Trump administration will require every visitor to the USA to divulge all social media identities

Today, the US State Department published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on a plan to require 15,000,000+ foreigners who get a US visitor visa to disclose all their social media identities as a condition of entry. Read the rest

ICE uses Facebook's backend to hunt their prey, with help from Palantir

Public records requests have shown that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- who have continued and intensified Obama's program of mass deportations and separation of families under Trump -- uses Facebook's logs, merged with logs from cellular carriers and analyzed by software from Palantir (Peter Thiel's police-state arms-dealer) to track immigrants people they're investigating. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica became a US powerhouse thanks Mercer's laundered money and a judas goat named John Bolton

After interviewing Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie and other CA sources and reviewing leaked documents, the Washington Post has pieced together the story of how the dirty-tricking electioneers worked their way Republican political circles, as billionaire founder Robert Mercer opened doors for them with other notorious GOP billionaire backers, with an able assist from newly minted national security adviser John Bolton, a notorious war-criminal with close ties to terrorist groups like MEK. Read the rest

Science fiction, predicting the present, the adjacent possible, and trumpian comic dystopias

In 2010, Steve Almond started work on a Tea Party-inspired novel called Bucky Dunn Is Running, about a racist demagogue businessman who comes within a whisker of the Republican nomination for their presidential candidate; he'd aimed to have it done for the 2016 election season, but then Trump happened, and his satire seemingly caught up with him. Read the rest

Chinese surveillance/tech giant Alibaba joins ALEC, will start co-authoring US legislation

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a big-business think-tank that authors "model legislation" at the local, state and national level that benefits corporations at the expense of everyday people; their greatest hits make for scary reading -- you can thank ALEC for ag-gag laws, stand-your-ground laws, private prisons, bans on municipal ISPs, killing Obamacare and jailing pipeline protesters. Read the rest

For Goldman Sachs execs, momentarily working for the government means hundreds of millions in tax savings

When Gary Cohn left Goldman Sachs to to work for Donald Trump, he was required to sell off his Goldman Sachs stock, but he didn't have to pay capital gains tax on that sale, saving him a cool $150,000,000; a year later, he was out of the Trump administration, and he still gets to hang onto those tax-free hectabucks. Read the rest

America, before the EPA: the photos that the EPA commissioned to document the conditions that led to its formation

When Nixon formed the EPA in 1970, the agency had the prescience to send photographers across America to photograph the kinds of environmental catastrophes that triggered its formation: chemical factories belching smoke; smog over cities; burning barges in the middle of waterways; clearcuts, litter and filthy lakes and rivers. Read the rest

Gary Cohn served Donald Trump for 14 months, and made billions for his old bosses at Goldman Sachs

When Donald Trump announced that he would "drain the swamp" by filling his cabinet with lobbyists, billionaires, and political operators, we all braced for an onslaught of rules that benefited the fattest of cats at the expense of everyone else, but Gary Cohn outdid himself. Read the rest

FCC chairman Ajit Pai receives heaps of insults after tweeting about his love for The Big Lebowski

Ajit Pai used his power as FCC Chairman to kill net neutrality. Read the rest

Trump's touted ICE raids damaging California economy

California is the United States agricultural juggernaut. Produce from California feeds the world and drives one of the largest economies on the planet. A side-effect of Trump's beloved, family destroying ICE raids is a massive labor shortage.

Fruit rots on the vine. Children lose their parents.

Via Bloomberg:

Their absence threatens segments of the largest state economy, including retailers, restaurants and the Central Valley’s $47 billion agricultural industry, which provides more than half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables in the country. That broad, 450-mile swath of California yields an eighth of the country’s agricultural output.

The farm industry is already struggling to find workers like Maria’s husband. More than 55 percent of 762 farmers and ranchers surveyed in a California Farm Bureau Federation report from October 2017 said half of their land continues to go unattended because of an ongoing labor shortage directly related to U.S. immigration policy.

Of the state’s more than 2 million farm laborers, 1.5 million are undocumented, according to Tom Nassif, President of the Western Growers Association, a 92-year-old industry group representing farmers in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Although Nassif and the association have supported Trump since the early days of his campaign, he says the raids and decades-old immigration policy for farm workers are harming the industry and state economy.

Read the rest

Ajit Pai forced to return the gun the NRA gave him as a prize for his neutracidal rampage

The annual CPAC freakshow reached a new absurdist peak last week when Trump FCC Commissioner was awarded the NRA's Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award for his cowardly back-shooting of America's most beloved policy, the sweet and tender Net Neutrality. Read the rest

Trumpcare added $33B to government healthcare spending, in order to cover 8.9m fewer Americans, who will pay more for less

Trump is an excellent businessman and the Republicans are really good with money: if you doubt it, just take a gander at the Urban Institute's report on the costs and effects of Trumpcare: the US government will spend $33 billion more as a result of GOP policies, and cover 8.9 million fewer Americans, and those Americans will pay higher premiums (18%, on average!) to get worse care. Read the rest

Senior Ben Carson staffer says she was demoted for refusing to "find money" to spend on lavish tax-funded perks for Carson's home and office

Helen Foster was chief administrative officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development until she was demoted; she says she was punished for refusing to violate rules limiting how much money Secretary Carson could spend redecorating his office and fixing up his home. Read the rest

Melania Trump subtweets her husband on national television

"It is important that as adults we take the lead and the responsibility in helping our children manage the many issues they are facing today. This means encouraging positive habits with social media and technology..." -M. Trump (via Christian Nightmares) Read the rest

Koch brothers publish letter crowing about all the ways Trump spent the year carrying water for them

In a letter to the Koch network -- a group of evil billionaires who chip in to buy politicians -- the Koch brothers crowed about how Donald Trump (whom they considered replacing with Paul Ryan in a backroom deal at the 2016 RNC) has been a pliable servant to them and their political goals during his year in office. Read the rest

Paul Manafort's inability to save Word files as PDFs provided the evidence necessary to indict him for fraud

Paul Manafort, one-time Trump campaign manager, has been indicted for cooking his books in order to qualify for a loan; prosecutors secured the evidence of his fraud by searching his email, which contained attachments that clearly showed him doctoring his financial statements and then emailing them to his co-conspirator Richard Gates so Gates could convert them to PDFs, which literally just involves selecting "Save As..." and choosing "PDF." Read the rest

FCC opens corruption investigation into Ajit Pai, who likes to joke about being a corporate puppet

Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's tenure has been marked by a disregard for the rules under which his agency is legally bound to operate: his Net Neutrality killing order was made without satisfying the evidentiary burden required by law, on the basis of laughable lies (including more than a million fake anti-Neutrality comments from bots pretending to be dead people, nonexsitent people and people who support Net Neutrality) that even his own agency knew to be false, then stonewalling law enforcement attempts to identify the botmasters -- no surprise that Pai's Neutracide is going to be tied up in court for years. Read the rest

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