Reader Supported News

There's a New Law That Could Allow the President to Send Armed Secret Service Agents to Polling Places

SECRET SERVICE PROTECTION AT POLLING PLACES.
This section shall not prevent any officer or agent of the United States Secret Service from providing armed protective services authorized under section 3056 or pursuant to a Presidential memorandum at any place where a general or special election is held. 

The single sentence above, which amends current federal law, would give the president unprecedented authority to send armed Secret Service agents to any US polling place for any reason. The law allows the president to send armed Secret Service agents to every US polling place if he has enough agents.

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Why Are Democrats and Progressives Pushing the U.S. War Machine in Vermont?

This is a story primarily about corrupt practices by the Burlington City Council, in its headlong determination to force a neighboring city to be the base for a weapon of mass destruction, the nuclear capable F-35 fighter-bomber (in development since 1992, first flown in 2000, still not reliably deployable in 2018, at a cost of $400 billion and counting). Yes, the premise itself is corrupt: Burlington owns the airport in South Burlington, so South Burlington has no effective say in how many housing units Burlington destroys in South Burlington to meet environmental standards for imposing the quiet-shattering F-35 jet on a community that doesn’t want it and won’t benefit from it. The entire “leadership” of the state of Vermont, mostly Democrats, has spent more than a decade making this atrocity happen, with widespread media complicity. And you wonder how we got Trump as President.

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Trump Endorses Criminal Conspiracy to Crush Honduras Vote

Honduras is bleeding now, and Honduran blood runs from the hands of President Trump and Gen. John Kelly, long a vicar of American violence enforcing the imperial will. In their vicariously murderous way, Trump and Kelly are carrying on with a century-old, bipartisan American tradition of oppression and human disregard in the classic “banana republic” that the US Marines once kept safe for United Fruit. Trump and Kelly now are merely defending the corrupt military coup of 2009, sanctioned by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who was OK with death squads). Obama and Clinton are the godparents of the present Honduran thugocracy and its unchecked death squads that together provoked the massive emigration of Hondurans seeking safety here, thereby helping to elect Trump in 2016.

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The American Flag Ritual Is an Exercise in Mindless Obedience

The flag is a symbol, and there is no agreement as to what it actually symbolizes. By design, the flag’s thirteen stripes stand for the original 13 states, none of which would ban slavery. The 14th state, Vermont, was the first state to ban slavery, doing it weakly in its 1777 state constitution (not that the principle was enforced: in 1802 the Town of Windsor sued a State Supreme Court justice to get him to take care of an elderly, infirm slave he had dumped on town welfare; the town lost the case). The original flag had 13 stars for those same original 13 states, and it took over 70 years before all 36 stars in the 1865 flag represented states without slavery (but not states without racist Jim Crow laws and the freedom to lynch without consequence). The colors of the stars and stripes had no meaning in 1777, when it was adopted, as distinct from the colors of the Great Seal that did have meaning.

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Trump's In-Your-Face Impeachable Offense

“For seven years I’ve been hearing about health care, and I’ve been hearing about repeal and replace and Obamacare is a total disaster, some states had over a 200 percent increase, 200 percent increase in their premiums, and their deductibles are through the roof, it’s an absolute disaster. And I think you’ll also agree that I’ve been saying for a long time, let Obamacare fail and then everybody’s going to have to come together and fix it…. Let Obamacare fail, it’ll be a lot easier. And I think we’re probably in that position, where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it, I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans, they’re not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and the Democrats are going to come to us and we’re going to say, 'How do we fix it? How do we fix it? Or, how do we come up with a new plan?' … It would be nice to have Democrat support, but really they’re obstructionists, they have no ideas, they have no thought process, all they want to do is obstruct government, and obstruct, period.”  — President Trump, luncheon comments, July 18, 2017

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FBI Nominee Christopher Wray Sure Looks Dirty

"If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period. Full stop. My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law. They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will adhere to them no matter the test."

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Trump Has Created a Political Landscape So Much Stranger Than Most of Us Are Willing to Admit

When was the last time we had a sitting president and a former FBI director calling each other liars? And something like 100 per cent of the population seems to believe that at least one of the accused liars is a real liar. That’s the new American normal.

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Vermont's Governor Showed His Political Hypocrisy by Vetoing Legal Marijuana

Vermont, of all places, offers the latest example of how marijuana makes people crazy, the people in this case being the Republican governor and most of the Republican Party. For all the “Reefer Madness” propaganda from governments over the past century, the real madness comes from opponents of marijuana, not its users or proponents.

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In Syria: Clinton Calls for War, Trump Obliges, Both Blame Obama

“Assad had an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths, as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days. And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them.” 

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Is Trump's Pledge to Make ObamaCare Fail an Impeachable Offense?

"We were very close [on the health care bill]. It was a very, very tight margin. We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren’t going to give us a single vote, so it’s a very difficult thing to do. I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now…. It’s going to have a very bad year…. This year should be much worse for Obamacare…. We’ll end up with a truly great healthcare bill in the future, after this mess known as Obamacare explodes…. I know some of the Democrats, and they’re good people—I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say, look, let’s get together and get a great healthcare bill or plan that’s really great for the people of our country. And I think that’s going to happen." —President Trump, press briefing March 24, 2017

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What War Are We Buying With Another $58 Billion for the Military?

We have to start winning wars again. I have to say, when I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war. We never lost a war, remember?...America never lost. And now we never win a war. We never win. And don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win. We’ve either got to win or don’t fight at all.

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New U.S. Policy: Kill the Kurds

The continuing incoherence, insanity, and ultimate inanity of US policy in and around Syria was highlighted brilliantly, albeit perhaps inadvertently, by Vice President Joe Biden on a state visit to Turkey August 24, when he threatened the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State – the Kurdish militias – with American punishment if they didn’t play nice with the Turks, who have spent years supporting the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), attacking “bad” Kurds in Turkey and Iraq, and who are now attacking “good” Kurds in Syria.

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Trump's Attorney Says Child Rape Allegations Have 'Absolutely No Merit'

“The allegations are not only categorically false, but disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention or, more likely, are politically motivated. To be clear, there is absolutely no merit to these claims and, based on our investigation, no evidence that the person who has made these allegations actually exists.”
– Alan Garten, corporate attorney for Donald Trump, April 28, 2016

The federal lawsuit, titled Katie Johnson v. Donald J. Trump and Jeffrey E. Epstein, accuses Trump and Epstein of rape and other sexual assaults during the summer of 1994, when plaintiff was 13 years old. Attorney Garten denied the accusations and cast doubt on the existence of the plaintiff.

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So How Progressive Is the Democratic Party Platform?

“Our job is to pass the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

Bernie Sanders campaign statement

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Conspiracy Theorists Can't Deal With the Reality That Antonin Scalia Was Old, Unwell and Frail

The official version of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s death at a remote Texas luxury resort during the night of February 12-13 is that he died of natural causes, in bed alone and without any witness, time of death unknown. While there’s little forensic evidence to support this or any other conclusion, there’s even less evidence to challenge it. What, after all, is not credible about a 79-year-old, overweight man with heart disease and other medical issues dying in his sleep after overindulging at a dinner party for 40 people?

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Wall Street Billionaire Appears to Be Genuinely Puzzled by Bernie Sanders' Populist Crusade Against the Richest 1%

Multi-billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman says he’s puzzled by the amount of discontent apparently felt by other Americans these days.  

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Saudi Arabia a Force for Stability? Dream On!

he Saudi mass beheadings on January 2 proved nothing new to a world that well knows Saudi Arabia is still a tribal police state with a moral code of medieval barbarity. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni-Muslim country that executes people for witchcraft, adultery, apostasy, and homosexuality (among other things). And the Saudi regime is perfectly willing to torture and kill a Shi’a-Muslim cleric for the crime of speaking truth to power, knowing that that judicial murder will inflame his followers and drive the region toward wider war. The Saudi provocation is as transparent as it is despicable, and yet the Saudis are held to no account, as usual. 

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Obama's Response to Terror Attacks Is Chillingly Way Too Much Like Dubya

President Obama’s oval office talk on terrorism promises more of the same failed strategy based on no serious reconsideration of changed reality. From the top, by focusing on 14 Americans killed in San Bernardino, the President plays into the terrorists’ hands. President Obama, like the rest of the US establishment, appears to have learned nothing since President Bush played the fear card after 9/11, then used it to terrorize the Muslim world with ever more disastrous results (carried on by President Obama). 

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Anderson Cooper, Worth Tens of Millions, Doesn't Relent on Attacking Bernie's Socialism

Who was the richest person in CNN’s Democratic presidential debate?

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Why Is the NY Times Basically Doing a Blackout on Bernie Sanders?

The front page story is about such issues as “work force anxieties,” “shrinking middle class,” “stagnant wages,” and a growing income gap at pre-Depression levels. The candidate who has been raising these issues longer and louder than any others is Bernie Sanders. Yet the New York Times story about these issues does not even mention Bernie Sanders, although it mentions others with less credibility. 

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Top 11 Torturers of the Bush Years

Obviously guilty: two presidents and much of two administrations

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The Fukushima Disaster Continues to Worsen

Nobody in the world knows how to dispose of radioactive waste safely and permanently. That's a given. The Japanese central government is presumably aware that anything it does with still the unmeasured but vast amount of radioactive waste from Fukushima's six nuclear power generators will be temporary. Leaving it in place is not an option. So Tokyo announced on August 29 that the Fukushima waste would be stored for 30 years in Fukushima prefect, in an "interim facility" to be built probably in nearby Okuma or Futaba (now evacuated).

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Rape at College, Then Rape by College

Two weeks after the fall term started, an unknown number of male students, apparently including members of the undefeated football team at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Hobart), raped an 18-year-old freshman girl who’d had too much to drink. Hobart’s response was to re-rape the child bureaucratically by ignoring evidence and finding the alleged rapists not guilty. It was a sham of an administrative adjudication that failed to meet even a shadow of fairness, competence, or even intellectual plausibility. Hobart stands by its dishonest decision. Case closed.

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Danger Zone: Major Nuclear Waste Dump Continues to Emit Dangerous Levels of Radiation

Something happened in February, something is STILL going on

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Another War in Iraq - Just What U.S. Needs!

Kinetic support: a euphemism for the President’s pre-authorized war

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U.S. Provokes Russia, Acts Surprised to Get Nasty Reaction

If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there’s a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone in power knows that’s a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution. 

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Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream: Much Ado About the Wrong Things

"Israeli beverage company SodaStream has hired the sexiest woman alive to be its first-ever 'global brand ambassador,' the company said in a statement issued Saturday."
— Haaretz story's first line announcing the company’s signing of Scarlett Johansson (January 12, 2014)

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Do Bank of America and Wells Fargo Run Vermont's Capitol City?

This article originally appeared on Reader Supported News, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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Did the Prosecutor Screw Up in the Zimmerman Case?

Listening to the lead prosecutor's final argument in the Zimmerman case, it's hard to believe he really wanted a conviction.

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A Rough Guide to Life in the United States of Zimmermanm, the US of Z

The most important thing about the Zimmerman verdict is that it's a clear demonstration of how the American legal system is only about law. It is not about justice. It is not even about the consequences of killing another person.

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