A Washington Post report finds that FEMA doesn't aid a lot of Black families in the deep South because they can't produce deeds and wills to prove they own their land. You should not be surprised to learn that "the long-held tradition of informal land ownership" among Black folks was a necessary response to Jim Crow laws preventing Black folks from even getting wills and deeds to begin with. FEMA's insistence on such documentation doesn't actually come from the law, but from their apparent desire to keep scammers from getting federal assistance. We'd damn well better find another way, though.
University of Chicago neuroscientists find that rats will help their fellow rats escape a trap even when tempted to ignore them with chocolate. They put two rats in a cage, with one roaming freely and one not, and the free-roaming rat was "more agitated" when his cagemate was trapped than when he was in an empty cage, and the free-roaming rat also figured out how to open the trap after a lot of effort. They call it "(t)he first evidence of empathy-driven helping behavior in rodents," but I suspect the only reason we didn't observe this already is that we didn't look for it. You spend a lifetime trying to overcome prejudice only to find you've moved the needle only a little. Still, you do the work, because the work is worth it.
Tennessee fires the state's immunization program director, apparently after she gave completely sound and legal advice that teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 don't need their parents' permission to get the COVID vaccine. Of course this is the right-wing way -- to act like such drama-addled morons that the best of us throw up our hands and disengage from the fight -- but the best part of her story is the part where unnamed busybodies told her she should have been more "politically aware" that sharing the science after being explicitly told to do so by her superiors would be "pok(ing) the bear." People like that should a) slap themselves and b) contemplate a little more seriously the fact that anything "pokes the bear" as far as right-wingers are concerned. Next up on Fox News: Tucker Carlson comes out against oxygen.
Hard to believe, Harry, but an AT&T PAC gave $100,000 to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott the same day he called a special session to pass more vote suppression bills, even though AT&T has voiced support for improved voting access. You hate to say things like "good words mean nothing," but corporations make it so hard not to say such things. I sure hope they don't say "we gave to Greg Abbott to keep a real monster like Allen West out of office," because Greg Abbott is already a real monster.
Ho hum, Texas's February cold snap may have shut down that state's power grid and killed over 200 good Texans, but at least a couple of gas corporations made record profits. I can already hear right-wingers cluck-clucking that NO SUPPLIEZ PLUS HIGH DEMANDZ EQUALZ TEH HIGHZ PRICEZ DUHZ!!!!!!, and I suppose they are free to inflict their reasoning on the families of the dead. Plus they've always said that TEH FREE MARKUTZ!!!! would always prevent this sort of thing from happening, because people wouldn't stand for it. The Free Marketeers didn't imagine state legislators would simply ignore a cold snap to whine about "voter fraud" and transgender athletes and critical race theory. Or did they?
Finally, we learn that Donald Trump apparently thought whomever leaked the story of him hiding in the White House bunker while George Floyd protests went on outside the White House last year should have been "charged with treason" and "executed." Ever get the sense this is a man who says ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME all the time? Perhaps you have. If we ever get to the point where exposing the Emperor's cowardice is "treason," this democracy is doomed. And about a quarter of the electorate are there right now, actively trying to doom our democracy merely because it doesn't tell them only what they want to hear. But I would much rather die in a nuclear war than die because of whiny brats with guns.