Swamp rats from the Louisiana bayou filed a class action lawsuit today against President Donald Trump, saying that his repeated vow to "drain the swamp" was a libel against legitimate swamp dwellers. The case, filed in the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, accuses the president of libel. The plaintiffs seek $1.6 billion in damages for collective character assassination.
Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, said the case is not without merit. "Every client that lives in the bayou finds the slur painful, because it equates swamp rats with Betsy DeVos and Steve Mnuchin." Tribe suggested the plaintiffs' lawyers wear rubber gloves during the proceedings.
Since any decision is expected to have repercussions for varmints nationwide, some beaver and a couple alligators requested and were granted permission to submit amicus briefs.
The feds sabotage peanut farmer productivity, screw consumers, and sow chaos around the world, for campaign dollars. Federal peanut subsidies increased eightfold since 2015, reaching almost a billion dollars, near the total value of the peanut harvest.
In 1949, to curtail subsidies, Congress made it a crime to grow peanuts without a license. The closed peanut market gave licenses to existing farmers and prohibited new farmers from growing them. USDA issues each farmer a chip card that lists his quota. The farmer must present that card to sell peanuts at a buying point. Imports were limited to two peanuts per US citizen. That ended under NAFTA, which added a 155% tariff.
Peanuts are one of the cheapest sources of protein you can buy. A staple for students and budding actors and writers. But, after decades of intervention, consumption has fallen sharply. The GAO estimated that the program cost consumers more than half a billion dollars a year in higher prices. read more
The Republican-led Congress is jamming through a measure to overturn the Obama administration's rules that would have banned telecom and cable companies from sharing customers' personal information, including web browsing history, without their consent. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Its companion passed the Senate last week on a 50-48 vote, largely on party lines. ... "ISPs will be able to sell your personal information to the highest bidder ... and they won't have any real obligation to keep your personal information secure, either," said Gigi Sohn, who served as counselor to former Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler from November 2013 to December 2016. read more
Washington's Syrian war has changed dramatically. While the US has ended its support for the Sunni militias that tore the country apart and killed over 400,000 people, aid to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF has increased and they have gained territory across the eastern corridor. The SDF goal is an autonomous Kurdish State carved out of West Iraq and East Syria. US objectives focus on the breakup of the Syrian state, removal of the elected government, control over pipeline routes, and the redrawing of national borders to better serve the interests of the US and Israel.
Washington is using the fight against ISIS as a pretext for capturing and holding territory in a critical, energy-rich area of the world. The plan to seize parts of East Syria for military bases and pipeline corridors fits this basic strategy. This conflicts directly with Moscow's plan to restore the country's borders and put an end to the six year-long conflict. read more
Russell Mokhiber: During the 2016 Presidential campaign, [Bernie] Sanders took off like a rocket, fueled by the promise of Medicare for All single payer system. His single payer plan paralleled HR 676, the single payer bill in the House of Representatives that now has 72 co-sponsors. Healthcare is a human right, but human rights should not be commodities or profit centers. People should not pay for their human rights. While the public option would be a "modest improvement" and dropping the Medicare age to 55 would be a "good step," neither could realize most of the vast savings on administration available under single payer, nor would they achieve universal coverage or address the problems of the tens of millions who are currently underinsured. Introducing a public option will divide and confuse supporters of Medicare for all. read more