Really, Joe? Again? With the Senate set to vote on codifying the right to an abortion nationwide, it seems like Joe Manchin is once again the only holdout among Senate Democrats. Senator Bob Casey of PA (no relation, thankfully) has announced his support of the bill, which means Manchin's opposition is the only obstacle to passing the bill. My former coworkers in the Democratic Party will surely exclaim, "But the GOP will filibuster!!!" when reading that last sentence, but Democrats have enough Senators (barely) to eliminate the filibuster entirely, or at least to create an exception to protect abortion rights. The fact that they aren't doing that is due to Manchin's apparent immunity from any appeal to human decency.
The messaging isn't the problem: Yes, this is a pretty good speech from the Treasury Secretary about how dumb an idea banning abortions is. No, it won't convince a single Republican or conservative Democrat to change their mind on this issue. The GOP was out here in 2020 trying to sacrifice our grandparents at the altar of a rising GDP during an election year, but giving people the choice to voluntarily end a pregnancy is where they draw the line.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that eliminating women's access to abortion would have ‘very damaging effects’ on the U.S. economy https://t.co/GA7d6f4rWr pic.twitter.com/Pm33WpYGM0
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) May 10, 2022
No, you're not imagining things: Those prices at the grocery store, bar, and pretty much everywhere else actually have gone up dramatically. Last month set a new record for inflation, as workers saw their effective purchasing power decline by 2.6% in the last year. And while there's no evidence to suggest that our economy is suffering uniquely in comparison to other developed nations that are also dealing with supply chain disruptions and an ongoing pandemic, expect Republicans at every level of office to continue posting idiotic selfies at gas stations in an attempt to blame COVID recovery spending for the price spikes.
Parents can't catch a break: After years of watching parents of older kids struggle with remote schooling, delayed approval for vaccines, and a spike in mental health challenges due to the pandemic, parents of young infants are now drawing the short straw in our COVID-warped economy. Due to a recall from a leading manufacturer of the essential product, parents in the Seattle area are bearing the brunt of a national shortage of baby formula. The WA Department of Health is urging parents to avoid diluting their formula or attempting to make their own. If you need assistance dealing with this shortage, check out their list of resources.
In slightly less depressing news: It seems like the guy who never won the popular vote, cost his party control of both chambers of Congress, and can't string a complete sentence together may not be the political genius the cowards in the Republican Party feared. Trump's slate of endorsed candidates got mixed results in deep-red Republican primaries yesterday, with his most notable loss coming in the Nebraska governor's race. Despite showing up in person for one of his infamous rallies, Trump's endorsement couldn't carry the day.
Apple buries the iPod 20 years after it buried the music industry: Or at least that's what I remember naysayers predicting when the ability to store thousands of songs in your pocket led an entire generation of my fellow millennials to learn how to pirate music before we could drive. With the iPod now a puzzling relic of a time before "the internet of things" and mass personal data surveillance, the trillion-dollar company has finally decided to end production.
The racists are at it again: Some idiots on the internet are big mad that Biden has appointed the incredibly qualified Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board. Cook would be the first Black woman to serve in that position.
Chair @SenSherrodBrown asked Dr. Lisa Cook:
How has your background – growing up in rural Georgia and teaching at a state school in the industrial Midwest – shaped your view on how the @federalreserve can help create good, local jobs? pic.twitter.com/ct9WZDm8RH
— Senate Banking and Housing Democrats (@SenateBanking) February 3, 2022
Calling all tax-averse moderate Democrats: Maybe you should re-think your backsliding on police reform, since settling lawsuits over police abuses cost WA taxpayers more than $34 million in 2021. ICYMI: The Seattle Times has an incomplete run-down of the various high-profile settlements that have led to the 2,990% increase in those settlements since 2017.
Speaking of moderate Dems: Even the squishiest of centrists didn't rise up to block a vote yesterday allowing staff in the House of Representatives to unionize. The unionizing fight in our own State Legislature would have gone a lot smoother if Democratic leadership viewed their jobs the same way Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan viewed his: "To shut up and pass a law that gives people their rights."
Tails never fails (we hope): According to the latest climate report from the UN, we now have a 50/50 chance at reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming compared to pre-industrial levels in the next five years. To put that in perspective, limiting average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees was the lower-end goal of the Paris Agreement. According to the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, reaching that threshold is "an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and indeed the entire planet.”
In totally unrelated news: Residents in Los Angeles are being asked to ration their water usage as drought conditions worsen in California. When your mayor says the words "if we want our children and grandchildren to be able to turn on the tap with confidence" maybe it's time to start looking beyond individual efforts at conservation.
As long as we're here... Check out this evergreen rant on why lawns are terrible:
A rant about the loss of public space, the false promises of individualistic capitalism, and the need for physical places to center community ... all through the prism of the lawn. https://t.co/5Pz4wOqaNc
— David Roberts (@drvolts) March 26, 2021
Ending on a high note: As part of their nationwide move to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes, the Thai government will distribute a million free cannabis plants to households next month, CNN reports. Recreational use still remains illegal, as Thailand seeks to capitalize on hemp as a new cash crop in a country where a third of the labor force is employed in the agriculture sector.
I'm really not a music buff: So instead, I offer you the last piece of content you'll need to fully understand how the right's subversion of the Supreme Court has led us to Roe v. Wade getting overturned: