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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 10191 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #735 on: September 30, 2018, 01:09:04 pm »

Vtdigger

🌩 Storms of autumn 🍁 🍂

By Walt Amses 

Sep 28 2018 

Editor’s note: Walt Amses is a writer and former educator who lives in North Calais.

As our floundering ship of state looks ever more likely to slip under relentless waves of growing resistance, the captain wonders why the crew seems intent on tossing a life preserver to everyone else. What about him? Based on past performance we can envision him pushing to the front of the line, ordering the sailors to stand down and focusing the entire rescue operation on getting himself out of harm’s way while blaming everyone else for navigating toward the iceberg.

It makes you wonder what it might be like to share a lifeboat with Donald J. Trump … of course that’s a joke. You’d have to live in a vacuum not to understand the president’s main priority in a natural disaster would not deviate from his main priority in a political disaster: himself. You’d be tossed overboard without a moment’s hesitation. Unless you’re a woman. In which case you’d probably jump overboard yourself, willing to risk a possible encounter with jaws rather than an inevitable rendezvous with paws. #MeToo movement, meet ME-ME-ME 2.0.


Utter disregard for others comes through loud and clear via tweets so shameless that even allies are thinking twice: The almost 3,000 victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico were not killed by the hurricane but rather were the product of a democratic plot to make him look bad, as if he needs any assistance in that department. The president’s reliance on conspiracy theories, however typical, remains shocking in its departure from reality, negatively tweaking his already tanking approval rating.


We can easily imagine those numbers sinking even further given the likelihood that Trump’s assessment of climate change as a “hoax, invented by China” might be called into question, particularly in light of the unprecedented devastation Hurricane Florence continues to spread through the Carolinas.




Undaunted by televangelist and snake oil salesman Pat Robertson’s  “shield of protection,” the storm dumped rains of biblical proportion, inundating entire towns and cutting off major cities such as Wilmington, North Carolina.


On a visit there last week ostensibly to comfort victims, the president couldn’t help but seek personal comfort as well, enquiring about a lake northeast of Charlotte, which is coincidentally adjacent to one of his golf courses. Asking a local energy official, “How is Lake Norman doing?”, saying that he “loved that area” but suggesting ”I can’t tell you why, but I love that area.” As usual, Trump’s ham-fisted attempt at being adroitly subtle landed with a resounding thud, prompting groans from a public growing weary of his unparalleled self interest.

As the waters began to recede and late summer morphed into early fall, the severity of what unfolded in the Carolinas was only the latest in a series of hundred-year storms that climate scientists worry might mark the tipping point of global warming’s impact on the size and intensity of hurricanes and other weather phenomena such as heat waves and floods. A team of researchers from New York’s Stony Brook University have already determined that Florence was bigger and stronger – dropping 50 percent more rain – than it would have been had it occurred in a world without human-caused warming.

If that weren’t enough, Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, perceived as a slam dunk, playing to the Republican base and enhancing the GOP’s chances heading into November’s midterm elections, appears likely to accomplish the opposite. Allegations of sexual misconduct in prep school and again in college last week sent conservatives reeling with the Hobson’s choice of caving to Democratic demands for a delay or jamming the nomination through, risking electoral blowback, potentially squandering even their Senate majority.

How this all goes down remains to be seen but harbingers of a perilous road for Trump & Company seem to be everywhere. Carolinians find themselves still swamped with floodwaters reeking of hog feces, toxic chemicals and coal ash — all courtesy of the environmental deregulation so dear to the president; normal Americans wonder aloud if the GOP is seriously considering political suicide by going public with their war on women; and the very real possibility that Rod Rosenstein — who appointed Robert Mueller — might soon be headed for the exit, providing additional drama that the administration can ill afford.

While Vermont’s autumnal equinox came rumbling south on I-89 right on time, with blustery winds and falling temperatures abruptly ending one of the warmest summers anyone can remember, Washington’s political ruling class is beginning to feel the chill as well. The president, finally alone in his lifeboat, was uncharacteristically silent over the weekend, leading beltway pundits to speculate that perhaps White House staffers had him bound and gagged, strategically incommunicado somewhere in the West Wing until things blow over.

But conservatives 💵😈🎩 might do well to keep in mind that this will not blow over. Like the monumental storms we’ve seen over the past few years, it’s too damned big and unlikely to be the last one they see slowly churning their way. Summer may be gone but hurricane season is far from over.

https://vtdigger.org/2018/09/28/walt-amses-storms-autumn/


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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #736 on: October 02, 2018, 12:25:17 pm »
Sanders Calls for Kavanaugh Perjury Investigation – Where are the Democrats? A Q&A with Paul Jay

October 1, 2018

Dharna Noor and Paul Jay discuss the announcement by Mitch McConnell that a Senate vote will be held before the end of this week and a letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders calling for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s possible perjury


https://therealnews.com/stories/sanders-calls-for-kavanaugh-perjury-investigation-where-are-the-democrats-a-qa-with-paul-jay
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #737 on: October 03, 2018, 07:49:07 pm »

John Oliver on SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh 🦍

October 3, 2018 6:00pm by Barry Ritholtz

John Oliver discusses the ongoing controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh, the sexual assault allegations against him, his Supreme Court nomination, and what that could all mean for the highest (mostly-dog) court in the land.

Brett Kavanaugh: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)


https://ritholtz.com/2018/10/john-oliver-on-scotus-nominee-kavanaugh/
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #738 on: October 03, 2018, 08:52:17 pm »
Quote
A vital element of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was the fiction-filled autobiography he foisted on us, the beating heart of which was, “Vote for me because I’m a self-made rich man.” For a variety of reasons best contemplated after a tall glass of neat whiskey and a nap  ;), it worked.

Erasing the presidency of Barack Obama while enshrining “Owning the Libs” as a national policy priority became the grease to lubricate the machine. Nearly two years later the mythology of the billionaire president remains highly motivational to Trump’s still-frantic supporters.

That mythology took a torpedo shot below the waterline on Tuesday courtesy of The New York Times, which unleashed a meticulous 14,000-word analysis of the origins of Trump’s fortune. David Cay Johnston , winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting, wrote of the Times report, “As the paper’s former tax reporter, and the journalist who has covered Trump the longest, I’m in a solid position to judge the depth and quality of their work. It is masterful.

Full Article:

Be William Rivers Pitt Truthout

PUBLISHED October 3, 2018


https://truthout.org/articles/the-dubious-fiction-of-donald-trumps-fortune-has-been-exposed/
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #739 on: October 03, 2018, 10:13:56 pm »

Disaster Profiteers vs. the People of Puerto Rico


October 2, 2018

One year after Hurricane Maria, counting the dead is one of many challenges that Puerto Rico faces under massive debt, crippling austerity, and disaster profiteers. Aaron Maté speaks to writer and educator Rima Brusi and Carla Minet of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico

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Story Transcript

AARON MATE: It’s The Real News. I’m Aaron Mate.

One year after Hurricane Maria, there is virtually no dispute that thousands of people lost their lives in Puerto Rico. A Harvard study earlier this year says the storm likely killed more than 4600. And ahead of Maria’s first anniversary, the Puerto Rican government officially acknowledged a toll of at least 2975. But there is one notable exception in the White House. President Trump recently said Democrats had inflated the toll to make him look bad. And FEMA director Brock Long made the rounds on cable news to downplay the numbers.


BROCK LONG: And it’s frustrating. Those studies, the Harvard study was done differently than the George Washington study, or this study or that study. And the numbers are all over the place. So the George Washington study looked at what happened six months after the fact. And you know what happens is – and even in this event you might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the stoplights weren’t working. You know the other thing that goes on – there’s all kinds of studies on this that we take a look at. Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.

AARON MATE: The Trump administration’s death toll denial has at least garnered some media attention. But it’s one of many tragedies that Puerto Rico is facing one year after Hurricane Maria. Well, joining me are two guests; Rima Brusi is a writer, educator and advocate, she’s formerly a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico. And Carla Minet is executive director of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico. Welcome to you both.

Carla, I’ll start with you. What do we know at this point about the death toll? Your group was on the story from the beginning, reporting that the early numbers were a huge undercount. Every study since then has corroborated your findings. What do we know today?

CARLA MINET: Well, we still know very little. What we have is the recent George Washington University report that says that around more than 3000 people died. But it’s another estimate. They haven’t done like an epidemiology kind of study. What we did is that we did a journalism investigation. We recently published the most complete database that has 487 cases of verified cases of people that died because of the hurricane, following the CDC guidelines. So that database is online, and there you have the most complete list and testimonies of the family members of the people that died because of the hurricane, though still no official new numbers have come out.

AARON MATE: And what do you think accounts for a sizable number of the deaths that came in the days and months after the hurricane, the people who didn’t die immediately in the storm?

CARLA MINET: Most of the deaths that we have been documenting our debt from people that died the next weeks and months following the hurricane. They died because of the lack of medical services, lack of medicines, lack of electricity to get their medical treatment, problems in hospitals, infections sepsis, lack of the possibility of having dialysis, and the kind of deaths that are considered related, but not directly, to the hurricane. But since the CDC still considers them related to a hurricane although they are indirectly related.

AARON MATE: And Rima Brusi, as you look at the media coverage of Hurricane Maria one year later, there was recently a round of commemorations, what’s your sense of how Puerto Rico is being covered today and what issues do you think are being most overlooked?

RIMA BRUSI: Well, there’s a lot of journalists and a lot of writers in general that are doing a really good job, a really nice job on that, are making a big effort to get at the roots of the crisis and to cover the issue in depth. Now that said, the mainstream press in general has a tendency to focus on the hurricane in itself as an isolated natural disaster and to portray Puerto Ricans as victims of a natural disaster and nothing else. Whereas there’s many processes that not only make a disaster much worse, like Carla was saying, in terms of debts and the impact in a general sense. Most of that predated the hurricane and had come from before, from 2015.

The stating by the local government of the debt unpayable, and by the reaction of the bondholders and by reaction the federal government and their decision to impose the Junta de Control Fiscal, this fiscal management board that is pretty much all-powerful, and that has an impact on the way things happen in every financial institution in Puerto Rico nowadays. So I guess what I’m saying is that journalists covering Puerto Rico sometimes do not go into the issue. So they don’t understand the economic roots and the ideological roads of many of the things that they’re covering, as if they were only a consequence of Hurricane Maria. No, there’s a lot of stuff going on from before. Stuff that places like the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, where Carla works, were covering before the hurricane.

AARON MATE: And for people who are unfamiliar with some of those structural issues, can you give us a brief survey and your assessment of where they are now? We’re talking about an island 72 billion dollars in bond debt. About 50 billion dollars when it comes to pension obligations. But what a lot of people don’t know is the strong connection that these huge obligations have to Wall Street.

RIMA BRUSI: Absolutely. Wall Street is not particularly concerned about the pension engagements part. But as soon as the governor in 2015 declared the debt unpayable, a group of … I think it was 34 hedge funds and vulture funds hurried, in a very rushed manner commissioned this report, and in about eight to ten pages sort of made a set of recommendations to the Puerto Rican government. Demands, really, more than recommendations because they reflect the demands later made in court by the same group of debtholders. And these demands included a number of austerity measures.

They want labor reform, they want education reform. And when they say education reform, they focus on two very specific things. They wanted to reduce the budget of the public university and they wanted to reduce, and I’m quoting almost verbatim, the number of teachers working in the K-12 system. So very early in the game, two years before the hurricane, already there was an agenda of closing schools, of attacking labor, of reducing union power or eliminating unions or undermining unions. All those things predated the hurricane.

So now the we are further debilitated by the hurricane, those measures are even more dangerous and undermine Puerto Rico’s ability to recover and to recover economically, and also frankly emotionally, from the hurricane. Now the overall frame for this, of course, is a frame that combines disaster capitalism, which I think a lot of your viewers are familiar with that the kind of framework, and the approach after disasters to sort of make a profit out of it by different actors. And then in the case of Puerto Rico, there’s also colonialism. We are powerless to take our own measures, in political terms, against disaster profiteering because the local government has pretty much no power. The federal government’s power trumps any decision the Puerto Rican government can make.

AARON MATE: Carla, let me ask you about the issue of disaster profiteering, because there was a recent study put out by the Center for a New Economy, which your group has covered, that found that ninety percent of federal contracts for post-Maria recovery have been issued to companies that are outside of Puerto Rico.

CARLA MINET: Yeah, definitely. Everybody has been wondering where this recovery money is going. And we now have just learned that almost 90 percent of this money is going to companies in the U.S. And I think it begs the question; with so much unemployment in Puerto Rico and so much need, so many people eager to work, people that even went to the U.S. and would be willing to come back to the island if they had a decent job, why is this recovery process not being distributed among Puerto Rican companies and Puerto Rican people? So it’s definitely part of this system, this federal system of contracting companies that are on their list. I don’t know if this has a political side. I can suppose it does. But definitely, it’s not being something that is for the benefit of the Puerto Rican economy that’s been for like 12 years now in depression.

AARON MATE: Rima Brusi, as we wrap, you mentioned a bit about some of the attacks on education. And let me ask you about that in the context of your former school, University of Puerto Rico. Can you talk about what has been happening there, and also the impact that cuts to education have on activism? Because it’s my understanding that campuses like the University of Puerto Rico have been sort of the center for so much resistance inside Puerto Rico, so much activism over many, many years.

RIMA BRUSI: So, yes. The university, since 1948 at least, has been very active in terms of leading the resistance, spearheading the resistance against not only disaster profiteering but before that, neoliberal measures, austerity measures and also colonialism and political colonialism in the sense of the federal power over Puerto Rican affairs. So I was not surprised when they became the first target by the Junta de Control Fiscal, the fiscal management board imposed by the federal government through the PROMESA law. As soon as they were officially established, their very first target was the public university. And they basically slashed the public university’s budget by a third. So at that point in time, the university’s budget was determined by a formula in terms of a portion, a percentage, of the Puerto Rico’s budget in general.

So when Puerto Rico was in financial trouble, the budget of the university went down in the same way every other budget for every other agency went down. And this was designed like that in order to protect the university from partisan bickering and from partisan actions. Now that the Junta has decided to cut the university’s budget by a third, the university is more vulnerable to partisanship and to partisan attacks from within, locally. But also outside of that, the federal government has been really unhelpful. Like from all the relief funds that the federal government assigned to relief efforts associated with Hurricane Maria, the University of Puerto Rico, which has 11 campuses and takes care of the majority of students on the island, received only 20 percent.

Now surprisingly, institutions like NYU, New York University, which has a lot of money, and Grand Canyon University, which was until very recently a for-profit and in many ways still is, got a lot of money from Hurricane Maria’s relief funds, even though they were not affected in any way by the hurricane. So this combination of local partisanship and colonialism and the intervention by the federal government, and the way the federal government has decided to distribute their funds, has affected the university to a great degree, to the point where we, and I say we because I consider myself still part of it, are frankly desperate.

Because the university generates 70 percent of all academic knowledge in the island. It generates 90 percent of all peer reviewed and basic research work. It is a bastion for the resistance in Puerto Rico. It is also one of the main motors, and I want to say the main but at least one of the main motors, in terms of upward mobility and economic opportunity for our people. And it’s being handicapped in such a way that we are afraid. And Joseph Stiglitz agrees with us on this and local economists like Jose Carballo-Cueto also do. The handicapping of the University of Puerto Rico is going to have a terrible effect, a terrible impact in terms of Puerto Rico’s recovery.

AARON MATE: As we wrap up, Carla, last question to you. You are the executive director of a Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico. What are the key stories and issues that you have your eye on that you think are going to be shaping the direction that Puerto Rico goes in?

CARLA MINET: So the stories about the bankruptcy process and how it evolves now that we have a new scenario, I think it’s a very important story. Also, how is the federal government going to keep going at this recovery process in this scenario where we have very complex issues to tackle? Not only the economic situation and the devastation created by the hurricane, but the fact that the most impacted issue since the hurricane is the electric grid in Puerto Rico, which is probably the biggest problem in terms of how much it takes to have a new and resilient, as they want to call it, electric grid that is strong enough for the island looking into the future and knowing that we will get many other tropical storms, hurricanes, et cetera, because of climate change and the way we’ve been behaving with nature.

So I think it’s important to understand that all these stories, as Rima said, are very related to the political system in Puerto Rico, the political nature of us being a colony of the U.S., and how that would manifest into every decision that the federal government makes. I think it’s the best way to understand how the decisions are being taken. With the new elections coming up in the U.S. in the next months, I think it is a question of how will that be relevant to Puerto Rico’s case. I think many people are trying to figure that out, if it means something for us. And also, I think that in the end, the most important question is how can Puerto Ricans be the ones deciding their own future, their own recovery process, and not the federal government, not the bondholders, not the U.S. companies coming into Puerto Rico to profit from this disaster.

AARON MATE: We’ll leave it there. I want to thank both my guests. Rima Brusi is a writer, educator and advocate, formerly a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico. And Carla Minet is Executive Director at the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico. Thanks to you both.

CARLA MINET: Thank you.

RIMA BRUSI: Thank you.

AARON MATE: And thank you for joining us on The Real News.

https://therealnews.com/stories/disaster-profiteers-vs-the-people-of-puerto-rico
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #740 on: October 04, 2018, 05:05:50 pm »

Quote
Nicholas Grossman 

Senior Editor at Arc Digital. Poli Sci prof (IR) at U. Illinois. Author of “Drones and Terrorism.” Politics, national security, and occasional nerdery.

SepTEMBER  29, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh Is A Liar (And 44 Other Things I Believe)

Some honest thoughts about this fascinating, harrowing national drama

1. I believe Brett Kavanaugh is a liar.

2. I believe this primarily due to the hearings where he defended himself from accusations of sexual assault.

3. I believe he experienced nights of drinking where he couldn’t remember some stuff that happened. I believe his freshman year roommate — who described Kavanaugh as “frequently, incoherently drunk” — as well as others who said he drank a lot and often became belligerent.

4. I believe this, in part, because I knew guys like Brett in college. A lot of people knew guys like Brett in college.

5.. I don’t believe drinking to excess in high school or college matters. I strongly believe everyone’s responsible for their actions, intoxicated or otherwise, but the drinking itself doesn’t matter.

6.. I don’t believe it matters to the American people either. George W. Bush drank to excess, almost certainly drugs too, grew out of it. Barack Obama admitted to marijuana and c o c a i n e, grew out of it. Voters didn’t care.

7.But I believe lying about it matters.

8. I don’t believe “Renate Alumnius” is an innocent reference to friendship (though I believe Kavanaugh could have written it in his yearbook without ever hooking up with her). I don’t believe Kavanaugh called himself “Beach Week Ralph Club — Biggest Contributor” because he ate too much spicy food. I don’t believe “boofing” refers to flatulence or “Devil’s Triangle” refers to a drinking game. I believe Kavanaugh knows this.

9. I can’t believe youthful drinking and high school yearbooks are being discussed as an issue of national importance.

10. But I believe lying about unimportant things is important. Kavanaugh might be lying because he thinks the truth makes accusations against him more believable. He might be lying because he’s embarrassed. Neither makes it better.

11. I know that lying about innocuous things is a big red flag when applying for a security clearance. If you’d lie just because you’re embarrassed about youthful indiscretion, how can we trust you not to lie if you make a mistake, or something goes wrong?

12. I believe Brett Kavanaugh made a conscious decision to lie to America to get on the Supreme Court. I do not believe we can objectively determine if he’s lying about more serious things — especially pertaining to Christine Blasey Ford — but his willingness to lie about unimportant things raises suspicion.

13. I believe Christine Blasey Ford, and I did not say that before the hearing. I found her testimony credible and upsetting. I especially believed her when she opened with “I’m terrified.” Who wouldn’t be?

14. I was also moved by Kavanaugh’s testimony. I believed him when he choked up talking about how hard this has been on his family. I considered the possibility he’s completely innocent, and it’s horrifying.

15. I don’t believe anyone knows how they’d react if they faced false accusations in a setting like this. I believe Kavanaugh’s anger and emotion is one plausible reaction.

16, I also believe Kavanaugh’s anger and emotion is consistent with someone who believes he is being unfairly denied something that is rightfully his.

17. I believe he worked incredibly hard to get here. I believe he straightened up sometime after college, and lived the moral life his defenders describe. Some of the guys like Brett I knew in college did too.

18. I believe 25+ years of responsible adulthood easily outweighs drinking too much and acting like a jerk as a young man.

19. But I believe acting like a jerk is on one side of an important line, and sexual assault’s on the other.

20. I believe that saying you believe both Kavanaugh and Ford is a cop-out. In particular, believing she was assaulted as described, but by someone other than Kavanaugh, is a dodge — a way to keep supporting his nomination without having to say she’s lying or crazy.

21. I know memory can be unreliable. But Dr. Ford — an accomplished research psychologist — knows that as well as anyone. She still says “100% certain.”

22. I know I don’t remember specific dates of any social gatherings in high school, nor how I got to all of them. I believe people making a big deal out of Blasey Ford not remembering these details don’t remember dates of their high school gatherings either.

23. I believe it’s possible Blasey Ford is telling the truth and Kavanaugh doesn’t remember. I believe this because he drank a lot, because many high school upperclassmen barely notice younger teenagers around them, and because the incident sounds much more memorable for the victim than the perpetrator.

24. I believe it’s much more likely someone on the cusp of incredible power — someone who believes they deserve it — would lie. Especially compared to someone relatively anonymous who knew she’d be dragged through the mud for coming forward.

25. I believe lying in Blasey Ford’s position would be harder than lying in Kavanaugh’s.

26. I know some r a p e accusations are fabrications. But the research indicates fake accusations are usually over-the-top, often come from people with a history of lying, and don’t include admissions of imperfect memory. I don’t believe Blasey Ford’s accusation raises any of those red flags.

27. I believe Julie Swetnick’s accusation, conveyed through attorney/media personality Michael Avenatti — that Kavanaugh and Judge orchestrated gang r a p e parties — does.

28. I believe Democrats have played politics throughout, manipulating the timing to delay passed the midterms. I believe some of them see Blasey Ford more as a tool than a person.

29. But I don’t see how any of that reduces her credibility.

I30.  believe Republicans arguing that they have to take a stand or Democrats will drum up similar accusations against any future nominee need to ask themselves why Scalia, Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, and Gorsuch did not face accusations of sexual assault. I believe they should consider the possibility the relevant factor with Thomas and Kavanaugh was particular to Thomas and Kavanaugh, not the party of the president who nominated them.

31. I believe there’s a fundamental flaw in Republicans’ “gotta take a stand” logic: forgetting about the American people. Democrats will attack any Republican Supreme Court nominee, but attacks against squeaky-clean nominees like John Roberts won’t resonate outside of h a r d c o r e partisans. Polls show approval for Kavanaugh dropped over 10% since his nomination. That doesn’t happen to everyone Democrats attack.

32. I believe public opinion on this matters. Not because we should govern by public opinion poll — we definitely shouldn’t — but because Supreme Court legitimacy matters.

33. I know John Roberts thinks legitimacy matters, and I don’t believe he would ever make a blatantly partisan public statement like Kavanaugh did before the Senate, not even if he were falsely accused of sexual assault.

34. I believe the American Bar Association correctly emphasizes legitimacy in it’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The first canon reads: “A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”

35. By this standard, I believe Kavanaugh vowing revenge against Democrats — “what goes around comes around” —disqualifies him from the Supreme Court on its own.

36. I believe many Americans view this episode through a partisan filter. Bias and motivated reasoning are rampant, and I believe everyone should be honest about that and try to work towards objectivity.

37. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to convict Brett Kavanaugh of attempted r a p e in a court of law. There’s no physical evidence and no corroborating witnesses. The victim’s testimony, however compelling, isn’t enough.

38. I do not believe the accusations have been refuted either. Blasey Ford says he did it, Kavanaugh says he didn’t, and everyone else says they don’t remember.

39. I believe “I don’t remember” means “I don’t remember,” notI definitely remember and it didn’t happen. 😉”

40. I believe if we want to know what happened we need to hear from Mark Judge, the only witness to the alleged attack.

41.  do not believe we will know what happened beyond a reasonable doubt. But we have to make a decision despite the uncertainty.

42. I do not believe the criminal law standard of beyond a reasonable doubt is the correct one to use here. As I explained in a previous article, we’re choosing whether to elevate Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, not whether to throw him in jail.

43. I believe Supreme Court Justices should be held to the highest standard of integrity, and that there are too many clouds over Kavanaugh to confirm.

44. I believe confirming him would do long-term harm to the country by damaging Supreme Court legitimacy, and that there are many qualified conservative jurists who wouldn’t.

45. I believe this episode will damage the country however it turns out. Millions of Americans believe Kavanaugh is a sex offender. And millions of Americans believe Kavanaugh is an innocent man smeared by political opportunists. Unfortunately, I do not believe there is anything that could change either of those beliefs.

https://arcdigital.media/brett-kavanaugh-is-a-liar-and-44-other-things-i-believe-17db67de2532
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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #741 on: October 05, 2018, 12:41:23 pm »


Vote for Climate Justice in 2018

One of the most important ways we can protect the climate, our democracy, and the Supreme Court for the long term is by electing the progressive climate leaders we need on November 6.

Watch Sunrise Movement‘s Varshini Prakash talk about what’s at stake — and pledge to vote. On November 6, we can to take action to protect our democracy and win the just future we need. There’s too much at stake to sit this one out.


https://350action.org/vote-2018-video


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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #742 on: October 05, 2018, 03:00:17 pm »
Weak Underfunded IRS Behind Trump’s Wealth and History of Avoiding Taxes

October 4, 2018

Investigative tax attorney James Henry talks about the New York Times’ investigation into the origins of Trump’s wealth, how it is related to tax evasion, and how the US tax system has systematically and increasingly favored the rich


https://therealnews.com/stories/weak-underfunded-irs-behind-trumps-wealth-and-history-of-avoiding-taxes

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #743 on: October 11, 2018, 11:41:20 pm »

Trump Probably Engaged in Felony Tax Evasion

October 10, 2018

White collar criminologist Bill Black analyzes the New York Times investigation into Trump’s tax evasion and argues that if true, these would be considered felonies. However, he will probably never be held to account for this, before he leaves office


https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-probably-engaged-in-felony-tax-evasion
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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #744 on: October 12, 2018, 07:35:58 pm »
By Eli Watkins, Tami Luhby and Katie Lobosco, CNN

Updated 3:06 PM ET, Wed October 10, 2018


SNIPPET:

Championed for years by the left flank of the party, Medicare for all gained support following Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders' bid for the presidency. Many potential candidates for the party's 2020 nomination joined Sanders last year in filing a bill to establish the program, and former President Barack Obama referred to Medicare for all approvingly in a speech last month.

Trump, in his op-ed less than a month from the November elections, claimed the plan would devastate the health care industry, undercut Medicare in its current form and "inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care."


Full Article:



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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #745 on: October 12, 2018, 11:54:04 pm »
Trump is a LIAR!  


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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #746 on: October 18, 2018, 01:09:21 pm »
OCT 16, 2018TD ORIGINALS

America Is Authoritarian by Design

SNIPPET:

A second case in point is the passion play that unfolded last spring over creeping fascist Donald Trump’s vicious policy of separating migrant children from their parents as they cross the southern border. Cable news viewers saw highly emotional and personalized reporting on the trauma inflicted on Latinx families. Trump and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency were portrayed in a most unfavorable light, eliciting liberal and progressive outrage along with activist action that led to the reunification of many of the families torn apart by the Trump administration’s cruelty.

Beyond these dramatic stories, media consumers heard the usual timeworn calls for “comprehensive immigration reform” and clear “paths to citizenship.” Notice, however, what escaped critical examination. As during its breathless coverage of the “unaccompanied minor” migration crisis in 2014, the corporate media this year has had little to say about the following ways in which the United States has helped make Mexico and Central America unlivable for many of its people:

Flooding these nations with cheap, subsidized U.S. agricultural exports, devastating campesino communities in the name of “free trade.”

Using so-called free trade agreements to force the privatization of government enterprises, the deregulation of corporations, the slashing of social budgets and the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects.

Intensifying drug gang violence and power by advancing the militarized “War on Drugs.”

Accelerating climate change, which has ravaged Central American coffee and corn production.

Funding and equipping authoritarian and violent, mass-murderous “Third World fascist” regimes (including a right-wing junta the Obama administration helped install in Honduras toward the beginning of 2009) and forces allied with U.S. and business interests in Central America.

Thanks to the media’s failure to provide any of this essential historical-hemispheric context, the great majority of Americans are unaware that the United States has a moral obligation to take in and otherwise assist Central American immigrants and refugees seeking to escape situations made hopeless by U.S. intervention and policy.


Full article:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/authoritarianism-is-rotting-america-from-the-inside-out/

Agelbert COMMENT:

"Presiding over this failed state, of course, is Donald Trump 🦀 —the perfect avatar for a corporate, financial and military oligarchy 🐉🦕🦖 😈 👹 💵 🎩 🍌🏴‍🦍 ☠️🚩 systematically pillaging the state. "

True. 😟



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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #747 on: October 18, 2018, 01:19:49 pm »
October 18, 2018

Donald Trump just ATTACKED Bernie Sanders for fighting to pass Medicare For All.

But Bernie Sanders is NOT backing down:

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #748 on: October 18, 2018, 04:51:30 pm »
+  = 

The Terrible Trump Portrait That Explains Everything

October 18, 2018

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: The legacies of Nixon , Reagan 🐉 and W. Bush 🦕 combine to tell a long, sorry tale of corruption, greed, brazen lies, abused power and religious fundamentalism gone wild that put us where we are today. Remove any one of those men from the strange painting that lit up the internet on Monday, and Donald Trump would be just another late-night punchline you slept through, again.

Read the Article:

https://truthout.org/articles/the-terrible-trump-portrait-that-explains-everything/

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #749 on: October 20, 2018, 12:13:34 pm »
The Poor People’s Campaign Calls Out ‘Policy Violence’

The campaign wants to advance a new understanding of poverty as a traumatic experience inflicted by policy-makers.

By Greg Kaufmann OCTOBER 16, 2018

SNIPPET:

Quote
In 2014, 671,000 children ages 4 and under were homeless. It led to 18,600 additional hospitalizations.

As with housing, the data around food insecurity and policy solutions are clear. Children who receive SNAP (food-stamp) benefits—which are $1.40 per meal for the average recipient—are less likely to be at risk of being underweight or having developmental delays than children who are eligible but not receiving food stamps. These children also have fewer hospitalizations and emergency-room visits, and less need for special education in school. Families receiving SNAP are also 28 percent more likely to be able to pay for medical expenses without having to give up necessities like food, rent, or utilities. According to one long-term study, SNAP “is linked with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension in adults.”

“If a child is already developmentally delayed as a young child, they are between 8 to 12 times more likely to be unable to work as an adult,” said Chilton. “Food insecurity is a form of toxic stress, which is linked to having a smaller brain size, and it affects the organs in the body—the liver and lungs don’t function well.”

Chilton says that it’s not just Republicans with their proposals to add additional work requirements to SNAP that demonstrate a hostility towards children and low-income families. “Before the Trump administration—when Democrats had all of this information about the importance of SNAP benefits for child health and well-being—many of them voted to take money out of the SNAP program in order to fund school breakfast and school lunch. They knew that if they cut SNAP, children would be damaged. How is that not state-sanctioned violence against children?” 

Full article:



https://www.thenation.com/article/the-poor-peoples-campaign-calls-out-policy-violence/


Quote
Revelation 3:17 KJV

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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