SEC Chair Mary Jo White admits, under questioning from Sen. Baldwin (D-WI), that the SEC isn't monitoring stock buybacks. Corporate executives used to avoid buying back their own stock out of fear they'd be punished for trying to manipulate the market -- since stock buybacks tend to drive up stock prices -- but today executives buy back their own stock instead of investing in facilities or paying their workers more, and they call that the "free market," when it's actually income redistribution.
U.S. Justice Department admits that it uses "predictive assessments," rather than evidence of terrorist activity, to put folks on their "no-fly" lists. since you can "predict" pretty much anything. Using a formula even more complex than the NFL quarterback-rating system, right? The Obama Administration won't say, because of the potential (say it with me now) "damage to national security." But our Constitutional freedoms either mean something or they don't.
ProPublica chronicles the long-standing "partnership" between the NSA and AT&T. If you remember how eager AT&T was to give Tha Bush Mobb customer info after 9.11, you won't be surprised. I had forgotten, though, that AT&T used to be a monopoly, which of course made it a natural ally with our government against the people. (And yet folks still promulgate the myth of the "beneficial monopoly." But maybe fewer folks will do that after reading ProPublica's article.)
Group led by Gaza physician develops 3D-printed stethoscope that apparently outperforms a $200 stethoscope and costs a mere 30 cents to produce. Of course the 3D printer itself costs a lot, but that's a one-time cost, and the process could work for other medical equipment (like EKG machines) that developing nations need and lack. Peer-review is still to come, but I wish Dr. Loubani and his team the best.
Finally, now the "birther" crowd suspects four Republican Presidential candidates might not be Americans, either. And three out of four of these candidates (Messrs. Jindal, Rubio, and Cruz) just so happen to be nonwhite -- and they would have called the fourth (Italian-American Rick Santorum) nonwhite a mere half-century ago. Just in case you thought birthers were being fair, or clever, or "zealous." (Read the article; it'll demonstrate how far some folks will go just to defend fervent beliefs that don't hold up to critical scrutiny.)