Washington, D.C. City Council passes bill raising minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020, and the city's Mayor has pledged to sign it. The good news? Washington, D.C. won't have a state government trying to kill its minimum wage. The bad news? The federal government sure will try to kill it, as Paul Ryan trots out his earnest nonsense about the higher minimum wage "killing jobs" (just like it's done in Seattle, not!)
America's Last Journalist, Greg Palast, provides more information on California primary-voting oddities. Apparently, if you were an independent voter who wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, you had to say the exact phrase "I want a Democratic crossover ballot" or you got a ballot without the Presidential primary race on it -- and poll workers won't offer one to you if you happen to leave the word "crossover" out of your request. That sounds exactly like a rule both political parties would institute to ensure that only candidates endorsed by the proverbial smoke-filled room win. (In a related note, the timing of that AP report saying Mrs. Clinton had "clinched" the nomination one day before the primary was pure Bush Mobb.)
Kate Cox at The Consumerist asks "What is 'Zombie Debt,' and Why Won't It Just Stay Dead?" Long story short: creditors can sell unpaid debts for pennies on the dollar (say, 15 cents), and the new creditors who buy the debt can make a profit by hounding some of those debtors until they cough it up (say, 25 cents) -- and then they'll the rest of it again, and then the next new creditor does the same thing, and so on, and so on. Also, debts have statutes of limitation in some states, but when the nth creditor tries to collect on a debt and you send them a chunk of change to keep them happy, that resets whatever statute of limitation applies to you. Sound grim? That's because it is.
Courtesy Emma Grey Ellis at Wired, we learn that chemists might be able to build a Martian colony using Martian dirt, or regolith. NASA scientists were able to make bricks out of lunar dirt and polymers many years ago, but today's chemists don't have that amount of regolith to work with (I hear the shipping costs are murder), so they're experimenting with "a close cousin," Hawaiian volcanic ash. If they can make good building materials that utilize very few polymers (five percent is their goal), then scientists could eventually travel to Mars with very few materials they could actually make into a lot more. That's the kind of efficiency we need more of in America -- versus, you know, the kind of "efficiency" that just kills jobs.
Finally, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker now wonders if he can support Donald Trump, in light of Mr. Trump's repeated attacks on the Mexican-American judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University. So Mr. Walker's now taken two different positions on Donald Trump -- support-the-nominee and wait-and-see -- and he only needs take one more (I-just-can't-support-the-nominee) and he'll equal the record he set when he took three distinct positions on birthright citizenship within seven days. That was quite an achievement, but it takes a truly special politician to do it more than once. Is Scott Walker that special? We'll find out.