politics is beginning to feel like joining a pre-existing years-old fandom: you have
to pay attention in order to follow the conversation, but there's just TOO MUCH. And unlike tv, it's not actually fun to watch, unless you're really into schadenfreude.
So, Wednesday reading instead.Just finished: Galileo's Daughter
by Dava Sobel. I liked it, but I wish we'd been able to get more about Suor Marie Celeste and her inner life, instead of only how much she loved and supported her father. But it was also interesting to get a lot more detail about how Galileo's research and his trial went down. Worth reading, not least because it was one of the books I gave Dad in the last few years. When we cleaned out his apartment, I kept the books I'd given him.Now reading: The Count of Monte Christo
by Dumas. I'm not quite halfway through, and despite veejane
's promises, I have yet to meet the swashbuckling lesbians. It's alternately entertaining and boring, but I have to power through.
Also now reading Thick as Thieves
because Megan Whalen Turner! I love pre-ordering something and having it just show up on my Kindle. I'm halfway through, really enjoying it, finding it very Turner-esque, with the POV character who doesn't know things that the reader does -- and probably the other way around, as well. It's very good so far.Up next:
by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith (rachelmanija
), volume 3 of their entertaining post-apocalypse YA series.
Back to politics: if you want something else to get upset about, the Senate is voting soon on the Regulatory Accountability Act, which is a bald-faced attempt to cripple environmental and workplace protections for American workers and residents.
Check out that chart! My one consolation is that it's so onerous that it will be just as difficult for the Trump administration to roll back regulations they don't like as it will be to pass ones that would do good in the world.
I know this is boring, but the Administrative Procedure Act is one of the most important laws we have: it gives citizens and interest groups the right to participate in the rule-making process, and to challenge government actions that are complete bullshit. This is the law that lets Earthjustice and the Center for Biological Diversity sue the federal government for not protecting endangered species, or failing to regulate for climate change. It's vital
to administrative transparency.
The new amendment would:
1. Require agencies to choose the lowest-cost alternative (cost to whom? I wonder);
2. Forbid courts from deferring to federal agencies' scientific expertise;
3. Impose an absurdly baroque system for implementing any regulations; and
4. Tilt the playing field in favor of big-money corporate interests rather than the public good.
Call, fax, email, or text your Senators. This is likely to pass without much public attention, and it's really fucking important
S. 951, The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017
. Watch for it.