Retro Report tells us about the persistence of "war's perfect soldiers" -- i.e., landmines -- and the struggle to get rid of them decades later. Landmines, of course, stay in the ground indefinitely if they don't explode on soldiers, meaning that they blow up civilians long after the war's over, and that treaties banning their manufacture and use (unsigned by the U.S., naturally!) might protect the distant future, but not the near future. Particularly dystopian: the part where miners risk life and limb to salvage unexploded munitions so they can sell the metal casings as scrap. Total time of video: 9 minutes, 33 seconds.
The U.S. Navy uses depleted uranium weapons during war game exercises, citing a 10-year-old study whose author worked for a military contractor that the effects will be minimal. Personal to folks who remain unimpressed that DU rounds cause birth defects and reproductive difficulties (among other things!) in fish: those are fish you might eat, swimming in oceans in which you might also swim, and those fish also support local businesses. Also, slap yourself. Empathy is actually a pretty vital skill.
Surprise, surprise, around two out of three voters in four Presidential "swing states" think we should be regulating banksters a lot harder. They think we should get rid of hedge fund manager tax loopholes and CEO "performance pay" loopholes, build a Glass-Steagall-style wall between commercial and investment banking, and break up the biggest banks. But there's a good chance three of those states will go Republican this year, meaning, somehow, that a majority of voters there will vote for a Presidential candidate who has vowed to regulate Wall Street less. Please understand that by "somehow" I mean "because Democrats won't run on regulating banksters, even though doing so is a total no-lose proposition electorally."
Richard Eskow at the OurFuture blog reminds us that the biggest problem the Affordable Care Act has isn't "Big Government," but Big Profit. The ACA preserves America's heavily-privatized health insurance system in place, meaning that while the growth of health care costs has slowed, health care costs haven't actually come down -- and you know private corporations only care about goosing up the CEO's pay. And you know, I've supported the public option in the past, but I can't help but think Democrats are bringing it up again just to snatch it away again, like they did in 2010. Better to press hard for a single-payer, Medicare-for-All system, regardless of the lies the other side tells about it, and then "settle" for a public option, but Democrats don't play to win; they play not to lose, which means eventually (1994, 2002, 2010, 2014) they lose.
Reuters/Ipsos poll has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by a surprising 15 points in early voting. That will, of course, give Republican spin doctors an excuse to declare that Mrs. Clinton is somehow not really President if she only wins by three or four points overall -- which almost certainly wouldn't be mathematically correct (at most, less than 20 percent of the electorate has voted so far), but then, when have you ever known Republican spin doctors (or "liberal" media enablers) to care about accuracy?
Finally, self-described white supremacist sponsors massive robocall effort in Utah alleging that Donald Trump's main competition there, putatively independent candidate Evan McMullin, is likely gay. Should I give this jerk credit for refusing to use the politically-correct term "alt-right" to describe himself? Nah, and anyway he'd better be careful, lest he prompt Utah's few liberals, undoubtedly aware that Mrs. Clinton won't win there, to vote for Mr. McMullin instead and help deny Mr. Trump six electoral votes.