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AP’s Today in History for June 13th

The Pentagon Papers hits newsstands amid the Vietnam War; Thurgood Marshall nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court; The ‘Miranda’ warning; Pioneer 10 leaves solar system; Swing legend Benny Goodman dies.

Breakfast Tune Nassam Alayna El-Hawa – Fairuz – Banjo Cover

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Alleen Brown, Sam Richards, The Intercept

THE LARGEST CIVIL disobedience yet against new pipeline construction in Minnesota was met by a furious response — and a cloud of debris. A Department of Homeland Security Border Patrol helicopter descended on the protest against the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline, kicking up dust and showering demonstrators with sand, in an unusual attempt to disperse the crowd.

“I couldn’t see because it got in my eyes,” said Big Wind, a 28-year-old Northern Arapaho organizer with the anti-pipeline Giniw Collective, who was there when the helicopter swooped over the civil disobedience action. “After it pulled up there were a lot of people who were ducking, who were in the fetal position, just because they didn’t know what was going to happen and were trying to protect themselves from the sand.”

The low-flying federal helicopter is an early signal of how law enforcement in Minnesota will deploy more than a year’s worth of training and preparations against what pipeline opponents have promised will be a summer of resistance. The tactic — which was criticized because of the extremely low flyover — suggests that the multiagency law enforcement coalition overseeing the police response is willing to bend safety standards in order to break up demonstrations.

Buzzing civilian protesters engaged in First Amendment protected activity with helicopters is widely considered to be a dangerous tactic — and may stand in contravention of federal regulations on both civil and public flights.

The Code of Federal Regulations mandates that “except when necessary for takeoff or landing” aircraft must fly high enough so that if a power unit failed, the aircraft could perform an emergency landing “without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.” In this case, the helicopter was not only flying above a group of people locked to equipment, but also the property and equipment itself, which are considered “critical infrastructure” by the Department of Homeland Security.

Footage shows the Homeland Security helicopter was flying around 20 feet above the ground.


Something to think about over coffee prozac

Attorney General Garland Says Investigating How ProPublica Obtained Billionaire Tax Data Is ‘At The Top Of My List’
Carly Tennes, Cracked

On today’s installment of our government undoubtedly having their priorities perfectly in check, newly-minted Attorney General Merrick Garland promised legislators that investigating the source of the alleged billionaire income tax data included in ProPublica’s explosive report earlier this week stands firmly at the top of his agenda.

“I promise you, it will be at the top of my list,” the former Supreme Court nominee told Sen. Susan Collins, during a Wednesday Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing, per CNBC. Although the shocking ProPublica article, likely to be the first in a series, details how billionaires including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros allegedly used legal loopholes to pay next to nothing in personal income taxes, Garland is seemingly more concerned with how, exactly, the outlet obtained the data than why the ultra-wealthy allegedly aren’t paying their fair share.

“Senator, I take this as seriously as you do. I very well remember what President Nixon did in the Watergate period — the creation of enemies lists and the punishment of people through reviewing their tax returns,” Garland explained. “This is an extremely serious matter. People are entitled, obviously, to great privacy with respect to their tax returns.”

The report, which aims to dispel the long-running myth “that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most,” claims that through a series of legal loopholes – namely the fact that intangible assets, like stock earnings and increases in property value, are not taxable – some of America’s richest business people have been paying much less than what some say they should to Uncle Sam. While ProPublica has stayed tight-lipped on how, exactly, they obtained these documents illustrating this phenomenon, which they claimed they received in “raw form, with no conditions or conclusions,” the information included seemingly passed a reportedly rigorous fact-checking process. “In every instance we were able to check — involving tax filings by more than 50 separate people — the details provided to ProPublica matched the information from other sources,” they explained.

That said, as tax information is usually meant to stay confidential, the individuals who provided the documents to the news outlet could face “criminal liability,” CNBC noted.

So remember, folks — Evading taxes through legal loopholes? Right on! Leaking tax information allegedly depicting billionaires doing allegedly shady things? Shame on you!