Sunday, November 13, 2022

Short Takes – 11-13-22

Asteroids! Solar Storms! Nukes! Climate Calamity! Killer Robots! article. Interesting look at potential doomsdays. Pull quote: “This anti-doomsday sales job becomes even harder when we acknowledge that the climate crisis, pandemic viruses and the threat of nuclear war are only a few items on the long list of things that informed people should be fretting about. Optimism may prove delusional — a fatal flaw, in fact. But how you come down on existential risks may pivot on whether you think human ingenuity will outpace human folly. Do you believe, fundamentally, in the human race?”

Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle. article. Pull quote: “The narrowing path for Republican victory has stunned lawmakers from both parties, freezing plans for legislation and leadership maneuvers as they wait to see who takes control and learn the margins that will dictate which ideological factions wield power. Regardless of the outcome, the lack of a “red wave” marks a devastating outcome for Republicans, who believed they would cruise to a large governing majority in the House and possibly flip the Senate.”

Democrats Hold the Senate, as Cortez Masto Ekes Out a Victory in Nevada. article. Pull quote: “The Democratic victory will bolster Mr. Biden’s political capital as he moves toward a possible bid for a second term. Even if Republicans do take the House, he will be able to stock the judiciary with his nominees and will be insulated from politically freighted G.O.P. legislation. And Democrats will be free to mount their own investigations to counter the threatened onslaught from a Republican-controlled lower chamber.”

U.S. set to face third Covid winter, this time without key tools and treatments. article. Politics and evolving bugs, a bad combination. Pull quote: “Free at-home tests are no longer showing up at people’s doorsteps. States are reporting outbreak data less frequently, and globally, testing and surveillance programs have been curtailed. Support for community vaccination campaigns has dwindled. And next year at some point, the U.S. government will stop paying for Covid vaccines and treatments, which could widen gaps in access as the products move to being covered by insurance.”

Walmart Is Flexing Its Muscle Again. article. Holding the line against supplier price increases. Pull quote: “Walmart, long known for its ability to lower prices by squeezing vendors, is once again showing its muscle as a slowing economy and an inventory glut upend a power dynamic between retailers and suppliers that took hold during the pandemic, when demand surged for everything from paper towels to patio furniture.”

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