The Associated Press finds the Obama Administration censors Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) requests at an alarming rate. The Most Transparent Administration in History either denied or censored information in nearly four out of every 10 requests. The Administration, naturally, sees the glass half-full, saying it's produced "some or all" records in 9 of 10 requests -- once you leave out all the "unlawful" and "improper" requests and requests for "lost" records (and, to be fair, the folks who wouldn't pay for copies of records). But even that represents backward movement.
Ali Gharib at The Nation writes about "The Worst Case for War with Iran You'll Read in a Major Newspaper," specifically that of Joshua Muravchik in the Washington Post. Perhaps the warmongers have changed their tune a bit, leavening their arguments with a lot more "maybe" and "might" and "probably," but they still use scare anecdotes. Gosh, Mr. Muravchik can think of four times in the last century where the people didn't rally around their leaders when attacked! No, really, we're supposed to be impressed with that. And I don't agree that "(i)f this is the best the hawkish paper and its neoconservative allies can muster, maybe we will be okay after all," because the case for war with Iraq was pretty crappy, too.
Speaking of bad arguments, the big telecom corporations still peddle BS arguments against the FCC's net neutrality proposal. The FCC proposal doesn't assess new taxes or fees, doesn't regulate rates, and doesn't force ISPs to deliver some webpages to your computer faster than others, but that isn't stopping the ZOMG FCC IZ TEH TROJUN HORSEZ!!!! crowd, who think the FCC's order predicts, or even guarantees, "heavy government control of the internet." They keep missing the point: this government is ours, and if we think they're screwing something up, we organize to change it.
Another day, another study finding that tax breaks seem to benefit the richest folks. To which a large number of very self-impressed right-wingers respond TEHY MAKEZ TEH MOST MONEYZ SO TEHY GET TEH LARGESTZ TAX BREAKZ!!!!!, like there is no possible way to write a law otherwise. Naturally it doesn't help when President Obama decides to, say, scrap tax breaks for 529 savings plans entirely, instead of, oh, I don't know, put a ceiling on the possible tax benefits one could reap from such plans, so the rich don't sop it all up.
General Electric announces it will allow large shareholders to nominate alternative people for elections to its Board of Directors. Why doesn't this happen more often? Because the Board of Directors picks the CEO, and no CEO wants less certainty about who's going to be on the Board. I might say, well, progress is often slow, but currently only three GE shareholders (all big corporations themselves) hold enough stock to nominate alternative board members, and nothing prevents one corporation's CEO from serving on another corporation's board, so progress may be even slower here.
Finally, the Chicago Housing Authority fund has made questionable spending (and hoarding!) decisions while maintaining a wait list of over a quarter of a million people -- most of whom, perhaps not coincidentally, are not white. One can argue that paying down your agency's own debt is a good work, but paying 10 times what's required into your pension fund isn't, and buying up other government debt isn't the reason they exist -- the reason they exist is to provide affordable housing for people who need a hand up. I wonder if Mr. Garcia makes an issue of this in the upcoming Mayoral runoff.