The different ways the pandemic affects education

Education

There is a new blog post entitled, “Keeping the poor, poor, even when they serve their country.”

Jason Togyer, “In towns like McKeesport, the future was already precarious. Then came coronavirus,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 22, 2020, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/year-of-fear-mckeesport-crime-covid-19.php

Greta Anderson, “A One-Day Difference,” Inside Higher Ed, May 27, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/27/rules-could-deprive-national-guard-members-fighting-covid-19-education-benefits


Gratuitous guns

I was working in some areas I hadn’t worked in so intensively before today and found three more gratuitous guns. These are farther west, in Ambridge, New Brighton, and Beaver Falls, than others I’d seen in the Pittsburgh area. I had to do some clean-up of the relevant album and re-add all the locations as a single layer to the map because it turns out there’s a limit to how many layers you can add to one of these maps. But they’re all there now.

See Pittsburgh.


Twelve years vegan

Updates

  1. Originally published, May 5, 10:50 am.
  2. May 6, 10:02 pm:
    • I should have emphasized that a study led by Los Alamos scientists identifying a potentially more contagious mutation of the novel coronavirus has not yet been peer-reviewed.[1]

Twelve years ago today, I drove up to a vegan sandwich shop in Oakland, California, ordered a sandwich made with fake meat, decided I could go vegan, and did. That shop is long gone as are, I’m sorry to say, a number of vegan restaurants that had been open as of about that time. But I remain vegan.


Pandemic

95656638_10157427907521094_8293443615053578240_o
Fig. 1. Meme from Truthout, posted on Facebook on May 3, 2020, fair use.

Yet again, classified evidence. It was manipulated with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist[2] and therefore undermined assertions that the Russians had interfered with the U.S. election in 2016.[3] Now the Trump administration is flogging[4] a conspiracy theory that the novel coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab.[5] Relying on classified evidence.[6]

Of course, no one serious will believe them. But Donald Trump’s base will. And those are the only people Trump thinks he needs to persuade.

Whatever the origin of the novel coronavirus,[7] there is, apparently, a new, more contagious mutation now in the wild. “In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, [a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory] warned.” Further, it is possible that people who have been infected with the earlier version may be susceptible to the mutated version.[8] Yay, team.
95567354_10157219184608027_5486718380159270912_n
Fig. 2. Cartoon by Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer, posted to Facebook by the Union of Concerned Scientists on May 1, 2020, fair use.

Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us

Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “Researchers hypothesize that a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus is spreading, but other experts remain skeptical,” Washington Post, May 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/researchers-hypothesize-that-a-highly-contagious-strain-of-the-coronavirus-is-spreading-but-other-experts-remain-skeptical/2020/05/05/db90d790-8ee7-11ea-9e23-6914ee410a5f_story.html

Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original


Academia

Emma Whitford, “Public Higher Ed Funding Still Has Not Recovered From 2008 Recession,” Inside Higher Ed, May 5, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/05/public-higher-education-worse-spot-ever-heading-recession


  1. [1]Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “Researchers hypothesize that a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus is spreading, but other experts remain skeptical,” Washington Post, May 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/researchers-hypothesize-that-a-highly-contagious-strain-of-the-coronavirus-is-spreading-but-other-experts-remain-skeptical/2020/05/05/db90d790-8ee7-11ea-9e23-6914ee410a5f_story.html; Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original
  2. [2]Greg Palast, “The Downing Street Memos, Manipulation of Prewar Intelligence, and Knowingly Withholding Vital Information from a Grand Jury Investigation,” in Impeach the President, eds. Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips (New York: Seven Stories, 2006), 131-142; Nancy Snow, “Propaganda, Lies, and Patriotic Jingoism,” in Impeach the President, eds. Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips (New York: Seven Stories, 2006), 143-160.
  3. [3]David A. Graham, “What Mueller’s Indictment Reveals,” Atlantic, February 16, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/mueller-roadmap/553604/
  4. [4]Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us
  5. [5]Joby Warrick et al., “Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release,” Washington Post, April 30 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/chinese-lab-conducted-extensive-research-on-deadly-bat-viruses-but-there-is-no-evidence-of-accidental-release/2020/04/30/3e5d12a0-8b0d-11ea-9dfd-990f9dcc71fc_story.html
  6. [6]Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us
  7. [7]Joby Warrick et al., “Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release,” Washington Post, April 30 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/chinese-lab-conducted-extensive-research-on-deadly-bat-viruses-but-there-is-no-evidence-of-accidental-release/2020/04/30/3e5d12a0-8b0d-11ea-9dfd-990f9dcc71fc_story.html
  8. [8]Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original

A backlash in November

It’s pretty hard to summarize the state of the U.S. in a single tweet, but damn, this has gotta be close:


Pandemic

Roche has won Food and Drug Administration approval for an antibody test with what it claims is a much lower false positive rate.[1]

Roche says its test has proven 100% accurate at detecting Covid-19 antibodies in the blood, and 99.8% accurate at ruling out the presence of those antibodies. In other words, only two in every 1,000 samples lacking the antibodies would produce a “false positive” result.[2]

It’s still not known how long any immunity such antibodies confer lasts.[3]

Gloria Jackson, as told to Eli Saslow, “‘I apologize to God for feeling this way,’” Washington Post, May 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/02/elderly-woman-coronavirus-lonely-expendable/

Denise Roland, “Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use,” Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-coronavirus-antibody-test-wins-fda-approval-for-emergency-use-11588505019


The neoliberal party

I think this might be the ultimate reason for never again supporting Bernie Sanders:

Bad judgment.


Academia

It just keeps getting worse.

Let’s jump back a few years, in fact, to 2001, the last year I was gainfully employed. I was laid off in April that year.

It was also the year I learned my father had died the year before. He had cut off contact with me—this seems to be quite the thing in my family—and I learned about his death only because his wife, who had been profoundly dependent upon him (she suffered from addiction and depression issues), had killed herself with an opiate (I presume heroin) overdose, and I was still listed as a beneficiary on my father’s employee stock ownership plan. He had disowned me in every other way.

As the story reaches me, my father had come home and had a “discussion” (I very strongly suspect this was an argument) with his wife. She went upstairs to bed (excessive sleep is a symptom of depression). He went downstairs to his car, closed all the doors, and turned on the engine. He died of asphyxiation. Suicide. His wife didn’t handle it well, likely leading to her own demise later that year, leading to his company’s payout dilemma.

My father had never been happy. Not while married to my mother, not while married to his second wife (whose ending I recount above), probably not ever in life. But to me, his suicide left his profoundly dependent wife in a terrible state. In that act, he repudiated the values of accountability and responsibility he had instilled in me.

It was also a point when I had been laid off in the dot-com crash and was keenly aware that tech companies especially were seeking cheaper labor overseas. I realized that “hard” skills would only be valuable until employers found workers who possessed those skills in cheaper markets.

So when, a couple years later, my father’s company offered me a buyout, I took the money and, among other things, returned to school. I ultimately chose to pursue a program my father would have derided as “basketweaving.” But I figured, if I failed—I considered this highly unlikely—to find work in the meantime, at least I could teach.

I finished my master’s degree just in time for the financial crisis, which devastated academia. I couldn’t even find an adjunct position. And I continued on, ultimately finishing my Ph.D. at the end of 2015, graduating early in 2016.

I still can’t find even an adjunct position or a job of any kind. And academia keeps taking the hits. Musa al-Gharbi’s article[4] covers an important part of the latter saga, a part I was clueless about when I returned to school in 2003 and utterly underestimated when I continued toward my Ph.D.

The 2020 cohort of Ph.D.s is facing a nearly nonexistent job market. But of course, even before the coronavirus pandemic, most graduating Ph.D.s faced bleak prospects. National Science Foundation data suggest that 40 percent of recent Ph.D. graduates had no employment commitments of any kind (not in the private sector, nor as postdocs, nor as contingent or tenure-track faculty). Of those who did get commitments in academe, tenure-track appointments were relatively rare. According to the American Association of University Professors, nearly three-fourths of all teaching jobs today are not tenure-eligible. As a new report by the American Federation of Teachers highlights, these non-tenure-track jobs tend to provide low wages, few benefits, and little job security — with contracts extended or retracted capriciously from semester to semester. Many contingent faculty members, even those working full time, have to rely on government assistance just to make ends meet. Many are also saddled by immense debt, incurred in the hope that a terminal degree would provide a pathway to a stable and well-compensated academic job.[5]

I do not, even for a second, regret my education. But my experience with the job market has been inexcusable.[6]

Musa al-Gharbi, “Universities Run on Disposable Scholars,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Universities-Run-on-Disposable/248687


  1. [1]Denise Roland, “Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use,” Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-coronavirus-antibody-test-wins-fda-approval-for-emergency-use-11588505019
  2. [2]Denise Roland, “Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use,” Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-coronavirus-antibody-test-wins-fda-approval-for-emergency-use-11588505019
  3. [3]Denise Roland, “Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use,” Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-coronavirus-antibody-test-wins-fda-approval-for-emergency-use-11588505019
  4. [4]Musa al-Gharbi, “Universities Run on Disposable Scholars,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Universities-Run-on-Disposable/248687
  5. [5]Musa al-Gharbi, “Universities Run on Disposable Scholars,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Universities-Run-on-Disposable/248687
  6. [6]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/

Rod Dreher: ‘I also realized that there is no reason at all for him to vote Republican.’

Meritocracy

There is a new blog post entitled, “Academic meritocracy and the U.S. presidential campaign.”

Oliver Traldi, “Why Academics Love to Hate Mayor Pete,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 21, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-Academics-Love-to-Hate/248101


Bernie Sanders

Rod Dreher, a traditionalist conservative, apparently took some flak for writing this:

It was an Uber ride, not a political debate. I felt like I should not argue with this young man, but rather just listen. He was really impressive, and idealistic, in the best sense. He explained that he felt that if he wanted things to change for him and his generation, that he needed to get involved in politics. I realized, listening to him, that the things he says he wants are perfectly normal (I would have said that anyway), but I also realized that there is no reason at all for him to vote Republican. Certainly not vote Trump. And again, this is not for any reasons of woke social policy; this is about economics.[1]

Rod Dreher, “Bernie & Solidarity,” American Conservative, February 24, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/bernie-solidarity/


Speciesism

A few days ago, George Monbiot, an on-again, off-again vegan, advocated culls of deer, who lacking a natural predator, are destroying woodlands in Britain.[2] Today, the Telegraph offers a possible answer, reintroducing the lynx, absent from Britain for 1,300 years.[3]

Helena Horton, “Setting lynx wild in Britain could cut deer numbers, head of Natural England says,” Telegraph, February 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/24/setting-lynx-wild-britain-could-cut-deer-numbers-head-natural/


  1. [1]Rod Dreher, “Bernie & Solidarity,” American Conservative, February 24, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/bernie-solidarity/
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “In Defence of Speciesism,” February 21, 2020, https://www.monbiot.com/2020/02/21/in-defence-of-speciesism/
  3. [3]Helena Horton, “Setting lynx wild in Britain could cut deer numbers, head of Natural England says,” Telegraph, February 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/24/setting-lynx-wild-britain-could-cut-deer-numbers-head-natural/

Older than we thought: ‘The Crisis of the Humanities’

Inquiry

This is the sort of article that seems too easy to interpret to support one’s own prejudices. Indeed, the authors cite important examples of how Max Weber’s work was misinterpreted to support scholars’ own prejudices. But if I understand correctly, Weber sought to elevate inquiry itself as a calling.[1] Then again, it’s much too easy to misinterpret. I think I want the book anyway.

Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, “Max Weber Invented the Crisis of the Humanities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20200206-MaxWeber


Authoritarianism

George Monbiot’s use of the word fascism is neither entirely consistent nor entirely inconsistent with my own.

Monbiot is writing about authoritarianism—and this is the term he prefers—but considers it a root of fascism. In this work,[2] he does not recognize the cycle I consider essential to fascism, that being where violence, whether structural or physical, is deployed as a means of building popular support, even as I think the regimes he points to indeed do just that.[3] At the same time, in seeking to distinguish authoritarianism from fascism, he repeats the much-more-often-than-not seen error of failing to offer a definition for the latter.[4]

Still, his essay is important in documenting a pattern of right wing authoritarianism—I mean to distinguish this from authoritarian populism if only because I have not satisfied myself that this is indeed the same phenomenon—around the world.[5] My own work has concentrated on the United States but I have seen what looks a lot like authoritarian populism certainly in Britain, where I’ve argued it originated, with Brexit, and I have seen neoliberalism, the so-called “Washington Consensus,” as having been imposed throughout the world by way of institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. I need to at least begin considering how my seven tendencies of conservatism[6] may indeed have global applicability.

George Monbiot, “The Roots of Fascism,” February 11, 2020, https://www.monbiot.com/2020/02/11/the-roots-of-fascism/


  1. [1]Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, “Max Weber Invented the Crisis of the Humanities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20200206-MaxWeber
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “The Roots of Fascism,” February 11, 2020, https://www.monbiot.com/2020/02/11/the-roots-of-fascism/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “A simple definition of fascism,” Not Housebroken, July 6, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/07/06/a-simple-definition-of-fascism/
  4. [4]George Monbiot, “The Roots of Fascism,” February 11, 2020, https://www.monbiot.com/2020/02/11/the-roots-of-fascism/
  5. [5]George Monbiot, “The Roots of Fascism,” February 11, 2020, https://www.monbiot.com/2020/02/11/the-roots-of-fascism/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “The seven tendencies of conservatism,” Irregular Bullshit, n.d., https://disunitedstates.com/the-seven-tendencies-of-conservatism/

For-profit accreditation scammers scamming

For-profit schools

The following two statements, both attributed to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and quoted directly from the article, very likely contradict each other:

“To the contrary, we [the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools] believe strongly that the information the agency submitted with its recognition application – both narrative and evidence – satisfies any reasonable interpretation of [the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s] standards,” the accrediting agency said in its letter to CHEA.

ACICS said it had significant concerns about CHEA’s recognition process and about “its ongoing implementation of several new policies.” The agency said it plans to reapply at a later date.[1]

Unfortunately,

Recognition by CHEA isn’t necessary for an accreditor to oversee federal aid eligibility. But approval by the association can affect decisions by state authorizers, specialized accrediting agencies, licensing boards and some institutional authorities in other countries.[2]

Financial aid is, of course, what keeps for-profit schools in business. And that’s precisely what makes them a scam. And it’s awfully fishy that Betsy DeVos loves them so.

Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid


Pittsburgh

Ryan Deto, “The displacement of Anthony Hardison from his Lawrenceville apartment is a microcosm of a neighborhood epidemic,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 15, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/the-displacement-of-anthony-hardison-from-his-lawrenceville-apartment-is-a-microcosm-of-a-neighborhood-epidemic/Content?oid=16556108

Ollie Gratzinger, “Allegheny County issues another fine to US Steel for air pollution violation,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 17, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/allegheny-county-issues-another-fine-to-us-steel-for-air-pollution-violation/Content?oid=16576925


  1. [1]Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid
  2. [2]Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid

For-profit schools’ most favorite education secretary ever is in contempt of court

For-profit schools

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, “Federal judge holds DeVos in contempt in loan case, slaps Education Department with $100,000 fine,” Washington Post, October 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/24/federal-judge-holds-devos-contempt-loan-case-slaps-education-dept-with-fine/


Kincade fire

There is a new blog post entitled, “The Kincade fire and the limits of human hubris.”

Randi Rossman and Will Schmitt, “Broken PG&E tower discovered near origin of Kincade fire on The Geysers geothermal power property,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, October 25, 2019, https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/10216601-181/kincade-fire-starts-inside-the

Reis Thebault, Kim Bellware, and Andrew Freedman, “High-voltage power line broke near origin of massive California fire that forced thousands of evacuations,” Washington Post, October 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/24/fast-moving-wildfire-ignites-northern-california-wine-country-prompting-evacuations/


Veganism

George Reynolds, “Why do people hate vegans?” Guardian, October 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/oct/25/why-do-people-hate-vegans


Brexit

Sam Knight has written a history of Brexit, pretty much since Theresa May was toppled.[1] After all, it has been one very long, very strange journey and we still don’t know, really, how it ends.

Sam Knight, “How Brexit Will End,” New Yorker, October 25, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/04/how-brexit-will-end


James Comey

Tammy Kupperman et al., “Judge says impeachment inquiry is legal and justifies disclosing grand jury material,” CNN, October 25, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/25/politics/grand-jury-impeachment-mueller/index.html


  1. [1]Sam Knight, “How Brexit Will End,” New Yorker, October 25, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/04/how-brexit-will-end

The spoiled child

Brexit

Edward Malnick and Christopher Hope, “Boris Johnson to sabotage EU if forced to delay Brexit,” Telegraph, October 6, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/10/05/boris-johnson-sabotage-eu-forced-delay-brexit/

Tim Shipman and Caroline Wheeler, “‘Sack me if you dare,’ Boris Johnson will tell the Queen,” Times, October 6, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/sack-me-if-you-dare-boris-johnson-will-tell-the-queen-fsbpsnjdc



Whistle blowing

At first blush, Norman Solomon’s article appears to pose a false equivalence between a whistle blower who broke the law (albeit in defense of the constitution) and and one who followed the law. Solomon gets to that.[1]

Norman Solomon, “Pelosi Wants to Prosecute Snowden But Protect Trump Whistleblower,” Truthout, October 4, 2019, https://truthout.org/articles/pelosi-wants-to-prosecute-snowden-but-protect-trump-whistleblower/


Academia

Alia Wong, “College Students Just Want Normal Libraries,” Atlantic, October 4, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/10/college-students-dont-want-fancy-libraries/599455/


Elon Musk

Rafi Letzter, “Why NASA’s Annoyed About Elon Musk’s Giant Rocket,” Live Science, October 5, 2019, https://www.livescience.com/starship-crew-dragon-spacex-nasa-bridenstine.html


  1. [1]Norman Solomon, “Pelosi Wants to Prosecute Snowden But Protect Trump Whistleblower,” Truthout, October 4, 2019, https://truthout.org/articles/pelosi-wants-to-prosecute-snowden-but-protect-trump-whistleblower/

The Sword of Damocles

Brexit

Peter Walker and Owen Bowcott, “Brexit forecast: what will happen between now and 31 October?” Guardian, September 27, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/27/brexit-forecast-what-will-happen-between-now-31-october

Lisa O’Carroll and Heather Stewart, “Boris Johnson’s ‘secret Irish border plans’ dismissed as non-starter,” Guardian, September 30, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/30/hardline-conservative-brexiters-open-door-to-support-for-deal

Peter Foster, “Boris Johnson to reveal his final Brexit plan to EU leaders within 24 hours,” Telegraph, October 1, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/09/30/boris-johnson-reveal-final-brexit-plan-eu-leaders-within-24/


Academia

Sheila Liming, “My University is Dying,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 25, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190925-my-university-is-dying


Accreditors going wild

For-profit institutions

There is a new blog post entitled, “The conundrum of higher education accreditation.”

Eric Kelderman, “The Education Dept. Wants Accreditors to Compete. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Education-Dept-Wants/246658


Census

Jessica Schneider, “Federal judge permanently blocks Trump admin from adding citizenship question to 2020 census,” CNN, July 16, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/16/politics/judge-permanently-blocks-citizenship-question-2020-census/index.html

Jessica Schneider, “2nd federal judge blocks Trump admin from adding citizenship question to census,” CNN, July 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/17/politics/2020-census-citizenship/index.html

Felicia Sonmez, “House votes to hold Attorney General Barr, Commerce Secretary Ross in contempt for failing to comply with subpoena on 2020 Census,” Washington Post, July 17, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-to-vote-to-hold-barr-ross-in-contempt-over-2020-census-citizenship-question/2019/07/17/8dbeb35c-a89c-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html


Donald Trump

The comments from [Will] Hurd and [Mike] Turner were commendably direct and unvarnished. But they need to be placed in context. The hundred and sixteenth Congress contains a hundred and ninety-seven Republican representatives and fifty-three Republican senators. Of these two hundred and fifty profiles in courage, Hurd and Turner were the sole ones to specifically use the word “racist” to describe [Donald] Trump’s attack. Other Republicans, even as they broke with Trump and criticized his comments, ransacked the thesaurus to avoid it.[1]

So the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted, 332-to-95, including “137 [Democrats] voting to effectively kill the [impeachment] resolution and 95 opposing the move.”[2] It was specifically about Donald Trump’s multiple forms of xenophobia, not about any wrongdoing found or suspected by Robert Mueller.[3] Which is all to say that neoliberals are nearly as afraid of Trump’s base as Republicans.

I understand and have previously acknowledged[4] the neoliberals have a strategy that requires some patience.[5] Indeed, they made a move to advance that strategy, holding William Barr and Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for failing to produce subpoenaed documents regarding the citizenship question on the census.[6]

But Al Green pulled a trigger.[7] Once the trigger was pulled, the process needed to succeed at every step.

Now, the optics are horrible and this situation is now very likely worse than before. Trump will be insufferable as he claims vindication. As the resolution directly addressed his racism,[8] and was defeated by such a ridiculously large margin, [9] he will now consider himself even more free to be even more bigoted in his future statements and, even more worryingly, actions. Not that there was any restraining him before: As I’ve said before, there’s no bottom with the man; he’s a black hole. But our descent has been hastened.

Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis, “House votes to kill impeachment resolution against Trump, avoiding a direct vote on whether to oust the president,” Washington Post, July 17, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-divided-as-house-to-vote-on-whether-to-consider-impeachment-of-trump/2019/07/17/dacd1c0e-a8a3-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html

John Cassidy, “Trump’s Overt Racism Is Uniting Democrats and Unnerving Some Republicans,” New Yorker, July 15, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trumps-overt-racism-is-uniting-democrats-and-unnerving-some-republicans

John Bresnahan, “House thrown into chaos after Pelosi decries Trump’s ‘racist’ tweets on floor,” Politico, July 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/07/16/pelosi-trump-racism-resolution-1417365

Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney, “Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump,” Politico, July 17, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/17/democrats-oversight-strategy-mueller-1417908

Jonas Ekblom and Jan Wolfe, “In rare rebuke, dozens of Republicans hit Trump over ‘racist’ tweets,” Euronews, July 17, 2019, https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/17/in-rare-rebuke-dozens-of-republicans-hit-trump-over-racist-tweets

Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, “Democrat says House likely to vote on impeachment resolution Wednesday,” CNN, July 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/17/politics/trump-impeachment-house-vote/index.html


  1. [1]John Cassidy, “Trump’s Overt Racism Is Uniting Democrats and Unnerving Some Republicans,” New Yorker, July 15, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trumps-overt-racism-is-uniting-democrats-and-unnerving-some-republicans
  2. [2]Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis, “House votes to kill impeachment resolution against Trump, avoiding a direct vote on whether to oust the president,” Washington Post, July 17, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-divided-as-house-to-vote-on-whether-to-consider-impeachment-of-trump/2019/07/17/dacd1c0e-a8a3-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html
  3. [3]Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, “Democrat says House likely to vote on impeachment resolution Wednesday,” CNN, July 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/17/politics/trump-impeachment-house-vote/index.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Calls for impeachment are the latest displays of the naturalistic fallacy and system justification,” Not Housebroken, May 23, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/05/23/calls-for-impeachment-are-the-latest-displays-of-the-naturalistic-fallacy-and-system-justification/
  5. [5]Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney, “Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump,” Politico, July 17, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/17/democrats-oversight-strategy-mueller-1417908
  6. [6]Felicia Sonmez, “House votes to hold Attorney General Barr, Commerce Secretary Ross in contempt for failing to comply with subpoena on 2020 Census,” Washington Post, July 17, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-to-vote-to-hold-barr-ross-in-contempt-over-2020-census-citizenship-question/2019/07/17/8dbeb35c-a89c-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html
  7. [7]Rachael Bade, “Rep. Green files articles of impeachment against Trump despite pushback from Democratic leaders,” Washington Post, July 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rep-green-to-file-articles-of-impeachment-against-trump-despite-pushback-from-democratic-leaders/2019/07/16/63b4c0b6-a800-11e9-ac16-90dd7e5716bc_story.html
  8. [8]Rachael Bade, “Rep. Green files articles of impeachment against Trump despite pushback from Democratic leaders,” Washington Post, July 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rep-green-to-file-articles-of-impeachment-against-trump-despite-pushback-from-democratic-leaders/2019/07/16/63b4c0b6-a800-11e9-ac16-90dd7e5716bc_story.html; Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, “Democrat says House likely to vote on impeachment resolution Wednesday,” CNN, July 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/17/politics/trump-impeachment-house-vote/index.html
  9. [9]Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis, “House votes to kill impeachment resolution against Trump, avoiding a direct vote on whether to oust the president,” Washington Post, July 17, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-divided-as-house-to-vote-on-whether-to-consider-impeachment-of-trump/2019/07/17/dacd1c0e-a8a3-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html