The Monday Morning Teaser

It’s been a week of good news and bad news. The government didn’t shut down, but the debt ceiling is still hanging overhead, threatening a self-inflicted disaster in about two weeks. Neither infrastructure bill passed by the deadline that had been set for it, but the deadlines got extended and negotiations continue. The 700,000th American died of Covid, but a promising new treatment got announced.

There is a certain amount of water in your glass. How do you feel about it?

The featured post this week is something I’ve been meaning to say for a while. My background in mathematics for once has some relevance to a major issue: Whether we beat the pandemic or not balances on the knife-edge difference between exponential growth and exponential decay. If every 10 infected people infect 11 more, we have exponential growth. If they infect 9, exponential decay. Once you grasp that, you see the importance of tactics that change the odds — like masks and vaccines — even if they don’t guarantee your individual well-being.

That post is called “Pandemics Are Beaten By Communities, Not Individuals”. It should be out between 9 and 10 EDT.

As for the weekly summary, the focus this week is on Congress, and we’re still in the situation I outlined last week: We all desperately want to know what’s going to happen, but we just don’t. For what little it’s worth, I remain optimistic. At least the government didn’t shut down.

Elsewhere: the Covid numbers continue to turn around. The vaccine mandates are working. Alex Jones is going to have to pay the Sandy Hook parents. And I enjoyed the new book about the Alamo. The summary should be out around noon.

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  • Derek Popp  On October 4, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Why are the Democrats letting the Republicans dictate the debt ceiling? They are using the debt ceiling to get people against the infrastructure bill which is actually paid for by aising taxes a little bit. The Democrats should do the irresponsible thing and say that they won’t vote to increase the debt ceiling until there is a plan to pay off the Trump debt, which in my mind would start by ending the Trump taxcuts, you could throw the Bush tax cuts in just for good measure. One of 2 things will happen, either the Democrats get concessions from the Republicans on taxes and other budget priorities or the large corporations and wealthy individuals will step in and make them raise it. The wealthy, corporations, and retirees have the most to lose if there was a default. And if there is a shut down close everything, no essential workers continuing to work. Last time so much of the government was declared essential people didn’t notice a difference.

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