Donald Trump's sizable, illegal 2013 donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi -- right before Ms. Bondi declined to join other state Attorneys General in investigating Trump University -- is finally getting significant coverage in the "liberal" media, and now we learn that Mr. Trump also hosted a fundraiser for Ms. Bondi during her 2014 re-election effort. No use telling me that she might not have understood all the details of the Trump University case before taking the cash, because if there was even a chance she would have to investigate him, she should have refused the donation. And, remember, Donald Trump is the fellow who said "when you give" to politicians, "they do whatever the hell you want them to do." (As an aside, why does Mr. Trump's campaign manager think repeating the word "concierge" in the context of State Department dealings with the Clinton Foundation will resonate at all, with anybody?)
I was honestly surprised to read this: LSU-educated judges in Louisiana tend to hand out harsher sentences to juveniles after LSU loses a football game. That may well be because I'm not a Southerner -- the study's authors found not one surprised individual in Baton Rouge after sharing their findings. Still, they're judges! In case you were wondering, the judges studied tended to be white, male, and Democrat, while the offenders tended to be black; that doesn't prove a racial animus on the judges' part, but what does that matter if it portends a racist result?
AP reporters Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason describe the horrors endured by foreign boat workers supporting Hawaii's fishing industry. Some 700 foreign workers, mostly from Southeast Asia, make less than a dollar an hour and are confined to their boats for years at a time; in other words, they're wage slaves -- and, naturally, they're good fishermen whose catch fetches high prices. I was sad to learn that the late Daniel Inouye, a liberal lion of the U.S. Senate for almost half a century, originally pushed for the legal loopholes that allow this wage slavery, and that current liberal lion Sen. Mazie Hirono seems more preoccupied with security than wage slavery. In any case, Costco and Whole Foods customers, in particular, may want to ask where their fish comes from.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a joint action with the city of Los Angeles, orders Wells Fargo to pay $185 million in penalties and refunds, as restitution for a number of consumer abuses including opening accounts for consumers without their permission. Oh, but Wells Fargo employees didn't just open these unwanted accounts to meet sales quotas -- they also transferred funds from those customers' other accounts without telling them, which not only meant customers didn't know they were short on cash, but also meant customers incurred fees and penalties without knowing it. For something they didn't want and didn't ask for, I feel compelled to repeat with the Italics Hammer. But please, right-wingers, tell us again how the CFPB represents nothing more than a "bureaucratic" "nanny" oppressing those poor banksters.
Finally, on the occasion of the 50th (!) anniversary of the initial broadcast of Star Trek, Charlie Jane Anders at Wired invites us to imagine a world where Star Trek never existed -- where, for example, George Lucas didn't have Star Trek to interact with as he was putting Star Wars together, or '80s and '90s TV sci-fi didn't enjoy the resurgence it did because of Next Generation. Star Trek's main achievement? That it was the first sci-fi TV show to depict "space exploration as a serious endeavor, one undertaken by a crew of professionals," and combined "1930s pulp space opera with the rising tide of social criticism in 1960s sci-fi novels." The original Star Trek (and its three TV successors) also came from a confident America, one sure it could provide a better world for its descendants than it inherited; its world had moved past greed, racism, even money. But in today's America, we run to stand still, and not coincidentally J.J. Abrams's Star Trek films show a Federation on its heels.