The Obama report card

My readers know that praise for Barack Hussein Obama comes rarely and is often modulated by several factors, not least of which is my scorn for political reporters to cite “accomplishments” as if they were rice cakes: calorie-free, without nutritive value, substitutes for richer and unhealthier foods. Kevin Drum’s grocery list impressed me. I’m going… More The Obama report card

DHS ‘monitoring’ #BlackLivesMatter movement

To quote a band I don’t much like, no alarms and no surprises: The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents, released by… More DHS ‘monitoring’ #BlackLivesMatter movement

‘How a politician can chalk up wins against structural racism’

Yep: f you look at a typical presidential campaign site under a heading like “Issues,” you’ll see that there isn’t a bullet point that lists a candidate’s plans to attack the complicated issue of structural racism with specific steps. This should change. And in this, candidates can take a lesson from President Obama. His administration,… More ‘How a politician can chalk up wins against structural racism’

Obama Unbound

It’s staggering to consider that no sitting American president has visited a federal penitentiary. And why should he? Republican want to burnish their tough-on-crime bonafides. Democrats have wanted those bonafides. That’s why I give Barack Hussein Obama credit for taking lame duck status seriously. As his poll numbers rise, he has made it difficult for… More Obama Unbound

‘I bet the hardliners in both our countries are bleeding when we shake hands’

So the P5+1 and Iran have reached a deal on delaying Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for ten years. Before Bibi Netanyahu runs to John Bolton’s shoulder for a good cry, let’s make clear what the alternative could’ve been. Larison: This will limit Iran’s nuclear program more effectively than a decade of sanctions and coercive… More ‘I bet the hardliners in both our countries are bleeding when we shake hands’

Overtime!

If true, this is big news: the Department of Labor may propose a rule that will increase the percentage of the workforce eligible for overtime. The rate, set at $23,660, will double to $52,000. Policy Mic quotes EPI’s example: <blockquote[A]n assistant manager at a fast-food restaurant with a salary of $24,000 and who spends 95%… More Overtime!

“Post-terror” world, my fanny

Boy, we sure love personalities, don’t we? Musicians, actors, politicians, even traitors (to quote Dana Perino) like Edward Snowden, who has never stopped being the story about the American surveillance state. Very well. Let’s recap what we learned from the man whom Charles Pierce calls the International Man of Luggage: Rather than transmitting information to… More “Post-terror” world, my fanny

Spy and punishment

No, domestic spying does not go on. Why worry? The FBI breached its own internal rules when it spied on campaigners against the Keystone XL pipeline, failing to get approval before it cultivated informants and opened files on individuals protesting against the construction of the pipeline in Texas, documents reveal. Internal agency documents show for… More Spy and punishment

Elizabeth Warren: ‘possible to punch holes in Dodd Frank without directly repealing it’

The struggle over giving ‘fast track’ legislation to the Trans Pacific Partnership has another dimension. Central to Elizabeth Warren and other’s problems with TPP is a piece called Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS. This is “neutral international arbitration mechanism that creates a stable legal environment, facilitating investments in countries where investors might fear unfair legal… More Elizabeth Warren: ‘possible to punch holes in Dodd Frank without directly repealing it’