Yonatan Zunger goes into some excruciating detail about "What 'Things Going Wrong'" in America "Can Look Like." Increased pressure to fire Latinos (because they "might be undocumented"), mass surveillance-then-registration-then-internment-then-deportation of Muslims, mass crackdowns on black protestors -- yeah, people, it's gonna be bad. But I bring this article up mainly for paragraph 13, which really gets at how horrible people like Donald Trump can get broad support: "when people are already stretched to their absolute limit emotionally, with financial stresses, family stresses, medical stresses, lack of a clear future stresses, then hearing anyone else ask for something — even if that something is as simple as 'the right to walk down the street without being murdered' — feels like an added imposition. And that can lead to a backlash, not just from people who are inherently racist or the like, but also from people who aren’t and just don’t want yet another thing dropped on their plate." The solution, of course, would be to alleviate these stresses with good legislation -- Medicare-for-all, tax hikes on the rich, actual infrastructure funding for public projects. That's going to take a lot more work now, but the first step is pointing it out.
"Protestors Say Pipelines Are Dangerous. Are They?" asks this provocative article from Inside Energy. Paragraph 4 tells you all you need to know whenever some right-winger says BUT TEH PIPELINE ACCIDENTZ HARDLY EVER HAPPENZ!!!!: "According to data from federal regulators, there is actually a low probability of a pipeline accident. But when there is an accident, the impact can be huge." I mean, really, saying that only .0x percent of pipelines burst doesn't matter when one pipeline bursting can cause so much damage to a regional water table. But the article concerns itself mainly with pipeline safety to human beings, which is important, but is hardly the only indicator of a pipeline's safety. And if right-wingers tell you that you'd better support pipelines because they're safer than rail transportation (pipelines spilled three times the oil that railways did between 2004 and 2012, per the IEA, but pipelines also moved nine times the oil railways did), you can always demand to know why the discussion always has to be about the safety of oil and gas transport, and never about the safety of solar and wind power. (They'll squeal about dead birds and "wind turbine syndrome," but they have always overstated these dangers.)
I do get tired of hearing about how Republicans are wringing their hands over how they're really going to repeal Obamacare. I mean, it's all theatre. Here's how Obamacare repeal will go down: Republicans will repeal all the taxes (on the rich!) that fund the Affordable Care Act, then they'll repeal the mandate on citizens to buy insurance -- but they'll leave in the ban on pre-existing conditions, since that's very popular, and then watch premiums for everyone skyrocket when the uninsured don't bother to buy insurance until they're sick. Republicans might pass their stupid "health savings accounts" or "buying insurance across state lines" initiatives, or they might not. But it won't really matter; Republicans thrive on failure the way some insects thrive on dung. Republicans will deal with the mess by doing one (or more) of these three things: 1) hope people blame their employers when they get thrown off their now much-more-expensive health insurance, 2) blame the whole mess on Democrats, and 3) hope for a terrorist attack to take everyone's mind off their skyrocketing health care costs. Remember: I say these things out loud so they're less likely to happen.