Here we will note that The Child, aka Bronwyn Lake, has graduated high school. You go, girl. From those who read about you on your Dad's blog, we all are wishing you well. We all miss your Dad, too. Say hi for us when you visit. (thanks for reposting that on facebook, Chang)
Tonya Moore posts about Ursula K. Le Guin. "Ursula K. Le Guin urges writers of science fiction and fantasy to remember why we write what we write, the importance of being true to our art form." There's a video of her acceptance speech "for the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters." (Grokked form Jason Sanford)
"Small bomb damages Target bathroom as company faces criticism for transgender policy."
Harnessing the immune system to fight cancer. A little inside baseball there on how drug companies really "find" their drugs. Fuck cancer.
Oh look, the Great Lakes are going to get screwed again. After federal appeals court required the EPA to develop regulations regarding ballast water discharge in the Great Lakes, the shipping industry really doesn't like that it will cost them something to actually comply with the EPA regulations. So they've been trying to get Congress to pass a very lenient version and make the Coast Guard responsible for any ballast water regulations (despite the Coast Guard not being in the business of protecting our waters from invasive species). And now they've been able to get someone to slip it into the National Defense Appropriation Act, aka a must past piece of legislation. Because fuck the Great Lakes and it's economic benefit to the region. In case you didn't know, we're already seeing a lot of damage from invasive species and we are severely worried about the Asian Carp getting into the lakes (it would devastate our sport fishing industry). And we really can't afford another invasion of species like the zebra muscles. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
The Planet Money podcast on "the future of work looks like a UPS truck", on how computerization is driving productivity and to get that to work properly, your company needs to know everything about how you do your job. "Every step Bill (an UPS driver) takes, every mile he drives, is tracked. His truck is a rolling computer. From the time he punches in in the morning until he gets back to base at night, the company is watching. The company is also constantly thinking, and strategizing about even the most minute decisions and choices. UPS wants to figure out how Bill can do his job a little bit faster, a little more efficiently, right down to which pocket he uses to hold his pen." Fortunately Bill works within a union and they've been able to reward the drivers for their increased productivity. Many companies are doing this, spying on employees and driving their productivity, but not rewarding the employees for that increased productivity. And then there's the unspoken item from this (and not mentioned in the podcast), just how much is it costing the company to do this surveillance? Whose job is it to watch all this and feed it into the computers? How much are you paying them and is it worth it?
Marketplace is running a series this month on the middle class and why it matters, besides just the political rhetoric. First up, why the middle-class has less money, but bigger bills. "We basically rely on companies to be the ones that determine how much income people make in this country, and then that becomes a question of well, every dollar I pay to my employee's a dollar I don't make in profit." In 1971, 70% of the US population was Middle Class, now it's about 50%. On the Middle Class Squeeze, "Combining all of our findings means that middle-class life has become 30 percent more expensive in the past 20 years. In that same time, Americans haven’t received a raise." And then what it feels like to be Middle Class today. Hint, it's very precarious. But you knew that.
"'What began as an investigation of alleged voter fraud quickly evolved into an investigation of potential voter intimidation,' a spokesman said in a statement emailed to TPM." Funny how that happens. And, off look, the sheriff at the center of the case is also one of the "Constitutional Sheriffs." Funny how they keep coming up in cases like this.
So, I guess Sharon Angle is once again running to be the Senator from Nevada. And already the hilarity begins. "In effort to educate Nevada voters on the candidates in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Sharon Angle, the GOP nominee in the 2010 race who is running for the seat again, listed a website for rival Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) that redirects to to the website cartoonsex.com." Apparently the website is supposed to be drjoeheck.com (since joeheck.com redirects to cartoonsex.com).
Some more on the "echo" parenthesis on Twitter, and the ever present trolling, anti-semitic, misogynistic, and other-wise.
So, I often wonder just who is buying all these McMansion houses and what do they do that they can afford them? But I also wonder, all those people who have dropped out of the labor market, what are they doing and how are they making a living? And that question is the one that keeps me up at night. Apparently the answer is, nobody knows.
David Duke has the Trumpster's back when it comes to his statements about Judge Curiel being too Mexican to judge him fairly. Apparently it's all a Jewish Media conspiracy. Wonder if the Trumpster will remember that he had to denounce Mr. Duke, you know, like he did for almost a week before remembering who Duke was and that they had met before.
The Trumpster's attacks on Judge Curiel have expanded to an assault on the La Raza lawyer's organization he belongs to. Sure, this isn't racism, not at all. And I'm a rainbow-farting unicorn. What we're seeing is the political-media equivalent of burning crosses.
The Trumpster is all about supporting blue-collar jobs. "At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. " Of course he says that these "contractors" have done shoddy jobs so that's why he's not paying. Uh, yeah. "Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data." (Grokked from TPM)