Links 5/7/2021

Posted on by

Why Cats Knock Your Stuff Over—and How to Stop Them LifeHacker. For the record, none of my three Abyssinians ever did that.

In major move, South Africa to end captive lion industry Associated Press

The Latest Monarch Butterfly Breeding Pattern Shows That Their Population May Be on the Rise Martha Stewart Living (resilc)

Nearly 10% of all wild California condors are wreaking havoc on one person’s home BoingBoing

Alien plants: The search for photosynthesis on other worlds New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

American drivers are saving the corn ethanol industry–for now Quartz (resilc). Ugh. Corn ethanol is an environmental net negative, as we’ve written for some time. The only ethanol that is actually energy efficient is sugar cane grown in Brazil, but that assumes no deforestation to do that (I have no idea whether that is part of the equation or not).

10 residents live in isolation at Hawaii’s last leprosy community SFGate (Chuck L) :-(

Too much salt suppresses phagocytes MDC


How to Avoid ‘Zoom Dick’ Incidents During Zoom Calls at Work Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)


Scientists Have Taught Bees to Smell COVID-19 Infections Business Insider (Chuck L)

Merkel Pushes Back on Vaccine Patent Waiver in Row With U.S Bloomberg (resilc)


This village’s story shows just how unprepared rural India is for the latest COVID surge Popular Science (resilc)

India’s national government looks increasingly hapless Economist

Singapore soft-pedals reopening amid new outbreak Asia Times


NYC Pitches Free Vaccines for Tourists in Bid to Expedite Post-Pandemic Recovery NBC (J-LS)

Covid and Travel: Why an Estimated 100,000 Americans Abroad Face Passport Problems New York Times

Old Blighty

Conservatives take Hartlepool seat from Labour BBC

UK election official turns own car into polling station after person responsible for opening venue oversleeps Boing Boing (resilc)

A Fateful Election in Scotland: After Brexit Could Come Scexit Der Spiegel (resilc)

Polish grannies demonstrate for democracy DW

New Cold War

US: NATO ‘door remains open’ to nations that meet conditions Al Jazeera (resilc)


Removal of all contractors from Afghanistan underway -Pentagon chief Reuters

US deploys extra warplanes to protect its troops withdrawing from Afghanistan Guardian

European powers urge halt to Israeli settlement expansion DW (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Politician’s Zoom Background Can’t Hide Fact That He’s Actually Driving Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

Malicious Office 365 Apps Are the Ultimate Insiders Brian Krebs (BC)

GOP Civil War

Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik’s rise, Cheney’s fall The Hill

Democrats en deshabille

The Case to Keep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Cash Inside Elections (UserFriendly)

How the Senate’s Long-Term Equilibrium Could Shape Democratic Decisions on the Filibuster Larry Sabato (UserFriendly)

Texas lawmakers race against the clock to push through new voting restrictions Guardian

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The State That Executed a Black Child Wants to Bring Back the Firing Squad Vice (resilc)

Colorado representative calls colleague “Buckwheat” in house session BoingBoing

Commission Finds Anti-Black Police Violence Constitutes Crimes Against Humanity Consortiumnews (UserFriendly)

Our Famously Free Press

All of This Shit is High School Freddie deBoer (UserFriendly)

An oldie but goodie (Chuck L):

America’s Bullshit Tolerance Is Reaching Dangerously High Levels Esquire (resilc)


While you were busy avoiding being criticized for insufficient wokeness: Many states are pushing through more permissive gun laws Economist (Dr. Kevin)

Woke Watch

Gender Ideology is Wreaking Carnage in Our Medical Schools – An Eye Witness Report Plebity (Mark W)

Biggest ISPs paid for 8.5 million fake FCC comments opposing net neutrality ars technica. BC: “Wowsers, this is flagrant.” As a result: Broadband industry submitted millions of fake comments in support of net-neutrality repeal: N.Y. attorney general MarketWatch (resilc)

Credit Card Deleveraging during the COVID-19 Pandemic St. Louis Fed (UserFriendly)

Chip shortage continues, US asks Taiwan to prioritize automakers ars technica (Kevin W)

Steel prices have tripled. Now Bank of America is sounding the alarm CNN (resilc)

Nationwide Shortage Of Chlorine And Propane Tanks Impacting Pools Right Before Summer CBS (resilc)

Opinion: CalPERS can’t count on 7% returns without risky investments Mercury News (Kevin W)

MMT and Power – Part 1 Bill Mitchell

Guillotine Watch

Caitlyn Jenner Pleads For People To Think Of The Private Plane Hangar Owners Huffington Post (Dr. Kevin)

Humanity Does Not Need Bill Gates Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Melinda Gates was upset and uncomfortable after she and Bill Gates met with Jeffrey Epstein, The Daily Beast reports Business Insider (Kevin W). The lady doth protest too much. Whining about it now (through leaks) is way too little, too late.

Class Warfare

Mark Warner’s PRO Act Wavering Is a Grim Sign Discourse Blog (UserFriendly)

Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers? Wall Street Journal. Chorus: “Because the jobs are McJobs!” Specifically:

Surveys suggest why some can’t or won’t go back to work. Millions of adults say they aren’t working for fear of getting or spreading Covid-19. Businesses are reopening ahead of schools, leaving some parents without child care. Many people are receiving more in unemployment benefits than they would earn in the available jobs. Some who are out of work don’t have the skills needed for jobs that are available or are unwilling to switch to a new career.

Is Unemployment Insurance Behind the Fast-Food Labor Shortage? American Prospect. Terrible headline. Cognitive research shows that repeating the point you are trying to debunk reinforces it. Ideas like this need to be handled as if they are radioactive.

‘Hedge Fund Managers Bleed Companies of Their Capabilities’ FAIR

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “This handsome Billy Goat lives at the Orange County Zoo in the Irvine Regional Park (Irvine, California).”

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. John Siman

    I personally find Freddie de Boer’s style annoying, but what he says about our Official State Media’s hatred of Greenwald is both funny and revealing: “Oh you hate Glenn Greenwald’s politics? What is it specifically, you have a cousin who works for the Bolsonaro administration, or a deep respect for the operational integrity of the NSA? Hmmm? Or, perhaps – and hear me out here – you just think Greenwald is an asshole but you have a vague sense that that isn’t an adult reason to criticize someone so you’re coming up with a bullshit political pretext…. If you think he’s an asshole, call him an asshole. But this song and dance where you talk like he has Andrew Breitbart’s politics is a farce and you know it. Media people have always hated Glenn because he’s been very successful in journalism despite rejecting journalism’s professional and social culture. He is very much Not One of Us to them. They can’t imagine getting beers with him so he must be a reactionary.”
    It’s probably just a matter of time now until a coalition of bien pensant liberals demand that NPR officially declare Greenwald to be a racist ickier than Tucker Carlson.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve seen the ‘Greenwald is an asshole’ thing spread quite widely, even to some usually quite sensible commentators (including one who is regularly posted abl here). It goes to show that if something is repeated enough, people buy into it unless they have a specific reason to do their own digging, and people rarely do that.

      I can’t remember who it was, but one old style investigative journalist once said that to be any good at the job, your hatred must stay pure. Greenwald is one of the very few who take that seriously. Even Matt Taibbi sometimes buckles under the attacks thrown at him.

      1. Winston Smith

        I can understand why Greenwald rubs people the wrong way: his style is uncompromising and confrontational. I saw him give a presentation/Q&A at the Kennedy school of government way back before any “citizen 4” news. Even sympathetic interlocutors were given a somewhat brusque brushback if their argument/question was not on the mark…of course, this does not address the validity of his arguments but human response is not conditioned by logic

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I think its too kind to call it a ‘human response’. He’s always been this way, but we haven’t seen the pile on until he has presented himself as a genuine threat (via substance) to the mainstream media and, more specifically, its employees. You would think that his brilliant expose of the carwash conspiracy in Brazil would ensure he got every journalism prize going. But instead, there is a monster pile on that is more reminiscent of schoolyard bullying than anything else.

          He can of course take this – he seems utterly impervious to the bile thrown at him (even when he had a horror experience recently with a house break in). But this will surely deter others who hope to follow his footsteps who don’t have his iron nerve.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Just to correct autocorrect, for ‘substance’ above, read ‘substack’.

        1. Alfred

          I wonder how people who aren’t paying attention in his business can survive. It’s not called the “public debate” arena for nothing, and people who have studied debate tactics, clean and dirty, can throw off the young and unsuspecting. Once you start doing this for the big bucks, it’s easy to get “confused.” IMO

          I would mention Greg Palast and Pepe Escobar as journalists who never stop paying attention.

        2. TimH

          “Or maybe Greenwald’s latest work has been disingenuous.”

          Or maybe you should cite an explicit complaint, rather than issuing vague handwaving criticism.

          1. hunkerdown

            Anything not approved by the PMC Demintern is “disingenuous”. It’s just the disingenuous way establishment shills work.

        3. FluffytheObeseCat

          I’d say Greenwald’s latest works have been the polar opposite of disingenuous. In both tone and substance they are completely in keeping with his critiques of Republican warmongering in the previous decade. You know, the critiques that made him a hero of the “left” back then.

        4. DJG, Reality Czar


          You mean fighting against the Brazilian government and the current wildly inept / corrupt administration?

          Helping to get Pres. Lula out of prison and exonerated? Which also pretty much exonerates Pres. Dilma Roussef.

          Yes, “disingenuous.” Indeed.

          Necessary. Now, that’s the word.

          1. Late Introvert

            Ya, dcblogger is the type who Glenn regularly destroys, so naturally they are going to be upset by him.

            1. flora

              erm…”the type who”…. Type?

              Maybe the best part of NC, imo, is letting everyone speak, have their say, so long as their comment is rational and to the point they are making, even if I disagree with the point they’re making. It’s more effort to think about a view contrary to my own, to work through why I might disagree and what reasons that disagreement is based on. No spoon feeding here. Sometimes I find myself changing a prior opinion based on reasonable counter arguments presented in NC comments. That’s a good mental exercise in itself, imo. etc.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        It was the great Alexander Cockburn who wrote about “keeping your hate pure.” I recall seeing it when he wrote about Ed Millibrand as Labour candidate in Britain.

      3. Skip Intro

        I think the ‘he’s an ahole, but’ is the sort of formulaic submission required to preface remarks that would otherwise get one kicked off CNN, like ‘Saddam Hussein is a monster, but we should give him another 3 days to turn over his WMDs’.

      4. Eric Anderson

        Greenwald was a lawyer first.
        If you litigate, which Glenn did, you get comfortable with 1/2 the world hating you and not caring in a hurry.

      5. Carolinian

        You are referring to the now gone Alexander Cockburn who advised young colleagues to “keep your hatred pure.” Of course he said that back in an era of Panglossian High Broderism when many leading pundits saw bipartisanship as the essence of politics and a way to keep the country humming. Now MSM journalism is nothing but hatred be it of Putin or the deplorables. The real left–the people he was talking to–seem to be out of the picture.

        All of which is a way of saying that herd mentality has always been a thing among reporters and people like Greenwald are the nail that must be knocked down. Greenwald is, after all, now going after them and while they can dish it out they can’t take it without whining.

    2. Donald

      My long post vanished, so here is the short one. Freddie is mostly wrong. People judge you as an asshole based primarily on whether they think you are in their political sect. If you criticize the Russiagate hysteria, for instance, it makes you objectively pro Trump and therefore bad.

      If you are an asshole with the correct politics, it just means you are passionate and sincere. That’s how things go on Twitter.

    3. jhallc

      Matt Tabbi – Munk Debates: “Some of the best investigative reporters that we had when I was growing up were basically impossible people, but that’s how they became the reporters that they were. They were relentless, dogged, distrustful, suspicious, and were not team players. That was part of the character make-up of a good investigative reporter — lone-wolf types who were more devoted to seeking the truth than they were to getting social rewards or acclaim from within the organization. ”

      Pretty clear Greenwald is not a team player in the game of journalism. I’m sure Tabbi sees himself this way as well. The PMC, that now seems to have established itself in the MSM, has their “tighty whities” in a bunch over what to do about him and others like him.

    4. c_heale

      The reason why so many in the mass media hate him, is because he is a real journalist and they are not.

    5. The Rev Kev

      Most of the time Greenwald is on the right side of issues. Was just reading how he got stuck into a so-called journalist named Julia Loffe for saying that Fox News shouldn’t be protected by First Amendment rights when it should be the job of journalists to, oh I don’t know, protect the First Amendment. Just yesterday somebody was saying that there are a large number of under-40 journalists who self-describe themselves as Democrat party activists without a shred of awareness what they are saying-

  2. Terry Flynn

    Blighty local election: Results just started coming in. Conservatives already taken a seat in the middle of the key “Labour stronghold” in NW Notts and a seat from Labour in the “Labour donut” of suburbs that surrounds Nottingham City proper. Another few seats and they take the council (which currently is No Overall Control but a Tory/Independent coalition running it).

    Notts is a key point in what was the “red wall”.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Pretty much all over already. The conservatives have taken enough seats to win full control of the council (though they lost one to an independent if my eyesight on a tiny screen is right). Labour have collapsed.

      Tories have only controlled Notts in my lifetime when Labour have been completely down and out (like around the time of the Falklands War when they also tried the stupidest set of policies here locally ever).

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its looking pretty catastrophic for Labour so far. To lose a by election and traditional red councils in the middle of a recession and the most corrupt government in living memory – well, I don’t think there are any historical precedents for anything remotely like this. Obviously, they’ll find some way to blame Jeremy Corbyn.

        I honestly don’t see a way out for the left in England. Labour are in terminal decline, but there is nothing obvious to replace them. Failing to put in place PR when they had a chance will be seen as a blunder of huge proportions.

        The only thing worth waiting for now are the Welsh/Scottish elections.

        1. vao

          Every social-democratic party in Europe is succumbing to pasokification; there seems to be no immunity against this degenerative disease.

          Obviously, they’ll find some way to blame Jeremy Corbyn.

          They already did — see the linked BBC article:

          Former Hartlepool MP Lord Mandelson said it was clear from his conversations with voters in the town that Mr Corbyn was “still casting a very dark cloud over Labour” and that the party had more work to do put that era behind it.
          He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Hartlepool defeat was down to “two Cs: Covid and Corbyn”.

          What kind of reputation does Peter Mandelson have these days? A has-been, or somebody who still counts?

          1. Darthbobber

            So when they held the seat under Corbyn, that had nothing to do with him, but when they lose it well after his departure its because of a Corbyn hangover. Got it.

          2. eg

            Piketty in his “Capital and Ideology” describes the broader arc of this process (US Democrats, UK Labour, continental social democratic parties) whereby the former parties of labour have abandoned their erstwhile constituencies among the working classes in favour of educated urban elites (the “donor class”). Analyses by thinkers as various as Mark Blyth and William Mitchell have observed that this is increasingly rendering them unelectable.

            UK Labour either defenestrates its neoliberal Blairite wing, or continues to wander the political wilderness.

        2. Terry Flynn

          Yeah this is beginning to look like a landslide for the Conservatives. The Labour Leader in Notts lost his seat. His deputy is my councillor and whilst popular locally, may have problems holding back this enormous swing against Labour. The big swings were to the Conservatives, but maybe even more so (still in flux but I suspect in total if you add them up once all results in) to the independent groups representing local areas.

          These areas are socially conservative old Labour strongholds which got nothing from Blair and have been getting angrier and more anti-establishment with every year that passes. They despise Starmerism and would rather support a minority Conservative council (as one did until today) than put up with Labour anymore.

        3. pjay

          – “Obviously, they’ll find some way to blame Jeremy Corbyn.”

          From the BBC article:

          “Former Hartlepool MP Lord Mandelson said it was clear from his conversations with voters in the town that Mr Corbyn was “still casting a very dark cloud over Labour” and that the party had more work to do put that era behind it.”

          The parallels between the self-destruction of Labour and the Democrats over here are quite striking, if not surprising. Tony and Bill left quite a legacy.

        4. Terry Flynn

          PS neighbouring (Labour) division to mine INCREASED its Labour support quite a bit. UKIP supporters from last election went somewhere but not, it seems, to the Tories. This is an odd result. Labour, LDs and Greens all went up at expense of Tories (and UKIP didn’t stand, of course).

        5. fumo

          England seems from afar a right-wing society to me. The year or so following the 2017 elections where Labour under Corbyn consistently polled butter than the Tories was probably an historical anomaly defining what is at best possible for the left in the current state. The left is always swimming against the tide.

        6. Roger

          Oh, they are not going to smear Keir Starmer with anti-semitism and undermine him from within? Oh, thats right Keir is a good ol’ boy, unlike Jeremy who thought that “government of the people for the people” was not just a slogan.

    2. The Rev Kev

      A question out of curiosity terry & PK. Would the falling support of Labour in those strongholds have anything to do with the fact that it was the Labour party itself that betrayed Corbyn who was one of their own? Or was it more a case of that you can’t fight nothing with nothing? I mean, how crap do you have to be to lose to the Conservatives at the moment?

      1. Terry Flynn

        I can’t be certain but here are some of my brief experiences as a Labour member for one year (joined just after the last election; voted for Starmer as 1st preference for leader; refused to renew membership after seeing him in action). I then learnt that it wasn’t just me: a LOAD of the local party LEFT in disgust at same time.

        I attended just one branch meeting before the pandemic stopped them. I was the ONLY Gen X person there. 2/3 old people (mostly Corbyn supporters I suspect) and 1/3 Millennials only there to ensure identity politics (at my table anyway). Gen X outside of the posh bits in South Nottm are up a certain creek without a certain instrument. Some voted during the Corbyn years. They then largely stayed home when he went. I suspect those that do vote are so angry they whatever liberal social views they might have are thoroughly submerged and they now want to kick Labour hard.

        Meanwhile the oldies are dying off or have drifted via Brexit channels to the Conservatives and millennials prefer to use Twitter rather than, you know, actually bother to go vote. The only crumb of comfort is that my division and its twin next door each saw their (2) candidates INCREASE their percentage share. This is purely because the 4 councillors in total DO STUFF for local people. My councillor will now be the Labour leader in Notts and should he want it, will be a shoe-in to stand for Westminster to try to win the Parliamentary seat back at next General Election. Hmmmm.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I’ve no great insights into this, but I think there are a number of factors at work. One is that, as Raphael Behr in the Guardian put it a few months ago, the Tories have managed to make themselves both the government and opposition at the same time. All politics in England is now Tory, Labour have managed to write themselves out of the agenda for failing to stand for anything.

        I think we are also seeing the breakdown of traditional left and right politics. People are voting more at a gut level on a number of issues – such as Brexit and woke politics and law and order and whatever it is that is obsessing people at a local level. The fall away in the traditional media is important in this I think because they are no longer driving the agenda of what people are talking about. I don’t think its a matter of policy so much as Labour has lost the ability to communicate with people at a meaningful level. The Tories may be crude, but they do get a message across.

        I think there has also been a very deep level of disenchantment with what is seen as metropolitan politics, and somehow, Labour have managed to get themselves wrapped up in that package. It may seem bizarre, but many regular people really do believe that a bunch of Old Etonians somehow speak their language. I’ll leave it to sociologists to explain why, because I don’t know.

        The other key issue, and what sets the UK apart from European countries where the same processes are at work, is that the first past the post system is very punishing for any weakness in a party or movement. In other countries, dying centre left parties are to some extent being replaced by other movements, from far left to green or a variety of more focused parties. This can’t happen under the electoral system in the UK anywhere but in the Celtic fringes, where both Labour and the Tories are suffering badly when faced with a genuine alternative.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Yeah Notts is dominated by gut level politics and very heavy loyalty/disloyalty to one’s elected representative based on whether (s)he has done stuff for their electors. Just to clarify one point I made above – Nottingham City is no longer part of Notts for the purposes of local election so my comment about the Labour collapse in 80s was with regard to City part of Notts before it gained unitary authority status.

          Re the CITY of Nottingham – they published their Brexit vote percentages by ward. I stuck them into Excel and plotted them against the Ward level Index of Deprivation. Almost perfect straight line with positive slope. Only one outlier – the Ward that is full of students. The same thing has been going on in wider County (in my experience).

          Outliers are divisions like mine where councillors are very visible and do stuff. However, just like the Westminster MPs (who during the Blair years were gradually replaced with New Labour clones that the locals didn’t like), Labour representatives here generally don’t reflect the gut values of their population. You reap what you sow.

        2. David

          Yes, I thought Behr’s point was quite perceptive. Politics is about exposure as much as anything, and Johnson and co have been taking up the vast majority of the political space recently. There is such a thing as bad publicity in politics, but not as much as you might think. Labour still can’t shake off the delusion that they are just objectively right about everything, and that if they only wait long enough, the plebs will eventually realise this and vote for them. In addition, I suspect they think they’re a lot more visible (and popular) than they really are, because they get a lot of coverage on Twitter and in the metropolitan media and political bubble. That’s why the signs of a loss of faith in Starmer by media like the Grauniad is extremely significant. If they really get tired of him, he’s toast, because he has no other constituency.

          Now is perhaps the time to re-read Orwell’s “Lion and the Unicorn,” because I think he would have understood exactly what is going on. He invented, I think, the term “patriotism of the deracinated” to explain how the shame that the English intellectual class felt about their own country, and how they looked around for alternatives. Then, it was the Soviet Union and, to a lesser extent, Italy and Germany. Now, it’s the EU and the US. He also pointed out that what united the upper class and the working class was a relatively uncomplicated patriotism, which the middle class, and especially the intellectual wing, completely failed to understand. With due allowance for eighty years passing, I think he would have understood the current situation quite well.

          1. eg

            “He also pointed out that what united the upper class and the working class was a relatively uncomplicated patriotism, which the middle class, and especially the intellectual wing, completely failed to understand.”

            This takes me back to Shaw’s “Pygmalion” where the “common dustman” Alfred P. Dolittle (Eliza’s father) has more in common with respect to moral (amoral?) philosophy than he does with “middle class morality.”

      3. km

        The Labour apparat would rather lose to the Tories than win with Corbyn.

        Yes, Corbyn will be blamed. Guarans ballbearans.

      4. SKM

        I joined Labour because of Corbyn and left when they crucified him. I was not alone in this and I also noticed that the realisation that the Blairite faction was part of the vast forces out to destroy Corbyn (or any real left-wing alternative that might emerge) was not confined to the acutely politically aware among us. So, when my Italian friend called me in astonishment saying that the media he was reading was reporting that Labour was blaming their defeat, (wait for it) “on Corbyn”, we were flabergasted. By what stretch of imagination could Corbyn be blamed now for the poor performance under Starmer (in Italy Starmer would be called a socialista-di-destra)? After reading the above comments I now get it! That is, people had truly wanted what Corbyn was offering and for thatreason they wouldn`t vote for Labour under Starmer and the leadership tried to spin it as the opposite problem.
        We`re stuck with Boris for ever now. The Brits just don`t get politics at all, and it`s getting worse….
        really hard not to despair…

        1. Tom Bradford

          I did despair, and that was 30 years ago when Labour couldn’t come up with an answer to Thatcher. Fortunately for me my response was to ‘run away’ to New Zealand from where I’ve been watching the UK I grew up in fall apart like a much-loved parent succumbing to Alzheimers and dementia. I simply cannot, cannot, imagine the despair and horror I would be experiencing were I to be living there now.

          It seems to me, too, that over the years the letters and emails I have been getting from relatives and friends still in the UK have been touching less and less on ‘news’ of what’s happening in and to the ‘old country’ and more and more on the mundanity of their personal daily round as if they are almost too afraid to lift their gaze to look out of their windows at what is happening to their world.

      5. Terry Flynn

        Right. Sorry to mods for all these posts but I’ve now had a chance to delve deeper into the Notts data. I think I see what went on, and IF the media “stories” of the proliferation of independents and regional parties are true, then the Tories must be (reluctantly) admired. Why? For their electoral guile in Notts and likely elsewhere in both encouraging these “local” parties to peel off economicly left, socially conservative Labour voters so incumbent Labour councillors lost, but then strangling such parties when their “brexit fueled desire for more local power” came to be a threat to the Conservative Party’s centralising nature.

        The “story” of Notts is really quite simple. The Tories had 31 seats and had previously led a coalition. They needed 34 to govern alone (66 seats in Notts). Their previous coalition partner was a regional independence party (Mansfield Independence with 4 seats). Ashfield is the district that borders Mansfield (there are 7 districts in Notts). It has 10 seats, 5 of which had been held by the Ashfield Independents plus a 6th by a sister party which then merged this election. Of the other 4, 3 were Tory, 1 Labour. The Tories clearly knew ALL FOUR WERE GOING TO BE LOST (which they duly were – the Independents now hold all 10 seats). They even “moved” one of their councillors (who happens to be a Member of Parliament too) to contest a seat in neighbouring Mansfield for this election.

        So the Tories knew they were in danger of moving backwards – they in fact lost 5 seats (mostly to independents) so now were 3+5=8 seats short of a bare majority of 34. Getting 8 seats from Labour (which was exactly what they got) would do it, but nobody likes the bare minimum. So who did they go after to get some additional seats? Their own coalition partners, the Mansfield Independents. All 4 of their seats fell (though one to another, differently affiliated independent), 3 to the Tories (including the MP). Voila. 3 seat majority of 37, what you see quoted on the news.

        It is all presented as a “total Labour failure”, which, ultimately, it is. HOWEVER, the Tories, over the past few years since the Brexit Referendum, have allowed deprived “Old Labour” districts like Mansfield and Ashfield who felt utterly let down by New Labour to get to follow UKIP etc, then regional “parties for local people”. They even went into coalition with such a “local party”. Then when it suited them, they ate them. The now zero-seat Mansfield Independence Party should have remembered what happened to the Liberal Democrats when they went into coalition with the Tories.

        TL;DR The Conservatives in a key “former red wall county” actually LOST quite heavily to a new “anti-Westminster, anti-Europe” party in a district that is “Old Labour” – left-wing economically and small-c conservative socially (and very “LEAVE” supporting). However, they clawed back these losses by
        (1) exterminating their coalition partner – another similar “local party based in Old Labour area” – turnout DOUBLED in those seats compared to rest of Notts, and
        (2) grabbing Labour seats that were also “Old Labourish” but had “Starmer/New Labour” candidates.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Indeed. However, there are some good quotes from outsiders who actually collect proper data:

        Trickett told the BBC “the public have put the leadership on notice”. He has research suggesting many voters in seats that turned blue in 2019 actually share -economically if not culturally – left-wing values, such as agreeing the state should narrow wealth inequalities welfare should be more generous and that corporate greed was a problem.

        But a shadow minister, not on the left of the party, said: “Boris Johnson is occupying so much of our territory. He has actually paid people not to go out to work. The state-run NHS has delivered his vaccination programme.”

        BINGO! North Notts is full of former mining towns etc. Whilst there was a certain amount of political hoo-ha in the 1980s during the miners’ strike when the mainly Notts miners went their own way, these are economically left-wing people. They just don’t like Identity Politics and having been fooled once by Blair when they didn’t get the nice things promised, don’t feel inclined to give people like Starmer the benefit of the doubt.

        Labour will (IMHO) – by force or by choice – one day end up splitting and there will have to be agreements with the other main opposition parties (Greens and LDs primarily) to put up only the one candidate that is most competitive against the Tories in a given constituency, given that constituency’s place on the left-right economic axis and left-right cultural axis. A 4-party coalition (those two + Labour1 and Labour2) will be the only way to beat the Tories under FPTP in England in future (which will be necessary to enact electoral reform and thereby survive).

        1. Anonymous 2

          Thank you one and all for a very interesting discussion on England.

          Meanwhile in Scotland it is looking to be very much in the balance whether the SNP get an overall majority. For those who do not follow this very much, an overall SNP majority would make the pressure for another independence referendum all the stronger.

          May we live in interesting times.

          1. Anonymous 2

            An addendum – what is going on in both countries is of course the advance of nationalism.

            For the left in England this is a disaster, as the Right will always more convincingly bang the nationalist drum.

        2. Terry Flynn

          Well, well, well. From the Guardian just now: Keir Starmer concedes Labour has lost the trust of working people . Moving the HQ out of London is NOT enough though.

          “A London-based bourgeoisie, with the support of brigades of woke social media warriors, has effectively captured the party. They mean well, of course, but their politics – obsessed with identity, division and even tech utopianism – have more in common with those of Californian high society than the kind of people who voted in Hartlepool yesterday,” he wrote in an article for the thinktank Policy Exchange.

          From a Birmingham Labour MP’s piece quoted in the article – ouch!

      2. chuck roast

        So, the Labour Party is led by a guy named “Sir” and have a “Baroness” as a political secretary. The only thing that would get me to vote for these chumps was if they ran Gene Chandler in my constituency.

  3. John A

    Re The only ethanol that is actually energy efficient is sugar cane grown in Brazil,

    In Sweden, they refine ethanol from starch from parts of process grain that does not go for food or feed, and from food waste – stale bread etc, and from cellulose from forestry. I cannot speak for whether this is an efficient use of energy, but it does use waste/residual products that would otherwise literally go to waste.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      OK, that makes sense. I should have restricted my comment, and failed to, to growing crops for the purpose of making ethanol, as opposed to ethanol as a by-product of other agricultural or industrial processes.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Aye. That’s a good point.

        There’s a similar dichotomy in the wood pellet industry. When the wood pellets are manufactured from lumber industry waste (bark, sawdust, and chip & strips too small to use) and then fed into a power station in place of coal, it’s a net environmental win.

        But the demand for “environmentally benign” wood pellets has far exceeded what comes out of the lumber industry, and now they’re cutting down live forest to make wood pellets for power generation: This is also “an environmental net negative”.

    2. Bob

      Isn’t “spent grain” which is a by product of ethanol production used for animal feed ?

      Not saying that ethanol production is good business however the grain is not a totoal loss.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t find any direct comparisons right now, but from what I’m aware, the conversion of waste organic material to ethanol is quite inefficient compared to other methods of using it as energy, such as direct combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion, etc. The only advantage of turning it into ethanol is that it can be used in vehicles directly (as opposed to making electricity for EV’s) Its very difficult to make direct comparisons as you always have to take account of the residue material (there is a big difference between, say, the ash from burning biomass to the material left over from anaerobic digestion).

      I think synthetic organic fuels of various forms have a very big future as there have been some very significant breakthroughs in the last few years, so I suspect ethanol manufacture will be seen as something of a dead end.

    4. Michael Fiorillo

      Ethanol from corn is a net energy loser, and since the products you mention have less sugar than corn, that process is most likely an energy sink, as well.

      1. Billy

        Envision this: Ethanol is made from corn grown in a certain acreage.
        Take the ethanol produced by that field and use it to exclusively power the water pumps for the corn, the tractor, the truck to the processing plant, all the energy used to run the plant, the truck to take it to the refinery, the truck to deliver it back to the tractor etc. What’s left over? It’s usually a net negative with the financial and tax shenanigans the only benefit to certain people.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Has anyone in Sweden suggested experimentally turning some of that non-food/non-feed process grain remainder, stale bread etc., and orphan cellulose from the forestry industry into biochar? And then mixing that biochar back into soil to see if it increases plant productivity on that soil?

      And then seeing if any agro-productivity increases thereby created ( if any) confer more value than the ethanol thereby forgone?

      1. John A

        Hi DW,
        I will investigate about biochar and uses of ethanol in Sweden. I know they switched a lot of ethanol for fuel to ethanol for hand sanitiser during the covid pandemic.

    6. Matthew G. Saroff

      How about the economies of sugar beets to ethanol?

      It should be more efficient than corn.

    1. cnchal

      Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist.

      It would be ironic if an Amazon shopper were run over by an Amazon delivery driver delivering the package they ordered two hours ago, but who am I kidding.

      Does an Amazon shopper ever get off the couch?

      “The issue here is Amazon does not compensate delivery companies fairly for what they’re asking us to do. Everything is done on a shoestring budget,” the owner of an Amazon delivery company near Seattle, Washington, told Motherboard. “Companies that tell their drivers to turn off the app are trying to get a perfect score so they can get their incentives. In my opinion, this is not ethical.”

      Not ethical? How about downright criminal. Nothing good comes from Amazon.

      By the way, that isn’t “safety software”. It is spyware.

      1. TMoney

        It’s a deliberate 3rd party abuse shield.
        Use competing contractors / 3rd parties.
        Force Spyware upon them – for “safety” reasons, but set the goals such that the only way to “win” is to cheat.
        The result is everyone cheats, Amazon knows their contractors have to, so can now fire you for “breach of contract”
        but if you abide by the contract you get fired for not meeting the goal because you’re not efficient.

        The result is Amazon benefits from a legal shield erected to ensure compliance that forces the 3rd party contractors to cheat in order to stay in business.

        They have all forgotten War Games.
        An interesting game professor. The only winning move is not to play.

        1. cnchal

          > The only winning move is not to play.

          Jawbs for “stupid people that make stuff” have dissappeared, so it’s either sell your time to the military or to abusive employers, there not being much difference between the two.

          Not to play = starve to death.

          Amazon has a greater than 100% annual torture chamber churnover rate, a 30% return rate of crapola sold, millions of fake reviews, millions of fake products among other malfeasance, such as you describe, and is rated as one of America’s favorite company by “consumers”.

          Imagine what life is gonna be like when Amazon grows it’s “earnings” into it’s stawk price.

      2. Charger01

        This has been the case for years. UPS/Fedex folks will drive from house to house, unbuckled with a weight on their seat and their seatbeat locked to satisfy their spyware, but they have such tight delivery quotes they are forced to use bottled to relieve themselves….all to keep their job or receive a small bonus.

        1. tegnost

          if you think that amazon hasn’t upped the surveillance/market advantage/future investment software in those trucks over those pikers ups/fedex i would like to sell you the tallahatchee bridge. It’s really a very nice bridge…

          1. ambrit

            Isn’t that the “Billy Joe MacAllister Memorial Bridge” now?
            And what is going on up at Choctaw ridge?

        2. phoenix

          I don’t think you can lump UPS in there (speaking from experience). Yes, there are some run and gunners who push themselves and may use a bottle to not stop (nobody likes them). But the drivers are all Teamsters and there are no “quotas” so to speak. They are able to work at whatever pace they feel is safe without being fired. Yes, they may get yelled at by mgmt for their pace but everyone knows they can’t do anything about it.. And if they work long hours during peak, they are compensated with OT. If you get to top rate, you’re pulling in 6 figures easy just by working a normal peak. It is extremely tough to arbitrarily fire a UPS driver. This is why Unions are so important

          1. ambrit

            Right. I don’t see the management of UPS floating trial balloons about filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
            The other, non-union ‘businesses’ are playing purely rent extraction games.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Why Cats Knock Your Stuff Over—and How to Stop Them”

    Cats are proof positive that the Flat Earth Society does not know what they are talking about. If the Earth was truly flat, then cats would have pushed everything off it by now.

    1. Alfred

      I had a cat who loved to watch the toilet flushing. Then she started throwing my hair elastic thingies in and watching for something to happen. I did not give her time to make the connection between the handle and the flushing. I told her to cut it out, and she did. Cats love to see things flying around…

      1. Harold

        I had a cat that liked to push food off the counter to the dog and other cats waiting beneath. Once she pushed a large slice of ham, almost bigger than she was.

        1. Harold

          Actually now that I remember she picked up the ham slice in her mouth and dropped it over to the dog.

      2. megrim

        I had a cat that used to knock books out of my bookcases to make a sleeping spot for himself.

        1. newcatty

          To be contrarian, ha, I will bring up my cat who likes to sit on things, instead of knocking things over or off places. We usually just place our many remotes on the sofa, between us, as we watch teevee. She always has jumped up and lies contentedly between her humans. As she got older, it was curious that she waited for us to put things on that spot (habit ) and would curl her fluffy body over the thing/s. The first time it happened she scored a phone, a remote and a pen. When we reached for an item, and couldn’t find it as usual…We thought one of us had “lost” or “forgotten ” the things. Where’s my phone! Where’s the remote! OMG! After careful analysis ( and my picking up fluffy and “large” kitty) , mystery solved. Now we use our tables by sofa like normies and know kitty is probably disappointed. Her companion cat just prefers laps.

  5. Josef K

    No real deep insights regarding Zoom at the end of the Gizmodo article: mute your video and/or audio. I was hoping for an easter egg. The notion of wearing pants inside the house, discussed earlier on, however is intriguing and bears further scrutiny.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Unmentioned in that article was the hazard of somebody else walking starkers in the background while they are on Zoom. About a year ago a Malaysian guy was busted when a friend – not his wife – was seen walking in the background starkers while the guy made a morning Zoom call. And he was neither the first or the last to be busted. Puts new meaning in that old song ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?’

    2. PlutoniumKun

      There is a lot to be said for leaving a post it covering your camera. On an online work talk recently I discovered the camera and mic was on when I was absolutely sure I’d turned it off and muted it. Thankfully I hadn’t been doing anything too embarrassing.

      1. Alfred

        Also in the FF browser you can prevent any requests to turn on your camera and mic in “Permissions settings” in security perferences. I also put a bandaid over my camera and disabled the mic in the hardware settings. I did this after I was in the car with a friend and she had a phone that kept turning on by itself and activating the camera. She and her hubby loved talking to Suri too–gave me the creeps, TBH.

      2. David

        Zoom is a horrible platform, and it’s taken me a year or more to get to grips with it properly, including keeping up with all the changes to the interface. Helpfully, at least if you are the lecturer or coordinator on an institutional site, you have to have both the browser window and the desktop application open the same time, and they behave differently.
        On a Mac, at least, you have a light to show you when the camera is on, but you have to keep checking to see whether your microphone is muted. And let’s not talk about recording Zoom sessions and then forgetting to turn the recording off as you complain bitterly to each other about someone who’s just left the meeting …
        The reality is that the technology is not really mature and Zoom (which is the one I’ve used most) needs an awful lot of development before it’s even moderately idiot-proof.

        1. Alfred

          Isn’t there some way to use a external mic that turns on and off, and disable the internal mic? Before installed cameras, there were, and still are, webcams. If Zoom security is so bad, would these be workable fixes?

          1. David

            A lot of people who have computers with no internal microphones do seem to use mikes to speak, and I suppose that the manual control would override any program settings. A related problem with Zoom is that the organiser of the call can unmute your mike without you, or they, realising what has happened.

        2. Josef K

          For me the only advantage over other options is that you send an invite to a meeting, not your username for someone to add to their contacts. IOW Zoom’s preferable if you don’t want someone bugging you with calls, for one-offs, etc.
          Otherwise it seems like the creators of this app wanted to make sure it wasn’t like the others, which in fact might be a negative.

    3. Sutter Cane

      Seems like all of the men this happens to have pretty highly paid positions. Higher than me, anyway, or it wouldn’t make the news. More evidence that meritocracy is a sham. I’ve somehow managed to never show my junk to co-workers on a video call, seems like a pretty easy thing to avoid. If you are too dumb to figure out how to avoid it, maybe you are also too dumb to deserve your inflated PMC salary.

    4. fresno dan

      Josef K
      May 7, 2021 at 7:56 am
      I thought it was kinda sexist that the article infers only males (i.e., pants) are unclothed during zoom calls, and the whole tenor of the article is that males solely account for this phenomenon so merely out of intellectual curiosity, I searched for naked ladies on zoom. Sadly Remarkably, there were none that I could find….

      1. Josef K

        Good one. I can barely figure the darn app out well enough yet to make a call yet, but you may have saved me some time.

  6. timbers

    US deploys extra warplanes to protect its troops withdrawing from Afghanistan Guardian

    “There continue to be sustained levels of violent attacks” by the Taliban against Afghan security forces, Milley said, speaking alongside the defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, at a Pentagon news conference.

    That contrasts a bit from MOA’s take on what is going on, although the Pentagon is referring to the Helmond area vs MOA to Beghlan, which are far apart on opposites side of the country:

    “That 200 government police and troops laid down their weapons – other reports even say they changed sides – points to the immense fragility of the Afghan forces. Nearly twenty years of U.S. ‘training’ has had little effect.”

    I remember being a child, reading China’s stock depiction of America. Maybe it’s time to revive it as it seems to becoming true. It usually went something like:

    “US running dog imperialist in service to Paper Tiger American military retreat in the face of loyal citizens rejecting Capitlism.”

    1. km

      It won’t do to have the Afghan puppet regime collapse before the actual withdrawal is accomplished.

    2. Procopius

      Saw a short clip of Hillary on Rising today. She was saying we mustn’t leave Afghanistan, because then the Taliban will take over the country and Al Qaeda will start operating again. I do not believe that she does not know that the Taliban already are the government in 80% of the country, and that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE are still funding and arming both Al Qaeda and ISIS.

  7. Cocomaan

    Scientists Have Taught Bees to Smell COVID-19 Infections Business Insider (Chuck L)

    Lambert did a whole piece on dogs sniffing out covid. And as a beekeeper, I can tell you that a dog is a good best friend and a beehive is not.

    Let the animals sniff out covid!

  8. Tom Stone

    Craig Murray will be sentenced today and he will be appealing the ruling to the UK Supreme Court, which is very expensive.
    If you have a dime to spare and like myself found his coverage of the Assange and Salmond cases valuable he could use some help.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks for reminding us. His conviction is the one of the most blatent political set ups I’ve seen in a long time, its horrifying how blatent it was and how quiet the media is about it.

      1. TimH

        UK and USA seem to compete on how unpleasant they can be to someone challenging the status quo. Wonder how long before UK pulls out of ECHR and formally kills FOIA.

      2. ambrit

        I’ll suggest that the media over there are quiet about the Murray sentencing because they see it as a “The Daily Star Chamber” event and thus subject to a ‘D Cup Notice.’ It seems that the old ‘Page Three Girls’ items were as far as transparency went back then, and even that is now “covered up” in the name of the “public goodthink.”

      3. Alex Cox

        He has upset the MSM in three ways at least – 1. Deconstructing the official Skripal narrative, 2. Daring to report on the Alex Salmond trial, in which the accusors perjured themselves, 3. Reporting on the trial of Julian Assange. Bad Craig!

  9. Alfred

    “America’s Bullshit Tolerance Is Reaching Dangerously High Levels”

    In my experience, some people just love and thrive on bullshit. My father was one of them. Trump put everyone on his variety of crack, and the goddesses help us now.

    1. pjay

      Everything in the article was true, of course, but being Esquire it leaves out a big chunk of the problem. My reaction, to quote Lambert: “Now do Russiagate.”

      1. cocomaan

        Yeah, pick the conspiracy of any part of the political spectrum.

        Russiagate, Qanon-identified cannibal pedophile political cults in charge of everything, women are daily oppressed by the Patriarchy, men are being canceled by toxic feminism, the Trilateral Commission (guess that one is out of style, so, TPP?), videogames cause mass shootings, rap music is bad for black culture, White Supremacy, Chinese influence in Hollywood, Critical Race Theory, inflation is coming, deflation is coming, the dollar is going to collapse, crypto is a ponzi, the dollar is a ponzi, country music is too watered down anymore, they’re putting less chips in every bag of Lays, and so on.

        People are enamored with the fringe anymore. Culture has fragmented. That might be a good thing, because if everyone paid attention to one problem at a time, a problem like class, it might all come apart.

        1. pjay

          – “People are enamored with the fringe anymore.”

          There are some important distinctions, however. People worried about “Qanon-identified cannibal pedophile political cults” are fringe. The people behind Russiagate (past and present) most definitely are not. That’s the reason I’m much more concerned about the latter.

          1. cocomaan

            I think you’re absolutely right.

            But I also try to remember two things: one, that russiagate believers were convinced that they were the underdog, and two, that despite all the sturm and drang, russigate amounted to almost nothing at all. Some saber rattling, the absolute joke of the Mueller report, and high ratings for papers.

            To an extent, I feel like most of these conspiracies are manufactured in order to make someone, somewhere, some money. I could make a lot of money writing articles on how un-woke the world is, or pen daily articles on how the fed is going to destroy us all. There’s a lucrative world out there for people who like to grift conspiracies.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Russiagate was a perpetual motion machine for a convergence of yucky interests: factions in the national security bureaucracy irked by Trump’s heretical posing on Russia and permanent war, a click-hungry media that secretly loved to hate him while being enriched by their hysterical coverage, and the geniuses in the Clinton campaign and DNC who lost to him. They all made bank, while accusing Trump of some of the few things he wasn’t guilty of. In the process, they further discredited themselves among Trump and independent voters, fertilizing the soil for Q-Anon and charges of election fraud. Many of these people still believe Trump is a Putin/Russian asset.

        2. Aumua

          Russiagate, Qanon-identified cannibal pedophile political cults in charge of everything, women are daily oppressed by the Patriarchy, men are being canceled by toxic feminism, the Trilateral Commission (guess that one is out of style, so, TPP?), videogames cause mass shootings, rap music is bad for black culture, White Supremacy, Chinese influence in Hollywood, Critical Race Theory, inflation is coming, deflation is coming, the dollar is going to collapse, crypto is a ponzi, the dollar is a ponzi, country music is too watered down anymore, they’re putting less chips in every bag of Lays, and so on.*

          * some of these theories may contain more truth than others. Apply your critical thinking skills.

          Of course there is at least a grain of truth in all of these statements, isn’t there.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          Did the Trilateral Commission not really exist?

          Or more recently, did the TPP not really exist? Were there not really any government people trying to get it passed?

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I always assume going into articles like this there will be no mention of Russiagate or TDS or any of the crap flung at Bernie during the primaries and on and on. Like you said, what they’re saying is true, but it leaves me with a feeling of “Yeah? And…?” when I read that kind of stuff. But it’s probably safe to say, we are not the intended audience for this article.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “US: NATO ‘door remains open’ to nations that meet conditions”

    The Ukraine wants to be part of NATO? Yeah, nah! As much as they want to, NATO’s own rules say no. Here is an excerpt from a NATO Fact-sheet called ‘NATO Enlargement & Open Door’-

    ‘To join the Alliance, nations are expected to respect the values of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to meet certain political, economic and military criteria, set out in the Alliance’s 1995 Study on Enlargement. These criteria include a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; fair treatment of minority populations; a commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully; an ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.’

    The billionaire oligarchs are still running the Ukraine to a large extent and will not stand for any ‘reform.’ The Russian, Polish and Hungarian Ukrainians have definite words to say about ‘fair treatment of minority populations’ and I doubt that those organizations there with a fondness for night-time torchlight parades well let the civil authorities have any say about that. But there are more important reasons that they cannot join.

    Any member applying cannot have territorial disputes with their neighbours nor can they be involved in a civil war. Zelensky already talks about the ‘temporarily occupied Donbas and our temporarily occupied Crimea peninsula’ so if the Ukraine joined NATO, then all 30 NATO nations would have to involve themselves in a fight with Russia in those territories up to and including military fighting. I think that the two Donbass Republics would declare independence first and the Russian Federation would then guarantee their security. Thing is, to join NATO, all 30 countries have to give “unanimous agreement” so it remains to be seen if Washington will be able to twist that many arms.

    Fun Fact – the second biggest army in NATO after the US is Turkey. Will Turkey want to get into a shooting war with Russia on behalf of another country?

    1. km

      Do you not think that NATO will blithely ignore its own rules if the United States tells it to do so?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that you are quite correct and this is exactly what will happen. And at that point the Donbass Republics will declare independence from the Ukraine. What happens next I have no idea but it will certainly involve sanctions against Russia.

  11. Alfred

    Thanks so much for “Polish Grannies.” I remember my own Polish granny, and how no one could mention Stalin in her presence, because she yelled imprecations until we thought she would have a stroke.
    “She said it’s inconceivable to leave behind a country in which her granddaughter can only, as she put it, “make dumplings.”

    Remembering the dictatorship and that democracy can blow away

    Kowalska grew up during communist rule in Poland, and people of her era fought against the system and for the right to live in a democratic and free county.

    “Back in 1989, we thought we had democracy and that it would last forever,” she said. “But then it turned out that democracy is something that can just blow away. If you don’t constantly pay attention to the fundamental values of a society, that everyone should stand up for, you can suddenly have no more democracy.”

    1. km

      I know Poland well, I speak Polish at home, and I have lived and obtained some education in Poland. I know *lots* of Polish grannies.

      Long story short, the idea that feminist Polish grannies is anything even close to a representative sample is wishful thinking at best. Westerners like to do this in a milieu where they are outsiders – pick a very few people who share their values and the extrapolate that to the rest of the country. I’m sure somewhere there is a socialist in our local trailer parks somewhere. But you’ll see a lot more “Trump” flags.

      In fact, the reason that PiS (the reaction ruling political party) is in power now is because of the so-called “mohair brigades” (mohair berets often being work by older Polish women). That and the fact that lots of younger voters have left the country for work, which increases the relative voting power of the older generation. You can thank EU membership for that last one.

      1. km

        It’s not that I object to the message, it’s the equivalent of looking for feminists in Saudi Arabia, and I am not sure what your PiS-fan expat brother has to do with any of it.

        And I am not sure why only Polish people are entitled to comment on Poland. As is also, apparently, DW.

        Sorry that has you butthurt.

      2. Alfred

        Well, skynet is your friend, apparently. I personally think you are full of it.

  12. Tom Stone

    As always I found the MSM take on Gunz amusing.
    If the problem is “Gun Violence” rather than Poverty, Inequality, lack of opportunity and Injustice the answer is simple.
    Have a psychological assessment of every firearm performed by a licensed professional before any firearm can be shipped from the manufacturer.
    This would ensure that only non violent Gunz would end up in the hands of Americans.
    And the concern about the carnage resulting from looser Gun Laws and especially “Constitutional Carry” laws is touching.
    Just look at Vermont, the prevalence of Citizens wearing level 3 body armor when they eat at McDonald’s is telling.
    If you can legally own a Firearm in Vermont you can legally carry it concealed.
    And it’s been that way longer than I have been alive.

    1. Alfred

      Yes, Vermont is different, it can’t be compared to other states. And I have noticed a low bullshit tolerance also.

    2. Wukchumni

      My 16 year old nephew missed 17 out of 49 questions on his written driving test, and a friend’s 17 year old aced the written test, but failed the driving test 3x, so he can’t get his driver’s license until he’s 18. Both of them aren’t ready for the challenge of owning and operating a vehicle, and there isn’t anyway to subvert the law, driving is a privilege not a right.

      Why not have the equivalent to be able to earn the right to own a hand cannon, oh and every gun owner should carry insurance, just like a car driver does.


      Why the need for level 3 body armor when eating at a McDonalds in Vermont, are hash brown thefts reaching horrific levels?

      1. Skk

        In Cali there is a Gun test, they pulled that on me when I went to pick up my shotgun. Luckily I passed. It was on back order for 5 months!

    3. km

      Hell, look at North Dakota. For years, I was the only adult male resident in the state that I knew of who didn’t own a firearm. (Most own lots and lots, and will display or discuss them at any opportunity. Some schools have shooting clubs – no lie.) A few years ago, I met another non-gun-owner, so now there are two of us. Getting a concealed carry is a piece of cake. Open carry is totally legal for anyone who can legally own a firearm.

      I don’t have a gun fetish one way or the other, but North Dakota has so far not suffered from a rash of mass shootings. Touch wood.

      Oh well, I remember a few years ago in 2016 when HRC or her proxies were insinuating that the (illegal) guns used in violent crimes in New York State were smuggled in from the bad streets of Vermont.

        1. km

          Well, disrupting a coronation is an act of lese majeste.

          To be fair, HRC did have to go through the humiliation of having to be married to Bill for all these years, so she probably felt that she had earned it.

          1. Alfred

            I myself suspect that the “plans” had been made years ago in the crappification of the Dem party, the Third Way reinvention to supplant the Reagan philosophies, and like Brett Kavanaugh, they were not to be denied their “birthright.”

  13. fresno dan
    A sixth-grade girl brought a gun to her Idaho middle school and shot and wounded three people before she was disarmed by a teacher, authorities said Thursday. Two students and a custodian were shot in their extremities and were expected to survive, officials said.
    the only thing that stops a bad sixth grader with a gun is a good sixth grader with a gun…

  14. Wukchumni

    Goooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    We were on a LRRP in the Lakh Doh province low on funds needless to say when the platoon was ambushed by the Marmot Cong on a hit & waddle run on our position in the highlands. The ‘Cong uses tunnel tactics and just bides their time hiding & waiting for the right moment, and then in a pincer movement, the bite comes down hard on a radiator hose draining the lifeblood right out of your ride, master exacerbating.

  15. Rod

    And a bonus (Chuck L):
    We’ve all been there….

    Thanks for this–for me.
    Yes, I have a time or few…
    Dogs are my talisman
    Good to laugh in the morning, and to cry, and to laugh again.

    1. Tom Stone

      The emancipation proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863, the Voting Rights act came in 1963.
      I was ten years old and I was very proud of America at that moment.
      Aaaaaaaandddd, It’s GONE.

      I grieve for what my Country has become.

  16. Samuel Conner

    re: the Panda-dote

    would one call that “black and white noise”?

    It is relaxing.

  17. chris wardell

    One of the union’s most conservative states was set to legalize marijuana for medical use Thursday, with GOP lawmakers switching sides to pass a bill that had earlier passed the state Senate. The Alabama House of Representatives voted 68-34 in the law’s favor, which mandates a doctor’s prescription for purchases. The bill now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk; if she signs, Alabama becomes the 37th state in the union to legalize the drug.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon chief says removal of all contractors from Afghanistan under way”

    This is resulting in all sorts of unexpected problems. Well, for the Pentagon that is. So the US modeled the Afghanistan military after themselves instead of tailoring it to local conditions which meant for example that instead of having Afghans service and maintain their own aircraft like the F-16s, they have to hire civilian contractors to do the job for them. Because, you know, lucrative corporate contracts. Big mistake. The U.S. Central Command has now realized that the Afghan Air Force cannot maintain their own aircraft when those contractors leave and trying to do it over Zoom won’t work either. The same is happening in Iraq where local militias have threatened the bases where private contractors servicing the F-16s are stationed and have been forced to pack up and leave.

    1. km

      I suspect that the USAF also wants to limit the number of locals with access to the equipment.

  19. flora

    From a Dutch newspaper. It’s almost like someone wants to keep the reported numbers high. I can’t see any profit in that. translated with

    USA: Different rules apply for the PCR test to determine corona in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients
    May 6, 2021 0 reactions PCR test

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has amended the rules for the PCR test so that vaccinees are less likely to be tested as infected than those who are not vaccinated. They have lowered the CT value from 40 to 28.

    The PCR test, on which the entire corona policy was based, is extremely unreliable and yields up to 90% false positives. So say Nature, WHO, The Lancet and many others. Without all those false positives, we wouldn’t have had this whole “crisis”.

    The current PCR test analyzes genetic material from the virus using 37 or 40 cycles, but health experts say that is too high because it detects even small amounts of the virus that do not pose a risk of contamination.

    “Tests with such high thresholds can detect not only live virus, but also genetic fragments, remnants of infections that pose no particular risk – similar to finding hair in a room long after a person has left,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, New York Times.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Makes perfect sense.

      From a Forbes article illargi labels “vaccine porn”:

      Children and teenagers might soon be the next focus of the U.S. Covid-19 pandemic. By the last week of April, cases among children and teens accounted for more than 22% of new cases in the U.S, and there was a 4% increase in the total number of cases in kids. Almost 4 million kids have been diagnosed with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Luckily, vaccines for kids are arriving soon. On May 4th, Pfizer said the vaccine it co-developed with BioNTech will likely get an FDA authorization for use in kids aged 12-15. The companies hope to get the vaccines authorized for kids aged 2-11 by September. Moderna is just behind, having started its phase 2 / 3 clinical trial in children less than 12 years old in March.

      While polls show that adults are increasingly willing to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, some parents have expressed doubts about vaccinating their kids….

      Since kids have not been getting the “vaccine,” using the far more sensitive and far less accurate PCR test version on them would be a “foolproof” way to amplify their “risk” and sell cautious parents.

      Without all those false positives, we wouldn’t have had this whole “crisis”.

      Marketing evolves according to the “target” audience.

      PS. It comes as no surprise that this article had to be translated into English. I’d imagine Dutch twitter will pull it down soon enough if they haven’t already.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      I thought they lowered the cycles to 28 earlier this year, or at least the recommendation to testing labs. But if the false positive rate is that high in current testing then that may mean that estimated R values are higher than they might really be, but that would mean morbitity and mortality also might be higher than thought. I guess it would depend on how the researchers determined positivity in their populations and if they accounted for false positives.

    3. Maritimer

      That information has been around in the alternative/contrarian media for at least six months. I have searched in my jurisdiction’s website for testing information and can find none. Astounding that it is such a vital part of Covid and there is no information.

      Just another smelly rat in the Covid sewer.

    1. Alfred

      Holy moly, the comments! I personally stop myself continually from offering homeopathic studies on COVID treatments and palliatives that I use myself. Yet they are used in India, along with Ayurveda, although you will never hear about them. There is actually an Ayurvedic healer in India who says he treated Prince Charles, who won’t admit it.

  20. Michael Fiorillo

    Regarding the post on the policing of language in medical school, the the author and interviewee’s trans phobia is showing, since they neglected to acknowledge that trans women also have periods, didn’tcha know?

    Oh, to go forward in time and observe how this nonsensical groupthink will be eviscerated by future journalists, historians and stand-up comedians…

  21. The Rev Kev

    “European powers call on Israel to halt settlement expansion”

    I think that this is all a reaction to what is happening in a place called Sheikh Jarrah. Here is an article giving the background-

    So the Israelis have been forcing people out of their homes that they have been living in for generations and giving it to random settlers. Instagram has launched a fierce campaign to delete every Palestinian story about what is going on on their platform and Twitter is taking part in this mass censorship as well. And there is a viral video clip of this fat Israeli guy standing in one of these people’s backyard saying to the now ex-owner that if he didn’t steal her house, then somebody else would steal it as a justification for what he is doing- (2:17 mins)

  22. fresno dan
    I’m trying to decide how seriously this should be taken. On the one hand, I’m sure Trumpers’ irritation is sincere. Elise Stefanik has a more liberal voting record than Cheney and has been especially questionable on immigration, populism’s pet issue. She used to work for George W. Bush, was mentored by Paul Ryan, and was iffy about Trump until she realized at some point during his first term that the base’s infatuation with him wasn’t about to blow over, at which point she transformed into a pretend MAGA enthusiast.

    But on the other hand, Trump has endorsed Stefanik.

    The bad news for Trump fans is that they’re stuck for the time being with a phony populist. The good news is that Stefanik is at least willing to pretend she’s on the team, unlike Cheney. And look, if I’m right about her being a Republican Gillibrand, you can rest assured that within a year her voting record will be as far right as Jim Jordan’s or Matt Gaetz’s. She’s a careerist; she’ll do whatever she needs to do to advance her career.
    Grouch Marx: Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.
    Trump: black is white, white is black, and purple is orange….

    1. pjay

      Groucho is the perfect reference. Party politics is just WWF entertainment these days, and I’ve found the Cheney vs. Stefanik debate to be hilarious. Stefanik’s not my Rep., but she serves an adjacent district in upstate NY so we get a lot of Stefanik news coverage. When she supported Trump’s election claims she was targeted by Lincoln Project TV ads — also hilarious — like this one:

      “The ad, dubbed “What Happened, Elise?,” cites Stefanik’s background working for former President George W. Bush and her commitment to “compassionate conservatism” prior to voicing her support for Trump… “If Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert went to Harvard, they’d be Elise Stefanik,” the ad says.”

      Yes, “compassionate conservatives” like those of the Lincoln Project were so disappointed. I’m sure they would prefer Dick Cheney’s daughter, who has become another resistance hero like Saint Dubya. I do think the Hot Air article has Stefanik pegged, though.

  23. Charger01

    “Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers?”
    I always find that these articles can be improved by adding “….at the wages they offer”
    We don’t have labor shortages, we have wage shortages. Employers feel that they need to keep labor as low as possible. United we bargain, divided we beg.

    1. fresno dan

      May 7, 2021 at 11:01 am
      +1 zillion percent. I couldn’t possibly agree more

        1. jefemt

          Federal UI benefits were slated to go to late August/ Early September.

          Montana went hard radical right —T rump delivered in spades… and our 90 days every two years legislature went full-on wing-nut under the virtuous leadership of our filthy rich evangelical pugilist Governor Greg ‘Boom Boom’ Gianforte.

          UI benefits will end early in June. Back to work, you slackers!

          I was slated for a (surprised this 62 y.o. to get a call-back) yob interview with a fortune 500 company.

          They blew off the initial call they scheduled, will not return messages or emails.

          A test of my persistence? My Humor? Rookie HR gal impressed with my long list of applicable skills who lacked the critical eye to realize she held in her hands the CV of an obvious grey panther geezer wheeezebag?

          No Soup for You! I chalk it up to ageism.
          My dad told my sister (never mentioned it to the boys)…. They put you on a shelf at 55…

          Hard to get good folks with a good work ethic and applicable experience. Puh-leeze.
          Jobs are posted to keep HR folks employed, accountants and managers like to see them go unfilled— flog the existing workers, don’t hassle with adding a gun-toting new chemical to the mix. Every dollar of salary saved inures directly to the bottom line.

          At least I hold no resentment…

          1. eg

            Re: they put you on the shelf at 55

            It took my youngest brother (who turns 51 this summer) 141 job applications over the past year to finally get hired about 13 months after being let go by one of the big accounting/consultant outfits.

            The middle brother (who just turned 56) has given up trying to get hired after a fruitless job search stemming from being “retired” from the trading room of one of the Canadian banking oligopolists two years ago. He’s trying to run his own business of sorts now.

            As the eldest I’m grateful to be retiring this summer — I won’t miss having a boss after 46 years of that family blog …

    2. Pelham

      Another aspect of this that deserves at least a little explicit exploration is the mention of unemployment benefits. On the one hand, conservatives lament benefits as a blight that incentivizes people to just laze around and avoid work. When lefties mention benefits, however, it’s as if to say, “Look, employers’ wage offers are so lousy that EVEN PALTRY unemployment benefits are preferable.” This is one of those classic splits that suggest the political twain shall never meet.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Wages aside, we are talking about the service industry. Its one thing to work for 5 hours in a row, and its another to agree to be on call which is what I suspect is part of the problem. I suspect besides the poor hourly option many employers are just jerking would be employees around.

      1. c_heale

        It’s also possible that for some people, staying at home has been so much better than bring treated like less than a dog at work, that they will never go back to these kind of jobs. It’s not just wages, it’s also the working conditions.

  24. fresno dan
    Has Big Tech turned into a threat to democracy? Yes, argues Senator Josh Hawley, and in more ways than one. In an exclusive* interview for Hot Air, the author of the new book The Tyranny of Big Tech explains how their monopolistic control of speech and marketplaces subjugate the rest of us.
    The book came out this week from Regnery (owned by the parent company that also owns Hot Air) after getting canceled by Simon & Schuster after the January 6th riot at the Capitol. The book doesn’t have anything to do with the election or its aftermath, and Hawley argues that the cancellation demonstrates the impact of monopolies or near-monopolies on free speech and the exchange of ideas in the marketplace. Consolidation and the rise of massive corporations in all industries are creating a political crisis, Hawley argues, but it is especially acute in Big Tech due to its infrastructural nature.
    One of the problems with our MSM media is that the 99% of moralizing that passes as “news” gives short shrift no shrift to what people are actually saying and the pros and cons of a position, ESPECIALLY if it contradicts a narrative (i.e., republicans are pro big business). I don’t know if Hawley is sincere or not, or this is just a cover for a vendetta against what Hawley perceives as a anti MAGA bunch. But OTOH, cancelling a book against big tech seems suspiciously like a cabal working to protect its interests.

  25. jefemt

    Antidote- Panda munching

    The pregnant ‘paws’ by the panda munching in the video was absolutely priceless.

    Thank you for sharing that. I shared it broadly. Made my day.

  26. Robert Gray

    re: … an Estimated 100,000 Americans Abroad Face Passport Problems: New York Times

    The linked article says

    > About 9 million U.S. citizens currently live abroad …

    Well, I am one of them and it would be nice if they gave some kind of source for this number. It would also be interesting to know — but how? — how many of those people think of themselves as ‘temporary’ expats and how many have no intention of returning.

    And then, in regard to the impoverished young Israeli-American fella who is ‘stuck’ in Israel and is worried about renewing his US passport:

    > Yona Shemesh … ended up paying $450 to a broker for a booked appointment to renew his American passport. … “I paid more to renew my passport than I did on the ticket to Los Angeles.”

    Even when you add the US Government fee for the actual passport renewal, he seems to have got a hell of a deal on his air ticket!

  27. Susan the other

    Hey? Nobody commenting on Bill Mitchell? From his journey beginning at “political economy” and emerging at MMT – it was a good and brief synopsis. Interesting how everyone redefines the terms of anything they encounter to fit their own interests – MMT has been misconstrued to be unresponsive to societal power relations by some. And from that disadvantaged point MMT is seen to misunderstand inflation according to like minded people who seem to miss what MMT is about. It’s interesting the things we think we need to define and then we define them and they are, of course, wrong and self serving at best, and then we build on our own misunderstanding of the world. Yatta yatta. I’d just like to say this about the real-life necessity in today’s modern world for employment. No it is not unnecessary; and no, jobs don’t need to be frivolous. Employment can accomplish what even politics cannot; let alone “economics”. Because if done effectively, employment organized as a JG should begin at the local level like a micro-biome of both economics and politics. Imo. To me, that’s pretty real world important.

    1. eg

      Billy Blog is one of my dailies along with NC. I’ll give this to Mitchell — he’s tireless!

  28. Maritimer

    Humanity Does Not Need Bill Gates Current Affairs (UserFriendly)
    10. He never liked the Christmas sweaters.
    9. She never liked the woolen underwear.
    8. Bill’s hardware went soft.
    7. She was spending too much FB time talking to Ted, The Talk Guy.
    6. Melinda bought a Tesla.
    5. Bill hasn’t been digital in years.
    4. Too many unemotional issues.
    3. Bill wouldn’t share the remote.
    2. They didn’t click anymore.
    1. Took too long to switch users on &*$@)&)$ZZZ Windows 10!

  29. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Many states are pushing through more permissive gun laws”

    The argument and analysis by Quigley deserves critical consideration, even if that may prove to be upsetting to certain subsets of the population. For example,

    [[A weapons system is “easy to use” if such an ordinary man can become adept in its use in a training period measured in weeks or months. By these criteria the period about 1880 was the golden age of amateur weapons, for at that time the best weapons available in the world were probably the Winchester rifle and the Colt revolver. Both could be bought by the ordinary man for not much more than a hundred dollars, and, in the United States at least, most men could obtain a hundred dollars in the course of a year. In such a situation, in which most or many men can get the best weapons, men are relatively equal in power and no minority can easily force a majority to yield to its rule. Thus there is a tendency, in such a period, for the appearance of political equality and majority rule (or at least for rule by the large group which can obtain weapons) . Such amateur weapons have been dominant only rarely in history, most notably in Athens in the fifth century B.C. and in Rome shortly after that time. At those two periods also, there was a tendency toward political democracy.

    On the other hand, on many occasions in the past, the best available weapons have been so expensive that only a few persons in the society have been able to obtain them, and usually, at such times, the weapons available have been difficult to use so that long periods of training were necessary to use them effectively. In any such period of specialist weapons, which can be obtained and used by a small minority of the population, there is a tendency for the government which can command such forces to become increasingly authoritarian.]]–pp. 38-40–“Weapons Systems and Political Stability: A History

    1. witters

      The US is getting freer and more politically equal every day! Its like Athens in the 5th Century BC! Great argument. Made my day.

    2. eg

      Quigley isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll warrant, but his insights regarding the influence of weapons technology and war tactics upon political arrangements are a very helpful contribution to an understanding of the long arc of historical political evolution.

      For those who are interested in either history or politics, “Weapon Systems and Political Stability” cannot come too highly recommended.

  30. noonespecial

    re: What’s happening in Colombia?

    Two items. First on police tactics. On May 6, Cali, Colombia protesters who were blocking a thru-way met up with undercover police (traveling in an unmarked vehicle). The police in the vehicle opened fire against the crowd. The chief of the police of this city claims that these police were about to launch an operation against persons accused of extortion against truck drivers and that the police had to react in this manner because the truck came under attack from protesters. The link below (in Spanish) has some videos.

    Second item more anecdote – Another city area, Bucaramanga, the legal slaughterhouse for beef is closed. As such, places that do sell meat have doubled the price and obtain meat from farms that sacrifice animals in the open air. It is known that in the region of Santander (the state where Buca is located) counts with a good deal of clandestine slaughter operations in rural areas and their farmers markets often carry this type of meat even though officials from the Depts of Health and Environment have announced measures to mete out penalties to those found supplying meat illegally.

  31. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Poor hard done by, extremely privileged Bill Mitchell talks about orthodoxy and the associated power relations and power hierarchies in society, as if that is some potent, novel insight, unique to Bill Mitchell, that has not been already thoroughly exposed as an ongoing and unrelenting social/interpersonal saga. Bill Mitchell goes on to “boldly” say that,

    “But they learn early on not to question the main parameters of their discipline. The indoctrination in graduate programs is very effective and it is far more simpler to go to sleep and enjoy the rewards that a highly-paid and secure profession brings.”

    Bill Mitchell must be only now carefully channeling his inner Noam Chomsky, that is, as Noam Chomsky long ago stated that, “The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on — because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.”

    Further, Bill Mitchell, somehow does not seem to know, that scientific heretics have always been treated harshly, when they have not been totally and altogether ignored, but perhaps Bill Mitchell is too busy playing his own trumped up victim card and grinding his own axe. See for example,

    “Indeed, Bohm feared that “the big-shots will treat my article with a conspiracy of silence; perhaps implying privately to the smaller shots that while there is nothing demonstrably illogical about the article, it really is just a philosophical point, of no practical interest.” To a very great extent that is what happened. Abraham Pais and J. Robert Oppenheimer declared Bohm’s theory “juvenile deviationism,” with Oppenheimer, who was Bohm’s mentor, suggesting that “if we cannot disprove Bohm, then we must agree to ignore him.”

    Suggesting to me that human style primates are both easily threatened [that is, ego{as construct} fragility] and largely remain adolescents for life. in any case, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” was written a long time ago, perhaps Bill Mitchell should go read it again.

    The abbreviated summary is found here,

    1. eg

      I would encourage you to read more of Mitchell’s work than a single link before drawing conclusions about what he does or doesn’t already know — he’s been at this now for going on 40+ years.

  32. JBird4049

    >>>Nearly 10% of all wild California condors are wreaking havoc on one person’s home

    I occasionally see Turkey vultures and would just love to see the California condor. For the all the decades of living in California that is one charismatic bit of California fauna that I haven’t seen. I am just out of the current range of the condor

  33. michael99

    How the Senate’s Long-Term Equilibrium Could Shape Democratic Decisions on the Filibuster Larry Sabato

    Sabato looks at the states and argues that “near-term equilibrium would be 53 seats for the Republicans and 47 for the Democrats. (This counts the chamber’s two nominal independents — Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King — as Democrats.)”. Later he says:

    Inevitably, there are some caveats.

    One is the possibility, as we noted earlier, of an “unexpected upheaval.” The political environment can change.

    As recently as 2014 the Dems had 53 seats in the Senate plus Sanders and King. Things can change suddenly. See 2016. This decade may very well be a time of upheaval. If Sabato’s analysis is correct this may not be the best time to get rid of the filibuster but if the Dems want to govern, if they want to lead the country in a new direction this decade, I think they should do it.

    Two Caveats: 1) there is no point in getting rid of the filibuster if Manchin or others in the Dem caucus will not go along with the key party initiatives and can’t be budged; 2) the Dem party needs to commit to winning seats, every election, and doing the work necessary to accomplish that. Building a coalition that consists of liberals, the left and independents is the goal. Spending money on things that voters actually want and benefit from such as infrastructure (investments in communities, jobs) and universal material benefits can work.

    I think majority rule should hold sway even though it means Republicans will have opportunities to implement policies that are deeply unpopular with liberals and the left. As long as the Dems control at least one house of Congress or the Presidency, they have a way to check the other party. I can see the Dems losing the Senate, but I can’t accept the notion that the Republicans have a lock on it.

    It is hard to take away a program once it is implemented – if it is popular. If it isn’t popular, the party that did it can lose the next election and have their unpopular laws repealed. That provides a deterrent against overreach.

    There are a lot of big issues facing the country but climate change is an existential threat and most important in my view and there is no more time to waste. If the Dems want to govern, if they want to take the bold steps on climate change that are needed, start now.

Comments are closed.