This Is Your Life, Brought to You by Private Equity [The New York Times] Since the financial crisis, the private equity industry has become hugely influential. As part of our series on what that means, here’s how the industry’s influence plays out in your daily life. [more inside]
Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services? "Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
If you get your protest, then you ‘ve got to have your subpoena! "I've heard of such a thing, but not since the 1950's, the McCarthy era," said David D. Cole, a Georgetown law professor. "It sends a very troubling message about government officials' attitudes toward basic liberties." (NYT article)
Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act?
Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act? The last episode of NOW ran a piece on the FOIA which described how back in 1974 President Ford and his staff, which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, opposed Congress' strengthening of the FOIA, and Ford tried unsuccessfully to veto it. Now this new exemption looks like the continuation of a 28 year-old feud. Ridge says it is in order to not "draw a road map of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities," but are complete exemptions really necessary for that? The potential for abuse seems quite dangerous. (Some previous discussions of FOIA revelations here and here).
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
Level of government corruption correlates with environmental health. "That is, the more corrupt the government, the less likely it is to pay attention to the environment." Top five environmentally healthy countries: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland. The US ranked 51st, behind Botswana and Cuba. The UK ranked 98.