New Wave of GMO Crops Poised for Approval Despite Public Outcry
Despite its own admission that it will cause an up to seven-fold increase in chemical pesticide use, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is poised to approve a new type of genetically engineered seed built to resist one of the most toxic weedkillers on the market.
Now, total approval hinges on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If that federal body approves the new genetically modified organism (GMO), farmers will be free to plant corn and soy seeds genetically manipulated to live through sprayings of Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a chemical cocktail containing both glyphosate and the antiquated, toxic chemical 2,4-D. Ironically, in the ’90s, chemical companies said the development of GMOs would eliminate the need to use older, more dangerous chemicals like 2,4-D. But as GMO use ramped up over the last few decades, chemical use increased, and many weeds are no longer responding to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, and the current chemical of choice for GMO farmers. This has created a “superweed” crisis, creating millions of acres of U.S. fields infested with hard-to-kill weeds.
via Kenneth Marshall:
Good background from Legal Schnauzer:
Siegelman Judge Faces Divorce Complaint That Hints At Extramarital Affairs, Drug Use
Mark Fuller, the federal judge who presided over the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, faces a divorce complaint that strongly hints at extramarital affairs, illicit drug use, driving under the influence, and other misconduct.
Lisa Boyd Fuller filed for divorce on May 10, 2012, and court filings since then point to serious allegations against her husband. (See the divorce complaint at the end of this post.) Will the divorce case raise questions about Mark Fuller’s fitness to be a U.S. district judge? Will it provide an avenue for Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy to have their convictions overturned?
It’s too early to know the answers to those questions. But Bob Martin, editor of the Montgomery Independent,shows in an article published yesterday that the divorce case might raise significant trouble for Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee who oversaw what has been described as the most notorious political prosecution in American history.
Federal judge arrested in Atlanta; accused of assaulting wife
By Chris Joyner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta police arrested a federal judge Saturday evening on charges that he assaulted his wife.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller was charged with misdemeanor battery and taken to the Fulton County jail around 2:30 Sunday morning.
Fuller, 55, is a judge in the Middle District of Alabama and presided over the 2006 bribery trial of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. According to a jail official, the judge has a 9 a.m. Monday court appearance and was expected to remain in jail overnight.
Study Finds Only 31 Cases Of Actual Voter Fraud In 14 Years
The Washington Post published an article by Prof. Justin Levitt of Loyola University Law School about a study he did compiling every case of in person voter fraud that are the only kind of fraud Voter ID laws can stop. To say he was underwhelmed by the results is an understatement:
I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.
To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.
So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.
Yes, you read that correctly: 31. 31 documented cases in 14 years. Levitt helpfully elaborates:
To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period.
31 out of over one billion? That comes out to less than .000000031%. Another way of looking at it? For every 32,258,064 votes cast, one bad vote would be prevented by Voter ID laws.
Against Forgetting: “The Phoenix Program” and the Awakening of Historical Memory
By Kara Z. Dellacioppa
The republication of Douglas Valentine’sThe Phoenix Program as the first installment in a series of repressed, forgotten books by Open Road Media offers the opportunity to observe the continuity between the CIA’s secret war against civilians in Vietnam and our own “Homeland Security” apparatus.
Douglas Valentine’s The Phoenix Programis the first installment in a series of repressed, forgotten books that have recently been republished by Open Road Media in their “Forbidden Bookshelf” series. The Phoenix program was the CIA’s secret war on the political (civilian) infrastructure of the Viet Cong with the ultimate goal of “pacifying” dissent against the unimaginably corrupt South Vietnam government. “Pacifying” included torture, indefinite detention and assassination. It is also worth noting that The Phoenix Program was the first repressed book to be showcased in the series. The Phoenix program was not only responsible for horrific crimes against the Vietnamese people, but the program was replicated in US counterinsurgency campaigns in both El Salvador and Iraq. And of most significance, as Valentine states in his new introduction, is the fact that the Phoenix program became a “template” not only for counterinsurgency campaigns in the Third World thereafter, but also for the “Homeland Security Apparatus” the American people are living under today.
About this Petition
We, the undersigned, join Ambassador Mitsuhei Murata in calling for “an honorable retreat” for Japan, resigning the position of Host for the 2020 Olympic Games. Since Fukushima is already contaminating Tokyo, says Mr. Murata, bringing people there in large numbers for the games (and the workers building the facilities before that event) is immoral and unethical.
In Sept. 2013, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) elected Tokyo as host city election for the 2020 games. They believed Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lie that, “the situation (at Fukushima Daiichi) is under control”.
Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear reactor complex that was damaged by the earthquake/tsunami of March 2011, continues to spew forth radioactivity today. Unfortunately, the site is nowhere near “under control”, and there is no guarantee it will be by 2020.
Read more & Sign Petition
Leading civil rights group just sold out on net neutrality.
By Lee Fang
This post was originally published at RepublicReport.org.
Last Friday, just before the Federal Communication Commission closed its comment period for its upcoming rule on “network neutrality,” a massive coalition of Asian, Latino and black civil rights groups filed letters arguing that regulators should lay off of Internet Service Providers regarding Title II reclassification and accept FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s original plan. In other words, something close to half of the entire civil rights establishment just sold out the Internet.
The civil rights groups letters argue that Title II reclassification of broadband services as a public utility—the only path forward for real net neutrality after a federal court ruling in January—would somehow “harm communities of color.” The groups wrote to the FCC to tell them that “we do not believe that the door to Title II should be opened.” Simply put, these groups, many of which claim to carry the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr., are saying that Comcast and Verizon should be able to create Internet slow lanes and fast lanes, and such a change would magically improve the lives of non-white Americans.
The filings reveal a who’s who of civil rights groups willing to shill on behalf of the telecom industry. One filing lists prominent civil rights groups NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Urban League, the National Council on Black Civil Participation and the National Action Network. The other features the Council of Korean Americans, the Japanese American Citizens League, the National Black Farmers Association, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, OCA, Asian Pacific American Advocates, the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Coalition and many more.
Exclusive: Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down blames Russian President Putin, but some U.S. intelligence analysts think Putin, whose plane was flying nearby, may have been the target of Ukrainian hardliners who hit the wrong plane, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
U.S. intelligence analysts are weighing the possibility that the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a botched attempt by extremists in the Ukrainian government to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day, according to a source briefed on the U.S. investigation.
If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane killing 298 people onboard.
The Obama administration used those claims to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria that prompted European countries to ratchet up economic sanctions against Moscow, starting what now looks like an incipient trade war.
Black Holes in the Predecisional Universe: Agencies Gain a New Justification for Secrecy
Nate Jones, August 2014
The National Security Archive was disappointed, but not surprised, that in a two-to-one decision the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in May 2014, agreed with the Central Intelligence Agency that a volume of its 30-year-old history of the 53-year-old Bay of Pigs Invasion could “confuse the public” and should thus be kept secret. To win this argument, the CIA successfully convinced Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Stephen Williams (Judge Judith Rodgers identified multiple contradictions in her strong dissent) that any document the agency deems “predecisional” can be withheld ad infinitum.
The claim that the entire universe of “predecisional” documents–including any claimed “draft”–should be withheld from the public is in line with the agency’s information withholding strategy. The agency has found that it is much easier to withhold entire universes of documents than argue the merits of classification to protect US national security on a case-by-case, document-by-document basis.
The CIA got its first taste of “universal withholding” when Congress passed the 1984 CIA Operational Files Exemption. Unlike other Freedom of Information Act exemptions, which can be applied after agencies search and locate requested documents, the Operational Files Exemption creates a universe of documents that the CIA does not even have to search for. This means that if a historian requests records for, say, Operation Phoenix, the CIA-led assassination program conducted during the Vietnam War, the CIA will reply–less than completely forthcomingly–that its search has returned no results. Admiral William McRaven, the Joint Special Operations Commander who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, knew about this transparency black hole: he ordered the FOIA-complying Department of Defense to purge its computers of all files on the Navy SEALs raid on bin Laden and send them to the CIA, where the Operational Files Exemption would keep them “safe” from search and review for release.
Obama Can End Argentina’s Debt Crisis with a Pen
The President has the Constitutional power to pluck vulture-fund billionaire Paul Singer. Obama hasn’t. Why not?
By Greg Palast
The “vulture” financier now threatening to devour Argentina can be stopped dead by a simple note to the courts from Barack Obama. But the president, while officially supporting Argentina, has not done this one thing that could save Buenos Aires from default.
Obama could prevent vulture hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer from collecting a single penny from Argentina by invoking the long-established authority granted presidents by the US constitution’s “Separation of Powers” clause. Under the principle known as “comity”, Obama only need inform US federal judge Thomas Griesa that Singer’s suit interferes with the president’s sole authority to conduct foreign policy. Case dismissed.
Indeed, President George W Bush invoked this power against the very same hedge fund now threatening Argentina. Bush blocked Singer’s seizure of Congo-Brazzaville’s US property, despite the fact that the hedge fund chief is one of the largest, and most influential, contributors to Republican candidates.