September 25, 2021

Time for pragmatism

 Sam Smith - Having been introduced to politics in Philadelphia and the Boston area, I find it easier than many to separate my idealism from my pragmatism. Basically,  the former takes precedence between elections while the latter rises as elections near.

As a case in point, I find it strange that the Democrats, with narrow margins in both houses of Congress, should not be doing a better job of negotiating with people like Joe Manchin, who, while coming from the reputedly rough and tough state of West Virginia, also has gotten his major funding over the past five years from stock & investment firms and lawyers.

While Biden’s jobs and families plan is noble, he doesn’t seem to have the votes. In an earlier time – say under Lyndon Johnson – the Dems would be working the vote six different ways to come up with something even Manchin could go along with. As Politico reports, Manchin’s “colleagues hope he will single out which provisions in the social spending program that he wants to ax so they can begin negotiating in earnest, but he’s in no rush to do so.”

As Catherine Rampell put it in the Washington Post:

Democrats must start having tough conversations within their party about which initiatives to prioritize, shrink or cut entirely. Manchin has offered some ideas for trimming spending that are, frankly, bad (such as adding work requirements to the child tax credit). But some experts, such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, have offered relatively common-sense suggestions for how to slim down the bill by better targeting safety-net expansions to the neediest (e.g., requiring wealthier seniors to pay premiums for new Medicare benefits).

Well, to clarify, I think such ideas are common-sense. They are likely to trigger a nasty fight with the party’s left wing, though, which is probably why they haven’t been adopted already. Fortunately for Democratic leaders, the party is still relatively united in blaming Manchin for obstructing their agenda. So long as that continues, these more difficult confrontations can get kicked further down the road.

As I’ve noted before, any number other than zero before “trillion” is impressive and while it may not be what the more decent people want, it would be a clear step forward and a huge improvement over getting nothing.

21 million Americans say Biden is 'illegitimate' and Trump should be restored by violence

 

U.S. Approval of Interethnic Marriage at New High of 94%

 

The climate crisis has made the idea of a better future impossible to imagine

 

Germany’s young ‘Merkel generation’ tilts toward Greens over climate worries

 

Teacher vacancies up as year begins

 

September 24, 2021

83% Of Rental Assistance Funds Still Unspent

 

New CDC Data Shows Schools With No Masking 3.5 Times More Likely to Have COVID Outbreak

 

Manhunt for Brian Laundrie in alligator-infested Florida swampland has cost $1.2million so far

 

Major media attack Biden

 

21 million Americans say Biden is ‘illegitimate’ and Trump should be restored by violence

 

America is not facing a civil war — only loudmouthed extremists

 

Biden Administration Seeks New Rules to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat

STORY

Booster shot update

 

Chris Cuomo’s Former Boss Accuses Him of Grabbing Her Butt, Offering Bizarre Email Apology Afterwards

 

September 21, 2021

Why Texas’s laws are moving right while its population shifts left

 STORY

Trump Org Prosecutors Find New Evidence—in a Basement

STORY

Biden to clamp down on 80-plus degree workplaces after record heat causes hundreds of deaths

 

81% disapprove of giving $10,000 to private citizens for abortion lawsuits under new Texas law

 

Sex robots with AI to become 'super intelligent' by 2050 and see owners as 'slaves'

 

People are worried about going back to the office because they don’t want to poop at work

 

Bringing population into the environmental discussion

In just the past fifty years, the world's population has more than doubled and three times as many people live in urban areas than a half century ago. Yet this aspect of environmental change gets pushed out of the discussion of the issue, in  part because it's not considered polite to suggest to others how many children they should have. Here's an organization taking on this issue and proposing some approaches. 

September 20, 2021

How to Trick Your Computer (and Your Boss) Into Thinking You're Still Working

 

2/3 of Critical Care Nurses Consider Quitting Due to COVID-19

 

Just the facts: paid family leave for mothers

 Robert Reich In Finland, they have an average of 161 weeks of paid family leave for mothers. In Hungary, it’s 160 weeks. In Norway, it’s 91 weeks. In Korea, it’s 64 weeks. In Germany, it’s 58 weeks. In Sweden, it's 55 weeks. In Canada, it’s 51 weeks. In the United States, it’s 0.

Alabama DA launches program where young first case minor felons get retorative programs instead of prison

 

The Exvangelicals

 

Zuckerberg Agreed to Push ‘State-Sanctioned Conservatism’ Under Trump Deal, Book Says

 

New York City Plans Massive EV Charging Network

 

How much will it cost to tour space?

 

The preface to change