Matt Stoller breaks down the price-fixing lawsuit against 16 elite American
hedge funds with universities attached universities. The suit's key allegation: these universities (which include a lot of Ivy League schools) violated "need-blind" admission policies by considering admission for children of rich folks who might have donated to them if they accepted their kids, which surely ain't a "need-blind" process, since those slots going to rich kids are, each of them, keeping someone less financially secure (but probably more talented!) out. Also, "when universities move away from the consensus methodology for calculating the cost of college" -- a methodology you might also call "price-fixing," and maybe even collusion -- "the price they charge goes down." And folks who whine about affirmative action when it helps Black and Brown folks might want to train more of their ire on "legacy admissions," i.e., rich kids getting into their dad's school. You know, like George W. Bush.
I'm a bit puzzled to read that "COVID's Latest Surge Spreads an Epidemic of Confusion," because all the "conflicting advice and clashing guidelines coming from government, science, health, media and other institutions" has one obvious cause: big corporations want their workers back to work. That's why we quarantine for five days instead of two weeks and schools rush to re-open -- if parents are home with their kids, they can't make money for the bossman. Anyway, it's not like the information we had at the beginning didn't shift. And no, I feel no solidarity with right-wingers who have been imbibing bad information, or pushing it on the rest of us, for the better part of two years.
Paul Rogat Loeb at Op-Ed News says that opposing Build Back Better could well end the political careers of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and I, too, have been thinking a lot lately about how all the shenanigans Messrs. Nelson and Lieberman pulled in 2010 led directly to their retirements in 2012. Lesson: doing the bidding of corporatists isn't a recipe for longevity, except for the corporations, of course. Don't feel sad, though -- Mr. Manchin is well-off enough that he doesn't need to work after he retires/gets blown out in 2024, and the ever-adaptable Ms. Sinema will surely consult on some scam designed to separate venture capitalists from their money. No, not crypto; she'd find that gauche.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says he'll kick Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell and Ilhan Omar off a few committees if he becomes Speaker after November, and maybe he will and maybe he won't, but his saying so aims squarely at the Primary of One, not so much to get Mr. Trump's endorsement per se (he's in trouble if he needs that in his district!), but to get the endorsements of all the Trumpholes who'd make him the Speaker of a new House majority. But yeah, knock yourself out explaining why you'd kick Ilhan Omar off Foreign Affairs -- people might actually discover they like her better than the chattering class does, since unlike Marjorie Taylor Greene, she makes sense.
Peter Doocy asks Biden Administration Press Secretary Jen Psaki that since he and Ms. Psaki were both triple-vaxxed and still got COVID, how Mr. Biden can call this stretch of the pandemic a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." It's a good thing you only need two counter-examples to obliterate any broad trend! Seriously, she handled that so easily -- "(y)ou are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re unvaccinated, 20 times more likely to die" -- that I'd say generally he ought to keep that mask on, lest someone want to punch him in the face.
Finally, Future Crunch gives us "99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2021," and if the news is a bit overwhelming, well, gosh, let's have good news be overwhelming, for once. The Mississippi River is much less polluted than it was 30 years ago! The European Parliament banned predictive policing! Malaria and ebola vaccines came out this past year! I didn't hear about most of these, but perhaps signing up for every-two-weeks emails will change that. I'll certainly pass along as much good news as I can! It'll be just another way Thieves in the Temple differs from the Fox News Channel.