U.S. Justice Department declares that North Carolina's notorious "bathroom" bill, HB 2, violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and has given the state until Monday to declare that it won't implement HB 2. Over $2.2 billion in education funding is at stake, but then again maybe that's the way North Carolina Republicans want it -- Republicans have this habit of fomenting (or taking advantage of) chaos in order to ram their bad solutions down the people's throats, and in the wake of losing all that federal money, the state could ram solutions like a completely-privatized school system down the people's throats. History, at least, won't look kindly on the state legislature that destroyed its state's education system so it could force transgendered folk to go to the wrong bathroom.
America's Last Conservative, Paul Craig Roberts, tells us that Greece is a "colony of the private banks. I was about to say how surprised I was that it's taking Greece so long to figure out that they could merely exit the EU and print their own currency, until Mr. Roberts reminded me that Greek government officials got their country into this mess by taking bribes to take on unpayable loans, and surely the bribes are still coming. I must confess I do find it difficult to accept how easily folks can be bought. Mr. Roberts now thinks Greece is too far gone, even, to exit the EU, but he does tend to be pessimistic.
Atrios reminds us of what charter school advocates seem to have forgotten: "closing down schools and reshuffling teachers and moving kids around all the time has an incredibly negative effect on a child's education and mental/ emotional well-being." Going to new schools all the time is traumatic for kids, after all. Of course, these charter school "experts" don't get it because their paycheck depends on them not getting it. You can also look at the buildings charter schools have "repurposed" and easily wonder "how can a kid learn in there?" That's what blind worship of "boldness" and "innovation" gets you.
Jennifer Sabin, writing at Huffington Post, expresses horror that so many Americans are now openly racist in the era of Donald Trump. I feared it would be like this -- that Mr. Trump would make racism OK again, in large part by re-naming anti-racism efforts "political correctness," at which point racism becomes mere "free speech." We can start fighting back by re-naming "political correctness" "not acting like a prick." (Of course we know why Mr. Trump also says things like "we're going to love each other, and cherish each other" -- no one can call Malia Obama all kinds of racist crap, after all, unless they truly believe they're good people, who just happen to be "provoked.")
Finally, in case you needed reminding that the New York Times's Thomas Friedman is the World's Worst Pundit, Dean Baker reminds us by summarizing the worst parts of Mr. Friedman's latest whinefest about the parties failing to work together in a "bipartisan" manner to pass "centrist" legislation that's neither centrist nor popular. One does at least look at what's broadly popular in determining where the "center" is, after all. Right? Not Tom Friedman -- he "make(es) up absurd positions, attribut(es) them to the people he doesn't like, and us(es) this as an excuse to throw them out of the discussion," all to support things like the "Grand Bargain" that would have cut Social Security and Medicare, which are, again, broadly popular programs which will not bankrupt the nation. But what of bankster-held debt, which will bankrupt the nation? That doesn't register with him. "(G)reat source of insight into establishment thinking" or not, let's never speak of him again.