Collateral damage

Friday has arrived. Seems like it was a long week.

La Niña is back. The forecast is for a cold, snowy winter.

There’s some good news on the Covid-adjacent front: the flu has been squeezed out during the pandemic. Masks, social distancing, etc. have caused some influenza varieties to become extinct, which could make development of the flu shot more effective in the future.

David Zucker writes that comedy is in an dire state and it needs to be resuscitated, hopefully before the 50th anniversary of Airplane!. It’s a few years away but he seems to want to get ahead of it.

According to Dominic Cummings, the UK never intended to abide by the terms of BREXIT regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol. Now, right on schedule

And it looks like police are going on strike in Chicago. I thought that was illegal.

Inductive reasoning

Tuesday. The word of the day is extricate.

We all know what the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” bill costs. But do you also know what’s in it? Not many people do and, as Tim Miller puts it, that’s a problem. It’s hard to sell something if you can’t explain it clearly.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that stricter government-led covid restrictions in blue states resulted in less infections in those states. The researchers concluded that, in the US, politics played a significant role in prevention. Their secondary conclusion, that public health officials, not politicians, should be in charge of these responses is a little less self evident.

Ian Haney Lopez on Ezra Klein on David Shor. Lots of hand wringing by Democrats these days. Not a bad thing, necessarily.

It would have taken a miracle for Police Chief Art Acevedo to have survived the dysfunction in Miami city government. He’s now suspended but city managers say they will give him a fair trial before firing him. Say, doesn’t Boston need a Police Commissioner?

And leaf peeping is not what it used to be.

Wooden ships on the water

Friday. Today is World Egg Day. Imagine that.

Paul Krugman is optimistic about the 3 C’s: Covid, containers and crime. Next year, he thinks, will be better.

Did you know that the Navy maintains an oak forest in Indiana just to produce replacement timber for the USS Constitution. I didn’t know that. But I’m glad they don’t have to go to Home Depot.

According to the Economist, Facebook is facing a “reputational point of no return.” And yet it prospers. It’s almost as if people are addicted.

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, off the Massachusetts coast, is one of several national sites being revived by the Biden administration.

And some shooting victims in the city get less ink in the Globe than this insignificant spat on the Rhode Island border. A burger of nothing.

The invisible woman

Thursday. It’s a birthday for Oliver North, Vladimir Putin and Fox News.

How’s that Brexit thing working out for the UK? Survey says! … not so good.

The Guardian reports that, in the US, at least four Black women or girls were murdered each day last year. According to a crime victimization survey they were twice as likely as white women to encounter an armed offender. Why is this not bigger news? “It makes you feel invisible, or like nobody cares,” one activist from Little Rock said. Absolutely tragic.

Do you need some time away from Facebook? Or maybe you want to make a clean break. Here’s how. But breakups are never as easy as you think.

An examination of genetic data and hospital samples points to the lab leak theory as the obvious logical origin of coronavirus, according to this article by Richard Muller and Steven Quay. If that’s all there is to it, it seems pretty compelling.

And you knew it was bound to happen eventually. The latest cryptocurrency is the Trumpcoin. The instructions for his followers to set up a wallet and buy it are just what you would expect. P.T. Barnum would be proud.

Performative politics

Good morning. It’s Tuesday! And the word is parlay.

A man walks into an AT&T store

The big question for the mayoral election is who is going to get the Black vote and will the turnout be large enough to be decisive. Joan Vennochi looks at the PACs, personalities and pitfalls involved. Meg Irons and Andrew Ryan went out into the neighborhoods to find out what people were thinking and see what kind of impact the candidates are making. One description stood out: “Wu made a less-than-impressive appearance at [a] Baker House meeting last Wednesday. The candidate arrived halfway through the hour-long morning event, gave a brief statement, and then seemed to be caught off guard by a series of questions from people in attendance, according to eight people who were at the meeting.” Yup. That sounds like the Michelle Wu I’ve seen over the years on the Council.

Art Acevedo has always been outspoken. But he also didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. He’s a very politically savvy police chief, both internally and externally. His troubles in Miami say more about Miami than they do about him.

Charlie Warzel talks to Shoshana Wodinksy about the technology behind online advertising. Eye opening and a little scary.

And the State Police union says that dozens of troopers are ready to resign over the vaccine mandate. Well, maybe not dozens, but at least, possibly, one. Maybe. We think.