Odds and Ends — 8 July 2022
We lost power at 5:37 AM yesterday. I was in bed in that weird half-awake, half-asleep zone, vaguely thinking that I might want to get up and take a pee, yeah maybe, but rolling over seemed like a better idea. And then it got quiet. The air filter and overhead fan both stopped. Oh joy. I got up and put a Do Not Open note on the fridge. Looked around the neighborhood and saw that it wasn’t just us. Used my phone (the cell tower had a generator?) to go to the power company’s website to report the outage and found that it was more than just a local transformer. All of my town and two neighboring towns (about 40k people altogether) had lost power. No storm that might have caused an outage. WTF?
Of course, my first thought was coffee. No power for the coffee maker. No power for the several nearby businesses where I might acquire fresh java. I gave serious thought to breaking out a butane stove and finding our old-school coffee percolator. First World Problems. But instead I just sat on the back deck and read some more of Michael Connelly’s The Black Echo.
Power came back on an hour and a half later, after I’d pondered that I might want to look into getting a Jackery, Goal Zero, Anker, or other power station just in case. Nothing on the local news about a chunk of the southwest metro losing power. Just another day in paradise.
Cryptocurrency, Investing, Money, Economy, and Debt:
I suppose that, in the interest of eschewing hypocrisy, they’ll also ban USD holders from working on US Government fiscal and monetary policies: Crypto owners banned from working on US Government crypto policies
This is not the first time crude oil is $100 per barrel. In fact most of 2008-2014 oil was ~$100. However consumers did not pay as much for fuel then as they do today. And why did inflation not spiral out of control back then? We are being played. pic.twitter.com/2U8mcyefdp— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) July 7, 2022
Coronavirus News, Analysis, and Opinion:
Unless of course there’s a no confidence vote in Parliament.
Speaking of peaceful transition of power ... whatever happens next for Boris Johnson, there is literally zero chance that he will organize a mob to sack Parliament or incite his supporters to try to hang the heir to the throne.— David Frum (@davidfrum) July 6, 2022
In the Trump era, a small slice of Republican elites has commanded an enormous share of political coverage. Those Republican officials have found themselves caught between their personal revulsion for Trump and their professional incentive to placate the barbaric champion selected by their party’s voters.
The obsessive attention paid to those Republican elites is fully warranted. As Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky’s How Democracies Die found, the key variable determining whether a democracy can fight off an authoritarian challenge is whether the aspiring dictator’s coalitional allies stay with him and exploit the fruits of power or defeat him to form a pro-democracy coalition with their ideological adversaries. As we now know, they have overwhelmingly placed their bets with Trump and the movement he has built, which refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of Democratic political success in any form.
I look forward to a time when the only news about Marjorie Taylor Greene is that she bit a prison guard.— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) July 7, 2022
The Biden administration on Thursday announced nearly $1 billion in spending to improve 85 airports across the country.
Is it just me or does a billion bucks no longer seem like a lot of money?
To really understand the GOP’s hard-right turn, look to L. Brent Bozell Jr.
A must-read: The Most Pathetic Men in America
Why Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, and so many other cowards in Congress are still doing Trump’s bidding
Pheasant Island, located between France and Spain, bizarrely changes countries twice a year. But why?