12 nations, including the United States, formally sign the Trans-Pacific "Partnership." Naturally the 12 nations signed the "free" trade pact 90 days after President Obama signaled his intention to sign it -- which just so happens to satisfy the 90-day public review period mandated by fast-track legislation passed last year. So now's the time to fight! And don't believe Congressional leaders when they tell you it'd be best to wait until after the election. They have no time constraints now, and when you have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on elections, it's a lot easier to make Americans forget how disgusted they were with the TPP.
Hillary Clinton and her supporters have been indulging in historical revisionism in re her vote to authorize war with Iraq in 2002, but Stephen Zunes reminds us what Mrs. Clinton really did back then. As with then-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) -- who went on and on about the Iraq war during that first 2008 Democratic Presidential debate only to be rebuked by then-Senator Obama, who said that "some of us were against the Iraq war from the beginning" -- it does no good to suggest that then-Sen. Clinton somehow didn't have access to the same information that also led me to oppose the war from the beginning. Indeed, she had more access to better information, and still made the wrong pick -- which, as then-Sen. Kerry proved in 2004, was pretty much the opposite of "politically necessary."
Robert Faturechi at ProPublica treats us to "The Conservative (sic) Playbook for Keeping Dark Money Dark." You won't be too surprised at what's in the playbook -- calling monetary donations "free speech," calling disclosure "censorship" and "silencing dissent," saying "private giving" instead of "dark money," pretending that the rights of the "average Joe" and not some multimillion-dollar enterprise are at stake, plus, of course, always calling it "the government" instead of our government -- but it's good to have all that info in one place. (And, you know, right-wingers shouldn't liken disclosure to the Supreme Court ruling that Alabama couldn't demand a list of NAACP members in 1958, unless they can actually prove we're coming after them with guns and clubs.)
Sue Sturgis at Facing South has good news for us: moving coal ash from unlined pits to lined landfills really does reduce contamination of drinking water. It also helps to move the coal ash away from rivers. Who knew? North Carolina, unfortunately, is still playing the Hamlet game over about half of Duke Energy's 14 coal ash pits.
Finally, Congressional Black Caucus members say that House Speaker Paul Ryan supports the Voting Rights Advancement Act, but won't use his influence to try to pass it. Interesting that Paul Ryan thinks not micromanaging Committee heads is more important than, you know, doing the people's will -- let alone considering large numbers of voters that Republicans actually care about black folks! But if we demand the Voting Rights Advancement Act loudly enough and consistently enough, it won't matter what Paul Ryan thinks.