British government prepares to approve massive government spying bill, one that would explicitly allow the government to collect data in bulk, mandate corporate co-operation with that effort, and "severely" restrict citizens' ability to challenge that collection in court. In this, our government has actually outclassed that of the United Kingdom. Speaking of "limits" to data collection/examination powers in this context should not please civil libertarians -- once the government has all the data, it has the ability to examine that data unlawfully.
Ho hum, Fox News cites "the Ferguson effect" in claiming that violence against police officers has gone up, when in fact violence against police officers has gone down. But of course Fox News's main aim is to keep its viewers in a state of rage about something, and who cares what that is? Could be the "war on terror," could be the deficit, could be regulations, could be immigration, could be "Black Lives Matter" -- they don't care, as long as they're making money, which they will continue to do as long as the American people can't have a la carte cable packaging.
Dept. of Education announces "transparency measures" designed to make accreditation agencies do a better job, particularly when evaluating those pesky for-profit colleges where students may not graduate but may well accumulate a lot of debt. If you're wondering why our Dept. of Education doesn't do all the accrediting itself, as I was, note well that the law doesn't appear to allow that. Next time Democrats hold both Houses of Congress and the Presidency, they might want to fix that, instead of spending all their time reaching out to Republicans.
Factcheck.org instructs us that "business deaths" do not, in fact, "outnumber" "business births" -- they did between 2009 and 2011, precisely the time you might have expected that to be true, but not in 2012 or 2013. The Census Bureau has revised the relevant figures for 2012 and 2013 this year, true, but you'd expect Republicans to be on top of that, right? I would further argue that "the number of business deaths" isn't a very telling statistic to begin with -- how many of those "deaths" were because they were bad ideas, or badly run? Also more telling is that the rate of business "births" has fallen rather dramatically, on average, since 1978, a year we had more regulations and more taxation than we have now. But these things don't help Republicans confuse you into voting for them, so we don't hear much about them.
Ain't nothing so bad Ben Carson can't make it worse, and so it goes with the ZOMG MEN IN TEH WIMMINZ BATHROOMZ!!!!! campaign that killed an anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston. How does Mr. Carson slice this particular knot? By declaring that transgendered folks should have their own bathrooms, because "it's not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable." Like the rest of them, he fudges the difference between security, which is our government's job to ensure, and comfort, which is not our government's job to ensure. And how do you tell if someone in the bathroom with you is transgendered? Don't you have better things to do while you're there?
Finally, holy crap Louisiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards started running an add essentially accusing his opponent, U.S. Senator David Vitter, of skipping a vote honoring veterans to "answer() a prostitute's call." But did the notorious "D.C. madam" really call then-Rep. Vitter "minutes after" the vote on that fateful day in February of 2001? Because, so far, the evidence suggests both events happened the same day, and that's correlation-not-causation territory. I'm fascinated, though, that Mr. Edwards has a big lead in polls right now and he still launched this weapon -- I can't tell if he ran this ad because he thinks he's got it in the bag or because he knows he doesn't.