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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

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07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Print view: Sanction Congress, Not One Member
SPEAKING OUT:

Sanction Congress, Not One Member

by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Extensive mainstream media reporting says nothing about Congress and administration officials being compromised by their ties to big money donors, heavily affecting all legislation. These are higher crimes than of Rangel's mere self-enrichment.

The Constitution's Article I, Section 5, clause 2 authorizes the House of Representatives to discipline or "punish" its members for "disorderly Behavior," as well as for criminal, civil liability, or other misconduct issues. Ostensibly it's to protect the institutional integrity and reputation of the body, an impossible challenge given its longstanding record, notably over the past three decades, deserving far more than censure.

Punishment may be by reprimand, censure, expulsion, and/or fines, monetary restitution, loss of seniority, and suspension or loss of certain privileges. In addition, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct may issue a formal Committee reproach by "Letter of Reproval" for misconduct not warranting full House action. It may also express disapproval by informal letters and/or direct communications with members.

In US history, five members were expelled, three during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union. Others, however, resigned ahead of formal House action. More recently, on October 2, 1980, Rep. Michael J. Myers was removed after being convicted of bribery for political favors in the so-called ABSCAM FBI sting operation. On July 24, 2002, Rep. James Traficant, Jr. was also expelled after his 10-count conviction on charges of accepting favors, gifts and money in return for performing official beneficial acts for donors.

Unlike "expel," the term "censure" doesn't appear in the Constitution, although it's also authorized under Article I, Section 5, clause 2 power to "punish...Members for disorderly Behavior." Most actions occurred in the 19th century, usually over issues of decorum, including insulting other members on the floor, committing violent acts against them, supporting recognition of the Confederacy, selling military academy appointments, or more recently for financial misconduct or sexual misbehavior with House pages.

On July 11, 1832, Rep. William Stanberry was the first member censured for insulting the House Speaker. Prior to December 2, 2010, Reps. Daniel Crane and Gerry Studds were both censured on July 20, 1983 for sexual misconduct with House pages.

Charles Bernard Rangel, Democrat Representative for New York's 15th Congressional District

On December 2, the House voted 333 - 79 to censure Rangel (a 20-term member since January 1971) for ethics violations, its harshest penalty short of expulsion.

He becomes the 23rd House member so disciplined. In his case, it's for 11 of 13 charges, including improperly soliciting millions of dollars from corporate officials and lobbyists, failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of income and assets on financial disclosure forms, maintaining a rent-subsidized luxury Harlem apartment for his campaign committee, and failing to pay income taxes on a Dominican Republic villa.

In one of several December 2 New York Times articles, David Kocieniewski headlined, "As Rangel Stands Silently, Censure Vote Rings Loudly," saying:

"....his gaze steady (and) hands clasped before him, (Rangel) stood silently in the well of the House of Representatives....as Speaker Nancy Pelosi somberly read a resolution censuring him for bringing discredit to the House," and "violat(ing) the public trust."

Imagine the brazen hypocrisy by a tainted Speaker and body. More on that below.

A December 2 Times editorial headlined, "The House Rebukes Mr. Rangel," calling "the mood on the House floor....appropriately grim." Adding also that "Taxpayers disgusted by Mr. Rangel's actions and Congress' go-along-get-along attitude must demand more...."

Indeed so, but not what The Times suggests. More on that as well.

Major Unaddressed Issues

Besides their own compromised ethics, notably their ties to big money donors, both Congress and administration officials are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, ones far greater than Rangel's self-enrichment.

The list is long and disturbing, affecting all 535 members and every key administration official - serious crimes deserving indictments, prosecutions, and for most, imprisonment, not slaps on the wrist, reprimands, censure, expulsion, or for a president and vice president, impeachment, conviction, and removal.

Unsurprisingly, the extensive Times coverage said nothing, nor ever earlier about high government crimes and misdemeanors, the "newspaper of record" effectively endorsing them. That's its role serving power and privilege, relenting only in rare instances, this time on Rangel, perhaps reluctantly. Never for the most serious criminality, examples below.

They include:

  1. Crimes of war and against humanity. All congressional members supporting the bogus war on terror and illegal Iraq and Afghan wars, including funding, are guilty, as are high, middle, and lower level administration officials, including the president and vice president.
  2. Looting the Treasury for Wall Street and corporate favorites.
  3. Bailing out criminal banks instead of nationalizing or closing them, and prosecuting their top officials for fraud and grand theft.
  4. Consigning millions of Americans to impoverishment without jobs, homes, savings, social services, or futures.
  5. Letting hunger, homelessness, and poverty fester while plundering the nation's resources illegally.
  6. Funding Israel's war machine, its crimes and overall lawlessness.
  7. Illegally supporting regime change in independent countries, including Venezuela, Iran, Honduras, Haiti, Ecuador, North Korea, and elsewhere.
  8. Prohibiting independent political parties from challenging a two-party dictatorship, supporting privilege, not popular interests.
  9. Endorsing pre-scripted, big money-funded fake elections, not a free, fair and open process.
  10. Allowing the world's largest homeland gulag to grow, persist, and commit grotesque crimes against inmates, many unjustly convicted.
  11. Passing police state laws, turning democracy into tyranny.
  12. Endorsing torture as official policy.
  13. Permitting the criminalization of activists, challenging state policy against imperial wars, homeland repression, and favoritism for wealth over vital popular needs.
  14. Endorsing a corrupted judicial system, including stacking the federal bench with right-wing ideologues.
  15. Passing wealth and power-friendly legislation, harming millions, including the middle class, targeted for destruction.
  16. Vilifying Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and charity.
  17. Targeting human rights attorneys and other lawyers who defend unpopular clients too vigorously.
  18. Calling patriotic whisleblowers traitors.
  19. Attacking a free and open Internet.
  20. Denying immigrants of color fair and just treatment.
  21. Supporting privatization of essential services, including healthcare and education.
  22. Working covertly to end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital social services.

Much more as well by officials corrupting the notion of government of, by and for the people. Repeatedly, they've betrayed the public trust by acting illegally, immorally, and/or destructively, including Rangel for his voting record, and (until replaced on March 3 over ethics charges), as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

It has jurisdiction over tax policy, tariffs, other revenue-raising measures, and vital programs, including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, federal welfare, enforcement of child support laws, and foster care and adoption programs. Its chairman holds immense power for good or ill. None in recent memory, including Rangel, served honorably, a "crime" omitted from his charges, as well as his 40-year voting record, supporting power, privilege, imperial wars, and corporate interests like most members of Congress.

All should be held accountable for issues far graver than self-enrichment. They affect everyone but the super-rich and rich, including betrayed constituents deserving better from elected officials but never getting it from either party - a real crime demanding much greater punishment than wrist-slaps, reprimands, fines, loss of privileges, or sanctions.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on December 4, 2010.
 

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