Neal Gabler, writing in The Atlantic, informs us that nearly half of all Americans literally cannot come up with $400 in a crisis. Mr. Gabler's own story of living hand-to-mouth will no doubt seem sadly familiar, and if you're thinking maybe the problem is that folks have money tied up in other things that are hard to convert to hard cash, well, no -- net worth has been declining since (guess when?) the mid-1980s. There's a lot more to the article than this, but let me just add that this is yet another reason Voter ID laws are such a bad idea -- folks who never had the necessary paperwork, or who lose the paperwork, are very likely not going to be able to come up with the cash to fix it.
Spencer Ackerman, writing at The Guardian, reports on the lives of six families who had a family member killed by American drones. They say "the strike lasts a moment and the consequences last a lifetime," in Mr. Ackerman's words, and most of them don't even know who the target really was -- after all, drones kill a lot of civilians. A victim who nearly lost his left leg to a drone strike says "(y)ou're worse off injured than being dead," and folks rarely even get financial reparations for the damage done. Incredibly, not everyone chooses hatred, which gives me hope. But, ah, what terror do these drone strikes help avert again?
Ho hum, University of Washington study finds very little evidence of price hikes in Seattle due to that city's $15/hour minimum wage hike. They did find a lot of business owners who fretted about having to raise prices, and a good amount of low-income workers who didn't think the wage hike would do very much for them. Still, TEH HIGH PRICEZ ARE TEH INEVITABULZ!!!!! is yet another right-wing "common sense" notion that seems to get beaten up a lot by reality.
David Corn, writing at Mother Jones, also thinks Bernie Sanders's relatively good performance in polls against Republicans won't continue once Republicans start pummeling him with the "socialist" hammer. Maybe he's right, but Republicans called the center-right President Obama a "socialist" for so long that folks might be tired of hearing it. Also, if I'm Bernie Sanders, this is the conversation I want to have -- if socialism is such a bad thing, how come I draw crowds of 20,000+ wherever I go? How come so many independents and Republicans support me? I also hope he has the sense to paraphrase Dr. Johnson, and say red-baiting is the last refuge of the scoundrel who's lost every other argument.
Finally, former Sen. Harris Wofford writes about his upcoming marriage to a man. 90-year-old Mr. Wofford survived his wife of 48 years, his "best friend" and "best critic," then years later met his future husband while swimming alone in the Ft. Lauderdale surf, and if you're familiar with the notion that folks' sexuality can change as they get older, you won't find that surprising. "(M)atrimony is not based on anyone’s sexual nature, choices or dreams," he tells us. "It is based on love." Good for him for finding it again.