New York state legislators pass a complex minimum wage hike that would raise the wage to $15/hour in New York City by the end of 2018, but allow a considerably slower hike in other parts of the state. That sounds almost like actual compromise -- it costs a lot more to live in New York City than elsewhere in the state, of course -- and also not the kind of compromise I'd expect from a center-right Democratic Governor. New York also became the fifth American state to enact paid family medical leave -- and their version is stunningly progressive compared to the other four states' laws. Good show, New York.
Sara Morrison, writing at The Guardian, chides President Obama for demanding more aggressive questioning of folks like Donald Trump from the media -- given the irrational zeal with which Mr. Obama has gone after the whistleblowers who could help journalists do their job. I take her point, but being tough on Donald Trump should be a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel situation, when he says patently ridiculous things and then denies he said them like no one ever invented the tape recorder. And one could more easily argue that Mr. Obama's obfuscation makes a journalist's job harder, if very many "liberal" media journalists were interested in doing a good job in the first place.
C.J. Polychroniou, writing at TruthOut, interviews author Helena Norberg-Hodge about how "Globalized Monoculture is Consuming the Planet." This is far worse than food-is-grown-to-be-sold-not-eaten -- "When you want to market your products globally, diversity is inefficient," she reminds us, though of course when we're talking "efficiency" here, we're really talking about how "efficiently" income can be redistributed upward to bosses. But she also says "our major problem is a lack of vision, not innate greed," a statement I find quite sympathetic, though I also presume this "lack of vision" causes or enables greed.
FBI arrests hospice services CEO for instructing nurses to kill patients who had lived in hospice care too long. Apparently Medicare imposes caps on annual hospice care, and if patients live so long they go over the caps, the hospice service corporations don't make money -- hence the orders to literally OD patients as they got near or over the cap. At least one nurse resigned rather than comply with the order; about three others, we don't know, but a homicide charge isn't out of the question. Note to right-wingers: this is what a "death panel" actually looks like.
Finally, next time you hear that BERNIE SANDERZ HAZ NEVER PASSEDZ ANY OF TEH BILLZ!!!!!, Michael Sainato, writing at the New York Observer, reminds us that Sen. Sanders passed more legislative amendments during his 14-year run in the House than any other House Rep. Mr. Sainato mentions his national cancer registry, his ban on imported products made with child labor, and his community health center funding increase, but the People's War blog lists quite a few more amendments, 42 in all covering his House and Senate years (and they include a small business paperwork-reduction amendment from 1995 -- gosh, why weren't Republicans on that like white on rice?). Caveat: his amendment run in the House occurred mostly under Republican House control, but that fact alone should not compel us to think he'll repeat that success, if he becomes The Hated One (i.e., the next Democratic President).