The Guardian reports that CIA has taken "very gruesome" photos of detainees our government has sent off to foreign countries to torture. Photos depict detainees being bound, bruised, blindfolded, and naked -- the nudity supposedly necessary to reassure anyone looking that if a detainee got more seriously injured, the CIA didn't do it. But it seems that the fundamental difference between Tha Bush Mobb and Obama eras, as far as torture is concerned, is that Tha Bush Mobb destroyed the evidence. I have demanded more than that from our government, and so have you.
Dean Baker reminds us that Donald Trump's indiscriminate tariff threats are awful, but not nearly as awful as the actual-but-hidden tariffs that the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" would impose upon drugs. "If a patent monopoly raises the price of a protected drug by 10,000 percent, it leads to the same sort of waste and corruption as if the government imposed a tariff of 10,000 percent," he says. Want an example? "(T)he list price for the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is $84,000 for a three-month course of treatment," but "(a) recent analysis found that Indian manufacturers can profitably produce the drug for just $200 per three-month course of treatment, suggesting a tariff equivalent of more than 40,000 percent." Which, surprise, surprise, benefits big pharma corporations, not the working families that have to pay for drugs.
Ian Millhiser at Think Progress, says former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar's 2012 primary loss at the hands of then-state Treasurer Richard Mourdock illustrates how unlikely it is that Senate Republicans will ever confirm Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. While Sen. Lugar did vote for both Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, other things went on, too -- Sen. Lugar had collaborated with then-Sen. Obama on a bill hiking up auto fuel efficiency standards, and had also supported limiting certain bank fees, both of which upset Our Glorious Elites and their right-wing useful idiots more than any Supreme Court vote. I'm not even sure the Lugar loss is particularly instructive to today's Republicans, who oppose anything Mr. Obama does whether they're getting primaried or not.
Good news, everyone: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has, after considering the matter for almost two weeks, vetoed one of them-there "religious liberty" bills that would enshrine the bigotry of "religious" people over the actual lawful rights of all people. Perhaps he was intimidated by the producers of The Walking Dead threatening to move production out of Georgia if the law passed, but it may also be that he saw the fecal storm neighboring Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina must now navigate and decided he had no taste for it. Either way, good has defeated evil this round.
And finally, some more good news: the California legislature is poised to raise the state's minimum wage to $15/hour over the next six years, with small businesses getting an extra year to adopt the wage. Buried near the end of the article: state union leaders had successfully placed an initiative on the ballot that would have hiked the state's minimum wage to $15/hour over the next five years. Unions and democracy do matter after all, it seems.