…not today [DOT 2/5/21]

it's sunday, at least...

…there’s a lot more that I would have added to this…but to be entirely honest, I’m just too tired today…I try to avoid complaining overmuch about the whole insomnia thing because it’s boring & repetitive & if it annoys me to hear it I have to assume something similar is true of anyone else that has to…but the truth is every so often that sleep debt catches up with me & there comes a day where shit just doesn’t get done…& today seems like one of those days…but there’s more than one kind of tired…& here’s a few things about a few things I can’t be the only one who’s tired of

When Patty Murray joined the Senate in 1993, one of the first bills she worked on was the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for people who worked at companies with 50 or more employees.

It was pretty modest, especially compared to the family benefits available in most developed countries, but Murray said passing it was a hard fight. In a floor speech at the time, she described a friend of hers, the mother of a 16-year-old who was dying of leukemia, whose job was threatened because she wanted to take time off to be with her son in his final months. Afterward, Murray told me, another senator approached her and said, “We don’t tell personal stories on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Still, Murray, who has made the fight for family leave and affordable child care central to her career, thought the F.M.L.A. was just a beginning. But in the following 28 years, no other major piece of family legislation has passed. (The biggest was probably the bill Donald Trump signed in 2019 giving paid leave to federal employees.) Among wealthy nations, the United States has remained an outlier in how little help it gives parents.

Now, though, we might be on the cusp of a humane family policy. On Wednesday, Joe Biden unveiled his American Families Plan, which would, among other things, fund paid leave for caregivers, subsidize day care and institute universal preschool. It would extend through 2025 the monthly cash payments that parents will receive under the American Rescue Plan. America might finally become a country where having children doesn’t mean being left to fend for oneself in a pitiless marketplace.

America Is Brutal to Parents. Biden Is Trying to Change That. [NYT]

…why in the world is this such a hard sell?

Joe Biden wants to spend big money on small children. On Wednesday the president announced an ambitious $1.8tn plan to boost family assistance programs, childhood education and student aid. If passed, the American Families Plan would overhaul the current (dire) childcare system and inject billions into universal preschool, paid family leave and subsidized childcare. It would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy.

Sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t support investing in children? The party of “family values”, of course! The party that loves advocating for embryos but doesn’t seem quite so keen on helping kids. Predictably Republicans are up in arms about the idea that the US, which one recent survey ranked as the second-worst place in the world to raise children, might become a little more family-friendly. As soon as Biden had finished speaking, out came the usual talking points about how Biden was pushing a dangerous socialist agenda and trying to indoctrinate American children. “You know who else liked universal day care?” the Republican senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted, linking to a 1974 article about day care in the Soviet Union.

Think that’s an unhinged response? I think it may have been surpassed by JD Vance’s incomprehensible contribution to the debate. On Thursday, the Hillbilly Elegy author and vocal Republican tweeted that “‘Universal day care’ is class war against normal people.” His line of reasoning, if you can call it that, was that: “normal Americans care more about their families than their jobs, and want a family policy that doesn’t shunt their kids into crap daycare so they can enjoy more ‘freedom’ in the paid labor force”.

Perhaps Republicans should just cut to the chase and say that they don’t support any policy that makes it easier for women to leave their houses. When you think women are just walking wombs then it’s expedient for childcare costs to be so staggeringly high that they push women out of the workforce. Earlier this year, Idaho lawmakers turned down a $6m federal grant to support early childhood care and education. Let me repeat that, they turned down millions of dollars earmarked for children. Why? Well as the Republican state representative. Charlie Shepherd explained, that money would hurt “the family unit”.

“[A]ny bill that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child, I don’t think that’s a good direction for us to be going,” Shepherd said. Really saying the quiet part out loud there!

Richard Nixon made pretty much the same argument in 1971, which was the last time the US was on the verge of creating a universal childcare system. Nixon vetoed the largely bipartisan effort, saying it would have “family-weakening implications”. By which, of course, he meant it would make it easier for women to work.

You know what is really “family-weakening”? Making the costs of having and raising kids so ridiculously high that it’s getting harder and harder for anyone to afford a family. According to the Census Bureau, childcare expenditures rose more than 40% from 1990 to 2011; childcare has only become more expensive since then. The same geniuses who don’t want to expand access to childcare regularly wring their hands over declining birth rates in America. Why aren’t people having kids, they ask? It’s the economy, stupid.


Key GOP voices are accusing Biden of engaging in a stealth attempt to reshape American life, trying to reframe their opposition to the plan away from dollars and cents toward the culture-war terrain on which they have recently been much more politically successful.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday responded to Biden’s pitch, made in a joint address to Congress, by declaring that the new administration “wants to jack up taxes in order to nudge families toward the kinds of jobs Democrats want them to have, in the kinds of industries Democrats want to exist, with the kinds of cars Democrats want them to drive, using the kinds of child-care arrangements that Democrats want them to pursue.”

That echoed a message sketched out immediately after Biden’s speech by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who gave the nationally televised GOP response and accused Democrats of wanting “to put Washington even more in the middle of your life, from the cradle to college,” and other Republicans followed suit.

“I think there’s a lot of lefty social engineering paid for by mortgaging the future of my children and my grandchildren,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “It’s doubling down on the same old solutions on the left and just throwing more money at it.”
“I think they’re just flailing,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who will play a key role in refining Biden’s proposals as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and said his party’s aim was “to create options for families that will help us be more productive and create more high-skill, high-wage jobs.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Budget Committee chairman, called the Republican attacks “way out of touch with common sense and where the American people are at.”

“No one is going to be coerced into anything,” he said. “But a mom or a dad who is going to work in order to provide for the family wants to know that their kids are in quality, affordable child care that exists in almost every other major country on Earth. We’ve got to do the same here.”

‘Lefty social engineering’: GOP launches cultural attack on Biden’s plan for day care, education and employee leave [WaPo]

Conservatives beware: If the main elements in Joe Biden’s American Family Plan become law, they’ll be very hard to repeal. Why? Because they’ll deliver huge, indeed transformational benefits to millions.

I mean, just imagine trying to take away affordable child care, universal pre-K and paid leave for new parents once they’ve become part of the fabric of our society. You’d face a backlash far worse than the one that followed Republican attempts to eliminate protection for coverage of pre-existing health conditions in 2017. And that backlash quickly gave Democrats control of the House and set the stage for their current control of the Senate and White House as well.

So what’s the Republican counterargument? Well, much of the party appears uninterested in debating policy, preferring to lash out at imaginary plans to ban red meat or give immigrants Kamala Harris’s children’s book.
To understand why, the first thing you need to know is that while Republicans always claim that raising taxes on the rich will destroy jobs, they have never yet been right. Scott’s rejoinder to Biden appeared to suggest that the 1993 Clinton tax hike killed jobs; in reality, the United States added 23 million jobs on Clinton’s watch. People also seem to forget that Barack Obama presided over a significant hike in high-end taxes at the beginning of his second term; the economy continued to add jobs rapidly, at the rate of about 2.5 million a year.

Oh, and employment in California boomed after Jerry Brown raised taxes on the wealthy in 2012, defying conservative declarations that the state was committing economic suicide.
Many Americans would, I suspect, be surprised to learn that the truth is that many high-tax, high-benefit countries are quite successful at creating jobs. Take the case of France: Adults between the ages of 25 and 54, the prime working years, are more likely to be employed in France than they are in America, mainly because Frenchwomen have a higher rate of paid employment than their American counterparts. The Nordic countries have an even larger employment advantage among women.

How can employment be so high in countries with lots of “job-killing” taxes? The answer is that taxes don’t visibly kill jobs — but lack of child care does. Parents in many rich countries are able to take paid work because they have access to safe, affordable child care; in the United States such care is prohibitively expensive for many, if they can get it at all. And the reason is that our government spends almost nothing on child care and pre-K; our outlays as a percentage of G.D.P. put us somewhat below Cyprus and Romania.

The American Family Plan would completely change this picture, providing free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds while limiting child care costs to no more than 7 percent of income for lower- and middle-income parents. If this raised employment of prime-age American women to French levels, it would add about 1.8 million jobs; if we went to Danish levels, we would add three million jobs.

Good Luck to Republicans if Biden’s Family Plan Becomes Law [NYT]

…it’s insane…what you have here is basically a good idea that one party would simply never have been willing to bring forward in the first place…but over & above that is willing to strenuously fight to prevent the one that might…not because it isn’t a good idea but because they feel like letting the other party have anything that might be successful or popular actually make it through the process to the point of becoming active legislation hurts them…& however much that might be a working definition of the status quo of politics in any number of places it still hurts my fucking head

…but then I guess that’s the sort of shit that happens when the Geriatric Obstructionist Party is involved

Now, Virginia Republicans are facing questions from their own party about their enforcement of voter security measures — fueled by their decision to run their convention themselves, which required them to design their own applications and approval systems.

“It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ in the Virginia GOP right now,” said former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman, who lost a state Republican convention last year that he and allies felt was rigged against him after he came under criticism because he officiated a same-sex wedding. “It’s all very ironic.”
Behind closed doors, Republican officials have been fighting for weeks about the decision to accept applications to participate in the convention that lack a voter ID number or a signature.
In a contrast in simplicity, Virginia Democrats will go to the polls on June 8 and simply elect a nominee in a primary. Their voters will have to provide a government-issued ID, as required by state law.

Republicans, however, opted to hold a convention — a decision in part because Virginia voters don’t register with a party, so primaries are open, and the GOP has long argued Democrats were voting in their contests to try to disrupt their elections.

But to comply with Covid-19 rules against large gatherings, the GOP is having an “unassembled convention” that will take place at dozens of locations across the commonwealth and 53,000 delegates are expected to be able to cast a ballot without leaving their car.

To be a delegate, voters had to fill out and sign a simple form created by the party with their name and contact info, as well as a voter ID number that was assigned to them when they registered to vote. The signature line and voter ID number fields have asterisks next to them. A note on the form explains, “An asterisk ‘*’ denotes required information.”

But many people don’t know their voter ID, or registration, number — a random nine-digit number that a voter can find by querying a state election website using other personal information, including the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Some local parties started accepting forms without a voter ID number or signature. And so, eventually, the state party allowed them to approve them regardless.


…meanwhile in arizona

The private companies hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to recount millions of ballots from the 2020 election are concerned about possible Antifa attacks and planned to use UV lights to hunt for fraud, internal documents released as part of a legal battle with Democrats revealed.

State Senate Republicans and the firms also initially sought National Guard protection for their review of Maricopa County ballots but were turned down by GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, according to one of the documents, released by the Maricopa Superior Court over GOP objections Thursday.

The documents offer a detailed look at the conspiratorial thinking behind an extraordinary, partisan hunt for fraud some six months after former President Donald Trump lost the election and began pushing the lie that it was stolen from him.

“It would be comical if it weren’t so scary,” Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine, said of the audit.


…while even fucking newsmax is tacking the other way now the winds of legal & financial consequences are threatening to capsize them

Newsmax apologizes to Dominion employee for falsely alleging he manipulated votes against Trump [WaPo]

The right-wing news site said it had found “no evidence” for pro-Trump conspiracy theories about Eric Coomer, who was Dominion’s director of product strategy and security.

Newsmax Apologizes for False Claims of Vote-Rigging by a Dominion Employee [NYT]

…but apparently no example is clear enough for some people…which I guess says a lot about the power of solipsim, sadly

In late 2019, a few things happened. Giuliani went back to Ukraine, this time in the company of the right-wing cable channel One America News, to interview various individuals making claims about the Bidens. It was a rogue’s gallery, as independent observers could (and did) determine even in real-time, including obviously biased and dubious figures. He met, for example, with a guy named Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s parliament whom an expert interviewed by NBC News described as a “professional disinformer.”

It was at about this time that the FBI became aware that Giuliani was putting himself at risk of being used by Russia to spread disinformation as that country renewed its efforts to shape the outcome of the 2020 race. As The Post reported, the FBI planned to warn several parties, including both Giuliani and One America News, that “they faced a risk of being used to further Russia’s attempt to influence the election’s outcome.”

Giuliani was already under investigation by the Justice Department, a probe that exploded into public view this week with the seizure of phones and computers from his home and office. In early 2019, Giuliani’s attorney claimed on Thursday, the feds had used a warrant to probe personal information of Giuliani’s stored in Apple’s online iCloud service.
If Giuliani was concerned about the risks he was taking, like Trump speaking to Stephanopoulos he seemed not to have cared very much. Nor did he apparently care about the accuracy of the information he received or how he received it.
In media circles, this process of double-checking the validity of information before sharing it is called “vetting” and is generally considered an important step for not providing false information to the public. For Giuliani, it was an encumbrance, a roadblock to his actual goal: undercutting Joe Biden by any means possible.


…& what do we know about the way things go when politicians choose self-interest over national interests?

Modi’s pandemic choice: Protect his image or protect India. He chose himself. [WaPo]

…& those kinds of consequences don’t confine themselves within the borders of the countries that they’re home to…they’re kind of like earthquakes that way, I guess…the epicenter isn’t the only place that’s going to feel it before it’s over


That we are living in science fiction was brought home to me last week when I put down Kim Stanley Robinson’s superb climate-futures novel The Ministry for the Future and picked up Bill McKibben’s New Yorker letter on climate, warning of the melting of the Thwaites Glacier, “already known as the ‘doomsday glacier’ because its collapse could raise global sea levels by as much as three feet”. Where we are now would have seemed like science fiction itself 20 years ago; where we need to be will take us deeper into that territory.

Three things matter for climate chaos and our response to it – the science reporting on current and potential conditions, the technology offering solutions, and the organizing which is shifting perspectives and policy. Each is advancing rapidly. The science mostly gives us terrifying news of more melting, more storms, more droughts, more fires, more famines. But the technological solutions and the success of the organizing to address this largest of all crises have likewise grown by leaps and bounds. For example, ideas put forth in the Green New Deal in 2019, seen as radical at the time, are now the kind of stuff President Biden routinely proposes in his infrastructure and jobs plans.

It’s not easy to see all the changes – you have to be a wonk to follow the details on new battery storage solutions or the growth of solar power in cheapness, proliferation, efficiency, and possibility, or new understanding about agriculture and soil management to enhance carbon sequestration. You have to be a policy nerd to keep track of the countless new initiatives around the world. They include, recently, the UK committing to end overseas fossil fuel finance in December, the EU in January deciding to “discourage all further investments into fossil-fuel-based energy infrastructure projects in third countries”, and the US making a less comprehensive but meaningful effort this spring to curtail funding for overseas extraction. In April, oil-rich California made a commitment to end fossil fuel extraction altogether – if by a too-generous deadline. A lot of these policies have been deemed both good and not good enough. They do not get us to where we need to be, but they lay the foundation for further shifts, and like the Green New Deal many of them seemed unlikely a few years ago.

Dare we hope? Here’s my cautious case for climate optimism [Guardian]

…so…if corporations can be “people”…how about ol’ mother nature?

A network of streams, lakes and marshes in Florida is suing a developer and the state to try to stop a housing development from destroying them.

The novel lawsuit was filed on Monday in Orange county on behalf of the waterways under a “rights of nature” law passed in November. It is the largest US municipality to adopt such a law to date.

The listed plaintiffs are Wilde Cypress Branch, Boggy Branch, Crosby Island Marsh, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane.

Laws protecting the rights of nature are growing throughout the world, from Ecuador to Uganda, and have been upheld in courts in India, Colombia and Bangladesh. But this is the first time anyone has tried to enforce them in the US.

Streams and lakes have rights, a US county decided. Now they’re suing Florida [Guardian]

…& about time, too…because I’m beyond tired of the uninformed drowning out the voice of reason

Joe Rogan has the most popular podcast on Spotify, and he’s been using it to question coronavirus vaccines.

His latest probe came on Friday’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in which he said, “If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go no.”

“If you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this,” he said, adding that both of his children got covid-19 and it was “no big deal.”

It shouldn’t need to be said, but Rogan is not an expert on infectious diseases. He’s a comedian and MMA commentator who hosts a free-form conversation podcast. And his comments have sparked a media firestorm, especially as experts recognize just how much influence he has in today’s culture.

The clip trended on Twitter for two days, while Rogan’s critics, who accused him of spreading dangerous misinformation, duked it out with his supporters, who argued that the mainstream media was trying to silence him.

Joe Rogan is using his wildly popular podcast to question vaccines. Experts are fighting back. [WaPo]

It has been a year of terrible takes on Covid-19. Despite the presumed universal goal of getting through this pandemic sooner rather than later, a surprising number of Americans have lent their voices and platforms to conspiratorial thinking, rumors and medical myths. Enter comedian and self-styled thought leader Joe Rogan, who, honestly, nobody asked but has nonetheless weighed in with harmful and misinformed opinions about whether young people should be vaccinated against Covid-19. Rogan may play for laughs on his podcast, but none of this is funny.
Rogan started off on the right track. The vaccines are safe. They’re also highly effective, markedly reducing the risk of catching Covid-19, markedly reducing the risk of getting sick from Covid-19 and virtually eliminating the risk of dying of Covid-19. It’s also true that the rate of severe illness and death in kids is lower than that in adults and that those with chronic diseases are at higher risk for severe illness and death. And “don’t do anything stupid”? Very sound advice that we, as emergency medicine physicians, heartily endorse.

But beyond this, Rogan goes off the rails and into a sad abyss of generalizing from anecdotal personal experiences into the abandonment of pandemic-mitigation principles. He acknowledges and expresses sympathy for kids who have gotten sick and died from Covid-19, but not too much — since his kids had Covid-19, did just fine and were never “in agony.” At one point, he even endorses the false narrative that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu. Based on his flawed understanding of the pandemic, he finally reaches the conclusion that healthy young people don’t need to get vaccinated.

This conclusion isn’t just misinformed; it’s potentially dangerous.
Why bother calling out Rogan’s lousy take? His platform is enormous. Many people spend more time listening to Rogan than they do to health professionals. While scientists and doctors are generally more trusted, competing messages like Rogan’s can be confusing and affect people’s behaviors with regard to their health.

We don’t expect everyone to be an expert. Still, those with influential platforms have a responsibility to be a little more careful and realize the ripple effects of misguidance and a casual piece of misinformation. A knowledgeable guest would have made all the difference — a celebrity message echoing expert interpretation can be a powerful reinforcement of the science. A little curiosity and humility go a long way, too: Acknowledging that you don’t know why the CDC recommends vaccinations for younger, healthier people and asking the question of someone who does know would be helpful.


…not least because of what happens when people try to set the record straight when they encounter bullshit

On screen, sandwiched between two sparkle emojis, the woman, who said she was a pharmacy technician, had written, “Most common meds I’ve filled that cause cancer.” She then went on to claim medications like hormonal birth control, cholesterol medications and chemotherapy were cancer causing.

So, Savannah Sparks, another TikTok user who goes by “Rx0rcist,” made her own video, part of what would become an ongoing series debunking medical misinformation on the app.

“My name’s Savannah. I’m a doctor at a pharmacy, and I’m about to absolutely wreck your s—,” Sparks says in the video before launching into a fact-check of the pharmacy technician’s claims.
“Her scope of practice doesn’t allow her … to counsel on medications so, especially coming from the realm of pharmacy, which is my wheelhouse, I really went in on that individual and I was like, ‘You really should not be talking about this,'” Sparks said.
“In the past, I have been a little more reserved with how aggressive I have gone after these people, but the longer this pandemic went on, and the more and more misinformation we started seeing as health care workers on social media, the less I started caring about my tone and coming across a certain way,” Sparks said.
“Anything that forces somebody to change their way of thinking … it makes them angry,” Sparks said. “So, keeping that in mind, the fact that I’m doing this to so many people, I accept I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing, and I’m exactly where I need to be.”

This approach to calling alleged offenders out has made her the target of online harassment. Her address has been posted on extremist websites, and her inboxes have been flooded with threats of rape and death against both her and her daughter, which, at one point, became so relentless it nearly drove her off the internet.
On March 28, Sparks posted a video announcing she was stepping away from TikTok because of an onslaught of harassment.

She said her address and phone number were posted online, and that her direct messages on Instagram were flooded with death threats directed both at her and her young daughter. Her business pages were bombed with negative reviews. And links to her TikTok account were posted to extremist forum 4chan.

“They posted aerial photos of my mom’s house on 4chan, which they paired next to a video of me and my sister dancing in her backyard to confirm that I was still at her house so they could plan to murder, rape, and kill me,” Sparks said.

Sparks said she had always endured modest backlash for her content, but the harassment ratcheted up in March to the point it became unbearable.
The wave of ceaseless harassment and threats began, she said, after she posted a video about safety precautions she takes when running and got worse when she began calling out the alleged forged vaccine cards that some health care workers were bragging about on TikTok.
NBC News reviewed nearly 20 of the threats sent to Sparks, some of which were sent by accounts with names like “times_up_savannah,” created solely to harass her.

Sparks eventually filed a complaint with her local sheriff’s office and then made the decision to make her callout videos private and step away from TikTok.

But about two weeks later she returned to the app. She said she feels it’s her “duty to stand up and do the right thing,”
“If I’m not willing to do it, who else would step up to do it?” Sparks said. “… A lot of people say, ‘Well, it’s not a big deal, it’s just TikTok.’ But the things that I talk about are a huge deal. Public health is a huge deal, especially when 500,000 Americans have died from this virus.”



  1. Sorry about the insomnia. Hope you get some sleep soon.
    That whole argument about preserving the family unit is disgusting, not only because it fails to take single parents into account, but keeps people in abusive relationships. I can’t even with that train of thought, keep people poor, unemployed and dependent and then complain about them gaming the system when they are forced to seek assistance.

    • …to sleep…perchance to dream & all that sort of thing…thank you…do appreciate the sentiment even if I’m not doing a great job on the follow through

      …but as to the other thing…it’s insane-making…pretty sure most of the people that make these arguments are either demonstrating that they’re sufficiently incapable of thinking through even the shit they claim to believe that in a sane world their opinions could be safely disregarded…or they know their arguments are full of shit & don’t care because all they’re interested in is pushing an agenda they know to be distasteful enough that they’d harm its chances if they were to spell it out clearly

      …I only wish I knew how to either make them knock it off or to make it a tactic that didn’t get the kind of traction it persistently manages to in defiance of all reason?

      • I have so many thoughts in my head right now. The movie ‘Pleasantville’, and the 50’s as some kind of ideal period. LOL, like that is pathetic and so not 2021 and then, is anyone watching Couples Therapy on Showtime? The wife of one of the couples has been in absolute hysterics over the fact that her husband can’t make enough money to support her and the many more children she wants to have. Different strokes and all, it is still shocking to hear.

        • Every now and then, I think about the scene in Pleasantville of William H. Macy’s character, George, puttering around his empty home–his work shirt burned with an iron mark–saying “Honey, where’s my dinner?”
          I also loved Fiona’s cover of “Across the Universe”  for the soundtrack. 

    • As long as a woman has a job, she has options. Staying at home means watching all your options slowly diminish, and yes, it’s a ripe scenario for abuse. I tell my daughter all the time that she needs to be able to take care of herself.
      I’ve told the story before about how my mother was sitting home with three small children, my father was hours late getting home (car trouble or somesuch long before cell phones or even many landlines) and she was panic-stricken. She immediately went back to school, got her master’s degree and became a teacher. Because she knew she might have to take care of a passel of kids by herself someday. 
      It’s also a shame, in many instances. Who knows what women could have accomplished if they weren’t at home? I love this child-care proposal. So of course the GOP hates it. 

    • I don’t have kids, so I realize I have no personal experience here.

      But even stay at home parents should have the option of day care sometimes. I would think taking care of small children EVERY GODDAMN DAY would be exhausting and having child care covered a few days a week would be so useful. 

      • …I have friends who used to live in london for whom the equation boiled down to it being important to the mum to be able to get back to a job she loves & is good at…but having to accept that on a net basis it made almost zero difference to their finances since her entire paycheck would instantly be swallowed up just meeting the cost of childcare

        …if we want people to be parents, particularly good parents who preferably aren’t losing their minds…& particularly if we want them to have the option to also manage to pull off also returning to being part of the workforce…which isn’t necessarily a choice for many of them at the end of the day (whether it’s to stay home or to go back to work) so much as it’s the only way to make ends meet & keep food on a table with a roof over it…childcare needs to be affordable…& the people providing it need to be adequately paid…objecting to the state providing the means to square that circle makes no sense to me…& I have no kids of my own…the only thing about it that seems complicated to me is following the mental gymnastics required to comprehend how the republicans can talk themselves into objecting to it?

    • Single parents and d.v. victims don’t count because a) they’re more likely to be women and b) they’re in that situation because of poor life choices so double fuck em.
      *GOP logic.

  2. @SplinterRIP hope you can get some rest. We will be heading out to the emergency veterinarian in 40 minutes. Poor elderly Violet is not doing well (again). As for your commentary on Biden’s proposals? Dear God I want them to pass. I am tired of elected officials voting against women, children, and minorities. 

  3. As someone who has suffered with insomnia most of my life you have my deep and sincere sympathy. I won’t offer any solutions, I’m sure you’ve tried everything and it’s annoying when people advise you to just this, that, or the other thing. My insomnia has abated a good bit in the last couple of years, a possible benefit of aging. So you might have that to look forward to. 

    • Ha, I was about 2 paragraphs of advice into it when I scrolled to see your comment.
      And it’s one of the things that cause the most friction in my IRL relationships too! Every time I try to talk to someone about my problem I get 10 minutes of “Have you tried this?” (yes I’ve tried that/already considered it/etc.) and by then I’m too exasperated to keep the conversation going. Then I get the “You don’t want my help” shit.

      • I would read your sleep advice – I find alternating different things helps me the best – so if you have some that I don’t know about – I could add them into mix. 

        • @Lymond I’m not sure anything really works all of the time. That’s what makes insomnia so frustrating. I’d try one thing that worked for a few days and I’d be convinced I found the solution only to have to flip the next night. They one thing that works the best for me is a short midday nap. I sleep better when I’m not exhausted which seems counterintuitive. But that may not work for you. 🤷🏻‍♀️

          • @Hannibal – I know – insomnia is annoying and can really screw up your day. When I’m not working I do the afternoon nap thing too. I have a few different regimes I rotate around a couple of days at a time because as you said none of them work all the time – my rule of thumb is if I have two consecutive sleepless nights then I take a half of a non diphenhydramine(Benadryl) unisom – which knocks me out for the night. My aunt takes like 2 benadryl and a Lunesta each night – which I think is crazy.

            • Yeah, I don’t think I’d want to rely on that sort of medication every night. But not sleeping is so bad. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a torture tool, it can break you! 

              • …I know how counterintuitive it sounds but I would definitely argue that being too tired to sleep is phenomenon I have more familiarity with than I’d like

                …it would not surprise me in the least if it had something to do with the body’s reaction to a state that might have historically been likely to be arrived at when it was point reached mostly when passing out at that point might have proved fatal & there just isn’t a way to persuade it that it would be handy if it would knock that shit off because nothings actually going to kill & eat me if I went to sleep…but I figure I’d need at least a couple of degrees I don’t have to stand any chance of explaining it?

                • @SplinterRIP That makes sense, damn lizard brain. Even if I can’t fall asleep I try to lay with my eyes closed for 15 or 20 minutes with some soft music or white noise playing. I guess that’s sort of like The Holy Hand Grenade’s meditation. 

          • @TheHolyHandGrenade Sorry that I shut you down before you had a chance to have your say. 

            I take melatonin when nothing else works, sometimes it helps, sometimes not. I see that Headspace has a new sleep series on Netflix. I’m going to check it out. 

      • Don’t let me stop you, you might have something worthwhile to say! 
        I was thinking more of the more commonplace advice, like  no caffeine after a certain hour. Because, yeah, that never occurred to me. Like the folks your talking about, it’s insulting.

      • …I get that that sort of advice is generally well-intentioned so I don’t exactly object to it being offered…lord knows if someone came up with something that worked I’d be grateful…but it’s not really a new problem so there’s some truth to what hannibal said about having tried a fair amount of stuff?

  4. As far as that poor harrassed pharmacist – where are the George Soros paid lefty trolls to counteract all the 4chan idiots? Don’t a lot of the right wing think tanks have actual online armies that do the trolling for them or am I just caught up in conspiracy theories?

  5. As per the Virginia GOPers… what the fuck is it with right wing parties and voting irregularities?
    Both the Ontario and Federal Tories have been involved with voter irregularities/problems/fails due to stupid voting plans and idiot memberships leading to accusations of vote rigging.  One led to the inevitable election of Dougie “He’s not really ready” Ford and the Fed fuckups led nowhere as Andy lost a close election to Justin and the Tool is a igniting a civil war in his party.
    I’ve felt that if you can’t manage a simple election among your supporters then you probably have no business running things.

  6. Maybe we should crowd source a lefty bot army. If I knew anything about hiding ip’s and all that I would volunteer – but I’m too lazy to research and figure it out. And, I don’t have the right kind of computer security to deal with doxxers and such. 

  7. Stupidity/greed has a momentum all its own.
    The Japanese people (rightly) don’t want it at all or postpone the Olympics.  The IOC just keep pressing on like Kamikazes.
    Serves them right if it is a financial disaster (although the Japanese people will be stuck paying for it.)
    The fact that the cost of the Olympic Games has spiraled so out of control (and the rewards are few if any) that multiple cities or regions have to bid on it.  I’m glad my home city has never hosted it.  I would be pissed if they did.

    • Chicago was in the running for one of the recent summer games and I’m glad they didn’t get it. Traffic is bad enough around here, plus it just seems to fuck up the landscape (literally and figuratively) for a long time.

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