Conservatives hate the truth about the troops

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“[N]either the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda, or anyone else in Afghanistan or Iraq is invading our country and trying to take away our freedom. Such being the case, how can it be said that the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are defending our country and protecting our rights and freedoms? According to conservatives, we are just not supposed to point out that obvious truism. Uttering that truth makes conservatives and other statists really angry and upset. They want to continue believing that the troops are killing because they are defending America and protecting our freedoms, and they want everyone else to believe it too, even though it’s manifestly false. Conservatives want to live the life of the lie and they want everyone else to live it too. And they hate people who refuse to do so.” (06/22/17)

Did Hulk Hogan neuter the First Amendment

Source: The Atlantic
by Sophie Gilbert

“The most memorable moment in Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, a new documentary dropping on Netflix Friday, comes in the very first scene, when the former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio is shown explaining to the camera that there’s a hold on his personal bank account. For $230 million. It’s a moment that the director, Brian Knappenberger, uses to convey the scale of the imbalance he perceives between a scrappy but impoverished press and an army of shadowy billionaires with endless pockets and a yen to muzzle the media.” (06/22/17)

Big banks pass first round of Fed’s annual stress tests

Source: Fox Business News

“Thirty-four of the biggest U.S. banks have the financial strength to survive the next global recession, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. The results were the first of two rounds of annual stress tests conducted by the central bank to assess how well financial institutions with $50 billion or more in consolidated assets could cope with shocks to financial markets and the economy. The most severe hypothetical scenario assumes $383 billion in loan losses at the firms over nine quarters amid a ‘severe’ global recession, a 10% unemployment rate in the U.S. and stress in the corporate loan market and commercial real estate. Additionally, under the scenario, the industry’s common equity tier 1 capital ratio (a cushion against shocks that measures core equity capital against total risk-weighted assets) would fall to 9.2% from 12.5%. However, some banks would come out of such a crisis with less capital than others.” (06/22/17)

Keeping Russia out of the voting booth

Source: The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

“Of all the disturbing questions raised by Russia’s interference in last year’s election, the most alarming may be how a foreign power might hack into the nation’s voting infrastructure. So far there’s no evidence that Russian cyberattacks altered U.S. vote totals in any way. But recent disclosures make clear that Russian intelligence intrusions were much broader and deeper than initially known. And the U.S. election system, while it has strengths, remains vulnerable on several fronts: aging voting machines, the absence of a paper trail in some states, and spotty audits are all weaknesses that could be exploited in 2018 and 2020. The threat posed by foreign meddling in American voting is a rare point of bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill, where the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing Wednesday on Russian election intrusions.” [editor’s note: Deflategate III continues – SAT] (06/22/17)

Trump proposes a law that’s existed for 20 years

Source: USA Today

“President Trump called for a new law barring immigrants from receiving welfare for at least five years at a rally on Wednesday. But neither Trump nor nearly 6,000 of his die-hard supporters seemed to realize that the law has already existed for more than 20 years. Trump received a standing ovation and pledged his administration would put the legislation into effect ‘very shortly.’ … ‘I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,’ Trump told the crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As The Hill reported, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. The law prevents immigrants from receiving federal benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security for five years after entering the country. There are some exceptions, however, for children and pregnant women, refugees, and active duty military or veterans. It’s possible Trump could introduce tougher limitations and regulations on top of the existing law.” (06/22/17)

SCOTUS limits regime’s power to revoke citizenship

Source: The Hill

“The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a naturalized immigrant can’t be stripped of their citizenship for making false statements during the naturalization process that are irrelevant to an immigration official’s decision to grant or deny citizenship. A unanimous court said the government must establish that an immigrant’s illegal act during the naturalization process played some role in acquiring citizenship. When the underlying illegal act is a false statement, the justices said a jury must decide whether the false statements altered the naturalization process and influenced the immigration official’s decision.” (06/22/17)

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake recorded off Guatemalan coast

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit off Guatemala’s Pacific coast Thursday, shaking much of the country and neighboring El Salvador. Officials said four people were injured and only minor damage was reported. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6:31 a.m. quake was centered about 24 miles southwest of Puerto San Jose and 6 miles below the surface. People in El Salvador fled into the streets. The spokesman for Guatemala’s national disaster agency, Julio Sanchez, said there were four reported injuries and some damage to infrastructure.” (06/22/17)

The unwritten law that helps bad cops go free

Source: National Review
by David French

“If you watch carefully, two salient facts should emerge. First, Philando Castile was quite literally following the police officer’s instructions when he was shot. The officer asked for his license and told him not to reach for his gun. Castile reached for his license while verbally assuring the officer that he was not reaching for his gun. The officer shot him anyway. The second fact overwhelmed the first. The officer panicked. His terror is palpable. The man went from conducting a relatively routine traffic stop to shrieking and firing in a matter of seconds. Part of this is understandable. Life can change in a flash, and when we’re in a state of ultimate distress, few of us can be as composed as SEAL Team Six. When I saw that palpable panic, I immediately knew why he was acquitted. The unwritten law trumped the statutes on the books. The unwritten law is simple: When an officer is afraid, he’s permitted to shoot. Juries tend to believe that proof of fear equals proof of innocence.” (06/22/17)

The tragedy of the commons in the courtroom

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Chris Calton

“Because the government holds a monopoly on the justice system in the United States, courtrooms are treated as public goods. For public goods, costs are socialized, so there is no individual cost to using this resource. From the perspective of the criminals, of course, this seems like a no-brainer — a defendant is hardly going to pay the cost of his own conviction. But the socialized costs of courtrooms remove the incentive to economize for two specific groups of people: legislators and police officers. Legislators have an incentive to flood the courtrooms because if they want to get elected, they need to appear ‘tough on crime.’ The product of this incentive is legislation geared toward continually creating newer infractions or criteria for arrest that signal to the voters that you, the politician, are going to clean up the streets.” (06/22/17)

Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians

Source: CNN

“Two of the nation’s top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and Senate investigators, in separate meetings last week, that President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, according to multiple sources. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts. Sources say both men went further than they did in June 7 public hearings, when they provided little detail about the interactions.” (06/22/17)