Congress averts a government shutdown by extending funding through December 9 -- but includes neither of the legislative priorities Democrats supposedly fought for, i.e., funding for Flint clean water efforts and the SEC being permitted to mandate publicly-traded corporations disclose their campaign spending. Which means Democrats can now ride campaign ads about Republican opposition to clean water and campaign finance reform all the way to victory in November! I kid, of course -- the only thing Democrats do well is let Republicans kick sand in their face.
The House also passes H.R. 6094, which would delay the Obama Administration's overtime pay rules for another six months. Note well that some House Democrats were pushing a similar bill not long ago, though only five House Democrats actually voted for this one. President Obama has threatened a veto, and the House won't be able to override it without somehow getting 46 more votes. And, ah, note to the folks who are still complaining that the cost of living varies from region to region: one, that's one reason the Obama Administration didn't raise the pay threshold even higher, and two, state governments are mostly twiddling their thumbs on this matter, so our federal government must act.
Harold Meyerson reminds us that "Young Voters Love Gary Johnson -- For All the Wrong Reasons." Mr. Johnson would legalize pot, of course, though I doubt that's as important to young voters as his stated aims to ditch the surveillance state and fight police brutality against black folks -- but Mr. Johnson would also do nothing about climate change or student debt, and would replace what remains of our progressive income tax with a totally regressive national sales tax, all of which will hit our youngest voters the hardest. I haven't given enough credit to millennials for supporting Bernie Sanders, the only candidate for whom I could vote without holding my nose. But their support for Mr. Johnson just reinforces the stereotype we oldheads tend to have about them -- that they don't care about the future.
Lily Hay Newman at Wired suggests it's "Time to Kill Security Questions -- or Answer Them With Lies." The hacking of half a billion Yahoo! accounts suggest that security questions have become just another piece of data that can be stolen, and used against you -- you can imagine a hacker stealing your identity this way, particularly in an age where social networks reveal a lot of this stuff anyway. Hence security experts suggest that you lie when answering these questions, and though they suggest you lie by answering with a nonsensical series of numbers and symbols and then use a password manager to store it, I find the prospect of simply answering with lies (using "Blanco" for my mother's maiden name, for example) more fascinating, since what do your lies say about you? is one of the more interesting questions pondered in literature.
Finally, Beth Schwartzappel at BillMoyers.com presents "A Primer on the Nationwide Prisoners' Strike," now in its third week. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlaws slavery, of course -- "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." But I question whether the Constitution really allows inhumane treatment of a citizen under any circumstances, including as punishment for a crime. (Personal to the fools who think that sentence means "prison should be a country club": learn to read.)