wealth, taxes, billionaires, Washington State, legislation
The author writes, “Billionaires like Bill Gates have long said that they, theoretically, would be in favor of paying much more money in personal taxes. And yet Gates and some of the wealthiest people in the world are staying silent on a series of active proposals that would do just that, sidestepping a legislative package in their home state of Washington that targets them specifically.” Photo credit: Billionaires Success / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

How Could a COVID Vaccine Cause Blood Clots? ; More Lightning in the Arctic is Bad News for the Planet ; and More Picks 4/14

How Could a COVID Vaccine Cause Blood Clots? Scientists Race to Investigate (Doug)

From Nature: “The very rare occurrence of a mysterious blood-clotting disorder among some recipients of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has researchers scrambling to uncover whether, and if so, how the inoculation could trigger such an unusual reaction. After weeks of investigation, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on 7 April that there is a possible link between the clots and the vaccine. Even so, the clotting disorder — described today in two reports in The New England Journal of Medicine — is so uncommon that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh its risks, EMA executive director Emer Cooke told reporters.”

How to Stop the Minority-Rule Doom Loop (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “President Joe Biden came into office facing four ‘converging crises’: COVID-19, climate change, racial justice, and the economy. But after a few weeks of fast action on a pandemic relief plan, a fifth crisis will determine the fate of the rest of his administration, and perhaps that of American democracy itself: the minority-rule doom loop, by which predominantly white conservatives gain more and more power, even as they represent fewer Americans.”

Arizona’s AG Files Suit, Tries to Force Resumption of Border Wall Construction (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Attorney General Mark Brnovich is hoping to use federal environmental laws to force the Biden administration to resume construction of the border wall. In a new lawsuit, Brnovich said the National Environmental Policy Act requires the federal government to conduct a study to determine the effects of any change in policy. But he said the president, in halting wall construction and scrapping the ‘remain in Mexico’ policy of the Trump administration in handling asylum requests, ignored that law.”

Critics Warn $15 Billion Merger of Global Water Giants Would Create ‘Dangerous Corporate Monopoly’ (Russ)

From Common Dreams: “French-based transnational corporation Veolia agreed in principle to acquire Suez, its main rival, for $15.5 billion on Monday, setting the stage for the creation of a water and waste management juggernaut that critics warn would be a ‘dangerous corporate monopoly’ destined to ‘hurt consumers and enrich shareholders.’ The Wall Street Journal characterized the deal between the two largest private water corporations in the world, which is not expected to be finalized until May 14, as a profit-seeking attempt to ‘soak up a global surge in infrastructure and climate-change spending.’ But progressives say the consolidation of corporate power in the for-profit water industry threatens to further intensify the commodification and privatization of one of the world’s most precious resources.”

More Lightning in the Arctic is Bad News for the Planet (Mili)

The author writes, “The Arctic isn’t doing so hot. That’s because it is, in fact, too hot. It’s warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the planet, which is setting off vicious feedback loops that accelerate change. Ice, for instance, is more reflective than soil, so when it melts, the region absorbs more solar energy. More dark vegetation is growing in northern lands, absorbing still more of the sun’s heat. And when permafrost thaws, it releases gobs of greenhouse gases, which further warm the climate. The Arctic has gone so bizarro that lightning — a warm-weather phenomenon most common in the tropics — is now striking near the North Pole.”

Darius, the World’s Longest Rabbit, Has Been Stolen, Police Say (Dana)

The author writes, “Police say one of the world’s biggest bunnies has been stolen from its home in central England. Darius, a Continental Giant rabbit, disappeared from his enclosure in a backyard in the village of Stoulton over the weekend, the West Mercia Police force said. They did not elaborate on why they thought it was a theft instead of an escape. The force appealed for any information about or sightings of Darius, who is gray-brown and 129 centimeters (4 feet, 3 inches) long at full stretch. He holds the Guinness World Records citation for the world’s longest rabbit.”


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