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The First Big Company to Say It’s Serving the Legal Marijuana Trade? Microsoft.

As state after state has legalized marijuana in one way or another, big names in corporate America have stayed away entirely. Marijuana, after all, is still illegal, according to the federal government.

But Microsoft is breaking the corporate taboo on pot this week by announcing a partnership to begin offering software that tracks marijuana plants from “seed to sale,” as the pot industry puts it.

The software — a new product in Microsoft’s cloud computing business — is meant to help states that have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana keep tabs on sales and commerce, ensuring that they remain in the daylight of legality.

But until now, even that boring part of the pot world was too controversial for mainstream companies. It is apparent now, though, that the legalization train is not slowing down: This fall, at least five states, including the biggest of them all — California — will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.


Just like clockwork: CIA Director Warns of More ISIS-Inspired Attacks

CIA director John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that his agency had not unearthed any new evidence of ISIS cooperation in the terrorist attack in Orlando on Sunday, but he warned that the group is likely to launch new attacks as the United States and its allies continue striking the group in Iraq and Syria.

Brennan painted a positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign in the Middle East, saying the group is losing territory, fighters, and important sources of cash in the face of American airstrikes and battlefield advances by Iraqi forces and Syrian opposition groups. But Brennan also warned that gains against ISIS have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach" and predicted that "ISIL will probably rely more on guerrilla tactics, including high-profile attacks outside territory it holds."


Be afraid, Citizens! Be Very Very Afraid! Now let us protect you.....

Cheeto Jesus

Top GOP Consultant Unleashes Epic #NeverTrump Tweetstorm
In which a memorable new nickname for the presumptive GOP nominee is born.

JUN. 16, 2016 9:58 AM

Veteran Republican consultant Rick Wilson has been at the vanguard of the #NeverTrump movement. As other anti-Trump Republicans have fallen in line for the sake of party unity, Wilson has continued to launch fiery (and profanity-laced) tirades against the presumptive GOP nominee and the party poobahs backing him. On Wednesday night, he unleashed an epic tweetstorm, denouncing Republican National Committee staffers for working to get Trump elected. "You own this," he warned. "You're covered in his stench." In the course of his Twitter rant, Wilson coined a new nickname for Trump, "Cheeto Jesus," which fast became a meme.


Jamie Shupe becomes first legally non-binary person in the US

When an Oregon judge declared Jamie Shupe could legally shed the designation of male or female, Shupe felt free.

“I have my life back,” Shupe said. “I’m not a male. I’m not a female.”

Shupe appears to be the first person in the United States who has successfully petitioned for a non-binary gender classification, according to Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director for Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization.

“Classic gender markers don’t fit everybody,” Gorenberg said, calling the petition significant for helping people “exist without labels that don’t accurately describe them”.


Canadian trade policy expert calls TPP a "threat to democracy"

Gus Van Harten is a law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall and a well-respected expert on trade law; he's published a damning report on the Trans Pacific Partnership deal.

Van Harten focuses on the TPP's "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS, previously) provisions, which allow corporations to sue governments in closed, secret proceedings to repeal environmental, labor and safety regulations that undermine their expected profits.

Defenders of ISDSes say that they help the "little guy" who might be clobbered by foreign governments with regulations that are just disguised protectionism. But Van Harten's look at the track-record of actual ISDS proceedings paints a very different picture. The primary users of ISDSes are giant corporations (>$1B/year in turnover) or the super rich (>$100M net worth), and they prevail 71% of the time. By contrast, small companies that try to use ISDSes only succeed 42% of the time. ISDSes aren't about leveling the playing field: they're about tilting it in the favour of the rich and powerful.

This leads Van Harten to call TPP a "threat to democracy and to regulation."



MR. Fish Toon- Red State Expansion

Thursday TOON Roundup 3- The Rest




Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - Trump and the Boyz

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Gun Worship

This Kansas CEO rips into conservative policies as his company heads to Missouri

By Silvia Ascarelli

When Pathfinder Health Innovations decided to flee Kansas for neighboring Missouri, CEO Jeff Blackwood minced no words in assigning blame.

“It’s not so much that I’m moving the company to Missouri as I’m moving it away from Kansas,” CEO Jeff Blackwood wrote on his company’s blog this week.

Pathfinder, a privately held software company whose customers are autism therapy centers, is tiny — it employs just 23 people — so Blackwood, a self-described political independent, can afford to be vocal, unlike critics at larger companies. But even by those standards, the lengthy open letter stands out.

He described the policies of Gov. Sam Brownback as a test case for trickle-down economics. And “nowhere has there been as dramatic a failure of government,” he added.

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