How a Wall Street company made Jackson, Miss., water crisis worse

I knew the Jackson, Mississippi, water crisis has much of its roots in the fact that the state has been gerrymandered so much for so long that Republicans have an iron-fisted hold on all three branches of government, including the House and Senate — plus its congressional delegation.

Mississippi is still Klan country in many ways, and no doubt those kinds of sympathies are never very far from the surface in the good ole boys who run the place. That 38% of the state is Black no doubt accounts for the fact that Mississippi ranks dead last among the 50 states in most quality-of-life indicators. Wouldn’t want non-whites to get too uppity and full of themselves with actual electoral power and generational wealth.

What I did not know is that the water crisis also has much of it roots in a Wall Street company fleecing the city of Jackson and its water customers. It all started with white flight from Jackson, which decimated the city’s tax base in a state where the white folks in control were not in the mood to help a largely Black city, according to Judd Legum over that Popular.Info:

But while the city’s population and tax base shrunk, it still has 114 square miles of aging water infrastructure to maintain. The state, dominated by Republicans, has been largely unwilling to help a city populated by Black Democrats. In 2021, for example, intense storms left Jackson residents without drinking water for a month. The city asked the state for $47 million in funding for emergency repairs. Mississippi allocated $3 million.

Mississippi lawmakers have blocked “attempts by the city to raise infrastructure funds through a sales tax hike.” Meanwhile, top state officials, including Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R), have said that Jackson needs to solve its own problems. After the city lost access to clean water in 2021, Reeves said that the city needs to do a better job “collecting their water bill payments before they start going and asking everyone else to pony up more money.”

Reeves is right that Jackson has had difficulties collecting fees for water. But those difficulties — and its struggles to generate enough revenue to cover even routine maintenance — can be traced back to the actions of a multi-billion dollar corporation: Siemens.

But there is no such thing as systemic racism, dontcha know?

It cannot be said enough times: If someone in your town or city EVER proposes privatizing its water, sewers, parking meters or anything else, help to fight it in any way you can.

Paula Conley, a resident of Jackson, Miss., sprays disinfectant on dishes she hasn’t been able to wash because of a lack of water.

California legislator who championed vaccine laws in the face of death threats has been term-limited out of office

You wanna talk about heroes? This guy is a hero.

A California lawmaker who rose to national prominence by muscling through some of the country’s strongest vaccination laws is leaving the state legislature later this year after a momentous tenure that made him a top target of the boisterous and burgeoning movement against vaccination mandates.

State Sen. Richard Pan, a bespectacled and unassuming pediatrician who continued treating low-income children during his 12 years in the state Senate and Assembly, has been physically assaulted and verbally attacked for working to tighten childhood vaccine requirements — even as Time magazine hailed him as a “hero.” Threats against him intensified in 2019, becoming so violent that he needed a restraining order and personal security detail.

“It got really vicious, and the tenor of these protests inside the Capitol building didn’t make you feel safe, yet he stood his ground,” said Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health from 2015 to 2019. “Dr. Pan is unusual because he has the knowledge and belief in science, but also the conviction to act on it.”

“That takes courage,” she added. “He’s had a tremendous impact in California, and there’s going to be a hole in the legislature when he’s gone.”

The Democrat from Sacramento is leaving the Capitol because of legislative term limits that restrict state lawmakers to 12 years of service. He has overseen state budget decisions on health care and since 2018 has chaired the Senate Health Committee, a powerful position that has allowed him to shape health care coverage for millions of Californians.

Pan, 56, helped lead the charge to restore vision, dental, and other benefits to California’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal, after they were slashed during the Great Recession. Since then, he has pushed to expand social services to some of the most vulnerable enrollees.

You can read the rest at this link

Calif. State Sen. Richard Pan and his family.

It’s not just loan forgiveness; Biden also re-wrote loan repayment terms for many students

One of the things I try to stress to conservative boomers my age is the fact that, when we were young in the 1960s and ’70s, corporations paid something resembling their fair share of taxes, at least with federal taxes.

The federal corporate rate was graduated, with top rates on corporate income over $25,000 topping out between 48 and 52 percent. (It’s now 21 percent tops.)

And that system in the 1960s and ’70s seemed perfectly normal to everyone, and a lot of corporations just paid their taxes because there weren’t all of the overseas tax havens where corporations could claim a post office box in Malta as their headquarters.

(An aside: Malta had been effectively taxing foreign corporations at a rate of 5% even if their “headquarters” was a single-person office above a laundromat. Malta is being punished, at least for now, because of the way it encouraged these kinds of tax crimes. Great article here.)

The point of all of this is that, when corporations were good civic citizens, cities and towns and states had plenty of money to have people on their payrolls who were paid livable wages. Teachers weren’t paying for school supplies, schools had plenty of books and school nurses and guidance counselors and music/art programs. Public parks and street/bridge repairs were adequate to what was needed.

Public universities and colleges were well-funded by the state and federal governments and, in fact, got much of their operating budgets from public funds. So tuition was also low.

Then the Republican Party started to be taken over by right-wing billionaires who financed candidates and ad campaigns to convince Americans that corporate taxes were too high, that private sector workers were somehow inherently more efficient than government employees (they’re not) and that every dollar spent on government was a dollar that corporations could not spend to improve their profits that those corporations would magically “trickle down” to average workers.

Of course none of that money trickled down and today we know that record corporate profits end up nowhere remotely close to average workers, but instead make fabulously rich people even richer.

I bring all this up because my fellow boomers seems to forget how well government functioned before Ronald Reagan was elected. How much more fair it was– to everyone.

And once you realize how much better you had it than college students today, perhaps you can actually be happy about the things outlined in this CNBC article:

The day the Biden administration unveiled its highly anticipated student loan forgiveness plan was a “celebratory day” for Justin Short.

Short, 34, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012 with a degree in hospitality management, $47,000 in federal student loans and $5,800 in private student loans. Like many borrowers, his college debt has plagued his personal and financial decisions for years.

So while he found relief in many of the announcements coming from the White House on Aug. 24 — $10,000 in debt forgiveness, another payment pause extension through the end of the year — Short was most interested in the announcement of proposed changes to income-driven repayment plans.

The Department of Education’s new plan would cap monthly payments on undergraduate debt to 5% of discretionary income, down from the usual 10% to 15% on existing plans.

The proposal also raises the amount of money considered non-discretionary income and shielded from being used to calculate student loan payments.

It would cover any accrued unpaid interest so that no borrower’s balance would grow if they made a qualifying payment.

And it would forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments, instead of the usual 20, for those with original loan balances of $12,000 or less

This “sleeper” detail of the loan forgiveness plan could be “a game-changer” for millions of borrowers with remaining balances, says Julie Peller, executive director at Higher Learning Advocates, a bipartisan higher education nonprofit.

“I wish people were talking about this more than the $10,000 piece,” Short says, “because this will put more money into the pockets of everyday, middle-class Americans who need that extra help, especially when student loan payments resume on Jan. 1.”

“This has huge implications,” he adds.

As I said earlier, college was cheap for most boomers who attended public universities. So cheap that student loans tended to be small — if you had one at all — and the terms favored students instead of the banks. Unlike today where even some student loan borrowers who pay regularly on their loans watch in horror as the principal barely goes down. (See this article about student loan borrowers who are now paying on student loans into their retirement years.)

If you had suggested to boomers when we went to college that we would have to borrow $100K or more, on terms that meant we would be paying until after we retire, we would have thought you were crazy.

So loan forgiveness seems like simple fairness to today’s students whose only real mistake is that they were born too late to benefit from the way things used to — and still should — operate.

Because, even those of us boomers who had students loans and paid them off were still recipients of government educational assistance. We just never saw it because it went to the universities and colleges to subsidize our low tuition.

College students in the 1970s.

Judge strikes down massive gift Democrats in NJ gave to gaming industry

The sneaky sneaksters — Democrats, all of them — who tried to slip special tax treatment for New Jersey casinos into law, were rebuked this week by a state judge who said the law was passed improperly and likely violated the state constitution.

A Superior Court judge in New Jersey has struck down a state law granting Atlantic City’s casinos tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks, saying that the measure was passed on dubious grounds and violated the state Constitution.

The ruling, handed down Monday, deals a blow to Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s legislative leaders, who fast-tracked the legislation through the Legislature last year. It is also a rebuke to the gaming industry, which had argued the bill was needed because it was struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At issue in the court case were changes to a local taxing program known as PILOT, or payment in lieu of property taxes. Since 2016, instead of paying property taxes, each casino has paid a share of an industrywide assessment that was distributed to Atlantic City, its school district and the county to fund various operations. The number was calculated based on the prior year’s total gaming revenue. But last year, the industry pressed for and won a key legislative change to that formula, excluding online gaming — a fast-growing sector of its business — from the program. The alteration reduced the gaming companies’ total PILOT liability this year by $55 million — revenue cuts that disproportionately impacted Atlantic City, one of the state’s most distressed cities.

A conservative nonprofit group called Liberty and Prosperity 1776 challenged the constitutionality of the law, saying the state’s founding document bars preferential tax treatment. The state countered that the new law was exempt from that prohibition because it served a “permissible public purpose.” On Monday, Atlantic County Assignment Judge Michael Blee sided with the nonprofit, potentially increasing casinos’ tax bills and sending tens of millions of additional dollars into local coffers.

I haven’t looked yet, but I’ll bet that these state leaders — again, mostly Democrats — have profited handsomely in some way from the gaming industry.

New Jersey has a Democratic trifecta. Both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office are all controlled by Democrats.

Which goes to show you, that no matter how bad the Republicans are — and they are mostly much worse than Democrats in every way — there will always also be Democrats willing to sell out voters to large, well-funded corporations.

Start paying attention!

If I lived in NJ and my Democratic legislators voted for this, I’d have a hard time voting for them again in the next Democratic primary.

Two-thirds of Americans think Biden’s student loan plan is correct or didn’t go far enough

The Republican playbook since the time of Reagan has been to take a bunch of billionaires and use their money to elect pro-Wall Street politicians from Harvard and Yale, then teach those politicians to espouse rhetoric about their love of the working class and “real Americans” those same politicians ultimately despise and work against.

Ted Cruz is currently on tour saying about student loan forgiveness, “What President Biden has, in effect, decided to do is to take from working-class people, to take from truck drivers and construction workers right now, thousands of dollars in taxes in order to redistribute it to college graduates who have student loans.”

The New York Times‘ always excellent Jamelle Bouie has a column posted that reminds all of us how ridiculous this is for so many reasons:

Now, as I noted over the weekend, this way of thinking betrays an ignorance of working-class life in this country. To work as a truck driver or a medical technician or a home inspector or any number of other similar blue-collar jobs, you need training, licenses, certifications. People go to school to meet these requirements. They apply for the same federal student loans and take on the same debt as someone going to college. And many of these Americans labor under the burden of that debt because of high costs and lower-than-expected earnings. (To say nothing of those who attended college, took on debt, but didn’t graduate.)

The idea that student loan relief is a handout to a small minority of affluent college graduates is simply a myth.

But even if you put all this aside, there is also the fact that these would-be spokesmen for working-class and blue-collar Americans aren’t actually speaking for working-class and blue-collar Americans. The polls, so far, make this clear.

The first poll since the plan was announced, from Emerson College, shows broad approval from across the electorate. When asked about loan forgiveness of up to $10,000 for borrowers making under $125,000 a year — one of the key planks of Biden’s plan — 35 percent of respondents said it was “just about the right amount of action.” This might not seem like much, but then consider the 30 percent of respondents who said $10,000 worth of relief was “not enough.” Presumably, this group will support the current plan but wishes it would go even further — bringing the total number of supporters to almost two-thirds of Americans. Just over a third of respondents, by contrast, said that Biden’s plan went too far.

That’s right: 2/3 of Americans think that Biden’s student loan plan was “just about right” or didn’t go far enough. Don’t let the right-wing tell you otherwise.

You can read the rest of Bouie’s column at this link.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), the Harvard-educated lawyer who falsely portrays himself a hero of the working class, shown as he was famously escaping to Cancun while people in his state were freezing to death.

Wall Street is pissed that Biden’s SEC has regulatory teeth where other presidents have failed

Another part of the progressive agenda on which Biden is delivering where other Democratic administrations have failed is on better regulation of the rapacious money vampires of Wall Street.

The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Kiernan wrote the story:

Wall Street is attempting to derail Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler’s agenda by challenging economic assumptions underpinning dozens of policy proposals.

Brokerages, hedge funds, private-equity firms, mutual funds, high-frequency trading firms and public companies have argued in comment letters filed this year that the costs of many of the proposals would outstrip the benefits, and that the SEC’s studies of the issues are flawed.

Mr. Gensler is pursuing what lawyers and former regulators say is the SEC’s most aggressive agenda in decades, an effort that could upend established and lucrative business models. It includes requiring public companies to disclose information related to climate change, bringing more transparency to private-equity and hedge funds, imposing stricter rules for investment products advertised as environmentally or socially responsible, and overhauling the way stock trades are executed.

For each rule it proposes, the SEC is required to produce studies of the likely economic impacts. Courts have blocked SEC rules in the past after litigants pointed out shortcomings in those analyses.

The SEC estimated that compliance costs would range from $50,000 to $500,000 per fund. It said the rule would ensure that fund names more accurately reflect their investment focus, making it harder for funds with misleading names to charge the higher fees that so-called ESG managers command.

The stage is now set for a contest between the financial industry and the SEC’s expanded team of economists, who must refute the industry’s challenges for a proposal to become a rule. The outcome will determine the fate of Mr. Gensler’s far-reaching agenda.

The WSJ article goes on to note:

The SEC put a greater emphasis on its economic analyses after a 2011 court loss in which judges tossed out a rule that would have given investors more power to oust corporate directors. The court said the SEC didn’t adequately analyze the costs to U.S. companies of fighting in contested board elections and failed to back up its claim that the rule would improve shareholder value and board performance.

Since then, the SEC’s division of economic and risk analysis has grown to 163 employees from 64, giving it one of the largest teams of government economists in Washington, according to officials.

Current and former SEC officials say the most important thing for commenters to do during the proposal stage is to substantiate their views with hard data, which the commission must take into account before completing a rule.

“Frankly, it’s up to these commenters to not just whine about it, but to actually put some numbers behind it,” said Kathleen Hanley, the SEC’s deputy chief economist from 2011 to 2013.

At least two former top SEC economists have been hired by the industry to challenge the SEC’s analyses.

You can read the rest of the WSJ article here.

Now seems like a good time to share again this video about Anthony Fauci

Now that Dr. Fauci has announced his retirement. let’s re-visit this 2020 election eve Lincoln Project video looking back at his career. Narrated by Harrison Ford, no less.

As someone who was around when the Reagan Administration was doing nothing as gay men and hemophiliacs were dying of AIDS, I remember well that Fauci was the only person in power at the time who sat down with AIDS activists to try to understand their fear and anger. He helped shepherd the robust response that built over time after Reagan left office.

That alone could serve as a capstone to any doctor’s career.

TNR examines how a weak IRS has allowed scammy right-wing non-profits to proliferate and thrive

Progressives around the country were shocked to find out that the Family Research Council, the ultra-right-wing political organization (and SPLC-designated hate group] that has been advocating for extremist laws on the state and federal level level since James Dobson started it in DC in 1983, had managed in 2020 to have itself declared a church in the eyes of the federal government.

This puts the plainly political organization, which has been advocating for and against electoral candidates since its inception — along with its $12 million (or more) annual revenues — out of reach of the IRS. It also means the organization no longer has to file even the minimal amount of documentation about leadership and revenues/spending that non-profits are required to provide.

One of the reasons this obviously crazy proposition slipped through the cracks is that the American right-wing has been slowly decimating the IRS. But the right-wing money machine has also, with help from Democrats like President Bill Clinton, managed to gut the IRS’s ability to monitor non-profits except in the most cursory ways.

Writer Jasper Craven at The New Republic has details in an article titled, “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Scammy Nonprofit.”

Despite budgetary challenges, the IRS had shown itself to be a capable regulator. In the 1970s, agents righteously investigated private tax-exempt Southern schools that had imposed de facto segregation. Many other shady actors were caught through audits and random application reviews. Through this work emerged institutional knowledge and legal theories that helped clarify vague statutes.

When Marcus Owens ran the EO [Exempt Organizations] division from 1990 to 2000, he had a fleet of about 120 lawyers and certified accountants. In addition to their core oversight work, employees fanned out to field offices to train other IRS officials on the ins and outs of nonprofit regulation. They also released continuing education materials every year that featured evolving guidance.

These efforts were kneecapped through the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, a bipartisan law that reined in the department’s powers. It passed following a series of overheated congressional hearings in which members of the public essentially complained about the IRS enforcing the law. Nevertheless, President Bill Clinton expressed outrage and promised change. His resulting package increased the burden of proof needed to punish rule-breakers and weakened agency operations. As part of this work, EO lawyers with nonprofit expertise were shuffled elsewhere. The IRS’s overall staffing levels decreased significantly over the next few years. Beginning in 2005, the EO training materials were no longer updated.

In 2012, Republican lawmakers accused the EO office of being a corrupt body of lefty rogues targeting Tea Party groups in its “Be on the Lookout” list. In truth, these were triage tools meant to ensure that the flood of politically influenced nonprofits that emerged in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United maintained rules against participating in political campaigns. The office was flagging groups all over the spectrum, and its enhanced reviews rarely led to denials.

Still, the IRS is an easy enemy, and once again became Congress’s cat toy. This led to a purge of leaders, a host of morale issues, and less regulation. Among other things, the IRS sought to shrink its massive backlog of applications by creating an “EZ” form for small groups that required no supporting documentation. Lawmakers further restricted the EO mission by prohibiting officials from spending federal funds to regulate potentially improper political activity. By the time the multipronged, multiyear inquiry was exhausted in 2016, the EO’s $102 million budget had been slashed by $20 million, and the office had lost hundreds of employees.

President Biden and the Democrats are aiming to reverse this long trend of gutting the IRS because they know that a weak, under-funded IRS only serves to make billionaires and their shadowy networks of right-wing non-profits stronger.

With an under-funded, under-staffed IRS, the Republicans can call anything a non-profit — or even a church.

This is why the GOP and its web of extremist non-profits have reacted with horror to the re-funding of the IRS. They say they oppose reinvigorating the IRS through the Inflation Reduction Act because the IRS will go after middle-income Americans, when that is plainly a talking point that should be called what it is: an outright lie.

Yet another reason to vote blue in November.

You can read the rest of the TNR article here.

The Family Research Council’s DC headquarters, designated for IRS purposes as a church since 2020. Democrats in Congress are investigating how this happened, although those investigations will end if the GOP regains control of Congress in the midterm elections.

Quietly, incrementally, Biden has transformed U.S. industrial policy where all other Democratic administrations have failed

There was a time when the idea that the U.S. government could and would do things to encourage industrial growth in America — including protecting U.S. companies from the unfair advantages posed by foreign competition that could produce products cheaper because they didn’t have to adhere to American laws about labor, safety, and environmental protections — was widely accepted and non-controversial.

But then Ronald Reagan was elected and Wall Street was in ascendance. And Wall Street wanted companies to be able to move operations and job overseas because Wall Street doesn’t now, and never has, put American workers and the environment ahead of naked greed.

Reagan and his Wall Street cronies — the people who really called the shots in his administration — shifted the debate away from wages and safety and good jobs, and onto the notion that “big government” had no place in “picking winners and losers” in the U.S. economy.

This is where the Biden administration’s greatest achievements may go down in history, because they have managed, in the short course of just one presidential term, to shift the balance of power away from Wall Street in ways that other Democratic administrations post-Reagan have failed utterly.

Writer Robinson Meyer over at The Atlantic has a very good piece posted that looks at the big picture on these Biden victories, for which Biden is still receiving too little credit from a mainstream media that loves to repeat Republican talking points:

The idea is this: The era of passive, hands-off government is over. The laws embrace an approach to governing the economy that scholars call “industrial policy,” a catch-all name for a wide array of tools and tactics that all assume the government can help new domestic industries get started, grow, and reach massive scale. If “this country used to make things,” as the saying goes, and if it wants to make things again, then the government needs to help it. And if the country believes that certain industries bestow a strategic advantage, then it needs to protect them against foreign interference.

The approach is at the core of how the IRA seeks to resolve climate change. Democrats hope to create an economy where the government doesn’t just help Americans buy green technologies; it also helps nurture the industries that produce that technology.

This reflects a homecoming of sorts for the United States. From its founding to the 1970s, the country had an economic doctrine that was defined by its pragmatism and the willingness of its government to find new areas of growth. “Yes, there was an ‘invisible hand,’” Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong write in their history of the topic, Concrete Economics. “But the invisible hand was repeatedly lifted at the elbow by the government, and placed in a new position from where it could go on to perform its magic.” That pragmatism faded in the 1980s, when industrial policy became scorned as one more instance of Big Government coming in to pick so-called winners and losers.

The IRA is not the only bill intent on bringing back industrial policy. The two other large bills passed by this Congress—the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law and the CHIPS and Science Act—make down payments on the future as well; both laws, notably, were passed by bipartisan majorities. They alone would be notable commitments to a different vision of the next decade. But it is in the IRA that these general commitments become specific, and therefore transformative.

Ever since the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law, a massive achievement in itself, I have been amazed at what this administration has been able to accomplish. Yes, the change has been quiet and incremental, which means that much of it has escaped Beltway pundits who do not do well with quiet and incremental. Hell, the Inflation Reduction Act seemingly came out of nowhere because our pundit class was too busy writing Biden’s epitaph to realize that the very thing for which they most criticized Biden — have an alleged “lack of vision” — could not have been farther from the truth.

The future of a successful, vibrant America is an economy focused on American jobs in industries that might just save our dying planet. Biden is the first president to put us squarely on that path.

You can read the rest of the Atlantic article here.

U.S. takes first step toward making filing your taxes as easy as it is in other countries

The United States is an outlier in its tax filing system in that it requires you to fill out tax forms on paper or online which provide the Internal Revenue Service with information it already has in its system for the vast majority of Americans who do not itemize deductions.

With President Biden’s signature on the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. has taken its first step toward finally making it easy and customary to file your taxes for free:

The United States has made a small but significant move toward creating a public system to allow millions of Americans to file their taxes for free.

The sweeping domestic policy bill passed by the House and Senate last week mandates that the IRS study options to provide a free tax filing option for Americans. That study represents a threat to the for-profit tax prep industry dominated by TurboTax, a product of the Silicon Valley company Intuit. President Joe Biden said he plans to sign the bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, today, following the party-line vote in the House to approve it on Friday.

The bill provides $15 million to study how the IRS could implement such a program, how much it might cost and how Americans would view it. The report, which must include the input of an independent third party, is due to Congress within nine months of the bill’s passage.

Unlike many developed countries, the U.S. does not offer free tax filing services for taxpayers, who instead pay billions of dollars every year to highly profitable private tax prep companies.

The industry has tried to block or subvert a government free tax filing system for decades.

Through information forms like W-2s, the IRS already has the info on wages and other forms of income in its systems that it would need to provide such a service. A recent study by researchers from the Treasury Department, Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Dartmouth College found that “between 62 and 73 million returns (41 to 48 percent of all returns) could be accurately pre-populated using only current-year information returns and the prior-year return.”

At a Senate hearing in June, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she supported a new free filing service. “We need to develop a new system,” Yellen said in an exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. “There’s no reason in the world that a modern economy shouldn’t have a system that makes it easy for such a large group of taxpayers to file their returns.”

There are reasons why so many tax preparation companies have storefront offices in poor neighborhoods. Residents in these low-income zip codes are far more likely to fall prey to companies that charge high fees — plus a percentage of any tax refund — on a service that is completely unnecessary for most low-income tax filers.

When you’re poor and only getting $300-$500 back with your tax refund, paying $100-$200 in fees can mean the difference between getting only spending money or getting enough money to catch up on utilities and pay for groceries.

Despite its shortcomings, the Inflation Reduction Act is turning out to be the most consequential legislation in decades. These small things are adding up to a revolution in the way the U.S. government approaches its relationship with average citizens.

You can read the rest of ProPublica’s excellent article at this link.