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FTC Sounds Privacy Alarm on Data Brokers, Asks Congress to Act

Ever heard of Acxiom or Corelogic? No? Chances are they’ve heard of you. According to a new 110-page report from the Federal Trade Commission, data brokers “collect and store a vast amount of data on almost every U.S. household and commercial transaction.”

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Trent Nelson

A Simple Fix for Our Execution Problem

Shortages of lethal drugs are causing executions to be botched in horrible ways, but the resulting public outcry could help clear a path to a lasting, moral solution.

Posted on May 27, 2014 READ MORE



William Worthy and Vincent Harding: Thank You and Goodbye

The world lost two remarkable men in May, two African-Americans who helped shape modern history, yet whose names and achievements remain too little known.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



Wheelering and Dealing at the FCC

The current FCC chairperson, appointed by President Barack Obama, is Tom Wheeler, who was formerly the head of the NCTA and later ran the wireless industry’s lobbying organization. Tom Wheeler and Michael Powell have basically switched places with one another. Sadly, they both do the same job, representing the interests of big business.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



Screenshot from Vimeo

The ‘SuperPAC to End All SuperPACs’ Meets Its Fundraising Goal in Less Than Two Weeks

Lawrence Lessig, godfather of the Creative Commons, has called a “mayday on this democracy,” and with 18 days left before his self-imposed deadline, MayOne.US met its $1 million crowdfunding goal.

Posted on May 14, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Impeach Clarence Thomas?

While the Constitution allows even Supreme Court justices to be impeached, it has happened only once in our nation’s history.

Posted on May 12, 2014 READ MORE



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Why Obamacare Can’t Lower Costs

The president and his advisers based their health care plan on a bogus premise, which is why it will continue to provide opponents of the law with ammunition.

Posted on May 9, 2014 READ MORE



Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

How Monica Lewinsky Deserves to Be Remembered

Monica Lewinsky must be satisfied to learn that with a few stylish photographs and a few innocuous paragraphs, she can still discombobulate Maureen Dowd, Lynne Cheney and a swarm of demented figures in American politics and media.

Posted on May 9, 2014 READ MORE



Solitary Confinement Is Not the Answer

There has been much attention, and rightly so, on the CIA’s extensive use of torture, which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is said to have documented in its still-classified 6,000-page report. The use of torture is not limited to the CIA, however.

Posted on May 7, 2014 READ MORE


Watch Glenn Greenwald Debate the Former Head of the NSA

In case you missed the Munk Debate on State Surveillance, here’s another look at the rhetorical contest between one of the NSA’s biggest critics and its former director.

Posted on May 7, 2014 READ MORE



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All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power

In this excerpt from her best-selling new book, Nomi Prins writes about the period during the administration of Lyndon Johnson when bankers began to move away from the president as they saw their global ambitions hemmed in by the Vietnam War.

Posted on May 6, 2014 READ MORE



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More Aggressive NSA Reform Bill Moves Forward in the House

After a half-year in stasis, the USA Freedom Act—the most aggressive of various NSA reform measures—is headed for markup by the House Judiciary Committee.

Posted on May 5, 2014 READ MORE


The Constitution—for Christians Only

The following video shows Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore saying, among other things, “Buddha didn’t create us. Mohammed didn’t create us. It’s the god of the Holy Scriptures.”

Posted on May 5, 2014 READ MORE



Oklahoma Department of Corrections image of Clayton Lockett

No Humane Way to Die

No one who supports the death penalty should have the slightest problem with the way Clayton Lockett died.

Posted on May 2, 2014 READ MORE



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Dark Money Group Sues IRS Over Targeting, Disclosure

A conservative nonprofit sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday because the agency targeted it for extra scrutiny and disclosed the group’s application for tax-exempt status to ProPublica.

Posted on Apr 30, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Ahn Young-joon

Two Felons Could Force the Supreme Court to Protect Privacy in the Digital Age

The last thing we would expect from the Roberts court is a robust defense of civil liberties, but judging from the tenor of Tuesday’s oral argument, we could be in for some surprises.

Posted on Apr 29, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Racists Among Us

Let’s not pretend that deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and basketball team owner Donald Sterling are the last two racists in America. They have company.

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 READ MORE



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The Key to 2014

The Democrats’ biggest strategic challenge in maintaining control of the U.S. Senate involves motivating the party’s base while simultaneously attracting swing and even Republican voters in contests being waged in conservative states.

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 READ MORE



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Meet the Doctor Who Gave $1 Million of His Own Money to Keep His Gun Research Going

Federal funding for research on gun violence has been restricted for nearly two decades, but at least one doctor isn’t willing to give up on work that could save lives.

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 READ MORE



Court Orders Government to Release Secret Drone Assassination Memo

The government has claimed every legal right to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without a trial, but has so far refused to release the actual memo granting permission.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



Pinguino K (CC BY 2.0)

Hacker ‘Weev’ Is Out of Jail, but His ‘Fight for Freedom’ Isn’t Over Yet

After spending over a year in a federal correctional institution, “Weev” Auernheimer’s conviction has been vacated by an appeals court. The U.S. government may try him again and critics of his prosecution hope Auernheimer’s plight will underscore the need to put an end to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



Tarek Mehanna and the Isolation of American Muslims

In an eerie report on the treatment of Muslims imprisoned for alleged involvement in “terror-like activity,” the news agency Inter Press Service tells the story of Tarek Mehanna, a Pittsburgh-born Muslim currently serving a lengthy jail sentence.

Posted on Apr 20, 2014 READ MORE



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Will Government Use Its New Leverage Over the Financial Industry?

If you read one business book this year, make it “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis. The journalist famous for “Moneyball” and “The Big Short” takes readers inside the parasitic world of high-frequency trading that is harming the broader economy.

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 READ MORE



By Frank Wolfe (LBJ Library) via Wikimedia Commons

LBJ’s Way

The Johnson comeback brings with it a new appreciation of the durability of the reforms enacted on his watch.

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE



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How the Labor Department Has Let Companies Off the Hook for Unpaid Internships

Four years ago, the Labor Department clarified the rules that make unpaid internships legal, but employers continue to enjoy lax enforcement and free labor.

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 READ MORE



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Party Loyalty: Why the Supreme Court Is Wrecking Our Democracy

It’s a shame that the Republican majority on the Supreme Court doesn’t know the difference between an oligarchy and a democratic republic.

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 READ MORE



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On Our Highest Court, a Former Lobbyist Guts Campaign Finance Reform

For a large and bipartisan majority of Americans, the increasing power of money in politics is deeply troubling. But not for the conservative majority of the United States Supreme Court, whose members appear to regard the dollar’s domination of democracy as an inevitable consequence of constitutional freedom—and anyway, not a matter of grave concern.

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Voting Laws: The Last Stand of the Old and the White

When the Constitution of the first modern democracy, the United States of America, was written, only about 10 percent of the population of the 13 states was granted the right to vote: white men who owned property.

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Cliff Owen

Is It Time to Jump Down the First Amendment Rabbit Hole With Clarence Thomas?

It’s painful to say, but given the perverse logic of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, Justice Clarence Thomas may be correct about the direction of federal campaign finance law.

Posted on Apr 2, 2014 READ MORE



txking / Shutterstock.com

When Obamacare Was ‘Doomed’

Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong?

Posted on Apr 2, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Why Does the FBI Treat Nonviolent Activists Like Terrorists?

Peace activists in the Midwest are the latest victims of a surveillance state hellbent on prosecuting terrorists where none likely exist.

Posted on Apr 1, 2014 READ MORE



Illustration by Donkey Hotey (CC-BY)

How Sheldon Adelson and the American Oligarchs Are Ruining Democracy

Ironically, at the same time as I was holding town meetings in Vermont, a handful of prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidates (Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie and Scott Walker) trekked to Las Vegas to audition for the support of Sheldon Adelson, the multibillionaire casino tycoon who spent at least $93 million underwriting conservative candidates in the last election cycle.

Posted on Apr 1, 2014 READ MORE



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Judging Obamacare: How Do We Know If It’s a Success or Failure?

One day very soon, the focus on Obamacare will turn from signing up new enrollees to quantifying the law’s success—or failure.

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 READ MORE



Senate Democracts (CC-BY)

Who Cares About the Value of Work?

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., favors a minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour, but she also has other ideas that would help Americans at the bottom of the income structure to earn more.

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 READ MORE



neneo / Shutterstock.com

The Pope Isn’t a Party Boss

President Obama’s first salary as a community organizer was paid by a Catholic group and his earliest social justice work was rooted in Catholic social doctrine. So why don’t the bishops like him?

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 READ MORE



Barack Obama: The Least Transparent President in History

Six years into the Obama administration, the president’s promise of “a new era of open government” seems just another grand promise, cynically broken.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Big Business Rewards California Democrats for Passing Model ALEC Legislation

It may be “the most anti-consumer bill ever introduced in California,” and it was approved and signed into law by Democrats.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Sean Gallup

What Do the U.S. and Europe Now Want?

Washington says, “punishment” of Vladimir Putin and his Russian government. I presume that it is not by way of war, although that risk exists as both sides demonstrate their determination and self-righteousness.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Pavel Golovkin

The Long Telegram: Imaginary Friends and Phantom Enemies

The result of the obsessive vilification of Russia is a tragic waste of opportunities for two major nations to join in the actual wars at hand.

Posted on Mar 25, 2014 READ MORE



txking / Shutterstock.com

Sign Up for Obamacare by March 31 to Avoid Fees and, Possibly, Higher Medical Bills

The open enrollment period for 2014 ends in just a few days. If you want to buy a plan on the health care exchanges, you’d better hurry.

Posted on Mar 21, 2014 READ MORE



andrewmalone (CC BY 2.0)

Should Women Be Charged With Murder for Giving Birth to Stillborns Due to ‘Fetal Harm’?

Rennie Gibbs, a 16-year-old in Mississippi when she gave birth to a stillborn child, is facing life in prison for taking cocaine during her pregnancy. Hers is among a burgeoning number of cases in which women are prosecuted for allegedly endangering their unborn children.

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Who Controls the Kochs’ Political Network?

Obscure limited liability companies have ultimate say over the Koch network’s nonprofits, which spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advance conservative causes.

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 READ MORE



Gil C / Shutterstock.com

The CIA Is Out of Line

We now have even more proof that our burgeoning intelligence agencies, which were given unprecedented latitude to wage war against terrorists, are dangerously out of control.

Posted on Mar 14, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Schalk van Zuydam

Homophobia: Africa’s Hottest Trend

It’s not just Uganda. The Democratic Republic of the Congo could become the 38th African country to ban homosexuality. A politician in Kenya, meanwhile, is demanding enforcement of a colonial law that criminalizes gay sex.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Ben Curtis

How the West Was Wrong: Misunderstanding Uganda’s Gay Rights Crisis Makes It Worse

Uganda is one of the worst places to be gay, thanks to a law made more popular by well-intentioned activists who triggered fears of cultural imperialism and conversion.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE



CIA Spies and Tortured Lies

This week’s public spat between CIA-loyalist Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the CIA might briefly upset the status quo, but they will make up.

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 READ MORE



AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Feinstein v. the CIA: A Moment of Truth

It was a truly historic moment Tuesday when Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein took to the Senate floor to warn that the CIA’s continuing cover-up of its torture program is threatening our constitutional division of power.

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Distracted Driving: Technology Isn’t the Problem

How is an officer in California supposed to tell whether you’re texting (illegal) or navigating (apparently not illegal)? Why not just look for bad driving?

Posted on Mar 11, 2014 READ MORE



Premshree Pilai

Why Are 13 People Dead If GM Knew About Ignition Problem 10 Years Ago?

That’s the question that Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., is asking after GM issued a massive recall of 1.6 million vehicles.

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 READ MORE


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