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Corrupt Justice: When judges hide their links to litigants and their lawyers

+ Corrupt justice: Judges in local, state and federal courts across the U.S. often hide their connections to litigants and their lawyers, as revealed in a must-read investigation by the Contently Foundation for Investigative Reporting and the Guardian.

+ The man accused of spoofing some of the world’s biggest futures exchanges is a Russian chess genius who once dated Gorbachev’s granddaughter and calls himself a “clinical observer of human carnival” on his LinkedIn profile.

+ Yet more controversy surrounding the embattled F-35 program, the fighter jet which has cost the Pentagon billions of dollars in cost overruns over the last decade. For pilots weighing less than 135 pounds, there is a 98 percent probability of fatal injury during ejections from the plane at 160 knots, according to documents obtained by Roll Call.

+ This judge in Mississippi says that anyone charged with a crime is a criminal as he defends the state’s lack of funding to cover the costs of public defense for indigent suspects.

Pentagon’s trillion-dollar jet outmanned by aging F-16

How bad is the Pentagon’s notorious F-35 jet, which has been plagued by mechanical problems and is expected to cost $1.4 trillion (that’s not a typo – that’s TRILLION) over the life of its program?

The next-generation fighter jet was “consistently outmanned” by an aging F-16 during a series of 17 dogfights, according to a test pilot’s report cited by War is Boring and the Project on Government Oversight. The F-35’s poor performance prompted POGO to call on Congress and the Pentagon (once again) to re-evaluate the whole program:

“This test report proves the problems with the F-35 program are fundamental and systemic. It’s time to pull the brake before ramping up production to make sure taxpayers aren’t paying more for less,” said Dan Grazier, the Jack Shanahan Fellow working with POGO’s Straus Military Reform Project.

Just a few months ago, another report noted the problematic plane’s vulnerability to lightning strikes and its unreliable and unstable software system. Yet the F-35 remains “too big to fail” due to the intransigence of the Pentagon and the heavy lobbying efforts of Lockheed, its manufacturer.