Woman denied City Council seat in Qazvin, Iran, for as-yet-unconfirmed reasons which may include her own youth and beauty. This is a big deal; the press in Iran covers city council elections (which are held every two years) like we cover midterm elections in the U.S. Shame on the election review board members who won't even enumerate the "problems" "causing" them to flout the will of the voters, let alone deal with these "problems" like grown-ups.
Obama Administration finally releases its legal reasoning (on a Friday, no less!) behind all the data-vacuuming its NSA does, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation finds it lacking. "Lacking," as in "(t)here is no direct authorization for the Associational Tracking Program in section Patriot Act section 215," in bold-face type. I hope the EFF does better in its court proceedings than I think they will -- judges have been notoriously willing to let the last two Administrations claim everything's "classified" because, you know, terrorism.
New York state still sticks too many prisoners in solitary confinement, despite its promise to keep prisoners with serious mental health issues out of solitary. New York has made some strides in treating seriously mentally ill prisoners, but on the flip side, has given that diagnosis to many fewer prisoners. Today's nominal "conservatives" will squeal see? This is why government doesn't work! Unintended consequences! But if you let one bad consequence foil all your efforts to do good works, you have no right to call yourself a conservative.
Bloomberg finds that over 80% of the counties in which the number of food stamp recipients doubled between 2007 and 2011 voted for which Presidential candidate? Mitt Romney, of course. Liberals find this sort of thing persistently frustrating -- why do the folks who need the most help vote for the party that gives you the least help? Partly it's social issues, of course, but a lot of folks who get government assistance feel that other people who get government assistance are lazy.
Richard Kirsch tells us how President Obama could move two million Americans into the middle class, simply by issuing an executive order hiking wages for workers in federally-supported jobs. You mean Mr. Obama could so something fairly popular, something that would do a lot of good, and Congress couldn't even stop him from doing it? Then it's a near-certainty he won't.
In case you didn't know much about Jeff Bezos's politics, Citizens for Tax Justice tells you all ye need know about how the Washington Post's new owner feels about taxes. Long story short: he helped defeat a tax-the-rich initiative in Washington state in 2010, he paid zero taxes on over $6 billion in sales in the U.K. in 2012, and he even considered starting Amazon.com on a Native American reservation so he could, in his words, get "access to talent without all the tax consequences." Amazing, how many of our elites think consequences are a) unjust and b) for the little people.