For this weekend’s reading list we have articles on racial disparities in Presidential pardons, policy primers on state and federal spending, how economic inequality harms economic growth, the backlash against a Medal of Honor recipient who questioned military contractors selling technology to Pakistan, and the numerous problems with the killing of US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki based on secret evidence.

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Presidential Pardons Heavily Favor Whites – a ProPublica investigation of Presidential pardons during the W. Bush Administration finds that whites are four times more likely to get pardoned than members of other racial groups, even when factors such as the type of crime or the length of the sentence are factored in. The rest of ProPublica‘s series on Presidential pardons can be found here.

Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go? – a great primer on how approximately 60% of federal spending goes towards military, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and 14% goes towards safety net programs. A similar primer on state spending details how more than 50% of state spending goes towards education and Medicaid, with only 1% directed towards public assistance.

The 1 Percent Club’s Misguided Protectors – an essay explaining how high levels of economic inequality in a society harms everyone by stunting economic growth.

The Case of Dakota Meyer – how the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War has allegedly been blacklisted from future employment with military contractors after raising concerns about their sales of military technology to Pakistan.

Killing Our Citizens Without Trial – the disturbing nature of the Obama administration’s decision to kill a US citizen not on the battlefield in the “war on terror” based on evidence in a memo that remains secret.