Thoughts On Caroline Kennedy’s Nomination As Ambassador To Japan

The government shutdown this week has been a disappointing result of an ongoing stalemate over Obamacare, a fight the Tea Party is bound to lose. The shutdown may be the one thing Congress actually achieves this term that any of us will notice. Just prior to shuttering our public institutions, however, the Senate was able to work through one thing successfully.… [Read more]

The time is right to continue the strikes

Fast Food Forward, the group that organised protests in New York City, stated “No one can survive on $7.25 (per hour).” They’re correct — especially when one takes the cost of living in a large metropolitan area into consideration.

Across the country a couple of weeks ago, protesters gathered outside a host of fast-food restaurants to take part in a one day strike that called for higher wages for fast food workers.… [Read more]

Judge sentences Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving US secrets to WikiLeaks

Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial ended with Manning, found guilty of illegally leaking documents which carried 20 other legal specifications and a potential sentence of up to 154 years in prison when all charges are aggregated. Manning was found not guilty on the charge of aiding the enemy, which would have carried a life sentence.… [Read more]

Judge says New York’s “Stop and Frisk” Law is Unconstitutional

“Far too many people in New York City have been deprived of this basic freedom far too often.”… “The NYPD’s practice of making stops that lack individualized reasonable suspicion has been so pervasive and persistent as to become not only a part of the NYPD’s standard operating procedure, but a fact of daily life in some New York City neighborhoods.”  So said Judge Shira A.… [Read more]

‘Stop and Frisk’ update

Finally. Thanks to the perseverance of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the City of New York will clear the records of  thousands of innocent people who were stopped under the city’s controversial “stop and frisk” program.

To give some background, under Mayor Bloomberg the NY Police Department (NYPD) has conducted more stop-and-frisk encounters than the combined populations of Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington D.C.… [Read more]

Good news for students…for now? Not so fast…

Awaiting President Obama’s signature is a bill that will reduce the costs of borrowing for millions of students.

Don’t get completely happy about it; the bipartisan legislation links student loan interest rates to the financial markets. This means that at current market rates, students obtain lower rates now but, once the economy improves, rates will tick upwards and in synch with market conditions.… [Read more]

Manning not guilty of ‘aiding the enemy’, guilty of illegal leaking of documents

Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial that began in early June has come to an end: a military judge found Manning not guilty of “aiding the enemy.” Manning, however was found guilty of illegally leaking documents which carries 20 other legal specifications And a potential sentence of up to 154 years in prison when all charges are aggregated.… [Read more]

Banks *still* behaving badly

Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the independent agency responsible for  assisting consumers in “obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means” — released a notice on the allegations against a J.P. Morgan Chase affiliate. JPMC has been accused by  federal energy regulators, after a investigation that began approximately one year ago, of using “eight manipulative bidding strategies” to garner what the regulators deem to be “excessive payments” from electricity markets.… [Read more]

Weiner (or, at least, some part of him) is back in the news

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is back in the news. When Weiner left his political office under a cloud of shame due to a ‘sexting’ scandal, he was clear that there were other shady pictures that could make their way to the public’s attention. That day has come.

“This behavior is behind me,” said Weiner in a statement that he released today.… [Read more]

Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in History: Detroit Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

Detroit’s emergency manager has filed for bankruptcy protection for the city. This makes the Detroit’s filing the largest for a municipality in US history.

In June, the manager released a plan to restructure the city’s debt and its financial obligations that would leave many creditors with much less than they are currently  owed. At that time the manager, Kevyn Orr, warned that if negotiations could not get beyond an impasse he would move quickly to seek bankruptcy protection.… [Read more]