A Nugget of Good News Amidst the Oblivion

You’ve now heard about the omicron variant, named after a Greek letter like any other and yet one which certainly sounds more badass and otherworldly than all but one or two others in the Greek alphabet. In just days Omicron has put the whole world on alert, shaking equities markets and spurring a range of travel restrictions. If you’re interested in getting good and very up-to-date information on this emerging story, I have a Twitter list I host with a range of trustworthy experts and science journalists. You can see it here.

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Barbados Abandons Monarchy and Its Colonial Past

On November 30th, Barbados will become a republic. Queen Elizabeth II will cease to the Queen of Barbados and the country’s head of state. She will be succeeded by the current Governor-General, Sandra Mason, who will herself transition into the country’s first elected President. Prime Minister Mia Mottley will remain Prime Minister in the transition to republican government. Barbados gained its independence in 1966. Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth at the transition ceremonies which will kick off on the evening of the 29th.

Where Things Stand: Fauci Is Getting Increasingly Annoyed With A Few Specific Conspiracy Theorists
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His recent remarks of disdain, aimed at Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, left no room for interpretation.

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Not Nimble Enough?
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I’m not sure whether I agree with this. But TPM Reader JB knows the ins and outs of government and follows things closely …

While I’m thinking of it….I’ve observed the Biden administration doesn’t maneuver quickly in response to changed circumstances, often waiting until an issue became controversial in the national press.  It’s had this problem since the beginning of the year.

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Where Things Stand: Governor’s Mansion Is Apparently The GOPs Only Safe Perch For Trump Criticism
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Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan threw himself into the small chorus of GOP governors willing to distance themselves from former President Trump this week.

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Thiel, Silicon Valley and the Rise of Tech Neo-Reaction

Here are a few links to a topic I continue to think more and more about. On the surface it’s Peter Thiel, about whom more in a moment. But beyond Thiel, there’s a broader reality. In the first years of the century we learned to see Tech as a rising business and political powerhouse that was broadly liberal, at least by the standards of Big Business. ‘Liberal’ was probably never quite right – but at least broadly cosmopolitan in its social values and culture. It was young, comparatively diverse, based outside San Francisco. It was in many ways the product of the major cities and universities that are the seedbeds and home of Blue State political culture. That was never wholly true. And it’s become less true, especially as its financial titan corporations have been forced to interact more intensively with Washington DC. But it was at least partly true.

But many of the dominant figures in the world of Big Tech aren’t just conservative. A number are what might be termed neo-reactionary. Thiel of course is the first that comes to mind in this category. But he’s not the only one.

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To Keep An Eye On

Global geopolitics, especially in its military dimensions, remains mostly outside the purview of this site. But I want to make sure you’re current on some key developments around the world, any number of which could develop into crises fairly quickly.

We’ve discussed the on-going tensions over Taiwan. Last week there was a minor incident in Chinese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons on Philippine resupply ships on their way to the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The State Department sent out a message in which it pointedly noted that “an armed attack on Philippine public vessels in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

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Where Things Stand: Now Look What We’ve Gone And Done
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It’s all Matt Shuham’s fault.

Back in May, Matt interviewed the lawyer for the most high-profile Jan. 6 defendant of them all: Jacob Chansley, the QAnon shaman. The quotes from the lawyer were enough to peel your hair back.

Now they may*** be the basis for an ineffective assistance of counsel appeal from Chansley, who has already pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

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Stunning Details

The horrific vehicular homicides at the Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin has even more jaw-dropping details behind it. Earlier today The Washington Post and other publications reported that when suspect Darrell Brook Jr plowed through the parade he was fleeing from the scene of a knife fight after police were called. That made it seem like – at least in a very narrow sense – plowing into the people in the parade wasn’t part of some plan but part of reckless driving trying to avoid arrest.

But a new report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that earlier this month Brooks was arrested for intentionally running over a woman in a gas station parking lot after chasing her to the gas station after a fight. Brooks posted a $1,000 bond for the attack at the gas station and was released from the Milwaukee County Jail on November 16th, last Tuesday.

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The ‘Great Resignation’ is in Fact … Well, Great
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Behind inflation and supply-chain driven supply shortages one of the biggest topics in 2021 economics discussions is the so-called ‘Great Resignation’. This is a phrase increasingly used to describe the historically high levels of people quitting their jobs. Most often this is treated as one of the many ills facing the COVID and post-COVID economy. It’s also blamed what are frequently described as labor shortages. And it’s even blamed for inflation.

In fact, virtually everything we know about the Great Resignation is a good thing. And we should embrace it. It’s not knowledge workers reevaluating work life balance. It’s low wage workers in grueling and thankless jobs finally telling their bosses to go F themselves, quitting and finding better paying work.

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the Jan. 6 select committee, on Sunday suggested that the panel plans to take action against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows this week if he continues to defy the panel’s subpoena.

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Russia has spent the past seven years threatening to stage another invasion of Ukraine.

This time, though, the fears may be real.

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A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that prices rose in October and are hovering at a notably high point has triggered a full-on Democratic panic attack over the fate of the reconciliation bill. 

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