And now, for the most offensive thing I've read this week: Larry Summers saying Congress should fully embrace "free" trade "fast-track" because ZOMG TEH ASIANZ WILLZ CONTROLZ TEH WORLDZ!!!!! Really, the relentless fearmongering and xenophobia of the first two paragraphs presented quite the challenge to my normally formidable blood pressure. The rest of the op-ed takes the only-somewhat-less-offensive Hillary Clinton approach of declaring that "free" trade opponents have valid "concerns," without explaining how passing a "fast-track" bill preventing Congress from amending a "free" trade bill or debating it properly could possibly address those "concerns." And no mention of how many "deep cultural values" previous "free" trade agreements have obliterated, I notice -- I guess if they're not here anymore, they weren't "deep" enough for Larry Summers. What a trove of good works he can take to the pearly gates.
Surprise, surprise: the International Energy Agency finds that global economies grew last year while carbon emissions actually dropped, blowing a hole in the right-wing theory that we can't fight climate change because jobs. An IEA economist even reminds us that "(t)he price of fossil fuels are heavily subsidized around the world," which threatens to expose the real reason right-wingers oppose any effort to fight climate change (i.e., that it would threaten their paymasters' corporate welfare). I will say that, as messaging, "the world must learn to live within its means" is a lot less effective than something like "let's kick climate change's ass!"
In an actual surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court won't review a pair of lower-court rulings invalidating North Carolina's mandatory ultrasound law. You'd think this activist court, which went far out of its way to take on corporate campaign financing and religious "freedom" cases, would have jumped at the chance, but their hands-off approach here doesn't necessarily mean they won't review rulings on a different law. The North Carolina law forced doctors to hold the ultrasound in front of a woman's face and describe the fetus in excruciating detail to her, which the Supremes may have decided was going too far this time.
Florida state House votes to reject Medicaid expansion while locking in very low premiums for their their own state health insurance plans, then some House members pretend they didn't know the premium amounts were in the bill, as if understanding and voting on bills isn't their job or something. The good news: the Florida Senate will probably scuttle the House effort. But it seems that some state legislators really are all about Big Gummint health insurance -- but only for themselves.
Finally, CNN talking head invites scorn for calling a Dallas man who shot up a police station "courageous and brave," even though she added "if not crazy as well." Objections are easy to tabulate: you're not "courageous and brave" if you shoot police officers or if you've got a truck full of explosives to hide behind, and ain't no overpaid media talkers gonna use those words to describe a Muslim or a black man pulling the same crap. Watching the clip, though, I suspect the real problem is that people just talk too damn much on cable news TV, just like they talk too damn much on talk radio, which tells me that these formats to a terrible job of delivering information people need. If only we could get cable channels a la carte, we could at least starve some part of the "liberal" media beast.