Saturday midday open thread: Flush with tax-cut money, Walmart adds to layoffs; perils of fracking
What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:
Southern Pride: Alabama LGBTQ communities and allies celebrate, keep moving forward, by Karen L Freund
How queer and trans Asian American groups are reshaping Pride, by Huiying B Chan
A community read: The Mueller report, Part I, by Susan Grigsby
How Trump tariffs are hurting U.S. consumers, by Sher Watts Spooner
N-words, “boys,” concentration camps, and reparations, by Frank Vyan Walton
Understanding the connecting thread in these race stories, two POCs and one white, is essential, by Egberto Willies
Heavy medal, by Jon Perr
FYI Democrats: ‘The Divine Nine’—black sororities and fraternities 101, by Denise Oliver Velez
Automation and robotics are bigger threats to American jobs than outsourcing, by Mark E Andersen
Trump’s ‘rock star’ rally week proves press isn’t ready for 2020, by Eric Boehlert
Dear Maybe Trump voter: Immigration bluster is a head fake designed to con you into voting for him, by Ian Reifowitz
All life on Earth evolved from microorganisms in the primordial slime, and billions of years later, the planet’s smallest life forms—including bacteria, plankton and viruses—are still fundamental to the biosphere. They cycle minerals and nutrients through soil, water and the atmosphere. They help grow and digest the food we eat. Without microbes, life as we know it wouldn’t exist.
Now, global warming is supercharging some microbial cycles on a scale big enough to trigger damaging climate feedback loops, research is showing. Bacteria are feasting on more organic material and produce extra carbon dioxide as the planet warms. In the Arctic, a spreading carpet of algae is soaking up more of the sun’s summer rays, speeding melting of the ice.
So many documented changes, along with other alarming microbial red flags, have drawn a warning from a group of 30 microbiologists, published Tuesday as a “consensus statement” in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology.
• Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut and is now laying off workers: The giant retailer announced that it’s going to can some 570 employees and close its corporate office in Charlotte, N.C., even though it signed a 12-year lease in 2015. Work previously done in Charlotte will be outsourced to an Arkansas company. Early last year, on the heels of the Trump regime’s tax cut, Walmart announced a $20 billion stock buyback and that it would close 63 of its Sam’s Club stores and lay off thousands.
These are crimes against humanity. Everyone responsible for it, from the guards who took the clothing to the federal lawyers defending it in court to Trump and his administration leaders, should stand trial over this. https://t.co/66ttnryKVR
— Robert Cruickshank (@cruickshank) June 22, 2019
• Study shows that fracking is perilous to your health: Analysts looked at some 1,800 peer-reviewed studies on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing to free oil and natural gas from shale formations. Over the past decade, the process has boosted U.S. oil production to its highest level ever, although its long-term economic sustainability is questioned by many expects. Said one of the study’s authors, Kathleen Nolan of the Physicians for Social Responsibility: “Each year, the data suggests with increasing certainty that fracking is causing irrevocable damage to public health, local economies, the environment, and to global sustainability,” The report “only reinforces the desperate need for a moratorium on fracking.”
• Center-left think tank fights against climate litigation: Phil Goldberg, the director of the Center of Civil Justice at the Progressive Policy Institute is at the helm of this effort, according to Itai Vardi at DeSmog, an environmental website with emphasis on the climate crisis. PPI has been spotlighting Goldberg’s attacks on climate litigation that he labels “copycat climate suits.” Goldberg is a former lobbyist for the mega-coal company Peabody Energy. His bio on the PPI website fails to note that he was hired this year by the National Association of Manufacturers to serve as special counsel in the trade group’s battle against climate litigation. “It’s just plain freaky that a hired gun for the fossil fuel industry would pretend to be neutral or, shockingly, even perhaps ‘progressive’ under the guise of PPI, which has a good reputation as a think tank,” said Denise Antolini, an associate dean at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa’s School of Law. “I guess the ‘tank’ is stronger than the ‘think’ with PPI’s embrace of Mr. Goldberg’s advocacy for big oil.”
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