How America's presidents started cashing out

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Right up until Gerry Ford, American presidents routinely refused any kind of directorships, paid lecture tours, or other opportunities to commercialize the office -- instead, they relied upon the generous presidential pension, currently at $200k/year plus a staff and expenses. Read the rest

Indian regulator stands up for net neutrality, bans Facebook's walled garden

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India's Internet activists have scored an epic victory in their battle against Facebook and its attempt to become gatekeeper to the Internet in India. Read the rest

Toronto City Council defies mayor, demands open, neutral municipal broadband

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After years of fumbling, deference and mismanagement, Canada's telcoms regulator, the CRTC, laid down a landmark net neutrality rule and demanded that Bell, the nationally founded telcoms giant, would have to share its infrastructure with new entrants to the market. Read the rest

Who funds the "Millennials Rising" Super PAC? Rich old men.

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They started as "Millennials for Jeb" and now they're called "Millennials Rising," but since the beginning, the dark-money-spouting Super PAC has been 95% funded by rich white guys over the age of 60. Read the rest

Ten hard truths about the Flint water atrocity

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Years before the complaints from Flint's citizenry about their water provoked action from the state, Governor Rick Snyder spent $440,000 to supply better water to the GM factory, where the new water supply was corroding the car parts on the assembly line. Read the rest

San Francisco Super Bowl: crooked accounting, mass surveillance and a screwjob for taxpayers & homeless people

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It's a universal, dismal truism that all major sports events are ripoffs that transfer money from cities to the pockets of corrupt sporting leagues and bodies, but even by those standards, San Francisco's impending Super Bowl is particularly terrible. Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren's new 1%: the percentage of fraudulent profits companies pay in fines

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In Rigged Justice: 2016 How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy, a 12-page booklet, Senator Elizabeth Warren documents corporations that were caught undertaking grossly fraudulent, highly profitable actions, and were made to pay a trivial fraction of those profits in fines -- fines become a part of the cost of doing business, not a deterrent to criminal behavior. Read the rest

Michael Moore: Flint needs a revolution, not bottled water

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Michael Moore, perhaps Flint, MI's most famous son, has written an open letter to people who are heartsick at the thought of a whole generation of mostly poor, mostly black children being given permanent brain damage through lead poisoning, thanks to the deliberate indifference of the state's Republican administration and the greedy people who elected them. Read the rest

The Onion's new owner is Hillary Clinton's most lavish financial backer

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Univision, a hugely successful Spanish language broadcaster, bought humor newspaper/site The Onion two weeks ago, and in so doing, transferred control over a site that has produced scathing comedy at Hillary Clinton's expense to Haim Saban, millionaire financier and Democratic power-broker, who calls Clinton "pristine plus" and "great for the country and great for the world." Read the rest

All your booze comes from a handful of titanic global corporations

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Mergers and acquisitions mania: not just for banks, oil companies, publishing, movie studios, airlines, cable, phone companies, retail chains and family restaurants anymore. For years, the booze industry has been quiety homogenizing, as hedge-fund-fueled megafauna gobbles up smaller firms and even huge rivals, leaving behind a landscape where your "Mexican" tequila, "Irish" whiskey, "Scotch," "Puerto Rican" rum, and other bar standbys are all owned by a "British" company that claims it makes all its profits in The Netherlands. Read the rest

Tim O'Reilly schools Paul Graham on inequality

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Y Combinator founder and essayist Paul Graham's essay on the inevitability -- and desirability -- of income inequality sparked many scathing rebuttals, some of them quite brilliant, but the best so far comes from Tim O'Reilly, one of technology's towering figures. Read the rest

What the Democratic Party did to alienate poor white Americans

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Robert Reich (previously), Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor, asks "Why did the white working class abandon the Democrats?" and answers himself: it's partly about race, but it's mostly about finance. Read the rest

Company that pampers rich people at Burning Man won't give up

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"Festival Concierge Service" is a European company that advertises a pampered, all-inclusive Burning Man trip to wealthy people -- a major no-no at the festival. Despite being blacklisted, ejected and legally threatened by the Burning Man organization, they refuse to give up. Read the rest

Research: increased resident participation in city planning produces extreme wealth segregation

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Urban planning advocates like Jane Jacobs argued that people who live in neighborhoods should be active in the planning decisions around their homes. Read the rest

Martin Luther King, socialist: "capitalism has outlived its usefulness"

In the great tradition of political heroes, Martin Luther King's legacy has been sanitized and purged of its most radical and urgent notions, watered down to a kind of meek pacifism that omits his beliefs in radical political change as a necessary condition of attaining real justice. Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn proposes ban on dividends from companies that don't pay living wages

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The left-wing leader of the UK Labour Party has set out a pair of proposed reguations for British limited liability corporations that will challenge their ability to sponge off the tax-payer and enrich themselves and their shareholders in so doing. Read the rest

US Treasury Dept wants to know which offshore crimelords are buying all those NYC and Miami penthouses

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It's an open secret that the world's luxury property boom is being driven by crooked rich people in the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa who have looted their homelands and want to stash the money out of reach of any new dictators who might come along and change which oligarchs are favored and which are not. Read the rest

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