In case you were wondering, no, "economic overheating" (read: Big Gummint spending too much) isn't causing higher-than-normal inflation rates, according to Economic Policy Institute director of research Josh Bivens, who points to folks spending less on services you buy "face-to-face" and more on stuff, and spending that much more on stuff makes supply-chain bottlenecks worse. Craig Austin at The Conversation concurs about the role of supply chains, but also announces "Inflation is Here to Stay,". And yet I suspect that a) conquering the pandemic and b) breaking supply chain monopolies will do a great deal to break this inflation spike. The former might not happen very soon, given the immaturity of the still-unvaccinated, and the latter might also take some time, even if Mr. Biden has put the right folks in at the SEC and FTC.
Caleb Nichols at TruthOut explains how "Public-Private Partnerships are Quietly Hollowing Out Our Public Libraries." Are private, for-profit corporations like Library Systems and Services really "improving" library services when they buy them up? Of course not -- they're firing higher-paid union workers, replacing them with badly-trained technicians, and homogenizing a library's holdings, serving localities be damned. Seriously, when you hear the words "public-private partnership," run. Big corporations don't want you as a partner; they want you as a vassal. Or perhaps "vessel" is better -- to them, you're just a delivery device for money.
In this story about how Edward Durr upset long-time New Jersey state Senator/Norcross machinist Stephen Sweeney after exactly zero media coverage of Mr. Durr's many bigoted comments on social media, I was surprised and pleased to see writer Paul Farhi discuss "the state of local news reporting" as the main reason for that lack of coverage. "Years of cutbacks and consolidation" have "left behind 'ghost' newspapers" or "news deserts," particularly in Gloucester and Cumberland counties, which each used to have their own paper but now share a single one (with Salem County, no less). This maps onto what we were just saying about local public libraries; why, it's like consolidation and monopolies ruin every damn thing. (As an aside, I don't accept Mr. Durr's explanation that he said all those things because "I'm a passionate guy." I've been told I'm a passionate guy, too, but I've never called Mohammed or Bob Menendez a "pedophile.")
I have had it up to here with Kyle Rittenhouse crying at his murder trial. I'd put it to him in language he can understand: be a man! Nut up! As more attentive folks than I have pointed out, he's crying only for himself, not for any of the folks he killed -- or even the small businesses he was supposedly there to "help"! -- but right-wingers will lap those tears up, apparently tolerating tears only from those who deserve the trouble they're in. And when a Black woman cries over being turned away at the polls for no good reason of watching her boyfriend get shot by cops for no good reason, watch these folks who lap up Kyle Rittenhouse's tears flex their rage like the drunk, abusive dads too many of them are.
Speaking of whiny-ass babies who cry all the time because the world won't submit to their drama, a right-winger with a bit of an anger management problem has somehow secured a temporary restraining order against an antifascist for the heinous crime of exposing the fact on Twitter that said right-winger was at the January 6 attempted coup. Ironically, California may be the only state that makes it relatively easy for domestic abuse victims to get some breathing space from temporary restraining orders, and that's what Adam Kiefer used against Chad Loder. Meanwhile, law enforcement seems to be ignoring actual harassment by right-wingers against Chad Loder. As I often say, assholes ruin everything.
Finally, when I hear that a PRRI survey found that only 29% of Republicans believe America has changed for the better since the 1950s, I feel compelled to note that the top tax rate during the '50s was 91%, and the corporate tax rate was 55%, and corporations and the rich had many, many fewer loopholes to avoid these tax rates than they do now. But given that many more Republicans thought America had changed for the better during those years Donald Trump was President, one has every right to suspect these Republicans are nostalgic for that time "Black folks knew their place," though back then Congressional Republicans also favored civil rights legislation a lot more than they do now, and more than many of their contemporaries in the Democratic party, as well. Living in a fantasy world must be very hard.