Even more so for Gilead, high technology companies’ motto: Do be evil

Gilead

Abortion

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade,[1] some high technology companies are definitely not our friends. Notable offenders include Meta, parent of Facebook and Instagram, and Google.

First, I don’t know how you argue that Facebook and Instagram aren’t singling out “abortion pills” for sanction:[2]

On Monday, an AP reporter tested how the company would respond to a similar post on Facebook, writing: “If you send me your address, I will mail you abortion pills.”

The post was removed within one minute.

The Facebook account was immediately put on a “warning” status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on “guns, animals and other regulated goods.”

Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail “weed” was also left up and not considered a violation.[3]

It is legal to mail abortion pills. Marijuana cannot be legally mailed. And the stated policy explicitly proscribes such posts on guns.[4]

Meanwhile, Google Maps has been failing to distinguish between Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which exist solely to dissuade pregnant women from seeking abortions, and actual abortion clinics:[5]

According to the New York Attorney General Office, Google was made aware of this issue and promised to address it as far back as 2018. However, a recent test search for local abortion clinics of Google Maps by the office in Binghamton, N.Y., produced a list that included several crisis pregnancy centers.[6]

I have talked about artificial idiocy[7] and I was initially inclined to attribute these responses to it or, perhaps, to it being “gamed.” But the reporting makes Facebook’s and Instagram’s double-standard[8] and Google’s failure to an address an issue that had been called to its attention four years ago clear.[9]

I’m guessing that both of these failures in fact reflect high technology companies’ desperate attempts to avoid right-wing backlash. Perhaps they realize that white Christian nationalists will almost certainly soon hold a monopoly on political power in the U.S. And if you’re scheduling an abortion with Planned Parenthood with their online tools, watch out:[10]

[I]f [women seeking abortions] used the organization’s online scheduling tool, it appears Planned Parenthood could share people’s location — and, in some cases, even the method of abortion they selected — with big tech companies.

An investigation by Lockdown Privacy, the maker of an app that blocks online tracking, found that Planned Parenthood’s web scheduler can share information with a variety of third parties, including Google, Facebook, TikTok and Hotjar, a tracking tool that says it helps companies understand how customers behave. These outside companies receive data including IP addresses, approximate Zip codes and service selections, which privacy experts worry could be valuable to state governments looking to prosecute abortions.

In a video shared with The Washington Post, Lockdown founder Johnny Lin visited the Planned Parenthood website, opened the scheduling tool, input a Zip code and selected “surgical abortion” as a service. As he clicked around, a development tool let him see how data such as his IP address was being shared with Google, Facebook and many other third-party companies. Only the companies would know for sure how they use our data, but any data sitting on servers is vulnerable to potential cyberattacks or government subpoenas. In a criminal abortion case, an IP address would be pertinent because with the help of internet service providers, law enforcement can trace IP addresses back to individuals.[11]

This, as state lawmakers seek to prevent women from crossing state lines for abortions, using the Texas model of allowing anyone to sue people who in any way help those women.[12] Oh, just in case we weren’t crystal clear that under a white Christian nationalist regime, women will exist principally for procreation, Clarence Thomas wants to overturn the decision protecting access to contraception.[13]

Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/supreme-court-abortion-decision-places-higher-stakes-on-pa-election-experts-say/

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/

Jennifer Calfas and Deanna Paul, “Abortion Providers Confront New Landscape After Roe,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-wake-of-roe-v-wade-ruling-abortion-providers-confront-new-landscape-11656268445

Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey, “Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/27/abortion-2024-presidential-candidates/

Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022, https://puck.news/d-c-insiders-grapple-with-the-politics-of-roe/

Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5

Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/

Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, “Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/29/abortion-state-lines/

Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/


Roman-Catholic Church

Sex

Ed Kilgore, “Denied Communion at Home, Pelosi Receives It at the Vatican,” New York, June 29, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/denied-communion-at-home-pelosi-receives-it-at-the-vatican.html


  1. [1]Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124
  2. [2]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  3. [3]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  4. [4]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  5. [5]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  6. [6]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, April 5, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/
  8. [8]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  9. [9]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  10. [10]Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/
  11. [11]Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/
  12. [12]Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, “Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/29/abortion-state-lines/
  13. [13]Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Turkey drops objections to Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Jeffrey Epstein

Shayna Jacobs, “Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison,” Washington Post, June 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/28/ghislaine-maxwell-sentenced-epstein/


Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer, “Former Meadows aide will testify before January 6 committee on Tuesday, sources say,” CNN, June 28, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/27/politics/cassidy-hutchinson-former-meadows-aide-testify-january-6-committee-hearing/index.html

Amber Phillips, “All the bombshells Cassidy Hutchinson dropped about Trump and Jan. 6,” Washington Post, June 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/28/cassidy-hutchinson-jan-6-testimony-takeaways/


Ukraine

Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/

Caitlin Ostroff and Chelsey Dulaney, “Sanctions Push Russia to First Foreign Default Since Bolshevik Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sanctions-push-russia-near-first-foreign-default-since-bolshevik-revolution-11656248212

Louis Ashworth, “What Russia’s debt default means for the world,” Telegraph, June 27, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/27/russia-debt-default-what-mean-affect-world-explained/

Daniel Michaels and Jared Malsin, “Turkey Backs NATO Membership for Sweden, Finland,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-allies-to-focus-on-threats-from-russia-and-beyond-at-summit-11656408633


The debt-for-climate swap that I don’t think will happen

Gilead

There is a new blog post entitled, “Swimming against a stronger tide.”

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)

Katherine Stewart, “How the Christian right took over the judiciary and changed America,” Guardian, June 25, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/25/roe-v-wade-abortion-christian-right-america

Zoe Strimpel, “America is headed for another civil war where one side has to vanquish the other,” Telegraph, June 25, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/25/america-headed-another-civil-war-where-one-side-has-vanquish/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The Supreme Court turns the U.S. into a cautionary tale,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/06/27/global-abortion-reproductive-rights-united-states-cautionary/

Abortion

Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/supreme-court-abortion-decision-places-higher-stakes-on-pa-election-experts-say/

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/

Jennifer Calfas and Deanna Paul, “Abortion Providers Confront New Landscape After Roe,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-wake-of-roe-v-wade-ruling-abortion-providers-confront-new-landscape-11656268445

Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey, “Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/27/abortion-2024-presidential-candidates/

Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022, https://puck.news/d-c-insiders-grapple-with-the-politics-of-roe/


Ukraine

Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/

Caitlin Ostroff and Chelsey Dulaney, “Sanctions Push Russia to First Foreign Default Since Bolshevik Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sanctions-push-russia-near-first-foreign-default-since-bolshevik-revolution-11656248212

Louis Ashworth, “What Russia’s debt default means for the world,” Telegraph, June 27, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/27/russia-debt-default-what-mean-affect-world-explained/


University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

All I’ve heard or seen of a proposed University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospital in the South Hills area of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is a bunch of signs protesting the idea. I live in the South Hills and it happens that UPMC is both my health insurance and medical provider—I had selected them in the vain hope of building some contact with the University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) but have been happy with the care and coverage I have received—so I have more than a passing interest that is at odds with potential neighbors. Eventually the signs came down but I never heard what came of the idea.

It seems the property in question, located not terribly far from but on the opposite side of Pennsylvania Route 51 from the Allegheny Health Network’s Jefferson Hospital, is “zoned in various spots as an office park, commercial and residential.” The county had granted the zoning application for UPMC’s planned hospital, then revoked it. An Allegheny County judge’s ruling upholding the revocation was overturned by the Commonwealth Court (apparently Pennsylvania’s appeals level); the case has now been accepted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.[1]

The only other major hospital in the South Hills area is Saint Clair, on Bower Hill Road. According to Google Maps, the boundary between Mount Lebanon and Scott Township runs right through it. It’s part of the Mayo Clinic network and if I were starting over on the whole health care thing, I’d probably go this way.

But it’s not like there are a lot of hospitals in the South Hills, particularly when one gazes across the Monongahela at the Oakland neighborhood and, if I’m counting right, sees Presbyterian, MaGee, and Montefiore, all within a very few blocks of each other. Widen your scope a bit and there’s Children’s Hospital along Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville (another Pittsburgh neighborhood).

All that said, I think UPMC could probably have chosen a different, less contentious location in the South Hills. It really doesn’t need to be practically right across the street from Jefferson Hospital.

Paula Reed Ward, “Pa. Supreme Court to consider proposed UPMC South hospital in Jefferson Hills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 27, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/south-hills/pa-supreme-court-to-consider-proposed-upmc-south-hospital-in-jefferson-hills/


Developing world

I’m tired as I write this but I think I’ve heard some variation on George Monbiot’s theme of trading developing world self- and climate investment for debt forgiveness[2] before.

Be that as it may, I think Monbiot is much too optimistic about elite interest in combating the climate crisis. I think they’re interested in talking about the climate crisis and sounding very serious. I very much doubt that they have even the slightest interest in actually doing anything serious about the climate crisis, let alone forgiving developing world debt over it.

But it might be worth reading the essay, just to see if I’m being way too cynical.

George Monbiot, “Revolt Against Debt,” June 27, 2022, https://www.monbiot.com/2022/06/27/revolt-against-debt/


  1. [1]Paula Reed Ward, “Pa. Supreme Court to consider proposed UPMC South hospital in Jefferson Hills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 27, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/south-hills/pa-supreme-court-to-consider-proposed-upmc-south-hospital-in-jefferson-hills/
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “Revolt Against Debt,” June 27, 2022, https://www.monbiot.com/2022/06/27/revolt-against-debt/

Horror: I can’t think of a headline because ‘horror’ is the only word in my mind

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)

There is a new blog post entitled, “All hail palliative ‘solutions.’

Zoe Strimpel, “America is headed for another civil war where one side has to vanquish the other,” Telegraph, June 25, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/25/america-headed-another-civil-war-where-one-side-has-vanquish/


Gilead

Abortion

“You’ve got to abolish abortion in the entire country just like you abolished slavery in the entire country,” [Arkansas state Senator Jason Rapert] said.[1]

Ryan Deto’s report neglects the possibility that the white Christian nationalist Pennsylvania legislature might submit a referendum directly to voters[2] banning abortion, bypassing any governor who is not a white Christian nationalist. They successfully used this tactic to trim the governor’s emergency powers after he used them to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/supreme-court-abortion-decision-places-higher-stakes-on-pa-election-experts-say/

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/


Amy’s

Angela Bunay, “Organic Food Maker Amy’s Kitchen Faces Several Unfair Labor Practice Charges,” Truthout, June 26, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/organic-food-maker-amys-kitchen-faces-several-unfair-labor-practice-charges/


Ukraine

Because Russia has the money and intent to pay, its default is expected to pose unique legal challenges. Once the grace period is breached, bond investors can declare a default. Russia will claim its obligations were fulfilled. Unusual for most sovereign bonds, Russia’s don’t specify a jurisdiction to decide disputes. Lawyers say English or U.S. courts are likely venues to decide who is right.[4]

Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/

Caitlin Ostroff and Chelsey Dulaney, “Sanctions Push Russia to First Foreign Default Since Bolshevik Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sanctions-push-russia-near-first-foreign-default-since-bolshevik-revolution-11656248212


  1. [1]Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/
  2. [2]Danielle Ohl, “A complete guide and amendment tracker for proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s Constitution,” Spotlight PA, n.d., https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/01/pennsylvania-constitution-amendments-tracker-complete-guide/
  3. [3]Sarah Anne Hughes, “Voters back curtailing Wolf’s emergency powers in win for GOP lawmakers,” Spotlight PA, May 19, 2021, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2021/05/pa-primary-2021-ballot-question-disaster-declaration-results/; Ballotpedia News, “The State and Local Tap: Pennsylvania voters pass constitutional amendments to limit governor’s emergency orders,” May 22, 2021, https://news.ballotpedia.org/2021/05/22/the-state-and-local-tap-pennsylvania-voters-pass-constitutional-amendments-to-limit-governors-emergency-orders/
  4. [4]Caitlin Ostroff and Chelsey Dulaney, “Sanctions Push Russia to First Foreign Default Since Bolshevik Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sanctions-push-russia-near-first-foreign-default-since-bolshevik-revolution-11656248212

Take that good news on Ukraine with a grain of salt

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence

Jeff Himler, “Gunfire on Pittsburgh’s South Side sends 3 to hospital,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 25, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/gunfire-on-pittsburghs-south-side-sends-3-to-hospital/

Jeff Himler, “Pittsburgh man arrested after 3 wounded, officer shot during gunfire in Knoxville,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 25, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/2-wounded-officer-shot-in-knoxville-mount-oliver/


Ukraine

I am remembering Julia Ioffe deploying a “wood chipper” analogy, in which Russian forces would slowly grind away at Ukrainian defenses. I don’t think Ioffe is at her best in military assessments, but in this particular case, what she reported was consistent with pretty much everything I’ve heard since the beginning of the war, that Russian forces heavily out-man and outgun Ukrainian forces, that ultimately the Russians will likely prevail.[1]

Now I’m seeing another story, which I’m taking, and I think you should take, with a grain of salt. The argument here is that Ukrainian forces are being resupplied with technologically superior weaponry, that Russian forces are exhausting their artillery shells and digging into obsolete reserves, that in a matter of months, the tide of the war should turn.[2]

I’m skeptical because:

  1. This is so profoundly counter to everything else I’ve heard.
  2. I am remembering Western military assessments in both Afghanistan and Vietnam, which consistently predicted victory, even as defeat was inevitable. This latest story is based largely on—you guessed it—Western assessments.[3]
  3. With talk of “Ukraine fatigue” being all the rage lately, Ukraine’s advocates could surely use a boost right now, or, um, positive propaganda.

It’s possible my skepticism is unwarranted. Certainly everything we’ve seen of this war has been of Ukrainian forces magnificently outperforming expectations against all odds and of Russian forces dismally underperforming expectations and this assessment is consistent with that. It might be the case that this assessment is correct. I hope so.

But I’m sure as hell not betting on it.

Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/


  1. [1]Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Wood Chipper,” Puck News, May 17, 2022, https://puck.news/putins-wood-chipper/
  2. [2]Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/
  3. [3]Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/25/ukraine-russia-balance-of-forces/

Welcome to Gilead: Roe v. Wade overturned

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down two egregious and catastrophic decisions, one granting greater rights to those who confuse their guns for their penises,[1] and one stripping women of the right to an abortion.[2]

People of conscience everywhere should be asking of the Democratic Party what it has actually done, not said, not performatively done, but actually done to prevent these outcomes. An honest answer will be that the Democratic Party has done absolutely nothing.


Abortion

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124


Pittsburgh

Infrastructure

The City of Pittsburgh is resisting pre-trial discovery needed to identify additional defendants in a lawsuit over the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse, saying the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating. Its investigation could take up to two years. Neither Paula Reed Ward’s nor Jesse Bunch’s story says if the NTSB was contacted for comment or how it is that release of the information might make the NTSB’s investigation not “clean”[3] and apparently records obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a “right to know” request[4] comprise only part of what plaintiffs need to identify defendants.[5]

Paula Reed Ward, “Pittsburgh argues against release of documents in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse civil case,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-argues-against-release-of-documents-in-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse-civil-case/

Jesse Bunch, “City blocks lawyer’s request for Fern Hollow Bridge documents,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/06/23/pittsburgh-blocks-lawyer-peter-giglione-request-for-fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-documents/stories/202206230150

Patrick Varine, “Turnpike interchange at I-79 and Southern Beltway now fully open,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/turnpike-interchange-at-i-79-and-southern-beltway-now-fully-open/


Gun nuttery

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166848/gop-minority-rule-gun-safety

Eliza Collins and Natalie Andrews, “Senate Negotiators Release Text of Gun Bill,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268

Mark Scolforo, “GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21,” Associated Press, June 21, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/shootings-violence-pennsylvania-united-states-gun-politics-7b3d9440bab4bdd96cf72c087ed2eb8a

Eliza Collins and and Natalie Andrews, “Bipartisan Gun Bill Advances in Senate,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268

Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248

Mike DeBonis, “Senate passes bipartisan gun violence bill, marking breakthrough,” Washington Post, June 23, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/23/senate-gun-bill-vote/

Jon Healy, “Supreme Court throws out New York’s concealed weapons law. Here’s what it means for California,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-23/supreme-court-concealed-carry-ruling-what-it-means-for-california

Jay Michaelson, “The Future of Gun Control Is in Danger,” New York, June 23, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/supreme-court-gun-case-endangers-the-future-of-gun-control.html

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court bolsters gun owners’ right to carry a weapon in public,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-23/supreme-court-gun-owners-right-to-carry-a-weapon-in-public

Ariane de Vogue, “Samuel Alito lashes out at liberals in guns case as tensions boil over at SCOTUS,” CNN, June 23, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/samuel-alito-stephen-breyer-guns/index.html

Marianna Sotomayor, “House approves gun bill, which heads to Biden for his signature,” Washington Post, June 24, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/24/house-approves-gun-bill/


Police White supremacist gangs

Notice the excruciatingly narrow construction[6] of the Fifth Amendment language protecting a person from being “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself:”[7]

The [Supreme Court] clarified that while the Miranda warning protects a constitutional right, the warning itself is not a right that would trigger the ability to bring a civil lawsuit.

“Today’s ruling doesn’t get rid of the Miranda right,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. “But it does make it far harder to enforce. Under this ruling, the only remedy for a violation of Miranda is to suppress statements obtained from a suspect who’s not properly advised of his right to remain silent. But if the case never goes to trial, or if the government never seeks to use the statement, or if the statement is admitted notwithstanding the Miranda violation, there’s no remedy at all for the government’s misconduct.”

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by the five other Republican-appointed justices, said that a violation of the Miranda right “is not itself a violation of the Fifth Amendment,” and that “we see no justification for expanding Miranda to confer a right to sue,” under the relevant statute.[8]

Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights,” CNN, June 23, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/supreme-court-miranda-rights/index.html


  1. [1]Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248
  2. [2]Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124
  3. [3]Jesse Bunch, “City blocks lawyer’s request for Fern Hollow Bridge documents,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/06/23/pittsburgh-blocks-lawyer-peter-giglione-request-for-fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-documents/stories/202206230150; Paula Reed Ward, “Pittsburgh argues against release of documents in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse civil case,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-argues-against-release-of-documents-in-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse-civil-case/
  4. [4]Sam D. Hamill, “Fern Hollow Bridge was severely decaying before collapse, 2021 report indicates,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/05/19/fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-2021-report-severely-decaying-rust-corrosion-penndot/stories/202205190154
  5. [5]Jesse Bunch, “City blocks lawyer’s request for Fern Hollow Bridge documents,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/06/23/pittsburgh-blocks-lawyer-peter-giglione-request-for-fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-documents/stories/202206230150
  6. [6]Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights,” CNN, June 23, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/supreme-court-miranda-rights/index.html
  7. [7]U.S. Const., Amend. V.
  8. [8]Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights,” CNN, June 23, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/supreme-court-miranda-rights/index.html

The Supreme Court has embraced what Warren Burger called ‘a fraud on the American public’

Gun nuttery

As of today, in order to be constitutional, any such [gun control] law must have a specific historical precedent from the 18th or early-19th century. . . .

For most of our history, hardly any judges or legal authorities thought that the Second Amendment contained any individual right at all. The reason is obvious: the language of the amendment itself, which reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” For most of our history, legal scholars and judges agreed that the second phrase depended on the first. The right to bear arms existed so that people could be part of a militia. It was not an individual right; it was dependent on one’s participation in a militia. That changed in the 1970s with the transformation of the National Rifle Association into an extremist organization that propagated the cultural and legal view that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to bear arms. Warren Burger, the conservative chief justice appointed by Richard Nixon, would go on to describe this as “a fraud on the Amer­ican public.”[1]

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166848/gop-minority-rule-gun-safety

Eliza Collins and Natalie Andrews, “Senate Negotiators Release Text of Gun Bill,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268

Mark Scolforo, “GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21,” Associated Press, June 21, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/shootings-violence-pennsylvania-united-states-gun-politics-7b3d9440bab4bdd96cf72c087ed2eb8a

Eliza Collins and and Natalie Andrews, “Bipartisan Gun Bill Advances in Senate,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268

Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248

Jon Healy, “Supreme Court throws out New York’s concealed weapons law. Here’s what it means for California,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-23/supreme-court-concealed-carry-ruling-what-it-means-for-california

Jay Michaelson, “The Future of Gun Control Is in Danger,” New York, June 23, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/supreme-court-gun-case-endangers-the-future-of-gun-control.html

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court bolsters gun owners’ right to carry a weapon in public,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-23/supreme-court-gun-owners-right-to-carry-a-weapon-in-public

Ariane de Vogue, “Samuel Alito lashes out at liberals in guns case as tensions boil over at SCOTUS,” CNN, June 23, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/samuel-alito-stephen-breyer-guns/index.html


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

[Donald Trump has] been asking aides why there are so many stories about [Ron] DeSantis, and the recent buzz around the [Florida] governor has emerged as a major factor pushing Trump towards making an early announcement about his candidacy. Months ago, sources close to Trump told me that he was motivated by Joe Biden’s vulnerability, on top of his own impulsive desire to announce his candidacy and dominate the news cycle. Now I’m hearing that an announcement is more a move of necessity in order to freeze the field and preserve his political future. “It’s to steal the march on Ron,” said a source close to the former president. “I think he thinks it will staunch the bleeding of supporters moving to Ron.”[2]

Rosalind S. Helderman, “GOP member of Jan. 6 committee warns that more violence is coming,” Washington Post, June 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/19/jan-6-kinzinger-ginni-thomas/

Peter Stone, “Searing testimony increases odds of charges against Trump, experts say,” Guardian, June 19, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/19/trump-charges-january-6-hearings-capitol-attack

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Dana Milbank, “Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance,” Washington Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/20/texas-gop-platform-secession-theocracy/

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, “Alone in Washington, Rusty Bowers tells world what happened in Arizona,” Washington Post, June 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/21/rusty-bowers-jan-6/

Alex Shephard, “The Democrats Are Fools for Boosting Trumpist Republicans,” New Republic, June 21, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166852/pelosi-boosting-mastriano-lori-saine

Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and Jacqueline Alemany, “Lawmakers on Jan. 6 committee ramp up their security as threats increase,” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/22/jan6-security-threats/

Spencer S. Hsu, Josh Dawsey, and Devlin Barrett, “Jan. 6 probe expands with fresh subpoenas in multiple states,” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/22/jan6-fbi-electors-subpoenas/

Jennifer Rubin, “A question for Garland: Do you know how it feels for POTUS to target you?” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/22/jan-6-merrick-garland-prosecution-donald-trump/

Tara Palmeri, “Trump’s Case of DeSantisitis,” Puck News, June 23, 2022, https://puck.news/trumps-case-of-desantisitis/


  1. [1]Jay Michaelson, “The Future of Gun Control Is in Danger,” New York, June 23, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/supreme-court-gun-case-endangers-the-future-of-gun-control.html
  2. [2]Tara Palmeri, “Trump’s Case of DeSantisitis,” Puck News, June 23, 2022, https://puck.news/trumps-case-of-desantisitis/

Breaking: Gun Nuts victorious

Gun nuttery

The Supreme Court’s decision swept further than the rules for concealed-weapons permits. The court rejected the legal method overwhelmingly used by lower courts to evaluate gun regulations, which has considered such government’s interests as crime prevention. Under that standard, most weapons laws have been upheld since the Supreme Court first recognized an individual right under the Second Amendment in its 2008 decision on District of Columbia v. Heller and a subsequent ruling in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010.

Instead, Justice Thomas wrote Thursday, a weapons law is constitutional only if the government demonstrates “that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joined the opinion.

Under that standard—previously asserted in dissenting opinions by Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett when they sat on lower courts—gun advocates believe more regulations will fall, allowing greater access to weapons and ammunition nationwide.[1]

What in the hell is “this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation”[2] if not what courts had upheld until District of Columbia v. Heller?

While Republican-leaning states have been loosening gun regulations over the past decade, some more urban states have maintained their traditional limits on concealed weapons. In his opinion, Justice Thomas specifically mentioned that permit laws in California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey shared New York’s constitutional flaw.[3]

Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court bolsters gun owners’ right to carry a weapon in public,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-23/supreme-court-gun-owners-right-to-carry-a-weapon-in-public


  1. [1]Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248
  2. [2]Clarence Thomas, quoted in Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248
  3. [3]Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-strikes-down-new-york-law-on-concealed-weapons-11655995248

Which will it be? Cut-throat competition between Uber and Lyft? Or between drivers?

Gig economy (neoliberal wet dream)

‘Rideshare’ driving

“For a decade, Uber and Lyft have been trying to have it both ways,” Rachel Dempsey of Towards Justice told Reuters. “They’re trying to avoid the responsibilities of an employer, while also maintaining a level of control over the transaction that is inconsistent with the idea that these drivers are independent contractors.”[1]

The drivers claim that they get lower pay while passengers pay higher prices as a result.[2] We can certainly argue whether the amount the companies take is fair[3]—it likely isn’t. But it’s hard to argue that there wouldn’t be a cut.

And I have to tell you flatly that if I were free to set my own rates, they would be much, much higher than Uber or Lyft are charging passengers now. Because yes, I think I’m a human being, and yes, I think I deserve a decent living that accounts for the considerable risks of operation I face daily.

Of course, this would run straight into cut-throat competition among drivers as we undercut each other. But that is precisely what Uber and Lyft have been doing to each other, in their emphasis on gaining market share, even at the expense of profitability, and a significant reason drivers get paid so poorly now.

So which will it be? Cut-throat competition between Uber and Lyft? Or between drivers? Drivers will get screwed either way.

Mike Scarcella, “Uber, Lyft drivers claim price-fixing in lawsuit against companies,” Reuters, June 21, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/uber-lyft-drivers-claim-price-fixing-lawsuit-against-companies-2022-06-21/

Bezzle

Lyft is going after the last bit of business the taxicab companies have, by making it possible for passengers to pay for rides in cash, albeit less conveniently than with cabs, through selected retail outlets. Such passengers are principally unbanked (overwhelmingly poor) people who will have to scan identification when they submit their cash.[4] This will, however, exacerbate the problem drivers face, really, of still having unidentified passengers get in their cars when other people order rides for them (very often, a more financially stable woman will order a ride for her less financially stable male partner, or a man may order a ride for a woman home following their, ahem, encounter).

This was precisely what happened in the case of an Uber driver murdered, apparently over money, by a male passenger, whose lady friend had ordered the ride for him, in Monroeville.[5] It is a significant part of the safety problem Uber gaslights its drivers about.[6] There will remain absolutely no way of ensuring that an identified person is the one actually receiving the ride.

In this latest twist, Lyft will just require that identification be presented.[7] It will likely have no way of ensuring that the (possibly stolen) identification matches the person supplying the (also possibly stolen) cash. And Uber will presumably follow suit.

Jon Fingas, “You can pay for your Lyft ride with cash now,” Engadget, June 22, 2022, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-pay-with-cash-153041711.html


Work

Katherine Bindley and Angela Yang, “More Companies Start to Rescind Job Offers,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-companies-start-to-rescind-job-offers-11655865283


  1. [1]Mike Scarcella, “Uber, Lyft drivers claim price-fixing in lawsuit against companies,” Reuters, June 21, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/uber-lyft-drivers-claim-price-fixing-lawsuit-against-companies-2022-06-21/
  2. [2]Mike Scarcella, “Uber, Lyft drivers claim price-fixing in lawsuit against companies,” Reuters, June 21, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/uber-lyft-drivers-claim-price-fixing-lawsuit-against-companies-2022-06-21/
  3. [3]Dhruv Mehrotra and Aaron Gordon, “Uber And Lyft Take A Lot More From Drivers Than They Say,” Jalopnik, August 26, 2019, https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-take-a-lot-more-from-drivers-than-they-sa-1837450373
  4. [4]Jon Fingas, “You can pay for your Lyft ride with cash now,” Engadget, June 22, 2022, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-pay-with-cash-153041711.html
  5. [5]Megan Tomasic, “Police charge Penn Hills man in death of Uber driver in Monroeville,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/penn-hills/police-charge-penn-hills-man-in-the-death-of-an-uber-driver-in-monroeville/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Gaslighting Uber drivers on safety,” Not Housebroken, April 28, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/04/28/gaslighting-uber-drivers-on-safety/
  7. [7]Jon Fingas, “You can pay for your Lyft ride with cash now,” Engadget, June 22, 2022, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-pay-with-cash-153041711.html

Onward, white Christian nationalists (updated)

Okay, I was tired this evening. I didn’t realize I’d already published this, came back and added more. I’m off to bed.


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

The spectacle continues.

Rosalind S. Helderman, “GOP member of Jan. 6 committee warns that more violence is coming,” Washington Post, June 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/19/jan-6-kinzinger-ginni-thomas/

Peter Stone, “Searing testimony increases odds of charges against Trump, experts say,” Guardian, June 19, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/19/trump-charges-january-6-hearings-capitol-attack

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Dana Milbank, “Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance,” Washington Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/20/texas-gop-platform-secession-theocracy/

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, “Alone in Washington, Rusty Bowers tells world what happened in Arizona,” Washington Post, June 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/21/rusty-bowers-jan-6/

Alex Shephard, “The Democrats Are Fools for Boosting Trumpist Republicans,” New Republic, June 21, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166852/pelosi-boosting-mastriano-lori-saine

Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and Jacqueline Alemany, “Lawmakers on Jan. 6 committee ramp up their security as threats increase,” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/22/jan6-security-threats/

Spencer S. Hsu, Josh Dawsey, and Devlin Barrett, “Jan. 6 probe expands with fresh subpoenas in multiple states,” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/22/jan6-fbi-electors-subpoenas/

Jennifer Rubin, “A question for Garland: Do you know how it feels for POTUS to target you?” Washington Post, June 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/22/jan-6-merrick-garland-prosecution-donald-trump/


Abortion

Molly Jong-Fast, “What My Mom Told Me About America Before Roe,” Atlantic, June 22, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/06/erica-jong-sixties-roe-abortion/661345/


Gun nuttery

I’ve told you about Pennsylvania, right? Republican lawmakers took a bill that would ban assault rifles for people under 21 years of age and converted it into a constitutional amendment to allow universal concealed carry.[1] The constitutional amendment part allows it to bypass the governor and go straight to a statewide vote. In Pennsylvania, such measures almost always pass because the real “sheeple” are mostly Pennsylvanians.

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166848/gop-minority-rule-gun-safety

Eliza Collins and Natalie Andrews, “Senate Negotiators Release Text of Gun Bill,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268

Mark Scolforo, “GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21,” Associated Press, June 21, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/shootings-violence-pennsylvania-united-states-gun-politics-7b3d9440bab4bdd96cf72c087ed2eb8a

Eliza Collins and and Natalie Andrews, “Bipartisan Gun Bill Advances in Senate,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-control-talks-held-up-by-abortion-provision-11655827268


Bill Cosby

Kenan Draughorne, “Jury finds Bill Cosby sexually abused teen in the 1970s, orders him to pay $500,000,” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-06-21/bill-cosby-verdict-judy-huth-civil-trial


Pittsburgh

Infrastructure

Sean D. Hamill, “Decades of Neglect,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 18, 2022, https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/fern-hollow-bridge-pittsburgh-inspection-reports-repairs-collapse-engineer-neglect/

Paula Reed Ward, “Fern Hollow Bridge inspection troubling but did not suggest imminent danger, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-had-troubling-findings-but-nothing-suggesting-collapse-was-imminent-experts-say/

Ed Blazina, “Moving on: Pennsylvania Turnpike finishes Southern Beltway, ready to begin Mon-Fayette Expressway,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/06/19/southern-beltway-mon-fayette-expressway-pennsylvania-turnpike/stories/202206160141

Angie Moreschi, “More E-ZPass customers getting $10 penalty charges,” WPXI, June 20, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/more-e-zpass-customers-getting-10-penalty-charges/AQFAZMCODJC5JF2ARZJYIMD46U/


  1. [1]Mark Scolforo, “GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21,” Associated Press, Juen 21, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/shootings-violence-pennsylvania-united-states-gun-politics-7b3d9440bab4bdd96cf72c087ed2eb8a