U.S. charges Chinese military hackers with massive Equifax breach

“Officials said the massive hack by the members of China’s People’s Liberation Army underscored Beijing’s aggressive pattern of stealing private data to improve its intelligence operations and boost the performance of its domestic companies.”

“Chinese spies have ramped up espionage-focused hacking in recent years. Their targets — including the Office of Personnel Management and the health insurance titan Anthem — reflect Beijing’s desire to amass dossiers on Americans, especially those with security clearances, in the hope of compromising them.

The Justice Department charged two Chinese hackers with the Anthem breach, and U.S. officials have privately blamed China for the devastating OPM intrusion. Intelligence officials have also linked Beijing to other major cyberattacks, including the Marriott hack that exposed the personal data of roughly 500 million people.

“At the FBI we’ve been saying for years that China will do anything it can to replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower,” Bowdich said. “This indictment is about more than targeting just an American business. It’s about the brazen theft of sensitive personal information of nearly 150 million Americans.””

Amazon wants Trump, Esper to testify in lawsuit against Pentagon

“For months, Amazon has accused the president of meddling in the process after he publicly weighed in on the contest last year.

As far back as 2016, when he was running for president, Trump pledged that Amazon was “going to have such problems” if he was elected. Last year, Trump contended he would personally look into the contract, claiming other bidders for the deal at the time — including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle — were complaining the process was unfair and favored Amazon.

“The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends,” the Amazon spokesperson said.”

Bernie Sanders showed us he’s a very skilled politician

“nervous Democrats should take two things away from this. One is that Sanders does in fact know how the American legislative process works. He has participated in it extensively for decades, knows how you can get things done and also knows how painfully difficult it is to get things done. It’s true that this is at odds with some of his “political revolution” talk, but the point is he’s been around. This is a veteran and reasonably successful member of congress, not some random guy who joined Democratic Socialists of America 18 months ago.

The other, and in some ways more important, thing is simply that he knows how to do the whole normal politics “pivot to the center” thing. Happy talk about bipartisanship isn’t just for Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders can do it too! He has Republican friends. He knows there are good Republicans out there. He’s worked with them in the past and looks forward to doing so again.

It’s 100 percent true that if Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar started talking like this, they’d get roasted by Sanders’s Twitter fandom. The hypocrisy is very real. But the fact that Bernie’s fans let Sanders get away with this kind of thing is a strength of his. He is smart and trusted, so he has the running room to reach out the center, and — when appropriate — he does it.

There are no guarantees in politics, and it’s unquestionably true that Sanders would bring some obvious vulnerabilities to the table. But his track record over the years suggests real skill at navigating these problems, and if you watch his first performance as a real frontrunner in the race you can see those skills in action.”

Uncle Sam Doubles Down on His Spending Addiction

“This fiscal year, 2020, the federal government will collect $3.6 trillion in tax revenues. But due to its spending addiction, the government will expend $4.6 trillion. This means that the government will have to borrow $1 trillion this year alone, in order to cover a deficit of 4.6 percent of GDP. This is the first trillion-dollar deficit not due to a global recession.”

“Thankfully, the economy is doing well for now. This good performance is masking many of the ill effects, not just of the trade war but also of our overall fiscal situation. The reality, however, is that a growing economy during a time of peace should not be accompanied by growing deficits.”

Undercover Cops Hired 118 Handymen, Then Arrested Them All for Not Having Licenses

“Occupational licensing, whether it’s of contractors or hair braiders, is often much more about protecting incumbent businesses and government licensing revenue than it is about safeguarding the welfare of consumers.

Operation House Hunters is a perfect illustration of this, with cops going to great lengths to manufacture licensing law violations that either wouldn’t have happened or wouldn’t have produced unsatisfied parties.

The more effort law enforcement spends entrapping handymen, the fewer personnel and resources they have to devote to deterring other, more serious crimes. “These sting operations rake in big money in fines and court costs,” Sammis says. “Catching real criminals actually committing a crime is much harder.””