In an extraordinary article I expect will be rewarding re-reading, Barry C. Lynn and Phillip Longman offer "10 New/Old Ideas to Give Power Back to the People." They remind us that populism doesn't equal racism or socialism, but actually has a long history of giving people more power over their lives, and real populism has always located "free markets" within free peoples, not free corporations. And, as we've lately been reminded, Our Glorious Elites want you to think you're their hostage -- there's No Alternative but low taxes on the rich, No Alternative but high college tuition and health care costs, No Alternative but a life lived in crushing debt, No Alternative but to stay in the EU so it can hamstring your ability to resuscitate your economy on your own (right, Greece?).
U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision, strikes down Texas's notorious anti-abortion laws that have forced the closure of more than half the state's abortion clinics. Texas said that forcing abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and requiring abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center safety standards "protected women's health"; the Court responded that abortion is actually a safe enough procedure that these standards aren't actually necessary to protect women's health -- they only reduce their access to abortion, which, I feel compelled to state again, is a legal medical procedure.
University officials have apparently begun to complain that the Department of Labor's new overtime rules are driving up tuition rates. That's some cojones, right there, when anyone who thinks about it knows that tuitions are going up-up-up because colleges overpay their executives and are top-heavy with administrators. It also helps to know, though, that most college employees (you know, like the ones who teach!) would be exempt from the Department of Labor's rules, or that tuition has been going up-up-up as overtime protections have eroded over the last 35-plus years.
Baltimore City Council may vote on a $15/hour minimum wage by summer's end. They'd phase in the hike by 2020 (so stop yer whining about how hard it'll hit small businesses, right-wingers!), and they'd also index the wage to inflation and end the much lower tipped workers' minimum wage, which will not destroy the restaurant business no matter how many waiters you can find who'll agree that it does. America is a big place, so of course sooner or later you'll find a waiter who thinks he's paid too much; the question is why that voice should be the only one on TV, or why it should carry more weight than the reams of data showing that the minimum wage helps working families. OK, it's not a "question" per se.
Finally, Atrios comes up with a bunch more problems Texas would have if it seceded from the United States. I hadn't thought of closing military bases or tariffs, but the most fascinating issue he brings up concerns Social Security. I'd figure that, after secession, individual Texans could sue the U.S. government to be made whole on what they've put into Social Security -- but I suspect that Texas and the U.S. would instead come to an agreement "on the behalf of the people of Texas" where the Texas government would get to collect all that money in a sort of block grant, which they'd then use to plug budget holes and hand out corporate welfare, neither of which would strike me as something that would benefit Texans or make them whole.