Santa’s Intelligence Task Force

Santa's Intelligence Task Force

Read at the New York Times

A panel appointed by the White House after Edward Snowden’s leaks offered up some token reforms for the NSA. Along with the recent court ruling that the sweeping data collection is unconstitutional, a lot of folks are hailing it as the end of of the intrusive police state.

I’m not that optimistic. The panel’s proposals are minor, and more of the CYA variety than real reform. The DC circuit’s opinion will go all the way to the Supreme Court, where the odds of a shitty decision in favor of the NSA are quite high.

I also have another Christmas-themed comic up on Medium. There’s pooping in it.

The Incredible Volcker

The Incredible Volcker

Read at the New York Times

It’s been over three years since the Dodd-Frank Act became law, although most of its regulations were left to be written into it at a later date. So it was just last week that the much-vaunted Volcker Rule was codified and included in the law.

Bankers and their lobbyists are freaking out about it, which means it must be doing at least some good. But it’s really just a minor provision. Anything but the return of Glass-Steagall only tackles a few symptoms of the financial sector’s hold on the economy at large.

There were multiple people who did not get why Elizabeth Warren is wearing an eye patch. I overestimated the number of readers who saw those indie films from the small art-house studio called Disney-Marvel, including their little-known cult hit, “The Avengers.”

Amazon’s Free Publicity Party

Amazon's Free Publicity Party

click to read at the New York Times

The media spent last week gushing over a drone delivery program that exists only in Jeff Bezos’ imagination. All while ignoring the terrible conditions its pickers endure as they fulfill our orders for cheap shit we don’t need.

I’m a hypocrite and occasionally use Amazon’s services. It’s too convenient, but I would gladly pay more to avoid the guilt that comes whenever a package arrives filled with the sobs of their minimum wage employees.