coronavirus

Ohio Bill To Ban Vax Lotteries, Free Vax Donuts, Saying 'Vaccine' Unless You Turn Around 3 Times And Spit

Biz, government, insurers, all persons may not require or suggest you get a vaccine.

Ohio announced its first winner of the Vax-A-Millions lottery Wednesday. Abbey Bugenske of Cincinnati was on her way to buy a used car when she got the call telling her she'd won, so we hope she decided to go ahead and get the extended warranty. California is following Ohio's lead, designating $116.5 million for vaccine incentives, including a $15 million cash prize that'll be split by 10 lucky people who've gotten vaccinated.

And West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice released a video featuring his bulldog "Baby Dog," advising residents that "she wants you vaccinated, I want you vaccinated, and I want a bunch of you to win all this stuff," by which he means the state's own incentive giveaway of cash prizes, 10 pickup trucks, and college scholarships.

Justice also explained, "I wouldn't dink around with this. I'd go get myself a shot. There's going to be so many wonderful prizes that you can win, it'll blow you away." But mostly, you should do it for this face:

Yes, Baby Dog has her own Twitter account.

So that's the encouraging vaccination news today, thanks for reading and have a great wee ... oh shit, there's also this Ohio fuckery we have to talk about. While Gov. Mike DeWine brags about how the lottery announcement has actually increased rates of vaccination that had been slacking off, Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly have introduced legislation that would largely eliminate vaccination mandates — or even requests or suggestions — across the state.

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climate change

Big Oil's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Pretty good news for life on Earth, though!

Yesterday was a pretty hopeful day for the prospects of getting global carbon emissions under control, thanks to three events that New Yorker climate columnist Bill McKibben is calling possibly the "most cataclysmic day so far for the traditional fossil-fuel industry." These are all big developments that are likely to bring about big changes in three of the world's biggest oil companies.

  • A Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to sharply cut its emissions, by 45 percent over the next 10 years, a mandate McKibben says the company can "likely meet only by dramatically changing its business model."
  • Chevron shareholders voted to require steep cuts in emissions caused by the company's products, which in effect would make the company responsible for emissions from oil and gasoline being used exactly as designed.
  • At an Exxon Mobil shareholder meeting, members of a climate action investor group won two seats on the company's board of directors, in yet another sign that shareholders of fossil fuel companies want them to take more aggressive action on the climate emergency.
These are all pretty big freakin' deals, and if you want to feel a bit more optimistic about the prospects that humanity might slow global warming to a merely very bad level, instead of a civilization-threatening amount, then go right ahead. As McKibben said in a tweet yesterday, thanking everyone who's fought on climate, "you push long enough and dominoes tumble."
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Class War

We Do Not Need To Give Jeff Bezos $10 Billion To Go To The Moon, Unless He Plans To Stay There

He can afford it!

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Amazon overlord Jeff Bezos has made $86 billion dollars. Also, during the pandemic, Amazon spent nearly $10,000 a day paying three anti-union "consultants" to "persuade" the employees at their Bessemer, Alabama, plant not to form a union. Overall, things have been going pretty well for the richest man in all of America. Well, except for the fact that his space exploration side-hustle Blue Origin lost out on a NASA contract to Elon Musk's space exploration side-hustle, SpaceX. Both companies planned to send people to the moon, but SpaceX promised to do it for about $7 billion less than Blue Origin.

This week — and possibly even today — the Senate is set to vote on the Innovation and Competition Act (formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act), which may include an amendment to give an additional $10 billion to NASA, which is likely to go to Amazon — whose proposal to NASA just so happened to cost $10 billion.

The amendment was proposed by Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, where Amazon just happens to be based. Cantwell has argued that the amendment is necessary for redundancy, in case the SpaceX mission falls through.

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Courts

Michigan Man In Prison On Bogus 'Bite Mark' Evidence Exonerated After 31 Years

Good on AG Dana Nessel's Conviction Integrity Unit.

Gilbert Lee Poole will be getting out of prison after Michigan's Conviction Integrity Unit cleared him of a murder he didn't commit. Poole had been convicted and sentenced to life in 1989, largely on the basis of "bite mark analysis," a once common form of evidence that in recent years has been debunked and branded as pseudoscience. DNA evidence proved that Poole was not the killer.

It's the first exoneration brought about by the unit, which was formed two years ago by state Attorney General Dana Nessel, who praised the team's work.

When we established this team in 2019, we made a commitment to ensuring those convicted of state crimes are in fact guilty while also providing justice to those wrongfully imprisoned.

Nessel also thanked the Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School Innocence Project, which had worked on the case for 10 years.

Here's an idea for a new series, Dick Wolfe. "Law and Order: Criminal Integrity Unit." It could show how people get wrongly convicted, and then after decades in prison, some of them are finally proven innocent. DUN DUN!

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