858b696e_story.html; Amy Gardner and Amy B Wang, “Georgia governor signs into law sweeping voting bill that curtails the use of drop boxes and imposes new ID requirements for mail voting,” Washington Post, March 25, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/georgia-voting-restrictions/2021/03/25/91009e72-8da1-11eb-9423-04079921c915_story.html; Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, “Supreme Court nixes California disclosure law in blow to dark-money opponents,” Politico, July 1, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/01/supreme-court-california-disclosure-law-donors-497554; Scott Lemieux, “How the Supreme Court’s Arizona voting rights decision will affect challenges to Georgia’s law,” NBC News, July 1, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-supreme-court-s-arizona-voting-rights-decision-will-impact-ncna1272928; Amanda Marcotte, “Kyrsten Sinema’s run out of excuses: Supreme Court leaves Senate Democrats with little choice,” Salon, July 2, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/02/kyrsten-sinemas-run-out-of-excuses-supreme-court-leaves-senate-democrats-with-little-choice/; Carrie Levine, “Why there’s even more pressure now on Congress to pass a voting rights bill,” Center for Public Integrity, July 9, 2021, https://publicintegrity.org/inside-publici/newsletters/watchdog-newsletter/why-theres-even-more-pressure-now-on-congress-to-pass-a-voting-rights-bill/; Sam Levine, “Is the US supreme court having a liberal moment? Not on one crucial issue,” Guardian, July 11, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/11/supreme-court-justices-liberal-conservatives; Rashawn Ray and Alexandra Gibbons, “Why are states banning critical race theory?” Brookings, July 2, 2021, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/; Nicholas Stephanopoulos, “The Supreme Court showcased its ‘textualist’ double standard on voting rights,” Washington Post, July 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/01/supreme-court-alito-voting-rights-act/; Jane C. Timm, “Texas Democrats flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions,” NBC News, July 12, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667
  3. [3]Philip Bump, “Biden warns that American democracy is under threat — a message targeting many in his own party,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/biden-warns-that-american-democracy-is-under-threat-a-message-targeting-many-his-own-party/; Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead
  4. [4]Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead
  5. [5]Stephen Collinson, “Revolt by Texas Democrats heaps pressure on Washington to act on voting reform,” CNN, June 1, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/politics/texas-democrats-voting-reform-pressure/index.html; Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Democrats to Stage Walkout to Kill Voting Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-democrats-to-stage-walk-out-to-kill-voting-bill-11626110179; ; Amy Gardner and Eva Ruth Moravec, “Texas governor says Democratic lawmakers who left state to stop passage of voting restrictions could face arrest when they return,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-democrats-voting-restrictions/2021/07/12/99d35154-e326-11eb-8aa5-5662858b696e_story.html
  6. [6]Philip Bump, “Biden warns that American democracy is under threat — a message targeting many in his own party,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/biden-warns-that-american-democracy-is-under-threat-a-message-targeting-many-his-own-party/; Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/; Stephen Collinson, “Revolt by Texas Democrats heaps pressure on Washington to act on voting reform,” CNN, June 1, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/politics/texas-democrats-voting-reform-pressure/index.html; Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Democrats to Stage Walkout to Kill Voting Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-democrats-to-stage-walk-out-to-kill-voting-bill-11626110179; Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead; David Gans, “Selective originalism and selective textualism: How the Roberts court decimated the Voting Rights Act,” SCOTUSblog, July 7, 2021, https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/selective-originalism-and-selective-textualism-how-the-roberts-court-decimated-the-voting-rights-act/; Amy Gardner and Eva Ruth Moravec, “Texas governor says Democratic lawmakers who left state to stop passage of voting restrictions could face arrest when they return,” Washington Post, July 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-democrats-voting-restrictions/2021/07/12/99d35154-e326-11eb-8aa5-5662858b696e_story.html; Amy Gardner and Amy B Wang, “Georgia governor signs into law sweeping voting bill that curtails the use of drop boxes and imposes new ID requirements for mail voting,” Washington Post, March 25, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/georgia-voting-restrictions/2021/03/25/91009e72-8da1-11eb-9423-04079921c915_story.html; Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, “Supreme Court nixes California disclosure law in blow to dark-money opponents,” Politico, July 1, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/01/supreme-court-california-disclosure-law-donors-497554; Scott Lemieux, “How the Supreme Court’s Arizona voting rights decision will affect challenges to Georgia’s law,” NBC News, July 1, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-supreme-court-s-arizona-voting-rights-decision-will-impact-ncna1272928; Amanda Marcotte, “Kyrsten Sinema’s run out of excuses: Supreme Court leaves Senate Democrats with little choice,” Salon, July 2, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/02/kyrsten-sinemas-run-out-of-excuses-supreme-court-leaves-senate-democrats-with-little-choice/; Carrie Levine, “Why there’s even more pressure now on Congress to pass a voting rights bill,” Center for Public Integrity, July 9, 2021, https://publicintegrity.org/inside-publici/newsletters/watchdog-newsletter/why-theres-even-more-pressure-now-on-congress-to-pass-a-voting-rights-bill/; Sam Levine, “Is the US supreme court having a liberal moment? Not on one crucial issue,” Guardian, July 11, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/11/supreme-court-justices-liberal-conservatives; Rashawn Ray and Alexandra Gibbons, “Why are states banning critical race theory?” Brookings, July 2, 2021, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/; Nicholas Stephanopoulos, “The Supreme Court showcased its ‘textualist’ double standard on voting rights,” Washington Post, July 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/01/supreme-court-alito-voting-rights-act/; Jane C. Timm, “Texas Democrats flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions,” NBC News, July 12, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667

‘The remaining mission,’ whatever that is

Afghanistan

Army General Austin “Scott” Miller is out and “the remaining mission,” whatever that is, in addition to the troops guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, will apparently be run out of Central Command. And your guess might well be better than mine as to why that Embassy guard in a landlocked country will be run by the Navy.[1]

Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the chief of U.S. Central Command, arrived Monday morning in Kabul to assume command of the remaining mission. He is expected to oversee the small-scale operation from his headquarters in Tampa, with a two-star Navy SEAL, Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, leading about 650 troops tasked with protecting the U.S. Embassy.[2]

Dan Lamothe, “Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan steps down, marking a symbolic end to 20 years of war,” Washington Post, July 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/07/12/last-us-general-afghanistan/


White supremacy

Chas Danner, “Charlottesville Finally Removes Confederate Statues,” New York, July 10, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/charlottesville-removes-confederate-statues-photos-videos.html

Erin Edgerton, “George Rogers Clark statue at UVa removed,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, July 11, 2021, https://dailyprogress.com/photos-george-rogers-clark-statue-at-uva-removed/collection_0000b42a-e260-11eb-aceb-cbc2b676ebc1.html


Pandemic

Nathan Jeffay, “In world first, COVID boosters rolled out for some at-risk Israelis,” Times of Israel, July 12, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-world-first-covid-boosters-rolled-out-for-some-at-risk-israelis/


Virginia Military Institute

Ian Shapira, “Derision, misogyny, sexual assault: VMI women face attacks on campus and online,” Washington Post, July 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/07/12/vmi-women-sex-assault-misogyny/


Ageism

Douglas Heingartner, “Older job seekers on LinkedIn get fewer job offers, but a younger profile photo helps,” Psych News Daily, July 11, 2021, https://www.psychnewsdaily.com/older-job-seekers-on-linkedin-get-fewer-job-offers-but-younger-profile-photo-helps/


Voting rights

This[3] is an encore performance.[4] The Texas Democrats are flying to Washington, D.C., to press for Congressional action.[5]

Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Democrats to Stage Walkout to Kill Voting Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-democrats-to-stage-walk-out-to-kill-voting-bill-11626110179

Jane C. Timm, “Texas Democrats flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions,” NBC News, July 12, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667


Bill Cosby

Among those celebrating [Bill Cosby’s] release, though, was the actress Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show. In response to the news, Rashad tweeted: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

Her tweet was met with outrage, with many pointing out that her blatant disregard for survivors was especially galling given that she had recently been named a dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University. Yet for those with experience with historically Black colleges and universities, and how those institutions treat survivors of sexual assault, nothing about the incident came as a shock.[6]

It seems that historically Black colleges and universities, like Howard University, have a poor reputation for addressing rape and sexual assault survivors’ complaints, in part because they don’t want Black men going to prison.[7] Which is to say that while Nikole Hannah-Jones may have dodged[8] the racism that delayed a vote to grant her tenure at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,[9] she’s walked into a different hornets’ nest on sexual assault and rape.[10]

Clarissa Brooks, “Phylicia Rashad Is Just the Beginning,” Cut, July 12, 2021, https://www.thecut.com/2021/07/what-phylicia-rashads-cosby-tweet-says-about-hbcus.html


Donald Trump

If Lin Wood[11] and Rudy Giuliani[12] are subject to discipline for entirely fraudulent election claims, it follows that a bunch of other lawyers should be too. There’s a pissed off judge who just might make that happen.[13]

Josh Gerstein, “Lawyers retreat from pro-Trump election suit,” Politico, July 12, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/12/lawyers-pro-trump-suit-499252


Wilkinsburg

WTAE, “Wilkinsburg pumps brakes on merger with city of Pittsburgh,” July 12, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/wilkinsburg-pumps-brakes-on-merger-with-city-of-pittsburgh/37002738


Billionaire space race

Erik Shilling, “Richard Branson Didn’t Go To Space,” Jalopnik, July 12, 2021, https://jalopnik.com/richard-branson-didnt-go-to-space-1847274538


  1. [1]Dan Lamothe, “Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan steps down, marking a symbolic end to 20 years of war,” Washington Post, July 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/07/12/last-us-general-afghanistan/
  2. [2]Dan Lamothe, “Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan steps down, marking a symbolic end to 20 years of war,” Washington Post, July 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/07/12/last-us-general-afghanistan/
  3. [3]Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Democrats to Stage Walkout to Kill Voting Bill,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-democrats-to-stage-walk-out-to-kill-voting-bill-11626110179; Jane C. Timm, “Texas Democrats flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions,” NBC News, July 12, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667
  4. [4]Stephen Collinson, “Revolt by Texas Democrats heaps pressure on Washington to act on voting reform,” CNN, June 1, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/politics/texas-democrats-voting-reform-pressure/index.html
  5. [5]Jane C. Timm, “Texas Democrats flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions,” NBC News, July 12, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667
  6. [6]Clarissa Brooks, “Phylicia Rashad Is Just the Beginning,” Cut, July 12, 2021, https://www.thecut.com/2021/07/what-phylicia-rashads-cosby-tweet-says-about-hbcus.html
  7. [7]Clarissa Brooks, “Phylicia Rashad Is Just the Beginning,” Cut, July 12, 2021, https://www.thecut.com/2021/07/what-phylicia-rashads-cosby-tweet-says-about-hbcus.html
  8. [8]Lauren Lumpkin and Nick Anderson, “Nikole Hannah-Jones to join Howard faculty after UNC tenure controversy,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/07/06/howard-nikole-hannah-jones-tanehisi-coates/
  9. [9]Jon Allsop, “On NHJ, UNC, and CRT,” Columbia Journalism Review, June 25, 2021, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/nikole_hannah_jones_unc_tenure.php; Sarah Brown, “Race on Campus: The Racial Climate at UNC,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 6, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/newsletter/race-on-campus/2021-07-06; Jack Stripling, “‘What the Hell Happened?,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/what-the-hell-happened; Jack Stripling, “‘Look Us in the Eye,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/look-us-in-the-eye
  10. [10]Clarissa Brooks, “Phylicia Rashad Is Just the Beginning,” Cut, July 12, 2021, https://www.thecut.com/2021/07/what-phylicia-rashads-cosby-tweet-says-about-hbcus.html
  11. [11]David Cohen, “Georgia State Bar seeking to discipline Lin Wood,” Politico, February 14, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/14/lin-wood-georgia-469015
  12. [12]Erica Orden, Veronica Stracqualursi, and Katelyn Polantz, “Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York state,” CNN, June 24, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/24/politics/rudy-giuliani-suspended-law/index.html; Jaclyn Diaz, “An Appeals Court Has Suspended Rudy Giuliani’s Ability To Practice Law In D.C.,” National Public Radio, July 8, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/07/08/1014047881/an-appeals-court-has-suspended-rudy-giulianis-ability-to-practice-law-in-d-c
  13. [13]Josh Gerstein, “Lawyers retreat from pro-Trump election suit,” Politico, July 12, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/12/lawyers-pro-trump-suit-499252

Billionaires to be even more insufferable

A number of vegans spend a lot of time on Twitter and other social media trying to explain this (figure 1) to omnivores.

Fig. 1. Bizarro by Dan Piraro, July 11, 2021.[1]

Omnivores always have an excuse for refusing to do the right thing. Always, always, always. The excuse itself isn’t what matters.


Gun nuts

There is a new blog post entitled, “The choice of violence over safety.”

Marc Fisher et al., “‘Fear on top of fear’: Why anti-gun Americans joined the wave of new gun owners,” Washington Post, July 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/anti-gun-gun-owners/


Pandemic

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Pfizer expected to brief U.S. officials in coming days on the need for a booster shot,” Washington Post, July 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/10/covid-booster-shot-pfizer/


Billionaire space race

The mainstream media seem to agree that this[2] is big news, making them complicit in making billionaires even more insufferable.


Christian Davenport, “Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew are safely back from space, ushering in a new era,” Washington Post, July 11, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/07/11/richard-branson-virgin-galactic-live-updates/


Iraq

Fred Kaplan, “Why Did We Invade Iraq?” review of To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq, by Robert Draper, New York Review of Books, July 22, 2021, https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/07/22/why-did-we-invade-iraq/


Voting rights

Carrie Levine, “Why there’s even more pressure now on Congress to pass a voting rights bill,” Center for Public Integrity, July 9, 2021, https://publicintegrity.org/inside-publici/newsletters/watchdog-newsletter/why-theres-even-more-pressure-now-on-congress-to-pass-a-voting-rights-bill/


White supremacy

David Masciotra, “Could genocide really happen here? Leading scholar says America is on ‘high alert,’” Salon, July 11, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/11/could-genocide-really-happen-here-leading-scholar-says-america-is-on-high-alert/


  1. [1]Dan Piraro, “Ground Chuck,” Bizarro, July 11, 2021 https://www.bizarro.com/blog/2021/7/11/ground-chuck
  2. [2]Christian Davenport, “Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew are safely back from space, ushering in a new era,” Washington Post, July 11, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/07/11/richard-branson-virgin-galactic-live-updates/