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California Looks to Expand Overtime Pay

Margo Roosevelt Orange County Regiser
"Two weeks after the November presidential election, a Texas judge put a hold on a sweeping reform of federal overtime standards that would have raised the wages of 4.2 million Americans. President Barack Obama’s administration appealed the ruling. But after Donald Trump took office in January, the appeal was delayed. Now California and a handful of other states are moving to enact the Obama proposal. Their reasoning: workers have seen their pay erode"

Publish, Punish, and Pardon Nine Things Obama Could Do Before Leaving Office to Reveal the Nature of the National Security State

Pratap Chatterjee TomDispatch
At this late date, what might a president frightened by his successor actually do, if not to hamper Trump's ability to create global mayhem, then at least to set the record straight before he leaves the White House? Unfortunately, the answer is: far less than we might like, but as it happens, there are still some powers a president has that are irreversible by their very nature. Here are nine recommendations for action by the president in his last 40 days.

Urge President Obama to Grant Clemency to Leonard Peltier

Portside
It is not too late for President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, imprisoned for past forty years. Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), which promotes Native American rights. In 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members, two FBI agents were shot dead. Peltier was convicted of their murders, but has always denied killing the agents. The judge who authored the decision denying a new trial, has since voiced support for his release.

Obama Supreme Court Nomination: A Missed Opportunity

Bill Mosley The Washington Socialist
We should demand that the Senate respect the nominee of the President and give him a fair hearing and a vote But we should do more: we need an ongoing grassroots movement to pressure the White House to select judicial nominees – not only for the Supreme Court but all federal courts – who would bring to the courts a greater regard for social justice as well as more racial and gender diversity.

Obama’s Speech and the Collapse of a Peace Presidency

Spencer Ackerman The Guardian
President Obama’s final State of the Union address serves as an epitaph for a tenure that began with a promise to halt the Iraq war but ended with capitulation to the status quo. Long forgotten is his pledge to end the “mindset” that led the U.S. into that war. President Obama will leave office as Bush did: passing on to his successor two wars, one the longest in American history, the other a reboot of the conflict he promised to end, no longer boasting of ending either.

The Power of False Narrative

Robert Parry Common Dreams; Consortium News
“Strategic communications” or Stratcom, a propaganda/psy-op technique that treats information as a “soft power” weapon to wield against adversaries, is a new catch phrase in an Official Washington obsessed with the clout that comes from spinning false narratives, reports Robert Parry.

Americans Can Go to Cuba -- Just Not for Tourism

Medea Benjamin Huffington Post
Following the recent announcement that the two nations were working to normalize relations after 54 years, President Obama used his executive authority to expand travel to 12 categories deemed to further U.S. humanitarian and policy goals. These include visits to close relatives, academic and educational programs, professional research, journalistic or religious activities, and participation in public performances or sports competitions. Tourism is not on the list.

Friday Nite Videos -- January 23, 2015

Portside
Rhiannon Giddens -- She's Got You. Love Letters to Richard Dawkins. 'Alabama' John Coltrane and Martin Luther King. The History of Vaccines. Majority Retort.
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