Links 6/22/2021

Revealing the Pentagon Papers in Congress Consortium News

The Pentagon Papers’ Legacy After 50 Years  American Conservative

NYC Mayoral Primary Arrives Tuesday — Here’s What You Need to Know The City

American Airlines Cuts Some Flights to Avoid Potential Strains WSJ

Grocery-Store Boom Is Poised to Live On Even as Pandemic Fades Bloomberg

 Summary judgement: a brief history of the book blurb Prospect

For Literary Novelists the Past Is Pressing NYT

Humanity Is Sloppily, Awkwardly Lumbering Toward Consciousness Caitlin Johnstone

THE POLITICS OF RECOGNITION IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA New Left Review. From the March/April 2021 issue; still germane.


Audit of B.C.’s tailings pond regulations casts shadow on government’s ‘world class’ mining claims The Narwhal

Canada to lift some border restrictions July 5; next steps months away Yahoo News

Necropolitics in the Amazon Counterpunch

Mysterious Illness Blinding and Killing Birds in Mid-Atlantic States Treehugger


Pandemic-delayed surgeries share blame for blood shortage AP

White House announces allocation plan for 55M more global vaccine doses The Hill

Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? TK News. Matt Taibbi. Unlocked full version.

Covid: Vaccines running out in poorer nations, WHO says BBC

94% of Americans Oppose Big Pharma’s Control of Global Covid-19 Vaccine Doses: Poll Common Dreams

Friend or Threat London Review of Books

Health Care

It took a pandemic, but the US finally has (some) centralized medical data MIT Technology Review

‘Nobody is catching it’: Algorithms used in health care nationwide are rife with bias Stat

Schumer Backs Sanders’ Proposal to Include Dental, Hearing, and Vision Care in Medicare Common Dreams


Exclusive: Full Interview With Russian President Vladimir Putin NBC (zagonostra). Hoisted from comments; from last week, still germane, and well worth an hour and a half of your time.

Biden Administration

Biden risks break with progressives on infrastructure The Hill

Kamala Harris lands her SEVENTH White House role: VP begins new roll promoting Biden’s child tax credits as part of a growing list of jobs – but still hasn’t revealed when she will visit the wall as ‘border czar’ Daily Mail

‘Tip of the spear’: Texas governor leads revolt against Biden Politico

The Man Who Controls the Senate New Yorker

Obama backs Manchin’s voting rights compromise before crucial Senate vote Guardian

The $213 Billion Meatpacking Industry Faces Stricter Oversight in Washington WSJ

Texans regret opting into power plan that remotely raises thermostat temps Ars Technica

Trump Transition

Garland tries to untangle the Trump legacy at the Justice Department WaPo

Judge throws out claims against Trump, Barr in Lafayette Square melee New York Post

The Supremes

NCAA athletes win 9-0 on educational perks as Kavanaugh calls out ban on direct payments Scotus Blog

The NCAA Looks Like a Dead Organization Walking New York magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S. Navy’s Deadliest New Subs Are Hobbled by Spare-Parts Woes Bloomberg

Julian Assange

Assange Is Still in Jail Craig Murray

Class Warfare

THE 50-100 PAY GAPThese 20 Harsh Facts About Income and Wealth Inequality Will Shock You Capital & Main

California Has a Plan to Pay the Back Rent for Low-Income Tenants. All of It. NYT

Tabloids Want Crime, Not Rent, on NYC Voters’ Minds FAIR

Amazon Workers Call for Strike on Prime Day in Germany Motherboard

Amazon Prime Day Is a Nightmare for Amazon Workers Jacobin

Why Are Billionaires Presumed Innocent? Daily Poster, David Sirota.

Google Faces EU Antitrust Probe of Alleged Ad-Tech Abuses WSJ

Biden’s Antitrust Revolutionaries Project Syndicate

Tucker Carlson And Media Elites Cozy Up To Private Equity Moguls Daily Poster


Iran’s President-elect Raisi addresses ties to mass executions Al Jazeera

US pulls air defenses from key Arab allies Asia Times


Modi government’s approach towards India’s smaller neighbours is pushing them closer to China Scroll

Filmmakers Criticise Centre’s Plans to ‘Recensor’ Already Censored Films The Wire

“Black fungus” surges in India—thousands blinded, maimed, dead Ars Technica


Myanmar: EU, UK impose new sanctions on junta officials Deutsche Welle


Chinese three-child policy ad campaign blasted for featuring only men and for lecturing women on how to have babies South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    THE 50-100 PAY GAPThese 20 Harsh Facts About Income and Wealth Inequality Will Shock You Capital & Main
    Doesn’t shock me – of course, I’ve been reading NC for years.
    So I saw this movie
    Now, its a movie, not a documentary. Some of the premises of the movie are implausible, if not absurd (the old white guy has worked AT THE SAME fast food place for 38 years?!) and some trite Hollywood conventions. Still, I think it at least attempts to show the old white guy’s perspective, of an individual ill used by the system, but still defending it and how it puts the two protagonists at each other’s throat when they should be economic allies.
    NOT for everyone – not any action or entertaining or optimistic but just a slice of life at the bottom.

  2. John Siman

    Thank you, Jerri-Lynn, for linking to *Part One* of “Revealing the Pentagon Papers!” I, for one, did not know what the subhead tells us: “After publication of the Pentagon Papers was shut down, Dan Ellsberg [who is now 90 years old] leaked the top secret history to Sen. Mike Gravel [who is now 91].” This is exciting!

    “My hands were trembling slightly,” Gravel writes, “as I picked up the first black binder. I started reading aloud from the top-secret Pentagon Papers, the classified study about Vietnam that everyone in Washington was buzzing about. Two weeks earlier, The New York Times had published excerpts for just two days before the Justice Department got a court to stop it. ‘It is my constitutional obligation to protect the security of the people by fostering the free flow of information absolutely essential to their democratic decision-making,’ I began….”

    I was 11 years old during the summer of 1971. At the end of the summer of 1972, when I was 12, my first junior high school English teacher, on some kind of getting-to-know-you questionnaire, asked us new students to write down the names of the two people we most greatly admired. I wrote the names of Ellsberg and George McGovern. Forty-nine years later, I stand by that decision.

    1. fresno dan

      John Siman
      June 22, 2021 at 7:31 am
      I was 15 back than (let me confirm that, counts fingers, takes sock off…yup, 15).
      The purveyors of propaganda would say it was an age of great disillusionment – I would say it was an all too brief moment of looking at the machinations of the US political system insightfully and realistically. It has all been downhill, and what I perceive to be at a faster and faster rate, since then.

      What would happen now if an equivalent to the pentagon papers were published? You know, there really have been exposes of the IRAQ fiasco and other nefarious US actions as bad as the pentagon papers. But those who obfuscate have much greater skill and those who control the media have much greater incentive to maintain the status quo.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Snowden’s revelations about the NSA are right up there. Eight years later, he is in exile and the surveillance continues.

      2. Pelham

        I was 18 at the time and about to launch a career in journalism that would take me to several major media outfits. I would broadly agree with you. But I also think the Pentagon papers and subsequently Watergate created something of a Frankenstein’s monster in the form of more insidious form of access journalism.

        The pre-papers era was one in which a figure like I.F. Stone could read deeply from public documents and write revealingly from an openly stated viewpoint. After the Pentagon/Watergate mess, access journalism took hold, a time during which ambitious reporters of a certain social status sought and cultivated connections in preference to pursuing worthy insights through figurative or literal expenditures of shoe leather. They all wanted their Deep Throats. And they got them if the reporters did as they were told and kept the agendas hidden.

        As an editor, I witnessed some of these dealings. Sources threatened to cut off reporters who failed to include specified direct quotes in their stories. Anonymous sources seeking to shape the narrative would insist on different vague attributions in a single story to make it sound as if multiple sources were being quoted. Sometimes editors themselves would purposely distort the content of a story to maintain the Washington bureau’s good standing with the White House. This was all routine.

        I’ve been out of the profession for more than a decade, but can attest from the finished products I’ve seen that matters have only gotten worse. I imagine it’s a scary environment in eerily semi-vacant newsrooms these days with rampant access journalism complemented by woke colleagues covertly on the prowl for non-conforming tweets and thoughts. It’s good to be out.

        1. fresno dan

          June 22, 2021 at 2:26 pm
          Thanks for that – good to be able to label it as “access” journalism, and I think your analysis fits to a t what has happened. I have been critical of anonymous sources, and now I better understand how it corrupts reporting much better. It does seem to me that without knowing the “sources” that one has no way to evaluate the leakers character or agenda. Some of our headline news is no more than malevolent gossip. Although so much of “news” nowadays is so transparently biased and has lost even superficially trying to appear objective and give a hearings to all sides.

          1. Procopius

            Dean Baker at CEPR mentions this from time to time. the [family blog] New York Times has made written promises to stop using anonymous sources “unless necessary,” but they seem to use them much more than named sources.

    2. Michael Hudson

      Just as the papers were released, Gar Alperowitz and the Institute for Policy Studies brought me down to Washington with some others to discuss the papers (which I was given to read).
      what struck me was that there was NOT A WORD about the balance-of-payments effects of the war in Southeast Asia. McNamara had blocked it all — mainly because Terence McCarthy, Seymour Melman and me (the “Columbia group”) had been warning that it would force America of gold.
      When I did a study for Arthur Andersen showing that the entire BoP deficit was military (the private sector was exactly in balance), my boss, Mr. Barsanti, called me in and told me that McNamara had called up the firm’s head and said that they would never get another government contract if they published my statistics.
      So I took it to NYU’s business school and published it as a triple issue of their Bulletin, and it became the basis for my statistical analysis in Super Imperialism.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      Over the decades since the release of the Pentagon Papers Robert McNamara has taken a lot of s**t for not resigning and going public as soon as he realized, from the PP study et al, the Vietnam war was a dead end. Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine, together with James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable, published about a decade earlier, offer some clues that suggest the SecDef’s actions, or lack thereof in this case, were not unwarranted.
      From JFK several things come across. The first is Kennedy believed since the early 1950s the Vietnam war was fundamentally a conflict of colonial liberation, and the fact the anti-colonial rebels were communist was largely an accident of history. He was also appalled that the Joint Chiefs, beginning from their earliest meetings with the new president, strongly pitched a preemptive nuclear attack on the USSR and China, justifying it by predictions that only after late 1963 would the Rooskies would have sufficient retaliatory capability to inflict unacceptable damage on the US and its allies. (The president’s level of revulsion was such that by the time he was killed had exiled JCS chair Lemnitzer to NATO and avoided meetings with USAF chief LeMay whenever possible.) More generally, he had come to the view the “If you’re not with us you’re against us” stance the US took toward non-aligned nations, with regard to our Cold War adversaries, was not in our long term national interest. Finally, because Kennedy’s views were at odds with not only the career civilian and military bureaucrats but also most of his political appointees in senior national security and foreign policy positions, he played his cards very close to his chest, while almost all those around him dragged their feet, or worse, when it came to following the president’s lead. McNamara was the most important among these appointees who by and large supported the president. Perhaps it was the fact he had no prior significant policy level experience in these matters, or perhaps it was that he took seriously the notion that once the president decided it was the duty of his underlings follow his direction, but for whatever reason in Douglass’s account McNamara was the only real ally Kennedy could count on.
      Doomsday is mainly about the author’s pre-PP study days during which he brought his skills in operations research to bear on the issue of nuclear weapons targeting. IIRC he began that work in the late 50s and from early in the JFK administration had considerable interaction with senior DoD people up to and including McNamara himself. It was likely Ellsberg’s impressive work on nuclear targeting that led the SecDef to get him involved in the study that led to the Pentagon Papers. In any case Ellsberg recounts in the book a meeting with McNamara when the war was definitely going south in which the SecDef vehemently told Ellsberg that no matter how bad things got in Vietnam, the war would not go nuclear on his watch. What struck Ellsberg, beyond what he literally said, was the fervency with which he said it – totally at odds with his famously dispassionate usual self.
      Ellsberg didn’t explicitly connect the dots, but perhaps “preventing nuclear war on his watch” is why he stayed on the SecDef job long after he realized the war was unwinnable, all the while supporting President Johnson to the best of his ability to win it because he believed it was his duty to follow the lead of the duly elected president. A Kierkegaardian teleological suspension of the ethical.

  3. allan

    Another reason not to Prime: “unregretted attrition”.

    Internal Amazon documents shed light on how company pressures out 6% of office workers [Seattle Times]

    Amazon systematically attempts to channel 6% of its office employees out of the company each year, using processes embedded in proprietary software to help meet a target for turnover among low-ranked office workers, a metric Amazon calls “unregretted attrition,” according to internal company documents seen by The Seattle Times.

    The documents underscore the extent to which Amazon’s processes closely resemble the controversial management practice of stack ranking —in which employees are graded by comparison with each other rather than against a job description or performance goals — despite Amazon’s insistence that it does not engage in stack ranking. The documents also highlight how much of Amazon’s human resources processes are reliant on apps and algorithms, even among the company’s office workforce. …

    What happens in warehouses doesn’t stay in warehouses.

    1. Internal Warfare

      “even among the company’s office workforce”

      Yes, blue-collars can algorithmed to death. Just stick it to them! But god forbid that office workers should be algorithmed.

      Funny how office workers, who are just as employed as blue-collar workers, and therefore having exaclty the same relation to the employer = a not-have, think they should be exempted from horrible stuff, instead of solidarily stand up for their fellow employees of all ranks to stop this madness.

      1. tegnost

        I don’t know that blue collar workers are subject to this particular malevolent habit. The 6% goal is to strike fear into office workers, they exploit blue collar in other very effective ways.

    2. Mark Hessel

      Jeff Bezo’s API Mandate (from 2002)

      The mandate in question was issued in 2002 to Amazon by founder Jeff Bezos. For many reasons, it’s become somewhat legendary in the API/microservices space, as it formed the basis for much of the modern API design paradigm within the corporate view. By legend, the mandate is as follows:

      1. All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.
      2. Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.
      3. There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team’s data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.
      4. It doesn’t matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols — doesn’t matter.
      5. All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.
      6. Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.

      This mandate seems to fit into his business processes.

    3. RockHard

      Dish Network does the same thing, I believe their internal target is even higher. Stack ranking was originally championed by Microsoft. The forced attrition practice is fairly common in tech.

    4. Narv

      I’m always on the lookout for fresh phrases to appropriate: “unregretted attrition.” Curious if Bezos himself coined it.

  4. fresno dan

    Why Are Billionaires Presumed Innocent? Daily Poster, David Sirota.
    It is a familiar benefit of the doubt: Billionaires may give a lot of cash to politicians, but they are hardly ever reported on as if they are explicitly corrupt. They may leverage their philanthropic empires to boost their business interests, but they are almost never depicted as crooked. They may pay a lower tax rate than everyone else, but they are rarely depicted by the media as outright scofflaws. Instead, we get a lot of talk about this being “just the way things work.”
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
    fresnodan’s corollary – it is difficult to get news conglomerates to ask questions that expose billionaires when news conglomerates are of course ALL OWNED BY BILLIONAIRES….

    1. griffen

      It is fairly disgusting, as frequently discussed in these parts. The idea that they all got theirs the hard way, and you just need to repeat or mimic them to also achieve mind numbing wealth.

      They cease at a given point to earn income through labor, and a system designed to encourage capital deployment (real or sorta not really their own) means the capitalist boom since the Reagan\Bush41\Clinton years has gone onward and upward.

      Laws are for little people and suckers.

      1. Carla

        We have relatives, who through (some) hard work and (a great combination of) good luck and timing, have risen from middle class roots to become incredibly wealthy. Maybe not billions, but easily hundreds of millions. I believe they have actually made an effort to keep this wealth from changing their attitudes and values, but it has. They have less and less interest in, or concern about, the common good. Well, of course, they and their precious progeny are no longer common people.

        While they do not–and might not ever–SAY laws are for little people and suckers, they now live in a way that reveals that’s what they really think.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          I have a brother like that, only he doesn’t disguise his free market fundamentalism. It’s so weird when someone you grew up with turns out to have such different values.

        2. The Historian

          I saw a video recently, I don’t remember the name (maybe Capital?) where a psychologist performed a test on people playing Monopoly. He gave half the group several advantages, like more money to start with, double rolls of the dice, etc., and the other half had no such advantages, and even collected less money when they passed go. Of course those with the advantages won the games and every one of them attributed their wins to skill and not the advantages they were given. The psychologists noted that the advantaged players also bragged more, bullied more, and in every way thought they were superior to those without the advantages.

          In my own case, even though my windfall was relatively small from selling my house, I find myself whining about paying capital gains taxes even though that windfall came from nothing that I personally did. I just happened to buy and sell the house at the right times – not something everyone can take advantage of. And now I’m whining? Even a little money changed me! So I’ll stop whining – and just appreciate the gift I was given!

          1. Carla

            Thanks for this, Historian. I remember watching “Capital” and recalling playing Monopoly years ago. I became kind of an ugly person while playing. Ugh! Not a pleasant memory.

            P.S. It’s tough having to pay capital gains taxes when our overlords don’t hafta. That pretty much goes for everything we commoners hafta do that our overlords are conveniently excused from.

            1. jr

              Reminds me of the game of Life where if I recall correctly you cash in your children for money at the end of the game.

            2. JTMcPhee

              Going to regret maybe giving my 15 year old grandson a Monopoly (r) ™ game for his birthday, per his request. He texted me about how he was going to “destroy” his younger sisters in game play.

              It’s interesting that there are now a lot of different versions of Monopoly, to make it even more “lifelike:” A “green” edition, one with credit cards, all kinds of furbelows.

              1. JEHR

                When we were young, my brother beat me at Monopoly so often that I quit playing it with him or anyone else. Now, I reckon I had the right attitude at the time.

            3. ambrit

              This leads to the concept of Karma. The ‘overlords’ should also be ‘excused’ from living at all. Even though real revolutions spread their misery and destruction far and wide, following the business concept of “creative destruction,” we see a ‘purpose’ to revolutionary excesses.
              [If there really is a G-d. I’m going to have some pointed questions to eventually ask He, She, or It.]

        3. griffen

          I appreciate the thoughtful response. I have immediate relationships, both family and work-related colleagues, who moreso than not have arrived at their current status through their own direction and personal efforts, and a good bit of sacrifice. But there is also a timing factor in place.

          By example, launching an IT startup in 2000 – 2002 was unlikely to garner immediate success. A few years prior, however maybe it changes everything.

        4. lordkoos


          “I am getting to know the rich.”

          Mary Colum:

          “I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.”

  5. zagonostra

    >Empty Shelves

    This article from Wolf Street syncs with what I say at the Dollar Tree yesterday. I like the DT because unlike other stores everything is really $1. What I saw were many empty shelves and shrinking packaging.

    I’m curious to see how long it will be before the Dollar Tree is uprooted and converts to higher/multiple pricing like the Dollar General stores.

  6. Tom Stone

    Thanks for the Taibbi piece, as Lambert says “If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business”.
    An Upton Sinclair quote also came to mind when reading the quote from Weinstein.
    It’s going to be an interesting next few Months…

    1. Nikkikat

      The bird pictured today is incredibly beautiful. I don’t know what it is but I think I could gaze upon his feathers for hours.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        It’s a kind of pheasant—and it would seem his wattles are having the desired effect on you!

        1. Nikkikat

          Thank you to Chi gal and Temminick for replying on the bird photo. I shall now look him up.

          1. JEHR

            We are often reminded about how gorgeous nature is and this one bird proves that there is no limit to what nature can do.

    2. griffen

      That was a good read. It definitely helped me catch on to very recent discussions about the cited doctors and the censoring powers of a major tech organization. Ok, more than one major tech firm.

      It’s like reading Bradbury, Orwell or Phillip Dick has turned into current , required procedure. Which in and of itself is incredibly troubling.

    3. Carolinian

      Ditto thanks. It also highlights the peculiarity of American medicine which is both over and under regulated with the former–oddly enough–often applying to inexpensive options and the latter to those that cost lots of money. The recent FDA approval of that ineffective Alzheimer’s drug would be an example of see no evil under regulation.

      And it’s a theme that economist Dean Baker has been pursuing forever. He contends that our medical costs could be brought way down by bringing in more foreign doctors and that the rules forbidding this (you have to have some US training) arguably have more to do with doctor incomes than safety. And cost is a safety issue too since lots of people don’t seek medical advice because they can’t afford it.

      1. ambrit

        “And cost is a safety issue too since lots of people don’t seek medical advice because they can’t afford it.”
        That would be a feature of the system for any Social Darwinist Libertarians.
        It’s a shame we can’t “short” an ideology.

      2. lordkoos

        I’ve seen doctors in both Thailand and Jamaica and was very happy with the care in both instances.

  7. Wukchumni

    Goooood Moooorning Fiatnam!

    The Fiatcong specialized in ambush and no matter how well you were armed, they always had an endless supply of monetary ammo in a F.I.R.E fight-not dissimilar to a punter versus a casino, they could simply outlast your resources-combined with easy resupply via virtual drone, while we made do with crude weaponry such as Quarters formed into arrowheads with a hacksaw & attached to tally sticks, utilizing a line of credit as an ad hoc bow.

        1. ambrit

          Henchperson: “Boss! The SST! The SST!”
          Boss: “Ah, welcome all to Fiat Island!”
          Announcer: “Tonight’s guest stars: Ayn Rand, Milton “The Monster” Friedman, and Telly Savalas. With special appearance by Darren McGavin as the Spectre General.”

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Texans regret opting into power plan that remotely raises thermostat temps Ars Technica

    Sounds like a good idea, badly implemented, and with even worse communication.

    We are heading into a world where we will no longer be able to be sure that if you press a button in your home, the power will simply surge in and do what you want. For many reasons, and not just the influence of renewables, there is increasing stress on networks and supply and demand will be harder and harder to meet. This requires careful management – something familiar to the operators of small networks who have never had the sort of scale that has benefited the US or central Europe or China. It has long existed for industrial users, where there are often contract stipulations allowing power to be cut off during peak times.

    It makes logical sense to bring in differential pricing and supply controls to ensure people are using power optimally during times of stress or surplus. As an obvious example, EV’s should be charged at night, or when there is a surplus of wind or solar power, and certainly should not be allowed charge during peak periods. The technology to do this is pretty trivial, the problem is regulatory and getting all the various actors to agree. Too often, regulators don’t have the power to impose this, especially thanks the the crapification of power supplies that has gone with privatisation and deregulation.

    1. Lee

      “We are heading into a world where we will no longer be able to be sure that if you press a button in your home, the power will simply surge in and do what you want. ”

      And here on the U.S. left coast one might be similarly concerned about the water faucets.

      1. Questa Nota

        Those smart appliances, gadgets and things with their internet connectivities aren’t much of a hack away from becoming sentient.

        Hal, turn on the (fill in blank here).

        I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Yeah, it makes such great sense, doesn’t it, to turn PMC “regulators” loose with all kinds of “power” to impose their “solutions” on the rest of us. So many good examples of how the Thinking Class has done such wonderful things for the rest of the planet. No possible risk of abuse of power or regulatory capture or “Oops, we guess that it now seems like that was not such a great idea, but of course nobody could know how it has unfortunately turned out…” /s

      “Somebody will have to give up and sacrifice for the good of all…” True maybe, but the notion that this kind of imposition will in any way be “logical” or optimal is pure Panglossian imagination.

    3. Duke of Prunes

      “EV’s should be charged at night” sounds well and good, until you have one, it’s not the night, and you don’t have remaining battery capacity to get to somewhere you really need to be.

      I know ComEd (IL) was trying to sell me on a similar plan, but, since I work from home (even in the “before times”), I said no thanks. My father-in-law always signs up for the “money saving” plans offered by the utilities, but usually ends up not saving any money because the predictions on which those programs are built always seem to eventually favor the utility over the consumer.

    1. tegnost

      ISTM that considering how important cheap labor is to the above average californian this is yet another subsidy to keep labor cheap, but your point on campaign finance may strike closer to the mark…

    2. Nikkikat

      My Guess here is he is far more concerned that the hedge funds get their payoffs than having more people living on the sidewalk. But the recall has mostly been a joke anyway. Neither of the main republicans have or ever will have a chance at being elected.

  9. Wukchumni

    Using a highly scientific approach, the typical depth of the water at the deepest point in our swimming hole on the Kaweah River is up to my neck and it only ever went down as far as my nipples during the 2012-2016 drought, so it’ll be interesting to compare body parts this go round.

    These before & after photos of the San Gabriel mountains in SoCal from last year and this year really tell a tale of woe, everything went from lush green to ready to burn brown…

    1. lordkoos

      Wow that aerial comparison looks bad.

      Here in central WA we are in for a week of heat, every day over 90 and then this weekend it becomes brutal, when beginning on Saturday it will be 102, 105, 106, 104 consecutively into next week. We have no AC but fortunately have high ceilings in the old house which helps a little.

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    Why billionaires?—

    Sirota’s question is a good one, but let’s ask some more:

    Why does a country hit with a pandemic prioritize keeping bars and restaurants open when that helps spread the virus?

    When we know that humans are drastically over-consuming limited resources, why does our society keep not only allowing but even actively pushing unnecessary activities like vacation air and cruise travel, dining out four or five days a week, building over-sized houses scores of miles away from any work that could provide a salary adequate to pay their mortgages, eating out-of-season fruits and vegetables from thousands of miles away, etc.?

    When we cut through all the BS used to justify these examples of insanity, it comes down to this:

    The world’s few hundred billionaires demand what they consider an acceptable return on their capital no matter what the consequences.

    We might look back at the Egyptians and wonder how a society was so out of touch with reality that it commandeered tens of thousands to engage in body-shattering work–bricks without straw–to build giant tombs for a few god-kings, but we are doing something much the same. Instead of pyramids, we’re hustling around trying to grow the digits in Gates’s and Bezos’s bank accounts whether we’re working or consuming.

    The power of narrative/worldview/culture is amazing. It can even organize a society to work diligently to destroy itself.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I know New Orleans Workers are demanding reopening the French Quarter because our Economy relies on Tourism and Bartenders with no education can make 350$ in one shift as opposed to having panic attacks and making no money stuck at home.

      It’s a Scylla vs. Charybdis situation, but I’d rather the Restaurants and Bars be open in a failed state that refuses to bail out its citizens. We are social animals down here who loathe being housebound and are fighting a losing battle for our way of life down here as Brick and Mortars shut down and there’s a push to just stay in ur homes and get delivery for everything and do everything online.

      F the Billionaires obviously. Unfortunately their PMC underlings tip very well :/ and when the Restaurant Industry is our “Factory Job”…

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Scylla and Charybdis for sure given our “survival of the fittest” approach to providing basic needs, but the system need not be designed that way.

        So what is our system designed to do? Some might answer that it’s providing what people want, but that would ignore the fact that many if not most of those “wants” are implanted by the Madmen. If we quit advertising Big Macs day and night, people would eat fewer of them which would lead to a plethora of good feedbacks from American hospital emergency rooms to the Amazon forest.

        So if it’s not the legitimate wants or needs of people, what does this system accomplish? Two things:

        1) It provides control over the activities and whereabouts of the citizenry for a substantial portion of their waking lives; and

        2) It provides never ending, ever increasing returns on capital which is almost entirely for the benefits of those holders of massive amounts of capital.

        Our elites hang on to this system despite the destruction it’s wreaking for those two reasons: control of the citizenry and return on capital.

        Let people have more real freedom and dump the return on capital idea, and it would no longer be necessary to destroy the planet to save the economy.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          So ur what ur saying is the Restaurant Workers of the French Quarter should all walk out their jobs and protest in a union of glorious solidarity in the name of Humanity!

          Deal me in :)

    2. Jesper

      Add in the institutional investors demanding an acceptable return on investments. It does make sense that pension-funds should like to increase the value of the funds they value but the end result looks a bit strange to me:
      A person saving for retirement in a pension fund is often a wage-earner. The funds might be used to buy shares in the company that the wage-earner works for and suddendly the wage-earner has opposed interests to him/her-self:
      -as capital owner then he/she wants to keep wages down but as wage-earner he/she wants to increase wages
      -the wage-earner might live in a building owned by hi/her pension-fund and again the wage-earner has opposite interests to him/her-self. As renter then he/she might want low rent and lots of maintenance but as owner through pension-fund (possibly through some REIT) then he/she wants high rents and as little maintenance as possible done
      -maybe there is a toll-road or toll-bridge that the wage-earner has to use and he/she might be part-owner through pension-fund
      -maybe the college is for profit but owned by pension-fund
      -maybe the electrical grid is owned by pension-fund obliged to be as profitable as possible
      -maybe the emergency room at the local hospital is owned, through intermediaries, by his/her pension-fund
      -pharmaceutical companies might be owned by pension-funds and to keep pension-funds growing then maybe might do what it does now (in the name of and for the benefit of its owners…)
      -refusal of right to repair companies might be less valuable if there were more rights to repair
      etc etc

      Having competing interests in a society might be healthy but if the competition is heavily tilted in favour of corporations and the profits of corporation then it might not be healthy for actual living people.

    3. David B Harrison

      Why do we always talk about billionaires as a problem but not millionaires? You can easily look up the income and total wealth of billionaires but not millionaires. The total number of millionaires in the US has been estimated to be as much as 18 million. If every millionaire had 1 million dollars that would dwarf the total wealth of the billionaires and you know that a large percentage of the millionaires have more than 1 million dollars. An army of people with money, power. and privilege 18 million strong.

      1. tegnost

        If you own a house in so cal you’re a millionaire… It’s no longer a distinction with a difference

        1. griffen

          Likewise to your analogy, what if you plan ahead and cautiously spend, saving as much as 25% to 35% of earned income and never earn more than $200k at a given role. Maybe even a little less. Hypothetical scenarios can vary.

          We should use some caution in throwing too wide a net. Many may have a lengthy retirement, largely due to long term planning. And avoiding the excess consumption broadly encouraged as compared to earlier in the US. Mortality rates were much shorter in the early to mid 1900s.

        2. lordkoos

          Needless to say, a million dollars is not what it used to be. Recently was looking at king salmon for $36 a pound.

          1. David B Harrison

            Needless to say, a million dollars would go a long way for me. I make less than 30 thousand a year (gross) so a million dollars is 30+ years of income. I am still paying debts I accrued while being a caregiver for my parents. 24 thousand a year is considered poverty income in KY. Using Neoliberal philosophy I am sure it is all my fault. I should have picked richer parents or been a selfish butthole and abandoned them. Perhaps these poor millionaires should consider living within their means (which includes not enriching their offspring) and not living a bourgeois lifestyle.

          2. David B Harrison

            Needles to say, a million dollars would go a long way for me. I make less than 30 thousand a year (gross) so a million dollars is 30+ years of income. I am still paying debts I accrued while being a caregiver for my parents. 24 thousand a year is considered poverty income in KY. Using Neoliberal philosophy I am sure it is all my fault, I should have picked richer parents or been a selfish butthole and abandoned them. Perhaps these poor millionaires should consider living within their means (which includes not enriching their offspring) and not living a bourgeois lifestyle (and spend more of their wealth fixing problems instead profiting from them). I know how these people live. They build 7000+ sq. ft. houses for 2-4 people, drive luxury vehicles(and make sure their children do too), and gleefully spread Covid-19 around the planet on luxury trips. I understand the concept about wealth as a retirement hedge but the proof is in the pudding. At some point excessive spending is immoral because a person becomes accustomed to a high standard of living which leads to them using their energy to protect their wealth and nothing else. So the working class and the environment are low on their list of priorities(and charity and welfare are abominations used as a relief valve for an unjust society. I like the mutual aid concept so that the recipients can keep their sense of worth). Sorry for the repost. My first post disappeared then reappeared.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Navy’s Deadliest New Subs Are Hobbled by Spare-Parts Woes”

    ‘Some parts identified to last 33 years based on engineering analysis and testing,“were subject to degradation” such as “corrosion caused by complex galvanic interactions,” or when two dissimilar metals or electrical parts come in contact for an extended period of time, “that had not been predicted in some operating environments,” the Navy said.’

    Not predicted the Navy said. Never heard of that possibility of galvanic interactions. Little bit of history here. The Royal Navy started covering their ship’s hulls with a thin copper sheathing way back in the 1760s. Normally, ship’s wooden hulls would be riddled full of holes caused by the Teredo woodworm and it would also accumulate barnacles slowing that ship down. The copper sheathing solved both problems and gave the Royal Navy an edge in naval warfare. But soon it was noticed that iron bolts would corrode because they were in contact with those copper sheets. Galvanic interaction was discovered to be the cause and so measures were taken to solve this problem. So ship designers have been familiar with this problem *checks notes* for about a quarter of a thousand years now. You think that they might have thought about this when designing those Virginia-class submarines. Here is a page I found talking about this-

    1. vao

      Galvanic corrosion did not just occur with the newer submarines: it also plagued the infamous Littoral Combat Ship.

      This is not about “forgetting”; these are fundamental design failures — the kind of issue naval builders are taught about during their studies.

      Such recurring problems seem to point out at a loss of know-how in naval building (whether in requirements specifications, basic design or team coordination, I do not know), and is a further symptom of the deliquescence of industrial skills in the USA. After all, the Zumwalt destroyer is a failure too, the Gerald Ford carrier cannot seem to get rid of its serious defects, and the USN has become so incompetent at designing warships that it decided to license an Italian model for its new frigates.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve heard that some thought is being given to changing the name of Naval Air Station Lemoore which hosts a squadron of F-35’s, to a more truthful moniker, and best of all you only need to change a few letters, easy-peasy

          NAS Lemon

      1. jhg

        I’m not sure I understand why the designers of these new ships and submarines can’t predict the effect of galvanic corrosion in steel ocean going ships. This problem has been known about for decades. I learned about the basics of electro-chemistry in high school. Most ocean going steel ships have sacrificial zinc anodes welded to the hull to minimize the effects of large scale galvanic corrosion at a minimum.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hannah Arendt’s critique was aimed at historian types, but it’s likely over specialization at the expense of general knowledge has become a crisis everywhere. Then there is management.

      1. Count Zero

        Incompetence might also be a generational matter. If experience and practical knowledge are not handed down to the next generation they then have to learn by their mistakes — which might turn out to be pretty disastrous.

        I have experienced and witnessed several situations where people with 25-30 years experience of the job were pushed aside by a younger cohort with hubris, paper qualifications and management encouragement. If I said there was a gender dimension in play too I might give the impression I am just a grumpy old git. But there was — and I was glad to get out and haven’t missed it for a moment. I know my experience is not unusual and in many different kinds of work. Management often seems to hate competence and experienced old hands.

  12. Wukchumni

    I like to explore and it helps to have a reason to do so, and have found 7 sites in Mineral King that have from 3 to 7 ‘bathtubs’ sunk into granite in my travels. Half of these sites have Native American grinding holes nearby or on the same granite boulders, although the jury is out on whether they also produced the basins. I’m of the opinion they occurred naturally, as they only exist on a north-south axis @ around 5-7k with few higher or lower, and there are over 1,000 of them from the Kings River down to Lake Isabella.

    Meter-size granite basins are found in a 180-km belt
    extending south from the South Fork of the Kings River to
    Lake Isabella on the west slope of the southern Sierra Nevada,
    California. Their origin has long been debated. A total of
    1,033 basins have been inventoried at 221 sites. The basins
    occur on bedrock granitic outcrops at a median elevation of
    1,950 m. Median basin diameter among 30 of the basin sites
    varies from 89 to 170 cm, median depth is 12 to 63 cm. Eighty
    percent of the basin sites also contain smaller bedrock mortars
    (~1-2 liters in capacity) of the type used by Native Americans
    (American Indians) to grind acorns. Features that suggest a
    manmade origin for the basins are: restricted size, shape, and
    elevation range; common association with Indian middens
    and grinding mortars; a south- and west-facing aspect; presence of differing shapes in distinct localities; and location in
    a food-rich belt with pleasant summer weather. Volcanic ash
    (erupted A.D. 1240±60) in the bottom of several of the basins
    indicates that they were used shortly before ~760 years ago
    but not thereafter. Experiments suggest that campfires built on
    the granite will weaken the bedrock and expedite excavation
    of the basins. The primary use of the basins was apparently
    in preparing food, including acorns and pine nuts. The basins
    are among the largest and most permanent artifacts remaining
    from the California Indian civilization.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      I have purchased a gold panning kit after my hospital release to get me out and doing something. There is gold in North Carolina and I found some very tiny specks in a small creek (not Pyrite!). Out here in Washington I hope to do some beach mining soon of some pacier gold deposits on the Pacific Coast. In the mean time I went down to my local beaches and was prospecting around just to get an idea of how the heavy minerals flow. In the process I have found some nice Agates and other unknown stones. some extremely fine gold flakes and a ton of pyrite.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s this one no-name creek on the High Sierra Trail nicknamed Gold Creek as it has more glittering Pyrite than most water courses, and fools gold is all you’ll find around these parts, the most common mineral of worth being Wolfram.

        Around 2 dozen small mines opened up after Pearl Harbor and closed down after Nagasaki in the foothills around here.

  13. Chas

    In 1971, when Daniel Ellsberg turned himself in at the U.S. District Court in Boston, I was the political reporter for UPI there. The Boston bureau chief, Stan Behrens, was determined to beat the AP on publishing the story and came up with a plan. He sent the copy boy with me to hold the pay phone nearest the courthouse. I remember the chief demonstrating to the copy boy how to place his foot in the phone booth door to prevent the AP reporter from opening it. My job was to listen to Ellsberg’s lawyer just long enough until it was clear Ellsberg was admitting stealing the Pentagon Papers, and then run to the phone. I took off with the AP reporter on my heels. The copy boy dialed the bureau as soon as he saw me coming. Stan was manning the news desk himself and took the call. I dictated the story and Stan put it on the wire immediately as a bulletin. We put the story out first. Those were the days when there was competition in the news business and bureau chiefs and editors challenged their reporters to dig for news and defended them when they angered the powers that be.

    1. Carolinian

      Competition over facts–what a concept. These days they compete over who has the most appealing “cast” of reporters and anchors. My brother likes Rachel Maddow–and even tends to believe her–because he thinks she’s cute.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      A decade behind you, Chas, I got my first job out of J-school in the AP’s Washington bureau. There was a dictum in those days, “UPI gets it first; the AP gets it right.” ;-)

      1. Chas

        I’ll admit there’s some truth to what you say because I remember another episode. Boston’s Cardinal Cushing was on his death bed. Stan wanted to be first with the death announcement so he had the story written and then stored on the paper punch tape that was used at the time. He placed the tape in the teletype machine so when the cardinal died all that had to be done to send the story out was push one button. But the cardinal was hanging on. There was a shift change at the bureau and someone came in who was unaware of the situation. He or she saw the tape in the machine and pushed the button. UPI killed Cardinal Cushing about six hours before his actual death.

        1. Wukchumni

          Rumors of his demise were slightly exaggerated, but in the end he came through…

          Nice tale, thanks for sharing~

        2. Brunches with Cats

          We can chuckle about it now, but in fact, the pressure to be first was intense — the deadline was always five minutes ago — and that was before the internet.

          I left the AP after three years to cover energy and environmental issues for a Washington trade publication. Although deadlines were always stressful, writing for weeklies allowed time to develop original, in-depth stories. In the mid-1990s, I had an opportunity to spend a year in France, which turned into a four-year stay. When I returned in late 2000, my former employer offered me a job reporting for a new publication.

          Expecting the same weekly pace, I was shocked to discover how, in just four years, the internet had changed everything. The competition for breaking news wasn’t just another wire service or newsletter, but the NYT, WaPo, Reuters, CNN — every media outlet that was following stories we covered.* Management judged my reporting by whether my lead was the same as the NYT’s.

          Less than a year later came 9/11, often cited as the cause of the demise of the U.S. news media. That may have been a point of no return, but from my perspective, real journalism already was an endangered species due to the incessant need to be first — not just by a few minutes, but by milliseconds. Deadlines are not just “five minutes ago,” but every second of every day. Reporters no longer are hired for their research and writing skills, but their ability to be fast, to pump out streams of new “content,” facts be damned.

          * The biggest story at the time was the California energy crisis. I was sure Enron was manipulating markets and believed that anyone who’d had Econ 101 should have seen it. The markets reporter for my group was sure they couldn’t be. I worked inhuman overtime trying to prove my point, until management warned that I was heading into libel territory and took me off that beat. In response, I quit — a month too soon for the satisfaction of “I told you so.”

          1. Chas

            What a shameful rat race you describe. I went into investigative journalism after UPI and soon discovered, while writing for corporate weeklies and magazines, that I wasn’t very good at self-censorship. So I went underground, but today even the underground newspapers are gone. The most important thing is to get the stories out to the public. The best possibility for that I’ve seen to come out of the computerization of news dissemination is with internet blogs like this one. Still, I miss the bizarre world of the UPI newsroom circa 1971 with reporters on manual typewriters phones tucked between ear and shoulder, constant buzz of talking, banks of teletype machines chattering and a hazy cloud of cigarette smoke hanging over it all. Recently I was at the newsroom of a major daily newspaper and it was just about silent.

            1. Brunches with Cats

              “The best possibility for that I’ve seen to come out of the computerization of news dissemination is with internet blogs like this one.”

              1000 times yes … This blog and the sites regularly featured in links are among the few reasons I have any optimism at all for the future of journalism.

  14. The Historian

    I can’t believe I’m saying this about Caitlyn Johnstone, but for once, I believe she is being too optimistic! There have always been a minority of people aware of the world around them and I certainly the internet has helped them, but most people are still in their bubbles with their beliefs about what is happening in the world derived from their parents or the people around them. I think most people are just trying to get along in whatever circumstances they find themselves and really aren’t all that interested in what is happening outside their bubbles.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Whenever someone I know, friend or relative, tries to bring up politics I have started stopping them and saying that I dont discuss politics unless you can pass this test:

      Me: Who is your greatest political friend? Name 5 things you hate about what they have done while in power.

      Them: …eeerrmmm

      Me: Now, who is your greatest political foe? Name 5 things they have done in power that you like and respect.


      Mainly it doesn’t work, but it does give me an excuse to insist on no political arguments, and lets just focus on something else. Once in awhile you can see the gears turning, though. In both lefty and righty brains.

      1. Jason

        What are your answers to your own questions?

        What if I can only name three, and four, respectively? Pass?

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          Touche! :)

          Its sort of a trick question in that I don’t necessarily want to hold out for all 5 in each case, I just want to see that a.) they are willing to consider their Hero has flaws, sometimes egregious flaws. b.) they can see that their Villain may not be as gawdawful as they want think them to be, and c.) are at least willing to demonstrate they have empathy and willingness to think about stuff….beyond just the black/white/good/evil talking points whatever their morning’s propaganda-bubble-of-choice has shoveled in to their brain that morning.

          I’ll have to think about mine for awhile. Greatest hero would be Bernie, Villain would be Bush Sr.

          But even without specifics yet…if i was having this convo with myself…I would consider it a success to get someone deflected from some TRUMP IS DEVIL INCARNATE! or HILLARY LITERALLY EATS BABIES! and we both had to stop and contemplate for awhile. The mere presence of a nice long pause, is the start.

          On the other hand, a lock-step semi-instant snort of derision and expression on ones face of complete dismissal to the question makes me think – nope, that brain has ossified and its probably not going to be changed by anything we could possibly discuss.

          Meh, I guess a pointless exercise sometimes. As is most of what I do… :)

          1. rowlf

            I liked it, and your reasoning, so it probably was pointless. I do similar stuff to check for blue or red NPCs.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        I read an article about exactly this in my Political Survey Class at LSU. It’s called Random Access Memory. Back then in 2006 only about 7-10% of the population could recall political events of the last 6 months. The vast majority of people relied on an internal memory of positives and negatives of a said politician or issue. Over time they chalk up issues that come up against their internal tally which then informs their perspective.

        HOWEVER, as time has gone on and political turmoil and upheavals crash against ordinary citizens psyches I see that 7-10% slowly inching up and up…Katrina, 08, Coronavirus, more and more people slipping into poverty and witnessing traumatic events while the 10% PMCers hide in their bubble and keep their powder dry and eat brunch. I abhor commenters here who are pessimistic and think there’s nothing that will be done or that nothing will change because everyone’s selfish, blah blah blah.

        Hope is the only thing getting poor people through the day and one day we will come together and unite and pierce all those all too comfortable bubbles with our vulgar debauchery and scandalous unprofessionality in a great orgy of political affrontery :)

    2. Cuibono

      Mostly disagree. I get a chance to work with a lot of young people. Teens to early 20s. They are much more aware of the real world than i was at that age.

      1. lordkoos

        It’s true, and in some ways it’s pretty unfortunate. Years ago I recall sitting beside my stepdaughter at the computer when she was around 12 years old, she has misspelled “Loonie Tunes” and ended up at a porn site that featured some extremely graphic still photos.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? ”

    Always knew that with the internet, that there would always be censorship going on but I just figured it would be against leftists or progressives and the like. But the past fifteen months has been a revelation in the scope and ability of social media and official publications in cracking down on information to do with medical information – in the middle of a world-wide pandemic no less. I can only surmise that this has been done on behest of Big Pharma as these measures actually limit and cripple government’s ability to fight this virus. Last year it was hydrochloraquine and not only was a there a crackdown on whether this worked or not but even The Lancet, for example, was publishing some ludicrously biased studies as were other publications.

    And this year we are seeing it with Ivermectin where our tech overlords are forbidding all discussion of it. YouTube, using all its medical expertise, has decided that it knows better than actual medical experts and kills videos connected with them. Note that this was not Trump doing this but the establishment. So what happens if this virus mutates so that it has a fatality rate of 20% now. Will our tech overlords still forbid us any knowledge on treatments that don’t cost tens of thousands of dollars a pop? Big Pharma may have gotten a get-out-of-jail-for-free card if their wonky vaccines start causing any major health problems for people but I am seeing an opportunity to use the RICO Act here which was used against the Mafia – another criminal organization.

    1. tegnost

      In my circle confidence in the vaccines increases significantly according to what industry you’re in, and the techies all see the vax as a programmable solution to all of lifes ills. No interest whatsoever in bad side sffects.

    2. Michael Sharkey

      You might wish to watch this video from John Campbell, a retired Nurse Teacher and A and E nurse based in England. He was initially skeptical of Ivermectin and still is very cautious regarding the use of the drug. Nevertheless, he makes some interesting points in this video that require answers .

      1. outside observer

        I found the reference to Chris Whitty’s study on ivermectin and mosquitoes particularly interesting, since the little critters ruin my summers. This seems to be quite the versatile substance! Also came across this study, which is more recent, on the same topic.
        Efficacy and risk of harms of repeat ivermectin mass drug administrations for control of malaria (RIMDAMAL): a cluster-randomised trial

        From the summary:
        Frequently repeated mass administrations of ivermectin during the malaria transmission season can reduce malaria episodes among children without significantly increasing harms in the populace.
        Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”

  16. Pat

    For the record I am now going to the second election in a year I actively dread.

    I know ranked choice voting is supposed to give me more chances to elect someone I like. Unfortunately I have grown to dislike and in some cases outright despise the entire democratic primary mayoral slate. Being able to rank the candidates from dislike the least to the most is probably not what ranked choice voting supporters had in mind.

    This may be a decent reform, but without better candidates it doesn’t do much.

    Imagine ranking Bush, Gore, Obama, McCain, Clinton, Trump, Biden on a ballot…

    1. fresno dan

      June 22, 2021 at 10:51 am
      What a pessimist – now you got the lessor of 7 evils! More lessor evils! More choice!! and instead of putting your money all on one evil, this way your assured of one of your lessor evils getting elected with some of your votes.

    2. Mildred Montana

      These should be choices on all RCV ballots:

      NOTA: None of the above. Or, with a slight adjustment, NNFTA: No Neo F The Above.

    3. Oh

      As long as there is the dem-Rep duopoly no change can be expected from changing the procedure.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      I agree about the lack of good candidates, and nothing says you have to rank everybody. I’m usually lucky if I can find one I can stomach voting for, so I just treat RCV like a regular ballot, pick the one I like, and don’t rank anybody else. If enough other people list 3rd party candidate first, maybe my first choice gets elected, and if not at least I haven’t contributed to electing some egregious R or D candidate.

      That being said, while I have voted in every Nov election I’ve been eligible for, the chances of my continuing to do so are getting slimmer. My better half keeps running for office in recent years which sort of obliges me to fill out a ballot. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered, especially after watching the Blob stick the knife into Bernie’s back.

  17. Wukchumni

    Notes from the field dept:

    I’ve just spent the last hour raking up oak leaves that got the signal from their trees to bail out, as there is no way the aged ones can support all of their foliage in the Big Dry. Normally this happens in October-November, not now.

    Mother Nature is practically screaming, silently.

      1. Wukchumni

        We have 3 bins: trash, recyclable & green waste, the trash gets picked up on Tuesdays, the other 2 get picked up on alternate Wednesdays…

        So why then when the trashman cometh today, he picked up the trash & green waste all in one fell swoop to the dump?

        Bin there, done that.

        1. QuicksilverMessenger

          Meanwhile, in Seattle, we will pushing 100º by the weekend. I grew up here and remember all of the 4th of Julys that were rained out or cloudy at 65º. We used to say, summer in Seattle doesn’t start until after the 4th of July. But the snowpack I believe is deeper than normal, one of the highest in a while.

          1. tegnost

            pretty much no june gloom this year, and yes, june is usually the coldest month of second winter

  18. rowlf

    I got injured Sunday and went to my doctor yesterday. While catching up I mentioned having to go back to work in an open office environment. He asked what precautions I plan to use and I mentioned zinc/D3/C etc. He said that was a good idea but since he has to work around people he has also been taking horse paste weekly. We also discussed reporting from other countries, like Israel, on positive results in treatment. I really want to talk with another doctor I go to who is from communist Czechoslovakia and see what his medical friends in the Czech Republic are reporting.

    Keeping an eye on vitamins at the grocery stores it looks like a lots of people are hedging their bets in case the government experts are wrong again.

    1. RMO

      Taking zinc, D and C (in reasonable quantities of course) certainly won’t hurt you and isn’t expensive so why not? I’ve been taking them myself. Finding out what the Czechs are doing could be good or bad though – they certainly have lots of experience with treatment and they’re not bad when it comes to case fatality rate (though theirs is the same as the U.S.) but on the other hand they’re in fourth place worldwide for Covid death rate per 100,000 population.

  19. Wukchumni

    My 96 year old mom has been having issues with her legs hurting a bit when she sleeps, so she asked if i’d get some CBD laced gummies the next time I go to the pot shoppe…

    …it feels weird scoring some reefer for her

    1. Lee

      Isn’t making one’s kids feel weird something parents are supposed to do. I’m pretty sure it’s in the job description.

      1. Chris

        Or as they say around here:

        “Live long enough to be a worry to your children.”

        Karma’s a b#tch.

    2. RMO

      Well, not really “reefer” if you go for the stuff with minimal THC content. I picked up some CBD ointment and drops for my wife for her to try on a couple of her troublesome joints (no pun intended…). It seems to do some good. It did feel weird to go to a very nice shop in an upscale part of a nearby town and peruse a wide selection of pot presented like I was shopping for an expensive watch in a jewelry shop!

  20. EGrise

    Obama backs Manchin’s voting rights compromise before crucial Senate vote

    I know what the story is saying, but I have to love the phrase “voting rights compromise” – shouldn’t that be the one thing we never compromise on?

  21. dcblogger

    Schumer Backs Sanders’ Proposal to Include Dental, Hearing, and Vision Care in Medicare

    wonderful what the possibility of a primary challenge from AOC is doing for Schumer.

  22. Katy

    California Has a Plan to Pay the Back Rent for Low-Income Tenants. All of It. NYT

    Minnesota has already been paying out rent relief to tenants for weeks. Here’s a summary of the application data and payouts: RentHelpMN Dashboard.

    The program is paying up to 15 months of rent and utilities, but an unlimited dollar amount–the program pays all overdue rent since April 2020, plus utilities. So far, applicants have been receiving an average of about $5,500. The income cutoff is 80% of median income for your county, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a benefit cliff, but it’s still going to help to a lot of people stay in their homes.

    The MN legislature is also trying to write an eviction moratorium “off-ramp” bill. Under some versions, renters can’t be evicted if they have a pending rent assistance application.

  23. Cuibono

    “California Has a Plan to Pay the Back Rent for Low-Income Tenants. All of It.”
    Sure now that Blackrock and Co own all of the rentals. Think they are going to get stiffed?

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