Alexis Goldstein at the Guardian wonders why the SEC hasn't issued regulations requiring publicly-held corporations to disclose their political spending to their shareholders. Her findings: House Republicans have taken the SEC budget hostage in an attempt to doom any attempt at disclosure, and the SEC's chair, Mary Jo White, represented corporate America for 10 years and has spoken out against disclosure of corporate involvement with conflict minerals in the past. Heckuva job, President Obama, for putting another "apolitical" person in charge of something.
This probably won't surprise you, but it will sadden you: the Bureau of Land Management has only inspected about six of 10 "high priority" oil and gas wells between 2009 and 2012. And the "high priority" wells -- the ones most likely to contaminate water -- represent a very small fraction of all oil and gas wells in America, meaning you hope at least they prioritized well, or that the states have inspected the rest. At least one culprit: BLM's funding for well inspection has tumbled over the last few years, as teabaggers in Congress have demonstrated their widely-alleged idiosyncratic independence by ensuring oil and gas drilling corporations get exactly what they want.
Despite recent chemical accidents in Texas, state Attorney General Greg Abbott has ruled that the state Department of State Health Services cannot tell good Texans if dangerous chemicals are stored near them. The reason? Such chemicals are "more than likely to assist in the construction or assembly of an explosive weapon." Which is utter rubbish -- even crooks with pretensions to immortality will more than likely assemble their weapons with chemicals they can buy cheaply and publicly. This is why good Texans are not allowed to know whether they live near dangerous chemicals that might get in their air and water. Oh, and Mr. Abbott will likely be Governor after November.
Jack Jenkins at ThinkProgress explains why the Hobby Lobby decision actually hurts people of faith. Long story short: the vast majority of people of faith (and even a substantial minority of white evangelicals) support birth control; Hobby Lobby will restrict folks' access to birth control, and thus likely increase abortions; and, well, corporations can't have faith. I'm going to keep using the italics hammer on that last one even though it's, like, the most obvious thing anyone has ever said, because some bold thinkers continue to insist that things can have faith.
Finally, Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), embroiled in scandal after a security camera caught him kissing a woman not his wife, has decided he'll run for re-election after all. Mr. McAllister more recently said Congressfolk basically trade votes for campaign contributions, which was a public service even if you doubt his word that he never did such a thing. He got elected once without establishment help, so I certainly wouldn't count him out now.