Senate passes "resolution of disapproval" aiming to nullify the FCC's recent net neutrality repeal by a 52-47 margin. I expected 50-49, didn't expect Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) to vote "yea," and I guess I owe Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) an apology for hemming and hawing for two months over whether to be the 51st vote -- or maybe I don't, since 50-49 (sans Sen. McCain, still being treated for brain cancer in Arizona) was pretty much the foregone conclusion. Another foregone conclusion: the House reportedly won't take up the bill. We'll just have to get in their grills until that conclusion is no longer foregone. (And I know, 52 is still 15 short of the total we'll need to override our President's eventual reflexive veto, but one thing at a time.)
U.S. House Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has released the first report of CEO-worker pay disparity data mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, and it's not pretty. The vast majority of the corporations the study tabulated have a 100-to-1 disparity between those corporations' CEOs and their average workers (not "lowest-paid," since then the disparity would be closer to the 300-to-1 figure that's become commonplace by now), but a handful of corporations have truly absurd ratios, like Six Flags, with a ratio of 1,920-to-1. Remember that most Americans think the ratio of executive pay to unskilled factory worker pay should be seven-to-one, which means we'd almost certainly prefer the executive-to-average-worker ratio to be even narrower than that.
From Politico we learn that Democratic Congressional candidates are running on "GOP Health Care 'Sabotage,'". For once, this actually is good news for Democrats -- unless they shoot their wad on this topic now and decide everyone's tired of hearing about it in October, and you know no one snatches defeat from the jaws of victory like a Democrat. Particularly one with a lot of consultant "help." (It might also help if Democrats would remind everyone that double-digit premium hikes have been a constant feature of our privatized health care system for decades, lest Republicans blame the hikes that have happened on their watch on Obamacare, which has -- though this is nothing to put on your tombstone -- slowed the acceleration of premium growth.)
In a peripherally-related note, Paul Waldman at The Washington Post explains why Democrats can never hope to win the "respect" of our President's votaries. I'd have said "because they're bat-guano insane" and left it at that, though Mr. Waldman is more generous -- both to those votaries (who do have legitimate grievances, though not the ones they're constantly airing) and to Democratic politicians, who do natter on about "innovation" and "entrepreneurship" and "adapting to changing times" more than Mr. Waldman grants. His answer is not to "play the game" of pandering to right-wing voters, which is good advice, but the better advice is to do things that actually make their lives better. A rage-filled voter can go either way -- toward blaming the wrong people, or blaming the right people. Do things that make their lives better, and they'll blame Black Lives Matter and obscure liberal college professors a lot less.
Finally, Amanda Marcotte at Salon reminds us that water contamination is also rampant in rural America, where agriculture's dependence on phosphorus results -- almost every other day in America! -- in a toxic algal bloom leaving carcinogens in our drinking water. She also reminds us (and I needed this reminder this week!) that Big Gummint programs offering money to big farming corporations to clean up their runoff isn't as good a tactic as simply mandating that they clean up their runoff. No need to object that mom-and-pop farmers get hurt, because there ain't that many of those left anymore, thanks to nearly 40 years of farm policy that puts corporations above people. And corporate profits above clean water.