H.R. 5116, currently in committee in the U.S. House, would allow FTC Commissioners to close meetings to the public. It would also allow the FTC to disclose a summary of such meetings, rather than the entire text thereof -- unless the FTC decides not to disclose even that much. When Our Glorious Elites can't win arguments on the merits, and can no longer change the subject, they start dismantling democratic institutions so we no longer even have arguments. But when I get action alerts about H.R. 5116, so will you.
New York City launches effort to provide "Mental Health First Aid." Which means more than suicide hotlines -- it also means training first responders so they can distinguish between folks dangerous to others and folks dangerous to themselves. (As an aside, we've become more aware of the pervasiveness of mental illness at pretty much the same time world governments have decided to serve their big corporate donors at the expense of their people. Gosh, could there be a connection between increased mental illness and lack of economic opportunity for anyone but the already very well-off?)
2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out $1.3 billion judgment against Bank of Amerikkka, arguing that the government had not proven its "fraudulent intent" when it sold mortgages to investors -- even with "evidence of a subsequent, willful breach." I'd sure appreciate it if folks who complain about criminals getting off due to "technicalities" would talk exclusively about this ruling from now on. A good judge would certainly consider intent as a mitigating factor in sentencing, but would not allow folks to use intent as a shield against suffering any of the consequences of their crimes.
Chris Morran, writing at the Consumerist, tells you if those "DIY air conditioners" you see on Youtube keep you as cool as the kind that cost a couple hundred bucks at the store. Spoiler alert: they will not -- they might get a room three degrees cooler in 30 minutes, but then the room will start getting hotter again, while the best window units cut the temp 15 degrees in half that time and then keep it there. (I recommend you get a new AC, too -- your 20-year-old units might still work, but ones made recently are a lot more energy-efficient, as you'll see when you get your electric bill.
Finally, Jack Shafer, writing at Politico, suggests that Donald Trump's "systematic evasions, contradictions and deceptions" have made "a mockery" of the interview form. But haven't Mr. Trump's lies made a mockery of the journalists conducting those interviews, the ones who can't finish him despite his obvious lies and who never seem prepared for his counterpunches? The problem isn't a candidate who rejects appeals to reason in favor of appeals to emotion, but "liberal" media news jockeys too used to using interviews as a way of delivering eyeballs to their advertisers rather than, oh, I don't know, separating truth from fiction.