Temporary Victory: A federal judge has upheld NYC policies that prohibits unimmunized children from attending public schools, even if the parents pretend that it their religion and not their baseless fears that keep them from getting the kids vaccinated. The quote: “Religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations...” Now come the appeals, and eventually the Supremes. Place your bets.
Fat Lady, Tuning Up: The Social Security Administration has, at the very least, investigated closing all of its field offices and converting many (most, all?) of its functions to the private sector.
Lay That Burden Down: Texas Republicans want to do away with noisome state licensing regulations for 18 separate medical professions, including X-ray technicians and the people who calibrate MRI machines and... Got a GED? Get a job! It'll be good to get those government bureaucrats out of our lives.
Vindictiveness: At least 39 female inmates of California prisons were illegally sterilized - no, not a hundred years ago, but between 2005 and 2011. Another 105 ladies 'agreed' to be sterilized. The federal office that oversees medical care in the prison system claims it has 'no legal obligation' to see that the physicians they supervise follow the law.
Democratic Partners: Egypt's lightly camouflaged military junta is back at the US aid trough to the tune of $575 million (part of the $1.5 billion annual bribe the US pays the Egyptians for something or other). Maybe as a reward for good behavior in only sentencing the three Al Jazeera journalists to 7 – 10 years in prison instead of killing them outright.
Countdown: A new report says we have but five years in which to save the world's oceans from pollution and overfishing. Mark your calendar. Schedule a fish-fry. Just because the oceans are the source of half of our oxygen and the base of the global food chain doesn't mean we are about to stop overfishing or converting much of our remaining petrochemical resources into plastic pollution.
Trust US: Eighteen months ago, Germany decided to repatriate all 300 tons of the gold it had stored with the US Federal Reserve. Today, having managed to wrest 5 tons of gold from the Fed's vault, it declared victory and abandoned the program. Questions, questions. Not so much in the way of answers, but questions, questions.
Small Steps: A federal judge has ruled that the No-Fly List violates the Constitutional rights of citizens, imposing an unreasonable penalty with no notification, recourse or trial. Expect Homeland Security to challenge this ruling by claiming that complaining about the No-Fly List is prima facie proof that an individual is a threat to good order and discipline and should be on the List, if not in Guantanamo.
Here's The Catch 22: Title 18 U.S. Code § 1119 says that if an American kills another American overseas, that's considered murder under US law. But, Obama's lawyers argue, in heavily redacted text, that the AUMF that Bush used to sanitize' his invasion of Iraq allows government officials to break the law (by killing Americans at random overseas) because the AUMF trumps homicide laws. It is, they claim, like a cop breaking a speed law to catch a speeder, except you're dead instead of out $120 bucks.
Porn O'Graph: Location, Location, Location.
The Parting Shot: