‘Rage farming’

Republicans

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

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


Republican rule

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Oh, gee, the Democrats are hopeless, again

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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


Pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Republican rule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postal Service

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

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

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


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

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

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

I’m just even more flabbergasted than usual.


Donald Trump


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

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

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


Republican National Convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pandemic

(Inter)national


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pennsylvania region

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

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


Republican rule


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

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

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


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

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

Right-wing dictatorship

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

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


Infrastructure

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

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


Pandemic

(Inter)national

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pennsylvania evictions

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

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


Capitalism

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

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


White supremacist gangs

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


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

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

Republican National Convention


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

I cannot be in Pittsburgh for this. Can not.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Snow

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Manchin’s short and curlies

Pittsburgh snow

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

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

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


Infrastructure

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

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

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

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


Roman Catholic Church

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

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

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

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

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


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

Oh, the sweetness and light

Donald Trump, Civil War

When I criticize a “sweetness and light” approach to Trumpists, this is why:

Accelerationism holds that the modern, Western democratic state is so mired in corruption and ineptitude that true patriots should instigate a violent insurrection to hasten its destruction to allow a new, white-dominated order to emerge. . . . The objective of accelerationism is to foment divisiveness and polarization that will induce the collapse of the existing order and spark a second civil war.[1]

“Sweetness and light” is every bit as delusional as the conspiracy theories and the alternative reality that Trumpists embrace.

Jacob Bacharach, “The Next Coup Attempt Will Be More Dangerous,” review of The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague, New Republic, January 4, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/164914/next-coup-attempt-will-dangerous-teague-bowden-book-review

Philip Bump, “What we’re talking about when we talk about civil war,” Washington Post, January 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/04/what-were-talking-about-when-we-talk-about-civil-war/

Stephen Marche, “The next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it,” Guardian, January 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/04/next-us-civil-war-already-here-we-refuse-to-see-it

Bruce Hoffman, “A Year After January 6, Is Accelerationism the New Terrorist Threat?” Council on Foreign Relations, January 5, 2022, https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/year-after-january-6-accelerationism-new-terrorist-threat

Ashley Parker, Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey, “How Republicans became the party of Trump’s election lie after Jan. 6,” Washington Post, January 5, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-jan-6-election-lie/2022/01/05/82f4cad4-6cb6-11ec-974b-d1c6de8b26b0_story.html

Molly Jong-Fast, “The Scariest Thing About Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Atlantic, January 6, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/61d5bb077097fc002053fbb4/the-scariest-thing-about-marjorie-taylor-greene/

Daniel McCarthy, “January 6 was an alarm bell,” Spectator, January 6, 2022, https://spectatorworld.com/topic/january-6-was-an-alarm-bell/

Ben Sixsmith, “The Capitol riot transformed right-wing activism in America,” Spectator, January 6, 2022, https://spectatorworld.com/topic/capitol-riot-fall-rise-right-wing-activism/

Tina Nguyen, “My Country, Right or Far Right?: January 6th and the World It Created,&rdq; Puck News, January 6, 2022, https://puck.news/january-6th-and-the-world-it-created/


Pittsburgh snow

The storm had been forecast well in advance,[2] but guess what? The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works couldn’t be bothered to mount plows on the fronts of their trucks ahead of time.[3] These are people who flatly do not believe and refuse to comprehend that they have jobs to do. This is corruption, right in our faces,[4] and it’s going to take a lot more than politicians going for ride-alongs in DPW trucks to fix.[5]

Still it’s amusing to see people who’ve previously gotten better service now that they aren’t. This is Davina Rose, who lives in the North Side and works in Oakland. The latter area, near the hospitals, is a priority area for what I would think are obvious reasons,[6] but also where I found snow still on the roads last night:

I guess this is Pittsburgh’s first winter ever. We’ve never seen snow before, we are never ever prepared. But let’s hope we make it till April.[7]

And guess what? Well, you know, it is winter.[8]

Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/

Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/


Gig economy

Understand that Uber and Lyft are not companies any conceivable path to profitability. They exist as stock market swindles. They have spent exorbitantly to fight off efforts to treat drivers as employees, in part claiming that to do otherwise would put them out of business when in fact they don’t have viable business plans in the first place.[9]

So here’s Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi doing what?

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reassured investors concerned about new European Union regulations in December, telling a group of bankers that his company can continue to thrive even under rules that would force it to hire drivers as employees.

“We can make any model work,” Khosrowshahi said when asked about potential EU legislation that would require Uber to designate drivers as employees or provide additional rights such as vacation time and a pension.[10]

The bullshit is getting deep. Very, very deep.

Lee Fang, “Uber CEO Admits Company Can Afford Labor Protections for Drivers,” Intercept, January 7, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/01/07/uber-drivers-labor-protections-dara-khosrowshahi-european-union/


  1. [1]Bruce Hoffman, “A Year After January 6, Is Accelerationism the New Terrorist Threat?” Council on Foreign Relations, January 5, 2022, https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/year-after-january-6-accelerationism-new-terrorist-threat
  2. [2]Paul Guggenheimer, “Season’s 1st winter snowfall headed to Western Pennsylvania,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 4, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/seasons-first-winter-snowfall-headed-to-western-pennsylvania/
  3. [3]Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “It is what it is,” Not Housebroken, December 31, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/31/it-is-what-it-is/
  5. [5]Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/
  6. [6]Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/
  7. [7]Davina Rose, quoted in Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/
  8. [8]Paul Guggenheimer, “Another potential winter storm headed our way,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/another-potential-winter-storm-headed-our-way/
  9. [9]David Benfell, “This is not a business plan,” Not Housebroken, November 28, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/20/this-is-not-a-business-plan/
  10. [10]Lee Fang, “Uber CEO Admits Company Can Afford Labor Protections for Drivers,” Intercept, January 7, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/01/07/uber-drivers-labor-protections-dara-khosrowshahi-european-union/

Maybe Ed Gainey done good, or at least better

Snow

So I did indeed go out to work Friday. And there are a couple points I should make ahead of the main one, just so there’s no confusion:

  1. It is entirely normal for my traction alert light to come on when the road is uneven, as when I hit a pothole or a subgrade utility hole cover. The traction control system may activate in such circumstances, but only briefly. I generally notice only the flashing amber light on my dashboard. This has nothing in particular to do with winter driving conditions; it happens in the blazing heat of summer as well. This happened Friday just like it always does.
  2. I did not have serious trouble with traction on Friday like I did Thursday night. That said, there were streets I treated more gingerly than others.
  3. I never went to or through Carrick, where there were such horrendous problems last year, and indeed, they didn’t see a snow plow for nearly two weeks. Not having gone there Friday, I don’t know what it was like. City Councilman Anthony Coghill, who represents the area and was up in arms last year,[1] said this year was better than previous years (plural, so presumably not just last year).[2]

In general, the roads were clear. I didn’t notice roads that weren’t clear until it had started snowing again. The snow was light and brief, I think insufficient to account for the layers of slush and snow I did see. It’s possible, however, that it snowed more heavily in these places when I wasn’t in them at the time and this might be an alternative explanation.

I didn’t see these layers of slush and snow until I got downtown, and then into Northside, and then Oakland. They were not deep enough to have been left over from last night, so I think what happened is that these areas did not receive a second treatment that I fully expect they would have under now former Mayor Bill Peduto. The roads still seemed safe; I saw nothing like the panic I saw Thursday night.

So I’m guessing that snow plowing efforts have been more evenly redirected under Ed Gainey. This would have been very quick work; he was only inaugurated Monday.[3] On the other hand, it’s apparent the issue had his attention. He spent the night with a public works truck driver plowing and treating streets:


Gainey, by the way, mentions Brookline in the foregoing tweet. He included two photographs, one of which shows a street sign saying “26th St.” I thought the picture was from the Southside and the neighborhood indicated on the street sign is unintelligible. But I now think I was wrong; the corresponding street in Southside would be South 26th Street. It is more likely the Strip District, which is not south of the Monongahela, but rather south of the Allegheny, well to the north of the Monongahela. If I make out the street number, I think 100, correctly, this could be looking down Smallman Street.

I’m also seeing tweets like this:


Overbrook is very near to Carrick.

We’ll see how this works out. I think the Department of Public Works, along with corresponding agencies in other municipalities, should have been more proactive in treating roads for a storm that had been forecast well in advance,[4] but it does look like there’s been some redirection of resources from previously well-served neighborhoods to previously less well-served neighborhoods. It’s an improvement of sorts.

Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/


Pandemic

(Inter)national

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

Pennsylvania region

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


Republican rule

I’m still not seeing how Democrats can promise even now to pass voting rights legislation[5] when they need to change filibuster rules to do so and can’t get Joe Manchin to go along with such a change.[6] Lacking an explanation, I’m still left believing “the Democrats really feel much more comfortable in opposition, where they can complain about the Republicans, than in power; when in power, they’re supposed to accomplish things and they fail at this miserably.”[7]

Fredreka Schouten, “Senate Democrats vow they’ll pass voting rights legislation with or without Republicans. Here’s what their proposals would do,” CNN, January 7, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/07/politics/voting-rights-electoral-count-john-lewis-act/index.html


  1. [1]KDKA Television, “Pittsburgh Councilman Publicly Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ State Of Roads After Snowfall,” December 27, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/12/27/pittsburgh-councilman-publicly-criticizes-unacceptable-state-of-roads-after-snowfall/
  2. [2]Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/
  3. [3]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey promises to unite city in inaugural address,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 3, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-mayor-ed-gainey-promises-to-unite-city-in-inaugural-address/; Olafimihan Oshin, “Ed Gainey sworn in as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor,” Hill, January 3, 2022, https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/588041-ed-gainey-sworn-in-as-pittsburghs-first-black-mayor; Jordana Rosenfeld, “Ed Gainey sworn in as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor; addresses questions on policing,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 3, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/ed-gainey-sworn-in-as-pittsburghs-first-black-mayor-addresses-questions-on-policing/Content?oid=20862169
  4. [4]Paul Guggenheimer, “Season’s 1st winter snowfall headed to Western Pennsylvania,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 4, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/seasons-first-winter-snowfall-headed-to-western-pennsylvania/
  5. [5]Fredreka Schouten, “Senate Democrats vow they’ll pass voting rights legislation with or without Republicans. Here’s what their proposals would do,” CNN, January 7, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/07/politics/voting-rights-electoral-count-john-lewis-act/index.html
  6. [6]Siobhan Hughes, “Democrats Seek Filibuster Changes to Pass Elections Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-seek-filibuster-changes-to-pass-elections-bills-11641128403; Siobhan Hughes, “Manchin Deflates Democrats’ Hopes of Changing Filibuster, Passing Election Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-deflates-democrats-hopes-of-changing-filibuster-passing-election-bills-11641328293
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, January 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/

Do I dare?

Snow

The good taxpayers of Upper Saint Clair have, of course, paid to have their roads clear, and my, oh my, they are indeed beautiful, so I had no difficulty getting to Whole Foods Market to pick up my grocery order. Even crossing over into Bethel Park to get a car wash, the roads did not appear in quite such good condition.

The car wash was a failure—my fault, not the machine’s—as all the good stuff just went on top of the snow. It didn’t even get all the snow off my car. But I have two monthly plans. I’ll go to the other place, which I think gives me a better wash anyway, which is near my mailbox, and where humans are also involved, later.


I’m hoping this means I can go to work.


Pandemic

Pennsylvania region


Fig. 1. Screenshot of Allegheny County COVID-19 data and trends, taken by author, January 7, 2022.[1]

I will be exposed to the Omicron variant, I likely already have been, and it is likely I will continue to be so. It has reached Allegheny County, positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results have reached 26 percent,[2] and I have high public contact in a confined space. The only good news in figure 1 is that deaths are not skyrocketing along with cases and hospitalizations.[3] Fortunately for me, but not for anyone else, my history is that if I am infected, I probably won’t even notice.

And no, I have little patience for sweetness and light crap like this:

[Debra] Bogen urged people to show compassion.

“Regardless of one’s beliefs and vaccination status, we need to continue to look out for each other, protect each other and be good neighbors,” she said.

She said that compassion, not condescension, for those remaining on the fence about certain public health recommendations is key.

“Only by showing compassion do we give people the space they need to consider their beliefs – about masking, vaccination and doing their part to protect others,” she said. “Without compassion, without empathy, we only cause people to feel attacked, and we can unintentionally cause divisions to grow.”

She urged people to find new ways to reach out with compassion to “those with differing beliefs.”

“I understand that we’re frustrated and worried about the future,” she said, “but we are truly all in this together.”[4]

Trumpists respond to compassion with “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Make A Liberal Cry.” I don’t even want to hear about how I should have compassion for people who have chosen to be assholes, who hold nothing but disdain for fellow human beings.

Megan Guza, “Covid positivity rate in Allegheny skyrockets to 26% as omicron spreads,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/covid-positivity-rate-in-allegheny-skyrockets-to-26-as-omicron-spreads/

Lancaster Online, “COVID-19 patient counts set new records in Lancaster County and across Pennsylvania as hospital surge continues,” January 6, 2022, https://lancasteronline.com/news/health/covid-19-patient-counts-set-new-records-in-lancaster-county-and-across-pennsylvania-as-hospital/article_04961f14-6f1b-11ec-8b7d-ffafa9586634.html

(Inter)national

[Greg] Abbott’s letter did not take issue with the dozen-plus other vaccines Guardsmen – and all other service members – are ordered to receive, including vaccinations against hepatitis and smallpox and annual flu shots.[5]

Agence France-Presse, “Soaring Omicron could lead to more dangerous variants, WHO warns,” Times of Israel, January 4, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/soaring-omicron-could-lead-to-more-dangerous-variants-who-warns/

Steve Beynon, “‘He Is Not Your Commander-in-Chief:’ Texas Governor Promises Guardsmen He’ll Fight Biden Over Vaccine Mandate,” Military.com, January 4, 2022, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/01/04/he-not-your-commander-chief-texas-governor-promises-guardsmen-hell-fight-biden-over-vaccine-mandate.html

Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin, II, and Emily Alpert Reyes, “Hospitals see big jumps in COVID-19 patients, but this surge is different from last winter,” Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-04/covid-hospitalizations-top-summer-surge-in-l-a

Ovetta Wiggins, “Hogan declares 30-day state of emergency as state enters its ‘most challenging time’ of the pandemic,” Washington Post, January 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/01/04/hogan-declares-emergency-coronavirus/

Spencer Kimball, “CDC declines to add Covid testing recommendation to updated isolation guidance despite criticism,” CNBC, January 5, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/04/cdc-adds-testing-guidance-to-shortened-covid-isolation-recommendation-after-facing-criticism.html

Sophia Tareen, “Chicago cancels classes after union backs remote learning,” Associated Press, January 5, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-education-chicago-teaching-289f27d91f9c9ed36715577b0b0a6548

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court’s conservatives seem skeptical of Biden’s workplace vaccination rules,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html


  1. [1]Allegheny County Health Department, “COVID-19 in Allegheny County,” January 6, 2022, https://tableau.alleghenycounty.us/t/PublicSite/views/COVID-19Summary_16222279737570/COVID-19Summary?%3AshowAppBanner=false&%3Adisplay_count=n&%3AshowVizHome=n&%3Aorigin=viz_share_link&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&%3Aembed=y
  2. [2]Megan Guza, “Covid positivity rate in Allegheny skyrockets to 26% as omicron spreads,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/covid-positivity-rate-in-allegheny-skyrockets-to-26-as-omicron-spreads/
  3. [3]Allegheny County Health Department, “COVID-19 in Allegheny County,” January 6, 2022, https://tableau.alleghenycounty.us/t/PublicSite/views/COVID-19Summary_16222279737570/COVID-19Summary?%3AshowAppBanner=false&%3Adisplay_count=n&%3AshowVizHome=n&%3Aorigin=viz_share_link&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&%3Aembed=y
  4. [4]Megan Guza, “Covid positivity rate in Allegheny skyrockets to 26% as omicron spreads,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/covid-positivity-rate-in-allegheny-skyrockets-to-26-as-omicron-spreads/
  5. [5]Steve Beynon, “‘He Is Not Your Commander-in-Chief:’ Texas Governor Promises Guardsmen He’ll Fight Biden Over Vaccine Mandate,” Military.com, January 4, 2022, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/01/04/he-not-your-commander-chief-texas-governor-promises-guardsmen-hell-fight-biden-over-vaccine-mandate.html