Two of the most important economic facts of the last few decades are that more industries are being dominated by a handful of extraordinarily successful companies and that wages, inflation and growth have remained stubbornly low.
Many of the world’s most powerful economic policymakers are now taking seriously the possibility that the first of those facts is a cause of the second — and that the growing concentration of corporate power has confounded the efforts of central banks to keep economies healthy.
The real Deep State…
WHISTLEBLOWER REALITY WINNER was officially sentenced to 63 months in prison on Thursday, after a federal judge rubber-stamped a plea deal already agreed to by the prosecution and Winner’s lawyers. As the prosecution acknowledged, it is the longest sentence for a journalist’s source in federal court history.
After listening to the agency’s arguments, and out of an abundance of caution, The Intercept redacted a few pieces of information from the document before publishing it.
A key phrase that the government wanted withheld was the specific name of the Russian unit identified in the document. The government was particularly insistent on that point.
But in the indictment of alleged Russian military intelligence operatives that Mueller’s office released last month, the Justice Department revealed the same name: GRU unit 74455. (The unit is also known as the Main Center for Special Technology or GTsST.) The indictment went on to reveal information almost identical to that contained in the document Winner admits to disclosing…
In the indictment of the alleged Russian intelligence officers, the Special Counsel’s Office describes how the FBI itself tipped off the GRU unit to the U.S. surveillance almost a year before The Intercept published the NSA document.
The federal government kept several states allegedly targeted by hackers in the dark about the specifics of these attacks until The Intercept published its story.
In fact, the day after The Intercept’s story came out, the Election Assistance Commission — the federal agency in charge of assisting state election officials — wrote an urgent bulletin to states, calling the report “credible” and urging state officials to read it. The EAC then provided advice on how to take action. (The commission, unbelievably, tweeted the hashtag #RealityWinner to promote its bulletin on social media).
If you want to understand how the government classifies virtually any information in the national security space, no matter how benign, just read this recent account from BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold about an “illegal animal killing” on CIA property involving a government employee. After Leopold got wind of an Inspector General report on the subject, he filed a FOIA request for more information. The CIA stonewalled him and withheld the IG report on the incident in full, claiming it would “harm national security” to release it — or even to disclose the type of animal that was killed.
So Leopold sued. Three years later, the government finally relented and revealed that the animal in question was a deer. The rest of the report remains classified.
Photo by Dustin Chambers for The Intercept — Reality Winner walks out of the courthouse in Augusta, Ga., after her sentencing on Aug. 23, 2018.
From Democracy Now! —
Prisoners across the country are set to launch a nationwide strike today to demand improved living conditions, greater access to resources and the “end of modern day slavery.” Prisoners in at least 17 states are expected to participate in the coordinated sit-ins, hunger strikes, work stoppages and commissary boycotts from today until September 9—the 47th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising. For more, we speak with Amani Sawari, a prison strike organizer working on behalf of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, a network of prisoners who are helping organize the nationwide strike. We also speak with Cole Dorsey, a formerly incarcerated member of the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee who is helping coordinate with prisoners on the prison strike.
USA! USA! USA!
The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was sold as part of a US State Department-sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia, munitions experts told CNN.
Working with local Yemeni journalists and munitions experts, CNN has established that the weapon that left dozens of children dead on August 9 was a 500-pound (227 kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of the top US defense contractors.
If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.
Such an appeal to people like Stephen Miller and Trump is futile. They are unencumbered by the need for philosophical/moral/logical consistency. Hitler, when faced with the possibility that he might have Jewish ancestry, is said to have defined “Jewishness” in Nazi law to exclude himself specifically:
In 1933, the London Daily Mirror published a picture of a gravestone in a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest inscribed with some Hebrew characters and the name Adolf Hitler, but this Bucharest Hitler could not have been the Nazi leader’s grandfather. At the time, though, this picture sufficiently worried Hitler that he had the Nazi law defining Jewishness written to exclude Jesus Christ and himself.
How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies.
He’s been called the new Obama. Abdul El-Sayed, a 33-year-old doctor and health policy expert, has never held elected office. But he’s running to be governor of Michigan — and if the size of his rallies is anything to go by, this charismatic and progressive insurgent could pull off a huge upset in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 7.
The former director of Detroit’s Health Department, El-Sayed supports “Medicare for All,” making college tuition-free, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He’s been endorsed by both Sen. Bernie Sanders and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the shock winner of the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District, who has come out to Michigan to campaign for him.
He has also been endorsed by Michael Moore and many others: abdulformichigan.com/endorsements
Judging by the coverage, it looks as though the idea to abolish ICE sprang out of the head of some aide to Kirsten Gillibrand, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Cynthia Nixon, all of whom have spoken out about the need to dismantle the agency.
Curiously, less attention has been paid to the immigrant rights activists who fought the creation of ICE when it was proposed in 2002 and have challenged the agency, calling for it—and its founding mission—to be defunded. These are the same people doing the work today, and yet their voices are absent from much of what has been published in the past few weeks. (One excellent exception is this piece from The Nation, which features thoughtful commentary by organizers from groups like Detention Watch Network, Project South, and Mijente.)
… in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado, Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rincon was celebrated with a tiara, a “princess” plate, and a cake with the number “50” on top. The number, however, wasn’t her age. It referred to the number of times she had used force against prisoners, ranging from handcuffing to punching and kicking. She was the winner of what one of the county jailers called a “fight club,” crowning whoever used force most often as the champion.
The uncovering of the “fight club” did lead to an investigation, but that investigation fell far short of being genuine and robust. The investigation largely minimized the culture of violence that led to the “fight club” coming to be in the first place. There were written reprimands, but no demotions, no transfers, or dock of pay for anyone involved, and there was no other disciplinary action along the lines of limited suspension. The competition was dismissed as little more than “bad judgment,” and the county denied that it resulted in increased use of force, even though incidents of use of force nearly doubled during the first two years of the competition.
The irony of the Government of India claiming Kashmir as part of its country, yet treating it in ways markedly different, is not lost on Kashmiris. “They want Kashmir, the land; not Kashmiris, the people”, was an observation we heard again and again.