Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
The pervasive influence of corporate cash in the democratic process, and the extraordinary lengths to which politicians, lobbyists and even judges go to solicit money, are laid bare in sealed court documents leaked to the Guardian.
The John Doe files amount to 1,500 pages of largely unseen material gathered in evidence by prosecutors investigating alleged irregularities in political fundraising. Last year the Wisconsin supreme court ordered that all the documents should be destroyed, though a set survived that has now been obtained by the news organisation.
The files open a window on a world that is very rarely glimpsed by the public, in which millions of dollars are secretly donated by major corporations and super-wealthy individuals to third-party groups in an attempt to sway elections.
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Posted by Michael Neff at 10:39 AM
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
SAY TO YOURSELF, I AM GOD.
That’s right. Imagine it.
Now, do some tricks, try out Your powers.
Hide in a far Nothing at the edge of light. Drift near Far Tortuga in a leaky turtle boat. Melt an icecap, craft a crop circle, have sex with a virus.
Now, go to the city of Washington and read a few minds. Pick up a copy of the Washington Post. Hang out with a drug or weapons lobbyist at a local bar. Try to reconcile the biases, irrationalities, and politics You encounter into something that makes sense for the good of all.
In other words, try to un-Babel this city...
It is impossible, even for You. Being all-powerful, You have “created” a place even You will never sort out.
Short of an alien invasion or flaming snakes from the sky (at least twice a week), two worlds will always prevail in Washington and trump all Godlike efforts: the World of Idols and the World of Ideals.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
SHOULD it be a crime to report a crime? Many top officials in Washington seem to think so, at least in the case of Edward Snowden.
June 6 will be the third anniversary ofThe Guardian’s publication of top-secret documents provided by Mr. Snowden that showed that the National Security Agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.
Outraged by this assault on the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure, Tea Party Republicans and progressive Democrats joined to block reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act’s surveillance provisions last year. Only after the N.S.A. was required to obtain warrants to examine such records was reauthorization approved.
But Mr. Snowden, the whistle-blower who set this reform in motion with his disclosures, is persona non grata in the nation’s capital. Democrats and Republicans alike have denounced him as a traitor.
President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also been unyielding. Mr. Snowden, now in Russia, deliberately broke the law and should not “be brought home without facing the music,” Mrs. Clinton said in a Democratic presidential debate.
“He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistle-blower,” she said. “He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.”
Thomas Drake would disagree. So would John Crane.
Their intertwined stories, revealed this week, make clear that Secretary Clinton’s and President Obama’s faith in whistle-blower protections is unfounded, and cast Mr. Snowden’s actions in a different light.
Mr. Snowden has expressed his debt to Mr. Drake. “If there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake,” he told Al Jazeera, “there couldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”
Mr. Drake was a senior N.S.A. official who had also complained, 12 years earlier, about warrantless surveillance. As a career military man, he followed the course later advocated by President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Joining others with similar concerns, he went up the chain of command, finally ending up at the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General.
Things did not go well.
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