In The News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

On Friday, President Obama said he would "pursue reforms to open the legal proceedings surrounding government surveillance programs to greater scrutiny," because: "It's not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them as well." I think that ship may have sailed.

At the same time, the NSA was defending itself by explaining it only "touches about 1.6%" of global internet traffic (ONLY!) and that "NSA personnel are obligated to report when they believe NSA is not, or may not be, acting consistently with law, policy, or procedure. This self-reporting is part of the culture and fabric of NSA." Oh. Well, I didn't know the NSA was working on THE HONOR SYSTEM. I feel all better now.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to issue new guidelines today that exempt non-violent drug offenders from the mandatory minimum sentences judges are currently required to impose on anyone convicted of possession of any drug in an amount deemed evidence of intent to distribute. But then who will fill all the for-profit Halliburton prisons?! Can it be no one? Can they all go empty and disintegrate to dust?

Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin has ruled that "the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms." GOOD. If only we could have confidence that real reforms will actually happen! DO IT, NYPD! FOR REAL. PROVE MY CYNICISM WRONG!

[Content Note: Racism; violence] At a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend, a rodeo clown donned an Obama mask and an announcer asked the crowd if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull." A scene from post-racial America, brought to you by white people who don't see color.

[CN: Sexual harassment and assault] Democratic San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has now had 14 women accuse him of sexual harassment, has reportedly entered intensive therapy for his "problem," and has already completed it! Neat! I bet he's all better now! Just kidding. He is still definitely fucked up and definitely needs to resign.

Democratic US Senator from California Barbara Boxer, who knows Filner, has called for him to resign, since he apparently doesn't understand, even after his five seconds of intensive therapy, that he NEEDS TO RESIGN. "Bu now I must say this directly to you: Bob, you must resign because you have betrayed the trust of the women you have victimized, the San Diegans you represent and the people you have worked with throughout your decades in public life." GTFO, Bob.

[CN: Racism; segregation] A Reuters/Ipsos poll has found that about 40% of white USians "are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race." That is not good. To put it as bluntly as possible.

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