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Tuesday night time owls. S.D. Governor Noem's struggle on tribal sovereignty will kill folks

Around the same time, the Indian Health Service's Great Plains area, consisting of Dakotas, Nebraska, and Iowa, saw its highest increase in Covid-19 cases to date. Unsurprisingly, tribal governments and community leaders took matters into their own hands, while officials like Noem effectively cheered the death toll and enforced their own checkpoints and barriers. This is not a tribal takeover: it is an act of survival. “The closest critical care facility is a three-hour drive in Rapid City. And our healthcare facility is basically fair – we only have eight beds, ”Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, told NPR in May. "There is only one respiratory therapist. You know, there are probably over 10,000 people living here on the reservation. So if we have a massive outbreak where are they going?"

But when the tribes tried to protect themselves against the irresponsibility of state and local governance, they were downright hostile to leaders like Noem. Hear this again – elected officials in South Dakota are working out of a desire to effectively subject tribal communities to local and state governance and working against their native counterparts who are actively trying to save lives in the midst of a pandemic. There is no descriptor that adequately captures the level of cruelty and malice required to pursue such a policy while the South Dakotans are dying. But when you push on one, "damn crazy" seems to be doing the trick. (…)

Three more articles worth reading

In Louisiana's Cancer Alley, a black community is fighting an industry that threatens their health and history, by Megan I. Gannon. A proposed petrochemical complex by the plastics giant Formosa could destroy long-forgotten plantation graves.

Did the Democrats really undercut the voting results? by Joshua Holland. Right now, pretty much everyone across the political spectrum shares the belief that the Democrats underperformed in the House and state legislative competitions, which detracts from their win over Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, but is that really true?

Greenpeace publishes a far-reaching "Just Recovery Agenda" to address interlocking crises of inequality, racial injustice, Covid-19 and climate chaos by Andrea Germanos. We need to "move from an economy that is extractive and exploitative to one that regenerates and mends itself," the new report says.

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos that day in 2013– No, food stamps do not cause obesity:

A recent story published in the Washington Post provided a look at the cheap grocery options that are affordable for a grocery brand budget and at which Health problems and obesity this diet causes. All well and good, but reporter Eli Saslow's big question was, "Did the massive growth of a government nutrition program solve a problem or create one?" The chain of thoughts that led him to this question:

Hidalgo County has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation … which has resulted in nearly 40 percent of residents signing up for the grocery stamp program... This means a widespread reliance on cheap, processed foods. This leads to a rate of diabetes and obesity that is twice the national average. This results in the highest per capita spending on health care in the country.

This is a messed up logic. Seriously messed up. Let's do a thought experiment and take away food stamps from poor people that are currently using them to buy cheap, processed food. Is there a scenario where these people buy more expensive and healthier groceries after losing the benefits that a large part of their food budget currently provides?

The reason people rely on cheap, processed foods isn't because people's food budgets come from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – heaven knows it's not like it's a program requirement that benefits for junk Food are spent – that they are poor. Maybe they live in food deserts. Perhaps they don't have the kitchen equipment to store or cook fresh food – a woman depicted in the story doesn't have a refrigerator. But whatever you can say about the nutrition of food stamp recipients, poverty, not food stamps, is the starting point.

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