Dave Lindorff suspects that the Democrats' late hard swing to the left in Congress is "meaningless." I'm inclined to agree -- like Mr. Lindorff (and, well, pretty much all liberals), I wonder why Democrats didn't try this kind of program when they ran everything in 2009 and 2010. Mammon (here in the form of big campaign contributions) is of course the reason, but mammon's primacy is getting quite tiresome. Making money beside the point is a challenge.
Facing huge state budget deficits brought on by his tax cut "experiment," Gov. Brownback of Kansas plans to include unspecified tax revenue hikes in his upcoming budget proposal, per his chief of staff. And thus Mr. Brownback demonstrates he's learned the lesson of Ronald Reagan, who followed up his huge tax-cut-for-the-rich in 1981 with payroll tax hikes on working folks in 1983 -- thus "proving" that "tax cuts work," since no right-winger remembers the Reagan tax hikes and no right-winger will remember Mr. Brownback's, either.
ProPublica informs us that there's very little actual oversight over the "flashbang" grenades police officers throw into houses on drug raids. Flashbangs can be useful in hostage rescues, but in a classic example of mission creep, now police use them a lot more routinely, even though they cause burns and other serious injuries. Police justify their use by saying they save on gunfire, but that's not true even if every target of every raid was ready to shoot, which hardly seems likely. Just ask Baby Bou Bou, once he's old enough.
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study suggests that the American "manufacturing renaissance" might be a bit overstated -- as in, we've added only one manufacturing job for every five we've lost during Our Ongoing Economic Armageddon. Admittedly the evidence for this "renaissance" always seemed anecdotal -- President Obama has been as guilty of that (his 2011 State of the Union address comes to mind) as anyone. I'll admit that the sentence "the alleged 'manufacturing renaissance' isn’t going to pull our economic chestnuts from the fire" was not a sentence I expected to read this morning.
Finally, a newly-developed antibiotic might one day give us all a little breathing room in our battle against antibiotic-resistant disease. You and I won't be able to take Teixobactin for a few years, but it's killed MRSA in the laboratory, which none of the other antibiotics can do anymore. I always thought we'd show some resilience in our development of new technologies, but we still need to stop overusing antibiotics in factory farms.