Barack Obama: a legacy

The Barack Hussein Obama presidency has been more consequential than it looks, Michael Grunwald argues. Wading through the minutiae of the stimulus bill and Department of Energy regulations, Grunwald says the president’s domestic legacy will outlive him: What he’s done is changing the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat… More Barack Obama: a legacy

An accord!

Well! This is good news. After four years of fraught U.N. talks often pitting the interests of rich nations against poor, imperiled island states against rising economic powerhouses, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared the pact adopted to the standing applause and whistles of delegates from almost 200 nations. “With a small hammer you can… More An accord!

‘The lost illusions of American exceptionalism’

A couple days before Thanksgiving, remembering the mockery and hysteria with which the president’s sobriety before the forces of terrorist reaction has been greeted by the Beltway press, I thought it time to take stock. Charles Pierce: Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson described the issue of chattel slavery as the equivalent of​ holding a… More ‘The lost illusions of American exceptionalism’

Public education and its discontents

The most insistent strain of neoliberalism in Barack Obama’s DNA is his commitment to charlatans in the educational testing system — the Michelle Rhees whose commitment to high scores doubles as a way to transform public schools into fiefdoms managed by private companies (Diane Ravitch has played an estimable role explaining how the grifters work).… More Public education and its discontents

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’


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!