Our EPA dismisses dozens of "scientific advisors" Donald Trump put in to give big polluting corporations too much say over what our EPA considers "science." Should we call it a "purge"? Certainly not without mentioning that the Trump EPA purged those EPA advisory boards to get those corporatists on in the first place! But getting rid of "scientific advisors" who were trying to skew the science in the direction of corporate polluters is a "purge" in the sense that throwing up rancid milk is a purge.
Researchers find that rural Americans don't get equal access to justice via legal aid programs -- largely because these programs have a built-in urban bias. Mainly they assume everyone has access to broadband (which doesn't make them unique, sadly!), but they also assume everyone has access to lawyers, which, in the most impoverished rural areas, they don't. The first part does sound like a job for community broadband, particularly if the big broadband corporations either won't serve rural areas or price rural areas out.
Some folks find a way to get vaccine appointments -- by going to counties that went heavily for Donald Trump, whose residents often don't seem in a hurry to get vaccinated. And for a moment I said why don't we bus in folks from urban and rural areas who can't otherwise get here? And then I realized that all these MAGAts who aren't getting vaccines would, with no irony, suddenly complain about all these "tourists" taking "their" vaccines away from them! One day they'll realize how small their worlds have become, and how few of their friends and neighbors will talk to them.
Upon hearing that Brazilian President/irredeemable asshole Jair Bolsonaro has been "cornered" by the out-of-control COVID pandemic, which claims more lives daily in Brazil than it does even in America, my first reaction was: "couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!" My second, more edifying reaction: why are we talking about how things affect him, rather than how they affect good Brazilians? The reason: we're reading Bloomberg, which (at least here) seems unnaturally preoccupied with how perceptions of Mr. Bolsonaro affect markets, even by the standards of a nominally business-oriented news organ. Want some real market analysis? Ain't gonna be nobody left in Brazilian markets, the way things are going.
Ho hum, Trump advisor Peter Navarro handed out a crap-ton of taxpayer money for pandemic-related contracts to Administration cronies. No use surmising that "at least Peter Navarro saw what was going on and did something about it," since, well, it didn't result in a decent pandemic response, or even a not-entirely-awful one! No, this is more like notorious Tammany Hall machine manipulator/New York state Senator George Washington Plunkitt saying, as he reviewed his career of "honest graft," that "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em." And again, House Democrats investigating matters reported on by ProPublica reminds us that good journalism helps sustain a civilization.
Finally, David Frum looks at the right-wing outrage over "vaccine passports" and finds it particularly anti-conservative. "A sizable minority of Americans want to use airplanes belonging to others, theme parks belonging to others, sports stadiums belonging to others -- without concession to the health of others or the property rights of owners," he finds, but he also reminds us that "the point," for right-wing drama hounds, "is not to win the fight, or even really to fight the fight. The point is to announce the fight, and to keep raging about it, even if you do not in fact fight it very hard." I don't know if Mr. Frum has reckoned with his role in all of this -- even if that role was long ago, as a Bush Mobb speechwriter -- but we would be fools to dismiss this analysis now.