The sheriffs who cheered Trump's attack on the press have long histories of shady dealings, revealed by the press

Last week, Trump invited a collection to sheriffs to the White House for a rousing speech about the evils of the free press, exactly the kind of thing the leader of a democracy does all the time, and the sheriffs gave him a standing ovation, because that's exactly the kind of thing you'd want fairminded law-enforcement agents to do in a democracy. Read the rest

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted on wire fraud & campaign finance crimes, incl. $1,500+ of Steam games

Actually, it's about ethics in purchasing videogames with campaign funds. Read the rest

Amazon's cloud business leads American companies in shifting its electric cost to taxpayers

Whether it's paying for burying dedicated power-lines for data-centers, winning below-cost sweetheart deals on electricity rates, or securing tax-breaks and incentives to set up shop, Amazon Web Services has proven time and again that it is the nation's best cost-shifter, enjoying billions in tax-funded gifts for operating data centers that employ almost no one and whose profits go straight to distant shareholders. Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren's anti-corruption bill bans foreign lobbyists, subjects domestic lobbyists to strong oversight

Newt Gingrich's 1995 Republican Revolution dismantled all the expert departmentsand bureaus that Congress depended on to make sense of the world, making lawmakers dependent on corporate lobbyists to advise them on everything from pollution to food safety to military technology to mass surveillance -- nearly 25 years later, Washington DC is a literal and figurative swamp, and only 18% of Americans say they trust Congress. Read the rest

Chinese spies force US-based Uighurs into "voluntary" surveillance by threatening their families in China

The Chinese state crackdown on the predominantly Muslim Uighur minority -- involving the imprisonment and torture of upwards of a million people in brainwashing camps -- isn't limited to China itself. Read the rest

Chicago police data reveals how dirty cops spread corruption like a disease

In 2009, after a successful public records lawsuit, the Invisible Institute received data on complaints against Chicago Police Department officers since 1988 -- the complaints often list multiple officers, and by tracing the social graph of dirty cops over time, The Intercept's Rob Arthur was able to show how corruption spread like a contagion, from senior officers to junior ones, teaching bad practices ranging from brutality to falsifying evidence to torture to racism to plotting to murder whistleblowing cops. Read the rest

TSA: the fact that our secret surveillance program hasn't caught anyone means it's working

Late last month, the Boston Globe published a blockbuster scoop revealing the existence of "Quiet Skies," a secret TSA program that sent Air Marshals out to shadow travelers who were not on any watchlist and had committed to crime, on flimsy pretenses like "This person once visited Turkey." Read the rest

Cornered FCC admits that its website was never hacked

When the FCC announced its intention to kill Network Neutrality, it had to accept public comments, and what followed was bizarre even by Trump-era standards: first, millions of living, breathing Americans sent so many pro-Net Neutrality comments to the FCC that the website crashed; then bots spammed the FCC with millions of obviously fake anti-Neutrality comments, stealing the identities of real Americans (including two US Senators!) to do so; despite the overwhelming evidence that humans loved Net Neutrality and bots hated it, the FCC declared that it would give the bot comments equal weight with the human ones; and then it stopped accepting comments, claiming that its website had been hacked. Read the rest

Extreme poverty is on the decline, extreme inequality is on the rise

The rich world has never been more unequal, and the poor world has never richer: in 2018, we're seeing record low levels of global "extreme poverty" (a measure that's admittedly a bit fuzzy) and record levels of inequality, which wealth concentrated into a declining number of hands. Read the rest

Betsy DeVos's summer monstrosity is pure McMansion Hell

Kate "McMansion Hell" Wagner is carrying $42,000 in student debt; heiress Betsy "Marie Antoinette" DeVos is the anti-public-school advocate whom Donald Trump put in charge of the nation's public schools, and one of her first official acts was to end the rules limiting sleazy student debt-collection tactics, even as Trump was ending debt relief for students defrauded by diploma mills (like, say, Trump University). Read the rest

Wells Fargo: we stole houses and we're being investigated for dirty low-income housing credits

In its latest round of shareholder disclosures, Wells Fargo admitted that it "unnecessarily foreclosed" on 400-odd householders (that is, stole their houses) and failed to grant loan modifications to 625 qualified borrowers (this is just the latest revelation about Wells Fargo stealing houses); it's also being investigated for its practice of purchasing low-income housing credits. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

How the NYPD recriminalized marijuana after the state decriminalized it

Back in 1977, middle class, white New Yorkers got frustrated over being criminalized for smoking weed, so they got the state legislature to decriminalized simple possession of weed -- merely having weed in your possession became a civil infraction and if you were caught, you might get a ticket, but that's it. Read the rest

Chicago journalists once opened a fake bar to document corruption

Forty years ago, investigative journalists in Chicago hatched an audacious plan to create a fake tavern packed with hidden microphones, cameras, and reporters everywhere working as bar staff and customers. Their goal was to document local corruption. Topic has a great oral history of the project. Read the rest

Koch thinktank inadvertently proves that America would save trillions by switching to socialized medicine

Mercatus (previously) is part of the Koch Brothers' network of thinktanks which allow the billionaires and their cadre of oligarchs to make it appear that their ideas are mainstream by all singing the praises of the wealthy in chorus. Read the rest

Universal, having learned nothing from its "dancing baby" ass-kicking, is once again attacking Prince fans

In 2008, Universal Music fraudulently claimed that a short Youtube clip of a toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" was a copyright infringement, leading to eight years of litigation and, eventually, a landmark ruling secured by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in which the court found that Universal had a duty to consider fair use before using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to censor other peoples' media. Read the rest

Appeals court kills the dirty trick of using Indian tribes as a front for patent trolls and claiming sovereign immunity

In late 2017, we learned that patent trolls (especially pharma patent gougers) were paying US Native Indian tribes to act as fronts for them in order to block review and cancellation of bogus patents -- the tribes have a treaty right to "sovereign immunity," which protects them from some forms of litigation. Read the rest

Illinois's "anti-corruption" Republican governor handed out $300,000 in cash at a campaign rally

Bruce Rauner is a millionaire hedge-fundie who currently serves as governor of Illinois, a position he attained by campaigning as an "anti-corruption" candidate. Read the rest

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