The lights are up on Commonwealth Mall, Back Bay, Boston:
I’ve covered ALEC, the American Legislative Council, a de facto lobbying group that is one of the most odious concerns going. Well, if there’s any doubt that our government has been bought and paid for–and not by you–doubt no longer:
•a draft agreement prepared for the board meeting proposed that Alec’s chairs in each of the 50 states, who are drawn from senior legislators, should be required to put the interests of the organisation first, thus setting up a possible conflict of interest with the voters who elected them;
Obscene, even by ALEC standards. And Pierce is right–ALEC, and their offshoot organizations, should be hounded relentlessly:
That last part — the “draft agreement” by which state legislators agree to be big old ‘ho’s for the people who run ALEC — should be politically suicidal. It’s long past time to ACORN these bastards in the public mind.
Links for you. Science:
Speaking of Stupid … (interesting take on the creationists and textbooks by someone in the biz)
Chance meeting leads to novel preeclampsia treatment
Are differences in IQ to blame for income inequality? (no, especially when you factor in genotype-environment covariance)
Measles Cases Triple in US, Vaccine Refusal Here and Elsewhere to Blame
The 2014 Shrimp Season In The Gulf Of Maine Has Been Canceled
On Smarm (absolute must-read)
The Exploited Laborers of the Liberal Media (related to this, there are no more unscrupulous employers than many non-profits, as their leadership believes their cause justifies short-changing their workers)
Figuring out why something makes me cranky.
Some uneasy as military gives Santa a fighter escort: Big jets with your missiles’ might, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight (what is wrong with people?)
Hey, Media: White People Are Poor, Too. Despite routine portrayals of poor people as black and Latino, most poor people in America are actually white.
The health care reality conservatives ignore (while I’m not happy with the ACA or Romneycare, it’s better than what existed previously. Not good though)
A Better Deal
Making Firefox Flash problems go away
Insert Homeless Headline Here
Krugman’s fuddy duddy defense of economic orthodoxy
Google, AT&T, Comcast trade group penned viscerally anti-gay memo
Despite that, the desire of many Democrats in their late-forties to mid-fifties to declare WE ARE NOT DIRTY HIPPIES! came to the fore (boldface mine):
The Obama administration was serious enough about manufacturing a high-value platinum coin to avert a congressional fight over the debt ceiling that it had its top lawyers draw up a memo laying out the legal case for such a move, The Huffington Post learned last week.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which functions as a sort of law firm for the president and provides him and executive branch agencies with authoritative legal advice, formally weighed in on the platinum coin option sometime since Obama took office, according to OLC’s recent response to HuffPost’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. While the letter acknowledged the existence of memos on the platinum coin option, OLC officials determined they were “not appropriate for discretionary release.”
…The administration previously stated that both the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve did not believe that manufacturing a platinum coin could or should be used as a way to avoid raising the debt ceiling. The OLC has also weighed in on whether the 14th Amendment allows the president to ignore the debt ceiling, but the Justice Department has declined to make any memos on that topic public.
I really don’t expect them to like the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Nor do I expect credit to be given. But, by denigrating us, the administration weakened its hand. If they had needed to do this, it would have been much harder politically after they had publicly shot it down.
More eleventy-dimensional chess I suppose.
Outsourced to Charles Pierce (boldface mine):
We cannot have a viable self-government as designed by the Founders if daily economic pressures prevent the exercise of political rights, or conspire to exact too great a personal cost to their exercise. We cannot have a political commonwealth if economic inequality inculcates in the general population a feeling that their government is distant, beyond their control, and the property primarily of someone else. There is something of a stirring around these simple facts that has penetrated even the walls of the Vatican, which is a lot of things, but self-governing is not one of them. Small wonder that it has come to the attention of a twice-elected president. He has gone out of his way to out this issue on the table right at the time when a well-financed “centrist” backlash has been building against politicians who are talking openly about how income inequality was deliberately engineered, and about who engineered it and on whose behalf.
But, as we often say around here, faith without works, Mr. President. For example, the egregious Trans-Pacific Partnership is coming down the fast track. You can’t find a better example of something aimed at enriching the people, and empowering the forces, that deliberately have engineered income inequality, or a better example of who engineered it and on whose behalf.
This should also be the primary argument for increasing the minimum wage.