White Christian nationalists desperate to shut the government down may have to wait 45 days

Illiberalism

Gilead

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ukraine is the big loser in the 45-day respite from a government shutdown.[1] White Christian nationalists love Vladimir Putin.[2]

ASiobhan Hughes, “Senators Unveil Bipartisan Funding Deal to Avert Government Shutdown,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/politics/kevin-mccarthy-vote-government-shutdown-cf1d41fc

Abigail Tracy, “Kevin McCarthy’s Juggling Act Can’t Go On Forever,” Vanity Fair, September 27, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/09/house-republicans-kevin-mccarthy-joe-biden-government-shutdown

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor, “Hard-liners plot to replace McCarthy with a deputy as shutdown looms,” Washington Post, September 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/28/kevin-mccarthy-tom-emmer-government-shutdown-motion-vacate/

Lauren Fedor, Colby Smith, and James Politi, “US lawmakers pass short-term deal to avoid government shutdown,” Financial Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1723e6e8-495d-4e0c-bf18-6c91e106e71a

Sarah Ferris, Olivia Beavers, and Jordain Carney, “‘It is a surrender’: Why McCarthy reversed with his survival uncertain,” Politico, September 30, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/09/30/kevin-mccarthy-government-shutdown-deal-00119290

Erin B. Logan, “Kevin McCarthy may avoid a shutdown. But the fiasco shows he’s weaker than ever,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-09-30/government-shutdown-shows-kevin-mccarthy-weaker-than-ever


Housekeeping

It’s not happening yet, but my intention to phase out Google has reached a milestone.

The biggest dilemma with Google is Google Drive. Under my present arrangements, I have 10 terabytes of storage there and was using a lot of it. Now, Apple has made it possible to get more space on iDrive, so I’ve bought that subscription and am beginning to migrate my backups there. I’ll still keep offline backups but my vast accumulations will more easily be accessible on any of my Apple devies.

The final cutoff for Google will not occur until after I move to Edinboro.


  1. [1]Lauren Fedor, Colby Smith, and James Politi, “US lawmakers pass short-term deal to avoid government shutdown,” Financial Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1723e6e8-495d-4e0c-bf18-6c91e106e71a; Erin B. Logan, “Kevin McCarthy may avoid a shutdown. But the fiasco shows he’s weaker than ever,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-09-30/government-shutdown-shows-kevin-mccarthy-weaker-than-ever
  2. [2]David French, “The Oddly Intense Anger Against Zelensky, Explained,” Atlantic, December 23, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/the-third-rail/63a5e158b9e06100378ecce9/ukraine-aid-right-wing-republican-anger/; Amy Davidson Sorkin, “The Trumpist Ukraine Blame Game,” New Yorker, March 13, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/03/21/the-trumpist-ukraine-blame-game; Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/07/ukraine-midterms-aid-republican/

Will judges shut Donald Trump up?

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

Kyle Cheney, “Trump’s attack on Milley fuels special counsel’s push for a gag order,” Politico, September 29, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/09/29/trumps-attack-on-milley-fuels-special-counsels-push-for-a-gag-order-00119253

Zachary Cohen, Jason Morris, and Nick Valencia, “Bail bondsman is first Trump co-defendant to plead guilty in Georgia election subversion case,” Cable News Network, September 29, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/29/politics/fulton-county-election-plea-scott-hall/index.html

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Siobhan Hughes, “Senators Unveil Bipartisan Funding Deal to Avert Government Shutdown,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/politics/kevin-mccarthy-vote-government-shutdown-cf1d41fc

Abigail Tracy, “Kevin McCarthy’s Juggling Act Can’t Go On Forever,” Vanity Fair, September 27, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/09/house-republicans-kevin-mccarthy-joe-biden-government-shutdown

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor, “Hard-liners plot to replace McCarthy with a deputy as shutdown looms,” Washington Post, September 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/28/kevin-mccarthy-tom-emmer-government-shutdown-motion-vacate/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mills

Kellen Stepler, “Sheriff’s sale of Pittsburgh Mills mall canceled,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 29, 2023, https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/sheriffs-sale-of-pittsburgh-mills-mall-canceled/


  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

Oh, but Matt Gaetz has such a big and beautiful hard-on for Kevin McCarthy

Illiberalism

Gilead

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Want to increase the pain of a government shutdown? How about introducing a House of Representatives speakership contest right smack in the middle of it? We don’t know that he’ll actually do it, but guess what Matt Gaetz has in mind.[1]

It’s hard to imagine that even most Republicans will go along with this, let alone independents, and, of course, completely forget about Democrats. But hardliners are likely hoping voters will have forgotten about yet another stupid fucking shutdown by election time.

So there you have it: We have politicians cynically exploiting voters’ short-term memories, all because Gaetz has a hard-on for Kevin McCarthy. It’s far beyond stupid, straining the outer limits of disgust.

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor, “Hard-liners plot to replace McCarthy with a deputy as shutdown looms,” Washington Post, September 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/28/kevin-mccarthy-tom-emmer-government-shutdown-motion-vacate/

Israel


Fig. 2. “Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu signing the visitors’ book, at Teen Murti Chowk, in New Delhi. . . . The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is also seen.” Photograph credited to Prime Minister's Office (GODL-India), January 14, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, GODL-India

Jeremy Sharon, “AG’s lawyer tells High Court she can’t force a PM’s recusal, then says she can,” Times of Israel, September 28, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-u-turn-lawyer-for-ag-tells-high-court-forcing-premiers-recusal-a-possibility/

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 3. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[2] public domain.

Zachary Cohen, Jason Morris, and Nick Valencia, “Bail bondsman is first Trump co-defendant to plead guilty in Georgia election subversion case,” Cable News Network, September 29, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/29/politics/fulton-county-election-plea-scott-hall/index.html


Roman Catholic Church

Sex


Fig. 4. Saint Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church, with the rectory in the foreground, in Mount Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The electronic sign says, “Chastity: The way to human flourishing,” suggesting the website pghpure.org. The text on this side of the sign isn’t much more legible in person (it’s a little better on the other side). Photograph by author, August 27, 2023.

Michelle Boorstein, “Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, facing possible slew of abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy,” Washington Post, September 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2023/09/29/catholic-bankruptcy-baltimore/


  1. [1]Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor, “Hard-liners plot to replace McCarthy with a deputy as shutdown looms,” Washington Post, September 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/28/kevin-mccarthy-tom-emmer-government-shutdown-motion-vacate/
  2. [2]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

The accelerating humiliation of Donald Trump

Illiberalism

Gilead

Migration

Saja Hindi, “Denver mayor Mike Johnston warns migrant counts could “eclipse” previous highs as Texas sends more buses,” Denver Post, September 27, 2023, https://www.denverpost.com/2023/09/27/texas-greg-abbott-denver-migrants-mike-johnston/

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

Eric Levitz, “Trump Wants His Enemies to Fear for Their Lives,” New York, September 26, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/09/trump-milley-death-fbi-threats.html

David McAfee, “Trump just crossed the line with furious attack on fraud judge: experts,” Raw Story, September 27, 2023, https://www.rawstory.com/experts-say-trump-s-judge-comments-cross-a-line-a-matter-of-time-before-the-worst-comes/

Alanna Durkin Richer and Eric Tucker, “Judge Chutkan denies Trump’s request to recuse herself in federal election subversion case,” Associated Press, September 27, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-justice-department-special-counsel-jan-6-8439ca0fcae8e7cf2a15663f9888e75a

Finances


Fig. 2. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

This is all happening awfully quickly.

Kara Scannell and Lauren del Valle, “New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for fraud,” Cable News Network, September 26, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/26/politics/trump-organization-business-fraud/index.html

Michael R. Sisak, “Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks and insurers while building real estate empire,” Associated Press, September 26, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-letitia-james-fraud-lawsuit-1569245a9284427117b8d3ba5da74249

David McAfee, “Trump just crossed the line with furious attack on fraud judge: experts,” Raw Story, September 27, 2023, https://www.rawstory.com/experts-say-trump-s-judge-comments-cross-a-line-a-matter-of-time-before-the-worst-comes/

Shayna Jacobs, “N.Y. appeals court refuses to delay Trump fraud trial set to start Monday,” Washington Post, September 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/09/28/trump-fraud-trial-appeals-court/


Imperialism

Azerbaijan

Nagorno-Karabakh

Ishaan Tharoor, “An Armenian exodus raises the specter of ‘ethnic cleansing,’” Washington Post, September 26, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/26/nagorno-karabakh-azerbaijan-armenia/

Francesca Ebel, “Exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh: ‘I never imagined we would ever leave,’” Washington Post, September 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/27/nagorno-karabakh-armenia-azerbaijan-refugees/

Gabriel Gavin, “Azerbaijan officially dissolves Nagorno-Karabakh,” Politico, September 28, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/nagorno-karabakh-dissolved-azerbaijan-armenia-de-facto-president-samvel-shakhramanyan/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Infrastructure


Fig. 3. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The detour for the ramp from southbound (inbound) Pennsylvania Route 28 to the Highland Park Bridge involved getting off at the Fox Chapel exit and sitting in barely moving traffic on Freeport Road past the Waterworks shopping center, through Aspinwall, nearly all the way to Sharpsburg. And of course, the roadwork proceeded at the usual Pittsburgh pace, which is to say, almost not at all.

I’ve seen what these road crews can do when they put their minds to it. This Route 28 widening is definitely not that.

Julia Maruca, “Highland Park Bridge ramps open to traffic,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2023, https://triblive.com/local/highland-park-bridge-ramps-open-to-traffic/


Neoliberalism

Academic repression

Student loans


Fig. 4. Unattributed and undated image via James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal,[2] fair use.

Probably none of the programs I attended since 2003, when I returned to school, finished a Bachelor’s and completed a Master’s and Ph.D. programs, should qualify under the new “gainful employment” rule.[3] The trick here, particularly with https://disunitedstates.org/the-mother-of-the-social-sciences/, is that these programs will be judged precisely according to the value that elites assign to them.

It’s about ensuring that students get their money’s worth, [Miguel Cardona] said. “Higher education is supposed to be a valuable investment in your future. There’s nothing valuable about being ripped off or sold on a worthless degree,” he said during a Wednesday news conference.[4]

Human Science does not tell the powers that be what they want to hear. Therefore, in this light, the field is “useless,” or, as Miguel Cardona puts it, “worthless.” And so it is with at least most of the social sciences and humanities.

It’s about ensuring that students get their money’s worth, [Miguel Cardona] said. “Higher education is supposed to be a valuable investment in your future. There’s nothing valuable about being ripped off or sold on a worthless degree,” he said during a Wednesday news conference.[5]

Education is supposed to be more than job training, but neoliberals would prefer we forget about civic preparation—that’ll be for those who can afford these programs and are least likely to choose them, which may therefore be forced to close—and not for the rest of us.

Charlotte Matherly, “Here’s How the Government Plans to Crack Down on Colleges’ Ineffective Career Programs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 2023, https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-how-the-government-plans-to-crack-down-on-colleges-expensive-ineffective-programs


  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html
  2. [2]Richard K. Vedder, “Eliminate or Radically Restructure Federal Student Loans,” James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, September 16, 2020, https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2020/09/eliminate-or-radically-restructure-federal-student-loans/
  3. [3]Charlotte Matherly, “Here’s How the Government Plans to Crack Down on Colleges’ Ineffective Career Programs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 2023, https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-how-the-government-plans-to-crack-down-on-colleges-expensive-ineffective-programs
  4. [4]Charlotte Matherly, “Here’s How the Government Plans to Crack Down on Colleges’ Ineffective Career Programs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 2023, https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-how-the-government-plans-to-crack-down-on-colleges-expensive-ineffective-programs
  5. [5]Charlotte Matherly, “Here’s How the Government Plans to Crack Down on Colleges’ Ineffective Career Programs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 2023, https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-how-the-government-plans-to-crack-down-on-colleges-expensive-ineffective-programs

Judge takes some of Donald Trump’s toys away

Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

Gerry Shih, “Inside the vast digital campaign by Hindu nationalists to inflame India,” Washington Post, September 26, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/26/hindu-nationalist-social-media-hate-campaign/

Gilead

Donald Trump
Finances


Fig. 1. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Kara Scannell and Lauren del Valle, “New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for fraud,” Cable News Network, September 26, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/26/politics/trump-organization-business-fraud/index.html

Michael R. Sisak, “Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks and insurers while building real estate empire,” Associated Press, September 26, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-letitia-james-fraud-lawsuit-1569245a9284427117b8d3ba5da74249

Hungary

Ishaan Tharoor, “Trump’s favorite European leader does Russia’s work in Europe,” Washington Post, September 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/27/viktor-orban-europe-trump-russia/


Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

Ishaan Tharoor, “Trump’s favorite European leader does Russia’s work in Europe,” Washington Post, September 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/27/viktor-orban-europe-trump-russia/


  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q

Senate moving to put the screws on Kevin McCarthy

Gilead

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Siobhan Hughes, “Senators Unveil Bipartisan Funding Deal to Avert Government Shutdown,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/politics/kevin-mccarthy-vote-government-shutdown-cf1d41fc


Neoliberalism

Banking

Commercial real estate


Fig. 1. “The iconic Crescent stands as recognizable landmark in the upscale neighborhood of Uptown, Dallas.” Photograph by Dallasedits [pseud.], July 5, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Peter Grant and Deborah Acosta, “Even a Booming Economy Can’t Save Atlanta’s Office Market,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/even-a-booming-economy-cant-save-atlantas-office-market-1246e446

Roland Li, “S.F. office vacancy hits staggering record, with 30 million square feet empty,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 25, 2023, https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/s-f-office-vacancy-record-30-million-square-feet-18386268.php


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

Eric Levitz, “Trump Wants His Enemies to Fear for Their Lives,” New York, September 26, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/09/trump-milley-death-fbi-threats.html

Finances


Fig. 1. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Kara Scannell and Lauren del Valle, “New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for fraud,” Cable News Network, September 26, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/26/politics/trump-organization-business-fraud/index.html


  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

Even the Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s gerrymandering

Illiberalism

Gilead

Competitive authoritarian regime project


Fig. 1. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Clarence Mitchell during signing ceremony of the voting rights act. Yoichi Okamoto, August 6, 1965, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ariane de Vogue and Fredreka Schouten, “Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s attempt to avoid creating a second Black majority congressional district,” Cable News Network, September 26, 2023,


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mills

Neena Hagen and Ciara McEneany, “A ‘breath of new life?’ Pittsburgh Mills Mall is headed for sheriff’s sale,” PIttsburgh Post-Gazette, September 24, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2023/09/24/pittsburgh-mills-mall-namdar-sheriffs-sale-frazer/stories/202309240044


Imperialism

Azerbaijan

Nagorno-Karabakh

Ishaan Tharoor, “An Armenian exodus raises the specter of ‘ethnic cleansing,’” Washington Post, September 26, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/26/nagorno-karabakh-azerbaijan-armenia/


Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

I’m still waiting for Toyota’s ceramic battery.[1]

Peter Campbell, “Nissan boss says world ‘needs to move on’ from combustion engine,” Financial Times, September 25, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/e3758732-c057-40bb-9963-b265f577a097


Neoliberalism

Banking

Commercial real estate


Fig. 1. “The iconic Crescent stands as recognizable landmark in the upscale neighborhood of Uptown, Dallas.” Photograph by Dallasedits [pseud.], July 5, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Federal Reserve’s war on workers (interest rate increases)[2] continues to take its toll:[3]

[Atlanta’s commercial-property turmoil] offers an ominous warning to other cities that are hoping their office towers will fill up again when more robust economic growth returns.[4]

Peter Grant and Deborah Acosta, “Even a Booming Economy Can’t Save Atlanta’s Office Market,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/even-a-booming-economy-cant-save-atlantas-office-market-1246e446


Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[5] fair use.

“Western analysts said the progress was not yet significant enough for a rapid mechanised assault involving tanks and other armoured vehicles.”[6] A breach can turn into a flood but there’s a lot of skepticism that this amounts to much.[7] We shall see.

Isabelle Khurshudyan et al., “Ukraine breaches Russian defensive line on southern front,” Washington Post, September 23, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/23/ukraine-breach-verbove-zaporizhzhia/

Joe Barnes, “Ukraine makes ‘tactical breakthrough’ after breaching Russian defences,” Telegraph, September 25, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/09/25/ukraine-tactical-breakthrough-russia-defence-isw-verbove/


  1. [1]Kana Inagaki, “Toyota says solid-state battery breakthrough can halve cost and size,” Financial Times, July 4, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/87cb8e92-8e82-4755-8fc3-2943f8f63e1d
  2. [2]Lora Kelley, “Why It Matters Who Caused Inflation,” Atlantic, June 16, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/06/why-it-matters-who-caused-inflation/674448/
  3. [3]Peter Grant and Deborah Acosta, “Even a Booming Economy Can’t Save Atlanta’s Office Market,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/even-a-booming-economy-cant-save-atlantas-office-market-1246e446
  4. [4]Peter Grant and Deborah Acosta, “Even a Booming Economy Can’t Save Atlanta’s Office Market,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/even-a-booming-economy-cant-save-atlantas-office-market-1246e446
  5. [5]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  6. [6]Joe Barnes, “Ukraine makes ‘tactical breakthrough’ after breaching Russian defences,” Telegraph, September 25, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/09/25/ukraine-tactical-breakthrough-russia-defence-isw-verbove/
  7. [7]Joe Barnes, “Ukraine makes ‘tactical breakthrough’ after breaching Russian defences,” Telegraph, September 25, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/09/25/ukraine-tactical-breakthrough-russia-defence-isw-verbove/

It’s just a matter of time before Kevin McCarthy is out

Gilead

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Joan E. Greve, “McCarthy’s House speakership hangs by a thread as US shutdown looms,” Guardian, September 22, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/22/government-shutdown-house-speaker-kevin-mccarthy


Neoliberalism

Banking

Commercial real estate


Fig. 1. “The iconic Crescent stands as recognizable landmark in the upscale neighborhood of Uptown, Dallas.” Photograph by Dallasedits [pseud.], July 5, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Aldo Svaldi, “Denver, already facing a glut of office space, may soon find itself with too many apartments,” Denver Post, September 22, 2023, https://www.denverpost.com/2023/09/22/denver-glut-office-space-apartments-rentals/

Self-driving cars


Fig. 1. Photograph by Mark Doliner, August 1, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

The unsubstantiated rumor I heard was the Gavin Newsom, now governor of California and formerly mayor of San Francisco, had done a lot of cocaine. I don’t know if that’s true, but it fits, and his embrace of self-driving trucks[1] also fits.

Joe Garofoli, “In win for AI, Newsom vetoes driverless truck ban,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 22, 2023, https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/newsom-driverless-truck-ban-18383949.php


Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[2] fair use.

Isabelle Khurshudyan et al., “Ukraine breaches Russian defensive line on southern front,” Washington Post, September 23, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/23/ukraine-breach-verbove-zaporizhzhia/


  1. [1]Joe Garofoli, “In win for AI, Newsom vetoes driverless truck ban,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 22, 2023, https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/newsom-driverless-truck-ban-18383949.php
  2. [2]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q

Just a really slow news day—actually a few of them

I’ve been accumulating stuff for this issue for a few days now. There just isn’t that much right now.


Roman Catholic Church


Fig. 1. Catholic temple, El Señor de Tila, Balancan, Tabasco, Mexico. Photograph by Carlos Valenzuela, August 29, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Paul Elie, “The Pope’s Coming Vatican Showdown with American Conservatives,” New Yorker, September 18, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-popes-coming-vatican-showdown-with-american-conservatives


Pennsylvania

Traffic non-enforcement


Fig. 1. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[1]

Peter Hall, “Traffic camera programs in Pa. are reducing fatalities and speeding, officials say,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, September 18, 2023, https://www.penncapital-star.com/transportation-infrastructure/traffic-camera-programs-in-pa-are-reducing-fatalities-and-speeding-officials-say/


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Drivers


Fig. 1. Yeah, this is me. The sign says, “If you’re whining about a labor shortage, STOP ignoring my job applications!” And the QR-code leads here. Photograph by author, January 16, 2023.

They didn’t do it in California. They haven’t done it anywhere else. But Uber has the same tired threat of a “shut down” for Europe in response to a proposed requirement that the company treat drivers like human beings.[2] Europe should call their bluff.

Javier Espinoza, “Uber warns of threat to drivers in ‘hundreds’ of cities under EU gig work plan,” Financial Times, September 20, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1d2ca0e1-b3f0-4fcb-b0c0-a2504b48b605


Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

Shannon Osaka and Emily Guskin, “America passed the EV ‘tipping point’ — but many buyers still want gas,” Washington Post, September 18, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2023/09/15/ev-tipping-point-electric-poll/


Imperialism

India

Khalistan

Sammy Westfall, “What is the Khalistan separatist movement behind the India-Canada rift?” Washington Post, September 19, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/09/19/khalistan-movement-india-canada-separatist-sikh/


  1. [1]Associated Press, “Senate OKs local police using radar for speed enforcement,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/senate-oks-local-police-using-radar-for-speed-enforcement/
  2. [2]Javier Espinoza, “Uber warns of threat to drivers in ‘hundreds’ of cities under EU gig work plan,” Financial Times, September 20, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1d2ca0e1-b3f0-4fcb-b0c0-a2504b48b605

Another reason to think Republicans are cruising for a bruising in 2024

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

I have understood the “Never Trump” movement primarily to be neoconservative and there isn’t much in Ben Jacobs’ article that would dispel that. He argues that a better understanding of a “rank and file” “Never Trump” movement is needed,[1] and I would have to agree: I’ve doubted that neoconservatives even exist outside the Beltway.

I suspect the “rank and file” “Never Trump” movement probably does not align neatly with neoconservatism. But they’re likely voting Democratic in 2024[2] and that’s another reason to think Republicans are cruising for a bruising.

Ben Jacobs, “Are ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?” New Republic, September 21, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/article/175331/never-trump-republicans-actually-just-democrats-now

Joe Biden
Hunter Biden

Jacob Gershman, “How a Conservative Supreme Court’s Expansion of Gun Rights Could Help Hunter Biden,” Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/us-news/law/how-a-conservative-supreme-courts-expansion-of-gun-rights-could-help-hunter-biden-d14a5ffe


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[3] public domain.

Ben Jacobs, “Are ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?” New Republic, September 21, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/article/175331/never-trump-republicans-actually-just-democrats-now


  1. [1]Ben Jacobs, “Are ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?” New Republic, September 21, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/article/175331/never-trump-republicans-actually-just-democrats-now
  2. [2]Ben Jacobs, “Are ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?” New Republic, September 21, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/article/175331/never-trump-republicans-actually-just-democrats-now
  3. [3]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html