Let's begin and end with good news today: D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin dismisses felony conspiracy charges with prejudice (meaning prosecutors can't bring the charges again) for ten J20 defendants. Our government can't seem to put any Inauguration Day protestors in jail, which tends to happen when you round up too many people, overcharge them, and keep evidence that might exonerate them away from the trial. But if you're tempted to think that we can't be an authoritarian nation now because this particular group of would-be authoritarians is incompetent, remember that incompetent people are still dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous incompetence, the Federal Reserve has proposed a revision of the so-called Volcker Rule, which aims to protect consumers by forcing banks to prevent their proprietary trading from destroying their customers' assets, that would of course let banksters self-regulate more. Remember: when they say a regulation is "too complicated to enforce," they really mean "doing the right thing is hard and we're lazy." If you recall how banksters whined about getting only five years to separate their basic banking and investing functions, you know I'm right.
If you find yourself feeling sympathetic with Papua New Guinea's apparent desire to ban Facebook within its borders, well, I wouldn't entirely blame you, but I would urge you to remember that Facebook is a tool, and if people misuse the tool, that might reflect more on those people than on the tool. You might also want to consider (and the article takes too long to get to this point, in my opinion) whether Papua New Guinea's real problem with Facebook is that too many good citizens are using Facebook to expose government corruption.
Dean Baker catches the New York Times suggesting that Italy leaving the EU would not square with "economic logic," although you might think "economic logic" would suggest that countries that can actually control their own currency can withstand economic downturns more easily. Well, if you're obsessed with TEH PRINTINGZ MONEYZ!!!!!, maybe you don't think that, or much of anything else. And n.b., again, the "liberal" media self-pity! They imagine that it's "impolitic" to say Italy should stay with the Euro, when more likely it's just stupid.
Ho hum, the White House appears to be ignoring requests for information from the Government Accountability Office (or GAO). This doesn't seem to me to be the kind of thing that should be legal. So I guess now we'll have to pass laws making the Executive branch talk to Congress's investigative arm, since this Executive branch runs away from the chance to be accountable to the people's representatives in Congress. (Don't read the comments, by the way, because a troll has infected them.)
Finally, the California state Senate passes a net neutrality bill that the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls "a gold standard for states looking to protect net neutrality. The bill would restore the internet protections enshrined in the FCC's 2015 Open Internet order -- you know, the one Ajit Pai's FCC repealed -- but it would also prevent internet service providing corporations from exempting some corporate content from monthly data caps, a practice known as "zero-rating." The bill still has to get through the state House and then be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who seems like the kind of guy who'd like it, but who is also quite the mercurial fellow.