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As the Planet Cooks, Climate Stalls as a Political Issue (Maria)

The author writes, “News on Thursday that even a stripped-down compromise to address a warming planet appeared to be dead was greeted in Washington by brutal condemnations from environmentalists and Democrats, some accusing Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, of dooming human life on Earth. Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, called Mr. Manchin’s decision ‘nothing short of catastrophic.’ But an electorate already struggling with inflation, exhausted by Covid and adjusting to tectonic changes like the end to constitutionally protected abortions may give the latest Democratic defeat a resigned shrug. And that may be why climate change remains an issue with little political power.”

No Major Problems With Ballot Drop Boxes in 2020, AP Finds (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “The expanded use of drop boxes for mailed ballots during the 2020 election did not lead to any widespread problems, according to an Associated Press survey of state election officials across the U.S. that revealed no cases of fraud, vandalism or theft that could have affected the results. The findings from both Republican- and Democratic-controlled states run contrary to claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies who have intensely criticized their use and falsely claimed they were a target for fraud.”

In Progressive Massachusetts, a Long History of White Supremacy (Reader Jim)

From The Boston Globe: “It was a deeply unsettling sight, as was surely intended. Two days before the Fourth of July, about 100 white supremacists, their faces covered, marched through the heart of Boston with riot shields, at one point brawling with a Black man. The brazen demonstration, an apparent declaration of strength, heightened fears that white nationalist ideology had taken hold in Massachusetts, widely considered a progressive bastion, and that the national surge of extremism during the Trump administration had arrived here with troubling force.”

Google Is Controlling User Data for Its Political Agenda (Sean)

The author writes, “To live in America in 2022 is to live twice: once in our daily, analog lives, and again in the digital ether, where our lives leave detailed trails. Every now and again, we are reminded of just how much of our second selves exist outside of our control. In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Google announced it would be automatically deleting location histories when users visit abortion clinics (as well as other locations Google deems ‘particularly personal,’ including weight-loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and fertility centers). Though the company claims users can already turn off the location tracking feature — a claim that privacy advocates say is dubious — this is the first time Google will auto-delete user data based on the company’s own determination of what constitutes a sensitive location.”

Biggest Cryptominers in the US Use as Much Power as Houston, Findings Show (Russ)

From The New York Times: “Seven of the largest Bitcoin mining companies in the United States are set up to use nearly as much electricity as the homes in Houston, according to data disclosed Friday as part of an investigation by congressional Democrats who say miners should be required to report their energy use. The United States has seen an influx of cryptocurrency miners, who use powerful, energy-intensive computers to create and track the virtual currencies, after China cracked down on the practice last year. Democrats led by Senator Elizabeth Warren are also calling for the companies to report their emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the main driver of climate change.”

Costco’s $1.50 Hot Dog Deal Has Defied Inflation. Fans Say It Isn’t What It Used to Be (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “Fans of Costco’s hot dog combo can rest assured that the price won’t increase anytime soon, as CEO Craig Jelinek told CNBC on [last week]. As food costs skyrocket and inflation hits record highs, even for wholesalers, Costco will hold steady on its iconic dog-and-drink deal. The combo has cost $1.50 since it first arrived in food courts in 1985, even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator says it’s worth more than $4 today. … But while the deal’s price tag has aged well, some loyalists question whether they’re still getting as good a deal as they once did.”

A Strange Fossil in South China Reveals an Intriguing Link With the First Americans (Mili)

The author writes, “Remains recovered from a cave in the Chinese province of Yunnan more than 10 years ago have finally given up their secrets, with a DNA analysis revealing not just who left them, but ultimately where their ancestors would go. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences evaluated nuclear and mitochondrial sequences extracted from a 14,000-year-old skull, discovering the woman it once belonged to — dubbed Mengzi Ren — was closely related to populations who would eventually be the first to set foot in the Americas.”