Right as Rain

Not to stomp Anne Laurie, but I want to report that 40 hours post shot and I am back to normal and feel right as rain.

So for those of you who may have been intimidated to get the shingles vaccine, don’t be an idiot. Go get the shot, take the 24 hours or so of suck, and spare yourself from potentially months of misery because shingles ain’t no joke.

The post Right as Rain appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Stiff Upper Lip and All That

C’mon people. Gird your loins or some other platitude.

Every time I write a post like the one below, a bunch of you think I am being defeatist and preaching helplessness, and that is the last thing I am doing or trying to do. I’m just trying to express where we are now, that’s it.

And where we are now should not be a surprise to anyone. This was a done deal when Hillary lost in 2016. This was the inevitable outcome. They have been planning this and working towards this for decades, and I am not saying this because I am some sort of elite political genius, but because it is WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN SAYING THEY WANT TO DO FOR DECADES. I’m obviously not talking about the useful idiots like Susan Collins, although I don’t even think she is that, she knows exactly what she is doing and I have no reason to think she is going to be anything other than happy with the outcome. She’ll pretend she is unhappy and surprised, but she’s been around long enough and been in enough meetings that she knows exactly what she is fucking doing and has done.

But the operators behind the scenes have been quite explicit that overturning Roe is what they want and they have been working on it for decades. The money guys in the GOP saw an opportunity and hitched a ride with the nutters, and it is going to pay off for them, too. They are coming for it all- gay marriage, contraception, brown, you name it, and they are gonna take out osha and the epa and anything else that gets in their way. It’s the same fucking war they’ve been fighting since FDR only this time they are winning because decades of propaganda has done its job on the population. And you thought those WWJD bracelets in the 90’s were innocent, hunh?

I’m basically of the opinion that the money guys have run a smash and grab for the last few decades, and see that the white population will no longer be the majority, and they and the religious component are just burning it all down now so that the protections and opportunities that existed for a white majority will no longer be there for the minority majority. That’s why they have been furiously gerrymandering the past year, to ensure they can keep white control as long as possible to finish gutting everything. Ending Roe and other social bullshit is the price they pay to get what they want, and they are ok with it because they can always fly their daughters and families to a blue state or overseas because the rules never apply for the rich.

The next few decades are going to be chaotic information wars with increasing civil strife, and they’ve primed and prepped their shock troops, eroded all gun laws, stacked the judiciary, and amped their goons up to think that nancy pelosi is public enemy number one. Their decades long war against the media has worked and their side only listens to that which is spoon fed to them. It’s all coming together.

Again, I don’t say this to depress you, but because you should know where we stand (at least according to me). Wasting time about things you can not control, like Roe, which is just out of our hands and has been since 2016, is pointless. Don’t feel helpless, feel pissed. Don’t throw up your hands and cower, ball them into a fist. The only fucking option is to submit or fight, and I know what I am going to do.

On the upside, we might get some solid music and art out of all this strife.

The post Stiff Upper Lip and All That appeared first on Balloon Juice.

I’m Not Listening

I really have no desire to listen to the coverage of the Supreme Court abortion hearings because it’s a foregone conclusion. They’ve worked for decades to stack the court, they’re gonna do whatever they want to do, and pretending there is some legal justification for what they are going to do and providing a thin legal pretext to veneer over their personal religious and political desires, and I just have no interest listening to bullshit artists put on a show.

Literally the only thing holding them back is personal restraint and a fear of overstepping, and I think maybe only John Roberts is mildly concerned about that. The rest of these guys are fanatics and movement conservatives and like their counterparts in the House and Senate, they don’t give a fuck. They understand what Democrats don’t, which is just use your power now and worry about the consequences later, and 99.99% of the time there won’t be consequences. There never are for Republicans.

Right now we should be focusing on how we can help women get from the deep red states where abortion will be completely outlawed to providers in the remaining states where it will be legal. And sorry to be grim, there will be no solution at the ballot box, because Republicans have things so aggressively gerrymandered that until there are fucking riots, we are looking at majority minority rule for a while.

It’s gonna be grim, so keep your head up and keep working and getting out the vote, it is going to matter. And don’t feel like you failed, this has been inevitable since 2016 when Hillary lost.

And btw- they are coming for contraception and gay marriage next.

The post I’m Not Listening appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Tuesday Night Open Thread

Are there any woodworkers or craftsmen on these here parts? I want a wood medicine cabinet to put in my kitchen near my fire extinguisher and fire blanket, and I want it to be wood and white and pretty.

In other news, Lily has been upset with me all day because I DARED to launder her favorite dog beds in my office. The looks of anguished pain she gave me traumatized me and I will no longer launder her beds without replacements for the two hours they are being washed. Sheesh.

Lots of news today and I don’t have the energy to talk about any of it.

The post Tuesday Night Open Thread appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Mr. Frog Update

Do you people have any idea how many Mr. Frog pictures my mother sent me so that we would have them for the winter months to dole out like seratonin candy?

No?

Me either because I have been collating them for the last god damned hour and I am still downloading them.

The post Mr. Frog Update appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Speaking of Labor News

An interesting development:

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are going to get a second shot at unionizing, after a National Labor Relations Board official called for a revote after finding that the e-commerce giant improperly interfered in the first election.

It’s a major victory for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which was vanquished in the first vote at the warehouse last spring, with workers rejecting unionization by more than 2 to 1. That union and others have been working to crack Amazon, now the United States’ second-largest private employer, which employs nearly 1 million workers at its domestic warehouses.

Getting a second chance at organizing Bessemer workers is “a big deal” for the union, said Rebecca Givan, a labor studies professor at Rutgers University.

“It confirms what workers have been saying,” Givan said, “that Amazon went too far.”

I hope they vote to unionize.

The post Speaking of Labor News appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Today’s Must Read: The Great Escape

Just an absolutely fabulous long read in the American Prospect by David Dayen about the shifts in labor patterns since the pandemic that is well worth your time:

Things could accelerate from there. According to a July survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 41 percent of U.S. workers are either actively searching for a new job, or planning to do so in the next few months. Two-thirds of those searching have considered a career change, rather than moving within their industry. Bankrate’s job seeker survey in August found even more turbulence; 55 percent of the workforce said they would likely look for a new job in the next year.

This trend has been characterized as the Great Resignation, and just about every economist and pundit has taken their crack at teasing out why it’s happening. Explanations have included health and safety fears, child care needs, a tight labor market, boosted savings from stimulus funds or reduced ability to spend money on bars and movies, enhanced unemployment benefits, increases in business formation, desire to work from home, early retirements, restrictions on immigration, demographic shrinking of the prime-age workforce, and my personal favorite, expectations of a labor shortage creating a labor shortage.

Some of these ideas have merit, though none can quite explain everything. In these moments, it’s best to actually ask the workers themselves. I did that, talking to dozens of people who have recently quit their job, or experts who closely track workers who have. And some patterns emerged.

The most vulnerable people in America have started the closest thing we’ve seen in a century to a general strike.

Work at the low end of the wage scale has become ghastly over the past several decades. With no meaningful improvements in federal labor policy since the 1930s, employers have accrued tremendous power. Workers were afraid to voice any disapproval, taking whatever scraps they could get. “The U.S. needs a reset, needs a big push, to get to a place where work is more secure and livable for a lot of the population,” said MIT economist David Autor, who has tracked the misery of American deindustrialization and the shock of China’s rise as a manufacturing powerhouse.

The whole thing is a great read and almost impossible to extract, so go check it out. It touches on a number of themese we have discussed here before as well as providing a lot of really interesting and important information.

The post Today’s Must Read: The Great Escape appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Friday Night Open Thread

I was just downstairs watching a little tv and browsing the internet looking for a good, cheapo, and reliable heated bird bath, when I got a little chilly and decided to come up and grab my bathrobe and slippers. On my way up, I stopped by the stand with the dental stick doggy chews, yelled “WHO WANTS A TREAT,” and then grabbed three and threw one to Thurston, one to Lily, and then stood there for a second before I remembered there was no Rosie. I was sad for a moment and put the treat away and came upstairs.

I’ve been watching the Mare of Easttown the last few days, and am taking a break before the final episode, and my little treat incident made me think of the titular character, played by Kate Winslet, whose son committed suicide. And I guess I just don’t know how a parent who loses a child in any way ever gets over it. I just don’t.

The post Friday Night Open Thread appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Covid Variant and a Small Personal Anniversary

First off, I just wanted to state that I started my day with a nearly perfect latte and breakfast and then had an amazing shave. Nothing that important about that, but it is nice when you hit the trifecta like that.

Second, in personal news, it has now been over two years since I have been sick. I have had my unavoidable low grade sinus infections that just make me miserable, and I have had a reaction to the shingles shot, and a couple days where I am just run down and had a man cold, but I have not had a serious cold since November of 2019, and I attribute it ENTIRELY to simply wearing a mask in public places, avoiding crowds (more than I usually did), and handwashing. So while yes, there are tons of scientific studies that show that wearing a mask works, I don’t need them, because I am aware of it from my own personal experiences. And again, the days of the unwashed masses breathing on me in public are over. I will be wearing a mask in grocery stores and similar places for the rest of my life, and I give nary a fuck what anyone thinks about that. THE END.

Third, the markets absolutely shit the bed at the news of a new covid variant. I think most of you know how I feel about the markets in general, but this time around, I am not so sure they are wrong to lose their shit. Only half the US is vaccinated, almost no one is wearing a mask, and people are just go about things as if everything is back to normal. I personally expect covid cases to skyrocket over the next few months, although I suspect it might be less lethal because a lot of the cases that will be reported will be among people who have been vaccinated. However, with the new mutation, I expect by January we will be in the shit again. A season of shopping, mingling, christmas parties, travel, and new years should give us a solid chance to really get a ton of people sick, and since we are the stupidest fucking country on the planet, I expect that is precisely what is going to happen.

Whatever. I am over it now. My friends and loved ones are vaccinated and careful, children can not be vaccinated, and while I feel terrible for the immune compromised who really are getting screwed by people over this, the rest of the people who choose to be dipshits and want to fuck around and find out can, well, fuck around and find out. I just refuse to live my life concerned about the health and welfare of the stupidest and most evil among us. I’m gonna devote my energies to taking care of my own and those who want help.

The post Covid Variant and a Small Personal Anniversary appeared first on Balloon Juice.