• Meanwhile...

    Russian president Vladimir Putin's last known whereabouts. The Appalachians are wonderful this time of year...

    - Where's Putin? Who knows? Maybe he took a page from Mark Sanford's book and went on a "hiking trip." After all, presidential side chick Alina Kabaeva recently gave birth to a bouncing baby girl, although Swiss authorities claim there's no proof he ever paid a visit.

    - Pando's Mark Ames (nee NSFWCorp) offers a quick reminder of the racist origins behind "Right to Work" legislation. From Ames' previous piece on the same subject:

    Those hearings revealed that the anti-FDR "convention" that Vance Muse put on, through his "Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution"— which featured guests of honor like Gerald L K Smith, America’s leading anti-Semite and godfather to the modern American Nazi movement — was financed not only by Confederate sponsors like Texan Will Clayton, owner of the world’s largest cotton broker, but also reactionary northeast Republican money: the DuPont brothers, J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil, Alfred Sloan of General Motors... That unholy alliance of Northeastern and Confederate plutocrat money financed the first serious attempt at splitting the Southern Democrats off by exploiting white supremacism, all in order to break labor power and return to the world before the New Deal — and to the open shop.

    Incidentally, Vance Muse’s northern donors — DuPont, Pew, Sloan — were the same core investors in (and board directors of) the first modern libertarian think-tanks of the 40s and 50s, including the Foundation for Economic Education. DuPont, Pew and Sloan funds also seeded the American careers of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard, among others. In other words, Vance Muse’s funders built the first layer of the libertarian nomenklatura that Charles Koch later took control of — no surprise, since Koch outfits are credited with making the Michigan "right to work" law possible.

    To the average industrialist in search of fatter bottom lines and cheaper labor, unrepentant bigots like Vance Muse are useful tools. All you have to do is stir up their feelings about those blacks and browns and they'll do whatever you ask of them, just as long as it accomplishes knee-capping the "other" even at the expense of their own well-being.

    - It's been a while since the right wing had a "vast left-wing conspiracy" to catch vapors over. So when it was discovered that former Secretary of State and likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton not only exclusively used a personal email account instead of a government account and pole-axed over 30,000 emails associated with that personal account, you knew the right finally had another juicy Clinton scandal to work themselves silly over.

    Yes, using your personal email for your State Dept. gig smacks of a complete lack of accountability and, if it were anyone else, grounds for termination. But when you step back and think of all the potential controversies that could have surfaced, this one seems a bit weak in comparison.

    Meanwhile, some sources say Valerie Jarrett blew the whistle over Email-gate because of how the Clintons seemed to be dissing the current Commander-in-Chief.

    - Jarvis DeBerry drops a little Dr. Seuss on presumptive presidential fodder Bobby (nee Piyush) Jindal.

    - Sure, the Department of Justice wasn't able to stick Darren Wilson in a can, but it did crack open the proverbial hamper and aired out the city of Ferguson, Missouri's dirty laundry. And because of the DOJ's findings, several high-ranking city officials have resigned, including the city manager and police chief.

    Meanwhile, St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle has launched an effort to recall the city's current mayor. This is the same guy who, months prior to Michael Brown's death, staunchly championed privatizing large portions of Ferguson's law enforcement services.

    The DOJ revealed a city (and numerous others like it) as little more than a naked cash-harvesting program using captive residents as a semi-renewable revenue stream. Yours truly will have more on this soon.

    - Jeremy Clarkson discovers there are consequences for punching people not named Piers Morgan. How this affects the future of one of the world's most popular television series remains to be seen.

    And by the way, John McCain, the next time you and your friends in the Senate try to undermine the president's authority and foreign affairs acumen, you might want to come up with an excuse a bit more substantial than "I sign lots of letters."