BP is back in our government's good graces after the 2010 Spillageddon, and Greg Palast explains why. One key finding: the State Department covered up BP's previous cement-cap blowout, a mere 17 months earlier, in the Caspian Sea. Another key finding: BP has been "driving" Azerbaijan's economy for over 20 years, largely with bribery. And with more judicial activism from the Roberts Court, America could be headed down this same desultory path.
Rand Paul claimed the other day that big Reagan tax cuts drove the creation of 20 million jobs, but Factcheck finds that claim wanting. Chiefly, Factcheck notes that the Clinton administration raised taxes on the rich and created almost 23 million jobs (versus nearly 19 million created during the entirety of the Reagan/Bush era, which included six years of a 50 percent marginal tax rate and the 1991 tax hikes on the wealthy), while also noting that revenues, ah, didn't go up as a result of the 1981 tax cuts. But Factcheck fails to note that the revenue increases of 1984 and 1985 happened after President Reagan signed tax increases into law.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) has a primary challenger, a former Bush Mobber named Taylor Griffin. And, just as Richard Lugar's defeat in the 2012 Indiana Senate primary at the hands of Richard Mourdock had more to do with Mr. Lugar's support of bank fee caps than anything else, Mr. Jones's real sin isn't voting against the Ryan budget or criticizing the Iraq war or even co-sponsoring the DISCLOSE Act, but demanding more regulation of the financial sector banksters who have their tentacles so firmly in Mr. Griffin's person. If Mr. Jones loses his primary, can Democrats capitalize? Just kidding; these are Democrats we're talking about -- though if Mr. Jones goes the independent route and wins, maybe Democrats will take him back. (Mr. Jones was a Democrat until early in 1994.)
Vermont Senate passes GMO-labeling bill, the first bill that includes no triggers depending on other states passing similar bills. Now the bill goes to the Vermont House, which passed a similar bill last year. Could this bill die because the two houses "just can't agree on the version they can both live with"? Sure, it could. I'm not saying it will, but we have to prepare ourselves for the worst. Still, this represents progress, and the inevitable big ag lawsuits that will lose if they get to a judge with any brains will also represent progress.
Finally, a Chinese corporation builds houses out of concrete using a very, very large 3D printer. The houses are a bit samey, not to mention small, and they're not made whole but in parts that people then assemble (sort of like prefab housing). But the houses are also rather cheap (about $5,000 per unit), and I imagine that some public policy maker, somewhere, might be able to ameliorate homelessness with them -- no, even in America, where the most progressive thinking about ameliorating homelessness currently comes from Utah.