The Supreme Court Is in Charge Now (Dana)
From the New Republic: “After Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in September, liberals spent seven weeks before the presidential election discussing the merits of Supreme Court reform. … Then came Election Day. While Joe Biden managed to capture the presidency, Democrats saw their majority in the House of Representatives whittled down to a handful of seats. … Control of the Senate now hinges on two runoff races in Georgia in January, which Democrats would need to win to get a narrow 50–50 majority with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker. Even if that happens, however, court reform is effectively dead for the foreseeable future. … The question now isn’t what Biden and his administration will do about the courts, but rather what the Supreme Court will do about the Biden administration over the next few years.”
An ‘Electrifying’ Economist’s Guide to Recovery (Gerry)
The author writes, “Over the years, Mariana Mazzucato, an economist and professor at the University College London, has achieved the kind of celebrity status that is uncommon for academics. … The Financial Times described one of her panel discussions as ‘electrifying.’ She’s got the ears of politicians and chief executives around the world, from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the U.S. and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Pope Francis, who all turn to her for advice or lean on her work for ideas. Ostensibly, her mission is to reimagine capitalism and boost the state-backed public sector, but her work has nonetheless resonated not just with leftist thinkers but also in fiscally conservative, free market circles where even the slightest whiff of socialism would usually set off alarms.”
Rising Star Mayor Who Championed Guaranteed Income Loses Hometown Race (Dan)
The author writes, “Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs came into elected office on a high in 2016, winning 70% of the vote. … But this November, Tubbs’ star fell in Stockton: The 30-year-old mayor conceded the race to his Republican challenger, Kevin Lincoln, who was leading by 12 percentage points (though the tally isn’t final yet). What changed? Some residents resented his national profile, viewing him as more committed to his own reputation than to giving attention to the city. Others objected to his progressive policies. … But Tubbs and his supporters also point to another factor that has become an increasingly common suspect in national and local races alike: A targeted misinformation campaign, in this case led by a local blog called the 209 Times.”
‘You Don’t Expect to Be So Vilified’: The Strange Turn the Pandemic Took for Public Health Workers (Reader Steve)
From the Seattle Times: “Remember in the spring, the pot-banging? People would come out on their porches in the evening to rally for the health workers — to say, collectively for just a minute or two, that we were thankful for the effort. That spirit seems years away to Anna Halloran. ‘There’s a large segment of the population that hates the health department right now, that thinks we’re lying,’ says Halloran, a communicable disease epidemiologist in Spokane. Halloran works for the Spokane Regional Health District, which recently fired its top health officer, Dr. Bob Lutz. He was sort of the Dr. Anthony Fauci of Spokane. And like the national Fauci, the Spokane one irked some politicians who felt the medical pros had gotten too meddlesome during the pandemic.”
Humans Have Generated Unprecedented CO2 Rises (Mili)
The author writes, “In 2008, the Bern ice core specialists were able to show that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere during the last 800,000 years was consistently much lower than today. Since then, the ice core experts have built upon those findings enabling a much more detailed reconstruction of the 330,000 to 450,000 year time window. Until now, the maximum speed and frequency of naturally occurring centennial scale jumps in the CO2 concentration remained unknown. This study shows that abrupt CO2 rises are a pervasive feature of our climate system and that they can even occur during interglacial periods.”
Shipwrecked Nazi Steamer May Hold Clues to the Amber Room’s Fate (Dana)
The author writes, “On April 13, 1945, Soviet planes sank the German steamer Karlsruhe in the Baltic Sea, killing almost 1,000 people. Now, divers say they’ve found the wreck — which could hold remnants of the famed Amber Room — some 300 feet under the sea off the coast of Poland. ‘It is one of the last unresolved mysteries of the Second World War.’”
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