Monday, January 31, 2022

PBS Terra's 'Weathered' examines how the wandering jet stream is making extreme weather worse

For the final entry of January 2022, I'm returning to the topic of last year's The connections among climate change, the wobbling jet stream, and the polar vortex explained by PBS Terra and CBS News with PBS Terra's "Weathered" asking Is THIS the Real Reason Weather is Getting Wilder?

If you feel like the weather has been getting a lot weirder and wilder lately, you’re not alone. While it’s easy to blame climate change, we need to dive deeper. There has been a recent increase in polar vortex events, extreme heat waves like in the Pacific Northwest, and extreme rain like we saw after Hurricane Ida. Even fires in Siberia and drought hint at a new dust bowl. NOAA’s 2020 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disaster report showed a notable uptick in extremes. And 2021 was no exception, with 10.6% of all weather stations reporting record temperatures. And with the continued emission of carbon into the atmosphere, this should come as no real surprise.

But some new scientific research shows that there is a surprising thread that connects nearly all of these weather events. Tune in to learn why it feels like our weather is spiraling out of control and what we might have in store.
I begin my reaction by recycling what I wrote last year.
The story Maiya May told "about these surprising effects of climate change and their connection to the jet stream, the polar vortex, and a phenomenon known as 'arctic amplification'" is one I've told before in Polar vortex and difference between climate and weather explained, Vox explains how a warming Arctic can cause extreme weather, and The polar vortex returns, bringing near-record cold temperatures, so it's not news to me. Still, this blog has gained a lot of new readers in the last two years, so I think it's worth repeating, especially with the new examples and footage in the PBS Terra video.
Since then, I wrote The costs of loss and prevention from the Texas polar vortex blackout from Vox and Business Insider, Western drought likely worst in a millennium and may be the beginning of 'aridification', Detroit floods while the Pacific Northwest bakes in record temperatures along with two entries that depicted the effects of Hurricane Ida, Seth Meyers and James Corden team up for Climate Night and 2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation, all of which are among the examples of extreme weather related to climate change PBS Terra mentioned in this video. I'm adding I had an eventful three days and two nights because of a severe storm knocking out my power to the posts about extreme weather, although I place less blame on the weather and more on local energy infrastructure not being up to the challenge. That connects to John Oliver on the power grid for Cut Your Energy Costs Day, but that's a topic for another day.

This concludes January 2022's blogging. Stay tuned for Lunar New Year and Groundhog Day! to begin February.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Delete Spotify trends after music streaming service chooses Joe Rogan over Neil Young

Man plans and G-d laughs: "Now I'm done posting about the pandemic this week, simply because the week is over, and for the month, as tomorrow is Sunday, when I usually write the weekly entertainment feature..." Hahahaha! I failed to account for an entertainment story about the pandemic that I found worth blogging about despite my declaration yesterday.* Watch MSNBC reporting Spotify agrees to take Neil Young's music off the platform on Wednesday.

Spotify said Wednesday that it has agreed to remove Neil Young's music after the singer-songwriter said he wouldn't share the platform with podcaster Joe Rogan, who has been criticized for spreading vaccine misinformation. The panel discusses.
I agree with Dr. Katrine Wallace; Joe Rogan is spreading misinformation that reinforces vaccine resistance, leading to the unvaccinated dying. Unfortunately, I also agree with Rolling Stone writer Andy Green and Ari Melber that Spotify chose Rogan over Neil Young because of the money. That may have turned out to be short-sighted, as CNN reported Friday '#DeleteSpotify' goes viral after Joe Rogan's podcast draws criticism.

Joe Rogan's podcast is under fire for peddling misinformation, as guest Jordan Peterson's comments on race, climate, gender, and Covid-19 drew controversy...CNN's Paula Newton has the story.
My wife and I were among those who canceled our Spotify subscriptions Friday. After listening to Peterson's comments about climate, I'm doubly glad that we did. We don't want our money supporting that.

The Hollywood Reporter uploaded Joni Mitchell Says She Will Stand With Neil Young & Remove Her Music From Spotify yesterday, showing Young is getting support from other artists.

Joni Mitchell said she will remove her music catalogue from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young, according to a message posted to her official website on Friday evening.“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue,” Mitchell wrote in the brief note on her website.
I conclude by noting that Nils Lofgren has also had his music removed from Spotify and Spotify stocks have lost $2 billion, about 6% of their market capitalization since this controversy started. As I wrote, choosing Rogan over Young for the money may have been short-sighted.

*The other choices were awards show nominations, a bunch of which came out last week, and school districts banning books. I decided the first was too much work — this blog is a hobby after all — and the second too depressing. I'd rather blog about something that catches my interest. Here's to it not being the pandemic again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

CNBC examines at-home testing and vaccine patents, a double pandemic update

I'm still not through posting about the pandemic this week, even after ASAPScience asks 'When Will COVID End?' yesterday and Joe Hanson of PBS Digital's 'Be Smart' describes what he's learned first-hand about Omicron, a pandemic update the day before that. Today's entry is a double feature of CNBC videos about two methods of containing the pandemic, tests and vaccines. I begin with yesterday's Can The U.S. Fix Its At-Home Covid Testing Problem?

The latest Covid-19 wave during the busy holiday travel season caught the U.S. flat-footed when it came to one key tool in its pandemic-fighting arsenal: at-home rapid tests.

The White House has made it clear that the tests — sold over-the-counter at drugstores — are critical to keeping the economy running during the current surge of the highly contagious omicron variant and any future variants. Demand for at-home tests has soared as infection and hospitalization rates soared to unforeseen levels in early 2022, leading to supply constraints and accusations of price gouging.

The fight against Covid-19 appears far from over, and those at-home rapid tests look poised to play a crucial role in federal and state efforts to mitigate another tough pandemic-era winter. The U.S. vaccination rate has stalled, leaving pockets of Americans vulnerable to severe disease. Experts also point out that kids under 5 years of age still don't have access to an approved vaccine. Even vaccinated Americans are testing positive for Covid-19, and researchers are trying to understand what that means for how well the variants spread.

Federal regulators at the Food and Drug Administration have been criticized for not authorizing at-home Covid tests quickly enough to match demand. Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's evolving testing guidance for the vaccinated also has confused test manufacturers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Watch the video above to find out how the U.S. fell behind on its at-home Covid testing strategy, and what the Biden administration is doing to fix it.
I can personally attest to two items mentioned in the video, the availability of tests and policies regarding testing. When I received my booster shot last month, I saw several customers ask for home testing kits only to be told they were sold out. People were worried once Omicron arrived in the U.S. Also, I know of at least one workplace that did not require testing or isolation of exposed people if they showed proof of vaccination. That was the CDC guidance at the time, which was before Omicron, a variant that can infect vaccinated and boosted people. Things change quickly.

I'm glad the Biden Administration has done its part to make tests more available. My wife has ordered a month's worth of tests and we are looking forward to having them arrive in the mail. May all of our results be negative.

Friday, January 28, 2022

ASAPScience asks 'When Will COVID End?'

I'm not through posting about the pandemic this week, even after Joe Hanson of PBS Digital's 'Be Smart' describes what he's learned first-hand about Omicron, a pandemic update yesterday. That's because the virus isn't done with us even though a lot are acting as if they're done with it and also because YouTube's algorithm recommended ASAPScience asking When Will COVID End?

Coming up on two years of the Coronavirus pandemic, how much longer will it last? Is it like the Spanish flu or will it never go away?
It could be like both. The pandemic may finally end, but COVID-19 may always be with us, as another common cold virus, although I think it will be an "uncommon cold" in its effects for years, if not decades, to come if it becomes endemic. That's not reassuring. I expect to be wearing masks during cold and flu season and getting annual booster shots for new strains for the forseeable future. Sigh.

As for getting rid of it altogether, we missed two opportunities already, first in the summer of 2020 when what looked like a second wave hit the U.S. South and then last summer when Delta arrived in the U.S. I don't know if we'll get a third chance unless and until Omicron burns itself out, which it probably will in a month or two. Double sigh.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Joe Hanson of PBS Digital's 'Be Smart' describes what he's learned first-hand about Omicron, a pandemic update

It's been less than a week since I posted SciShow explains what the Omicron variant means for the pandemic's future, but I have more news from science communicators. Joe Hanson of PBS Digital's "Be Smart" described Here's What I Learned…first-hand about Omicron after having been infected.

I’m vaccinated. I’m boosted. And I still got infected with the omicron variant of COVID-19. Here’s what I learned, and what it means for the possible end of this pandemic.

Well… I didn't expect I'd be making this video. But I'm certainly not alone in this experience. I'm getting better, and I'm glad to be able to share what I've learned about Omicron in case it might help you or someone you know.
I'm sorry to hear that Dr. Hanson is ill, but I'm glad his case is relatively mild, thanks to his being vaccinated and boosted. May we learn not only the facts but from his example. Stay safe!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

CNBC asks 'Can Sanctions Deter Russia From Invading Ukraine?'

I mentioned the military tensions between Russia and Ukraine as one of the reasons the Doomsday Clock remains at 100 seconds to midnight for 2022 last week. The week before that, CNBC asked Can Sanctions Deter Russia From Invading Ukraine?

Economic sanctions remain one of the most powerful tools the United States has in its foreign policy arsenal. And as Russian forces continue to amass along the border with Ukraine, officials in the U.S. hope the threat of those sanctions can deter a full-scale invasion.

Besides sanctions that target individuals or specific companies, some proposals involve cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system, which would remove Russian institutions from an important global financial network.

Another target is the near-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which when operational would double the amount of natural gas moved from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea and likely reduce the need for other pipelines, such as the Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhhorod pipeline that runs through Ukraine.
The answer is maybe not, at least by themselves. In addition, the two actions likely to be most effective would require the cooperation of our European allies, Belgium and others for SWIFT and Germany for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. That might be possible, but the experts interviewed by CNBC think those actions would be a major sacrifice for our allies and so are unlikely.

Another expert thought that Russia might be motivated enough to go ahead despite sanctions. Vox explained that when it explained Why Ukraine is trapped in endless conflict four years ago.

The present conflict in Ukraine started in 2014. Today, there are 100,000 fighters stationed in the country, making it one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world. In Ukraine's east, Ukrainian forces are engaged in a struggle with Russian-backed separatists.

A ceasefire was called in 2015, with a security zone established that was meant to foster peace. However, today the security zone remains one of the most violent places in the Ukraine. With over 10,000 deaths to date, and over 1.5 million civilians displaced, the cost of ignoring the ceasefire continues to mount by the day. And both sides are still building up their forces.
It looks like things haven't changed much since then, except Vladimir Putin seems to be running out of patience and sees an opportunity. That's not how I want him to be the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Happy Irish Coffee Day 2022!

Happy Irish Coffee Day! I skipped celebrating it on this last year, posting Talk show nominees at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards here and Celebrate Coffee Party USA's 11th birthday by giving a gift of $11.00 at Coffee Party USA's website instead.* I've decided to return to observing it here this year, especially since National Day Calendar just uploaded National Irish Coffee Day on January 25 today.

On a cold, wet day in 1942 weary travelers to the small Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland found their way to a restaurant and chef Joe Sheridan. To warm his guests, he served them hot coffee, spiked with whiskey and topped with whipped cream. The passengers asked if the beverage was Brazilian coffee. Sheridan responded that it was Irish coffee.
As soon as I saw this video in my search results, I subscribed to National Day Calendar's YouTube channel. I love holidays!

*The past four years, I've used today to fundraise for the Coffee Party. That's no longer my focus for today, as I explained in Colbert and Meyers take closer looks at the Taliban taking over Afghanistan.
Today is National Nonprofit Day, but beyond asking my readers to donate to their favorite nonprofit, I'm just not feeling it...That's because I'm no longer a director of a nonprofit and that nonprofit is no longer an independent organization with its own fundraising. If my readers want to support the Coffee Party and its parent organization Bridge Alliance, they can become a Friend of Bridge, contributions to which are tax deductible. They can also donate to whichever member of Bridge Alliance strikes their fancy. There, that's the pitch.
Since tomorrow is Coffee Party USA's 12th birthday, I recommend a donation of $12.00 to the Bridge Alliance Education Fund or whichever Bridge Alliance member strikes their fancy.

Monday, January 24, 2022

'Grizzy & the Lemmings' explain social distancing and masking for a late Norther

Yesterday was the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Winter Solstice, so it was Norther, a fake holiday created by John Michael Greer the Archdruid and kept alive by me. Greer decreed the lemming the animal mascot for the holiday, which I've run with. I'm going to continue that today with some bonus pandemic content from "Grizzy & the Lemmings," Even Grizzy & the Lemmings social distance and apply protective measures.

Grizzy & the Lemmings are also applying social distancing and protective measures against COVID-19!
Ha, ha! That's one way to make protective measures funny. Also, I think I've found a source of videos for Norther from now on. Since there are currently 172 other videos on this channel, I will never run out as long as the channel is up.

For some adult content, I'm embedding Johnny English Strikes Again Exclusive Movie Clip - Olive Slip (2018) for the source of the London Lemming.


That drink sounds even more stupid and bad-tasting than in the Tipsy Bartender video that Skyy took down. Too bad we didn't see Rowan Atkinson's character actually drink it. That would have been either hilarious or disappointing.

So much for the return to reality I promised yesterday. At least it was short. Oh, and a belated happy Norther! May I not be late next year, when it falls on January 8, 2023.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

'Don't Look Up' has an all-star cast in a satire about climate change

For today's Sunday entertainment feature, I am following through on a promise I made in Politics, government, and diversity among movie nominees at the 2022 Golden Globes.
"Don't Look Up," "Licorice Pizza," and "West Side Story" all tie for the most nominated comedy or musical with four nominations each. The most political is "Don't Look Up," which uses a comet impact as a metaphor for the reaction to and inaction about climate change. This is right up my alley and I plan on writing an entry concentrating on the film.
I begin with DON'T LOOK UP | Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Based on real events that haven’t happened - yet. Don’t Look Up in select theaters December 10 and on Netflix December 24.

DON’T LOOK UP tells the story of two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. Written and Directed by Adam McKay.
As the trailer advertises, this movie truly features an all-star cast with five Oscar winners for acting, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Mark Rylance, two Oscar nominees for acting, Jonah Hill and Timothee Chalamet, the Oscar-and-Emmy-winning Tyler Perry, who earned those awards for his efforts behind the camera but who qualifies as a sixth Oscar winner, Golden Globe winners Ron Pearlman and Michael Chiklis, SAG Award winners Rob Morgan and Paul Guilfoyle, Grammy winners Ariana Grande and Scott Mescudi as Kid Cudi, Critics' Choice and SAG Award nominee Melanie Lynskey, and SAG Award nominee Himesh Patel. That's fifteen actors with major award wins and nominations, fourteen of whom share the nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Sorry to say that IMDB does not list Paul Guilfoyle among the nominees. On the one hand, he is only in one scene, but his character's actions become a running joke for the rest of the movie. Because he could. Do my readers have a better answer?

Enough about the cast. What about the science? WatchMojo covers much of that in Top 10 Things Don't Look Up Got Factually Right and Wrong.

It's time to separate fact from fiction when it comes to "Don't Look Up". For this list, we’ll be looking at what the satirical sci-fi flick got right and wrong about climate change, as the Netflix film has drawn a lot of attention for its references to real life. Our countdown includes The Science Is Clear, The Next Gold Rush Will Be Critical Elements & Minerals, The Climate Crisis Is Just One Problem, and more!
That pretty much summarizes the accuracy of the science, at least regarding climate change. The movie's treatment of climate change was accurate enough that it won the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize. That's good enough for me.

For what it's worth, the human response to both the comet and climate change also matches that to the pandemic, which I find to be an unhappy accident, right down the misinformation, including from politicians. Sigh.


The cast earned another nomination for its cast at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, including Best Picture, Best Comedy, Best Original Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Original Song. The Society of Composers and Lyricists also recognized the score and song.


In addition, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominated the music for two comparable awards along with Best Original Song – Onscreen Performance. "Don't Look Up" won Best Original Score - Feature Film, but lost the song categories to Billie Eilish for Best Original Song and Best Original Song – Onscreen Performance to Emilia Jones singing "Both Sides Now" in "CODA." I predicted that Eilish would win the Golden Globe, so I'm not surprised. Since the Golden Globes did not nominate the song, here's Ariana Grande & Kid Cudi - Just Look Up (Full Performance Video) | Don't Look Up | Netflix to close out the entry.

The official "Just Look Up" full performance video by Ariana Grande & Kid Cudi from 'Don't Look Up', Adam McKay’s next comedy.
The song is on the Oscar shortlist, so break a leg to be nominated.

That's it for entertainment. I'll return to reality tomorrow for a series of short posts. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

SciShow explains what the Omicron variant means for the pandemic's future

It's time for a pandemic update from SciShow, What Omicron Means for the Pandemic’s Future.

New variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with the latest one being Omicron. We’re still trying to learn about its effects and what it means for the overall course of the pandemic, but here’s what we know right now.
On the one hand, the individual risks for an infection seem to be less with lower per case chances of hospitalization and death. On the other, Omicron infects more people, appears to evade immune responses more often, and can re-infect people. The bottom line is that a smaller proportion of a much larger number can still result in more hospitalizations and death. That's one reason why I'm glad I got my booster shot, as I reported in Vox, TODAY, and ABC News look back at 2021. May I serve as a good example to my readers, in addition to helping provide accurate and timely information about COVID-19.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Doomsday Clock remains at 100 seconds to midnight for 2022

It's the time of year to update the Doomsday Clock. NBC News has the story in Doomsday Clock Remains At 100 Seconds To Midnight, Unchanged From 2021.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have announced that the Doomsday Clock will remain at 100 seconds to midnight, the same as it was set to in 2021. The group cited nuclear weapons, climate change, and the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they “pose an existential threat to humanity.”
WGN News expanded on the announcement in Doomsday Clock Set to 100 Seconds to Midnight: CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explains.

Doomsday Clock Set to 100 Seconds to Midnight: Dr Rachel Bronson, CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, explains
I suppose it's good news of a sort that, despite 2021 being the sixth warmest year on record globally, fourth warmest in U.S., a sign that climate change continues during the pandemic, the military tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the addition of misinformation as a threat, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists didn't move the clock any closer to midnight. The bad news is that its editors didn't move it any farther away. This is one of the rare times when I use the doom label seriously.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

PBS Digital's 'Be Smart' asks 'Can We Actually Clean Up the Plastic Pollution Problem?'

I discussed three of Commoner's Laws in CNBC explains 'Why The U.S. Has A Massive Lithium Supply Problem', there is no free lunch, everything is connected to everything else, and nature knows best. Today, it's time to examine about the fourth, there is no away, using PBS Digital's "Be Smart" asking Can We Actually Clean Up the Plastic Pollution Problem?

Can we really clean our way out of this problem?
...
There’s been a lot of talk on YouTube lately about ocean plastic pollution and #TeamSeas. But there hasn’t been enough talk about the **ridiculously unthinkable scale of the ocean plastic pollution problem** or how it intersects with other environmental issues like climate change. And here’s a big spoiler alert: Nearly all environmental scientists agree that ocean plastic pollution isn’t a problem we can clean our way out of. So what CAN we do? That’s what this video is about.
...
There's been a lot of talk about cleaning up plastic pollution on YouTube lately. But there was a lot that wasn't talked about too. The problem is much, MUCH bigger than you realize, and it's worth asking: Can we actually clean our way out of this problem? Or do we need other solutions? That's why I made this video. And if you want more, there's oodles of references in the description!
The longevity of plastic is the answer to one of the questions I ask about Treasures of the Earth: Power: "Why is plastic a challenge for disposal?" The answer I'm expecting is that it isn't biodegradable and persists in the environment. Students also answer that there are so many varieties of plastic, many of which aren't recyclable. I also accept that answer, even though it's not the point of that part of the video.

Speaking of the varieties of plastic, PBS in both "Be Smart" and "Treasures of the Earth" describe the number of uses for plastic, which I also ask about: "What uses are there for plastic? Name five uses or products." That's for the environmental science students; I cut it from the worksheet for geology so I could ask a question about the depositional environment of coal — swamps. Priorities.

By the way, "Treasures of the Earth: Power" includes that same clip from "The Graduate." At the time, it was a joke and an unflattering character observation. More than 50 years later, it has turned out to be ironically prophetic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Vox explains why we don't hear about the ozone layer anymore, some good news about the environment

I haven't mentioned the ozone layer on this blog since R.I.P. George H.W. Bush, the last Republican President I voted for more than three years ago and haven't made it the main subject of a post since Good news everyone! Ozone hole shrinking six years ago. Vox explains the reasons for that in Why you don’t hear about the ozone layer anymore.

Finally, some good news about the environment.
...
In the ’80s, scientists discovered there was a hole in the ozone over the South Pole. A significant layer of gas that deflects much of the sun’s radiation was disappearing much faster than anyone expected. Projections suggested it would collapse by 2050, increasing skin cancer rates, harming crops, and destroying the marine food chain. The situation was dire. But today, we are on the path to recovery.

Dr. Susan Solomon, among other scientists, contributed key findings to understand what was depleting the ozone layer and how to address it. In this video she takes us back to her expedition to Antarctica, breaks down how we managed to fix this huge problem, and looks at our next big environmental challenge — climate change — with the unbridled optimism that drove her to fix the ozone hole.
If I ever need a video to replace Seeker's What Ever Happened To The Hole In The Ozone Layer? with Trace Dominguez hosting, this will be it. It certainly is, as the video description states, "good news about the environment" that serves as a model of how to treat climate change and enough to make me repost Professor Farnsworth, something else I haven't done since 2018.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

CNBC explains 'Why The U.S. Has A Massive Lithium Supply Problem'

I return to short posts about reality with CNBC's Why The U.S. Has A Massive Lithium Supply Problem.

The United States has a lithium supply problem. Nearly every major automaker has announced a transition to electric vehicles, Tesla delivered almost one million cars in 2021, and electric vehicle companies like Rivian and Lucid are rolling new models off the line.

In order to power all of these EVs, we will need batteries, lots of them. Electric vehicle growth will be responsible for more than 90% of demand for lithium by 2030, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. But lithium is also in our phones, computers, ceramics, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, and is essential for solar and wind energy storage. This vital mineral in rechargeable batteries has earned the name “white gold” and the rush is on.

But today, the U.S. is far behind, with only 1% of global lithium being mined and processed in the U.S., according to the USGS. More than 80% of the world’s raw lithium is mined in Australia, Chile, and China. And China controls more than half of the world’s lithium processing and refining and has three fourths of the lithium-ion battery megafactories in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. There is only one operating lithium mine in the U.S., Albemarle’s Silver Peak, Nevada.

But that could be changing. Last June, the Biden administration released a blueprint for jumpstarting domestic lithium production and refining as well as battery manufacturing, and set a national EV sales goal of 50% by 2030.
This video ties into a lot of lessons I teach my geology and environmental science students. Time to recycle.
This video touches on three lessons I teach my students, all of which connect to Commoner's Laws. First, there is no free lunch when it comes to resources that have to be mined. Mining causes a lot of environmental damage, as the video shows. The pollution itself is an example of everything must go somewhere; there is no "away."

Second, everything is connected to everything else, in this case through the global supply chain. In particular, that the U.S. is 100% dependent on imported rare earths, particularly from China, leaves us vulnerable to China threatening to restrict exports of rare earths, which could seriously impede our high-technology and green economies. I tell both my geology and environmental science students about that every semester.

The last lesson is a hopeful one based on nature knows best. As I noted in Seeker and CNBC examine the hidden environmental costs of electric cars and how to reduce them by recycling, recycling mimics natural chemical cycling in the environment. In that entry, technology used chemical and physical processes to extract lithium and other batter[y] components.
In this video, the nature knows best lesson is using renewable energy and cycling the brine to extract lithium from beneath the Salton Sea.

As for the tone, I commented before on CNBC's perma-bull attitude and tendency to prioritize entertainment as much as information, although the latter is more prevalent on their CNBC Television YouTube channel than the main CNBC channel, and CNBC being watched by people who think they own the country. All of those make me hear "ka-ching" whenever the video brings up stock prices, but I'm not going to discourage people from investing in green energy. The world needs those people to do something useful with their money.

It's time for me to return to teaching. In the meantime, stay tuned for more short posts through Thursday.

Monday, January 17, 2022

'King Richard,' 'West Side Story,' 'Pose,' and more diversity among Golden Globes winners for MLK Day


A happy and contemplative MLK Day, when I have examined diversity in visual media since 2015. I'm continuing that tradition today by looking at the diverse winners of the 2022 Golden Globes. People Magazine had the best coverage of the winning films, TV shows, and actors in Golden Globes 2022 Winners Have Been Announced!

This year's unprecedented Golden Globes are here.

On Sunday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association revealed the winners of the 79th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, recognizing film and television from the past year.

There was no audience or nominees in attendance at the awards show following the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases as the highly-contagious omicron variant rockets through the U.S. Only "select members and grantees" were in the room as the awards were announced, according to the organization. There was no red carpet, and media was also not invited to attend.
It still skipped supporting acting winners as well as people behind the camera and the "lesser" film categories. I'll get to them after the jump as well.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

'SNL' begins 2022 with a message from Biden about the pandemic and movies

"Saturday Night Live" broadcast its first show of 2022 last night, so I begin, as it did, with Message from the President Cold Open.

President Joe Biden (James Austin Johnson) delivers an important message about the Omicron variant.
Before I woke up this morning, I had other plans for the Sunday entertainment feature, but watching a Joe Biden impersonator ranting about people watching Spider-Man: No Way Home contributing to the spread of the pandemic was enough to make me change my mind.

I continue with President Biden and politics with Weekend Update: Biden’s Agenda Stalls.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like Dr. Fauci calling Senator Robert Marshall a moron.
That's quite a news roundup, including topics I did cover, like PBS NewsHour on voting rights, and some I didn't, like the Oath Keepers being charged with seditious conspiracy and Dr. Anthony Fauci testifying before the Senate. Thanks to SNL's Weekend Update, I managed to cover them.

The news continued with Weekend Update: Robert Durst Dies & New Maya Angelou Quarter.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like a lesbian bar offering Covid tests.
While I like it and think it's a good symbolic step, I agree with Che that it's not exactly what people want for change.

Follow over the jump for more from last night's show.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

2021 sixth warmest year on record globally, fourth warmest in U.S., NASA and NOAA report

I concluded 2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation by writing "That's it for last year's climate and weather until NASA and NOAA weigh in on how 2021 ranks among the hottest years on record." Both science agencies released their findings on Thursday, so it's time for this year's version of 2020 tied with 2016 for warmest year on record, NASA reports. I begin with ABC15 Arizona's The heat stays on: Earth hits 6th warmest year on record in 2021.

Two U.S. science agencies say 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record globally, part of a long-term warming trend.
ABC15 Arizona interviewed a scientist with NASA. 9News in Denver, Colorado, interviewed a NOAA scientist in 2021 was the sixth hottest year globally, said NOAA.

Scientists with NOAA say that the global temperature in 2021 was not as warm as the last two years. Still - it was one of the top 10 warmest years on record.
That was worth embedding just for the preview image from Climate Central, let alone all the other images of last year's climate and weather from NOAA. If 9News had used ABC15's video description, I'd have placed this video first.

Not only was 2021 the sixth warmest worldwide, it was the fourth warmest in U.S. history, as ABC10 in Sacramento, California, reported in 2021 was the 6th warmest year on record across the globe, added to weather extremes.

2021 was the 4th warmest year on record for the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
ABC10 got very local in the second half of this video, concentrating of the effects of climate change on precipitation. That ties into one of the questions I asked my students about An Inconvenient Truth: "What is the predicted effect of global warming on floods and droughts?" The answer is that it will make both more extreme, exactly what ABC10 showed for its coverage area in its video.

ABC10 included clips of NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt in its report. Here's the source video from NASA Goddard: Temperature Record 101: How We Know What We Know about Climate Change.

2021 was tied for the sixth warmest year on NASA’s record, stretching more than a century.

But, what is a temperature record?

GISTEMP, NASA’s global temperature analysis, takes in millions of observations from instruments on weather stations, ships and ocean buoys, and Antarctic research stations, to determine how much warmer or cooler Earth is on average from year to year. Stretching back to 1880, NASA’s record shows a clear warming trend.

However, individual weather events and La NiƱa — a pattern of cooler waters in the Pacific that was responsible for slightly cooling 2021’s average temperature — can affect individual years. Because the record is global, not every place on Earth experienced the sixth warmest year on record. Some places had record-high temperatures, and we saw record droughts, floods and fires around the globe.
So completes 2021 in climate. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Seth Meyers takes closer looks at the week's news while in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

Shortly after I posted Meyers and Colbert take closer looks at Marjorie Taylor Greene's permanent Twitter suspension and CNN's New Year's Eve party, Seth Meyers tested positive for COVID-19 and canceled the rest of that week's shows. He returned the next week with shows produced remotely while he was in isolation, including three closer look segments. I begin with the most recent, last night's Mike Lindell Wants Everyone in Jail; Kevin McCarthy Stonewalls Jan 6 Probe: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy saying he will not cooperate with the Jan 6 probe and Mike Lindell’s plan to prove there was fraud in the 2020 election.
Once again, Mike Lindell demostrated why he deserved to win two Razzies, including Worst Film for "Absolute Proof." As for Kevin McCarthy, his clumsy attempt to evade Mike Wallace's questions reminds me that "my nickname for McCarthy is Pickled Tongue after a menu item at the leading Basque restaurant in his home town, a place I know, having lived there, too." Good thing I already have a Pickled Tongue label for him.

Seth hearkened back to two news stories that he used for this week's previous closer looks, Ted Cruz on Fox News and The Former Guy on NPR. Neither of those went well for the interviewees. Follow over the jump to watch those.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

PBS NewsHour reports on Bridge Alliance members and others trying to build bridges across political divides

The second video I embedded in PBS NewsHour on voting rights mentioned a segment by Paul Solman. Here it is: Political polarization prompts efforts to bridge the gap through shared experiences.

PBS NewsHour spent much of last week trying to examine what still divides our country and the deep polarization that preceded the Jan. 6 riots. Now, Paul Solman looks at multiple efforts to bridge those major political and cultural fissures in the U.S., beginning with smaller steps forward.
I took particular interest in it because it mentioned Bridge Alliance members Braver Angels, BridgeUSA, Civic Health Project, and Common Ground Committee and showed their logos while explaining their work. That's because, while I'm no longer a director of Coffee Party USA and it's no longer an independent organization with its own fundraising, I'm working with its new parent organization Bridge Alliance promoting their work on Coffee Party USA's Facebook page. I couldn't resist noticing PBS featuring their work and sharing it with my readers. As much as outrage drives readership, I'd like to devote some energy to activism that lowers the emotional temperature. I hope at least some of my readers do, too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rachel Maddow reports on suspicious similarities among fake elector letters in five states

While I've focused on the after-effects of the violent part of last year's attempted self-coup, there was also a non-violent, if possibly also illegal, effort to retain The Former Guy as President. MSNBC uploaded an edited-for-time version of Rachel Maddow reporting and commenting on Similarities Suggest Coordination In Fake Elector Letters From Republicans In Five States.

Rachel Maddow updates reporting on Republicans submitting forged elector letters as if Donald Trump had won their states instead of Joe Biden, with the number of states involved up to at least five, and a pattern of coordination becoming more evident.
I agree with Rachel; it sure looks coordinated. American Oversight thinks so, too.
The fake electoral certificates were assembled by groups of Trump supporters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who sought to replace the valid presidential electors from their state — who had been chosen by voters in free and fair elections — with bogus slates of pro-Trump electors.

None of the certificates contains any indication that they list illegitimate slates of electors not chosen by those states’ voters.

The coordinated, multi-state effort to cast doubt on the 2020 election and undermine the electoral vote process tragically led to the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in which a pro-Trump mob stormed the building and sought to physically block the congressional certification of each state’s real Electoral College votes.
Both the Rachel Maddow Show and American Oversight are continuing to investigate this multi-state effort to overturn the election. I plan on relaying their findings when they come out. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

PBS NewsHour on voting rights

I last covered voting rights in Colbert and Klobuchar on the insurrection one year later, where Senator Amy Klobuchar stressed the importance of passing voting rights legislation. PBS NewsHour covered the topic last night, beginning with Democrats make push for voting rights legislation in Congress.

U.S. senators returned to work in Washington, D.C. Monday as Democrats launched their most concerted push yet on voting legislation. Lisa Desjardins joins Judy Woodruff to discuss voting rights, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act and more.
It looks like the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are at least trying to reach a deal involving the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act, and another piece of election legislation, the Electoral Count Act. I'm with Chuck Schumer on this one; all of them need to be passed, not just the Electoral Count Act, the ambiguity of which ended up being exploited by The Former Guy as the basis of his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

PBS NewsHour continued the conversation in Tamara Keith and Lisa Lerer on the political stakes of voting rights.

NPR’s Tamara Keith and The New York Times Lisa Lerer join Judy Woodruff to discuss the latest political news, including why Democrats are pushing voting rights legislation now, how Republicans have shifted thinking on voting rights and the prospects of bridging political divides.
As I keep writing about awards shows, most recently for the Golden Globes, electorates matter. The conflict over voting rights includes the ability for laws to affect the composition of the electorate with inaction on the federal level allowing action on the state level to restrict the electorate, while passing these bills will allow for an expanded electorate. I'm in favor of the latter.

Also, I'm getting tired of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema being unwilling to change the filibuster rules for voting rights legislation. They may support the bills, but if they can't cut off debate, then the legislation won't pass. I wonder if they're trying to have their cake and eat it, too.

I'm sure I'll have more on voting rights as the story develops. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 10, 2022

John Oliver on the power grid for Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day! I first and last celebrated the day four years ago in Seth Meyers and John Oliver on coal and hawks for Cut Your Energy Costs Day and Save the Eagles Day. Today, I return to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with The Power Grid to celebrate.

John Oliver discusses the current state of the nation’s power grid, why it needs fixing, and, of course, how fun balloons are.
That's quite the use of comedy in the service of urging Americans to upgrade our energy infrastructure for a more sustainable future. I approve.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Politics, government, and diversity among movie nominees at the 2022 Golden Globes


I told my readers to "Stay tuned for part two featuring the movie nominees, which will be the Sunday entertainment feature" in part 1 yesterday, so here are the film nominations at tonight's ceremony without stars with handicaps of their chances to win along with analyses of their politics and government content served with side helpings of how well they present diversity.

Best Motion Picture: Drama

Belfast
CODA
Dune
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
This category includes both of the most nominated films, "Belfast" and "The Power of the Dog" with seven nominations each. The former is more political, as it takes place in Northern Ireland during the 1960s, when The Troubles started to escalate, while the latter is more personal, although both are primarily family dramas. The same is true of the next most nominated drama film, "King Richard," with four nominations, although it's also a sports story with a strong element of racial diversity, so social commentary is an important element, if not the dominant one. Skipping to the nominee with the fewest nominations, two, "CODA" is another family drama that explores another axis of diversity, ability, and includes social commentary. My personal favorite is "Dune" with three nominations. As I wrote on TV Talk Show Host Day, it features a lot of futuristic politics and political allegory in its science fiction. "Dune" probably also features a racially diverse cast.

I think it's between "Belfast" and "The Power of the Dog" for this award, with the edge going to "Belfast." This is an international film and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is voting, so I think that might be enough. As I reiterate whenever I write about awards programs, electorates matter. Speaking of which, the Motion Picture Academy might favor "The Power of the Dog" while a vote of the general audience would probably pick "Dune," the only nominee also nominated at the People's Choice Awards.

Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy

Cyrano
Don't Look Up
Licorice Pizza
tick, tick... BOOM!
West Side Story
"Don't Look Up," "Licorice Pizza," and "West Side Story" all tie for the most nominated comedy or musical with four nominations each. The most political is "Don't Look Up," which uses a comet impact as a metaphor for the reaction to and inaction about climate change. This is right up my alley and I plan on writing an entry concentrating on the film. While it's my favorite, it's not my pick to win unless the HFPA really wants to make a political statement. Instead, I think "West Side Story" has the inside track. I've heard and read nothing but good things about it other than its disappointing box office and some quibbles about its representation of Puerto Ricans, which still makes it the most diverse among nominated comedies and musicals. That's too bad for "Licorice Pizza," which takes place where I grew up from the perspective of someone near my age at the time and which has a campaign of Los Angeles Mayor as part of the plot. I think I'd like to watch that.

"Cyrano" and "tick, tick... BOOM!" both have two nominations. The former, like "West Side Story," is an updated adaptation of a classic, while the latter is a biography of the creator of "Rent." I think that might play better with the Hollywood creators than it would with the HFPA.

Best Animated Feature

Encanto
Flee
Luca
My Sunny Maad
Raya and the Last Dragon
I decided to move both Best Animated Feature and Best Foreign Language Film up here so that all of nominations of films instead of individuals would all be together at the head of the post instead of being last on the list. I think that gives them the credit they're due.

"Encanto" is the only nominee with more than one nomination in this field, three, so I consider it the odds-on favorite. Its main competition is probably "Flee," which beat "Summer of Soul" at the Gotham Independent Film Awards in the documentary feature category. It's also on the shortlist for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, making "Flee" a triple threat.

All of the nominees feature diversity, although in the case of "Luca," it's fantastic instead of realistic. "Raya and the Last Dragon" also features fantastic politics and government, while both "Flee" and "My Sunny Maad" have animated takes on the political situation in Afghanistan.

Best Foreign Language Film

Compartment No. 6 (Finland)
Drive My Car (Japan)
The Hand of God (Italy)
A Hero (Iran)
Parallel Mothers (Spain)
Only "Parallel Mothers" has more than one nomination with the other for Best Original Score, so I would say it's the nominal favorite. However, the Motion Picture Academy did not put it on the shortlist for Best International Feature Film, so that might dull its edge. On the other hand, all the rest of the nominees did make that shortlist. Again, electorates matter.

Follow over the jump for the individual nominations, both for actors and the people behind the camera.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Politics, government, and diversity in television nominees at the 2022 Golden Globes


I closed Colbert, Kimmel, and 'The Daily Show' remember January 6th with an entertainment programming note.
Stay tuned for a two-part post about the Golden Globes, despite the scandal that forced it off television this year.
Without any further ado, here are the television nominees at tomorrow night's Golden Globes with handicaps of their chances to win along with analyses of their politics and government content served with side helpings of how well they present diversity.

Best Television Series: Drama

Lupin (Netflix)
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Pose (FX)
Squid Game (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)
In addition to "Succession" being the nominee most about American politics, it is both a former winner and the most nominated television series at these awards with five, so I consider it the favorite. While "The Morning Show" has four nominations as the second most nominated drama series and has some political content as a portrayal of a fiction morning news show, it's not my pick to upset. Instead, I think "Squid Game," IGN's Best TV Show of 2021, has that distinction. It's also the nominee with the strongest speculative fiction theme. This is despite "Pose" being the only drama nominee at the Emmy Awards in this field. "Pose," "Squid Game," and "Lupin" also have the most diverse casts.

Best Television Series: Comedy

The Great (Hulu)
Hacks (HBO Max)
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Reservation Dogs (FX on Hulu)
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Just like the Emmy Awards, this category is a contest between "Ted Lasso" and "Hacks" that "Ted Lasso" should win as it is the most nominated comedy series with four. Of the two, "Ted Lasso" has the more diverse cast as well, but not the most diverse among the nominees. That distinction belongs to "Reservation Dogs," which also has the strongest speculative fiction themes in the form of magical realism. While police play recurring roles in both "Reservation Dogs" and "Only Murders in the Building," "The Great" has the most government and politics content, as it's a comedic look at a young Catherine the Great of Russia.

Best Miniseries or Television Film

Dopesick (Hulu)
Impeachment: American Crime Story (FX)
Maid (Netflix)
Mare of Easttown (HBO)
The Underground Railroad (Prime Video)
"Mare of Easttown" and "The Underground Railroad" are the Emmy nominees in this field, a contest in which I'm sure "Mare of Easttown" would have the advantage if it came down between them. However, I think the contest is really between "Mare of Easttown" and "Maid" with "Dopesick" being the spoiler. Both of the latter have more nominations, three each to two for "Mare of Easttown," but those aren't enough for me to think either is the favorite. While I consider "The Underground Railroad" to have the strongest diversity and speculative fiction content, it doesn't have the greatest political content. I think that goes to "Impeachment: American Crime Story."

Follow over the jump for the acting categories.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Colbert, Kimmel, and 'The Daily Show' remember January 6th

I'm not done with Stephen Colbert on the insurrection one year later. Stephen began Biden Takes The Gloves Off, Tears Into The Former President For Inciting Jan. 6th Riot by telling the story behind his monologue about the attempted self-coup, the fourth most read entry posted during the tenth year of this blog.

One year after a violent mob ransacked the U.S. Capitol, Stephen looks back at The Late Show's spontaneous live episode from that night, and listens as President Biden blames the former president without mentioning him by name. #Colbert #Comedy #Monologue
A sitting president publicly criticizing his immediate predecessor is unprecedented. Then again, his unpresidented predecessor attempting a self-coup to keep himself in power is also unprecedented.

The show began with a musical cold open for the occasion, Abhor-Rent: 525,600 Minutes Since The Insurrection.

A surprisingly light look back at one of America's darkest days.
"Like Mussolini but dumb" reminds me of the image I used to illustrate Kunstler said Americans would elect maniacs.


Still true.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" uploaded their own comedic retrospective, This Week in January 6th History.

We take a look back at where we were just one year ago today in a special edition of “This Week in January 6th History.”
January 6th is also the 28th anniversary of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan? I'd say "welcome to Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten" except that the people involved were from Oregon and would likely have perpetrated the assault wherever the location of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In 1994, it just happened to be in Detroit. Not our fault.

Speaking of "not our fault," trying to blame the attack on Antifa reminds me that Projection is the Right's favorite defense mechanism. That's even more true nine years after I wrote it.

I conclude with "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," which asked The January 6th Insurrectionists: Where Are They Now?

It’s been a year since the infamous insurrection at the Capitol… what are these rioters up to nowadays?
The answer is serving time or awaiting justice for the people who actually entered the Capitol illegally, but no legal consequences so far for the politicians. Worse yet, I agree that The Former Guy is plotting his return to power, legitimate or not. I am not looking forward to 2024.

Stay tuned for a two-part post about the Golden Globes, despite the scandal that forced it off television this year.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Colbert and Klobuchar on the insurrection one year later

I concluded Brenda Lawrence announces retirement from Congress and Rashida Tlaib announces run for her new district, the latest in Congressional musical chairs from Michigan with a program note for today.
Stay tuned for the anniversary of last year's attempted self-coup. That certainly won't be a cheerful occasion.
No, but Stephen Colbert can still milk some laughs out of it. Watch is monologue, Hannity's Role In Jan 6th Planning Revealed | Stephen's Song Explains The New CDC Guidelines.

It appears that Fox News host Sean Hannity had advance knowledge of the former President's plans for the Jan 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Stephen Colbert has a special song to help everyone understand the CDC's updated Covid-19 quarantine guidelines.
I've read lots of people call Fox News "state television" during The Former Guy's administration. No, that's Voice of America. It is party television, however, and Hannity's apparent knowledge before and actions during and after the insurrection support my assessment.

Speaking of my expert opinion, Colbert calling Arizona "America's backup Florida" isn't far off. There are lots of snowbirds and retirees there, just like Florida. My late maternal grandparents were among them, as they moved there after my grandfather retired. TFG will love the place, even though it voted for Biden two years ago, and I'm happy he canceled today's press conference.

As for calling the COVID-19 test "the Nosey-Pokey," I'm only surprised that it took this long for someone to call it that and make a song about it.

Follow over the jump for Senator Amy Klobuchar's three-part interview.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Brenda Lawrence announces retirement from Congress and Rashida Tlaib announces run for her new district, the latest in Congressional musical chairs from Michigan

It's redistricting time again! While I was posting retrospectives of the year just ended, the Michigan redistricting commission adopted its final Congressional map. Since Michigan lost another seat in the House of Representatives, that's kicking off the decennial game of musical chairs as U.S. Representatives scramble for seats. The latest happened today, as WDIV 4/Click on Detroit reported Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence announces she won’t seek reelection to Congress.

Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence has formally announced that she will not seek reelection to Congress.
The Hill uploaded the entire announcement in 25th House Democrat Announces Plans To Retire From Congress along with a video description that puts it in a national political context.

Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) on Tuesday said she would not seek another term after serving eight years in Congress, making her the 25th House Democrat this year to announce plans to retire.
On the one hand, I'm disappointed, as I live in the new 12th Congressional District and I was looking forward to her representing my wife and me in Washington, D.C. On the other, my wife passed along the following Detroit Free Press story: Rep. Rashida Tlaib to run for reelection in new Detroit-Dearborn-Southfield district.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, announced Wednesday that she will run for reelection to her third term in the newly created district merging west Detroit with Dearborn, western Wayne County and Southfield.

The announcement came about 12 hours after U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, said she would not run for re-election to a fifth term. Had Lawrence run for reelection, it likely would have been in the same district Tlaib will now run in.
The saying is that nature abhors a vacuum, which isn't strictly true because much of the universe is a near vacuum, but politics also abhors a vacuum and Tlaib quickly filled this one. The Detroit Free Press explained why she did so instead of remaining in the new district where she currently resides.
While Tlaib doesn't currently live in what will be known as the 12th Congressional District, she plans to move. From a political standpoint, the decision makes sense, given that Tlaib's base in what is currently the 13th Congressional District has been on the west side of Detroit and in western Wayne County.
Now I'm looking forward to voting for Tlaib so she can be my Representative in Congress. That ends my short-lived disappointment.

Lawrence and Tlaib weren't the first Representatives to announce their moves to run for a new seat. Debbie Dingell did so last week, which WDIV 4/Click on Detroit reported in What impact will redistricting have at the polls?


Dingell decided to move out of a district created because of the Voting Rights Act, a move that would have originally helped Lawrence but now helps Tlaib, to the new 6th district that is nominally open but Dingell represented and contains her most loyal voters. I think that was a smart move and I'm glad she took it. The same is true for Elissa Slotkin, who announced that she would be moving from her home in Holly, Michigan to run in the new 7th District, which contains most of her voters. I wish Haley Stevens would do the same for the open 10th instead of running against Andy Levin, my current Representative. I'd like to keep both of them in Congress, but that doesn't look like it will happen. Sigh.

Speaking of sighing at the outcome, the Detroit Free Press described one outcome of Tlaib moving.
Her decision, taken with Lawrence's, leaves a newly drawn 13th District that includes much of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, Southfield and part of southeastern Oakland County without a sitting member of Congress looking to run there. That is expected to set off a scramble among Democrats to fill the open seat.
The leading candidate as I write this is Shri Thanedar, who represents part of Detroit in the Michigan House of Representatives. He's well-off and can self-fund. However, he's not alone in wanting that seat or challenging Tlaib, as the Detroit News reported.
[13th District Democratic Party Chair Jonathan] Kinloch has heard from a few potential candidates who are weighing a run in the new 13th District, including attorney Michael Griffie, state Sen. Marshall Bullock of Detroit and former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr., now chief of staff at Triumph Church.

Other possible contenders include former state Sen. Ian Conyers who ran against Tlaib and others in the crowded 13th District Democratic primary in 2018. Former state Rep. Sherry Gay Dagnogo, who sits on the Detroit school board, announced on Facebook late Tuesday she is running for Congress, though it was unclear for which district.
Once again, my readers and I should find this year's elections interesting and fun to watch, as much fun as this actual game of musical chairs except I don't expect it to be as cheerful.


Stay tuned for the anniversary of last year's attempted self-coup. That certainly won't be a cheerful occasion.