Uh oh: Chicago police get caught altering AI-generated data that could have sent a man to jail for a murder he didn't commit. ShotSpotter sensors detected a "percussive sound" they initially classified as fireworks a mile away from a shooting -- but then one analyst changed the classification to "gunshot" and another changed the location so that it would fit a police hypothesis, which anyone will tell you is not how you do science. If analysts can alter data to frame citizens so easily, then the technology that created the data shouldn't exist. Naturally, over a hundred American cities use it, and none of them seem to have vetted the technology. Dystopia: it ain't just about autonomous killer drones.
Surprise, surprise, states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw a sharp drop in medical debt. I suppose right-wingers will respond that TEH DEBTZ WENTZ UNDERZ INZ TEH OTHURZ STATEZ TOOZ!!!!!, but actually it went down only a tiny bit, comparatively. There is a difference between "gone down 44 percent" and "gone down 10 percent," after all, and the folks who worry less about getting necessary but expensive medical care no doubt appreciate it. And remember what we learned in early 2017 -- Trump votaries actually like Medicaid. There's a solution in there, somewhere.
Sen. Sinema (D?-AZ) said the other day that the reconciliation bill's price tag ($3.5 trillion) was too high, but Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo suggests we not put too much stock in that, since she'll still vote to start moving on the bill. I'm old enough to remember how Blanche Lincoln helped Republicans filibuster the Employee Free Choice Act, and how Ben Nelson tried to take the entire Affordable Care Act process hostage in order to get goodies for his home state of Nebraska. How did all that work out? Ben Nelson went from America's Most Popular Senator to "too unpopular to run for re-election" in less than two years, and Blanche Lincoln got absolutely buried in 2010. Maybe the same fate awaits Ms. Sinema in 2024. I mean, people don't actually like drama, in my experience.
Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz slams gymnast Simone Biles for pulling out of the Olympics -- until his boss, Ken Paxton, chastises him in public and releases a sympathetic statement supporting Ms. Biles, which eventually provokes an apology from Mr. Reitz. Mr. Paxton's statement supporting Ms. Biles suggests that he actually has a soul, but I don't want to give him too much credit, since it never even occurred to me to be as much of an asshole as Mr. Reitz was about the matter. You can't take sports so damn seriously.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49) all but says his party's "fraudit" of the 2020 election results is a clown show. "The current attempt to discredit the 2020 election results runs headlong into an unmistakable truth," he says. "Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania because Donald Trump received fewer votes." You can almost hear the impatience! And it does help to remind everyone that Republicans actually did pretty well in Pennsylvania in 2020 other than in the Presidential race, which Mr. Biden only won 50-49, if memory serves. But if Mr. Laughlin winds up being a crappy governor like Tom Corbett, I'll quickly forget this moment on the side of the angels.
Finally, Capitol police officer Michael Fanone, nearly killed defending our nation from Trumpholes on January 6, received at least one threatening phone call during his Tuesday testimony, and it's a pretty awful call -- the part where the caller said he "wish(ed) they would have killed all you scumbags, 'cause you people are scum" struck me as particularly lame. Seriously, deploying the word "scum" twice in six words! These people need to work harder at their threats. Or, perhaps, they should do some deep breathing, read a good book, go to a public park, travel to a new place, whatever ventilates their heads without hurting other people.