I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you, to learn of yet another white supremacist gang

White supremacist gangs

Jason Dearen, “White supremacist prison guards work with impunity in Fla.,” Associated Press, November 19, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/business-prisons-florida-race-and-ethnicity-racial-injustice-60b96681445509d89e6c0497405497d6


Infrastructure

Kimberley Strassel is unhappy that so many Senate so-called “moderates” are not as vocal in opposing the Build Back Better package as either their House of Representatives counterparts or Joe Manchin and Kyrstin Sinema.[1]

The House has now passed that bill,[2] as it turns out that Pramila Jayapal had secured an agreement from House so-called “moderates” to support it,[3] which seems to me to at least partly undermine Strassel’s argument. Be that as it may, when all the theatrics are over, I think this bill is dead, as Manchin and Sinema, who are not, as near as I can tell, bound by Jayapal’s deal, will cling to any excuse they can dredge up, no matter how far-fetched, to oppose it. Strassel writes for the Wall Street Journal opinion page, whose veracity, I gather, is on the order of Fox News.

Andrew Duehren and Richard Rubin, “House Set to Pass $2 Trillion Social Spending and Climate Bill,” Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-closes-in-on-vote-for-2-trillion-bill-11637262546

Kimberley A. Strassel, “On Reconciliation Bill, Senate Moderates Hide Behind Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema,” Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/reconciliation-bill-moderates-let-joe-manchin-kyrsten-sinema-hassan-kelly-build-back-better-11637276328

Tony Romm, “House passes roughly $2 trillion spending package that would expand social benefits and fight climate change,” Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/11/19/house-spending-reconciliation-bill/

Marianna Sotomayor, Paul Kane, and Jacqueline Alemany, “McCarthy’s overnight speech — longest in modern history — underscores rancor in the House,” Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-mccarthy-reconciliation/2021/11/19/3a07263c-48e9-11ec-b05d-3cb9d96eb495_story.html


Pandemic

Elliot Douglas and Rina Goldenberg, “COVID: Germany introduces new measures to curb the pandemic,” Deutschewelle, November 18, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/covid-germany-introduces-new-measures-to-curb-the-pandemic/a-59852951

Laurie McGinley, “FDA authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna boosters for all adults,” Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/11/19/fda-clears-pfizer-biontech-moderna-booster-shots-all-adults/

Bojan Pancevski, “Austria Becomes First in Europe to Impose Vaccine Mandate, Return to Lockdown,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/austria-locks-down-imposes-broad-vaccine-mandate-as-covid-19-cases-surge-11637323344


U.S. Postal Service

I’m always amazed that folks trust the U.S. Postal Service and nearly always, myself, insist on a tracking number for anything I physically send out.

My suspicion seems to have been warranted, as the Service seems to have mislaid one of my tax returns. Ironically, it’s the one to the California Franchise Tax Board whose notice prompted a return to H&R Block about my 2019 taxes. I got to pay the tax preparers again to do the taxes that they’d fucked up the first time and, as it turns out, I owed hundreds of dollars in local and federal taxes,[4] but only $14 to the Franchise Tax Board. I’m expecting a small refund, $45, from Pennsylvania, which I guess shows pretty conclusively that my Pennsylvania taxes are significantly higher than my California taxes were. But I’ll be looking for another preparer next year.

The return made it as far as Sacramento, but has not, as near as I can tell, been delivered. I have put in a query with the Postal Service.

Jacob Bogage, “Biden expected to replace Ron Bloom, USPS board chair and key DeJoy ally, on postal board,” Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/11/19/usps-biden-bloom-dejoy/


Christopher Columbus

It seems that the Italian Sons and Daughters of America had also accused the judge presiding over the case of bias.[5] It’s as if “people hate us” is their only substantive argument.

Paula Reed Ward, “Lawsuit contends Peduto interfered with vote to remove Columbus statue in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 18, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/lawsuit-contends-peduto-interfered-with-vote-to-remove-columbus-statue-in-pittsburgh/


Clairton

Despite the headline, this is the first mention I’ve seen of the Irvin works in West Mifflin.[6] It’s a separate facility from the one in Clairton.

The Irvin Works is normally considered the cleanest of U.S. Steel’s three Mon Valley facilities. But after the 2018 fire at the Clairton Coke Works, the company said it burned uncleaned coke oven gas at the Irvin facility about 5 miles away because it was the best option. A tall pipe on a hill called “the peachtree flare” would spread the pollution higher and farther, so the impact wouldn’t be as intense on nearby residents, even as it impacted a wider area.[7]

For all my mixed feelings about Pittsburgh—I’m sure I don’t want to learn yet another metropolitan area while driving for Uber and Lyft and I retain a sentimental attachment to the place where so many of my relatives, particularly including my grandparents, lived, but also, I sure as hell don’t want to be in anything like this part of the world if Donald Trump wins in 2024—I sure as hell don’t want to live along the Monongahela River. It will be an environmental calamity for as long as U.S. Steel and a few other corporations remain in business.

Oliver Morrison, “U.S. Steel faces lawsuit alleging that Clairton Coke Works ‘decrepit’ condition continues to endanger Mon Valley residents,” Public Source, November 19, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/clairton-steel-coke-health-department-lawsuit-irvin-works-fire-pollution/


  1. [1]Kimberley A. Strassel, “On Reconciliation Bill, Senate Moderates Hide Behind Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema,” Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/reconciliation-bill-moderates-let-joe-manchin-kyrsten-sinema-hassan-kelly-build-back-better-11637276328
  2. [2]Tony Romm, “House passes roughly $2 trillion spending package that would expand social benefits and fight climate change,” Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/11/19/house-spending-reconciliation-bill/
  3. [3]Robert Kuttner to Today on TAP list, “Time to Salute Pramila Jayapal,” American Prospect, November 17, 2021, https://americanprospect.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=208e43f0e45c4c78cafadb83d2888cb6.1194&s=1e9c8da033986e0d1f0baa630b5bb784
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Getting what I deserve,” Not Housebroken, November 8, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/10/31/getting-what-i-deserve/
  5. [5]Paula Reed Ward, “Lawsuit contends Peduto interfered with vote to remove Columbus statue in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 18, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/lawsuit-contends-peduto-interfered-with-vote-to-remove-columbus-statue-in-pittsburgh/
  6. [6]Oliver Morrison, “U.S. Steel faces lawsuit alleging that Clairton Coke Works ‘decrepit’ condition continues to endanger Mon Valley residents,” Public Source, November 19, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/clairton-steel-coke-health-department-lawsuit-irvin-works-fire-pollution/
  7. [7]Oliver Morrison, “U.S. Steel faces lawsuit alleging that Clairton Coke Works ‘decrepit’ condition continues to endanger Mon Valley residents,” Public Source, November 19, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/clairton-steel-coke-health-department-lawsuit-irvin-works-fire-pollution/

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