HomeUncategorizedWatching the Watchers and OT August 13, 2021

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orlbucfan

T and R, pb4!! 🐋☮️😊👍

jcitybone

Sadly for wi63 this no. 1 ain’t good.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/13/america-is-full-of-democracy-deserts-wisconsin-rivals-congo-on-some-metrics

The United States is becoming a land filled with “democracy deserts”, where gerrymandering and voting restrictions are making voters powerless to make change. And this round of redistricting could make things even worse.

Since 2012, the Electoral Integrity Project at Harvard University has studied the quality of elections worldwide. It has also issued biannual reports that grade US states, on a scale of 1 through 100. In its most recent study of the 2020 elections, the integrity of Wisconsin’s electoral boundaries earned a 23 – worst in the nation, on par with Jordan, Bahrain and the Congo.

Why is Wisconsin so bad? Consider that, among other things, it’s a swing-state that helped decide the 2016 election. Control the outcome in Wisconsin, and you could control the nation. But Wisconsin isn’t the only democracy desert. Alabama (31), North Carolina (32), Michigan (37), Ohio (33), Texas (35), Florida (37) and Georgia (39) scored only marginally higher. Nations that join them in the 30s include Hungary, Turkey and Syria.

Representative democracy has been broken for the past decade in places like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida. When Republican lawmakers redistricted these states after the 2010 census, with the benefit of precise, granular voting data and the most sophisticated mapping software ever, they gerrymandered themselves into advantages that have held firm for the last decade – even when Democratic candidates win hundreds of thousands more statewide votes.

In Wisconsin, for example, voters handed Democrats every statewide race in 2018 and 203,000 more votes for the state assembly – but the tilted Republican map handed Republicans 63 of the 99 seats nevertheless. Democratic candidates have won more or nearly the same number of votes for Michigan’s state house for the last decade – but never once captured a majority of seats.

Now redistricting is upon us again. This week, the US Census Bureau will release the first round of population data to the states, and the decennial gerrymandering Olympics will begin in state capitols nationwide. And while there has been much coverage of the national stakes – Republicans could win more than the five seats they need to control of Congress next fall through redrawing Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida alone, and they’ve made clear that’s their plan – much less alarm has been raised about the long-term consequences of entrenched Republican minority rule in the states.

It’s time for them to ring. The situation is dangerous.

wi63

Begun the redistrict wars have in Wi. Just maybe Evers can get the new maps drawn by the courts as he will veto anything the Rs put forward. Two thing the census showed is urban sprawl into the rural areas and population from those areas moving into cities. A lawsuit was filed today by the Ds after the census data was released about the way the maps are drawn

orlbucfan

There are a LOT of Floridians fed up with the decades-old crowd of crooks in Tallahassee. The state has been GOPuked gerrymandered years ago.

jcitybone

jcitybone

Definitely, a good thing resulting from Dem control of government.

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/13/1027397943/the-new-child-tax-credit-brings-a-drop-in-households-reporting-hunger

After the child tax credit was implemented, fewer U.S. households with children reported that they don’t have enough to eat, according to a new federal survey.

The Internal Revenue Service began sending out monthly child tax credit payments of $250-$300 to about 35 million eligible families on July 15. The payments are set to continue through December.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a survey before and after the credit was sent out. In a span of just six weeks, it showed the credit coincided with a quick drop in food insufficiency and a drop in those who say they have difficulty paying weekly expenses.

The survey showed that households without children did not see a change in food insufficiency in the same time frame.

jcitybone

Robert Reich

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/13/joe-biden-spending-plans-inflation-debt-fears-misplaced

The problem isn’t ‘inflation’. It’s that most Americans aren’t paid enough

More than one year into the pandemic, America’s wealth gap is more extreme than it has been in more than a century. Until this structural problem is remedied, the American economy will remain perilously fragile.

Manchin and his ilk should stop worrying about inflation and debt. The real problem is America’s staggering wealth gap. Closing it will requires efforts even more dramatic than Joe Biden’s spending plans.

jcitybone

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/12/is-biden-serious-about-climate-his-2000-drilling-and-fracking-permits-suggest-not?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1628763556

The administration claims to be in the midst of a formal review of its policies on land resource extraction. Yet since taking office, Biden’s interior department has approved more than 2,000 new permits for drilling and fracking on federal land. In May, it appealed a federal court order that had paused fracking in Wayne national forest. In June, it advanced a proposal for new oil and gas exploration at Dinosaur national monument – a proposal the Trump administration had actually suspended under immense pressure from activists.

There are other similar disappointments – from the shocking approval of Trump’s plan to open Alaska’s North Slope to new oil drilling to the approval of the infamous Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline. At precisely the moment when we must be forcefully rejecting new drilling, fracking and pipeline infrastructure, Biden isn’t just tolerating fossil fuels – he’s uplifting them.

Other worrying signs forecast that more disappointment is yet to come. While they have not fleshed out a definitive policy, administration officials continue to tout the expansion of liquified natural gas (LNG) production, a relic of antiquated Obama-era climate policy, when officials peddled the absurd notion that fracked gas was a clean “bridge” fuel.

Similarly, the administration consistently boosts “carbon capture” as a climate solution, despite abundant evidence that it is absurdly inefficient, cost-ineffective and ultimately unproven. Existing carbon capture projects have cost billions of dollars without removing a significant amount of emitted carbon anywhere.

Furthermore, carbon capture serves as a boon to the oil and gas industry; the US energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, recently went so far as to boast that it would facilitate an increase in fossil fuel production. So billions of dollars in new subsidies will go towards propping up a failed experiment in faulty, corporate-friendly policy.

The Biden White House yanked much of its modest climate agenda from the bipartisan infrastructure package that just passed the Senate. Instead the White House proposes that a larger, separate spending package will include things like a national “clean energy payment program” that advocates claim will facilitate a speedy transition to renewables – apparently without any need for clear, enforceable emissions regulations. Climate activists should be skeptical; some of these proposals have even counted fracked gas power plants as a clean energy source.

It can’t be known precisely how the White House intends to proceed on each of these fronts. But this has become perfectly clear: Biden has thus far abdicated his responsibility to usher in an era of real climate action. We may all pay an unaffordable price.