Mary Hansen at Yes! magazine finds West Virginia citizens more willing to embrace renewable energy than their state government, whether through co-ops, municipal solar projects, or fighting "sun taxes." If West Virginia stays the course on coal, "(w)e’re sacrificing our health and our lives so that people in other states can save a few cents on their electricity bills," one resident says, and he's right, but it's actually worse than that -- they're actually sacrificing their health and lives so some CEO can gild the plumbing in his 19th vacation home.
John Nichols, writing at The Nation, reminds us that new House Speaker Paul Ryan is actually fairly unpopular these days in his hometown of Janesville, WI -- and suggests that's perhaps because he consistently chooses Wall Street's priorities over Main Street's. It is worth remembering, since we don't always remember every dumb vote every bad politician takes, that Mr. Ryan voted for the biggest humiliation George W. Bush visited upon the American people, the financial services bailout of 2008. No one who does that can ever assert they're on the people's side -- or that they're conservative.
Another day, another study asserting that the Economic Armageddon of 2008 could have been much, much worse if not for the "policy responses" of late 2008 and early 2009, including both the bailout and the stimulus bill, apparently. You'll never convince me the bailout did a damn thing for anyone but the banksters, but the stimulus did some good, I suppose. Still, we should have done a lot better, and "things could have been worse" is really not what you want on your headstone.
Jeb Bush admits he's "conflicted" about the death penalty and thinks we should "reform" it -- but the one thing he mentions reforming (apparently he thinks it takes too long to kill someone on death row!) actually makes him seem more like the giddy executioner he wasn't in Florida (and his brother was, in Texas). Jeb Bush appears practiced at seeming like a decent human being one moment and then an awful one the next. But then, a lot of people like their politicians like that.
Let's give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the credit he deserves for retracting his earlier statement that a Palestinian mullah "gave Hitler the idea" to kill the Jews, because it is better than most politicians' corrections. But I'd have substituted "(c)ontrary to the impression that was created" with "contrary to the impression I created." And I insist that who "decided" to kill the Jews is not nearly as important a matter as who actually killed the Jews.
Finally, Hillary Clinton calls for an end to racial profiling, and also for ending (not just narrowing) the sentencing disparity between powder cocaine-related offenses and crack cocaine-related offenses. Hopefully we'll hear little from the "liberal" media about how Hillary Clinton is moving left with these announcements. She's not "moving left" -- she's moving to the center, that is to say, the real center where most folks actually are, not some imaginary "center" that bisects the shifting line between Republicans running ever further right and Democrats breathlessly trying to catch up.