Virginia state officials order the replacement of hackable and not-tremendously-verifiable touchscreen voting machines in at least 22 localities in advance of the 2017 elections. Touchscreen machines don't leave a paper trail, as you know, meaning (among other things!) that you can't do recounts properly and can't figure out if a hacker has changed a crapload of votes. That's good news -- and now perhaps Virginia can work on its absurdly strict Voter ID laws and use of Interstate Crosscheck to deregister voters with similar names to voters in other states.
China announces plans to end production of fossil fuel-powered cars within the next quarter-century. I wonder how significant it is that China plans to ban production, while England and France plan to ban sales -- I suppose China could still import gas-powered cars after banning their production domestically, though by 2040 or later not very many Chinese may want them. Meanwhile, in the U.S., car-making corporations are working with the Trump Administration to weaken fuel emissions standards, because in Trumpland, the greedy, like the racist, can live out in the open.
The incomparable Dean Baker reminds us that Wall Street fees on 401(k) and IRA retirement funds could strip $1,000 annually from those workers who invest in them. "It's important to realize that this 1 percent fee is not for actually managing the money," he says -- that fee is essentially for the very very hard work of sending you quarterly reports; the funds in which your 401(k) invests charge their own fees for managing your money, so this additional fee essentially amounts to a $1,000 annual welfare handout to folks who are already rather wealthy. But please, right-wingers, tell us again why we can never regulate the financial sector because jobs and bootstraps and Big Gummint.
Well well well, three Equifax executives just so happen to have disposed of hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock each just a few days after Equifax found the hack that exposed so many good Americans to identity theft. I'm sure it's true that the corporations hadn't notified the executives formally, but I'd be a schmuck to imagine the three fellows just had no way of hearing about it through the grapevine. Also, "(n)one of the filings lists the transactions as being part of 10b5-1 scheduled trading plans," which generally help executives avoid charges of trading on exactly this sort of information.
Finally, Ramsi Woodcock at The Conversation instructs us as to how, exactly, the Amazon-Whole Foods merger could still be reversed using antitrust law precedent. I suspected that allowing the merger simply because Amazon didn't have a presence in the grocery market was a pedantic and narrow interpretation of antitrust law, but it's good to have more concrete examples -- Proctor & Gamble had such a vast product line last century and a vast TV ad presence that the FTC nixed its purchase of Clorox in 1957, saying P&G could leverage its massive power to stamp out Clorox's competitors. Sadly for those competitors, P&G was able to hold onto Clorox for over a decade before the Supreme Court finally upheld the FTC's decision -- thus today when you think of bleach, you most likely think of Clorox. Still, the Court did help set a precedent we could use today.