Republican-dominated North Carolina state legislature suddenly calls emergency session and strips the incoming Democratic Governor of many powers. Give the good folks of North Carolina credit, though -- they were out protesting in enough force, on very short notice, that they made their will known (and a few got arrested). This is the kind of power grab a political party executes when it can't win arguments anymore. And we'll be seeing a lot of this kind of crap at the federal level fairly soon.
Ho hum, another election setback, another "liberal" media "analysis" suggesting Democrats should move to the right -- this time by giving up on black folks to win white folks back. Instead of, you know, getting white voters to turn their anger away from folks of color and toward their real enemies, the corporatists and their lackeys in politics and media -- which, to be frank, doesn't seem that big a chore to me. Also, too, what was Mr. Trump's "winning" percentage of the popular vote? 46 percent, a smaller percentage than three of the last four Republican Presidential nominees (and he barely outpaced the fourth, John McCain in 2008), which means his "ideas" on appealing to white voters aren't that persuasive.
Dean Baker, in an excerpt from his new book provocatively entitled Rigged, reminds us that "free" markets are really only free for the folks making the most money. He also punctures the repugnant argument advanced by wealthy "free" marketeeers and "free" traders, that folks who want to hold on to their manufacturing jobs "don't care" about alleviating poverty in the rest of the world. As if those are the only two choices! The folks making these arguments could pay themselves less, or corporations could stop meddling in the affairs of the rest of the world and thus allow the world's workers more say in their lives. That's at least two more choices. (Kudos, again, to Mr. Baker for referring to "income redistribution" as it actually happens in the world -- that is, upward, from workers to Our Glorious Elites.)
At long last, a coalition of good Kansans has come together to vigorously oppose the mindless tax-cutting program of Gov. Sam Brownback. But I'd sure go a lot harder than they do! That top income bracket shouldn't start at $40,000 a year, even if that's what it used to be -- it should start at a considerably higher income and be at a considerably higher rate. And sales taxes, frankly, shouldn't even exist -- taxing consumption always hurts the people who have to consume (i.e., the poor) more than the people who don't (i.e., the rich). Still, it's always good to see people coming together to make taxes fairer.
20 state Attorneys General file a lawsuit against six pharmaceutical corporations for price-fixing. The suit centers mainly around two generic drugs, one antibiotic and one anti-diabetic, with prices for the former drug over 90 times higher in April of 2014 than they were just six months earlier. Prices don't go up like that because of "free" markets, despite the "free" marketeers crowd telling us that giving corporations whatever they want keeps prices down, when five seconds of thought would tell you it doesn't. The even better news? This particular lawsuit might only be the first price-fixing lawsuit over generic drugs. I wish them the best.
Finally, Liza Bayless at Yes! magazine describes the efforts of Lankenau Hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania to feed its patients with food grown on an on-campus organic farm. Lankenau sits in Montgomery County, but gets a lot of patients from Philadelphia County, ranked dead last in good health outcomes among 67 Pennsylvania counties in 2011 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, so clearly they saw the need for a more preventive approach. Lankenau has provided food for 400 patients so far, often giving food to patients as they're waiting for appointments and leading in-services on preparing it. Seems to me they're planting a seed, as it were, from which future food-education efforts will sprout forth.