Almost on cue, Tea Party knuckleheads come out against net neutrality. Most people across the political spectrum still understand that allowing the internet consumer, not the internet corporation, to dictate their own internet experience is the path to the most freedom for the most people -- but right-wing politicians pretend not to understand it, because Obama. (How does net neutrality HURTZ TEH SMALL BIZINZZEZ, according to Freedom Works? The world may never know.)
Speaking of small businesses, the Center for Effective Government describes how big corporations hijack the process by which our federal agencies review rules that could affect small businesses. Long story short: big corporate trade associations find small business proxies and write their comments for them, and the relevant federal agencies don't properly review these small businesses to see if they're legit -- plus, you know, garden-variety corruption. I think it'd also help if the Small Business Administration didn't define most "small businesses" as businesses with less than 500 employees. I know America's a big place, but no Mom-and-Pop store has 500 employees.
Joseph Stiglitz counts the lessons we learned from the ebola scare. Of course ebola's spread points out "the downside of globalization" and maybe not as precisely as the "investor-state tribunal" would, but we also saw that "(e)ven right-wing fanatics who want to dismantle government institutions turn to them when facing a crisis like that caused by ebola." Ebola also reminded us that "where the private sector does play an essential role -- vaccine development -- it has little incentive to devote resources to diseases that afflict the poor or poor countries." Also, our health care system is still absurdly messed up.
After a notorious episode earlier this year during which Tennessee politicians threatened Volkswagen with various retaliations if the UAW won a union vote for Volkswagen workers there, Volkswagen announced that its workers in Chattanooga would enjoy limited participation in European-style "worker councils," though not necessarily actual union representation. The UAW approved, though, possibly because half of what you want is still more than what you had, and possibly because (as with the minimum wage battle in Seattle) getting good results for workers is more important than gaining them representation per se.
Michigan state House bill would divide electoral votes among several Presidential candidates, rather than award all electoral votes to the statewide popular vote winner. But unlike the plan former Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett mooted briefly in 2010, which would have awarded Pennsylvania's electoral votes by U.S. House districts, Michigan would just award electoral votes to the runner-up if the runner-up makes it close, which, like, who cares. Possibly the bill's author only went that far so he wouldn't get phone calls from Michigan House Reps worried that Democrats might actually contest their districts in 2016.
Finally, Pope Francis I and his almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, will build showers for homeless folks in St. Peter's Square, not far from the nearly 400-year-old St. Peter's Basilica, and apparently Cardinal Krajewski has further projects in mind. But if "traditionalists" really fear the sight of homeless folks washing up right near the apostolic apartments, well, they're kind of missing the whole point of Jesus.