SocraticGadfly: 8/21/22 - 8/28/22

August 27, 2022

PRO Gainesville guilty, as expected

County Attorney Ed Zielinksi presented the same video I have in this blog post about the actual 2020 protest, during the trial on misdemeanor charges of group leaders Torrey Henderson, Amara Ridge and Justin Thompson on the charge of "obstructing a major passageway."

From the Gainesville Register, in one of its very few stories still of any depth and worth reading:

The charges stated that the PRO Gainesville protestors obstructed California Street on three different occasions: on the Pecan Creek Bridge, while marching down the west-bound lane between the post office and the courthouse and when crossing the intersection of California and Dixon streets diagonally.

Now, I do have a couple of questions. If none of the three were themselves jaywalking on a state highway, why were they charged? I guess as leadership responsibility for only having a permit for a protest, not a march.

That said, why isn't this dude (I heard it on that video too) charged?

At one point in the video, the cameraman could be heard saying, “[The police] are telling us to get out of the road and we’re not listening. I like it.”

Can't the police finger him? (The state statute for obstruction of a major roadway says "willingly" or "knowingly," and Gainesville's police chief said at the time they didn't think most the rank and file knew the leadership had not gotten a parade permit. BUT? What if the cameraman DID know?)

I also think it was funny that the wrongfully woke Simone Carter of the Dallas Observer got dragged onto the witness stand by the defense. Given that she doesn't live in Gainesville and saw none of the events in person, that opened her up to all sorts of cross-exam issues. (More than a week later, probably in part because the case is on appeal, she's written noting new about it.)

Meanwhile, why did PRO Gainesville go all the way down to Dallas to land Alison Grinter as their legal beagle, especially if she either doesn't understand the First Amendment or thought she could buffalo the Gainesville yokels with stuff like this:

Dallas attorney Alison Grinter’s defense relied on First Amendment protections and the right to protest. She said she believed the legal system was trying to make a point by having the charge be an obstruction of traffic on a major passageway, when if the charge had been on any other street in the area the charge would have been a ticket for jaywalking at most.

Ms. Grinter, come now. Courts have ruled for hundreds of years that the actions of public protest under freedom of assembly can be regulated by government permit requirements. If PRO Gainesville had asked you to sue the city of Gainesville on its claims of unfair treatment of issuance or denial of permits, that would be another thing.

But it ain't.

Beyond that, being ignorant about what a state highway entails vs "any other street," and ignorant of, or trying to hand-wave on, traffic flow, city patterns for such, etc., is laughable. (California Street, where the incidents happened, is FM 51 in state highways' system of farm-to-market roads.)

The ACLU, which I cited in the link at top, would also like a word with Grinter's understanding of protests and permits. Also, the use of bullhorns in an unpermitted march could have led to citations.

Then, there's this:

In Grinter’s closing statement, she emphasized that the world was in a different climate in 2020, and by handing down a Not Guilty verdict, the jury could send a message that Cooke County was done with the hard feelings and show that this was an overreach of resources.

Uhh, given the number of marchers, the comment by the cameraman, and the vehicular traffic that evening, maybe it wasn't overkill.

The only thing I agree with re this actual case is that jail time beyond the fines is overkill. But, 7 days is FAR less than the maximum of 180 days.


Maybe Zielinski offered that in plea talks and you rejected it? Maybe he didn't, either. Grinter Allen (her actual last name, Grinter her maiden, see below) didn't talk to the Groansville folks, but told the Denton Wrecked Chronic, which also reported on the case, that Zielinski was determined to go to trial. Well, he no-commented, since she's appealing. 

(I asked her point-blank on Twitter if Ed offered a plea deal or not. We'll see if I get a response. I also told her in my Tweet thread that I'm a non-duopoly actual leftist.

We'll see if she responds.)

In their story, Thompson claims the commissioners court was in on the effort to deliberately punish them. Uhh, wrong. They don't micromanage Zielinski.

Thompson also claims that a group of Trumpist MAGAts types were so upset over local coverage they started an alternative newspaper. News to me. Never seen a copy at, say Quick Trip. Seriously, knowing how far right Gainesville tilts? And this isn't publicly circulated?

Thompson also has a different story for the Wrecked Chronic about not hearing the police than he did for the Register, where he said he did, thought the warning was originally for a bicyclist, then realized it wasn't, then told people to get back on the sidewalk.

Anyway, even though this is done, as the case WAS a slam dunk, Grinter says it ain't:

Getcha popcorn! 

I also forgot that Grinter called all three defendants "kids" two years ago. I think all three were over 25 then; I know they are now. Henderson and Thompson are approaching 30.

Otherwise, she's a typical run-of-the-mill Ukrainian warmongering supporting Democrat who's also running for a district judgeship in Dallas County. It's ALSO interesting she uses her maiden name on Twitter and as cited by the media, but hubby's name in running for office.

Scratch that. She WAS running but lost handily in the Dems' March primary, but still has her campaign website on her Twitter bio. Per that Ballotpedia link, she was third in a three-person race for a Dallas County criminal judge race in the 2020 primary. And oops in two ways. Still under her maiden name in 2018 and thus with a different Ballotpedia, she lost again, for the same race as this year, in the 2018 primary. And, she's in solo practice (with the help of a paralegal). Nuff ced.

No, NOT nuff ced. She's also ... PR-ing her failed election campaign.. Her website claims she's running for a district judgeship. Nope. In 2022, as the previous two times, it's a Dallas County criminal court, the criminal-side-only version of a county court-at-law, like Judge Morris' court in this case up here in Gainesville. It is NOT a "district court." Using that phraseology seems to me to imply that it's a state district court, even if Dallas County has multiple county court judicial districts. And, if she's board-certified in criminal law, she knows the difference.

Update, Sept. 2: The Gainesville Register, in a house editorial almost certainly by ME Mike Eads, decided to fellate PRO Gainesville's leaders. Of course it did.

First, contra Eads, a jury, not a judge, imposed the sentencing amount.

Second, he appears to accept Grinter's claim at face value that Zielinski was determined to go to trial and that, behind that, her implication there were no plea negotiations.

Third, Eads appears to have bought the trio's claims at face value and to not even have watched the video.

Fourth, he appears to like to do mind-reading of the counterprotestors.

Fifth and related, IIRC, the counterprotestors were themselves all on the square itself. Certainly, the self-own video by the cameraman doesn't indicate otherwise, nor does my own recollection from briefly being down there.

Final question: Where is fake PRO Gainesville member, and actual Young Rethuglican, Tucker Craft, these days?

August 26, 2022

I agree Communism is not Fascism; so what? It sucks itself

The cesspool that Political Twitter often is had this Tweet Wednesday when "Communism" was trending:

To which I quote-Tweeted:

And stand by it in detail.

The SPD is the same as the German political party today: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands or Social Democratic Party in English. During the last couple of years of the Weimar Republic, German Communists kept pressuring them to coalition, and the SPD refused on principal and with good reason. And everything I said in my Tweet is true.

Now, "Move Left, Idiots," in the context of this particular tweet, was trying to "trigger" Ukrainians, it appears. I can do that, and call out what's wrong with Zelenskyy's corruption and more without writing blank checks to either Putin's PR machine OR that of (alleged) actual Communists in the US.

And, as for the non-twosider facts on the ground? Wagner Group has fascists just like OUN and Azov Battalion. And, if state controlled capitalism is fascism, but not full Nazi type, then both Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China qualify.

August 25, 2022

Will Dollar Tree's new pricing strategy work?

As most people know, Dollar Tree is now Buck Twenty-Five Tree on most of its stuff.

Well, scratch that.

The one nearest me, and presumably this is national, now has most of two aisles devoted to "specials" for $3 or $5.

Will customers pay, or will they comparison shop?

Some things, I know are cheaper elsewhere. Even if it has a slightly bigger bottle, and even if rising oil prices are part of the reason why for jumps in prices in product in general, I can get a bottle of gas treatment at Walmart for less than $3 I can tell you without looking.

And, if I need a 7-inch skillet, if I want to buy as part of a group of cookware, I can get it cheaper than $5 at Wally, and get a lid with it, which $5 at Buck-Twenty-Five Chuck doesn't give you.

What many people may still NOT know is that Dollar Tree also owns Family Dollar. And, I'm venturing the parent is trying to work on some synergies, even perhaps charging a bit more than at Family Dollar, but not too much, in hopes that people won't comparison shop, at least that hard. 

I might just do that; I have both stores within walking distance.

Twitter security sux donkey dongs

So alleges its brief cybersecurity chief, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, in a massive whistleblower filing with the feds, as reported by CNN. Hat tip to Schneier, where I found this.

REALLY sux. Zatko, hired in late 2020, says that in the weeks after Jan. 6, 2021, he was so worried about how many people had access to how much information about high-level accounts, he was worried about hackers hitting Twitter to claim all sorts of people supported #StartTheSteal. (That's its correct name, of course.)

Confirming what others have suspected, he adds that much of Twitter's server backbone is aged-out shit.

AND, he says that because of this and other things, there's no way Twitter's current ownership and top brass, re Elon Musk and his one plaint, can know for sure how bad or not Twitter's bot problem actually is. (CNN notes Musk has filed a subpoena.)

In his filing, Mudge also indicated that CEO Parag Agrawal was trying to shut him up, to put it bluntly, before canning him.

Given that Twitter's Saudi ties have recently been revealed, and Congresscritters are interested in all this, it spells big trouble for the blue birdie.

There's more juicy reveals about Agrawal, and a few about former head Jack Dorsey, including just how detached he had become before letting go.

August 24, 2022

Texas Progressives talk election harassment, puberty blockers

Off the Kuff comments on the resignations of Gillespie County's elections staff and the shameful silence of the Republicans whose words and deeds are the root cause of the problem. 

SocraticGadfly talks about the FDA's decision last month to put "black box" warnings on puberty blockers and the sad lack of overall media coverage.

Slim Pickens is not just a rodeo rider, stuntman and iconic actor. Per Texas Monthly, it's also the first Black-owned outdoors retail store. But, it's more than a retailer. Owner Jamaicah Dawes strives to diversify those experiencing the outdoors. At the same time, his dreams are still surrounded by struggles. It's a long read but interesting.

Hemp is the future. The Monthly has another "just around the corner" story, like nuclear fusion power and "strong" artificial intelligence. Call me back when Texas changes its cannabis laws and other things.

Wingnuts in the Lege posture macho, but are scaredy-cats when asked to define details of what it means for a woman's life to be in danger under anti-abortion law.

It's also "nice" that the Lege isn't even bothering to phone it in on its contempt for church-state separation ideas of the First Amendment.

Congresscritter Vicente Gonzales and his wife, tax chiselers, or just SEVEN years of bad memory? You know, by where the hyperlink is, where I stand.

Last week, the SA Express-Snooze profiled people leaving Tex-ass. Now, the Trib looks specifically at Black Texans thinking about a Texodus.

The Trib also profiles Gohmert Pyle, aka Louie Gohmert, starting with him passing just one law in his 17 years as a Congresscritter.

Mexico and Texas have fought about water issues for years. Now, with drought on the south side of the Rio Grande as well as north, that's intensified. In reality, like with the Valley of the Sun in Aridzona, people need to move out — or BE MOVED OUT — of the Rio Grande Valley.

Paul Burka, long-time editor of the Monthly, has died at 80. Mimi Swartz and other past colleagues reminisce .

Good ConservaDem Kuff ignores the fossil fuel handouts of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Sean Pendergast grades Deshaun Watson's "apology".  

Space City Weather provides another update on the tropics. 

The TSTA Blog is not impressed by Chuck Norris as an answer to school shootings.  

Mean Green Cougar Red ponders why commercial aircraft don't have parachutes.

August 23, 2022

I'll be undervoting the Cooke County Judge's race

First, the backstory to this.

In the one candidate forum held before the March primary, after the Winter Storm Uri wannabe of this year led Cooke County Republican Women to cancel their event, folks in Callisburg invited everybody, including the one Democrat on the local ballot.

Denny Hook is running for county judge in a not-just-red, but red-meat Trumpist red county that has broken 80 percent or a touch more GOP in previous statewide and national races.

He first mentioned why he was running. He said something about his daughter running for some county or Texas Lege office in Collin County a few years ago and being kept off the ballot or something. Well, Collin ain't THAT Rethuglican, besides, this sounds like an issue for or by Collin County Democrats, not the county clerk or other election officials, if I understood him correctly.

Anyway, he mentioned his background as a United Methodist Church pastor, then a regional congregational supervisor. OK. 

He then mentioned the word "environmentalism." OK, you're not going to hear that word at all from a local Rethug. I bookmark that in my mind.

Fast forward to last week.

I get home from work one day and see a flier inserted in my door jamb. Open it, and it's from his campaign, with three bullet points.

One OK but not fantastic, re the statement above by Hook.

One meh at best.

One no bueno at all and also indicating his lack of political knowledge.

The first bullet point was about preserving our water supply or words to that effect. Catchy while we're in a drought, but our local supply, unless population growth from the Metromess mushrooms much faster than I expect, has no real worries at the immediate time.

Second was about making sure we've got a strong foundation for mental health services. Not sure what DSHS has here in the way of official state mental health services, beyond the state school/juvie prison on the east side of Gainesville. On the private but community side, for real problem issues, we have a county CASA, are in the services of a regional Child Advocacy Center, and have a place named Abigail's Arms that has a women's shelter as well as services for abused children. Beyond that, strong mental health services starts with the availability of private counselors, then goes to their affordability along with insurance coverage or lack thereof.

Third? He thinks the property taxes are too damned high. Wrong.

First of all within that, my op-ed column in my two newspapers for the previous week said commissioners court, by cutting the ad valorem to the "no new revenue" rate while thus producing a budget with a $6 million deficit (might not be much in Dallas, Tarrant, Harris or even Denton, but it's 20 percent here, and that's a 33 percent hit on the reserve fund balance) was (politely phrased) irresponsible.

Secondly is the political ignorance side. County property taxes are always, unless there's a weird city, going to be No. 3 at "worst" on tax rates in Texas. Your school district is first and your city is second. Depending on your exact needs, it's possible a hospital district comes ahead of county levels. And, per the flier and the ballot, Denny Hook is running for county judge, not city council or school board. There's the political ignorance. (About 50 percent of the county is in unincorporated area, but still, 90 cents or a bit more from a school board versus 36 cents and change from the county is no comparison, even without a small town at 50 or 60 cents.)

Third, per the first of all, it comes off as pandering to wingnuts, the type who in these parts call Shrub Bush a RINO, but yet, don't bat an eyelash over their commissioners court being RINO-like (as was Trump, of course) on deficit spending themselves.

Fourth and related, it's typical capitalist boo-hooing when capitalism gores your ox on property values.

So, too bad, Denny Hook, you just lost my vote.

Update: If, to address Texas' income inequality made worse by taxation inequality, Hook said he'd fight for a state income tax, he'd have my vote in an Austin minute, but I ain't expecting that. Per information at this site linked by the Chronic, Tex-ass has the second-most regressive state income tax policy in the country. 

And per a Chronic quote, not only Denny Hook but no statewide Dem will pick up this issues because an income tax is supposedly the state-level equivalent of Social Security nationally as a "third rail" not to be touched.

Strange on that. Neoliberal Dems as well as Rethugs, since the time of Slick Willie, have had no problem in talking about partial privatization of Social Security. They just haven't acted.

All I have to do now is decide whether to undervote or go Beto-Bob for gov, remember to vote Green, via Molinson for land commish, and decide whether to undervote or not on a couple of other statewide races.

Child car seats are a contraceptive! "No really"

I put the "no really" in scare quotes because, no, really, they're not, or at a minimum, there's no proof that they are, outside the obvious way, in which if you're parents with kids and want to fuck like rabbits away from your kids, child car seats make doing the grind in your car a lot tougher.

Some Zvi Mowshowitz, who I had never heard of but has a Wiki page, claims that, "no really" they are a contraceptive. His claim seems to boil down to the idea that most vehicles can't put three child car seats in the back seat, ergo, contraceptive.

Having apparently been a one-time contributor to "Less Wrong," which overstates the degree to which human rationality as consciously practiced by the average human being in everyday life can serve as a form of harm reduction, such nuttery (and it is) is not surprising. The reality is, of course, that two parents don't think, when fucking, "wait, I need to take the Pill/wear a diaphragm/wear a condom/get my tubes tied/get a vasectomy" because my Toyota Camry can't hold three child car seats in the back seat.

First of all, despite the hints that this might only be a rabid leftist case of overreach, right here in Tex-ass, the child safety law goes to age 8. But, it doesn't say that children over 2, or even under 2, have to be in a BACK seat. Definitely, since children over 2 are allowed in a forward-facing child seat, the presumption is, if it fits, that child seat can be in a front seat. So, Zvi, there's child No. 3 right there.

Second, beyond my hysterical send-up, seriously, parents wanting a third child don't think that way.

Thirdly, if they did, despite Mowshowitz talking about many people hating on minivans, stereotypically rational ones would love on them. (And, per my send-up, maybe love in them, too.)

But, that's not the biggie.

THAT is this, the old, and correctly phrased, scientifically skeptical phrase:

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

And, that's that.

IN reality, though, Mowshowitz hasn't even established correlation all that strongly, contra the mounds of links in his story.

They also have assumptions that aren't warranted. One mentions it's based on in-house two-parent families only. It also says that it estimates child car seats have cut into births since the 1980s, then admits that rising mandatory maximum child car seat age only started going up in the middle 1990s. I think that's called "petard hoisting."

But, you want better ideas than his to boost population growth?

First, it's called "national health care." You know, if having a baby ain't so fucking expensive, more people might have more.

Second, it's called "bigger child care tax deductions." He does mention child care credits in passing, but not enough.

Third, you want to keep kids safe? It's called "gun control."

Fourth, and as I tweeted in a thread, you want to keep kids safe, and connect this to vehicles? More, not less, federal regulation, namely, to put a cap on the height of pickup hoods and eliminate a horrendous front blind spot issue. LOTS of people have written about this.

Mowshowitz then moves to overall costs of child raising. He's largely right here, though his solutions don't include my No. 1 in the list of four.

He then posts a graph showing how birth rate declines with rising income, but claims: 

A weird dynamic to consider is that birth rates decline as economies develop, but also all the economic principles and observations of people’s choices say one’s willingness to have children declines as one’s economic situation worsens, once you control for someone’s social class and expectations.

No, really, in the face of evidence.

Or to put it better, he doesn't square "willingness" in the pull quote with actuality in the graph. Another big fat fail for someone touting rationality so much. 

In fact, to continue to direct quote him:

Thus, I can notice this… …and still expect that making a given person/couple’s financial life improve will in general will increase their birth rate, even if it’s not focused on things related to children, although that focus will certainly help. Part of this, of course, is that the graph does not represent one directional causation.

We seem in the land of hard-on level motivated reasoning.

There's yet other problems with the piece. 

One of them is snide sneers about people deciding to get tubal ligations or vasectomies because of climate change. Behind that, his argument for MOAR PEOPLE is offered without rational justification, surprising for someone who wrote stuff for Less Wrong, but actually not surprising. I'm assuming that Moswhowitz believes his idea is rationally self-evident. No it's not; show your work. Since you haven't in this piece, I'm assuming you know you can't, per hard-on level motivated reasoning.

Finally, citing neoliberal libertarians Matt Yglesias and Nate Silver favorably (and probably in other pieces) is a good way to "lose me" even more. 

He's not all bad. He's semi-intelligent as a data-cruncher on COVID, but I see nothing that puts him in the same playing field as Zeynep Tufekci, who he does cite in one piece.

August 22, 2022

BuRec drops a semi-hammer on the Lower Colorado; will Aridzona OR California listen?

For those not following the news in the Desert Southwest, the Bureau of Reclamation's announcement last week that it was putting the three lower Colorado River Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada under Tier 2 water cuts because of how low Lake Mead had fallen is big news.

For Arizona, which along with California is the biggest grower, ahead of Florida, of wintertime "truck farm" crops — lettuce, tomatoes, etc. — this is a biggie. A 21 percent cut. Nevada, which uses the least amount of the three states, faces an 8 percent cut. California? None. Not yet.

Why? Because of Aridzona's decades-old obstinance, that put all of its water rights "junior" to about all of California's and Nevada's, until it realized that the only way the Central Arizona Project, which pumps water to farms in southwestern Aridzona, as well as metro Phoenix and Tucson (with massive electric costs). Marc Reisner covers all of this, including the stupidity of a 1930s Aridzona governor sending his National Guard to the Colorado River border with California, in his magisterial "Cadillac Desert," reviewed but only in brief by me here. (I've read it half a dozen times or more; my copy is heavily annotated, highlighted and underlined.)

So, why these mandatory cuts? Because, as I blogged last month, and as discussed here at NM Political Report (even though NM, in the Upper Basin, faces no cuts) actual people in Colorado River Basin states, and above all, Aridzonans, refuse to engage in anywhere near the amount of voluntary cuts BuRec pushed for a year ago.

However, again, this is only a semi-hammer, per the paragraph above. High Country News has a good explainer of how states had agreed to this level of cuts already in 2019. So, really, it's not even a semi-hammer being dropped. It's a trigger being automatically pulled.

In terms of acre-feet, it's less than half of what BuRec had been pushing states to do on their own, and threatening to do forcefully if states didn't do it on their own. And, so, it's really close to a nothingburger, despite all the bitching, and Upper Basin states got no cuts at all.

That said, per that second link two paragraphs above, at NM Political Report, Upper Basin states, even with a good monsoon this year, shouldn't sit so smug. BuRec may force increased releases from Lake Powell next year, and increases from dams above Lake Powell on the Upper Colorado and its tributaries so that Powell doesn't hit "power pool," where it can no longer generate electricity, by sending more water to Mead. James Powell covers this in "Dead Pool." The High Country News piece notes that Powell is expected to be just 32 feet above power pool next year. (Depopulated Wyoming, unsuitable for crops but growing alfalfa, may become the Aridzona of the Upper Basin in a few years, and it should, contra neoliberal pseudoenvironmentalist John Fleck of the University of New Mexico.)

The LA Times (via Yahoo News) has more on not the failure of voluntary cuts, but the failure of state negotiations on how to apportion voluntary-by-state but forced-within-state cuts. It notes that Upper vs Lower Basin tensions, and urban vs. rural/agriculture, as well as state vs. state, are all issues, and all seemed to have increased during the failed negotiations. 

This also proves wrong John Fleck's bullshit claim that neoliberal negotiations always solve Western water problems. On many past cases, the threat of a hammer was needed for negotiations to get real. And, in some cases, that didn't even work. Like now.

Since the hammer wasn't nearly as severe as it could have been, it seems unlikely that the states are going to stop their squabbling. So, what's the next rabbit inBuRec Commissioner Camille Touton's hat?

In addition, I do not salute a blank check (as far as I know, it's a blank check) of $4 billion in Inflation Reduction Act money to bail out farmers in this area. Again, per the likes of "Cadillac Desert," most have grown water-thirsty crops like alfalfa, and have refused to switch to more drought-tolerant (or salt-tolerant, as salinity rises) crops, first. It's that same mindset behind failed negotiations; "rugged individualist" farmers, especially in the most socialist state in America, wanting a bailout.

On the other hand, per the Times story, not only did negotiations fail, but even before Touton dropped the faux hammer, some people were saying "bring it on," in terms of gearing up for lawsuits. Or, if not "bring it on," at a minimum, "we're ready for it." Like Bill Hasencamp, who manages the Lower Colorado River portion of water for Southern California's Metropolitan Water District?

“If the federal government does have to take unilateral action, it will likely lead to litigation, which will make it even harder to develop new guidelines for the Colorado River. So that's a big risk,” Hasencamp said. “I think everyone would agree that a consensus-based plan is better than either the courts or the federal government taking action to determine our future.”

Remember "Chinatown," the real version of that also discussed by Reisner? You ain't seen nothing yet!

Yale Climate Connections, in talking about this, noted this winter is expected to be another La Niña, which means dry, and likely warm, so another year of small snowpack, which means another spring and early summer of small runoff.

Californicators also shouldn't be too smug. Per the link in the first graf, if Mead falls yet another 5 feet below where it's expected to be this January, IT will face mandatory cuts too, for the first time, unless people there, who have faced their own water conservation pushes due to declining Sierra Nevada snowpack, look across the river at Aridzona and take stock of reality.

Within California, if that happens? Even the pretense of "fixing" the Salton Sea goes away. That, in turn means southeastern California and southwestern Aridzona, even as far as Phoenix, get toxic agrichemical dust blown in on west winds. Assuming that the 21 percent Aridzona cuts force some farms to go fallow, it's going to have that even before desiccated Salton Sea detritus blows over the Valley of the Sun.

And, to once again go to that High Country News piece? These seven states are nowhere near seeing light at the end of the tunnel. First, the long-term drought plus heat plus less snowpack in winter issues will keep getting worse. Second, American Indian tribes weren't included in this summer's negotiations. Many of them have substantial water rights but have not fully exercised them. Some of them are involved in water rights litigation as I type. (Shut up, John Fleck.) Third, the Colorado River Compact as a whole expires in four years. Without either real negotiations, or a BuRec Commissioner willing to drop an actual hammer, per Hobbs, this will turn into "a water war of all against all."

Finally, was Touton right, as far as hoped-for longer-term results, to only drop the semi-hammer instead of what she really could have done? It's arguable that she hoped that going lighter might still encourage a voluntary deal, especially in the face of the original Compact expiring in 2026. OTOH, it's arguable that that is neoliberal Kumbaya John Fleck thinking, that all the River states have shown their true colors and nobody's budging. I tilt that way.