Promises written in slush

Pittsburgh snow

They promised the response would be better to the storm that did indeed hit yesterday.[1] I’ve been out all day. I’d have to say no, it was not better. I continue to be astonished by the unplowed roads, the main streets around the hospitals and downtown where the accumulated snow had simply been left to go to slush. Now they’re saying it’ll be better for tomorrow.[2] We’ll see.

In general, the roads were passable. There was one hill, I think in Carrick, I failed to climb. Otherwise, I did do a little slipping and sliding but nothing that really alarmed me.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say they expect to have streets cleared for Tuesday commute,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-they-expect-to-have-streets-cleared-for-tuesday-commute/


COVID-19 Pandemic

(Inter)national

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Scott Calvert and Ben Chapman, “Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-see-big-drop-in-attendance-as-students-stay-away-citing-covid-19-11641988802

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Sarah Jones, “We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About School,” New York, January 12, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/were-having-the-wrong-conversation-about-school.html

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working

Lindsey Tanner, “Low COVID-19 vaccination rates in kids ages 5 to 11 called a ‘gut punch,’ WTAE, January 12, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/young-kids-low-covid-19-vaccination-rates-called-gut-punch/38749433

Rosalio Ahumada, “Sheriff to release 203 inmates to halt outbreak as COVID cases quadruple at Sacramento jails,” Sacramento Bee, January 13, 2022, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article257309602.html

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-rules/2022/01/13/2e6e4b9e-749e-11ec-bc13-18891499c514_story.html

David Ingram, “Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged,” NBC News, January 13, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/national-covid-vaccine-card-quietly-emerged-rcna11678

Anthony Galloway, “Djokovic heading back into detention, deportation on hold,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/novak-djokovic-s-visa-cancelled-throwing-australian-open-draw-into-chaos-20220113-p59nwe.html

Oliver Laughland, “Southern US hospitals grapple with staff shortages amid record Covid cases,” Guardian, January 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/14/southern-us-hospitals-staff-shortages-record-covid-cases

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic detained again just two days before start of Australian Open,” Washington Post, January 14, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-australia-visa/

Ben Rumsby and Simon Briggs, “Australian Open thrown into chaos as Novak Djokovic faces Sunday court hearing after government cancels visa again,” Telegraph, January 14, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-visa-cancelled-australian-open-covid-unvaccinated/

Paul Karp, “Novak Djokovic leaves Australia after court upholds visa cancellation,” Guardian, January 16, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/16/novak-djokovic-to-be-deported-from-australia-after-losing-appeal-against-visa-cancellation

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic loses visa challenge, denting hopes of playing in the Australian Open,” Washington Post, January 16, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/15/novak-djokovic-australia-visa/

Tumaini Carayol, “Djokovic’s French Open title defence in doubt after Covid pass ruling,” Guardian, January 17, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/17/djokovics-french-open-title-defence-in-doubt-over-covid-pass-ruling

  1. [1]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say snow response will be better ahead of Sunday storm,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 14, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-snow-response-will-be-better-ahead-of-sunday-storm/
  2. [2]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say they expect to have streets cleared for Tuesday commute,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-they-expect-to-have-streets-cleared-for-tuesday-commute/

If you can’t beat it, normalize it?

COVID-19 Pandemic

(Inter)national

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php

Steve Lundeberg, “Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells,” Oregon State University, January 10, 2022, https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/oregon-state-research-shows-hemp-compounds-prevent-coronavirus-entering-human-cells

Derek Thompson, “Why More Americans Are Saying They’re ‘Vaxxed and Done,’” Atlantic, January 10, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/covid-omicron-vaccination-rashomon/621199/

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Scott Calvert and Ben Chapman, “Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-see-big-drop-in-attendance-as-students-stay-away-citing-covid-19-11641988802

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Sarah Jones, “We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About School,” New York, January 12, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/were-having-the-wrong-conversation-about-school.html

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working

Lindsey Tanner, “Low COVID-19 vaccination rates in kids ages 5 to 11 called a ‘gut punch,’ WTAE, January 12, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/young-kids-low-covid-19-vaccination-rates-called-gut-punch/38749433

Rosalio Ahumada, “Sheriff to release 203 inmates to halt outbreak as COVID cases quadruple at Sacramento jails,” Sacramento Bee, January 13, 2022, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article257309602.html

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-rules/2022/01/13/2e6e4b9e-749e-11ec-bc13-18891499c514_story.html

David Ingram, “Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged,” NBC News, January 13, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/national-covid-vaccine-card-quietly-emerged-rcna11678

Anthony Galloway, “Djokovic heading back into detention, deportation on hold,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/novak-djokovic-s-visa-cancelled-throwing-australian-open-draw-into-chaos-20220113-p59nwe.html

Oliver Laughland, “Southern US hospitals grapple with staff shortages amid record Covid cases,” Guardian, January 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/14/southern-us-hospitals-staff-shortages-record-covid-cases

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic detained again just two days before start of Australian Open,” Washington Post, January 14, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-australia-visa/

Ben Rumsby and Simon Briggs, “Australian Open thrown into chaos as Novak Djokovic faces Sunday court hearing after government cancels visa again,” Telegraph, January 14, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-visa-cancelled-australian-open-covid-unvaccinated/


Ukraine

Vladimir Putin is really going to invade Ukraine or he’s decided he isn’t getting enough attention. The trouble, really, is we really don’t know which and, of course, these aren’t really mutually exclusive possibilities.[1]

Natasha Bertrand and Jeremy Herb, “US intelligence indicates Russia preparing operation to justify invasion of Ukraine,” CNN, January 14, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html


Pittsburgh snow


I am expecting to have to quit early Sunday, if I go out at all.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say snow response will be better ahead of Sunday storm,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 14, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-snow-response-will-be-better-ahead-of-sunday-storm/


  1. [1]Anne Applebaum, “The U.S. Is Naive About Russia. Ukraine Can’t Afford to Be,” Atlantic, January 3, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/ukraine-russia-kyiv-putin-bluff/621145/; Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Post-Trump Tantrum,” Puck News, December 17, 2021, https://puck.news/putins-post-trump-tantrum/; Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Talk Therapy,” Puck News, December 31, 2021, https://puck.news/putins-talk-therapy/

See you in Leavenworth

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

I didn’t believe this when I first saw it on Twitter, which is why I found the WFLA story. It’s true[1] and Philip Bump explains that “if we expand this universe [of people who have committed Unidentified Federal Crime and are going to prison] to all American adults, we’re still more than 40 million short of [Mike] Lindell’s target for incarceration.”[2] Remember that the police white supremacist gangsters would have to arrest themselves.

Basically, the number of people that [Mike] Lindell has identified as culpable here is every American aged 7 and up, a group that totals 302 million. If we assume that everyone who was 6 or younger did not commit The Crime That Is So Bad, then we get to Lindell’s number. Sorry for those 9-year-olds about to spend the next 65 years at Leavenworth.[3]

Leavenworth should be interesting. The guards will all be prisoners too.

The WFLA story assumes but does not quote Mike Lindell saying that these 300 million people are all Amerikkkans,[4] and Bump does consider the possibility that “1 in 26 people globally,” not necessarily Amerikkkans, would be imprisoned.[5]

Just remember that starting with the next Congress, these people will almost certainly be our rulers.

Philip Bump, “Are you one of the 1 in 11 Americans Mike Lindell doesn’t want to arrest?” Washington Post, January 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/12/are-you-one-1-11-americans-mike-lindell-doesnt-want-arrest/

John Lynch and Nathaniel Rodriguez, “My Pillow CEO says he has ‘enough evidence’ to put ‘300 million’ Americans in jail,” WFLA, January 12, 2022, https://www.wfla.com/news/national/my-pillow-ceo-says-he-has-enough-evidence-to-put-300-million-americans-in-jail/


Right-wing dictatorship

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are aiding and abetting the establishment of a right-wing dictatorship in the United States. But I cannot believe that there isn’t some pressure that can be brought to bear on them to force their capitulation.

Nobody, especially nobody who is filthy rich, is truly squeaky clean. They can be embarrassed. They can be humiliated. They can lose privileges. They can be made to pay. They can even go to prison.

If you really want something done, and you have an obstacle such as Manchin and Sinema, this is what you do. That Democratic Party leadership, including Joe Biden, isn’t doing it convinces me that they are not serious.

David Daley, “Seven ways Republicans are already undermining the 2024 election,” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/10/republicans-election-democracy-seven-ways-trump

Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html

Ed Kilgore, “Who Is Biden’s Big Georgia Voting-Rights Speech Really For?” New York, January 11, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/bidens-georgia-voting-rights-speech-whos-it-really-for.html

Alex Leary and Eliza Collins, “Biden Endorses Filibuster Rule Changes if Necessary to Pass Voting Legislation,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-casts-election-law-votes-as-turning-point-for-nation-in-speech-11641897003

Jewel Wicker, “Georgia activists warn Biden against a ‘photo-op’ visit that lacks voting rights plan,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/georgia-biden-harris-visit-voting-rights-bill

Jessie Balmert, Laura A. Bischoff, and Anna Staver, “Redistricting: Ohio Supreme Court strikes down state House and Senate maps,” Columbus Dispatch, January 12, 2022, https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/politics/2022/01/12/redistricting-ohio-supreme-court-rejects-state-house-and-senate-maps/6447740001/

Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, “Sinema and Manchin confirm opposition to eliminating filibuster, likely dooming Democrats’ voting rights push,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-set-to-visit-senate-democrats-in-a-final-improbable-pitch-for-voting-rights-action/2022/01/13/fde533b6-7475-11ec-8b0a-bcfab800c430_story.html


COVID-19 Pandemic

(Inter)national

Leana S. Wen, “Omicron is not a reason to keep schools closed,” Washington Post, January 6, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/06/omicron-is-not-reason-keep-schools-closed/

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php

Steve Lundeberg, “Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells,” Oregon State University, January 10, 2022, https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/oregon-state-research-shows-hemp-compounds-prevent-coronavirus-entering-human-cells

Derek Thompson, “Why More Americans Are Saying They’re ‘Vaxxed and Done,’” Atlantic, January 10, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/covid-omicron-vaccination-rashomon/621199/

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Scott Calvert and Ben Chapman, “Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-see-big-drop-in-attendance-as-students-stay-away-citing-covid-19-11641988802

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Sarah Jones, “We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About School,” New York, January 12, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/were-having-the-wrong-conversation-about-school.html

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working

Lindsey Tanner, “Low COVID-19 vaccination rates in kids ages 5 to 11 called a ‘gut punch,’ WTAE, January 12, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/young-kids-low-covid-19-vaccination-rates-called-gut-punch/38749433

Rosalio Ahumada, “Sheriff to release 203 inmates to halt outbreak as COVID cases quadruple at Sacramento jails,” Sacramento Bee, January 13, 2022, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article257309602.html

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-rules/2022/01/13/2e6e4b9e-749e-11ec-bc13-18891499c514_story.html

David Ingram, “Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged,” NBC News, January 13, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/national-covid-vaccine-card-quietly-emerged-rcna11678


Pittsburgh snow

Pittsburgh’s snow plowing operation couldn’t even handle the last, relatively minor—a mere two inches of snow—storm.[6] A bigger one may be headed our way Sunday night[7] and we can doubtless count on more excuses from Pittsburgh Public Works.


Yinz

You see the word ‘yinz’ all over the place in Pittsburgh. Marketers use it promiscuously to add what they think is a local flavor to their advertising.

The funny thing is I almost never actually hear the word spoken. I actually thought I had never heard it.

Then a passenger uttered it on a phone call. And I noticed that whatever part of my brain processes speech parsed it as a contraction for “you ones.” Which reminded me that I had heard it before, but not very often, probably only once, and I’m thinking during those roughly two years I lived in Pittsburgh as a child. It caught my attention then too because it isn’t a ‘natural’ English grammatical phrase.

But I think when I heard it the first time, I didn’t even know that ‘yinz’ was a word. So substituting in ‘you ones,’ I thought it an odd construction.

I was thinking about this some more, because the advertising just constantly reminds me. And I remembered that the German word for ‘us’ is ‘uns.’

Many of the people who settled Pennsylvania were German. My grandfather was largely German (and my grandmother would complain about “the Germans”); many street names around here are recognizably of German derivation, often with an ‘e’ immediately following another vowel, signifying an umlaut. “Pennsylvania Dutch” is actually a mangling of “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” meaning “Pennsylvania German.”

I’m not a linguist, but the way I’m putting this together is that that “you ones” is more like “you uns,” a pidgin mangling that excludes the speaker from ‘us.’

‘Yinz’ means ‘y’all,’ or expanded, “you all.” I think I finally understand the word. But like I say, I’m not a linguist. If you are, let me know.


  1. [1]John Lynch and Nathaniel Rodriguez, “My Pillow CEO says he has ‘enough evidence’ to put ‘300 million’ Americans in jail,” WFLA, January 12, 2022, https://www.wfla.com/news/national/my-pillow-ceo-says-he-has-enough-evidence-to-put-300-million-americans-in-jail/
  2. [2]Philip Bump, “Are you one of the 1 in 11 Americans Mike Lindell doesn’t want to arrest?” Washington Post, January 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/12/are-you-one-1-11-americans-mike-lindell-doesnt-want-arrest/
  3. [3]Philip Bump, “Are you one of the 1 in 11 Americans Mike Lindell doesn’t want to arrest?” Washington Post, January 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/12/are-you-one-1-11-americans-mike-lindell-doesnt-want-arrest/
  4. [4]John Lynch and Nathaniel Rodriguez, “My Pillow CEO says he has ‘enough evidence’ to put ‘300 million’ Americans in jail,” WFLA, January 12, 2022, https://www.wfla.com/news/national/my-pillow-ceo-says-he-has-enough-evidence-to-put-300-million-americans-in-jail/
  5. [5]Philip Bump, “Are you one of the 1 in 11 Americans Mike Lindell doesn’t want to arrest?” Washington Post, January 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/12/are-you-one-1-11-americans-mike-lindell-doesnt-want-arrest/
  6. [6]Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/; Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/
  7. [7]Paul Guggenheimer, “Big winter storm could be headed toward Western Pennsylvania,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 13, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/big-winter-storm-could-be-headed-toward-western-pennsylvania/

‘Rage farming’

Republicans

The cute part is that “rage farming,”[1] what I’ve been referring to by the slogans “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Make A Liberal Cry,” is the only platform the Republicans need right now because the Democrats, having so spectacularly failed to deliver,[2] have no hope of offering a credible one.

Molly Jong-Fast, “Owning the Libs Is the Only GOP Platform,” Atlantic, January 12, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/61df26769a2cf50020163abc/owning-the-libs-is-the-only-gop-platform/


Republican rule

David Daley, “Seven ways Republicans are already undermining the 2024 election,” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/10/republicans-election-democracy-seven-ways-trump

Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html

Ed Kilgore, “Who Is Biden’s Big Georgia Voting-Rights Speech Really For?” New York, January 11, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/bidens-georgia-voting-rights-speech-whos-it-really-for.html

Alex Leary and Eliza Collins, “Biden Endorses Filibuster Rule Changes if Necessary to Pass Voting Legislation,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-casts-election-law-votes-as-turning-point-for-nation-in-speech-11641897003

Jewel Wicker, “Georgia activists warn Biden against a ‘photo-op’ visit that lacks voting rights plan,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/georgia-biden-harris-visit-voting-rights-bill

Jessie Balmert, Laura A. Bischoff, and Anna Staver, “Redistricting: Ohio Supreme Court strikes down state House and Senate maps,” Columbus Dispatch, January 12, 2022, https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/politics/2022/01/12/redistricting-ohio-supreme-court-rejects-state-house-and-senate-maps/6447740001/


Pandemic

There is a new blog post entitled, “Dead students learn no lessons.”

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php

Steve Lundeberg, “Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells,” Oregon State University, January 10, 2022, https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/oregon-state-research-shows-hemp-compounds-prevent-coronavirus-entering-human-cells

Derek Thompson, “Why More Americans Are Saying They’re ‘Vaxxed and Done,’” Atlantic, January 10, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/covid-omicron-vaccination-rashomon/621199/

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Scott Calvert and Ben Chapman, “Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-see-big-drop-in-attendance-as-students-stay-away-citing-covid-19-11641988802

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Sarah Jones, “We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About School,” New York, January 12, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/were-having-the-wrong-conversation-about-school.html

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working


  1. [1]Molly Jong-Fast, “Owning the Libs Is the Only GOP Platform,” Atlantic, January 12, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/61df26769a2cf50020163abc/owning-the-libs-is-the-only-gop-platform/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, January 11, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/

Oh, gee, the Democrats are hopeless, again

Donald Trump

Jennifer Rubin is writing about a potential criminal case[1] against Donald Trump over that phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State.[2] It seems the odds look pretty fucking good here and the district attorney thinks she’ll be making a decision in the first half of this year.[3] I hope, really hope, she is not relying on local police white supremacist gangsters[4] for her protection because I very much fear she’ll need something a lot more trustworthy.

Marc Levy, “Court won’t block entire election ‘investigation’ subpoena,” WTAE, January 10, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pennsylvania-election-investigation-subpoena/38727643

Katelyn Polantz, “Trump’s potential liability for Capitol riot faces major test in court,” CNN, January 10, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/10/politics/trump-civil-liability-insurrection-court-hearing/index.html

Jan Wolfe, “Trump challenges riot lawsuits, says fiery speech was official act,” Reuters, January 10, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/trump-ask-judge-throw-out-suits-by-lawmakers-police-over-us-capitol-riot-2022-01-10/

Jennifer Rubin, “A single district attorney in Georgia has the best case against Trump,” Washington Post, January 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/11/single-district-attorney-georgia-has-best-case-against-trump/


Pandemic

Arwa Mahdawi would really like to see vaccines start reaching poor countries before she has to take a fourth dose of the vaccine.[5] She’s right of course, but as a species, we are so far away from doing sensible things that it all really seems senseless to even hope that we might.

There is a new blog post entitled, “Special treatment for Novak Djokovic.”

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working


Republican rule

So Joe Biden went down to Georgia and did[6] just what activists warned him not to do, that being to give a speech without a solid plan.[7] Such a plan to pass voting rights legislation does not exist and cannot exist as long[8] as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema oppose changes to the filibuster, which they do.[9] So all of this is the Democrats’ specialty, hot air, and activists’ exasperation remains utterly justified.

Justified or not, however, these activists themselves need a solid plan. The Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated they are hopeless; a sensible approach on any number of issues[10] will blindingly obviously require something different.

David Daley, “Seven ways Republicans are already undermining the 2024 election,” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/10/republicans-election-democracy-seven-ways-trump

Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html

Ed Kilgore, “Who Is Biden’s Big Georgia Voting-Rights Speech Really For?” New York, January 11, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/bidens-georgia-voting-rights-speech-whos-it-really-for.html

Alex Leary and Eliza Collins, “Biden Endorses Filibuster Rule Changes if Necessary to Pass Voting Legislation,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-casts-election-law-votes-as-turning-point-for-nation-in-speech-11641897003

Jewel Wicker, “Georgia activists warn Biden against a ‘photo-op’ visit that lacks voting rights plan,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/georgia-biden-harris-visit-voting-rights-bill


Postal Service

Really the only news here, if you can even call it that, is that austerity is failing to produce the savings it was supposed to produce.[11] But you know, neoliberalism.

What I’ve seen myself is a serious deterioration in my ability to track priority mail. This was especially concerning as I was trying to respond to California’s Franchise Tax Board last year. The only way I knew, sort of, that they’d actually received what I’d sent them was that the checks, yes, two of them, got cashed.

Michael Sainato, “The fight to oust Louis DeJoy and his ‘disastrous’ austerity plan,” Guardian, January 12, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/12/fight-louis-dejoy-austerity-plan


  1. [1]Jennifer Rubin, “A single district attorney in Georgia has the best case against Trump,” Washington Post, January 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/11/single-district-attorney-georgia-has-best-case-against-trump/
  2. [2]Amy Gardner, “‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor,” Washington Post, January 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-georgia-vote/2021/01/03/d45acb92-4dc4-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html
  3. [3]Jennifer Rubin, “A single district attorney in Georgia has the best case against Trump,” Washington Post, January 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/11/single-district-attorney-georgia-has-best-case-against-trump/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Stephen Zappala’s resignation would be nowhere near enough,” Not Housebroken, January 4, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/03/stephen-zappalas-resignation-would-be-nowhere-near-enough/
  5. [5]Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation
  6. [6]Alex Leary and Eliza Collins, “Biden Endorses Filibuster Rule Changes if Necessary to Pass Voting Legislation,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-casts-election-law-votes-as-turning-point-for-nation-in-speech-11641897003
  7. [7]Jewel Wicker, “Georgia activists warn Biden against a ‘photo-op’ visit that lacks voting rights plan,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/georgia-biden-harris-visit-voting-rights-bill
  8. [8]John Harwood, “Why Democrats haven’t given up on Joe Manchin and voting rights,” CNN, January 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/02/politics/joe-manchin-voting-rights-filibuster/index.html; Siobhan Hughes, “Democrats Seek Filibuster Changes to Pass Elections Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-seek-filibuster-changes-to-pass-elections-bills-11641128403
  9. [9]Siobhan Hughes, “Manchin Deflates Democrats’ Hopes of Changing Filibuster, Passing Election Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-deflates-democrats-hopes-of-changing-filibuster-passing-election-bills-11641328293; Ed Kilgore, “Who Is Biden’s Big Georgia Voting-Rights Speech Really For?” New York, January 11, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/bidens-georgia-voting-rights-speech-whos-it-really-for.html; Alex Leary and Eliza Collins, “Biden Endorses Filibuster Rule Changes if Necessary to Pass Voting Legislation,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-casts-election-law-votes-as-turning-point-for-nation-in-speech-11641897003
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, January 7, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/
  11. [11]Michael Sainato, “The fight to oust Louis DeJoy and his ‘disastrous’ austerity plan,” Guardian, January 12, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/12/fight-louis-dejoy-austerity-plan

If the human species doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense, and it cannot last

And I’m not even talking about the climate crisis, though you should read George Monbiot’s latest.[1] Or even Bernie Sanders’ recent discovery that the Democratic Party has abandoned the working class.[2]

I’m just even more flabbergasted than usual.


Donald Trump


Marc Levy, “Court won’t block entire election ‘investigation’ subpoena,” WTAE, January 10, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pennsylvania-election-investigation-subpoena/38727643

Katelyn Polantz, “Trump’s potential liability for Capitol riot faces major test in court,” CNN, January 10, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/10/politics/trump-civil-liability-insurrection-court-hearing/index.html

Jan Wolfe, “Trump challenges riot lawsuits, says fiery speech was official act,” Reuters, January 10, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/trump-ask-judge-throw-out-suits-by-lawmakers-police-over-us-capitol-riot-2022-01-10/


Republican National Convention

There is a new blog post entitled, “It just doesn’t get any more delusional than Ed Gainey inviting the Republican National Convention to Pittsburgh.”

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh named as finalist to host 2024 Republican National Convention, says report,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 7, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-named-as-finalist-to-host-2024-republican-national-convention-says-report/Content?oid=20886008

Alex Isenstadt, “GOP picks final four in 2024 convention search,” Politico, January 7, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/07/gop-2024-convention-search-526707

Julian Routh, “Gainey, Fitzgerald among group making pitch for 2024 GOP convention,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/01/08/City-county-leaders-make-pitch-2024-GOP-convention-Ed-Gainey-Rich-Fitzgerald/stories/202201080041

Ariel Worthy, “Gainey tells GOP Pittsburgh ‘would be excited to host’ 2024 presidential convention, but not everyone agrees,” WESA, January 9, 2022, https://www.wesa.fm/politics-government/2022-01-08/gainey-to-national-republicans-city-would-be-excited-to-host-2024-presidential-convention

Chandi Chapman, “Republican National Convention possibly coming to Pittsburgh stirs debate,” WTAE, January 10, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/republican-national-convention-possibly-coming-to-pittsburgh-stirs-debate/38727467

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey supports effort to host national political convention, regardless of party,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 10, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/politics-election/pittsburgh-mayor-ed-gainey-supports-effort-to-host-national-political-convention-regardless-of-party/


Pandemic

(Inter)national


The simple truth is that services are breaking down[3] not because we’re being insufficiently aggressive in returning to ‘normal,’[4] but because we’re pushing it much too fast[5] and refusing to take care of people who, for whatever reason, need to stay home.[6]

I don’t care how you excuse this. Whatever social, political, and economic systems we have are all social constructions. They should serve humans, not the other way around. For ideological or, more correctly, religious, or even more correctly, cultish reasons, we’ve forgotten this.[7]

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Pennsylvania region

Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy, “About 90% of COVID-19 patients in some of Pa.’s hardest-hit hospitals are unvaccinated,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 7, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-hospitalizations-pa-vaccines-omicron-20220107.html

Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel, “Delco hospitals are full and an ER is closing as COVID-19 surge intensifies in Philly area,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/delco-hospital-capacity-omicron-covid-surge-20220110.html


Republican rule


David Daley, “Seven ways Republicans are already undermining the 2024 election,” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/10/republicans-election-democracy-seven-ways-trump

Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html

Jewel Wicker, “Georgia activists warn Biden against a ‘photo-op’ visit that lacks voting rights plan,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/georgia-biden-harris-visit-voting-rights-bill


  1. [1]George Monbiot, “Losing It,” January 10, 2022, https://www.monbiot.com/2022/01/10/losing-it/
  2. [2]Steven Greenhouse, “Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class,’” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/10/bernie-sanders-democrats-failing-working-class-interview
  3. [3]Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html; Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781; Amy Graff, “Head of COVID response at UCSF: ‘I have not intubated a single COVID patient during this Omicron surge,’ SFGate, January 10, 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/COVID-San-Francisco-staff-shortage-UCSF-16758335.php; Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel, “Delco hospitals are full and an ER is closing as COVID-19 surge intensifies in Philly area,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/delco-hospital-capacity-omicron-covid-surge-20220110.html; Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin, II, and Emily Alpert Reyes, “Hospitals see big jumps in COVID-19 patients, but this surge is different from last winter,” Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-04/covid-hospitalizations-top-summer-surge-in-l-a; Sophia Tareen, “Chicago cancels classes after union backs remote learning,” Associated Press, January 5, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-education-chicago-teaching-289f27d91f9c9ed36715577b0b0a6548; Ovetta Wiggins, “Hogan declares 30-day state of emergency as state enters its ‘most challenging time’ of the pandemic,” Washington Post, January 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/01/04/hogan-declares-emergency-coronavirus/
  4. [4]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/
  5. [5]Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html; Molly Osberg, “The CDC Says We’re All Essential Workers Now,” New Republic, December 29, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/164898/cdc-ads-essential-workers-isolation; Melody Schreiber, “America Quits the Fight Against Covid,” New Republic, December 31, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/164909/america-omicron-surge-quit-covid-fight; James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce
  6. [6]Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, December 29, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/03/27/the-capitalist-death-cult/

Bernie Sanders seems shocked (really) that the Democrats have abandoned the working class

Right-wing dictatorship

David Daley, “Seven ways Republicans are already undermining the 2024 election,” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/10/republicans-election-democracy-seven-ways-trump

Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html


Infrastructure

So, gee, um, Bernie, maybe you shouldn’t have hitched your wagon to the Democrats in the first place. Because it ain’t like this[1] is anything new.

Steven Greenhouse, “Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class,’” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/10/bernie-sanders-democrats-failing-working-class-interview


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html

Angie Schmitt, “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” Atlantic, January 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Will Sommer, “QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID,” Daily Beast, January 7, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-star-cirsten-weldon-who-said-only-idiots-get-vaccinated-dies-of-covid

James Tapper, Michael Savage, and Robin McKie, “End mass jabs and live with Covid, says ex-head of vaccine taskforce,” Guardian, January 8, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/end-mass-jabs-and-live-with-covid-says-ex-head-of-vaccine-taskforce

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic wins case against Australia over canceled visa, clearing path for him to play in Melbourne,” Washington Post, January 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/09/novak-djokovic-australia-court-visa/

Patrick Reilly, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19,” New York Post, January 9, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/01/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tests-positive-for-covid-19/

Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781

Pennsylvania evictions

My previous landlord is now in third place in Allegheny County. While the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has forestalled many evictions so far, its funding is about to run out, and evictions can be expected to skyrocket with a corresponding rise in homelessness.[2] I’m already seeing more homeless on the streets, yes, in the dead of winter.

Rich Lord, “Steady rise in eviction filings shows stresses in the Pittsburgh-area rental market,” Public Source, January 10, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/eviction-pittsburgh-allegheny-county-affordable-housing-covid-19-rental-assistance/


Capitalism

In criticizing a “fake it until you make it” ethos, Laura Forman never mentions[3] Uber or Lyft.[4] She focuses on Theranos,[5] just as William Cohan did.[6]

Laura Forman, “Elizabeth Holmes Can’t Be the American Dream,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-holmes-cant-be-the-american-dream-11641814382


White supremacist gangs

Mike Carter, “Kent badly underestimated outrage over assistant police chief’s Nazi insignia, mayor says,” Seattle Times, January 10, 2022, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/kent-mayor-city-badly-underestimated-outrage-over-assistant-police-chief-who-embraced-nazi-rank-insignia/


  1. [1]Steven Greenhouse, “Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class,’” Guardian, January 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/10/bernie-sanders-democrats-failing-working-class-interview
  2. [2]Rich Lord, “Steady rise in eviction filings shows stresses in the Pittsburgh-area rental market,” Public Source, January 10, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/eviction-pittsburgh-allegheny-county-affordable-housing-covid-19-rental-assistance/
  3. [3]Laura Forman, “Elizabeth Holmes Can’t Be the American Dream,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-holmes-cant-be-the-american-dream-11641814382
  4. [4]David Benfell, “This is not a business plan,” Not Housebroken, January 8, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/20/this-is-not-a-business-plan/
  5. [5]Laura Forman, “Elizabeth Holmes Can’t Be the American Dream,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-holmes-cant-be-the-american-dream-11641814382
  6. [6]William D. Cohan to Dry Powder list, “What I’m Thinking… About Elizabeth Holmes, Softbank’s China Woes, and More Tesla Inanity,” Puck News, November 21, 2021, https://puck.news/subscribe/

Ed Gainey and Rich Fitzgerald invite domestic terrorists, gun nuts, and anti-vaxxers to Pittsburgh, say local capitalists need the boost

Republican National Convention


Video: Nazi Congress in Nuremberg, Germany (1936) | British Pathé on YouTube

I cannot be in Pittsburgh for this. Can not.


I think perhaps Ed Gainey, Rich Fitzgerald, Visit Pittsburgh, and the like imagine a convention whose participants are cigar-smoking old men, doing political deals in darkened rooms. They fail to imagine who the delegates will actually be, who have taken over the Republican Party.

Fig. 1. Cartoon by Michael de Adder in the Washington Post, January 5, 2022, fair use.[1]

It would be wise to view Marjorie Taylor Greene not as an exception, but rather as among the milder attendees. Gainey, Fitzgerald, and the like invite domestic terrorists, anti-vaxxers, and gun nuts to Pittsburgh. There are enough of them already here. I absolutely do not dare to be anywhere near when even more of them arrive.

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh named as finalist to host 2024 Republican National Convention, says report,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 7, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-named-as-finalist-to-host-2024-republican-national-convention-says-report/Content?oid=20886008

Alex Isenstadt, “GOP picks final four in 2024 convention search,” Politico, January 7, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/07/gop-2024-convention-search-526707

Patrick Varine, “Report: Pittsburgh on short-list for potential 2024 Republican National Convention sites,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/report-pittsburgh-is-on-the-short-list-for-potential-republican-national-convention-sites-in-2024/

Julian Routh, “Gainey, Fitzgerald among group making pitch for 2024 GOP convention,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/01/08/City-county-leaders-make-pitch-2024-GOP-convention-Ed-Gainey-Rich-Fitzgerald/stories/202201080041

Ariel Worthy, “Gainey to national Republicans: City ‘would be excited to host’ 2024 presidential convention,” WESA, January 8, 2022, https://www.wesa.fm/politics-government/2022-01-08/gainey-to-national-republicans-city-would-be-excited-to-host-2024-presidential-convention


Snow

It began raining in the wee hours this morning. The temperature has risen above freezing and much of the snow has washed away or been melted from the lawns immediately around my apartment.

The Weather Underground app on my phone says the temperature will dip to freezing at about 8:00 pm and I expect the roads to still be wet; I usually quit around 7:30 pm. I’ll probably quit a bit early tonight.


  1. [1]Michael de Adder, “The year of living dangerously,” Washington Post, January 5, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/05/year-living-dangerously/

Pittsburgh named as finalist to host 2024 Republican National Convention, says report

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh named as finalist to host 2024 Republican National Convention, says report,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 7, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-named-as-finalist-to-host-2024-republican-national-convention-says-report/Content?oid=20886008

Alex Isenstadt, “GOP picks final four in 2024 convention search,” Politico, January 7, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/07/gop-2024-convention-search-526707

Julian Routh, “Gainey, Fitzgerald among group making pitch for 2024 GOP convention,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/01/08/City-county-leaders-make-pitch-2024-GOP-convention-Ed-Gainey-Rich-Fitzgerald/stories/202201080041

Ariel Worthy, “Gainey tells GOP Pittsburgh ‘would be excited to host’ 2024 presidential convention, but not everyone agrees,” WESA, January 9, 2022, https://www.wesa.fm/politics-government/2022-01-08/gainey-to-national-republicans-city-would-be-excited-to-host-2024-presidential-convention

Chandi Chapman, “Republican National Convention possibly coming to Pittsburgh stirs debate,” WTAE, January 10, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/republican-national-convention-possibly-coming-to-pittsburgh-stirs-debate/38727467

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey supports effort to host national political convention, regardless of party,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 10, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/politics-election/pittsburgh-mayor-ed-gainey-supports-effort-to-host-national-political-convention-regardless-of-party/

Joe Manchin’s short and curlies

Pittsburgh snow

I was in Pittsburgh a lot more today, but barely into Carrick. Initially, I was astonished by how many streets had not been cleared just about everywhere I went. The trucks must have been out, however, because it was looking better by nightfall. I never saw even one truck.

It was the usual story though: Everywhere else I went, even poor Wilkinsburg, whose snow plowing would done by Pittsburgh if the latter annexes the former,[1] had basically if not perfectly clear roads. It’s just Pittsburgh with its excuses that can’t manage to do its fucking job.

In any event, I am home for the night and by the time I venture out again, I’m guessing PennDOT will have any issues with freezing rain forecast for tonight in areas north of and not including Allegheny County[2] ironed out.


Infrastructure

At some point, the country needs to know, really, who is the president? Is it Joe Biden? Or is it Joe Manchin?[3] Is it Kyrsten Sinema? If it is Biden, then he needs to impress that fact upon Manchin. Because there is always a way to get a grip on a man’s short and curlies. That is, if Biden wants to.

At some point, if you’re going to claim you’re acting on principle, as on any of the numerous issues that Manchin and Sinema have become obstacles on and refused to negotiate in good faith on, then it becomes a matter of principle, that no, they do not get to hold up the nation’s business, and yes, they must negotiate seriously. They do not get to play the bullshit games they’ve been playing.

And you make that point even if it costs you the Senate, because that’s how you show the country and the world you mean business, that you’ve got balls.

Jeff Stein, “Manchin’s $1.8 trillion spending offer appears no longer to be on the table,” Washington Post, January 8, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/01/08/manchin-white-house-talks/


Roman Catholic Church

Regarding Pope Francis’ comments on those who choose to remain child-free and choose to have companion animals, Sergio Peçanha makes precisely the point I would have:

Something you said recently concerned me. You criticized people who don’t have children. You said that people who have pets instead of children are selfish and that pet-parenting “takes some of our humanity away.”

Coming from the leader of a church that forbids priests and nuns from getting married and having children, this doesn’t seem like something you fully thought through.[4]

If Francis means what he says, he should renounce the chastity vow, not merely for himself but for everyone in the Church hierarchy, from priests on up. And he should marry. Because clearly, procreation is more important than kindness.

Sergio Peçanha, “Pope Francis, your comments on choosing pets over children don’t add up,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/07/pope-francis-pets-make-us-better-people-even-if-we-dont-have-children/


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Wilkinsburg voters should insist on a better argument than ‘trickle-down’ for a merger into Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/01/06/wilkinsburg-voters-should-insist-on-a-better-argument-than-trickle-down-for-a-merger-into-pittsburgh/
  2. [2]Megan Tomasic and Paul Guggenheimer, “Ice, slick conditions forecast for region’s northern counties; Allegheny, Westmoreland likely to evade worst,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/another-potential-winter-storm-headed-our-way/
  3. [3]Jasmine Wright, “Kamala Harris lets Charlamagne tha God know who the real President is,” CNN, December 18, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/17/politics/harris-charlamagne-tha-god-interview-defends-biden/index.html
  4. [4]Sergio Peçanha, “Pope Francis, your comments on choosing pets over children don’t add up,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/07/pope-francis-pets-make-us-better-people-even-if-we-dont-have-children/