"Cookie-Cutter ALEC Right-to-Work Bills Pop in Multiple States," announces PR Watch. You'll see the uncanny similarities between ALEC's model "right-to-work" bill and the "right-to-work" bill in New Hampshire, and you'll get to track "right-to-work" bills Missouri, New Mexico, West Virginia, and other states. ALEC is even trying to get those bills passed at the local level, which usually requires enabling legislation ("enabling," what a perfect word!) at the state level. But we'll fight at every level.
The Consumerist describes an unlikely ally we have in our battle against payday lenders: faith-based groups. It's always heart-warming to hear a religious figure say things like "(t)his is not a liberal versus conservative issue, this is simply a right or wrong issue," and more so to see churches educating their communities or establishing their own alternative loan programs to serve them. But it's a shame we have to be even a little surprised when faith-based groups join a battle against evil.
The Economic Policy Institute finds that more education doesn't guarantee you'll be safe from declining wages -- that folks with "some college" are finding their wages declining the fastest, and even folks with advanced degrees aren't getting ahead. So when your right-wing uncle (or next Republican President) says the solution to getting ahead is just getting more schooling -- preferably in "something useful"! -- you have yet another arrow in the quiver. If you want to pile on, you might mention how awful student debt has become.
Richard Eskow wonders if strong populist support for Social Security and Medicare will help determine who advances in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Rep. Donna Edwards has outflanked Rep. Chris Van Hollen in her zeal to protect these compacts so far -- and I don't see Mr. Van Hollen, a figure in House Democratic leadership for some time, retorting that he was "willing to consider" cuts to Social Security and Medicare because he's a leader and leaders have to work with the other side. Jesus Mary and Joseph you don't work with the other side when they're trying to burn everything down, you work around them.
Finally, just as several Republican Senators are admitting that maybe that letter to Iran wasn't such a hot idea, at least two Capitol Hill aides have advanced a novel interpretation of Republican intentions: that the letter was "a 'cheeky' reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives," and that the Obama Administration "has no sense of humor." Depends on which cheek they mean, I suppose. Seriously, though: grown-ups don't hide behind "jokes."