Didn't I say they'd wait until we weren't looking? The House passes another "free" trade "fast-track" bill on Thursday, not even 48 hours after extending their deadline to get "fast-track" done in its entirety to the end of July. I'd give them credit for cleverness, but I never credit evil for anything. The good news? This bill (also different from the Senate bill) would go to the Senate without the "trade adjustment assistance" that induced Democrats to vote for the Senate version in the first place. The bad news? Senate Democrats (and the President!) sure sound like they're more likely to settle for "assurances" instead of action, which is even worse than the selling-out-for-so-little they were preparing to do. It's like they haven't served in the Senate with these Republicans for years on end and thus learned what "assurances" mean.
FAIR finds the New York Times hoping you'll blame the California drought on the foods you eat that grow in California, rather than, for example, climate change, or massive government subsidies for big-ag corn corporations, which keeps almost everything else off heartland farms. And the list of stupid crap the Times foists on the reader here is hilariously long -- from the Times's casual confusion of drought (caused by high temperatures and low rainfall) with water shortages (caused by our mismanagement of resources) to the Times's apparent belief that "thin slices" and "tiny wedges" are real units of measure to the Times's refusal to compare equal units of actual measure when they have the chance (0.33 oz. and 1.75 oz. are not, as you can see, the same thing). It's enough to make you think nobody at the Times does their own grocery shopping.
European Human Rights court rules that governments should hold websites liable for certain comments by anonymous users. That shouldn't make any damn sense to you -- nobody who thinks about the matter (or doesn't have an axe to grind against a particular website) imagines that comments on a website's post somehow "represent" the website. And under this regime, it'd be pretty easy for some big-money actor to force a website to play an endless game of whack-a-mole by anonymously posting hundreds of evil comments. Best to take a deep breath, remember that they don't have a First Amendment over in Europe, and take this as a lesson that stamping out "hateful speech" isn't best done by censorship, but by confrontation.
California Labor Commission rules that Uber should treat its drivers as employees, not contractors. Uber is one of the many so-called "sharing" economy corporations that has tried to make fast money off fudging the difference; it's nice to see some government body, somewhere, not putting up with that noise. And if you're thinking of driving for Uber, you should know that, as a non-employee, you get nothing from them other than pay (and sometimes not even that, as the claim sparking the ruling demonstrates) -- you crash your car, you get sick, you're on your own. That's the price of "virtually nonexistent operating costs."
Ho hum, Gov. Brownback raises taxes dramatically on the poor, then says doing so isn't really a tax cut, because when you look at "the totality of the picture," he cut a massive amount of taxes before (all for his rich friends, but never mind) and didn't raise as much money in tax hikes this time, so the net result is TAX CUTS! And when poor folks get steadily bled by the sales tax increases in the new Brownback budget, I bet they'll keep that in mind. Seriously, I hope "Brownback" one day becomes a synonym for "stupid, arrogant prick." I'd hoped "Bush" would be that, too, back in the day, but I never got to see that happen. A man can dream.
Finally, Scott Walker recovers as best he can, I suppose, from his gaffe in re attributing beliefs to British Prime Minister David Cameron that Mr. Cameron's office denied he had: "(w)hat I learned best from that is I should leave discussions like that that aren't done in front of the media to be treated privately, whether it was there or anywhere else," he says, adding that he won't comment any more on private meetings he's had with world leaders. Why he didn't know that to start with is a mystery -- has he never thought this rule could apply to, say, other Governors? -- but I don't know if his vaunted cool will overcome this gaffe, especially if Jeb Bush and/or Hillary Clinton throw tons of money at it. Normally Scott Walker turns weakness into strength; here I think he's just turning lemons into lemonade.