Group behind voter ID, stand your ground, ag-gag, private prison, anti-muni-wifi, and killing Obamacare now planning rules for jailing pipeline protesters

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a big-business-backed think tank whose funders run the gamut from oil companies to Tesla motors; they specialize in drafting insane, racist, voter-suppressing laws and getting them enacted at the state level, primarily by Republican state governments. Read the rest

Excellent, plain-language explainer on corporate and 1 percenter tax evasion, with a simple solution

The New York Times has collaborated with Berkeley economics prof Gabriel Zucman to produce an interactive explainer that walks through the baroque tax-evasion strategies deployed by multinationals like Google and Apple, as well as the super-rich, using plain language and explanatory graphics to get past the deliberately eye-glazing tedium of these arrangements, a shield of boringness that has allowed the super-rich to hide $8.7 trillion from tax authorities while taking advantage of national courts, education, roads, police, and health care. Read the rest

LA Times barred from press-screenings of Disney movies after reporting on corporate welfare in Anaheim

After running Daniel Miller's long, excellent features about the many ways in which Disney has manipulated the local politics of Anaheim (home of Disneyland) to extract huge subsidies from the cash-strapped city, the company retaliated by barring its film critic from future press screenings of its films, a move that the company confirmed, calling the coverage "unfair." Read the rest

Sony's new robot dog doubles down on DRM

It's been 15 years since Sony used the DMCA to shut down the community that had sprung up to extend the functionality of its Aibo robot dogs, threatening people with lawsuits and jailtime for modifying their dogs' operating systems. Read the rest

The DNC picked a bunch of sleazy lobbyists as superdelegates, can't figure out why no one is donating

The 2018 "superdelegates" to the Democratic National Convention will include lobbyists for Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, CITGO petroleum, Citigroup, and other large corporations. Read the rest

Leaked memo details Koch Bros' astroturf strategy to lower US corporate tax rate

A strategy memo circulated around the time of a Koch network retreat sets out a five-part plan to pressure the Trump regime to lower corporate taxes and pass other policies favorable to corporate elites and the investor class. Read the rest

The W3C has overruled members' objections and will publish its DRM for videos

It's been nearly four months since the W3C held the most controversial vote in its decades-long history of standards-setting: a vote where accessibility groups, security experts, browser startups, public interest groups, human rights groups, archivists, research institutions and other worthies went up against trillions of dollars' worth of corporate muscle: the world's largest electronics, web, and content companies in a battle for the soul of the open web. Read the rest

Texas Congresscritter wants to gag small investors who object to large CEO paychecks

Rep Jeb Hensarling [R-TX/+1 202 225-3484/@RepHensarling] is the sponsor of HR 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which will ban investors from putting petitions to the shareholders and board of publicly traded companies, except when investors own more than 1% of the company for at least three years. Read the rest

A right-wing Dem Senator who voted to sell weapons to Saudi is being primaried by an environmental activist

Senator Joe Manchin [D-WV, @Sen_JoeManchin, +1 304-342-5855] is a right-wing Democrat Senator whose inglorious career includes breaking with his party to endorse President Trump's deal to sell record quantities of weapons to the Saudis. Read the rest

Trump administration allows nursing homes to force abused seniors into binding arbitration

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services barred nursing homes from forcing their residents into accepting binding arbitration agreements that would move all legal claims into business-friendly fake courts where the proceedings are often secret, and where the presiding fake judges draw their pay from the companies that are accused of malfeasance. Read the rest

Across America, employers are using noncompetes to claim ownership of employees' skills

Noncompete agreements have historically been the provision of highly-placed execs and critical "knowledge workers" (and even then, fast-growing economies like California have banned them in the interests of encouraging competition and growth) but now employers are routinely making the "agreements" a condition of unskilled waged labor, from making sandwiches to digging holes for $10/hour. Read the rest

Wells Fargo board to force fraud-implicated former execs to repay $75m in bonuses

Former CEO John Stumpf (a major villain in the subprime scandal) previously lost $41m out of the $200m he made overseeing a multi-year fraud that stole from 2,000,000 of the bank's customers -- now he will have to repay another $28m. Read the rest

What's the difference between a CEO and a president?

Christopher Brown is a gonzo cyberpunk writer who delves into the real-world story of Saddam Hussein's Frank Frazetta collection, but by day he's a high-powered lawyer who's worked in government and the private sector (it's the intersection of these two Browns that penned his outstanding, forthcoming debut novel, Tropic of Kansas, which you should pre-order right now). Read the rest

Cyberarms dealer's weapons used against Mexican soda-tax activists

NSO is an Israel cyberarms dealer, which buys or researches vulnerabilities in software and then weaponizes them; claiming that these cyberweapons will only be used by democratic governments and their police forces to attacks serious criminals and terrorists -- a claim repeated by its competitors, such as Italy's Hacking Team and Gamma Group. Read the rest

Once again, McDonald's NEVER paid anyone millions for serving coffee that was too hot

Everybody knows about the ridiculous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit where a lady who spilled coffee on her lap got millions out of McDonald's in damages for a frivolous lawsuit -- and everyone is wrong. As we've previously reported, Stella Liebeck sued McDonald's after sustaining permanently disfiguring third-degree burns to her genitals and thighs because McDonald's had served its coffee at unsafe temperatures, something that had been going on for years and had severely burned 700 other people -- and she didn't get millions, she just got enough to cover her medical expenses. Read the rest

Apple's tax-dodging offshore billions are sunk into Treasury Bills that pay out using Americans' taxes

Apple -- which is one of the multinational poster children for tax dodging, along with Google, Amazon, Ikea and others -- has billions of dollars "offshore" and in theory they can't bring that money into the USA without paying tax on it; but thanks to some fancy accounting, much of that money is sunk into US Treasury Bills (floated by the government Apple is starving through tax evasion), and the US taxpayers pay Apple, about $600M so far. Read the rest

Donald Trump didn't kill the TPP - activism did

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Ding dong! The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. Most news articles say the cause of death was simple: the election of Donald Trump. But they've only got a tiny part of the story. Now more than ever, it's critical we share the real story: creative and strategic grassroots organizing can take on concentrated wealth and power and win. I've got an op-ed in The Guardian today with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, etc) Check it out and please share!" Read the rest

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