Federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturns a Virginia school board's policy forcing transgendered students to use the bathroom of their birth gender. The Court cited (among other things) the board's ignorance of federal rules emanating from the Department of Education, which could mean trouble for North Carolina's public schools -- if they want to continue receiving federal funding, that is. Oh well, they can always secede.
Nick Hanauer and Robert Reich explain that, contra "the right’s end-of-the-world, Chicken-Little economics," the Labor Department's expansion of overtime will help working families, not hurt them, and it won't hurt businesses, either. Good to see someone treating the right's objections with the respect they deserve, i.e., none. I mean, how can right-wingers simultaneously argue about the natural supremacy of entrepreneurs and these same entrepreneurs' inability to wriggle free of the "burden" of paying more of their employees time-and-a-half when they work overtime? (And saying the rules will hurt working families is what, class? Besides the opposite of the truth, I mean? A hostage situation, that's what.)
FISA court finds that the NSA is -- get your surprised face ready! -- holding onto the data it vacuums up from its indiscriminate surveillance of Americans for longer than it's supposed to. And our government failed to inform them of this fact! "The NSA apparently can't even tell the truth to a court in which it has the luxury of making its submissions ex parte and whose decisions aren't released until months after the fact in heavily-redacted form," writer Tim Cushing tells us, with an almost British understatement. Which instructs us that the main difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations on government spying -- aside from the Obama Administration doing a lot more of it, of course! -- is that the Obama Administration sounds smarter when doing it.
In the wake of the FCC's efforts to open up the cable set-top box market, Comcast announces a deal with Samsung in which some Samsung TV owners can use an app instead of a box. Naturally, Comcast is doing a Jeff George Victory Lap about the whole thing, but, ah, what if you don't own a Samsung TV? Or a Samsung TV that wasn't manufactured this year? Or if you move to an area of the country where Comcast hasn't dug in its tentacles? Also, the cloud-DVR function Comcast offers in conjunction with the app would also cost money. Yup, no need for government "interference" here.
Finally, in the wake of Prince's passing, Dylan Matthews lists 14 songs that testify to his legendary status, as a musician and as a creature (and creator!) of his times. I'm bummed he doesn't include 1995's "P Control," which exemplifies Prince's devotion to "women's sexuality, experience, and power" even more than the titles listed, but if you're of a certain age, you'll connect with most of it. I'm reminded, also, of my surprise when Casey Kasem called "1999" a protest song, though of course "1999" is more than a protest song, just as "When You Were Mine" is more than a song about a threesome.