North Carolina's two Senators push to amend Keystone XL bill to allow exploratory oil and gas drilling along the Atlantic coast. States would get some income back for allowing said drilling, but not as much as the oil and gas corporations stand to gain from actually finding oil and gas, and not as much as states will lose in tourism and other shore-based industries when the next Spillageddon comes.
How else does Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback plan to balance his state's budget without taking back any of the tax-cuts-for-the-rich that helped cause his state's budget woes? By cutting education spending and deferring pension plan payments, of course! And why not? After all, he'll be Scott Walker's Secretary of Commerce or something by the time it all blows up. Silver lining: the courts may stop him, though that might provoke cries from the ZOMG WHY TEH COURTZ DEFYZ TEH WILLZ OF TEH PEEPULZ!!!!! crowd.
Wonkette notices the kid-glove treatment a certain pair of young white criminals have been getting from the "liberal" media lately, and wonders if the media would be calling them "star-crossed lovers" or "Bonnie and Clyde" if they were black. The article also notices what too few media pundits notice anymore -- that the issue of consent plays a role in analyzing what an 18-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl do together.
Bureau of Labor Statistics finds union membership down 0.2 percentage points over the last year, to a mere 11.1 percent. That's about one in nine; even in 1983, well after President Reagan won his showdown with the air traffic controllers' union, it was still one in five. Also, public-sector unions have about the same number of total members as private-sector unions, so the next time your right-wing uncle says he can "understand" why the private sector needs unions but not the public sector, remember that he's essentially arguing for cutting union membership in half in America.
Finally, U. Mass-Amherst economists say the fast food industry could quite easily survive a gradual increase to a $15/hour minimum wage. Which you already knew, but it's nice to have some research behind it. Key finding: a higher minimum wage would reduce the costs of finding and training new workers, because (surprise, surprise!) a higher income is less of an inducement to quit.