Surprise, surprise, while the Senate Judiciary Committee created all that drama on Friday, the House passed yet more tax-cuts-for-the-rich. Not that they planned it precisely that way, of course -- but creating drama all the time does give folks cover to do nefarious evil, and I'm sure the folks who create the drama are quite aware of that. (The House did not pass the bill in question, H.R. 6760, as part of a budget reconciliation process, meaning our Senators can filibuster it, and of course we'll get on our Senators to do that presently.)
Natalie Shure at In These Times instructs us, in examining the collapse of alleged innovative corporation Theranos, that we're not going to "innovate" our way out of our health care problems. "Ingenuity isn’t what our healthcare sector needs," she writes. "We have plenty of it already, and it hasn’t managed to stop poor people from dying over 10 years earlier, on average, than their wealthy peers." I was going to add that "looking to private corporations to fix health care is more than a little like looking to banksters to fix the foreclosure crisis," but then I realized it wasn't much of a joke, because the Obama Administration did all of that. Didn't we used to think scientists, not entrepreneurs, were the big innovators?
Rebecca Solnit at The New Republic does a public service by reviewing three books about female anger. Male anger -- the kind that ends up in school shootings, wife beatings, and whole movements of men who never stop whining about woman constantly rejecting them I wonder why -- gets most of the ink in America, but it's well past time we acknowledged that women have a right to be angry, and that we need to stop telling them they don't. (I mean, I don't put up with oooooh why are you so angry? from the haters, and it never occurs to me that I should -- but we make women feel like they should.)
Jake Laperruque and David Janovsky at the Project on Government Oversight inform us that aerial drones may have reached a point where they're good enough and cheap enough to tempt local police departments to radically increase spying on the citizenry. And the more automated they become, the fewer people will be involved in their use and maintenance -- which means, yes, that aerial drones kill jobs. How many times must I tell these pimps! Ensuring that government spying doesn't violate our rights is the work of a democracy, and only people can do the work of a democracy -- and if that last part puts the fear in you, then your task as a citizen is to help create people worthy of that work, not throw up your hands and let machines do it.
You can get too hypnotized by the inside politics in this excerpt from Michael Lewis's upcoming book (The Fifth Risk) about how our Administration is destroying our government from within, but you'll probably agree that, regardless of the specific context in which he said it, "fuck the law...I want my fucking money" is pretty much the motto of our President and of the corporate executives he regards as his real constituency. Remember that motto every time our Administration tries to slash clean air, clean water, and product safety regulations.
Finally, we learn the amazing story of how Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) went from declaring his support for the Kavanaugh nomination to demanding an FBI investigation into the allegations against Mr. Kavanaugh after activists confronted him in a Senate elevator with their stories of sexual assault. That video is hard to watch, but "(l)ook at me when I'm talking to you!" is exactly how we must confront the powerful in America, and when we do, we have the opportunity to learn a simple lesson: that shame works. Never let the cynics and the haters tell you any differently.