Remember when our Secretary of State "certified" that the Saudi/UAE coalition was doing its best to protect civilian human rights in its war on Yemen? Well, he may have done that after the State Department's legislative affairs team told him that ending the war in Yemen would cost corporations too much money in arms sales -- and a former lobbyist for a defense contractor just so happens to head up that team. Nice to know that the matter of right and wrong enters into our government's deliberations so frequently! Remember this when your Tea Party uncle says our President is conducting a "different" kind of foreign policy, or that you should put businesspeople in government because they're the best people and they know everything.
Our Administration lifts a penalty for a coal corporation that has repeatedly violated mine safety laws -- and may have broken the law in doing so. And the fellow who made this decision -- our Administration's Mine Safety and Health Administration chief -- is a former coal executive whose corporation repeatedly violated the safety of its workers because of course he is. Again, let your Tea Party uncle explain how businesspeople "know everything," or, better yet, how making coal mines less safe "helps out coal miners." (And yes, I noticed the Russian connection to Pocahontas Coal -- but which would be worse: the fact of a Russian connection, or more coal miners getting sick and dying because our Administration doesn't think it has to play by the rule of law?)
A U.S. District Judge blocks a North Carolina law aiming to slash farmworkers' rights. Confront the details of the bill the court struck down and you'll likely think of it as legislators throwing fecal matter against a wall to see what sticks. But you know, it sure would be better for all of us if farmworkers weren't exempt from the protections of the National Labor Relations Act, and recent pro-worker legislation at the federal level, while pretty commendable, hasn't gone as far as that.
North Carolina passes law mandating voting places stay open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays -- but this has the unintended consequence (or do I mean "unintended consequence"?) of forcing almost half of that state's counties to close early voting locations. If you're thinking more hours open means more access to the polls, consider how far some rural folks have to go to vote and how little it matters that polls might be open a little earlier or a little later, and then accept the wisdom of having more voting locations.
Ho hum, Facebook now relies on two government-created propaganda outlets to stem the spread of "fake news." Or do I mean "stem"? Too many folks are using the spectre of "fake news" to censor good liberal news outlets, and (as I've said to more than one troll!) crying "fake news" at everything is a way of saying you can't win arguments on the merits. I'll admit I've barely noticed Facebook's doings on my news feed, but that's because I don't use them as a news feed -- I use email, still the greatest social network ever created, as a news feed.
Finally, we now know of four women who are accusing Brett Kavanaugh of various kinds of sexual assault, and rather than attend Mr. Kavanaugh's unlikely denials or our President's expected hysteria, let us instead attend Sen. Lindsey Graham's declaration that he doesn't want to "ruin this guy's life based on an accusation." If Mr. Kavanaugh didn't get on our Supreme Court, would that really "ruin" his life? He'll still serve on the D.C. Circuit Court, he'll still be the beneficiary of (I suspect wholly unexamined) white privilege, he'll be able to get wingnut welfare forever if he chooses -- yeah, our lives should be so "ruined." And, as I've suggested, a lot of people not so afflicted by a sense of entitlement must have the skill and ability to fill this position. Maybe even our President could find one.