The Evening Blues - 9-16-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sonny Boy Williamson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues harmonica player (Rice Miller) Sonny Boy Williamson. Enjoy!

Sonny Boy Williamson - Keep It To Yourself

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism."

-- George Washington

News and Opinion

Yes, They Are “A Bunch Of Partisan Hacks”

War is peace, freedom is slavery, and the supreme court is a dispassionate nonpartisan branch of government free of bias – this is the Orwellian fable that Justice Amy Coney Barrett is now asking Americans to believe. And Barrett is asking us to believe it not merely after the court’s wildly partisan ruling on abortion rights, but also just months after she promoted climate denialism to a national audience and refused to recuse herself as she helped secure a legal victory for the fossil fuel giant that employed her father for decades.

This is a tale not just of cartoonish hypocrisy but also of deception – a frantic attempt to prevent more of the country from realizing the court is a corporate star chamber that has become one of the most powerful partisan weapons in American politics. First, the blatant hypocrisy: in an event that seems torn out of the pages of the Onion, Barrett this weekend appeared with the Senate’s Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell at a celebration of a University of Louisville facility he named after himself. After she was introduced by the most partisan Senate leader in American history, Barrett declared that the supreme court – which now includes three people who worked directly on the Republican campaign to pilfer the 2000 election – “is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks”.

If that wasn’t absurd enough, Barrett then declared that judges must be “hyper vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too”. That demand for ethical vigilance came less than four months after Barrett discarded her own past recusal list and opted to participate in the adjudication of a major climate case against Shell Oil – the fossil fuel giant that employed her father for nearly three decades. Barrett declined to recuse herself even though an amicus brief was filed in the case by the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying group that her father helped steer – and even though one prominent supporter of the case said her father could be subpoenaed for a deposition because of his potential “direct knowledge of and operational involvement in how Shell managed climate threats”.

But no recusal came – and, with Barrett’s help, the supreme court sided with Shell and other fossil fuel giants, delivering a big procedural win for the oil and gas industry. ...

This propaganda campaign has worked – even as the court exacerbates the climate crisis, restricts abortion rights, tramples voting rights and issues ever-more-extreme rulings helping corporations crush workers, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they approve of the court’s work, according to the latest survey. However, that’s down a sizable six points since last year – which suggests that more of the country is beginning to realize that a fetid form of corporatism and partisanship is quietly rotting the judiciary from within.

The Other Afghan Women: Rural Areas Hope Taliban Rule Will End Decades of U.S. & Warlord Violence

Minister pledges Taliban govt won’t allow militant attacks

Afghanistan’s new foreign minister said Tuesday that the Taliban governing the country remain committed to not allowing militants to use their territory to launch attacks. But he refused to say when or if the country’s new rulers would create a more inclusive government.

Without other political factions and women serving in the government, the Taliban seem unlikely to win international recognition as the legitimate leaders of Afghanistan. And without such recognition, the Afghan state is unable to tap billions of its funds frozen abroad, leaving it virtually bankrupt at a time of immense humanitarian need. ...

Amir Khan Mutaqi, a longtime Taliban negotiator named as foreign minister, appeared Tuesday at his first news conference since becoming a member of the interim government. But he gave little indication of whether the Taliban would bend to international pressure.

Asked if the Taliban would include women or ethnic and religious minorities in the government, Mutaqi answered, “We will decide in time” but did not offer a commitment. He underscored that the current government is ruling on an interim basis and said that when a permanent one is formed, “we will take into account what the people want.” He would not give a timetable for a permanent government. “We are taking everything step by step. We have not said how long this Cabinet will last,” Mutaqi said.

Joe Biden has ‘great confidence’ in top general Milley after Trump revelation

Joe Biden threw his weight behind the top US military officer on Wednesday, saying he had “great confidence” in the general who, according to a new book, took steps to prevent the outgoing Republican president Donald Trump from “going rogue” and launching a nuclear war or an attack on China. Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, also defended phone calls he made to his Chinese military counterpart in the tumultuous final months of Trump’s presidency, signaling that the hitherto secret conversations were in keeping with his duties. ...

Then, in a written statement, Milley’s spokesman, Col Dave Butler, said the top general acted within his authority as the most senior uniformed adviser to the president and to the secretary of defense. “His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” Butler said, adding that “all calls from the chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”

The Milley phone calls were described in excerpts that emerged on Tuesday from the forthcoming book Peril by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The book said Milley told General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army in China that he would warn his counterpart in the event of a US attack.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be OK … we are not going to attack,” Milley told Li four days before the November 2020 election, according to the book.

The idea that a general would unilaterally intervene to secretly prevent or halt the actions of the president of the United States, who is commander-in-chief of the US military, is extraordinary.

As Wealthy Nations Debate Giving Booster Vaccine Shots, Calls Grow for Global Vaccine Equity

One in 500 Americans have died of Covid – and some hospitals reach capacity

America has passed another grim Covid-19 milestone, as data shows that one in 500 people living in the US have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

Almost 664,000 people had died of the virus in the US by Tuesday evening, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, following a surge of cases and hospitalizations, particularly in southern states, caused by a combination of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates.

About one in four US hospitals have intensive care units that are at least 95 percent full, according to the New York Times.

Google workers demand back pay for temps company underpaid for years

Google employees and subcontracted workers are demanding that the company pay back wages to temporary workers, following a Guardian report that revealed Google had knowingly and illegally underpaid thousands of temps for years.

More than 140 workers have signed a petition addressed to Google executives calling on the company to “immediately pay back all Temps, Vendors and Contractors (TVCs) who have been knowingly underpaid by Google” and to “create an immediate path to permanent employment for temporary workers and end its two-tiered perma-temp system”.

“Google’s deliberate exploitation of TVCs is a massive moral failing,” the letter reads. “For much of Google’s workforce, ‘Don’t be evil’ is a smokescreen. It’s a way to reap the financial rewards of unquestioning public faith, by assuring investors, users and government entities that Google is trustworthy and friendly – while successfully underpaying and mistreating the majority of their workers.”

The letter, which began circulating inside Google on Wednesday, was organized by the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), a minority union affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) that formed in January 2021 and counts more than 800 members in the US and Canada. The AWU intends to organize both among Google’s direct employees, which number more than 140,000 worldwide, and its vast “shadow workforce” of more than 150,000 subcontracted workers, known internally as TVCs. ...

In May 2019, company executives realized that the “comparator” data that Google was providing to staffing agencies had not been updated for years, resulting in the company paying temps at rates between 12% and 50% lower than what was required by law. Rather than immediately address the issue, executives delayed taking action out of concern for the company’s reputation and the increased costs to Google departments that rely heavily on temps, documents and emails reviewed by the Guardian show.

'It's Gonna Be $3.5 Trillion': Sanders Holds the Line Against Right-Wing Democrats

Pushing back against conservative Democrats' attempts to shrink the Build Back Better Act's price tag, Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterated Tuesday night that anything less than $3.5 trillion is unacceptable.

Asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper how the size of the reconciliation package will be decided, Sanders (I-Vt.) said, "It's gonna be $3.5 trillion."

"That's the compromise that's already been made," said Sanders, referring to the fact that progressive lawmakers would prefer to invest at least $6 trillion to mitigate inequality and carbon pollution. Last month, House and Senate Democrats passed a budget resolution greenlighting $3.5 trillion in spending to improve social welfare, strengthen labor rights, provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, and bolster climate action.

"The truth is $3.5 trillion is not enough," Sanders argued Tuesday, listing several items—including child care, pre-K, and affordable housing—that many congressional Democrats want to spend more on but can't due to self-imposed constraints.

With Democrats hoping to vote on the package by the end of the month, details of the Build Back Better Act are starting to emerge. So far, however, progressives have been disappointed by House Democrats' plan to tax the rich at a lower level than President Joe Biden proposed earlier this year and to maintain billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies. In addition, three corporate Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee threatened to derail the legislation if it includes a key provision to allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices.

The bill is facing a major counter-offensive from corporate lobbyists, but it can be passed without Republican support in the House and, in the upper chamber, through the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process as long as all 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus vote for it.

Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, put the Build Back Better Act into a broader context during his interview with Cooper.

"When you look at the Gross Domestic Product of the United States, we're talking about close to $300 trillion over the next 10 years," he said. "This is $3.5 trillion, barely more than 1% of that."

"Furthermore," Sanders continued, "if I have anything to say about it, this legislation will be paid for [and] will not add to the national debt."

The reconciliation package "will be paid for," added the Vermont Independent, "by finally demanding that the wealthiest people in this country, who in some years pay zero... in federal taxes," along with "large corporations [that] pay nothing in federal taxes," contribute more to the public coffers.

Citing a recent analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, journalist David Moore wrote last week in Sludge that—when accounting for revenue raised through tax hikes on wealthy individuals and corporations, and when spreading out spending over a decade—the annual net cost of the Build Back Better Act is estimated to be between $100 billion and $175 billion per year, "less than the roughly $188 billion that the U.S. paid in 2020 to just three defense contractors: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Boeing."

Right-wing Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)—as well as other deficit hawks who voted for last year's Pentagon budget—helped send more public money to a few weapons makers than the annual net cost of the reconciliation bill they claim is too expensive, Stephen Semler of the Security Policy Reform Institute pointed out recently.

Sanders on Wednesday also drew attention to Washington's skewed priorities. "There's endless amounts of money," he noted, "when we go to war" and when it comes to "tax breaks for billionaires... But when we want to support working American families, suddenly we don't have enough money."

The American Prospect's David Dayen reported Wednesday that due to obstruction from Manchin and Sinema, who have "decided that they must have a cap on both spending and revenues," Democratic lawmakers are being forced to have "difficult conversations" about "whether to live with less on every policy in the Build Back Better Act, or to jettison some and make sure the policies remaining actually work and are politically potent."

For instance, the Biden administration called for investing $400 billion to improve Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). Based on the House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the bill, however, less than $200 billion would be allocated to HCBS. Without adequate funding, pay increases for the low-wage home care workforce would be unlikely, undermining the prospect of better services sought by disability rights groups and advocates for the elderly.

Democrats, Dayen wrote, must now decide if they are willing to accept cuts and delays to a litany of proposed programs, "making them in some cases not work for a lot of people, or they can decide to do a few things well."

Biden, meanwhile, is coming under fire from critics in his own party for not playing a more active and obvious role in championing the popular Build Back Better Act. Notably, his relatively hands-off or behind-the-scenes approach to the Democrats' $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package stands in contrast to his strong public push earlier this summer for the bipartisan, $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the fossil fuel-friendly physical infrastructure bill passed last month by the Senate.

David Dayen: Will Corrupt Dems SINK Biden Bill For Big Pharma?

Corruption wins!!! (Big surprise, eh?)

Democrats suffer blow on drug pricing as 3 moderates buck party

Democrats' signature legislation to lower drug prices was defeated in a House committee on Wednesday as three moderate Democrats voted against their party.

Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) voted against the measure to allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices, a long-held goal of Democrats.

The vote is a striking setback for Democrats' $3.5 trillion package. Drug pricing is intended to be a key way to pay for the package. Leadership can still add a version of the provision back later in the process, but the move shows the depth of some moderate concerns.

The three moderates said they worried the measure would harm innovation from drug companies and pushed a scaled-back rival measure. The pharmaceutical industry has also attacked Democratic leaders' measure, known as H.R. 3, as harming innovation.

A little more on the corrupt Democrat morons mentioned above:

Big Pharma’s Democrats

The three conservative Democratic lawmakers threatening to kill their party’s drug pricing legislation have raked in more than $1.8 million of campaign cash from pharmaceutical industry donors. One of the lawmakers is the House’s single largest recipient of pharmaceutical campaign cash this election cycle, and another lawmaker’s immediate past chief of staff is now lobbying for drugmakers. The threat from Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Scott Peters (Calif.), and Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) comes just as the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group announced a seven-figure ad campaign to vilify the Democratic legislation that aims to lower the cost of medicines for Americans now facing the world’s highest prescription drug prices.

At issue is House Democrats’ initiative to let Medicare use its bulk purchasing power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. That power — which is used by other industrialized countries to protect their citizens from exorbitant prices — has been promised by Democrats for years, and party leaders have been planning to include it as part of their sprawling $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation effort. On Wednesday, Schrader, Peters and Rice helped vote the measure down in the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, blocking the legislation before it could come to the House floor for a vote. Even if the bill were to ultimately make it to the floor, Democrats only have a four-seat majority that allows them to pass legislation, so they can’t afford to lose any more votes. ...

Schrader and Peters are among the two biggest recent Democratic recipients of pharmaceutical industry donations, according to OpenSecrets. The industry is collectively the second biggest donor to both lawmakers over the course of their careers, giving both of them more than $1.7 million in total. Peters is currently the House’s top recipient of pharmaceutical industry donations in the 2022 election cycle. Peters and his family were worth an estimated $60 million in 2018, making him one of the wealthiest lawmakers in Congress, according to OpenSecrets. His wife is the president and CEO of Cameron Holdings, a family office whose portfolio company provides manufacturing and packaging for pharmaceutical companies.

Schrader’s net worth, meanwhile, was pegged at nearly $8 million. The Oregonian reported in 2008 that he received “quite large inheritance” from his grandfather who was “vice president and director of biochemical research and development at Pfizer” — the drugmaker whose political action committee is now Schrader’s third largest career donor.

Dems ABANDON Capital Gains Reform, ALLOWING Ultra Rich To SKIRT The System

US court overturns murder conviction of police officer who shot Justine Damond

A US court has thrown out the third-degree murder conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor for mistakenly killing the Australian woman Justine Damond. Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual US-Australian citizen who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.

He was sentenced to 12 and a half years on the murder count but was not sentenced for manslaughter. The Minnesota supreme court’s ruling means his murder conviction is overturned and the case will go back to the district court, where he will be sentenced on the manslaughter count. He has already served more than 28 months of his murder sentence. If sentenced to the presumptive four years for manslaughter, he could be eligible for supervised release at the end of this year.

In its ruling, the court also clarified what would constitute third-degree murder, or depraved-mind murder, saying the statute doesn’t apply if a defendant’s actions are directed at a particular person.

Aurora police have pattern of racially biased policing, Colorado AG says

Aurora police department has a pattern of racially biased policing, Colorado’s attorney general said Wednesday, following a civil rights investigation that began amid outrage over the killing of Elijah McClain.

Attorney general Phil Weiser said the investigation found the department has long had a culture in which officers treat people of color – especially Black people – differently than white people. He said the agency also has a pattern of using unlawful excessive force; frequently escalates encounters with civilians; and fails to properly document police interactions with residents. “These actions are unacceptable. They hurt the people that law enforcement is entrusted” to serve, he said.

Weiser urged the police department to commit to recommended reforms in officer training, its policies on use of force and especially stricter standards for police stops and arrests. If it fails to do so, he said his office will seek a court order compelling the department to do so. He noted that the department fully cooperated in the investigation.

Police stopped McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, as he walked home from a store on 24 August 2019, after a 911 caller reported a man wearing a ski mask and waving his hands who seemed “sketchy”.

Officers put McClain in a chokehold and pinned him down. Paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, an amount appropriate for someone 77lb (35 km) heavier than McClain’s 143-lb (64-km) frame, according to an indictment. He fell unconscious, was pronounced brain-dead at a hospital, and was taken off life support.

the horse race

White Liberals RESCUE Newsom With Latino Warning Signs For Dems

Republicans overplayed their hand in California – and Democrats are laughing

On Tuesday, Gavin Newsom, California’s embattled governor, convincingly beat back a Republican-driven recall effort. Once projected to be a nail-biter, the contest degenerated into a nearly 30-point blowout. Indeed, Newsom may have even outpaced Joe Biden’s 2020 margin in California.

Ten months later, Donald Trump’s name was no longer on the ballot, but his spirit still lingered. Before the polls had closed, the former president was carrying on about the recall being rigged. Meanwhile, Larry Elder, Newsom’s leading Republican opponent and a rightwing radio host, had tentatively planned a post-election legal challenge.

In the end, the threat of Elder in the governor’s mansion galvanized Democrats. To put things in context, Elder, who is black, has argued for reparations for slave owners. Let that sink in. ...

As framed by John J Pitney, the Roy P Crocker professor of politics at California’s Claremont McKenna College, “in a heavily Democratic state Newsom was probably going to survive anyway”. But Elder “helped him turn surviving into a triumph”, Pitney told the Guardian. Elder was a gift to the governor. To be sure, it wasn’t just about Elder. More than 60% of Californians hold an unfavorable view of the Republican party, seven in 10 support mask mandates for students, and more than three-fifths categorized vaccination as a public health responsibility rather than a personal choice. The ethos of what could be called “live free and die” had a limited number of takers. ...

Fortunately for the Democrats, the liabilities that Elder and the Republicans displayed will not vanish in the coming weeks. Rabid Republican resistance to Covid vaccination, Florida’s needless deaths, and Texas’s draconian abortion law are not going away. They are now baked into the Republican party’s creed and DNA. In that same vein, the pledge by Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, to make rape magically disappear, and the embrace of Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, of Covid conspiracy theorists, will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Some interesting New York politics dirt further into this article, perhaps worth a click if exceptional corruption interests you.

Buffalo’s Developer Class Backing Last-Ditch Attempt Against Socialist India Walton

It’s difficult to think of a greater threat to Buffalo, New York’s real estate developers than India Walton, the socialist affordable housing advocate who in June won the Democratic mayoral primary over incumbent Byron Brown, 51 to 46 percent. Walton, an organizer and nurse, co-founded and served as executive director of a community land trust in 2017 to create affordable housing in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood and combat gentrification fueled in large part by traditional real estate development. As mayor, she would have the power to expand that land trust and grow the tax base in Buffalo’s gentrified neighborhoods. For the city’s biggest developers, her mayorship could represent a complete paradigm shift.

So it’s little surprise that a good number of those developers, many of them Republicans, are backing Brown’s last-ditch attempts to get on the ballot for the November 2 general election or, in the event that he’s unable to do that, to run a write-in campaign.

The involvement of conservative developers is no fluke: Close to one-third of the signatures Brown submitted in his August 17 petitions to appear as an independent candidate on the November ballot came from members of right-leaning parties, local NBC affiliate WGRZ reported. Other major GOP donors, as well as a Washington, D.C., real estate mogul who was convicted in 2006 of wire fraud and accused of bribing an official for government contracts, have contributed to Brown’s campaign. And unlike in the New York City mayoral race, in which President Joe Biden and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated primary winner Eric Adams early on, Walton has received no such declarations of national Democratic support.

Yet it’s still unclear whether Brown will appear on the ballot at all. After losing the primary to Walton, Brown quickly launched a write-in campaign for the general election. That effort came per the request of some in Buffalo who don’t want to see Walton take office, including conservative developer Carl Paladino, who also floated the idea of running against her after Brown’s primary loss. (Brown distanced himself from the developer, who is now telling voters they should stay home.) Around the same time, Brown also submitted petitions to appear on the November ballot (under a newly formed “Buffalo Party”). But his petition came long after the May 25 deadline to submit such a request had passed, and the issue is now tied up in courts — where, again, developer influence raises red flags. Brown’s campaign is now fighting several simultaneous legal battles in state and federal court in the hopes that a final ruling will find New York state election law unconstitutional — just before ballots are to be printed — and allow him to appear on the ballot.

the evening greens

California wildfires close Sequoia national park and prompt evacuations

A complex of lightning-sparked wildfires burning in California’s Sierra Nevada has exploded in size, prompting evacuations and the shutdown of Sequoia national park, where the fire is burning close to the park’s namesake trees. The KNP Complex fire, composed of the Paradise and Colony fires, took hold in the dense, mountainous vegetation on 9 September. By Wednesday morning, the blaze had scorched more than 7,000 acres.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect across Sequoia national park and into the Three Rivers area, and the fire continues to threaten the ancient groves of giant trees growing on the western slope of the mountain range.

Roughly 350 personnel are now battling the blaze and additional reinforcements are on their way, including a specialized management team that will assume control of the complex by Thursday morning. But firefighting efforts are being complicated by smoke, which clouds visibility for aerial drops, and by the fact that the flames are burning in steep and rugged terrain, diminishing access on the ground.

Fueled by higher temperatures and extreme drought conditions, more than 7,400 wildfires have burned in California this year, scorching more than 2.2m acres. The KNP Complex is one of 12 active large fires burning across the state. Firefighters have made progress on two of the most devastating conflagrations, wrangling the state’s largest single fire in history – the Dixie fire – to 75% containment after it burned close to 960,500 acres in the northern Sierra and southern Cascades region. Near Lake Tahoe, containment of the more than 219,260 acre Caldor fire increased to 70% Wednesday.

Officials on the KNP Complex said firefighting resources were constrained because of the number of fires burning across the west, but were hopeful that crews would do whatever they could to protect the giant sequoias for which the park is named. Flames are burning within a mile of the iconic Giant forest, a grove of more than 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth by volume, which researchers estimate has been alive for more than 2,300 years.

Governments falling woefully short of Paris climate pledges, study finds

Every one of the world’s leading economies, including all the countries that make up the G20, is failing to meet commitments made in the landmark Paris agreement in order to stave off climate catastrophe, a damning new analysis has found. Less than two months before crucial United Nations climate talks take place in Scotland, none of the largest greenhouse gas emitting countries have made sufficient plans to lower pollution to meet what they agreed to in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

This means the world is barreling towards calamitous climate impacts.

Under the Paris deal, nations vowed to prevent the world’s average temperature rising 1.5C above pre-industrial times in order to avoid disastrous heatwaves, flooding, storms, drought and other consequences that are already starting to unfold. But the new analysis, by Climate Action Tracker, finds almost every country is falling woefully short of that commitment.

Climate pledges made by Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are “critically insufficient”, the analysis found, while Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and India are among those deemed “highly insufficient”. The US, the European Union bloc, Germany and Japan are ranked as “insufficient”, while the UK, the host of the upcoming climate summit, is “almost sufficient”. Of the 36 countries, plus the EU, ranked by the Climate Action Tracker only the Gambia has made commitments in line with the 1.5C Paris goal. Combined, these countries make up 80% of global emissions.

Governments are supposed to periodically improve their emissions reduction targets in order to fulfil the promises made in Paris but progress has “stalled” this year, the researchers said.

‘Larger than usual’: this year’s ozone layer hole bigger than Antarctica

The hole in the ozone layer that develops annually is “rather larger than usual” and is currently bigger than Antartica, say the scientists responsible for monitoring it.

Researchers from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service say that this year’s hole is growing quickly and is larger than 75% of ozone holes at this stage in the season since 1979.

Ozone exists about seven to 25 miles (11-40km) above the Earth’s surface, in the stratosphere, and acts like a sunscreen for the planet, shielding it from ultraviolet radiation. Every year, a hole forms during the late winter of thesouthern hemisphere as the sun causes ozone-depleting reactions, which involve chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine derived from human-made compounds. In a statement Copernicus said that this year’s hole “has evolved into a rather larger than usual one”.

Vincent-Henri Peuch, the service’s director, told the Guardian: “We cannot really say at this stage how the ozone hole will evolve. However, the hole of this year is remarkably similar to the one of 2020, which was among the deepest and the longest-lasting – it closed around Christmas – in our records since 1979.

“The 2021 ozone hole is now among the 25% largest in our records since 1979, but the process is still under way. We will keep monitoring its development in the next weeks. A large or small ozone hole in one year does not necessarily mean that the overall recovery process is not going ahead as expected, but it can signal that special attention needs to be paid and research can be directed to study the reasons behind a specific ozone hole event.”

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Will US contractor CACI finally be punished for Abu Ghraib torture?

Australia Continues Its Plunge Into Authoritarianism And Military Brinkmanship

Drones, Likely Israeli, Attack Militia Sites on Iraq-Syria Border

The Latest Outrage Over Fed Presidents Trading Stocks Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Texas abortion ban creates chilling effect across state

House Dems Unveil Bill to Stop Wall Street From Destroying the Planet

Kansas boy’s insect entry at state fair wins prize – and triggers federal inquiry

Newly discovered Tennessee Williams story published for the first time

‘Heartbroken’ Osage Nation leaders decry sale of sacred Missouri cave with ancient artwork

Democracy Now: El Salvador Becomes First Nation to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender Amid Growing Authoritarianism

Ex-CIA, NSA CAUGHT SPYING On Americans For Foreign Governments

McKayla Maroney Reveals FBI LIES AND FAILURES In Larry Nassar Case

Jimmy Dore: Fauci Caught Lying To Congress About Wuhan Funding

A Little Night Music

Sonny Boy Williamson - Bring It On Home

Sonny Boy Williamson - I Don't Know

Sonny Boy Williamson - I`m A Lonely Man

Sonny Boy Williamson - Eyesight To The Blind

Sonny Boy Williamson - Unseen Eye

Sonny Boy Williamson - Unseeing Eye

Sonny Boy Williamson - Stop right now

Sonny Boy Williamson - Ninety Nine

Sonny Boy Williamson - I Ain´t Beggin´ Nobody

Sonny Boy Williamson - Little Village

Sonny Boy Williamson - She got next to me

18 users have voted.


QMS's picture

Care not for corruption per say. I deal more with corrosion, which is similar, but applied to metals.
Thanks for the round up Joe! I ain't beggin nobody to unnerstand where it is we land.

Just for the record, corrosion wins as well. What it is called? Entropy or ..

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, rust never sleeps. Smile

10 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

I'm was totally surprised at this revelation, since we were taught from day number one how us the civilians have total control over the military. Well golly gee we were lied to again, how can that possibly be.

Yet Milley only called China to tell his counterpart he'd stop Trump from going rogue. Why didn't Milley call Russia? Iran? North Korea? How does a President go rogue in america? It's the military who have recently discarded a presidents edict not to bomb a country here or there, not the other way around.

Anyhow the guy w/dementia has Milleys back, he could he possibly go rogue

Joe Biden threw his weight behind the top US military officer on Wednesday, saying he had “great confidence” in the general who, according to a new book, took steps to prevent the outgoing Republican president Donald Trump from “going rogue” and launching a nuclear war or an attack on China.

Hasn't a certain President been assassinated for not going along w/the military?

10 users have voted.

The correct response to someone who supports going to war if China attacks Taiwan is “Are you enlisted?”

The correct response when they inevitably answer “no” is “Then shut the fuck up.”


joe shikspack's picture


heh. i find it a little odd to be in agreement with vindman.

How does a President go rogue in america?

s/he ends the wrong war or tries to start a war that the mic hasn't done the full roll out for yet.

9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

but it's backkkk. You see UV?

Just another climate issue among many.

So it goes...and so do we.

Finally getting nick's least it is moderate ...but due for another week. Another case for so it goes.

Not complaining cause I'd rather have rain than not. Besides have only had 1.7" this month so far. Last month by the 16th we had over 7" I guess we're getting off easy.

Gray days effect attitude none the less. We just keep on keeping on here in the holler. Hope y'all are doing the same and faring well!

9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture


yeah, there hasn't been much coverage of the ozone hole since people thought that it was being mitigated by the disuse of cfcs in air conditioning and refrigeration. i guess that didn't fix the problem.

it was cloudy here today with some afternoon thunder and we've just started getting some showers tonight, looks like it's going to keep up through friday.

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


not in the msm. At least once last year, but I think more. Previous reports were more of a "yes, it is still there" type than this.

be well and have a good one

6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Almost 664,000 people had died of the virus in the US by Tuesday evening, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Of those deaths, a significant number could have been saved by including early intervention with a variety of existing safe and FDA approved drugs, prescribed by physicians “off label”. The “vaccine only” protocol was a colossal blunder that continues to this day to cost Americans their health and their lives.

I’m not talking about early intervention instead of vaccines, I’m talking about employing vaccines AND early interventions. Not either/or. Both.

9 users have voted.

“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” - Gen. George S. Patton

“Without a diversity of opinions, the discovery of truth is impossible.” - Alexander von Humboldt

joe shikspack's picture


i suppose that what happened is about what you would expect from a system that is more interested in profit than medicine.

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Good bit on the retired US spooks spying on and otherwise turning on US. Good news about CACI too, assuming that anything really happens.

Sonny Boy II is always welcome too

be well and have a good one.

6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, i was listening to the breaking points commentary about it and i was thinking that these fellows were just paying homage to america's supreme value, they were being good capitalists by selling their talents to the highest bidder. their only mistake was not being part of the top-tier class that can do no wrong before the law.

speaking of which, i suspect that caci will get off scot-free.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.
CB's picture

6.49 million pieces of data: The secrets of Fort Detrick

Fort Detrick was suddenly shut down after many violations were detected in 2019, followed by a series of "coincidences," including unknown pneumonia. What on earth was going on? What happened there? A reporter who has long been covering Fort Detrick uses 6.49 million pieces of data to reconstruct what happened.

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the video. i wish the sleuth good luck.

have a good evening!

5 users have voted.