Trump's "consumer protection bureau" will let the $50B payday lending industry gouge the poorest Americans with triple-digit interest rates

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, founded by Elizabeth Warren prior to her career as a senator, was once the gem of the US political system, a consistently effective force for punishing finance industry wrongdoing, until Trump let Wall Street robber barons loose on it, under the direction of a lawyer who represented loan sharks before going to work for the Trump administration. Read the rest

The secretive wealthy family behind the opioid epidemic are using the same tactics to kill public education

The Sackler Family are best known for philanthropy, but their real legacy is the opioid epidemic, which they engineered through their family firm, Purdue Pharmaceutical, which used a variety of front organizations that paved the way for massive overprescription of the company's painkillers, while covering up the flaws in the drug-testing for Purdue's products and the false claims about their safety and efficacy. Read the rest

Burying the past in glass coffins: Victoria & Albert museum bans sketching in temporary exhibitions

London's Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world's great museums devoted to material culture and design, has joined a long line of museums who've allowed the owners of loaned items for temporary exhibitions to require them to ban photography and sketching of these items. Read the rest

America's CEOs and hedge funds are starving the nation's corporations to death

Stock buybacks (previously) allow CEOs to drive up the company's share-price by using profits to buy shares back from investors, rather than investing the money in wages, R&D, capital or expansion. Read the rest

UK Tories launch quiet inquiry into privatising the NHS

David Cameron repeatedly promised to protect "our NHS" but now the world's most beloved healthcare system is on the chopping block, thanks to a quiet inquiry in the unelected House of Lords. Read the rest

Marissa Mayer makes 1,100 Yahooers jobless, calls it a "remix"

Why would a CEO be so tone-deaf as to call a mass-firing a "remix?" Because the only audience that matters today are shareholders, not the public. Read the rest

Privilege: you're probably not the one percent

If you live near a Whole Foods, if you don't have a relative in jail, if you don't know anyone on meth, you're not in the one percent. Read the rest

The Peripheral: William Gibson vs William Gibson

In The Peripheral, William Gibson's first futuristic novel since 1999's All Tomorrow's Parties, we experience the fantastic synthesis of a 20th century writer -- the Gibson of Neuromancer, eyeball-kicks of flash and noir; and the Gibson of Pattern Recognition, arch and sly and dry and keen. Cory Doctorow reviews.

Canadian gov't economists insist that stats on collapsing middle class mean just the opposite

Dave sez, "Last year, Employment and Social Development Canada put together a report suggesting that the Canadian middle class has seen wage stagnation and is experiencing record levels of debt; Finance Canada felt that this 'appears to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings' so they made a new report -- that says the opposite, while looking at the same data." Read the rest

Koch-affiliated astroturfers call Net Neutrality "Marxist"

American Commitment, a Koch-brothers-associated fake grassroots group whose previous campaigns include support for Keystone XL and the coal industry, has been circulating an alarmist petition against FCC action to preserve net neutrality, calling it "a Federal Internet takeover," that "sounds more like a story coming out of China or Russia." Read the rest