Why are so many workers quitting their jobs and going on strike these days, per Sonali Kolhatkar? Because folks are fed up with being used and abused, say many reputable sources, which likely include your friends and neighbors who couldn't work during the early days of COVID (and maybe still can't!) and have found no small value in the peace and quiet. You'll probably giggle at the corporate suggestions for how they can improve matters -- all the "gratitude sharing" in the world doesn't matter if they run their business badly and take out their incompetence on the good Americans who work for them. (It should go without saying that people run corporations badly not to make money but to make stupid money.)
Uh oh: Fed Chair Jerome Powell apparently sold between $1 million and $5 million in stocks on the first day of October 2020 right before the stock market took a significant dive. Apparently he called Treasury Secretary Mnuchin four times that day, purportedly about the need for more stimulus legislation, and he made three of those calls after that infamous twittering at 2.48 pm from former President Trump that there'd be no stimulus legislation until after the election. At that point the stock market tanked, and Mr. Powell called Mr. Mnuchin at 2.55p and then went on a half-hour conference call with Mr. Mnuchin and House Speaker Pelosi at 3 pm. The article doesn't tell us at exactly what time that day Mr. Powell conducted his fire sale, but this sure ain't a good look, and you won't be surprised to learn that our laws are surprisingly lenient when it comes to the stock trades our most powerful Fed officials can make. If we get an actual liberal as Fed Chair after this, I sure won't cry about it.
When I hear that a Brazilian Senate probe has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be indicted on nine charges relating to his utter mishandling of the COVID pandemic there, all I can say is it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy! This was the guy who told his people to stop whining about dying from COVID, after all, an act I'm sure made Donald Trump quite jealous. And when I hear that his government bought an unproven Indian vaccine when proven American ones were available, I am reminded that maybe the old saw that the love of money is the root of all evil needs to be updated for modern times -- as in, "the love of stupid money is the root of all evil."
Color me skeptical that more than half of Americans really now think our government is "trying to do too many things," as reported by Gallup. Yes, that number's much higher than it's been in either of the last two years, but thanks to Gallup's helpful graph, we see that Americans have thought this for virtually all of the last 30 years, which comprises most of that period of our history when both political parties continually gaslighted us about how much government "could" do. One can explain the surge the other way after 9.11 and during the COVID pandemic, but how to explain why a clear majority thought government wasn't doing enough in 2019? (Also, I'm not impressed with their decades-long finding that Americans prefer fewer services and taxes -- just ask them what exactly they can do without, and see that number fall!)
Finally, here is, quite possibly, the worst thing I've read in 2021: Michelle Cottle argues, in the New York Times, that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona actually does have a guiding principle: "She holds fast to an abhorrence of the toxicity and dysfunction of the hyper-polarized political system, brandishing a potent combination of disgust, frustration and moderation that could, come to think of it, put her in sync with a big slice of Americans." While I'd caution against relying so heavily on Ms. Sinema's autobiography in trying to "understand" her, the article sounds reasonable until you realize what it omits -- not once does it mention Medicare drug price negotiation or tax hikes on the rich and corporations, because if it did, Ms. Cottle would have had to consider whether Ms. Sinema is personally fomenting this "toxicity and dysfunction" by opposing initiatives that are hugely popular, not just across America, but in her home state. If she had to consider that, Ms. Cottle might conclude that Ms. Sinema is actually trying to create a problem so she can create a need for her to solve it. And while independent voters may be less tolerant of chaos than the rest of us, why would they warm to the person who causes the chaos? Especially after all the chaos they've seen in recent years? (Hate to pile on, but mastery of 13-dimensional chess is a hell of a thing to take to the Pearly Gates.)