Irish voters approve a constitutional amendment permitting same-sex marriage by a whopping 62-37 margin. One No campaigner lamented, "I would like to have seen that the rights of gay and lesbian men and women could have been respected without changing the definition of marriage," without explaining how some gay couple getting married, somewhere, changes "the definition of marriage" for already-married folk. Some people still seem to think something's not a right unless some other people don't have it.
The New York Times looks at the Senate's inability to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act or fund transportation projects and says the Senate "left behind a wreck of promises made by Mr. McConnell on how a renewed Senate would operate." The Times treats us to 24 paragraphs of analysis about how Democrats and Republicans are working together or not, while still evading the more important question of whether Democrats and Republicans are actually serving the American people or not. I mean, who cares "how the Senate works" if it's not working for us?
Robert Reich finds that antitrust enforcement "has been ambushed by the giant companies it was designed to contain." How do they do it? Besides using their immense power, that is? Well, Congress does like to cut Justice Department and FTC budgets, and the litany of right-wing judges appointed (mostly) by Republican Presidents means they tend to, ah, view antitrust lawsuits rather narrowly. You should attend Mr. Reich's description of how income gets redistributed upward thanks to little or no antitrust action in pharmaceuticals, airlines, health insurance, and internet service providers.
Michael T. Hertz runs into two Republicans who plan to vote for Bernie Sanders for President. Trouble is, Mr. Hertz finds only two-count-'em-two Republicans for Bernie, and this is a big country, with a lot of strange-bedfellows alliances (I could have run the "liberals for Buddy Roemer" fan club in early 2012, and look how well he did?). Would Bernie Sanders have been a "centrist" during the 1980s, as one of Mr. Hertz's two Republicans says? Though you had actual centrists in the Republican Party in the '80s -- why, Arlen Specter used to speak of the two dozen Senators who'd attend the monthly lunch of the Republican Moderate Caucus back then! -- I've found Mr. Sanders unwilling to raise taxes on the wealthy even to the level we had from 1981-86, so maybe so.
Finally, Edward Snowden gets off a zinger at the folks who profess a lack of concern over government spying because they "have nothing to hide" or "aren't doing anything wrong." I usually tell folks, "but any day now they could decide that whatever you're doing is a crime after all!" But maybe "that is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write" will do a better job persuading such folks.
UPDATE. Well, that didn't take long -- Bernie Sanders embraced a top tax bracket of 90% on CNBC today. So, yeah, I'm now leaning away from "maybe" as the answer to "is Bernie Sanders an '80s-style centrist?"