Open thread for night owls: Excerpts from the May edition of Harper's Index

Just think what could be accomplished by not spending billions of hours wastful meetings.

Some excerpts from the May edition of Harper’s Index:

  • Percentage of Earth observation satellites that are operated by private corporations: 18
  • Estimated percentage that will be operated by private corporations by 2027: 56
  • Percentage of threatened megafauna species that are killed for meat: 72
  • Portion of European companies that see climate change as a business risk: 4/5
  • That have set goals for emissions reductions: 4/5
  • Estimated number of hours last year that US workers spent in meetings they considered unnecessary: 16,640,000,000
  • Percentage of American families whose single biggest annual cash infusion is their tax refund: 23
  • Portion of Americans below the poverty line who receive no federal assistance : ¼
  • Rank of 2018 among years with the most US workers on strike or lockout over the past three decades: 1
  • Percentage of striking US workers last year who were employed in education: 78
  • Amount Americans reported to the FTC that they lost in online-dating scams last year: $143,000,000
  • Median amount lost in these scams by victims aged 20 to 29: $1,000
  • By victims aged 70 and older: $10,000



“He therefore turned to mankind only with regret. His cathedral was enough for him. It was peopled with marble figures of kings, saints and bishops who at least did not laugh in his face and looked at him with only tranquillity and benevolence. The other statues, those of monsters and demons, had no hatred for him—he resembled them too closely for that. It was rather the rest of mankind that they jeered at. The saints were his friends and blessed him; the monsters were his friends and kept watch over him. He would sometimes spend whole hours crouched before one of the statues in solitary conversation with it. If anyone came upon him then he would run away like a lover surprised during a serenade.”  ~~Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1831



On this date at Daily Kos in 2011Paul Ryan’s ‘welfare state,’ everything but tax cuts for the rich: 

Here’s a snippet of Rep. Paul Ryan’s closing remarks during the debate on his budget plan:

We don’t want a welfare system that encourages people to stay on welfare. We want them to get back on their feet and lead flourishing, self-sufficient lives. So let’s reform welfare for people who need it, and end it for corporate welfare for people who don’t need it. Number four. Let’s do the work of lifting this crushing burden of debt from our children.

And there you have it. While you thought welfare was reformed two decades ago and no longer exists for Republicans to beat up on, you were wrong. Basically, everything but tax breaks to the wealthy is welfare. Any domestic spending, welfare. Let’s look at what Ryan is actually slashing, here, what he calls welfare.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin brings us a breakfast Brexit update. Swing voters want Obama back. What ever happened to that Yemen resolution? A mechanical civics lesson. Trump hates laws. Emoluments: A-OK! Seems Cindy Yang was grifting off of the inauguration, too.

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