Mitch McConnell on Leadership

“Mr. McConnell had considered voting to convict the former president as a means of purging him from the party, but allies said he concluded he could not practically, as leader, side with a minority of his colleagues rather than the overwhelming number who said the trial was invalid and voted to acquit. Instead, he used every ounce of his rhetorical strength to try to damage Mr. Trump’s credibility with his own party. “
As if leadership consists of knowing which way the wind is blowing.  McConnell, as much as Trump, is responsible for the breakdown in good governance in Washington. Maybe more so, because if McConnell had had the guts and the decency to call, “Liar”, four years ago a lot of this could have been avoided.
I’m so mad I could spit.
–mike

Anxiety? Depression? or just paying attention?

A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/26/americans-with-depression-anxiety-pandemic/?arc404=true

 

The U.S. Census Bureau has been tracking ​adult ​American’s responses to the pandemic including some questions relating to mental health.​ https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/mental-health.htm (with neat drop-down filters). ​

The results purport to measure some indicators of mental health​ wellness​. I think the results are more an indicator of who’s paying attention The charts are based on respondent answers to these questions:

Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by … having little interest or pleasure in doing things? Would you say not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day?

Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by … feeling down, depressed, or hopeless? Would you say not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day?

Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by the following problems … Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge? Would you say not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day?

Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by the following problems … Not being able to stop or control worrying? Would you say not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day?

“Feeling down”? “Feeling nervous”? I’d say that anyone who doesn’t acknowledge feeling down and feeling nervous hasn’t grasped the seriousness of the situation. I’m guessing that the two-thirds of Americans who are not showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression aren’t wearing face masks.

The breakdowns of the responses aren’t what I would have guessed. I thought people with more years of formal education would report more feelings of anxiety or depression. Wrong – it’s respondents with less formal education. And I thought younger respondents would report feeling more anxious/depressed than older people. Just the opposite.

 

Unbreaking America (Jennifer Lawrence)

I was pleasantly surprised by the analysis, conclusions and recommendations in this (not-so-short) video.  The premise is that the politicians in Washington aren’t responsive to the preferences of the voters – they’re responsive to the people that get them elected – big donors, big corporations and the two major political party machines.  It’s depressing.  And it takes a long time to make some of the points.  But I think it’s worth watching.

Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cost treasury $3B over four years | The Star

“Yes, that means less money for government — that’s more money for families.”

I don’t know where to start…Government of Ontario revenues will go down by $3B and provincial Environment Minister Rod Phillips spins it as windfall for Ontario families.

Source: Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cost treasury $3B over four years | The Star

Are utilities missing out on the opportunity to use old coal sites for solar? | Utility Dive

Repurposing shuttered coal plant sites is “an overlooked opportunity to put these sites back into use and bring jobs and investment to communities that have been hit hard,” McKittrick said. “A lot of utilities tear the plant down, put a fence around the site, and forget about it, but they can turn these liabilities into assets.”
— Read on www.utilitydive.com/news/are-utilities-missing-out-on-the-opportunity-to-use-old-coal-sites-for-sola/518319/

 Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

I like the simplicity of this argument.  It’s meant as a refutation of capitalism but there’s a logical short-cut here.

“Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness. Can anything more insane be imagined?” ― Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

It’s important not to overlook that “invention”.  It’s not the invention itself that makes the workers more productive.  It’s the embodiment of the invention in the pin-making machinery that generates the productivity.  Somebody has to pay for those more expensive machines.