President Obama issues executive order "banning the box" for federal employers (though not federal contractors). This means that, instead of presenting a job application with a check-box asking if applicants have ever been in prison, federal employers will have to wait until later in the process to check backgrounds, and thus ex-prisoners will get to put their best foot forward and make more of their lives than they might otherwise had an opportunity to do. I wish he'd included federal contractors (which would have made a much bigger difference), but this still represents progress.
In a peripherally-related development, Politico headlines a story about Mr. Obama's plan to release 6,000 non-violent drug offenders thusly: "Has Obama Set Loose a New Willie Horton?" I presume they won't use the I'm-just-asking defense -- I bet they'll claim they mean "Willie Horton" not in the near-literal, is-one-of-these-folks-actually-going-to-murder-someone sense, but in the "Willie Horton as political football" sense. It doesn't matter, because it sure looks like racist fearmongering. (In other news, Ted Cruz is completely useless -- he "favors reform," except when his opponents actually try reform.)
Study on online charter schools, partly funded by private charter school foundation, "effectively says that the average student who attends might as well not enroll," particularly where math is concerned. But you probably knew this, if you figure the charter school "movement" is basically a way to undermine public schools and steal taxpayer money at the same time, or if you've ever gone online and found yourself four clicks away from where you intended to be.
Forced arbitration makes the New York Times! OK, they've probably covered it before -- after all, a main foe of forced arbitration, Sen. Blumenthal, lives just over the border in Connecticut -- but this is about as good a primer about (in one law professor's words) "the whole-scale privatization of the justice system" that you'll get. Warning: some of the items contained therein will make you very angry. Which, I assure you, is because you're a good person.
Finally, even Fox News Sunday all but tells Paul Ryan he's a hypocrite for wanting more time with his family while opposing bills that would help all workers have more time with their families. Remember, "some new federal entitlement" and "a new unfunded entitlement" don't actually have any bad words in them, regardless of Mr. Ryan's tone. And the FAMILY Act, which would essentially make the Family Medical Leave Act paid, is actually funded by a laughably small payroll tax. So when Paul Ryan brandishes "unfunded" as a scare word, he's not even right.