Mother Jones offers a primer on the massive Brazilian protests. Long story short: it ain't just about bus fare prices (though those can take up a quarter of a minimum-wage income in Brazil).
Entrepreneur Nick Hanauer explains why a massive minimum wage hike would be good for businesses. Of course he wants people to have money to buy stuff, but he also says this: "My investment portfolio includes Pacific Coast Feather Co., one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of bed pillows. Like many other manufacturers, pillow-makers are struggling because of weak demand. The problem comes down to this: My annual earnings equal about 1,000 times the U.S. median wage, but I don’t consume 1,000 times more pillows than the average American. Even the richest among us only need one or two to rest their heads at night." I've struggled to make this point so well. (Sadly, the comments mostly comprise a primer in how not to argue.)
Paul Ryan co-sponsors a Farm Bill amendment that would apply the dreaded "asset test" to food stamps -- meaning that if you have $2,000 in savings and/or a car worth $5,000, you can't get any. Silly Paul Ryan -- thinking that $2,000 can get you through even one catastrophe, or that a $5,000 car (the last one I bought for less than that cost me approximately one dollar in repairs for every six miles I drove) could be converted so easily to cash. If Mr. Ryan had ever worked somewhere besides politics or the family business, he might have a clue about these things.
Supreme Court rules that big corporations can force small businesses into binding arbitration agreements even if that prevents small businesses from redressing grievances in any meaningful way. Mr. Roberts thinks this is true even if said small businesses would otherwise sue big corporations for violating antitrust law. Antitrust law, good peoples! Next time your Republican uncle tells you Republicans (who gave us all five Supreme Court votes in the majority here) are "the party of small business," remind him of this case.
Speaking of antitrust law, the New Yorker explains "Why Monopolies Make Spying Easier." You probably already know the answer to that, but it's still worth reading about the internet of the '90s (what a time that was, eh?), Western Union's role in the 1876 Presidential election, and the halcyon days when America had thousands of phone companies. That's not a misprint.
HHS Inspector General finds some Medicare doctors as "very extreme in their prescribing" -- doctors who wrote an unusually large number of prescriptions, relied an awful lot on brand name drugs, or prescribed a high number of pain killers. We're not looking at more than three percent of Medicare doctors potentially doing wrong, but of course we ought to stamp out fraud wherever we find it. (And n.b. how many comments are intelligently critical of the article.)
Exodus International president shutters his pray-away-the-gay organization, apologizing for all the hurt he's caused. Normally I say great timing, guys! to such folk, but Mr. Chambers makes a fairly exhaustive list of sins, which isn't how you'd use an "apology" to keep lying to people.
Finally, the House's Farm Bill fails by almost 40 votes; partisan finger-pointing followed, which should only interest people who think this is all a big game. Mr. Obama deserves some credit, not only for saying he'd veto a bill like the House's that cut food stamps so deeply, but also for saying Congress might try to find savings in farm subsidies; these comprise two more acts of courage than I expected from him. But he did not say he'd veto the Senate Farm Bill, which cuts food stamps less than the House bill would have done and takes baby steps toward reining in subsidies, so let's not give him too much credit.