As we count the cost of our ongoing government shutdown, I feel compelled to ask: when's that terrorist attack coming? I mean, our President could be hunting really big game here -- not just the right to strut around for years saying you should have given me that wall so I could have prevented that terrorist attack, but also expanded "emergency powers" legislation enabling him to do whatever he likes, whenever he likes. Hey, if I thought of it, you know he has. Just remember: if terrorists (or whomever!) do attack, the first thing out of our mouths should be our President failed -- the President who won't read intelligence briefings and won't staff a functioning State Department, and who also struts around like he alone knows everything.
Third Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to reinstate court order preventing the Republican National Committee from engaging in the kind of "ballot security" measures that just so happen to suppress minority voters, and Rick Hasen foresees "supercharge(d)" vote suppression in 2020 as a result. I do find it interesting that Mr. Hasen's Republican lawyer acquaintances would "bristle" at the kind of things the RNC used to do, but the RNC got in trouble (in part) for caging voters, and what's Interstate Crosscheck if not caging? Things like Interstate Crosscheck and Voter ID don't necessarily come at the end of a gun or a fist, but I'm not sure that's progress. It certainly ain't enough progress.
Ho hum, our President thinks he can unilaterally turn Medicaid into a block grant program though even many right-wing analysts disagree that he can do that. So I guess the Tea Party is right now taking to the streets to protest this AMURIKAN CAESAR!!!!!, right? I kid, of course. I'd be more confident that this latest attempt to subvert the rule of law will die in court, except that Tha Bush Mobb successfully imposed spending caps on two states back in the day, albeit spending caps so high those states had no chance of hitting them. And that's why I always say George W. Bush is worse than our current President.
I agree with Charles Eisenstein at Yes! magazine that "(p)eople are not going to be frightened into caring" and thus doing something about climate change, though I doubt most folks would find "deep and active care for the planet com(ing) through experiences of beauty and grief" to be useful advice. I do agree that the best climate change messaging is pro-clean water, pro-clean air, and anti-pollution messaging rather than TEH PLANETZ IZ GOINGZ TO DIEZ!!!! messaging; I even agree that local efforts to defeat the effects of climate change can do better than big centralized nationalized ones. But the main reason climate change messaging isn't working? Because we're not all saying "let's kick climate change's ass!"
Finally, because you deserve some good news, yet another ag-gag law goes down in federal court, and this time it's Iowa's. You may wince at the court's reasoning -- that our First Amendment protects lying, since someone who takes a job at a factory farm so they can do undercover reporting on animal treatment is lying -- since similar reasoning has also, at times, protected media outlets that lie. But of course our First Amendment not only protects lies, but efforts to expose those lies. (And dig the pork lobby's we-never-intended-to-infringe-on-your-rights-sucker act! As if corporations have literally no other way to "conduct our businesses and care for our animals" than to procure unconstitutional tools for dealing with undercover agents!)