Randall Amster

How Trump's subservient GOP exposes the failure of American exceptionalism

The impeachment trial was never going to produce a conviction, of course, but it could have at least served to shore up even a few of the nominal pillars of democracy yet intact. Decades of erosion by chief executives, packed courts, congressional (in)action, and general malfeasance have weakened protective mechanisms in areas from voting and campaign finance to government transparency and individual rights. Now, with the short-circuited process and inevitable outcome of the impeachment hearing, there is another nail in the coffin of a fractured system that still sits on an idealized pedestal.

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Dear fossil fuels: It’s over

We know that this has been a difficult period for you, and there’s never really a good time to break up. But it’ll be better for you (and us) if we just rip off the bandage quickly and get it over with. We’ve had some fun times together, and we’re grateful for what you’ve given us: food, clothing, shelter, and of course energy. But we’re done—and just to be clear: it’s you, not us. (Well, mostly you, and a bit of us.)

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Monsanto's Death Grip on Your Food

Monsanto has yet another case pending in the court system, this time before the U.S. Supreme Court on the exclusivity of its genetically modified seed patents. Narrowly at issue is whether Monsanto retains patent rights on soybeans that have been replanted after showing up in generic stocks rather than being sold specifically as seeds, or whether those patent rights are “exhausted” after the initial planting. But more broadly the case also raises implications regarding control of the food supply and the patenting of life – questions that current patent laws are ill-equipped to meaningfully address.

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