A corporation called Aeromine has developed a 10 foot-tall wind turbine that can apparently produce the power of 15 solar panels – though Aeromine recommends pairing its technology with solar panels to achieve self-sufficiency. The turbines only fit on flat roofs, and thus Aeromine pitches them toward warehouses and apartment buildings (though plenty of city rowhomes also have flat roofs). I demand progress, not perfection, from new technologies, so I’m interested to see if these turbines become a game-changer. I wish Aeromine the best in their efforts.
Daniel Byman at the Lawfare blog asks “What is a Terrorist Movement?” If you’re disappointed with the difficulty in finding good answers to that question – and it is difficult, given how many terrorist groups influence mass murderers who don't belong to any groups – you can at least be consoled that Mr. Byman concentrates more effort on white supremacy than Islamic extremism, the latter of which was never the “existential threat” right-wingers said it was. I mean, if that was an "existential threat," what happened to the administration of President bin Laden? And remember how right-wingers all threw tantrums on TV when the Department of Homeland Security talked a tiny bit about white supremacist terrorism in 2009 and 2010? Sure seems like they doth protested too much now, doesn’t it?
Fifth Circuit panel rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism is “unconstitutional,” despite the fact that our government funds plenty of agencies similarly. Our CFPB will likely appeal to the full Fifth Circuit, which may yield a different result, or our Supreme Court, which may not. But our CFPB is actually doing the best job of discouraging monopolies right now, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that right-wing judges (all three members of the Fifth Circuit panel were Trump appointees) do their damnedest to destroy it. Recall, also, that Justice Kavanaugh declared the CFPB’s hierarchical structure unconstitutional while he served on the D.C. Circuit.
Supreme Court Justice Barrett denies the Brown County (WI) Taxpayers Association’s “emergency” suit against the Biden student debt relief plan, leaving in place a lower court’s ruling that the Association doesn’t have standing to sue against it. Which makes sense, since, like, what harm has the student debt relief plan actually done to this "taxpayers association"? One hopes Judge Barrett's denial is good news for the whole notion of standing, a notion threatened by (among other laws!) Texas’s anti-abortion law which empowers virtually anyone to sue abortion providers and/or abortion recipients. But I often get the sense that our Supreme Court uses the standing issue just to avoid taking on controversial decisions. Which means that, yes, their last term could have been even worse than it was.
Akela Lacy at The Intercept calls the Pennsylvania Senate race “The Biggest, Dumbest Race for the Senate,” and while she certainly doesn't excuse Mehmet Oz’s role in that, she mostly concentrates her ire on John Fetterman, who has run a social media-savvy campaign that’s also avoided topics like Medicare-for-All and climate change, not to mention Pennsylvania state legislators’ absurd attempts to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, which they clearly hope will be the October Surprise to buoy Republicans up and down the ballot. I haven’t been upset with all of Mr. Fetterman’s low blows – Republicans only deliver low blows, and Mr. Oz makes himself an inviting target fairly often! But I see her point as well; we’re missing yet another opportunity to demonstrate to the world that rural folks only vote Republican because Democrats don’t stand up for them nearly enough.
Finally, our “liberal” media has spent the last week or so swearing that the midterms are now “breaking” in Republicans’ favor – but you have to ask: what’s changed? As far as I can tell, all that’s changed is that Republicans have sworn to create another debt limit drama so they can cut Social Security and Medicare, and why should voters flock to that? Republicans are still the party of book banning, whining about masks and vaccines, and overturning the results of elections they don’t like, and now I can't escape the feeling that our “liberal” media are putting their thumb on the scale, either out of a shallow attempt to create horserace drama or out of an actual hope that voters who care about our civilization will get discouraged and stay home. How do we get around that? We don’t get discouraged, and get out and vote and get in our Congressfolk’s grills in numbers they can’t deny! Funny how the antidote to depression about democracy is, well, more democracy.