President Obama writes a letter to the New York Times asking that Congress restore the Voting Rights Act. This may not be as effective as his net neutrality video, since that only had to influence one person (FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, until then trying to have it both ways on the matter), but then again, when Presidents speak, it still means something -- George W. Bush did almost singlehandedly keep climate change denialism alive, you recall -- and his opponents will be forced to assert that holding the debt limit hostage is more important than fighting racism, or to say something hysterically dumb like Sen. McConnell did, like the South has changed, really it has!.
FAIR reminds us that both sides of the Iran nuke deal seem to be assuming that the only alternative to their preferred position is war. If Iran gets caught trying to make a nuke, I've assumed that the first alternative is reinstituting sanctions, which even Sen. Toomey (R-PA) says brought Iran to the negotiating table. But, please, let's have more hysteria about this debate, because hysteria has brought so much of importance to every policy debate we have.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) puts hold on Obama trade appointee to broadcast his displeasure with the secrecy surrounding Trans-Pacific "Partnership" negotiations. I share his disgust with "free" trade secrecy, but I don't think he should be obstructing a nominee to make a point. I'll bet the "liberal" media howls about this obstruction, though, after covering the far more multitudinous instances of Senate Republican obstruction during the Obama Administration as if it were a normal part of the landscape.
Actress Ellen Page confronts Sen. Ted Cruz (as he's cooking pork chops, now there's a man's man!) to tell him he's "discriminating against LGBT people" and to ask whether he'd apply the same "religious discrimination" argument in favor of segregation. "Now I'm happy to answer your question," Sen. Cruz said, before launching into a lengthy and thoughtful exegesis about how he couldn't use such an argument to reinstitute segregation even if he wanted to, which of course he doesn't! I kid, of course -- he didn't answer her question, and said he didn't want to get into a "back-and-forth debate" with her, by which he clearly meant he wanted to do all the talking. Doesn't a Harvard education buy more than this?
Finally, Ohio State University researchers have apparently used human skin cells to create, in their words, "the most complete human brain model yet developed." It's very small, resembles the brain of a five week-old fetus, and would need a sort of artificial heart (and blood vessels!) to grow into something more fully-developed, but this little brain could do the world a lot of good -- not just for Alzheimer's patients or brain-traumatized soldiers, but for environmental researchers looking to discern the long-term neurological effects of pollution. I wish the researchers the best.