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Thursday lunch links: Food labels, the minimum wage, gun violence, Medicaid and more details of Arizona’s discrimination law

Food labelIf you’re getting ready to pop open a cup of yogurt or a can of soup for lunch today, be sure to take note of the nutrition label as it’s about to get a smidge more relevant and informative in the near future thanks to a new Food and Drug Administration directive and some helpful advocacy from First Lady Michelle Obama.  And, of course, it probably won’t be long before the denizens of the Pope Empire inform us that this is all a matter of big government quashing the “freedom” of unfettered markets.

And speaking of “free” markets, the right wing is — amazingly enough — weighing in again of late to inform us that not only is raising the minimum wage a terrible idea, but so, indeed, is the VERY IDEA of minimum wage laws. First it was the John Locke Foundation in this essay last week and then, yesterday, it was state House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis.

And speaking of the U.S. Senate, here’s a doozy: Think Progress reports that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is holding up the nomination of   President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, over Murthy’s view that gun violence represents a significant public health threat. Lord help us.

And speaking of health threats, the McCrroy administration is, happily, backpedaling quickly on its one-time plan to sell off North Carolina’s Medicaid program to the insurance industry. The new alternative — i.e. establishing “Accountable Care Organizations” — is a much less draconian idea that may actually produce some common ground amongst health care advocates.

Finally, speaking of initiative on which the right is backing down, the intrepid journalists at The Onion claim to have obtained a copy of some of the fine print from the Arizona legislature’s pro-discrimination bill that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed yesterday. Here are some of the less-well-reported provisions:

  • If refusing service, business owners required to spit tobacco before saying, “We don’t take kindly to you folk”
  • Gays can still buy muffins at the bakery, but they have to wait until the straight people have taken their pick
  • Safeguards Arizona residents’ freedom to practice Jesus Christ’s teachings of love, inclusion, and tolerance

Read the entire list by clicking here.

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