Elon Musk finally follows through on his threat to move Tesla headquarters to Texas

Pandemic

Elon Musk

Faiz Siddiqui, “Elon Musk announces Tesla is moving its headquarters from California to Texas,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/07/musk-tesla-texas/

(Inter)national

Kim Bellware, “Workers with unvaccinated spouses will pay more for insurance, a Louisiana health system says,” Washington Post, October 5, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/10/05/unvaccinated-spouse-fee/

Reuters, “U.S. CDC’s Walensky says COVID-19 death 7-day average remains constant at 1,400 per day,” October 6, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-cdcs-walensky-says-covid-19-death-7-day-average-remains-constant-1400-per-day-2021-10-06/

Hannah Knowles and Caroline Anders, “Hospital system says it will deny transplants to the unvaccinated in ‘almost all situations,’” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/10/05/uchealth-transplant-unvaccinated/

Jamie Gumbrecht, “Pfizer seeks FDA authorization of Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11,” CNN, October 7, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/health/hfr-pfizer-covid-vaccine-fda-eua/index.html


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Aaron Blake, “3 takeaways from the Senate report on Trump’s brazen efforts to overturn the 2020 election,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/3-takeaways-senate-report-trumps-brazen-efforts-overturn-2020-election/

Aaron Blake, “The GOP’s fanciful defense of Trump’s DOJ plot,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/gops-fanciful-defense-trumps-doj-plot/

Tina Nguyen, “Javanka ’24: Will They or Won’t They?” Puck News, October 7, 2021, https://puck.news/jared-ivanka-24-will-they-or-wont-they/


Infrastructure

Burgess Everett, Marianne Levine, and Caitlin Emma, “Dems take GOP’s short-term debt fix offer, kicking deadline to December,” Politico, October 6, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/06/republicans-filibuster-debt-limit-515355

Olivier Knox, “It’s Bernie vs Manchin as spending breakthrough remains elusive,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/its-bernie-vs-manchin-spending-breakthrough-remains-elusive/

Tony Romm, “Senate leaders announce short-term deal to raise debt ceiling $480 billion into December,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/07/senate-deal-debt-ceiling/

Greg Sargent, “Bernie Sanders erupts at Joe Manchin, and a deeper dispute is revealed,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/07/sanders-manchin-reconciliation-democrats/


Abortion

Ann E. Marimow, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html

Ryan Foley, “Pennsylvania lawmaker’s bill aims to force men to get vasectomy by 40th birthday,” Christian Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.christianpost.com/news/proposed-pennsylvania-law-would-force-men-to-have-vasectomies.html

Linda Greenhouse, “The Supreme Court’s Pain — and Our Anger,” New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/opinion/supreme-court-polls-abortion-bush-gore.html

Ann E. Marimow and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html

Jennifer Rubin, “The federal court ruling blocking Texas’s abortion law is a marvel,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/07/federal-court-ruling-blocking-texass-abortion-law-is-marvel/


Pittsburgh

WTAE, “Enforcement order issued after strong odor reported in some Pittsburgh communities,” October 5, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/strong-odor-in-pittsburgh-neville-chemical-company/37872848

Ryan Deto, “Proposed natural-gas power plant near Pittsburgh cancels plans,” Pittsburgh City Paper, October 6, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/proposed-natural-gas-power-plant-near-pittsburgh-cancels-plans/Content?oid=20323716

Kristina Marusic, “Pittsburgh’s air was unhealthy to breathe for 57 days in 2020,” Daily Climate, October 6, 2021, https://www.dailyclimate.org/pittsburgh-air-pollution-2655223412.html

Kristina Marusic, “Should oil and gas companies be exempt from Pennsylvania’s hazardous waste laws?” Environmental Health News, October 7, 2021, https://www.ehn.org/radioactive-waste-oil-and-gas-2655217995.html


Neville Island polluters can’t keep their pollution from wafting into whiter areas

Pittsburgh

Pollution

Neville Island is yet another example of environmental racism in the Pittsburgh area. It is located in the Ohio River, adjacent on the south side to Coraopolis, Stowe Township, and McKees Rocks; and, on the north side, Emsworth, Ben Avon, Avalon, and Bellevue. The trouble here is that the communities on the north side of the river include many white people, where the communities on the south side (at least until you get into the hills above Coraopolis and into Moon Township) are populated largely by Black people with that wide, wide Pittsburgh-area intersection of race and class. So what we’re really looking at here is the failure of Neville Island polluters to keep their air pollution to the poor Black-populated areas.[1]

WTAE, “Enforcement order issued after strong odor reported in some Pittsburgh communities,” October 5, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/strong-odor-in-pittsburgh-neville-chemical-company/37872848

Ryan Deto, “Proposed natural-gas power plant near Pittsburgh cancels plans,” Pittsburgh City Paper, October 6, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/proposed-natural-gas-power-plant-near-pittsburgh-cancels-plans/Content?oid=20323716

Kristina Marusic, “Pittsburgh’s air was unhealthy to breathe for 57 days in 2020,” Daily Climate, October 6, 2021, https://www.dailyclimate.org/pittsburgh-air-pollution-2655223412.html

Kristina Marusic, “Should oil and gas companies be exempt from Pennsylvania’s hazardous waste laws?” Environmental Health News, October 7, 2021, https://www.ehn.org/radioactive-waste-oil-and-gas-2655217995.html


Abortion

In case you’re like me and a little slow on the uptake, Max Kennerly, “Popehat” (likely Ken White but we can’t be sure), and many others who replied all seem to suspect that those courts are indeed stacked with dishonest partisans. One, whose reply I failed to find because it’s now so deeply buried, explicitly offered a counterexample of guns: Would the Supreme Court indeed have ruled the way it did on the Texas law had the intent been gun control rather than restricting abortion?

On the matter of Supreme Court partisan dishonesty, I have previously noted,

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, banning contributions of snacks and waters to voters (often of color) waiting in long lines at polling places (that are often harder to locate and that often have disproportionately fewer voting machines[2]) is just fine,[3] but to require contributions of vast sums of money to political action committees be de-anonymized has an unconstitutional “chilling effect” because the First Amendment mysteriously protects “privacy.”[4][5]

If the Court indeed wishes to appear apolitical,[6] it would do well to start ruling that way.

A huge problem is that “[i]f the injunction is reversed, lawsuits can still be filed up to four years after the abortion at issue is performed.”[7] While Linda Greenhouse may not quite be able to bring herself to say what people increasingly think about judicial partisanship,[8] we should remember that Republicans have been appointing judges with an eye to overturning Roe v. Wade for decades, this temporary injunction[9] really isn’t the victory that some might make of it, and there is still a case pending which explicitly offers the Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Roe.[10]

Ann E. Marimow, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html

Ryan Foley, “Pennsylvania lawmaker’s bill aims to force men to get vasectomy by 40th birthday,” Christian Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.christianpost.com/news/proposed-pennsylvania-law-would-force-men-to-have-vasectomies.html

Linda Greenhouse, “The Supreme Court’s Pain — and Our Anger,” New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/opinion/supreme-court-polls-abortion-bush-gore.html

Ann E. Marimow and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html


Alexandra Hunt

Haley Weiss, “She was a stripper during college. Now she’s running for Congress and sharing her story,” Lily, October 4, 2021, https://www.thelily.com/she-was-a-stripper-during-college-now-shes-running-for-congress-and-sharing-her-story/


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Jamie Gumbrecht, “Pfizer seeks FDA authorization of Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11,” CNN, October 7, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/health/hfr-pfizer-covid-vaccine-fda-eua/index.html


Infrastructure

Republicans over the past nine months have turned [the debt limit increase] into a political cudgel as they labor to fight back against Biden’s economic initiatives. The crux of the GOP opposition is a still-forming proposal [the reconciliation package] to overhaul federal education, health care, immigration and climate laws, while raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations. Even though Democrats say the package is financed in full, Republicans argue it would add to the deficit even beyond the 10-year scope of the plan — prompting them to withhold their support for an increase to the debt ceiling.[11]

About that package, still refusing to get specific about what he would support and still not “budging from an overall price tag of $1.5 trillion over 10 years for the Build Back Better bill,” Joe Manchin claims to oppose what he calls “an entitlement society.” Olivier Knox, writing in the Washington Post’s “Daily 202” newsletter,[12] suggests,

(One possible test to determine how many lawmakers actually oppose an “entitlement society” might be to introduce legislation banning annual subsidies for agriculture, fossil fuels and major manufacturers, while telling states they can only get as much federal spending as they pay in federal taxes. But I digress.)[13]

Touché. Manchin, of course, would oppose this because the West Virginia fossil fuel industry makes his lavish lifestyle possible[14] and because West Virginia receives more in federal aid than it contributes in federal taxes.[15]

Burgess Everett, Marianne Levine, and Caitlin Emma, “Dems take GOP’s short-term debt fix offer, kicking deadline to December,” Politico, October 6, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/06/republicans-filibuster-debt-limit-515355

Olivier Knox, “It’s Bernie vs Manchin as spending breakthrough remains elusive,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/its-bernie-vs-manchin-spending-breakthrough-remains-elusive/

Tony Romm, “Senate leaders announce short-term deal to raise debt ceiling $480 billion into December,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/07/senate-deal-debt-ceiling/


  1. [1]Oliver Morrison and Jamie Wiggan, “A thousand little cuts: Locals say a fire on Neville Island shows the pollution didn’t stop after Shenango Coke Works closed,” Public Source, June 23, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/pittsburgh-allegheny-neville-air-pollution-metalico-accan-shenango/; WTAE, “Enforcement order issued after strong odor reported in some Pittsburgh communities,” October 5, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/strong-odor-in-pittsburgh-neville-chemical-company/37872848
  2. [2]Sarina Vij, “Why Minority Voters Have a Lower Voter Turnout: An Analysis of Current Restrictions,” American Bar Association, June 26, 2020, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/voting-in-2020/why-minority-voters-have-a-lower-voter-turnout/
  3. [3]Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/
  4. [4]Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, “Supreme Court nixes California disclosure law in blow to dark-money opponents,” Politico, July 1, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/01/supreme-court-california-disclosure-law-donors-497554
  5. [5]David Benfell, “U.S. Supreme Court says the First Amendment protects privacy,” Irregular Bullshit, July 4, 2021, https://disunitedstates.com/2021/07/04/u-s-supreme-court-says-the-first-amendment-protects-privacy/
  6. [6]Linda Greenhouse, “The Supreme Court’s Pain — and Our Anger,” New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/opinion/supreme-court-polls-abortion-bush-gore.html
  7. [7]Ann E. Marimow, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html
  8. [8]Linda Greenhouse, “The Supreme Court’s Pain — and Our Anger,” New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/opinion/supreme-court-polls-abortion-bush-gore.html
  9. [9]Ann E. Marimow, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html; Ann E. Marimow and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-lawsuit-decision/2021/10/06/ae70d946-22e7-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html
  10. [10]Ed Kilgore, “Is Roe v. Wade Now Doomed?” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/is-roe-v-wade-now-doomed.html; Nia Prater, “Supreme Court to Hear Case That Threatens Roe v. Wade,” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/supreme-court-to-hear-case-that-threatens-roe-v-wade.html; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-05-17/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-abortion-case; Ariane de Vogue, “Mississippi asks US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” CNN, July 22, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/22/politics/mississippi-roe-v-wade-abortion/index.html
  11. [11]Tony Romm, “Senate leaders announce short-term deal to raise debt ceiling $480 billion into December,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/07/senate-deal-debt-ceiling/
  12. [12]Olivier Knox, “It’s Bernie vs Manchin as spending breakthrough remains elusive,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/its-bernie-vs-manchin-spending-breakthrough-remains-elusive/
  13. [13]Olivier Knox, “It’s Bernie vs Manchin as spending breakthrough remains elusive,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/its-bernie-vs-manchin-spending-breakthrough-remains-elusive/
  14. [14]Daniel Boguslaw, “Joe Manchin’s Dirty Empire,” Intercept, September 3, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/09/03/joe-manchin-coal-fossil-fuels-pollution/; Geoff Dembicki, “Joe Manchin Makes $500K a Year From One of the Dirtiest Coal Plants in West Virginia,” Vice, July 28, 2021, https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3x8bw/joe-manchin-senator-millions-coal-grant-town-west-virginia; David Moore, “Manchin Bailed Out a Power Plant That Helps His Family Profit From Coal Waste,” Truthout, August 7, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/manchin-bailed-out-a-power-plant-that-helps-his-family-profit-from-coal-waste/
  15. [15]Olivier Knox, “It’s Bernie vs Manchin as spending breakthrough remains elusive,” Washington Post, October 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/07/its-bernie-vs-manchin-spending-breakthrough-remains-elusive/

Old ‘straw men’

Economics

I am not satisfied that, as a field, Economics has satisfactorily addressed the criticisms that Diane Coyle dismisses as old “straw men” and even she admits that on many of these, progress remains to be made. That said, she raises additional, meritorious criticisms. One criticism she fails to meaningfully address is that apart from issues of race and gender,[1] Economics fails to address class diversity, a problem truly at the heart of the field and, indeed, a remaining problem among those she dismisses as old “straw men:” Economists’ love of theory and utilitarian ethics led them to think capitalism is wonderful even as it has been brutal to far too many who, like me, have been left to reside all too near capitalism’s ass.

Diane Coyle, “What Critics of Economics Get Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/what-critics-of-economics-get-wrong


Infrastructure

Julia Ioffe, “Democrats, Republicans, and the Media Squabble in a Post-Trump Malaise,” Puck, October 4, 2021, https://puck.news/democrats-republicans-infrastructure-squabble/

Greg Sargent, “Biden’s frustration with Manchin and Sinema captures a dark truth,” Washington Post, October 5, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/05/biden-manchin-sinema-frustration-reconciliation/

David Siders, “‘Her calculation is off’: Sinema dares the left to take her out,” Politico, October 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/05/sinema-arizona-democrats-congress-515108


  1. [1]Diane Coyle, “What Critics of Economics Get Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/what-critics-of-economics-get-wrong

Some moralizers need moralizing

Abortion

Roman Catholic Church

It’s a point I’m sure has been made by others, but perhaps the Roman Catholic Church should attend to its own morality[1] before lecturing others.[2]

Donna Cassata, “Top Vatican cardinal says Biden should not be denied Communion,” Washington Post, October 4, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-catholic-communion-abortion-rights/2021/10/04/4c4a7138-2525-11ec-8831-a31e7b3de188_story.html


Infrastructure

In today’s “Playbook” newsletter, Politico says that the earlier-reported 40 percent cut to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package[3] is coming from Joe Biden, who has been holding virtual conferences with many so-called “progressive” lawmakers on what a roughly $2 trillion package would look like. Notably, these conferences exclude Ilhan Omar and Katie Porter.[4]

Meanwhile, at the New York Times, David Leonhardt turns his attention to the debt limit, and seems mystified by what Mitch McConnell wants. I have understood—I mean, isn’t it obvious?—this drama to be McConnell’s way of trying to sink, or at least to score political points off, that reconciliation package by forcing Democrats to include the debt limit increase with it and thus to paint Democrats as “tax and spend liberals.” Indeed, including it with reconciliation is one path Leonhardt lists, but says it would take time, which is running out. The other possibilities include amending the filibuster, which Joe Manchin opposes; and actually finding a bipartisan solution, which seems impossible. My bet is some folks burn the midnight oil to get it in reconciliation, but Chuck Schumer will have to recognize reality first, especially including the part that he won’t be able to shame McConnell into not obstructing for the sake of obstructing.[5]

Ultimately what’s going on here and should be of note is that folks, including the “vote blue no matter who” crowd, are trying to split Democrats. Biden is excluding Omar and Porter from his conferences with so-called “progressives” while criticizing Manchin and Kyrstin Sinema.[6] McConnell is fairly blatantly trying to split Manchin and Sinema from the rest of the Democrats. Both may well succeed and I guess we’ll see how it all plays in 2022.

Dan Balz, “What will it take for Biden to bring fractured Democrats together?” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/take-biden-agenda-democrats/2021/10/02/79ea35b8-237e-11ec-8200-5e3fd4c49f5e_story.html

Maureen Dowd, “Sinema Stars in Her Own Film,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/opinion/kyrsten-sinema-congress.html

Jonathan Martin and Jonathan Weisman, “Biden Throws In With Left, Leaving His Agenda in Doubt,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/us/politics/biden-progressives-moderates-agenda.html

Marianna Sotomayor, “For Democrats and the Biden agenda, it’s becoming a matter of trust,” Washington Post, October 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/reconciliation-biden-trust/2021/10/03/ca9fb670-2385-11ec-8fd4-57a5d9bf4b47_story.html

Julia Ioffe, “Democrats, Republicans, and the Media Squabble in a Post-Trump Malaise,” Puck, October 4, 2021, https://puck.news/democrats-republicans-infrastructure-squabble/


Environment

The trouble with ecosystems is that they are ecosystems; problems do not easily reduce to one category, say pollution or the climate crisis or biodiversity. Problems in one area affect others. And yeah, that lovely carbon capture technology Iceland is experimenting with? It requires massive amounts of sand and other extracted materials to construct: It might help with the climate crisis, but it causes other problems, particularly as we build more such units. George Monbiot argues the only answer is wealth redistribution and a reduction in economic activity. He’s, of course, not optimistic such will happen.[7]

George Monbiot, “Level Down,” October 4, 2021, https://www.monbiot.com/2021/10/04/level-down/


Facebook

“They’ve signaled that they’re going to apologize less,” said Rashad Robinson, president of civil rights group Color of Change, which in the past has organized advertiser boycotts against the company. “They know they aren’t accountable, and now they aren’t going to be apologizing, either.”[8]

  1. [1]Sylvie Corbet, “French report: 330,000 children victims of church sex abuse,” Associated Press, October 5, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/europe-france-child-abuse-sexual-abuse-by-clergy-religion-ab5da1ff10f905b1c338a6f3427a1c66
  2. [2]Michelle Boorstein, “Catholic bishops vote on controversial Communion document,” Washington Post, June 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/06/18/biden-catholic-president-bishops-abortion-communion/; Donna Cassata, “Top Vatican cardinal says Biden should not be denied Communion,” Washington Post, October 4, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-catholic-communion-abortion-rights/2021/10/04/4c4a7138-2525-11ec-8831-a31e7b3de188_story.html; Elisabetta Povoledo, Richard Pérez-Peña, and Ruth Graham, “Pope Weighs In on Calls to Deny Communion to Biden Over Abortion,” New York Times, September 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/world/europe/pope-francis-biden-abortion.html; Matt Viser, “Biden, deeply Catholic president, finds himself at odds with many U.S. bishops,” Washington Post, June 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-catholic-bishops/2021/06/18/acf576c0-d04a-11eb-a7f1-52b8870bef7c_story.html
  3. [3]Ryan Lizza et al. to Playbook list, “How Democrats could still get it done,” Politico, October 4, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/10/04/how-democrats-could-still-get-it-done-494562
  4. [4]Ryan Lizza et al. to Playbook list, “Biden getting frustrated with Manchin and Sinema,” Politico, October 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/10/05/biden-getting-frustrated-with-manchin-and-sinema-494578
  5. [5]David Leonhardt to Morning list, “Debt-ceiling showdown, Facebook outage, MLB playoffs,” New York Times, October 5, 2021, https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20211005&instance_id=42042&nl=the-morning&productCode=NN&regi_id=97793637&segment_id=70676&te=1&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2F966b76a7-a4b2-5eac-abc2-53789b664445&user_id=087ade925ce15f15a24824418c4789ce
  6. [6]Ryan Lizza et al. to Playbook list, “How Democrats could still get it done,” Politico, October 4, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/10/04/how-democrats-could-still-get-it-done-494562
  7. [7]George Monbiot, “Level Down,” October 4, 2021, https://www.monbiot.com/2021/10/04/level-down/
  8. [8]

The ‘natural’ rights zombie

Conservatism

Ryan Williams speaks not of “human rights,” but “natural rights.”[1] To say the difference is crucial understates it. As I noted in my dissertation, conservatives often reject the idea of “human rights,” asserting instead “natural right,” which they decline to define.[2] Here Williams seems to treat them as being derived from the Christian god,[3] which is consistent with my association[4] with “natural law,” law allegedly planted in “men’s” hearts by that same god, assuming a universal notion of good and evil, that in fact varied generally but particularly with the size of societies.[5]

“Natural right” is a much more constrained notion of rights than “human rights.” As such, I see it as being at odds with the Ninth Amendment, which guarantees “unenumerated rights.”[6] “Natural right” seems largely to reduce to the Bill of Rights, albeit apparently excluding the Ninth Amendment and placing heavy emphasis on a discredited (“states’ rights”) interpretation of the Tenth Amendment. This is all stuff to be terrified about beginning with the question of whose god allegedly endowed these rights: Was it the Old Testament asshole? Was it a hellfire and brimstone portrayal of that god? Was it a Jesus concerned with the poor? And what, with this overt Christian bias, would we say to people of other faiths, really?

Indeed, if we think that Donald Trump believed only his followers were “true Amerikkkans,” then Williams echoes this in only slightly more polished form:

But if [the Claremont Institute] thinks real Americanism is a belief in the principles of the American founding, we have to acknowledge that a good portion of our fellow citizens don’t agree with our principles and conclusions about what politics is for. If we differ on those fundamental things, we’re really two Americas.[7]

It should be pointed out that precisely what those principles meant remains in dispute, particularly as to the role of Christianity. But Williams takes it as a settled matter.

Emma Green, “The Conservatives Dreading—And Preparing for—Civil War,” Atlantic, October 1, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/claremont-ryan-williams-trump/620252/


Artificial idiocy

John Naughton, “The truth about artificial intelligence? It isn’t that honest,” Guardian, October 2, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/02/the-truth-about-artificial-intelligence-it-isnt-that-honest

Sue Halpern, “The Human Costs of AI,” New York Review of Books, October 21, 2021, https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/10/21/human-costs-artificial-intelligence/


Infrastructure

Politico is reporting that Democrats are no longer pursuing $3.5 trillion for their reconciliation package but a number 40 percent below that. They’re still figuring out what cuts to make to the package to bring it within that range.[8] I have not found this confirmed elsewhere and it’s probably worth noting that Politico’s claim seems only to be in a newsletter rather than an actual article.

It’s also worth noting that a number in the $2 trillion range[9] is much more than half way to Joe Manchin’s top-line number of $1.5 trillion,[10] particularly when one considers that the initial plan had been for $6 trillion.[11]

“That’s [Joe Manchin’s $1.5 trillion top-line figure] not going to happen. That’s too small,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It’s going to be somewhere between $1.5 and $3.5 [trillion] and the White House is working on that right now.”[12]

Dan Balz, “What will it take for Biden to bring fractured Democrats together?” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/take-biden-agenda-democrats/2021/10/02/79ea35b8-237e-11ec-8200-5e3fd4c49f5e_story.html

Maureen Dowd, “Sinema Stars in Her Own Film,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/opinion/kyrsten-sinema-congress.html

Jonathan Martin and Jonathan Weisman, “Biden Throws In With Left, Leaving His Agenda in Doubt,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/us/politics/biden-progressives-moderates-agenda.html

Marianna Sotomayor, “For Democrats and the Biden agenda, it’s becoming a matter of trust,” Washington Post, October 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/reconciliation-biden-trust/2021/10/03/ca9fb670-2385-11ec-8fd4-57a5d9bf4b47_story.html


Gig economy

Workers

Laura Forman, “At Uber and Lyft, Ride-Price Inflation Is Here to Stay,” Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-uber-and-lyft-ride-price-inflation-is-here-to-stay-11633345381


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Mark Berman, “As coronavirus cases mount and vaccine mandates spread, holdouts plague police and fire departments,” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/02/police-firefighters-resist-vaccination/

Michael Brice-Saddler and Jasmine Hilton, “Thousands of D.C. health care workers remain unvaccinated amid flurry of religious exemption requests,” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/10/02/dc-fire-religious-exemptions-covid-vaccine/

Mike Baker, “In Alaska’s Covid Crisis, Doctors Must Decide Who Lives and Who Dies,” New York Times, October 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/us/coronavirus-crisis-alaska.html


  1. [1]Emma Green, “The Conservatives Dreading—And Preparing for—Civil War,” Atlantic, October 1, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/claremont-ryan-williams-trump/620252/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  3. [3]Emma Green, “The Conservatives Dreading—And Preparing for—Civil War,” Atlantic, October 1, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/claremont-ryan-williams-trump/620252/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  5. [5]R. H. Helmholz, Natural Law in Court (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2015).
  6. [6]U.S. Const. amend. IX.
  7. [7]Ryan Williams, quoted in Emma Green, “The Conservatives Dreading—And Preparing for—Civil War,” Atlantic, October 1, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/claremont-ryan-williams-trump/620252/
  8. [8]Ryan Lizza et al. to Playbook list, “How Democrats could still get it done,” Politico, October 4, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/10/04/how-democrats-could-still-get-it-done-494562
  9. [9]Ryan Lizza et al. to Playbook list, “How Democrats could still get it done,” Politico, October 4, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/10/04/how-democrats-could-still-get-it-done-494562
  10. [10]Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett, “Democrats grit their teeth after Manchin lists demands,” Politico, September 30, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/30/democrats-grit-teeth-manchin-demands-514836
  11. [11]Daniel Strauss, “Can Pramila Jayapal Stare Down Manchin and Sinema?” New Republic, September 29, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/163811/pramila-jayapal-infrastructure-manchin-sinema
  12. [12]Marianna Sotomayor, “For Democrats and the Biden agenda, it’s becoming a matter of trust,” Washington Post, October 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/reconciliation-biden-trust/2021/10/03/ca9fb670-2385-11ec-8fd4-57a5d9bf4b47_story.html

Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past

See also:

Keyword: Artificial idiocy


Henry Williams, “Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/artificial-intelligence-may-make-traffic-congestion-a-thing-of-the-past-1530043151

Louise Matsakis, “Tumblr’s Porn-Detecting AI Has One Job—and It’s Bad at It,” Wired, December 5, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/tumblr-porn-ai-adult-content/

Cory Doctorow, “One of those days, stuck on a ledge between hobgoblins, trolls, and whatever that is swooping down from the sky (Jeff Easley, AD&D Greyhawk Adventures, TSR, 1988) . . . ,” Twitter, January 13, 2020, https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1216680046091481089

Anthony Levandowski, “The former Uber exec who was pardoned by Trump has closed his church that worshipped AI, donating its funds to the NAACP,” Business Insider, February 19, 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-google-ai-anthony-levandowski-trump-pardon-church-naacp-2021-2

Alyse Stanley, “Twitter Banned Me for Saying the ‘M’ Word: Memphis,” Gizmodo, March 15, 2021, https://gizmodo.com/twitter-banned-me-for-saying-the-m-word-memphis-1846474378

Reid Blackman, “If Your Company Uses AI, It Needs an Institutional Review Board,” Harvard Business Review, April 1, 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/04/if-your-company-uses-ai-it-needs-an-institutional-review-board

Purdue University, “Blind Spots Uncovered at the Intersection of AI and Neuroscience – Dozens of Scientific Papers Debunked,” SciTechDaily, April 3, 2021, https://scitechdaily.com/blind-spots-uncovered-at-the-intersection-of-ai-and-neuroscience-dozens-of-scientific-papers-debunked/

John Naughton, “The truth about artificial intelligence? It isn’t that honest,” Guardian, October 2, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/02/the-truth-about-artificial-intelligence-it-isnt-that-honest

Sue Halpern, “The Human Costs of AI,” New York Review of Books, October 21, 2021, https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/10/21/human-costs-artificial-intelligence/

Shocker of the year: Donald Trump wants back on Twitter

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Adela Suliman, “Trump asks court to force Twitter to reinstate his account,” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/02/trump-twitter-ban-court-filing/


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Mark Berman, “As coronavirus cases mount and vaccine mandates spread, holdouts plague police and fire departments,” Washington Post, October 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/02/police-firefighters-resist-vaccination/

Mike Baker, “In Alaska’s Covid Crisis, Doctors Must Decide Who Lives and Who Dies,” New York Times, October 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/us/coronavirus-crisis-alaska.html


Infrastructure

Tony Romm, Mike DeBonis, and Marianna Sotomayor, “Biden urges Democrats to compromise, have patience as he tries to revive economic agenda,” Washington Post, October 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/01/house-democrats-infrastructure-biden/

Maureen Dowd, “Sinema Stars in Her Own Film,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/opinion/kyrsten-sinema-congress.html

Jonathan Martin and Jonathan Weisman, “Biden Throws In With Left, Leaving His Agenda in Doubt,” New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/us/politics/biden-progressives-moderates-agenda.html


Artificial idiocy

John Naughton, “The truth about artificial intelligence? It isn’t that honest,” Guardian, October 2, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/02/the-truth-about-artificial-intelligence-it-isnt-that-honest


California

Dale Kasler, “Dry wells, drastic cutbacks. For many Californians, drought hardships have already arrived,” Sacramento Bee, October 3, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/water-and-drought/article254265353.html


Did I wake up in Texas?

There is a new blog post entitled, “The contradiction of class.”


Pennsylvania

Can’t make this shit up (figure 1).

Fig. 1. Screenshot from a report of Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, yes, a Republican, who had a collision with a motorcyclist but can’t quite be said to have left the scene of the accident even as he kept driving.[1]

The motorcycle “became lodged onto the front hood and undercarriage” of Gerow’s car in an upright position, and Gerow continued driving westbound for about 5 miles before being pulled over by a state trooper, the report said.[2]

I guess maybe I wouldn’t even hear about this in Texas.

Associated Press, “Candidate for Pa. governor was sideswiped in fatal crash: police,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 2, 2021, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/10/candidate-for-pa-governor-was-sideswiped-in-fatal-crash-police.html


Abortion

Ann E. Marimow, “A federal judge presses Texas on ‘very unusual’ abortion ban that uses citizen enforcement of its restrictive state law,” Washington Post, October 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-austin-hearing/2021/09/30/e6fafc8c-2220-11ec-9309-b743b79abc59_story.html


Infrastructure

Igor Bobic and Arthur Delaney, “Progressive Democrats Stare Down Moderates In Battle Over Biden Agenda,” Huffington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-infrastructure-vote_n_6155b857e4b0487c855b9a42

Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett, “Democrats grit their teeth after Manchin lists demands,” Politico, September 30, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/30/democrats-grit-teeth-manchin-demands-514836

Marianna Sotomayor, “Waiting for ‘Manchema’: House liberals grow exasperated with two Democratic senators as Biden agenda struggles,” Washington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manchin-sinema-reconciliation-liberals/2021/09/30/3aa2b376-2130-11ec-8200-5e3fd4c49f5e_story.html

Kevin Freking, “Biden signs bill to avert partial government shutdown,” Associated Press, October 1, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/congress-moves-to-avert-partial-government-shutdown-8f5b5b0c6c4cb12af8316ffc0b098771

Lisa Mascaro, “Despite setback, Democrats try to save Biden $3.5T plan,” Associated Press, October 1, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-politics-business-us-news-ap-top-news-a6e8ed2379857b7aa9c64f6d608bb938

Tony Romm, Mike DeBonis, and Marianna Sotomayor, “Biden urges Democrats to compromise, have patience as he tries to revive economic agenda,” Washington Post, October 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/01/house-democrats-infrastructure-biden/


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

The path to Donald Trump may well lie through Rudy Giuliani.[3]

Peter Stone, “Rudy Giuliani Is (Probably) Screwed,” New York, October 1, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/10/rudy-giuliani-is-probably-screwed.html


  1. [1]Associated Press, “Candidate for Pa. governor was sideswiped in fatal crash: police,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 2, 2021, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/10/candidate-for-pa-governor-was-sideswiped-in-fatal-crash-police.html
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Candidate for Pa. governor was sideswiped in fatal crash: police,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 2, 2021, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/10/candidate-for-pa-governor-was-sideswiped-in-fatal-crash-police.html
  3. [3]Peter Stone, “Rudy Giuliani Is (Probably) Screwed,” New York, October 1, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/10/rudy-giuliani-is-probably-screwed.html

No more Navient hell for student loan borrowers

Student loans

Navient is the student loan servicer I found myself with when I finished my Ph.D. and I very, very rapidly discovered their communication was abysmal. I needed to consolidate my loans, some of which were not eligible in their original form for income based repayment, anyway into a loan that would be entirely eligible for income-based repayment, so I took the opportunity to change servicers at that time and have since recommended strongly to anyone else who would listen that they should do the same.

Now Navient is getting out of the student loan business.[1]

Katie Lobosco, “Navient is quitting the federal student loan business,” CNN, September 30, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/30/politics/navient-student-loans/index.html


Infrastructure

We have a top-line number from Joe Manchin: $1.5 trillion.[2] But it appears so-called “progressives” in the House of Representatives held the line, refusing to support the bipartisan infrastructure framework until they also have a reconciliation package, causing Nancy Pelosi to delay a vote on the former.[3]

The Huffington Post styles this as a defeat for Pelosi.[4] More importantly, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrstin Sinema are now on notice that they cannot get their infrastructure package without “progressives” getting their reconciliation package. The real question is whether Manchin and Sinema in fact care: My bet is that they don’t and that they will blame “progressives” for refusing to support an infrastructure package that the two senators didn’t really want in the first place. So we end up with nothing: not the infrastructure bill, nor the reconciliation package.

Igor Bobic and Arthur Delaney, “Progressive Democrats Stare Down Moderates In Battle Over Biden Agenda,” Huffington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-infrastructure-vote_n_6155b857e4b0487c855b9a42

Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett, “Democrats grit their teeth after Manchin lists demands,” Politico, September 30, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/30/democrats-grit-teeth-manchin-demands-514836

Marianna Sotomayor, “Waiting for ‘Manchema’: House liberals grow exasperated with two Democratic senators as Biden agenda struggles,” Washington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manchin-sinema-reconciliation-liberals/2021/09/30/3aa2b376-2130-11ec-8200-5e3fd4c49f5e_story.html


  1. [1]Katie Lobosco, “Navient is quitting the federal student loan business,” CNN, September 30, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/30/politics/navient-student-loans/index.html
  2. [2]Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett, “Democrats grit their teeth after Manchin lists demands,” Politico, September 30, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/30/democrats-grit-teeth-manchin-demands-514836
  3. [3]Igor Bobic and Arthur Delaney, “Progressive Democrats Stare Down Moderates In Battle Over Biden Agenda,” Huffington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-infrastructure-vote_n_6155b857e4b0487c855b9a42
  4. [4]Igor Bobic and Arthur Delaney, “Progressive Democrats Stare Down Moderates In Battle Over Biden Agenda,” Huffington Post, September 30, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-infrastructure-vote_n_6155b857e4b0487c855b9a42

Still looking for a stock market ‘correction?’ You aren’t alone

On review, LinkedIn admitted their error, apologized, and restored the post. The account lives for another day. There is a new blog post entitled, “On profanity.”


Pandemic

(Inter)national

There is another new blog post entitled, “What we owe anti-vaxxers in a life-threatening pandemic.”

Richard Winton, “All California prison guards, staff must get COVID-19 vaccine, federal judge rules,” Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-27/california-prison-employees-covid-19-vaccine-judge

Jim Salter, “COVID-related attacks prompt hospital to issue panic buttons,” Associated Press, September 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-covid-19-pandemic-missouri-springfield-397f9fca72155f35035df85c9f2e0941

Aaron Blake, “The evidence is building: Vaccine mandates work — and well,” Washington Post, September 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/29/evidence-is-building-vaccine-mandates-work-well/

Christina Baker Kline, “My father should be in surgery rehab. But with beds full of the unvaccinated, he died in covid quarantine,” Washington Post, September 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/28/christina-baker-kline-father-death-covid-quarantine/


Abortion

Ann E. Marimow and Robert Barnes, “Texas defends law that has halted most abortions in the state,” Washington Post, September 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-ban-ken-paxton/2021/09/29/a1b93a96-2129-11ec-8200-5e3fd4c49f5e_story.html


Infrastructure

Daniel Strauss, “Can Pramila Jayapal Stare Down Manchin and Sinema?” New Republic, September 29, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/163811/pramila-jayapal-infrastructure-manchin-sinema


Wall Street

William D. Cohan, “Coming: Wall Street Executives Await the Big One,” Puck, September 29, 2021, https://puck.news/wall-street-executives-await-the-big-one/