Interesting(?) Stuff from My In-Box, January 31, 2023

Mixed Bag Today. Police Actions are making the news. Not just on the street. Major story is police beating a man to death. It was very discouraging to read this. Cop City being built and one protestor dead. Oklahoma prison murdering imprisoned prisoners. Talked with a Police Captain the other day. He was insisting he be called captain. Should I have angered him and insist I be called Sergeant USMC. I had a Communications platoon reporting to me. Naaaw, not worth the effort of one-up-Manship.

Healthcare and the Economy also have big spreads. The last two are what I have a tendency to focus on when they arrive in my email In-Box.

Law and Politics

Police Harass Veteran on Terror Watchlist, Lawsuit Says,, Murtaza Hussain. The police officer told Long that his car had come up as a “hit” in a national watchlist database, one that “automatically alerts us that this vehicle is under suspicion for a terrorist watchlist.”

Oklahoma Slows Execution Spree, Opens Richard Glossip Probe,, Liliana Segura. TWO WEEKS AFTER Oklahoma carried out its first lethal injection of 2023, the new attorney general interrupted the state’s killing spree, upending its execution calendar and launching an independent investigation into the case of Richard Glossip, who was next in line to die.

The Invention of the Police, The New Yorker, Jill Lepore. The police,” as a civil force charged with deterring crime, came to the United States from England and is generally associated with monarchy—“keeping the king’s peace”—which makes it surprising that, in the antimonarchical United States, it got so big, so fast.

Cop City Goes National,, George Chidi. “The problem with the police training center and the Atlanta forest is a classic Atlanta issue. Those in power did what they wanted without a lot of concern for what local residents wanted. This is the Atlanta way.” Only 17 hours of public commentary . . .

Memphis releases video showing Tyre Nichols calling for his mother, beaten by officers now charged in his death, CNN, Authors CNN. Tyre Nichols screamed for his mother and Memphis police officers struck him multiple times – including in the face while his hands were restrained – toward the end of the Black man’s deadly encounter with the officers this month.

Appeals court upholds restraining order on Illinois gun ban,, Associated Press. An Illinois appellate court on Tuesday upheld a temporary restraining order on enforcement of the state’s three-week-old law banning semiautomatic weapons, enacted largely in response to the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

Consumerism and Education

Did Southwest Airlines sell flights it knew it couldn’t fly? Mark Huffman. In the immediate aftermath, pilots pointed a finger at the airline’s computer system. Saying it was badly out of date and unable to catch up once the avalanche of weather-related cancelations began.

US Consumers Could Face High Prices for Longer Due to a Weaker Dollar,, Ryan Hogg. the welcome relief on the prices front is now facing a new threat — in the form of a falling dollar. The greenback is extending losses in January, after sliding almost 8% last quarter in the worst three-month slump in over 12 years.

Florida has a right to destroy its universities, The Atlantic, Tom Nichols. Florida’s governor has decided to root out wrong-think at one of Florida’s public colleges, and his harebrained meddling will likely harm the school, but he has every right to do it.

Consumer spending dropped during the holiday season—just as the Fed hoped,, Michelle Cheng. Consumer spending was down 0.2% in December compared to the previous month, according to data  released by the US Department of Commerce on Jan. 27. That compares with a decline of 0.1% in November. 


FDA tells baby food makers to ‘get the lead out’,, Mark Huffman. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken steps to rid baby food products of dangerous levels of lead. That’s right, lead.

When Surgeons Clamp Down on Opioids After Cardiac Operations, MedPage Today, Nicole Lou. One-third of patients do not need opioids on discharge after cardiac surgery, according to Kathleen Clement, MD, of Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, in a discussion at the Society of Thoracic Surgeonsopens in a new tab or window (STS) annual meeting.

Medicare Part D Plan Prices May Change Unexpectedly, MedPage Today, Cheryl Clark. The Medicare Plan Finder identified the Cigna Saver Rx PDP as my best option. It would cut my monthly premium from $44.50 to $12.70, thus costing me $381.60 less than if I stayed in last year’s plan. One generic statin I take would cost zero, and the second, ezetimibe, 10 mg, would cost only $118.80opens in a new tab or window for the year. And then . . .

Building Resilience Into US Prescription Drug Supply Chains, Health Affairs, Authors. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized inventory management challenges, with pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics competing for essential prescription drug supplies from private suppliers and the US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

COVID vaccine strategy to get an overhaul by FDA : Shots, Health News : NPR, Rob Stein. The goal is to simplify vaccination against COVID. Perhaps adopt an approach similar to what is used for the flu vaccine, with annual updates to match whatever strain of the virus is circulating.

Democrats are from .gov, Republicans are from .com: Prognosis for a public option open to all in U.S. healthcare,, xpostfactoid. In polling about U.S. healthcare, the prospect of a “public option” for health insurance, open to all Americans regardless of whether they have access to employer-sponsored insurance, generally scores high.

Where Is Our Operation Warp Speed for Gun Violence? MedPage Today, Rana Bitar. The Gun Violence Archive reports, as of January 24, there have been 39 mass shooting in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. At least 70 people have been killed and 167 wounded thus far.


How Native Americans Will Shape the Future of Water in the West, The New Yorker, Rachel Monroe. Tribal nations could soon hold the legal right to about twenty per cent of the Colorado River’s flow, including unresolved claims. (Some Southwestern tribes have yet to come to an official agreement over their water entitlements.)

How an Early Oil Industry Study Became Key in Climate Lawsuits, Yale E360, Beth Gardner. 1960s research for the American Petroleum Institute warning of the risks of burning fossil fuels were forgotten. But two papers discovered in libraries are now playing a key role in lawsuits aimed at holding oil companies accountable for climate change.


‘Staggering’ Volume of Off-Balance Sheet Dollar Debt Is Partly Hidden,, Sam Heller. A “huge, missing and growing” pile of debt held by non-U.S. institutions may total as much as $80 trillion, according to a report this week from the Bank for International Settlements. Global US dollars.

January FOMC Preview: Will the Fed Update its Model of the Labor Market? (, Preston Mui. With favorable disinflationary data coming in from both wages and prices since the last meeting, the key question is whether or not the Fed continues to think it is necessary to break the labor market to bring inflation down. 

After Fourth Quarter GDP, Economy Looks Solid Unless Fed Derails It,, Dean Baker. While the media keep touting the prospects for a recession, it is difficult to see why there would be one in the immediate future.

There is no US debt crisis,, Tim Fernholz. Is there a debt crisis that would justify holding the economy hostage? And the answer is no. Markets are not worrying about the US paying its debts, and there are no bond vigilantes appearing out of the woodwork.

Q4 ECI – Quick Recap: Avoiding Hawkish Overreaction & Shading Down The Phillips Curve,, Skanda Amarnath. Wage growth slowed in Q4 faster than consensus forecasts–-at an annualized rate just over 4%. We already noted in our preview that this would be very consistent with what the other Q4 macroeconomic & wage data was signaling. 

The economic costs of worker misclassification,, Authors. Many employers, however, exploit the ambiguity in current government regulations to avoid contributing their share toward these worker protections by misclassifying some of their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees.


Archaeologists Discover 1.2 Million-Year-Old ‘Workshop’ in Mind-Blowing Find,, Becky Ferreira. Scientists have discovered a trove of nearly 600 obsidian hand-axes that were crafted more than 1.2 million years ago in Ethiopia by an unknown group of hominins,


Infidel753: The deficit, — the obvious solution. And as usual, an obvious strategy for reducing the deficit without cutting any popular programs is being ignored. Churches . . .

Monday in America …, Homeless on the High Desert, g’da said. Exxon scientists accurately forecast climate change back in the 1970s – what if we had listened to them and acted then?


January 30, 2023, Letters from an American, Prof. Heather Cox Richardson, The news today illustrates a dramatic difference between governing and garnering votes.