Assorted News on Various Topics

What I have been reading this week . . .



What Will Come of the January 6th Committee’s Case Against Trump?” | The New Yorker, Amy Davidson Sorkin “The committee itself cannot file criminal charges, though it can refer its findings to the Department of Justice. It’s not news to the D.O.J., of course, that laws were broken.”

EU ban on Russian gold puts Switzerland on the spot” – SWI “The European Union has banned gold of Russian origin in a further tightening of sanctions against Moscow over its aggression in Ukraine. The question is whether Switzerland, a major global hub for gold, will follow suit.” NGO Swissaid; “This is a good opportunity for the Swiss Federal Council to also tighten sanctions against Russia and to finally refrain from direct or indirect imports of Russian gold,”

“What Ordinary Republicans Think About January 6,” (, David French “one thing that’s directly relevant to the prime-time hearings about January 6: Rank-and-file Republicans are shockingly ignorant of Trump’s misdeeds. It is simply not the case that they understand everything that Trump has done and support him anyway. They have far, far more knowledge of Democratic misconduct and media malfeasance than they have of anything Trump has done.”


Originalism Is the Supreme Court’s Favorite Justification” – The Atlantic, David H. Gans “This is a radical Court dominated by conservatives who treat the past practices of state legislatures as determinative of the Constitution’s meaning, warping the broadly worded language that was meant to enshrine fundamental principles of liberty and equality in our national charter. This is a Court that insists it is following history and tradition where they lead, while cherry-picking the history it cares about to reach conservative results. These are damning moves for conservative justices who pride themselves on fidelity to the Constitution’s first principles.”

Dobbs offers one of the most crabbed views of liberty in Supreme Court history.”

“Justice Neil Gorsuch’s Radical Reinterpretation of the First Amendment” | The New Yorker, Fabio Bertoni “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

He specifically objects to the idea that we might “preference secular activity” over outward displays of religiosity. Instead of considering how secularism might make government activity neutral, open to believers of various faiths as well as nonbelievers,


13-Year-Old Accepted to Medical School” | MedPage Today, Jennifer Henderson, “At 13 years old, Alena Analeigh Wicker is on her way to medical school. Wicker, who lives just outside of Fort Worth, Texas, learned in May that she had been accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine for 2024 through the Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program, the Washington Post reported this week.”

“The Agony of an Early Case of Monkeypox” | The New Yorker, Ngofeen Mputubwele. On the evening before Juneteenth, Joseph Osmundson, one of my best friends and a microbiologist at N.Y.U., texted me: “We think Andy has monkeypox.” 

Science Lags Behind for Kids With Long COVID” ( “Emma Sherman, A 13-year-old girl in Ascot, United Kingdom, woke up to a dizzying aura of blind spots and flashing lights in her field of vision. It was May 2020, and she also had crippling nausea and headaches. By August, her dizziness was so overwhelming, she couldn’t hold her head up,”

America’s Doctor Shortage Explained” | MedPage Today, Med School Insiders “We’ve heard for years that America has a shortage of doctors. According to projections from the AAMC [Association of American Medical Colleges], if we do not take steps to address this issue, we can expect shortages of between 38,000 and 124,000 physicians by the year 2034.”

Biden funds outreach for millions of kids who qualify for Medicaid : Shots” – Health News : NPR

Today the Biden administration announced $49 million in grants to help community groups sign more families and children up for health insurance – especially the more than half of the country’s 4 million uninsured children who qualify for free coverage through Medicaid or CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“This is our largest investment to date in this type of initiative,” says Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Permanently extending enhanced ACA subsidies would result in increased enrollment, CBO finds” | Healthcare Finance News, Jeff Lagasse “If the enhanced subsidies on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges were extended on a permanent basis, there would be just shy of 5 million new signups annually, according to a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee by the Congressional Budget Office.”

“Black men untreated in Tuskegee Syphilis Study” | AP News, Jean Heller “On July 25, 1972, Associated Press reporter Jean Heller broke news that rocked the American medical establishment. The federal government, she reported, had let hundreds of black men in rural Alabama go untreated for syphilis for 40 years for research purposes. A public outcry ensued, and the “Tuskegee Syphilis Study” ended three months later. “

‘You’ve got bad blood’: The horror of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment” – The Washington Post, Jean Heller, May 16, 2017 “In the fall of 1932, the fliers began appearing around Macon County, Ala., promising “colored people” special treatment for “bad blood.”

“Free Blood Test; Free Treatment, By County Health Department and Government Doctors,” the black and white signs said. “YOU MAY FEEL WELL AND STILL HAVE BAD BLOOD. COME AND BRING ALL YOUR FAMILY.”


Addressing Energy Services Inflation Through Reconciliation(, Skanda Amarnath & Alex Williams “Resolving this dynamic requires more productive investment, not less. We need to expand and maintain key electricity-generation assets. We need more diversity of power generation, not less. The Reconciliation Bill is a model for promoting both energy investment and diversification. The scale of investment and the diversity of energy sources supported by this bill represent an approach exactly at odds with European energy policies, which were insufficiently diversified.”


“July 23, 2022,” Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson ( “Far from rejecting the idea of minority rule after seeing where it led, Republican Party lawmakers have doubled down.

They have embraced the idea that state legislatures should dominate our political system, and so in 2021, at least 19 states passed 34 laws to restrict access to voting.

“Where’s the beef?” – by Marc Cenedella, Author ( “Perhaps you’ve noticed that we call animals one thing ‘on the farm’ and another ‘on the table’.

We have cows in the fields but beef on the table. Pigs in the pen but pork on the plate.

“Sometimes the bear gets you,” Steve Schmidt, ( “When prognosticators are opining about the next president there is something important to remember. The next president is always a reaction to the last president. That will remain true in 2024.” 

If you have favorites you would like me to add, please list them in comments. Paid subscriptions, I have limited access to.