In a surprising show of party unity, Democrats filibuster a motion to open debate on the "free" trade "fast track" bill. Only Sen. Carper of Delaware -- you remember, the man who carried so much water for that awful bankruptcy "reform" bill in 2005, only to see MBNA cut thousands of jobs in his state the following year? -- voted with the Republicans. I wonder if the "liberal" media chuckles at the "irony" of Democrats refusing to start debate on a bill that would ultimately stifle debate on "free" trade agreements if passed. Seriously, treat yourself to something nice now, because you did good -- and then get ready for the next push.
Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks at length about his experiences in West Baltimore growing up and the relationship of public policy to the conditions that help foment rioting. Key quotation: "But I have a problem when you begin the clock with the violence on Tuesday. Because the fact of the matter is that the lives of black people in this city, the lives of black people in this country have been violent for a long time. Violence is how enslavement actually happened...Jim Crow was enforced through violence. That was the way things that got done. You didn’t politely ask somebody not to show up and vote. You stood in front of voting booths with guns, that’s what you did. And the state backed this; it was state-backed violence."
Paul Buchheit presents another linkswarmed editorial, this one explaining why "the rich don't care about creating jobs." Of course the roots of the problem are narcissism and laziness -- that is, the narcissism of the very wealthy who think they did all of it themselves and the laziness of the very wealthy who make billions of dollars in unearned tax breaks. Among the links: studies proving that tax cuts generally lose revenue and that Minnesota's tax-and-build philosophy works better than Kansas's "experiment" on its citizens.
Worried about the "job-killing robots"? Well, Dean Baker comes to the rescue! Long story short: if it were TEH ROBOTZ!!!!, we'd see a lot more growth in productivity than we're seeing in this economy, and instead of seeing so many high- and semi-skilled jobs disappearing, we'd see mostly semi-skilled jobs disappearing, since manufacturing and clerical work are the jobs machines can most easily displace. Of course, if you remember the "robosigning" scandal involving the banksters, or even if you've used the automated checkout lanes at your local supermarket, you probably wouldn't need Dean Baker to tell you the job-killing robots ain't here yet.
It shouldn't be news when a Republican Presidential candidate admits the obvious, but that's where we are: Chris Christie says "global warming is real" and "human activities contribute to it." But n.b. that he says America (or groups of states) "can't be acting unilaterally" when China is belching so much filth, which would be the excuse of a Christie Presidency when it does nothing -- and is now the excuse of a Christie Governorship that pulled New Jersey out of a regional climate-change pact. And, ah, he was in New Hampshire and said he didn't think Tom Brady cheated? There's some straight talk for you.
Finally, MIT engineers develop a desalination machine that runs on solar power. That's a two-fer for developing nations that currently have little access to clean water or electricity. The machine works much better with merely brackish water (the ocean's salt water has considerably more salt to remove), but this could be a tremendous help. Now cue the incomprehensible laughter of right-wingers, for whom all progress deserves savage ridicule.