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Jul 19 2020

The Breakfast Club (Blue Berries)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for July 19th

Women’s rights activists meet at Seneca Falls; The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on gays in the U.S. military; Apollo 11 enters lunar orbit; Baseball’s Pete Rose gets jail time; Moscow Olympics begins.

Breakfast Tune Folsom prison blues bluegrass Banjo (Solo Part)

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

‘Inappropriate, Unjust, and Unreasonable’: 300+ Groups Slam Duckworth Water Privatization Bill
Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams

Over 300 groups on Monday urged Senate leadership to reject a bill currently under consideration that would incentivize communities to sell off their public water supplies to private companies for pennies on the dollar.

“This bill is an egregious handout to giant water corporations which would embolden them to manipulate and fleece struggling communities—particularly communities of color,” said Food & Water Action executive director Wenonah Hauter. “The fact that this bill is being touted as an ‘environmental justice’ measure makes it all the more nefarious.”

Food & Water Action led the demand in a letter (pdf) taking aim at the “Voluntary Water Partnership for Distressed Communities Act,” described in the document as “inappropriate, unjust, and unreasonable.”

“From California to Montana to New Jersey, we’ve seen how privatizing water harms communities, whether it’s higher bills or dirtier water,” Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest, said in a statement. “It’s simple: water is a basic human right, which means let’s keep it in public hands.”

The bill was introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and acts as an amendment to the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. Critics charge the legislation induces poor communities to sell off their water rights.

As the American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner explained, doing so would likely spell disaster for affected communities:

Privatized systems are typically less reliable, far more expensive, and prone to corrupt deal-making. The average community with privatized water paid 59% more than those with government supplied water. In New Jersey, which has more private water than most, private systems charged 79% more. In Illinois, they charged 95% more. Private water corporations have also been implicated in environmental disasters. The French multinational, Veolia, issued a report in 2015 certifying that Flint, Michigan’s water system met EPA standards, but neglected to mention high lead concentrations.

“We know that Wall Street actors target Black and brown communities in moments of crisis to enrich themselves and Wall Street-backed water companies see opportunity in this moment,” Maurice BP-Weeks, co-executive director of letter signatory Action Center on Race and the Economy, said in a statement.

BP-Weeks added that incentivizing water privatization at such a vulnerable moment for poor communities in the country is exactly the wrong move for what the crisis demands.

“As communities across the country search for relief from the ongoing pandemic, it would be short sighted and misguided to pass a bill that encourages the privatization of water systems,” said BP-Weeks. “It is our government’s job to protect our most vulnerable communities, not put them up for sale.”

Something to think about over coffee prozac

Every Member Of Police Department Excitedly Volunteers To Go Undercover In White Supremacist Group
The Onion

BALTIMORE, MD—As the police chief expressed amazement over the general enthusiasm for receiving the assignment, every member of the Baltimore Police Department was reportedly excitedly volunteering Wednesday to go undercover in a white supremacist group.

“I’ll do it! I would be so good at going undercover—if I’m in there, the white supremacists won’t even be able to tell the difference,” said officer Tyson Ellerton, trying to get the chief’s attention over the din of the entire rest of the department begging to be the one to investigate a new local organization dedicated to upholding white Chrstian nationalism through violent means.

“Please let me do it! No one will work harder than me to get into their mindset and lifestyle. Two months, two years, whatever it takes. I will live like a white supremacist to get inside their heads and understand how they work. Plus, I’ve already been working on an inside source—someone I just met, somehow—so I can use that connection to gain acceptance quickly. Come on, Chief, please please please. I’ve trained my whole life for this.”

At press time, a thrilled Ellerton exclaimed that he had just a few minutes to make it to the white supremacist group’s upcoming meeting, leaving the station before the police chief had a chance to ask how he knew the scheduled time.