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THREAT TO DEMOCRACY: Truth becomes irrelevant
Dec 18th, 2017 by Warren Swil

Torrent of lies

spewing from officials

has no consequences

House Speaker Paul Ryan: Liar in Chief

OF ALL THE many existential threats to American democracy, none is as immediate and dangerous as the lack of truth in our public discourse.
Even more threatening is the apparent absence of consequences for those who tell blatant and provable untruths.
The torrent of lies coming from the White House and Congress seems to have no consequences for the liars.
If we, the voters, don’t know or care about the truth, what hope is there that we can make intelligent choices at the ballot box?
Alas, there is little, and what remains of hope is diminishing every day.


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TRUMP SLUMP: First Family’s business takes nosedive

EXODUS BUILDS TO A STAMPEDE FROM TRUMP BRAND
Few global businesses would dare lose over a billion potential customers in a week.
The Trump family empire just did.
The list of famous firms distancing themselves from the Trump brand is growing daily, and could soon become a stampede.
Upending the lives of thousands of aspiring immigrants may not move the US president.
But the budding economic backlash is bound to get the attention of this egomaniac, who plastered his name on everything from steaks, to wine, buildings and even a fake “university.”
Perhaps the only good outcome for the US from its 45th president will be when the Trump brand disappears into oblivion.


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OUTRAGEOUS: Gun lobby holds America hostage

SILENCE IN CONGRESS AFTER ORLANDO MASSACRE IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE
There is no reason whatsoever that the deranged misfit in Orlando or anyone like him could have legally purchased the killing machine he used so ruthlessly.
With its stranglehold on the majority in Congress, the National Rifle Association is the most dangerous organization in the country today. It doesn’t have to be this way.
There has been ample opportunity to make it more difficult for anyone who would slaughter innocent victims with weapons of mass carnage like the one used in Orlando.
Congress has been paralyzed by its fear of the gun lobby.
Silent.
It is a national disgrace.


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DREAM TICKET: Clinton should pick primary foe as running mate

BERNIE SANDERS FOR VICE PRESIDENT!
With presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s place in the history books now assured, her focus must turn to preventing the disaster that would be a Republican victory in the general election.
Clinton has three major items on her to-do list in the six weeks before the Democratic National Convention: unite her party behind her candidacy; pick a running mate; and launch her strongest attack yet on her Republican opponent.
She can forthwith accomplish the first two by quickly picking Bernie Sanders as her vice-presidential running mate. She should waste no time; the choice is obvious.


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Danger mounts as failed nation states multiply

AFTER 100 YEARS, IT’S TIME TO REDRAW THE MAP
As the hundredth anniversary of the French-British-Russian pact that carved up the Middle East approaches, it is time to acknowledge that Sykes-Picot led to the creation of several failed states.
In most of them, partition has become a fact on the ground. The sooner this is politically recognized, the sooner we can find a way out of endless war costing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
Redrawing the map will take statesmanship not seen in generations and serious goodwill from disparate parties. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that doing nothing is not an option. Realignment of national boundaries might be the best possible outcome.


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TRAIN WRECK: Trump may destroy the Republican Party

GOP LOOKS INCREASINGLY LIKE HUMPTY DUMPTY
Just days from the first balloting in the 2016 presidential race, it is beginning to look increasingly possible that Donald Trump might destroy the Republican Party. There are several scenarios, perhaps the most likely being a brokered convention in which Trump loses, then runs as an independent a la Ross Perot.
If something like this does happen, it will take a generation for the party to recover – if it ever does – after handing the 2016 race to the Democrats.


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REAL SCARY NEWS: Trump surges after mass shootings

FRIGHTENING MASSACRES BOOST EXTREMIST IDEOLOGUES
As mass shootings pile on top of each other in the US, and the pathetic US Congress remains paralyzed like a deer caught in headlights, a growing number of Americans is flocking to extremist ideologues who prattle only meaningless drivel in response to genuine public outrage.
The root cause of the paralysis is the corrupting influence of big money in politics.
We will remain an outcast among civilized countries until campaign finance reform rises to the top of the political agenda in the US – an unlikely scenario given the current crop of candidates.


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Thousands more killed in gun violence than terror attacks (with video)

BIG MONEY BLOCKS ALL ATTEMPTS AT GUN SAFETY REFORM
The paralysis of America in the face of an epidemic of mass shootings is shameful and disgraceful.
It was best captured by the president in his reaction to the latest tragedy at a community college in Oregon. He was frustrated and angry at his inability to enact sensible gun safety laws.
It is a sad commentary on the state of US politics that one special interest group can exert such a stranglehold despite an overwhelming majority of Americans agreeing that something urgently needs to be done.
It will take a tidal wave of voter discontent to dislodge such big-money influence over Congress.


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DROP IN THE BUCKET: Why record rain won’t dent California drought

GOLD IS THE NEW GREEN AS WE LEARN TO LIVE WITH LESS WATER
Mother Nature’s paradoxical “gift” of record rainfall in mid-July is not going to alleviate the water shortage in California any time soon.
The recent storm was not only in the wrong place at the wrong time; its bounty was far too little to make a real difference.
A green front lawn is no longer a badge of pride here, however. In fact, it has become a downright embarrassment. Gold is the new green. We are having to learn to live with less water.


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Conservatives, too, should welcome gay marriage decision

‘FAMILY VALUES’ ADVANCED BY SUPREME COURT RULING
With its historic decision on gay marriage, the Supreme Court has advanced the “family values” agenda in a big way. And, the US has become a “more perfect union.”
Even conservatives should join the celebration.
The Court’s finding of a constitutional protection for same sex marriage is an historic occasion at least on a par with its 1967 decision on interracial unions.
It moves the US into the modern era as a more egalitarian and tolerant society. It is not just for those directly affected.


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