Monday Reads on A Tuesday

China successfully lands a rover on the red planet, National Geographic, Andrews

The Zhurong rover survived the harrowing “seven minutes of terror,” touching down on a vast plain called Utopia Planitia that may once have been the site of an ancient ocean. Zhurong will search for evidence of water and past habitability on Mars, possibly paving the way for future human missions. China is now only the second country in history to explore the Martian surface with a rover, joining NASA’s active  Curiosity  and Perseverance missions.

Medicaid expansion revived despite flood of misinformation, WyoFile, Nick Reynolds

Medicaid expansion revived despite flood of misinformation
Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) holds up a carrot during a hearing on Medicaid expansion May 10, 2021. Bouchard said that accepting incentives from the federal government to expand Medicaid would be akin to “taking the carrot” from the federal government. Wyoming Legislature

Politicians reciting the fables concerning healthcare and Medicaid expansion. Why is it, those who have access to healthcare get to decide who else will get it? These people without healthcare access pay taxes too!

In the 2021 legislative session, opponents of Medicaid expansion often cited the experience of states like Utah, Montana and Indiana to demonstrate the policy could be costly for Wyoming, which is currently in a structural deficit.

Two Magicicada adults mating

Cicada Swarm of 2021, The Atlantic, Katherine Wu

Just in case you missed the news and just in case you have “never experienced such an arrival (which I have! at least 3 of them)

Have you’ve been living underground for the past 17 years—parts of the eastern United States are in for a cicada summer, wherein billions of the bugs emerge en masse to fly around, mate, and then die.

I live in California, which is not exactly cicada territory. But I also live on the internet, and know that, after a year of plague, Americans can’t stop talking about them.

Oklahoma bucks red-state trend, extends early voting (, AP ,SEAN MURPHY and NICHOLAS RICCARDI

“A nation like the U.S. — with “real, free and fair elections,” Echols said — shouldn’t make people wait so long to participate in democracy.

“We should all be humiliated that we had that,” Echols said.

He may sound like a voting rights advocate or a Democratic politician set on expanding access to the ballot, but Echols is a Republican and the majority floor leader of the GOP-controlled Oklahoma House.


You can look up your own facts on what is happening. There is much history to read on the conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

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Don’t Take the Narrow View of What’s Happening in Gaza, The Atlantic, Shadi Hamid

As always in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, two narratives are vying for primacy. In one, Israel is simply defending itself against a fresh attack. In the other, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is the latest example of a desire to punish and humiliate Palestinians. These two narratives are not reconcilable, which makes reasoned discussion an exercise in futility. But any sophisticated argument must contend with the long, winding lead-up to the current crisis. Why is war in Gaza returning now, and why does it always seem to return, with stubborn, periodic insistence?

Despite inching toward the Democratic Party’s left flank on various domestic- and foreign-policy issues, the Biden administration has fallen back on the usual formulas, offering robotic recitations about “Israel’s right to defend itself.” On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that he hadn’t seen a “significant overreaction” from Israel, while failing to mention a word about Palestinian deaths. In so doing, he gave Israel what amounts to a green light to intensify its bombing campaign

Low pay and ‘toxic’ workplaces are driving workers away from restaurants,  Alicia Wallace, CNN Business

While some have placed the blame on higher and extended unemployment benefits, restaurant workers, their advocates and restaurateurs like Whalen say the pandemic has exposed deeper, systemic problems within the industry — notably low wages and poor working conditions.

“This is not a worker shortage, this is a wage shortage,” said Saru

Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley and president of One Fair Wage, an advocacy group pushing to raise the subminimum wage for tipped workers.”

The restaurant business, inherently and pre-covid, was a toxic workplace,” Whalen said. “You had an enormous wage gap between the back of the house and front of the house; rampant alcohol and drug problems; harassment issues; you’ve got people living in or near poverty working hourly jobs with no guarantees.”

We’ve failed low-wage workers:’ Restaurant owners raise pay in wake of labor shortage, MLive,  Lindsay Moore

A cultural shift in the industry could help with recruiting, but it needs to start with more respect for the profession from the top down, and that includes better wages and benefits, said Matt Millar, chef and co-owner of The Southerner in Saugatuck.

“There are jobs that need to be done and not all of them are glamorous, but they are all worthy of a living wage,” he said. “I think we have to resign ourselves to the idea that we’ve failed low-wage workers for a long time. We need to start making some changes.”

The Southerner underwent changes this month that were a long time coming, Millar said. He announced in a Facebook post all full-time employees would be eligible for health insurance with dental options. The restaurant is also offering paid family leave with four weeks for maternity and two weeks paternity leave.

The US restaurant industry is lacking in wages, not workers, The Guardian, Saru Jayaraman and Mark Bittman

Among the things Americans say they’re looking forward to most when pandemic-related restrictions ends is “having dinner in a restaurant with friends”. But if the restaurant industry doesn’t support higher wages, there will be fewer restaurants for customers to return to.

There is an unprecedented shortage of job applicants for restaurant jobs. In a new survey this week by One Fair Wage of more than 2,800 workers, more than half (53%) reported that they are thinking about leaving restaurants. More than three-quarters of workers surveyed (76%) said they are leaving restaurants because of low wages and tips – by far the most important reason for leaving – and a slightly higher percentage (78%) said that the factor that would make them stay in restaurants is a “full, stable, livable wage”.

Biden announces US will share more vaccines globally:Our nation is going to be the arsenal of vaccines‘, CNN Politics, Kaitlan Collins and Kate Sullivan

President Joe Biden said Monday his administration would share millions more doses of Covid-19 vaccines with other countries in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine he has already committed to sharing by July 4.

Biden said the US would share at least 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of next month, totaling 80 million doses that are set to be sent abroad. Those additional 20 million doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as AstraZeneca, which has to be approved by federal regulators before being shipped overseas. That effort is underway.