"Clarence Thomas' Latest Pay-to-Play Scandal Finally Connects All the Dots [...] Mark Joseph Stern: The ProPublica piece identifies two different phenomena. The first is Bohemian Grove, which is where the Kochs developed this relationship with Clarence Thomas over the years. And then, out of that relationship, came Thomas' attendance at donor summits with the Kochs, where donors are promised that if they pay a bunch of money—hundreds of thousands of dollars—they will be able to attend this super exclusive event where Clarence Thomas speaks. And these events include luxury travel on private jets for Thomas. It's clearly a fundraiser. These events and flights should have been disclosed, and they weren't. That doesn't exactly build up trust for Justice Thomas. And it doesn't encourage faith that his jurisprudence is rooted exclusively in his own views of the Constitution and the law. Thomas loves to say he's not evolving, right? He loves to say he's steady as a rock. But there's one area where that has really not applied, which is this issue of Chevron deference—deferring to administrative agencies and their reasonable interpretations of ambiguous federal laws. For years, Thomas was a strong supporter of Chevron deference and even wrote a major decision expanding it. But after he was cultivated by the Kochs and became their close friend, he drifted away from Chevron, ultimately renounced and repudiated Chevron deference and is now on the brink of issuing or joining a decision that will overturn Chevron deference this coming term, in a case that is partly funded and supported by the Koch network."
"U.S. Helped Pakistan Get IMF Bailout With Secret Arms Deal For Ukraine, Leaked Documents Reveal: The U.S.-brokered loan let Pakistan's military postpone elections, deepen a brutal crackdown, and jail former Prime Minister Imran Khan. [...] The protests are the latest chapter in a year-and-a-half-long political crisis roiling the country. In April 2022, the Pakistani military, with the encouragement of the U.S., helped organize a no-confidence vote to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan. Ahead of the ouster, State Department diplomats privately expressed anger to their Pakistani counterparts over what they called Pakistan's 'aggressively neutral' stance on the Ukraine war under Khan. They warned of dire consequences if Khan remained in power and promised 'all would be forgiven' if he were removed."
I opposed the DMCA when it was proposed, and I still think it needs to be overturned and replaced with something that serves the public instead. Cory Doctorow: "Apple fucked us on right to repair (again): Right to repair has no cannier, more dedicated adversary than Apple, a company whose most innovative work is dreaming up new ways to sneakily sabotage electronics repair while claiming to be a caring environmental steward, a lie that covers up the mountains of e-waste that Apple dooms our descendants to wade through. [...] But it can't be the end. When Bill Clinton signed DMCA 1201 into law 25 years ago, he loaded a gun and put it on the nation's mantelpiece and now it's Act III and we're all getting sprayed with bullets. Everything from ovens to insulin pumps, thermostats to lightbulbs, has used DMCA 1201 to limit repair, modification and improvement. Congress needs to rid us of this scourge, to let us bring back all the benefits of interoperability. I explain how this all came to be – and what we should do about it – in my new Verso Books title, The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation."
RIP: "David McCallum, Star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS, Dies at 90." We all loved Illya, didn't we?
RIP: "Diane Feinstein at 90. All I'm saying is that Newsome should appoint either Barbara Lee or Katie Porter and not Adam Schiff.
RIP: "Terry Kirkman, Co-Founder of the Association, Dead at 83: Terry Kirkman, founding member of the '60s folk-rock group the Association, has died at the age of 83. The singer's family confirmed his passing to the Los Angeles Times, noting his death was due to congestive heart failure following a long illness." Most people never knew he'd worked with Frank Zappa, David Crosby, and Cass Elliot before they all went on to other things. He was an extraordinary songwriter and I'm always left a little breathless at the unusual beauty of "Cherish".
"The Ludicrous, Depressing Appeal of the Crypto Guy: How Sam Bankman-Fried and other unscrupulous CEOs managed to swindle so many people. In his monumental history Debt: The First 5,000 Years, the anthropologist David Graeber accused economists of inventing 'imaginary villages' as the settings for their just-so stories about the ancient origins of financial exchange. Five thousand years later, it is hard not to apply the same phrase to the strange world of cryptocurrency, a skein of imaginary communities and exchanges that claimed to be reinventing trade and commerce from first principles even as, in reality, they reinvented forms of fraud and exploitation that are almost as old as money itself. Money, Groucho Marx supposedly observed, can't buy happiness, but it does let you choose your own form of misery. And fake money? All the more so. [...] It occurred to shockingly few people that the guys at the top made all that money not because they were smart, not because they were good, but because they were thieves."
"Beyond obscenity: A century after the trial against 'Ulysses', we must revisit the civil liberties arguments of its defender, Morris Ernst [...] The fact that Ulysses was still banned in the US a full decade after its publication struck denizens of the literary world as absurd. Malcolm Cowley, editor of The New Republic, captured the exasperation when he wrote that 'James Joyce's position in literature is almost as important as that of Einstein in science. Preventing American authors from reading him is about as stupid as it would be to place an embargo on the theory of relativity.' But freeing Joyce's masterwork from the clutches of the censors would require prodigious effort, legal aplomb, and federal judges willing to hear the book's defenders."
Historical Highest Marginal Income Tax Rates (Top Marginal Rate)
The Association, "Requiem for the Masses"