The FBI's No. 2 official, who has for months been under fire from President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill, is resigning. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who served as the acting director of the bureau last year after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, is stepping down, NBC's Pete Williams first reported.
On the campaign trail, Trump said the issue of marijuana legalization should be "up to the states," continuing the policy under President Obama. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama's policy and gave federal prosecutors the authority to pursue marijuana cases, even where its legal under state law. The action has made banks afraid to take marijuana cash, which can be prosecuted as money laundering, which incurs stiff criminal penalties. Yet, the U.S. government is the largest launderer of marijuana cash in the nation. They make a profit by snatching up to 70% of marijuana shop revenues, instead of the usual 30% tax. It does this by branding marijuana businesses criminal enterprises who cannot deduct their expenses when filing their taxes. The IRS takes the money as taxes, turning it into "clean" money. It is not an unwitting accomplice to the crime. Estimates are that marijuana business owners in the U.S. will pay $2.8 billion in taxes to the feds in 2018. read more
Since at least May 2016, the National Security Agency (NSA) had featured honesty as the first of four "core values" listed on NSA.gov, alongside "respect for the law," "integrity," and "transparency." The agency vowed on the site to "be truthful with each other." On January 12, however, the NSA removed the mission statement page (can still be viewed through the Internet Archive) and replaced it with a new version. Now, the parts about honesty and the pledge to be truthful have been deleted. The agency's new top value is "commitment to service," which it says means "excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission." read more
The current system of having money created by private banks as interest-bearing debt is unnecessary and dangerous. The industrialists and economists of the classical period of capitalism, the producers of things for profit thought that the proper role of banking and credit was to be a service for the productive sector of the economy. Every society should understand the danger when that relationship is reversed, as it is today. Understanding how money works, in Modern Monetary Terms (MMT), makes visible why it's entirely unnecessary to figure out how to "collect" money for social programs, and why it's absolutely necessary to surtax the wealthy. It also implies that any minimum income program requires what should be a maximum income policy as well. Taxes do not fund government spending. MMT is not well understood at all, and most people, including capitalist economists, fall back to the taxes-for-spending paradigm that is completely wrong. read more
SCOTUS has done this before. Millions of Ohio voters have tried to vote on Election Day over the past four presidential elections, only to find they were no longer registered to vote. GOP secretaries of state have become experts at the game of selective purging. In 2004, then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, stripped some 309,000 voters from the rolls and nearly all came from heavily Democratic cities, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo. In Cleveland 25% of all voters were removed from the voting rolls. Nine "Justices" have just heard oral arguments in the Ohio voter registration case. If their decision goes with Secretary of State Jon Husted, it will mean Republicans throughout the country can scrub from the voter rolls millions of citizens merely because they might vote Democrat. This is a country where Attorney-General Sessions fought for state's rights to prevent racial integration but is now overriding the decision by some thirty states to legalize marijuana. read more