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Supreme Court rules for Texas in redistricting case

Supreme Court rules for Texas in redistricting case | 25 June 2018 | The Supreme Court on Monday largely ruled in favor of Texas, reviving congressional and legislative districts that were struck down by a lower court for diluting the votes of black and Hispanic voters. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said there isn't enough evidence to prove that state Republicans acted in bad faith and engaged in intentional discrimination when it adopted new maps in 2013 for two congressional districts and several legislative districts. But the court said the lower court was correct in ruling that one legislative district was a racial gerrymander.

Judge rejects Manafort's challenge to Mueller's legitimacy

Judge rejects Manafort's challenge to Mueller's legitimacy | 26 June 2018 | A federal judge on Tuesday rejected former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's challenge to the authority of special counsel Robert Mueller. The ruling from U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III dashes the hopes of many allies of President Donald Trump's that Ellis would deliver a crippling blow to Mueller's office and undermine the legal legitimacy of his appointment. During oral arguments last month relating to bank and tax fraud charges against Manafort, Ellis skewered the special prosecutor's team, suggesting they were on a crusade aimed at impeaching Trump. Ellis's 31-page written opinion is rife with skepticism about the special counsel mechanism and about Mueller's pursuit of fraud charges against Manafort. But the judge ultimately concluded that Manafort's attorneys had not made a sufficient legal case to justify tossing out his indictment.

House immigration bill will not include mandate on checking employees' legal status

House immigration bill will not include mandate on checking employees' legal status [Ergo, it is *useless* - except to its corporate benefactors.] | 26 June 2018 ] In effort to mandate that every employer use a system to check that their employees are working in the country legally was rejected by House leaders Tuesday -- a strong signal that those pushing immigration reform do not believe it has enough support to be passed as part of a comprehensive immigration bill. The failure of the E-Verify plan -- which was eagerly sought by conservatives wary of the bill -- means the House will instead vote on a plan that still includes a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, people brought to the country illegally as children. Farm groups Agribusiness strongly opposed the defeated employee verification system.

Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe

Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe | 27 June 2018 | Disgraced FBI official Peter Strzok testified for hours behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Wednesday, following the revelations of numerous anti-Trump messages he exchanged with a bureau colleague and lover during the 2016 presidential campaign. Those messages, between Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page, included one revealed in the new Justice Department inspector general's report in which Strzok vowed to "stop" Donald Trump from becoming president. Strzok was questioned for hours before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Members of the committee sat in for a confidential briefing with Strzok, firing off questions about the start of the Russia investigation and questions on the Clinton email investigation.

Chris Matthews: Dems Should Boycott Trump Court Nominee

Chris Matthews: Dems Should Boycott Trump Court Nominee | 27 June 2018 | MSNBC's Chris Matthews called on Democrats to obstruct the nomination of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s replacement to the Supreme Court Wednesday, minutes after Kennedy announced his retirement. "I don't think the Democrats should allow even meetings to occur for Trump's nominee to fill this vacancy by Justice Kennedy,” Matthews said on MSNBC's Hardball. "I think they have to fight eye for an eye for what happened in ’16, where the Republicans led by Mitch McConnell refused to even consider or meet with Merrick Garland. I think if the Democratic leadership under Schumer allows this to go forward, they’re going to have a huge problem with the Democratic base."

House Rejects Immigration Bill After GOP Fails to Reach Agreement

House Rejects Immigration Bill After GOP Fails to Reach Agreement --Border wall left unfunded | 27 June 2018 | House Republicans fell far short on their second attempt to pass a GOP-only immigration bill, notching one more failure on President Donald Trump's signature issue just months before they try to defend their majority in midterm elections. The attempt to come up with legislation that would appeal to moderate and conservative Republicans failed, 121 to 301. The defeat of the bill, which even its backers anticipated, capped more than a month of intense GOP negotiations...

DNC fight over superdelegates nears resolution

DNC fight over superdelegates nears resolution | 27 June 2018 | Democratic National Committee officials on Wednesday moved forward with a proposal to reduce the influence of superdelegates in the party's presidential nomination process, edging closer to resolving a long-simmering dispute between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The rule change, approved in concept by the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee, would prohibit superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot at a contested national convention. Only if a candidate had earned enough pledged delegates from state parties and caucuses to win the nomination would superdelegates be allowed to vote on the first ballot.

Judge orders US to reunite families separated at border within 30 days; sooner for under 5

Judge orders US to reunite families separated at border within 30 days; sooner for under 5 | 27 June 2018 | A judge in California on Tuesday ordered U.S. border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days, setting a hard deadline in a process that has so far yielded uncertainty about when children might again see their parents. If children are younger than 5, they must be reunified within 14 days of the order issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. Sabraw, an appointee of President [sic] George W. Bush, also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations, unless the parent is deemed unfit or doesn't want to be with the child. He also requires the government provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days.

Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire From Supreme Court

Breaking: Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire From Supreme Court | 27 June 2018 | Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would retire, setting the stage for a furious fight over the future direction of the Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy, 81, has long been the decisive vote in many closely divided cases. His retirement gives President Trump the opportunity to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court. A Trump appointee would very likely create a solid five-member conservative majority that could imperil abortion rights and expand gun rights...Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, which allowed unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions [aka Deep State], and he joined the majority in Bush v. Gore, which handed the 2000 presidential election [aka coup d'etat] to George W. Bush.

White House, Kremlin agree on time and place for Trump-Putin summit

White House, Kremlin agree on time and place for Trump-Putin summit | 27 June 2018 | The White House and the Kremlin have agreed on a time and place for a summit meeting between President Trump and Vladi­mir Putin, a Russian official said Wednesday after talks here between the Russian president and national security adviser John Bolton. The details of the much-anticipated meeting will be announced Thursday, the official, Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov, told reporters. The meeting is expected to take place in mid-July, when Trump will be in Europe for previously scheduled visits to Belgium and Britain..."Your visit here to Moscow inspires hope that we will be able to take first steps to restore full-fledged relations between Russia and the United States," Putin said.

US seeks to install $1bn radar in Hawaii to detect ballistic missiles; installation mandated by NDAA under Obama

Obama's Deep State defense industry giveaway: US seeks to install $1bn radar in Hawaii to detect ballistic missiles; installation mandated by NDAA under Obama | 27 June 2018 | The Pentagon wants to spend $1 billion to install missile defense radar in Hawaii to [allegedly] track ballistic threats coming from North Korea or elsewhere, according to officials. The flat-face surface radar would "counter evolving missile threats in the Pacific Region", the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) says. Although the timing of the radar's construction seems curious given current efforts at rapprochement with North Korea, plans for the military installation actually predate the Trump administration. The radar system was [insanely] mandated by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by Barack Obama in December 2016.

Trump-backed South Carolina Gov. McMaster wins GOP runoff

Trump-backed South Carolina Gov. McMaster wins GOP runoff | 26 June 2018 | One of President Donald Trump's earliest and most loyal supporters won a key runoff Tuesday, as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster fended off a challenge from a self-made millionaire to secure the Republican gubernatorial nomination. The vote tested the heft of Trump's endorsement in South Carolina, where McMaster, 71, was elevated to the governorship he’d long sought early last year following the departure of Nikki Haley to serve as U.N. ambassador. As lieutenant governor, McMaster was the nation’s first statewide elected official to back Trump, ahead of South Carolina’s early presidential primary.

Supreme Court rules non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions

Breaking: Supreme Court rules non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions --Experts said that a holding in favor of Janus would be the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining rights in decades. | 27 June 2018 | The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday that non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions. The case, one of the most hotly anticipated of the term, concerned whether public employees can be forced to pay fees that fund the work of public sector unions. Mark Janus, an employee at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Human Services, asked the court last summer to overrule a 40-year-old Supreme Court decision. It found that public sector unions could require employees affected by their negotiations to pay so-called "agency fees," which have also been called "fair share fees."

NYT Op-Ed: Conservatives Have 'No Right to an Audience'

NYT Op-Ed: Conservatives Have 'No Right to an Audience' | 26 June 2018 | On Monday, The New York Times ran an [a poorly written] op-ed from Bryan W. Van Norden, professor of philosophy at Wuhan University, Yale-NUS College and Vassar College, calling for de-platforming of all conservative dissenters...To open, Norden juxtaposes worthwhile opinions with non-worthwhile opinions. Worthwhile opinions include "historically informed argument from Ta-Nehisi Coates that structural racism makes the American dream possible" and "the nuanced thoughts of Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, about the role of 'himpathy' in supporting misogyny." ...But let's be clear: Norden isn't just recommending that his political preferences be implemented by media institutions. If he had his way, the government would get into the business of de-platforming.

Federal judge orders end of family separations at US border

Federal judge orders end of family separations at US border | 27 June 2018 | A federal judge in California has ordered U.S. immigration officials to stop separating children from families at the border and reunite those already separated within 30 days, the Associated Press reported. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego granted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the controversial separations. Sabraw also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations at the border, unless in the event that the parent is determined to be unfit.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will get Secret Service protection

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will get Secret Service protection | 26 June 2018 | Secret Service agents will protect White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her home on a temporary basis, it has been reported. The increased security for Sanders comes days after she was asked to leave a small Virginia restaurant whose staff members are opposed to the Trump administration's policies. News of Sanders's beefed up security detail was first reported by NBC News. Sanders's father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, revealed his daughter's family was heckled even more than what was originally said by the owners of Red Hen in Lexington on Friday.

Man arrested for throwing chicken dung at restaurant that kicked out Huckabee Sanders

Man arrested for throwing chicken dung at restaurant that kicked out Huckabee Sanders | 26 June 2018 | One man was arrested at a protest outside The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., on Tuesday after the restaurant gained national attention for kicking out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. ABC 13 WSET reports that a man was arrested by police Tuesday afternoon for throwing what appeared to be a large quantity of chicken dung at the building, which was surrounded by pro-Trump protesters as well as supporters of Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart (R).

Sanders-backed candidate wins Maryland governor's nomination

Sanders-backed candidate wins Maryland governor's nomination | 26 June 2018 | Former NAACP President Ben Jealous won the right to face Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in November in a significant win for national progressives hoping to steer Democrats to the left. The Associated Press called the race for Jealous at 10:36 p.m. EDT. His major Democratic challenger was Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, seen as a more pragmatic but no less liberal contender. In his first run for public office,

Romney wins Utah primary race

Mega barf alert: Romney wins Utah primary race | 26 June 2018 | Mitt Romney is projected to win the GOP nomination in Utah's Senate race, essentially clearing the way for the former presidential nominee to claim a Senate seat this fall. The Associated Press called the race for Romney at 10:24 p.m. EDT. Romney defeated state Rep. Mike Kennedy (R) in Tuesday's primary in the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Supreme Court upholds travel ban, handing Trump major victory

Supreme Court upholds travel ban, handing Trump major victory | 26 June 2018 | The Supreme Court handed President Trump a major victory on Tuesday, upholding his ban preventing nationals from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. In a 5-4 ruling, the court's conservative wing said Trump has broad discretion under immigration law to suspend the entry of people into the United States. "The president lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings -- following a worldwide, multi-agency review -- that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion.

Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousts Joe Crowley in New York stunner

Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousts Joe Crowley in New York stunner | 26 June 2018 | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district, CNN projects, in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season. Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley -- the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House -- outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin. This was the first time in 14 years a Democrat has attempted unseat Crowley, who chairs the Queens County Democrats.

Supreme Court won't take case of florist who refused service for same-sex couple

Supreme Court won't take case of florist who refused service for same-sex couple | 25 June 2018 | Just back after ruling in favor of a cake baker who refused to make a cake for a wedding celebration of a same-sex couple, the Supreme Court on Monday wiped away an opinion that went against a florist who declined to make an arrangement for a same-sex couple's marriage. In an unsigned order, the court sent the case back down to a lower court and asked it to revisit the florist's case in light of the ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop. The court's order suggests that while the justices want the lower court to take another look at the case given the court's most recent ruling, the justices themselves aren't ready to jump into the contentious debate for now.

'2 Israeli missiles' strike near Damascus airport - Syrian state media

'2 Israeli missiles' strike near Damascus airport - Syrian state media | 26 June 2018 | Two missiles have reportedly landed in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency. It was not immediately clear if the missiles were intercepted or if they hit their intended target. There were also no immediate reports of any damage or casualties. Besides pinning the blame on Israel, Syrian state TV provided no further details on the alleged strike that took place on Monday night.

Students may need counseling after 'required' diversity training

Students may need counseling after 'required' diversity training | 22 June 2018 | Minnesota State University will have counselors standing by to comfort "student leaders" who have an "emotional response" after being required to attend a new diversity training. MSU announced Wednesday that two new 90-minute workshops on social justice and diversity are being implemented for "student leaders" this fall, noting that staff/faculty supervisors are expected to "make this training required." A supplementary document provided within the announcement, however, states that staff and faculty supervisors are "expected" to "make this training required for student leaders and stress the importance," as well as "encourage student interaction during the trainings" and "require students to complete pre- and post-training surveys."

Trump: We must 'immediately' return undocumented immigrants 'with no judges or court cases'

Trump: We must 'immediately' return undocumented immigrants 'with no judges or court cases' | 24 June 2018 | President Trump on Sunday called for immigrants who illegally enter the U.S. to be sent "back from where they came" without going through the judicial process in deportation cases. "When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order," Trump tweeted. He added that U.S. immigration policy is "very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years" and "must be based on merit."

Pentagon prepares to build temporary camps at two military bases to house immigrants

Pentagon prepares to build temporary camps at two military bases to house immigrants | 24 June 2018 | The Pentagon is preparing to build temporary camps for immigrants at two military bases, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday. The Pentagon had initially talked about four potential bases, but Mattis indicated the number is now two. The Pentagon last week said it would make space available on military bases for as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Protesters taunt DHS boss Kirstjen Nielsen outside her home

Protesters taunt DHS boss Kirstjen Nielsen outside her home | 23 June 2018 | A cabal of protesters gathered outside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's Virginia townhouse Friday morning, blasting audio of crying immigrant children and chanting "No justice, no sleep." The small crowd of about two dozen protesters was led by CREDO Action, a progressive grassroots organization...On Tuesday, Nielsen was chased out of a D.C.-area Mexican restaurant by another left-wing political activist group. The group included an employee of the U.S. Department of Justice, Fox News reported.

Sarah Sanders kicked out of restaurant because of work for Trump

Sarah Sanders kicked out of restaurant because of work for Trump | 23 June 2018 | White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant on Friday night because she works for President Donald Trump. A co-owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, asked Ms Sanders and her family to leave as a protest against the Trump administration. Ms Sanders tweeted that "her actions say far more about her than about me". The incident comes days after Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was booed at a Mexican restaurant in Washington DC.

Texas-based Southwest Key Programs paid at least $458 million in 2018 to house unaccompanied migrant children; CEO paid $1.5 million

Deep State cheap labor con of the century, funded by US taxpayers: Texas-based Southwest Key Programs paid at least $458 million in 2018 to house unaccompanied migrant children; CEO paid $1.5 million | 22 June 2018 | The federal government's fight against illegal immigration has become a booming business for a non-profit housing at metro-Phoenix and Tucson shelters migrant children separated from their parents. Texas-based Southwest Key Programs was paid at least $458 million in fiscal 2018 to house unaccompanied children, as President Donald Trump's administration has enforced its "zero-tolerance" policy of prosecuting all who cross the border illegally... Southwest Key, which issued a statement Wednesday denouncing family separations, houses about 1,600 kids at 26 shelters in Arizona, California and Texas. Eight of its Arizona shelters house migrant children, according to the [so-called] non-profit, primarily from Guatemala...Now, the government is paying the organization $458 million...As Southwest Key's revenue has grown, so has compensation for Chief Executive Juan Sanchez. Sanchez's compensation has nearly doubled since 2016, according to the organization...The total 2017 package: $1.47 million.

Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades

Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades | 22 May 2018 | With cancer spread through most of his body, doctors say DeWayne Johnson probably has just months to live. Johnson, a husband and father of three in California, hopes to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate. On 18 June, Johnson, 46, will become the first person to take the global seed and chemical company to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products -- and his case has just received a major boost. Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson's cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages.

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*****

'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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