Thomas M. Hanna at In These Times argues that New Orleans's loss of electricity after Hurricane Ida proves "We Need Public Control of Our Energy Systems." You know, if that Enron BS in California in 2002, or Texas's utter failure to keep the lights on in a snowstorm in 2021, didn't already prove that! Recall that Greg Palast recently characterized what happened in New Orleans last week as something that wouldn't happen in Bangladesh during a monsoon. Mr. Hanna lists yet more of Entergy's sins in New Orleans, and also informs us that Sacramento's publicly-owned electric utility has functioned well through wildfires and worse. (You may remember that Nebraska is the only state in America which uses entirely publicly-owned electric utilities.)
An AP/Univision/Center for Public Integrity story finds that our USPS managers have been stealing wages from mail carriers for years. You may get that Louis DeJoy stink off this story, but this has been going on at least since at least 2005; managers got "disciplined" with things like more training, which, like, how much "training" do you need not to change your workers' time cards? Just so happens 2006 was the year our government mandated that our Postal Service pre-pay retiree benefits 80-odd years in advance, which has pushed our Postal Service almost $200 billion in debt even as it's cut over 140,000 jobs over the last 13 years; gosh, could all of that have something to do with the wage theft they tolerate? Remember: when something goes wrong, look to the bosses first.
Federal judge grants immunity from further prosecution to the Sackler family -- until recently the owners of Purdue Pharma, now widely-hated as the corporation that got everyone hooked on OxyContin -- as part of a bankruptcy settlement. Naturally the Sacklers admit no wrongdoing -- because settlements can't even get that done anymore! -- and though they'll lose Purdue and $4.3 billion as part of the settlement, they'll still get to hold on to over $5 billion and they'll still be one of America's wealthiest families. Law and order! At least our Justice Department plans to seek a stay on the judge's ruling; how vigorously they'll seek it I can't say, but I'm old enough to remember when a Democratic Administration wouldn't even do that, because looking forward economic crisis free markets.
I'm not a fan of headlines like "John Roberts Has Lost Control of the Supreme Court," because why do we assume this? Why do we assume that he's actually been trying to "control" the Court? Why don't we imagine that the chaos we saw over their non-grant of the ACLU's emergency petition to stop the Texas abortion law from going into effect -- a ruling that doesn't even rate as a conservative argument! -- is the desired end result? Yeah, I know he excoriated the ruling in his own opinion, but that could just be part of the drama: he gets to act all principled about precedent, while he also knows our Court has enough far right-wingers now that it doesn't matter.
Finally, Paul Waldman, in writing that "The Harsh Truth of This Moment" is that "Republicans Understand Power" and "Democrats Do Not," has just about summed up the last 40 years of American politics. It's enough to make you think that even when the Democrats passed a COVID relief bill that was actually as good as the HEROES Act of 2020, they were just playing us -- they have no intention of doing anything else that could actually make America a more perfect union, and that bodes ill for the budget reconciliation bill they have to pass this month. I think the American people have something to say about that -- but we have to actually say it.