Government flunkies sue Snowden for telling the truth

❝ The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Edward Snowden alleging that his newly released memoir, Permanent Record, violates nondisclosure agreements he signed with the federal government. Justice Department lawyers say the U.S. is entitled to all of Snowden’s book profits.

The civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Virginia names the former National Security Agency contractor and his New York-based publisher, Macmillan…

❝ Ben Wizner, an ACLU lawyer who represents Snowden, said the book does not contain government secrets that were not already publicly known.

“Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified,” Wizner wrote in a statement.

The sort of illogic employed by government flunkies to justify their disreputable waste of taxpayer dollar$ on efforts to shutdown people who turn loose the truth, expose criminal activity by elected officials.

EU afraid to name USA as tax haven

❝ It sounded like a historical moment was in the offing. For the first time, Europe’s finance ministers were seriously planning on publicly denouncing tax havens by presenting a black list of countries that lure companies through tax-saving schemes. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the countries on the list were “not doing enough to fight tax evasion.” Fellow Frenchman Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, called for vigorous sanctions…

❝ Internal documents from the European Council working group responsible for the issue suggest that the United States ignored a late June deadline to avoid being included on the list. DER SPIEGEL has seen the (“EU restricted”) internal documents…

❝ One reason for the Europeans’ restraint could be the growing economic conflicts with the Trump administration. The U.S. president is assiduously threatening to apply punitive tariffs on car imports from the EU, and he is particularly angry at the French, who recently and unilaterally introduced a digital tax on large internet companies. Trump sees it as a hostile act against U.S. internet giants like Amazon and Google.

“Neutral” Europeans prove to be as chickenshit about taxing the wealthy as “loyalist” Republicans and a helluva lot of “centrist” Democrats.

Trump defends racism — House Dems [plus a couple Republicans with backbone] prepare condemnation


madmagazine.com

❝ Injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats, President Trump said four congresswomen of color should go back to the ‘‘broken and crime infested’’ countries they came from…blah, blah, blah!…ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the US…

❝ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s tweets.

Pelosi on Monday said Trump ‘‘went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about members of Congress’’ and said his xenophobic and ‘‘disgusting’’ comments cannot stand without rebuttal…

❝ Following a familiar script, Republicans remained largely silent after Trump’s Sunday morning broadsides that caused Democrats to set aside their internal rifts to rise up in a united chorus against the president.

I expect little or nothing from Congressional Republicans. They haven’t much of any membership left that gets upset about racism or bigotry unless it threatens their almighty dollar$. Frankly, I haven’t expected the Democrats in Congress to show anymore courage or principles than the rightwing nutballs controlling the GOP. Apparently, the new blood added in 2016, grassroots rejection of the Democrats’ longtime lameduck mentality…is having some effect.

I hope it carries on through the primary season to something more than a lip-service platform and lifers who sit on their hands and wallets.

US Government Condemns Cyber-snooping — Except When They’re Doing it. To us.

❝ The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Privacy International, a similar organization based in the United Kingdom, have now sued 11 federal agencies, demanding records about how those agencies engage in what is often called “lawful hacking.”

The activist groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and nine others. None responded in a substantive way.

“Law enforcement use of hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy,” the ACLU argues in its lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in New York state…

❝ “…the public does not know when law enforcement agencies believe they can use hacking without obtaining a warrant or other judicial authorization. The public does not even know whether many of the defendant agencies have internal rules or protocols governing hacking. Without more information, the public is not able to exercise meaningful democratic oversight of this new and intrusive law enforcement capability.”

Once again, practices condemned by our papier-mâché politicians when practiced by foreign governments are perfectly legit when it’s Uncle Sugar pulling the trigger.

Push to Restore Net Neutrality Weakened by Democrats With Telecom Cash


AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Net neutrality proponents now have less than two weeks to convince 38 House lawmakers to support an effort to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality. Seventeen of those votes could come from Democrats who have yet to sign on—all of whom have received significant contributions from internet service providers such as Comcast.

And that says it all for me. Nice middle-of-the-road folks active in electoral politics get pissed-off at me when I say, “A plague on both their houses” – the Dems and Republican Party. Aside from the minority of progressive activists who survive the electoral shuffle, pretty much everyone else has their hand out to corporate and wealthy donors. That’s who owns their guts. That’s who calls the tune they dance to.

They often require as much arm-twisting to support positive progressive legislation as overt bigots and populist pimps.