Sen. Wyden (D-OR) places hold on intelligence authorization bill because it allows the FBI to collect some email/browing/social media login information without a warrant. I approve of his aims, but not his methods -- I oppose Senate holds even when it helps me, because what good are values if they don't inconvenience you? -- and Sen. Wyden's hold suggests the bill would likely have passed without it. But if Sen. Wyden wants to filibuster until the cows come home, I'm totally down with that.
U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to Obama Administration's extension of overtime pay to home health care workers. Their decision leaves intact a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision written by none other than Sri Srinivasan, briefly mooted by the Obama Administration for the Supreme Court opening created by Justice Scalia's death; he may yet make me rethink my general skepticism about appointing moderates to the Court.
Supreme Court also declines to weigh in on a challenge to Washington state law prohibiting pharmacists from refusing to dispense birth control medication because of "sincere religious beliefs" or however they're phrasing it today. The Court's three remaining far-rightists were no doubt thinking of their Hobby Lobby ruling; I suppose it is possible that they wouldn't let, say, a Walgreen's exercise "religious liberty" rights in this manner, but then that would trample on the rights of the good citizens of North Dakota, which only allows small, closely-held pharmacies to operate in their state, and whose citizens have just as much right to legal birth control as anyone else.
Hillary Clinton proposes a student debt fix that would let young folks put off paying back their student loans while they're starting up new businesses. Her plan would also allow the first employees of those new businesses to get the same debt holiday, which means it's not completely biased in favor of entrepreneurs and against the rest of us, but it doesn't actually address any of the real causes of ballooning student loan debt. And I'm not sure tech entrepreneurs really need more incentives to start up new projects. Ultimately, this sounds like a corporate welfare handout to me.
Consumerist readers relay excuses AT&T has been handing out so it can avoid blocking robocalls. Not surprisingly, they're all complete lies; "not economically feasible" (break off some of that CEO pay, Mr. Stevenson!) and "concerns over lawsuits about hindering a business’s right to engage in commerce" (here's how it works: customers ask you to block robocalls, you block the robocalls) may even merit a punch in the nose. That punch would be directed toward the CEO's nose, not the call center rep's -- though call center reps forced to lie this often really should find another job.
Finally, you may have heard that Donald Trump gave a speech excoriating "free" trade yesterday, but if you look over this bit of horse-race analysis from First Read, you'll see what Mr. Trump is trying to accomplish. He gets the reactionary U.S. Chamber of Commerce to criticize him, he gets to pummel Hillary Clinton for (potentially) stabbing you in the back just when you're likely thinking he might stab you in the back, and he gets inattentive Bernie Sanders supporters to give him a second look. He's a political animal, all right. Of course, so was George W. Bush, and you remember how that worked out.