Uh oh: Mitch McConnell is on tape describing his nefarious plan to stop anything good from ever happening again if Republicans retake the Senate, this time to a room full of rich donors. "We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency," he says, and if that doesn't give Alison Grimes enough fodder for killer ads -- with the Affordable Care Act working pretty well in Kentucky, banksters being very unpopular, and clean air and water being very popular, respectively -- then I don't know what will.
Jonah Engle at Mother Jones reports on the biggest obstacle to shutting down meth labs -- the big pharmaceutical corporations that block states from making pseudoephinedrine, meth's main ingredient, a prescription drug again. Oregon and Mississippi have enacted laws making drugs like Claritin unavailable without prescription, but Big Pharma has adapted, at least partly via Astroturf lobbying groups who mobilize citizens against the bills via robocalls. Clever, I suppose. The Mississippi legislature, I'm happy to report, was cleverer in 2010.
MIT scholar suggests that the robots won't take all our jobs after all, because, in his words, "the tasks that have proved most vexing to automate are those demanding flexibility, judgment, and common sense — skills that we understand only tacitly." That's the key: we understand our own subtler processes little enough that we could hardly teach them to machines that don't have brains like we do. All of which you already suspected, if you've ever ridden a bicycle or played piano -- or used automated grocery store checkout machines. Some are better than others, but I vastly prefer a human checkout clerk.
Recently unsealed court documents suggest that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker coordinated certain campaign messaging and contributions during his 2012 recall battle, possibly in violation of state campaign finance law. Most telling bit: Mr. Walker apparently wanted "issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging" because of "past problems with multiple groups doing work on 'behalf' of Gov. Walker," meaning his one great strength as a politician -- his discipline -- might also be his Achilles' heel.
Finally, ESPN reports, such as they do, that an "anonymous Rams player" said openly gay linebacker Michael Sam is "respecting our space" as far as showering with teammates. At least three other Rams players (with names and everything!) dismissed the importance of reporting upon Mr. Sam's showering habits, but why would anyone think a gay man is always salivating at other naked men? Possibly because they confuse homosexuality with promiscuity, though they are two different things.