From the "Nobody Could Have Predicted It Except a Sentient Life Form" file: Donald Trump's handlers are now telling the Republican establishment that the billionaire has been "projecting an image" which they should not confuse with The Real Donald Trump, who is exactly like them. And then Mr. Trump tells a Connecticut that no way no how is he going to "tone it down," which I presume is also part of the scam. Seriously, though, at the point they try to persuade people that they should ignore bad behavior in public precisely because it's calculated to be drama, they argue for a politics in which we shouldn't make any decisions using evidence, but rather look for some "ironic" "calculation" lurking behind the evidence. And that's not happening, not in my America.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issues executive order re-enfranchising some 200,000 convicted felons. His order only applies to those who have completed their sentences, and certainly the timing is a bit suspicious, but then again the drive to disenfranchise felons in the first place was also largely a matter of partisanship. And I can't abide the critics who say his order is too broad, because these felons should never have lost the right to vote at all. If society assigns you a debt to repay, society doesn't get to punish you again just because one party wants to win, or some folks want to ventilate their rage a little more.
Surprise, surprise, Philadelphia's Mayor wants to fund universal preschool with a soda tax -- and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have the reactions you'd expect. Though my right-wing readers will likely find this surprising again, I don't like the soda tax either -- as Mr. Sanders says, it hits the poor harder than it hits the wealthy, which is exactly the opposite of how taxes ought to be. And not only are there better ways to fund universal preschool, there's a better way to fight childhood obesity -- like ending the massive welfare handouts for big ag corporations that allow cheap high-fructose corn syrup to exist, and allow soda to remain at literally the same price since 1981. I know Mrs. Clinton would never advocate for such a thing, and I'm afraid Mr. Sanders wouldn't, either, which is why we went with the corporate tax angle.
Adam Johnson, who's proving quite a find for FAIR, tells us to "Forget 'Bernie Bros' -- The Worst Trolls Work in Corporate Media." I don't know about "worst" trolls -- there are some pretty bad trolls out there! -- but the "liberal" media columnist justifying a ridiculous headline by saying "provocative headlines provoke" is, as Mr. Johnson says, the "the living, breathing definition of trolling," because it seeks to manipulate rather than inform. I tend to avert my eyes from headlines saying someone "called out" so-and-so, or headlines ending in "and it was glorious," for pretty much the same reason -- I'd rather have authentic emotional reactions to what I read.
Finally, Erin Sagen, writing at Yes!, discusses some of the challenges farmers face as they try to save seeds in a sustainable manner. This is a big deal not just because of big corporate "suicide seeds," or seeds designed not to yield more or better crops but simply to withstand proprietary pesticides, or big ag lawsuits against farmers whose seeds have been contaminated by GMO seeds and are thus "guilty" of "intellectual property theft" -- it's also a big deal because big corporate farming, in its quest to redistribute farmer wealth upward to its executives, frowns on things like crop rotation and crop diversity as "costs." I long for the day when "cost-benefit analyses" accurately represent the real cost of what corporations do to our economy, our civilization, and our lives.