Sonali Kohatkar delves into "greenwashing," and finds corporate promises of getting their act together vis a vis climate change wanting. She says their "net-zero emissions" promise "is akin to saying that it’s okay to litter all over your neighborhood if you also pick up trash elsewhere in the future because the net amount of trash you will have thrown onto the street will someday be zero." Of course, whatever we pollute today will make people sick today, regardless of how little we pollute tomorrow. Defenders of continued dependence on fossil fuel have nothing in response except, of course, hostage situations -- don't make us pollute less, or these contact lenses get it! Which shows a profound lack of imagination -- I mean, a solar power grid would make contact lenses impossible to manufacture? I thought this was the can-do country!
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) says she'll retire from Congress at the end of this term, and though most "liberal" media coverage focuses on the horserace aspects of her decision (ZOMG 30 DEMOCRATZ RETIRINGZ BIGZ REPUBZ WAVEZ!!!!!!), I rather think her retirement means that opposing Medicare drug price negotiation is now political poison. She was one of the big House voices against Medicare drug price negotiation; in fact, her position on that was probably the first anyone had heard about her. Anyway, Rep. Rice, don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.
In a peripherally-related note, Joe Manchin says he wants to raise corporate tax rates and capital gains tax rates -- though he says nothing about higher tax rates for the rich! -- but Kyrsten Sinema remains as elusive as ever on these goals. Note well how her spokeshack answers questions about Sen. Sinema's current stance on taxes: "there are many ways to pay for (social spending plans) that do not include tax-rate increases that hurt small businesses and our economic competitiveness while we continue to emerge from a pandemic and economic downturn." That whole thing is a fecal blast from 2011 -- Paul Ryan used to say higher tax rates on the rich "hurt small businesses" and reduce "competitiveness," plus we're in a pandemic should remind you of we're in a recession, which induced Barack Obama to wait until he got re-elected to roll back some of Tha Bush Mobb tax cuts. Sen. Sinema should emulate Kathleen Rice's example and retire in 2024.
Jesus Mary and Joseph Starbucks has created a website for its anti-union propaganda. Called "We Are One Starbucks," no less! Referring to the employees it mistreats as "partners," no less! And they required workers to sign off having received an email about it! And they got a Starbucks worker to intone this before the camera: "Do you wish to continue to have your voice used independently? Or do you want your voice to be represented by a union?" When you don't have a good contract, your boss says your "independent" opinion means nothing, because it only comes from you (and he probably says that to everyone with the same opinion!). Get a good contract, and it's a lot harder to ignore you. (And what a bunch of BS about dues! When I started in my current field, I paid around 30 cents an hour in dues, and made $12 an hour more than local non-unionized workers in the same field did. Arguing about dues works better in an economy where folks don't make enough to make ends meet, I'll admit.)
Ho hum, the state of California files suit against Tesla for some old school racism in the workplace, including segregating Black workers, giving them the most physically-demanding jobs, and calling their work areas "porch monkey areas" and "the slave ship," among other things. Oh, and "among other things" includes racist graffiti in the bathroom. I'd bet that if you put six beers into Elon Musk he'd have an attitude about it, but sadly I don't think anyone would take that bet. (As an aside, I didn't know he was from South Africa! I'd hate to think that has anything to do with the behavior described in this complaint.)
Finally, Gabriel Filippelli at The Conversation describes "How Poisonous Mercury Gets From Coal-Fired Power Plants Into the Fish You Eat," and I might not read this over dinner if I were you. When mercury first emerges from a coal plant and makes its way to the ground and to waterways, it's actually quite benign, until a bacterium transforms it into the toxic methylmercury. (Right-wingers will leave off that last phrase when justifying cutting mercury emissions standards.) Worms eat the mercury, and fish eat the worms, and you eat the fish, and at every step more mercury accumulates. Note well that the presumed cost of reducing mercury toxics from coal plants just about equals the estimated lost productivity from mercury poisoning, so vigorous mercury emissions regulations aren't just moral, they're practical. Strange how often doing the right thing is also doing the pragmatic thing.