A May 12 mining accident at a notoriously unsafe West Virginia mine "highlights the need for Congressional action," says the Center for Effective Government. They're right, of course, but n.b. that the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act couldn't even get through the House when the Democrats controlled it, which speaks to the difficulty (though not impossibility!) of our task. Getting proper funding the for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (a casualty of sequestration, of course!) should, in theory, be considerably easier -- I mean, what Congressperson would really want to be known as pro-dead miner?
This should be interesting: Farmers Insurance Co. has filed nine class-action lawsuits against over 200 local governments in Chicago and its environs, alleging they know about climate change but are doing nothing about it, thus causing the kind of catastrophes Farmers Insurance has to spend money covering. I'm not sure any of them are going to win -- I presume you can demonstrate that climate change is causing certain events to happen more frequently, but not necessarily that it caused all the specific claims you're trying to redress. Still, the fossil fuel corporations could one day find themselves surrounded on climate change by every other sector of the corporate economy, and that wouldn't be a bad thing.
Dave Johnson promises "Five Government Outsourcing Horror Stories," but actually delivers many more, and not just because number 5 is "Any Government 'Outsourcing' Anything." Read through the Chicago Parking Meters story, the Indiana Toll Road story, the private prisons story, and the "Cost Overruns" story, but attend these four sentences most closely: "But just how do they save money? There are two ways a company can save money over what government spends. The first is to reduce what it pays employees and suppliers. The second is to cut back on the amount or quality of the service the company is taking over."
Far-right radio host/contender for Georgia's 10th Congressional District says having same-sex parents is rather like "los(ing) a mom or dad in a car accident." Plus gay people have the right to marry, just not each other har har har. I guess he's trying to out-Paul Broun Paul Broun, who currently "serves" the 10th District and who just lost the Senate runoff. Mr. Hice, unfortunately, just made the House election runoff, and the winner there will almost certainly win the general election, meaning we could be hearing from Mr. Hice for many, many years. But not here, where we'll never speak of him again.
Yes! Magazine gives us "four signs net neutrality isn't dead yet." You likely already know them -- that the FCC changed its proposal somewhat after popular pressure, that pressuring elected representatives helped that, that public utility reclassification isn't dead and buried, and that some big corporations are now more visibly on our side -- but it's good to be reminded. Why, AT&T has just promised three years of net neutrality if we approve their deal to buy DirecTV, which shouldn't induce us to take the deal, but should alert us that corporations know net neutrality is popular and thus induce us to fight harder for net neutrality.
Finally, scientists at Imperial College London have worked out how to turn light into matter. Note that nobody's actually done that yet, but the physicists think it can be done with "existing technology." Hopefully we won't have to deal with junk patents on light in the meantime.