February 2020

Roman rhymes

This article about the President and the Senate from a professor of classics is, as they say, as serious as a heart attack. Having just watched as much as I could stand of Trump’s triumphant belittling of all the characterless men and women in the Republican Party gathered under his shadow the day after the Senate granted him effective immunity, I was glad to be steered toward a classicist’s take on the situation.

Stuffed shirts and fearful hearts

They will not say that they are afraid. We all want to think that we always stand up for right and fight against wrong. But history does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election. They might claim fealty to their cause — those tax cuts — but often it’s a simple attachment to power that keeps them captured by fear. – Sherrod Brown, OpEd


The Salt Lake Tribune

Bernie's large, clearly necessary ideas

Setting aside the frog-torture metaphor in the opening, Juan Cole lays out a compelling case for electing Bernie Sanders president. Sanders’ Green Revolution spells out in detail adequate enough so that one can imagine how it might work. All that has to be considered is the reality of political time, the amount and intensity of resistance from the plutocratic corporations whose fortunes are founded on environmental destruction.

Oil profits, the rocket fuel to Nowhere

“These figures provide the answer. Money is like rocket fuel: burn through enough of it and you can escape the pull of the Earth. But there’s nowhere else to go.” -- Mel Evans, a senior climate campaigner at Greenpeace UK



The Guardian

Revealed: big oil's profits since 1990 total nearly $2tn

BP, Shell, Chevron and Exxon accused of making huge profits while ‘passing the buck’ on climate change

Matthew Taylor


McClatchy bankrupt


It’s a lot of money guys making all this happen, not a lot of news people, and the aim for all of them is cutting costs enough to squeeze out cash flow, do enough M&A to maximize efficiencies in the back shop, and…well, enjoy the profits until they stop. -- Belton, Niemanlab, web. 13, 2020

Trump does California water: What could possibly go wrong?

“Millions and millions of gallons are just being wasted and poured into the ocean,” he (Trump)  said. “You deserve water and you have the water. There are communities that don’t have the water. You have water. This is an easy one.”


“This president has worked greatly using science, not based on politics but on science, to allow to have more of that water stay with the Californians and America to make sure we’re secure in our food supply as we move forward," he said.


Will developers indemnify Merced this time?

We caught this graph in a story in the Merced Sun-Star three weeks ago.


He (Ron Sissem, consultant) also discussed the possibility of using out of boundary service agreements, which operate through a contract between the city and developers. City infrastructure and services are extended to the property while keeping it on county land. This type of system is used by UC Merced. – Abbie Lauten-Scrivner, Merced Sun-Star, Feb. 2, 2020

Considering how to appear to do something about the pandemic, VP Pence ...

...drafted a memo to himself.

Obey my President.

Question: Are we going to call this the Jovirus or the Bernivirus?

Answer: Wait for SuperTuesday.

Obey my President.

Do not distribute test kits: no testing, no detecting, and no counting.

Memo to Barr: Research possibility of outlawing all voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. It might draw crowds in public places that might infect Republicans.

Obey my President.