Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux at The Intercept find that the Obama Administration has, ah, loosened the criteria for being put on our government's terrorist watch-list -- you no longer need to be "watched" based on "concrete facts" or "irrefutable evidence" that you've committed terrorism or anything close to it; a single uttering on Facebook or Twitter will do. And when I hear that our government defines terrorism, in The Intercept's words, as "any action...intended to influence government policy through intimidation," why do I get the feeling their definition of "intimidation" could include constituents calling their Congressfolk?
But you know what's worse than Barack Obama? His haters, who all got their shorts in a bunch over Mr. Obama's insistence, during his big let's-all-kill-ISIS speech, that ISIS is "not Islamic." What a bunch of whiners! The way they argue over words, you'd think they were p.c. college kids who never had to support themselves. And George Will doesn't prove anything by saying "ISIS says it's Islamic" -- after all, George Will says he's a conservative, too. Strangely, Rand Paul agrees with Mr. Obama that ISIS aren't real Muslims, and thus performs a public service, for once.
ProPublica finds that nearly half of the $6 billion in tobacco settlement money due to states this year will actually go to bankster bondholders instead. That's because states borrowed against future settlements, and now, of course, have to pay more, because they didn't borrow without interest, you know? And borrowing against future settlement money generally means less money for smoking prevention programs, which was a big reason for the tobacco settlement in the first place.
LAPD mistakes black actress for hooker after she kisses her white husband on the street. Luckily for the LAPD, they have no record of the incident, since they released her as soon as they realized how badly they fucked up. Franz Boas, the famous early 20th century anthropologist, always said that racism would disappear when interracial marriages became common -- but when they do, I suspect the LAPD will still be behind the curve.
Factcheck describes how Georgia U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue distorted his opponent's statements in an ad -- he took phrases from a Michele Nunn campaign memo describing how Republicans might attack her and presented them as phrases she used to describe herself. As if anyone would say "I'm too liberal!" Though such tricks debase our political discourse, I think it's going to work for Mr. Perdue, even though the charity Ms. Nunn heads, the one that did not "give money to organizations linked to terrorists," is George H.W. Bush's own Points of Light. Then again, to Mr. Perdue's supporters, Bush the Better probably isn't a real Republican anyway.
Finally, some good news: the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York stops Fox News's effort to take down TVEyes, a subscription service which complies TV and radio broadcast clips into a searchable database. Fox seems to think there's no such thing as "fair use" when it comes to copyright -- witness not just this, but their laughable suit against Al Franken all those years ago when he used their "Fair and Balanced" slogan ironically in a book subtitle. One might even call such suits frivolous lawsuits.