Roy Edroso at Alicublog is "not so sure" that "Trump's down" due to the failure of his health care bill to even clear the House. Good points abound: "this failure is the GOP's, not his," a Senate version could be "stuffed with dominionist lunacy," and "Trump's already fucking up Obamacare" as we speak. Verdict: "as some wiseguy on Twitter said, this lull could just be the false relief that comes after the horror movie villain looks like he's dead the first time." Which is why we do sentry duty over the body.
Baltimore City Council passes $15/hour minimum wage. This is a big deal because other cities that have passed the $15/hour wage are much better off than Baltimore, and though conventional "wisdom" holds that a higher minimum wage would KILL TEH JOBZ!!! and RAIZE TEH PRICEZ!!!!, most rational folks know by now that it doesn't really do that. In fact, a higher minimum wage will more likely stimulate economies and create jobs, since folks have more money in their pockets and are ready to spend it. Really, economic policy shouldn't be all about which big box stores you can lure to your town.
Kansas state legislators are trying to bring the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion to their state. It's not what Gov. Brownback wants, of course, because Obama, but Darth Brownback has been getting a little too much of what he wants over the years, to the extreme detriment of good Kansans. Republicans still dominate Kansas's legislature, but who cares as long as voters get good representation, which they might actually get for once?
Thom Hartmann at AlterNet describes "How Republicans Quietly Sabotaged Obamacare Long Before Trump Came into Office." Well, that's how you'd have to do it! If you're not actually going to run a government, you have to set fire to it and then point to it and say, see? Government doesn't work! The only solution is to give my cronies more of your tax money! Hey, it's worked for Scott Walker in Wisconsin.
Peter Waldman at Bloomberg BusinessWeek reminds us that Alabama's 20-years-and-counting "auto jobs boom" has come at a considerable price to auto parts supplier workers. No use complaining that they should be lucky to have jobs at all! when a) that'd be a rhetorical hostage situation and b) "(p)ay is low (for auto parts supplier workers), turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought, usually after someone is badly hurt."
Finally, study finds more than half of men think they don't "personally benefit" from the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate. Why anyone's asking what men think about this matter is beyond me, but I suppose it's good that men more likely to be having sex are more likely to appreciate the mandate, or that men generally seem to support it (and more so when facing the prospect of its repeal). And, yeah, if men could give birth, we wouldn't be trying to get rid of it. Also, I'd be anti-abortion.