The War on Us, Bush’s Big Comeback & Bill Clinton’s Empire; June 3, 2015

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Being Most Uncivil With Our Liberties: The War on All of Us
by Lisette Cheresson
With the Patriot Act debate raging in Congress, there has perhaps never been a better time to consider what’s at stake. And what is that? Most of us never really knew. But this documentary, from Executive Producer Robert Greenwald and Earl Katz, directed by Nonny de la Peña, whose work has been funded by a MacArthur grant and shown at TriBeCa Film Festival, spelled it all out a decade ago, and is as relevant as ever.

WHO

George W. Bush Outpolls Barack Obama
For the first time since 2005 a majority of Americans like George W. Bush. According to a new poll, 52% of your fellow Americans have warm and fuzzy feelings about Brother George, which should come as welcome news to The Next Bush In Line. It’s amazing to think that, in just a few scant years, the favorability ratings of a President who started an illegal, trillion-dollar war with a nation that did not attack America is actually climbing. And that’s in spite of the ever-present chaos that war unleashed. Say “Goodnight,” Gracie.

Exclusive: Detainee Alleges CIA Sexual Abuse, Torture Beyond Senate Findings
Speaking of dangerous memory holes… Majid Khan, a 35-year-old Pakistani citizen who once attended high school in Maryland, recalled a number of sexualized abuses carried out by his CIA captors after he was consigned to a “Black Site” from 2003 to 2006. Khan was captured in Pakistan and subjected to the infamous “enhanced interrogation techniques” okayed by the now-well regarded George W. Bush. The staggering array of tortures he faced surfaced in hours of interview with his lawyers. It’s shocking stuff. The CIA declined to comment.

The Inside Story of How the Clintons Built a $2 Billion Global Empire
The Washington Post takes a deep dive into the murky waters surrounding Bill Clinton and his massive, global-spanning “charitable empire.” There is no doubt that the “Clinton Global Initiative” does some good—from solving food issues in Africa to earthquake relief in Haiti to lowering the cost of AIDS drugs worldwide. But new scrutiny is uncovering a web of influence that traces back to Hillary’s tenure at the State Department and links up with incredibly large, supposedly coincidental speaking fees paid to Bill by the foundation’s biggest donors.

WHAT

USA Freedom Act Passes: What We Celebrate, What We Mourn, and Where We Go From Here
After a whole-lotta debate about metadata, the ironically-named PATRIOT ACT has been more or less replaced by the optimistically-named FREEDOM ACT. One of the NSA’s leading critics—Electronic Frontier Foundation—breaks down the basics of the FREEDOM ACT which does “hamper” the ability of the NSA to be the Big Brother you never wanted.

WHY

We’re Eating Less Meat—Yet Factory Farms Are Still Growing
America’s per capita red meat consumption has dropped 10% since 2008, but the highly-polluting factory farming industry is picking up steam as it consolidates into bigger and bigger operations packing more and more animals into its often-atrocious operations. These tight-fitting farms rely on antibiotics to control disease, spew out 13 times the sewage produced by America’s human population and increasingly clog small waterways with the deadly effluvia running off from the “farms.”

The Sneaky Way Credit Card Companies Trick You Into Paying Up To 36% interest
The fine print in 98 out of 100 credit cards surveyed by CreditCards.com revealed that cash advances are a fine way for credit card companies to print money for their bloated bank accounts. Buried deep into those details are fees and spiked interest rates for cash advances that differ significantly from straight purchases. And paying it back within 30 days doesn’t matter. The interest accrues immediately.

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