In a possibly illegal move, Pennsylvania state School Reform Commission cancels contract with Philadelphia teachers in a barely-attended, barely-announced meeting. Look how the "liberal" media rushes to report a Corbett cabinet member saying that now Philly teachers will have to contribute to their healthcare like everyone else -- the "liberal" media never finds someone saying "why can't teachers in the middle of the state get a health care plan like Philly teachers have?" But the timing is bizarre -- to let this happen not even a month before Election Day, Tom Corbett is either throwing in the towel or throwing a Bizarro World Hail Mary pass. (This shouldn't be an aside, but the city needs to raise our laughably-low property taxes, too. There. I said it, and I'm glad.)
Republican U.S. Senate candidate opposes any federal minimum wage, let alone a minimum wage hike. Ms. Ernst says the states should set such a wage because the cost of living varies from state to state (which wouldn't cause a race to the bottom or anything!), and adds that she worked for the minimum wage back when it was much lower, like inflation didn't happen in the meantime. Democrats should plaster her position all over the airwaves, but I suspect they'd rather have another right-wing nutjob in the Senate to spur breathless campaign donation emails. Doesn't anyone in Washington care about working?
House Republicans slash President Obama's funding request for fighting ebola by more than half, from $88 million to $40 million. Just as they fiddle while Mr. Obama fights his unconstitutional war in the Middle East so they can blame him for whatever goes wrong, they cut his own funding request so they can blame him for whatever goes wrong, instead of, oh, I don't know, doing right. In a sane, moral, and healthy society, nobody would listen to anything Republicans said, ever again, if ebola did the unlikely thing and became an epidemic here. Unfortunately, in this world, Republicans would never have to pay for their role in such a tragedy, thanks in large part to their "liberal" media enablers.
Speaking of ebola, NPR talks to a pair of virologists about how difficult it actually is to get ebola. Key quotation: "an Ebola-infected person would likely have to cough or sneeze up blood or other bodily fluids directly in your face for you to catch the virus." As with HIV, people are scared of ebola because of how thoroughly it ravages you, but that's different from how easily you can get it -- and, sadly, folks are not as scared of climate change, because, hey, it's sunny and 68 out today.
The Pentagon lab director who appears to have continually stymied efforts to ID missing soldiers has found himself out of a job, as the Department of Defense reorganizes its missing soldiers initiative. To hear Mr. Holland tell it, he slowed down investigations into missing soldiers because he didn't want to get them wrong; to hear others tell it, he helped cripple their efforts with bureaucracy and outdated science. The new soldier ID effort, unfortunately, won't be fully operational for a few years -- and if scientists protesting being led by a medical examiner are right, it may not be much better, which would be a damn shame for the 9,000-plus families who still deserve closure.
Finally, Ryan Koronowski at Think Progress describes the "methane mitigation industry," which may have some success at capturing the massive amounts of methane released by gas drilling. Natural gas might put less CO2 into the atmosphere, but if it puts even 2% as much methane into the atmosphere as coal does CO2, then gas drilling will actually be worse for the climate than coal. And though methane mitigation might keep your tap water from catching on fire, methane mitigation doesn't keep out the other carcinogens fracking puts into your water.