Scary Dairy: You Scream, I Scream… Monsanto Roundup Ice Cream

by Jessica Corbett – Traces of “probable human carcinogen” found in samples from ten Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Ten out of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the nonprofit Organic Consumers Association revealed on Tuesday. Although the amount of glyphosate detected was below the safety limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as stricter European regulators, the discovery stands out from a slew of other food producers with Roundup-ridden products—from honey and baby food to Cheerios and Ritz Crackers—in part because of the ice cream maker’s branding. Ben & Jerry’s stated mission is to produce “the finest quality all natural ice cream…with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients, and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the environment.” OCA’s international director Ronnie Cummins accused the company of “rampant greenwashing,” writing Tuesday: The proliferation of $90 billion worth of fraudulently labeled or advertised...

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The GOP’s Trojan Horse on Health Care Repeal

by Julie Chinitz – On Tuesday, 50 Republican senators showed contempt for their constituents by voting to move forward on repealing our health care, with Vice President Mike Pence stepping in to break the tie. Nine GOP senators later broke ranks in a late-night session to vote down the Senate’s toxic version of the bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) – which would have rolled back much of the Affordable Care Act and gutted Medicaid, ending coverage for 23 million – but there are more votes to come, including one that may simply repeal care and strip coverage from 32 million. The final version of the bill may be nothing more than a placeholder – a Trojan horse for setting up a Republican Senate-House conference committee that will use yet another secretive, undemocratic process to craft yet another version of health repeal. GOP leaders will want the new version to look just...

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Five Pro-Democracy Activists Sentenced for Disrupting the U.S. Supreme Court

by David Schwenk – In April of 2015, five pro-democracy activists stood up in the U.S. Supreme Court to denounce the justices for allowing unlimited sums of money to corrupt our politics. This action occurred on the one-year anniversary of the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling, in which the court ruled that the overall federal limit on individual campaign contributions violated the First Amendment. Coupled with the disastrous Citizens United decision, which gave corporations permission to spend unlimited amounts on ads and other political tools, these court rulings have silenced the majority of people while giving immense power to the moneyed elite to influence our government. Now more than two years since they rose one by one to admonish the court for tilting our elections in the favor of the wealthy, on Monday these activists appeared for sentencing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Originally facing sentences of 10–16 months in prison...

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Top Insurance CEOs Openly Blaming Trump Sabotage for Rate Hikes and Empty Markets

by Hunter – While the Senate stages the world’s deadliest bit of improvisational theater in an attempt to gut both the Affordable Care Act and, now, Medicaid as a whole, the Trump administration has been openly threatening to withhold federal subsidies to the insurers that make up the Obamacare marketplaces. That would obviously decimate those markets. Already, insurance companies are openly citing the uncertainty over whether they will be getting paid for double-digit rate increases. Now Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish is making the point even more bluntly: If the Trump administration continues to threaten to withhold those payments, his company will be leaving some of those markets entirely. Insurance giant Anthem, which has already withdrawn from the Obamacare marketplaces in three states, will pull out of more if the federal government doesn’t take action soon to stabilize the market, CEO Joseph Swedish told investors Wednesday. “If we aren’t able to gain certainty on some...

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Joe Kennedy Debases Trump’s Soulless Transgender Ban. We Think It—Kennedy Says It

by Leslie Salzillo – Once again, the very vocal Democratic House Rep Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts speaks out against Donald Trump and the continuous slew of atrocious actions by the Republicans Party and injustice at its worst. On Wednesday, after Trump announced his ban on transgender people serving in the military, Kennedy adamantly censured Trump for the ban, adding ALL of our soldiers serving for ALL of our country deserve at minimum common decency and respect show to them. Here is the lede to his Facebook post followed by the YouTube video of his speech. “Our soldiers do not discriminate. They do not offer to pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect some lives and not others. Their government owes them that courtesy – that decency – in return.” –Joe Kennedy III Video: Transcript: Mr. Speaker, When our bravest men and women raise their hand and volunteers to defend our nation, they defend all of her people: rich and poor, young and old, Democrat and Republican, gay straight— Americans of...

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Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s New Communications Director, Called CNN and Had a Meltdown

by Judd Legum – Scaramucci declares war on the White House Chief of Staff. Anthony Scaramucci was named White House Communications Director six days ago. This morning, he called into Chris Cuomo’s CNN show and completely melted down. The situation started last night when Scaramucci became enraged that his financial disclosure form, which is a public document, was “leaked” to Politico. He tweeted that he would contact the FBI because the disclosure of the form was “a felony.” (It’s not.) Notably, Scaramucci’s tweet included the Twitter handle of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, which appeared to blame Priebus for the “leak.” New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza then confirmed that Scaramucci was, in fact, calling for an FBI investigation of the White House Chief of Staff. Ryan Lizza   ✔@RyanLizza In case there’s any ambiguity in his tweet I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Reince for leaking. 11:20 PM –...

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The White House Has No Idea How to Proceed in Afghanistan

by D. Parvaz – While Afghans suffer horrific casualties, President Trump can’t seem to decide between a modest troop surge or sending in more private contractors. Snippets of news coming out of the White House in recent weeks indicate that the Trump administration is at an impasse in choosing a strategy for Afghanistan. Indecision in battle is never good, and Afghanistan is being pummeled: The number of civilian deaths continues to rise, attacks in the capital, Kabul, are growing increasingly deadly, and the Taliban now holds more territory than any time since the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Most of these daily battles don’t even make it into the U.S. news cycle, but to read Afghan news sources, such as TOLOnews, is to witness a bloody tick-tock of districts and provinces lost and reclaimed in an almost endless cycle of battles between the Taliban and Afghan security forces. On top of that, the self-proclaimed Islamic State...

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The Radicals Were Always Right: Now Is the Time to Decriminalize All Drugs

by Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report – The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids recently startled me with a blog post titled, “Why You Shouldn’t Use the Word Addict.” Drug addiction is a disease, the blog explains. People shouldn’t be defined by having an illness, so it’s better to use first-person language and say “someone with diabetes” rather than “diabetic.” The same should go for the word “addict.” In other words, the ad was saying, we shouldn’t stigmatize people living with addiction by identifying them based on one condition with which they struggle. I was startled by the blog because stigmatizing drugs and drug users is exactly what the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids did for years under its previous banner, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. “This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs.” Sound familiar? The Partnership is best known for aiming anti-drug advertisements at young people during the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays,...

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On This Day, July 27, 1974 – House Judiciary Committee Recommends Nixon Impeachment

1974 – The House Judiciary Committee recommends that America’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate. The Watergate scandal first came to light following a break-in on June 17, 1972, at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C. A group of men linked to the White House were later arrested and charged with the crime. Nixon denied any involvement with the break-in, but several of his staff members were eventually implicated in an illegal cover-up and forced to resign. Subsequent government investigations revealed “dirty tricks” political campaigning by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, along with a White House “enemies list.” In July 1973, one of Nixon’s former staff members revealed the existence of secretly taped conversations...

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Obamacare Repeal Tracker: Partial Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Fails in the Senate

by Amanda Michelle Gomez – What is happening with Obamacare now? The Senate is currently debating on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After ailing Republican health bills, Senate leadership got enough support to at least start debate on Tuesday. No one knows how this week will end, including those running repeal efforts. The only guarantee is that there will be stumbles. The Senate is looking to pass a health bill, allegedly by Friday, using reconciliation. This means the final bill needs to adhere to budget rules to pass with a simple majority. The Senate also needs to adhere to a strict schedule. Here are the next steps: CREDIT: Diana Ofosu/ThinkProgress Wednesday, July 26 at 4:30 pm: One ACA repeal-only bill fails. The Senate voted first on the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA), with a Rand Paul amendment. The Paul amendment would ban federal funding of abortion. This failed. There is also no public...

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Trump Announces He’s Kicking Thousands of Transgender People Out of the Military

by Zack Ford – He made the announcement on Twitter. Without warning or explanation, President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he is unilaterally reversing the military’s plan to allow transgender service:   Donald J. Trump   ✔@realDonaldTrump After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… 8:55 AM – 26 Jul 2017 Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump ….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. 9:04 AM – 26 Jul 2017 Donald J. Trump   ✔@realDonaldTrump ….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you 9:08 AM – 26 Jul 2017 While the tweets are lacking for details, they suggest that thousands of transgender people already serving in the military will lose their jobs. Last June, the...

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ACLU Objects After Capitol Hill Police Tell Journalists to Delete Protest Photos

by Julia Conley – At least one journalist reported being forced to delete his photos of the scene. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to reports on Tuesday evening from journalists on Capitol Hill, who alleged that Capitol Police were blocking reporters’ access as they tried to cover healthcare protests. Reporters from the Daily Beast, the Huffington Post, the New York Post, and the Washington Post all tweeted from the Senate Gallery that reporters were being prevented from covering the protests. As nearly 100 demonstrators were arrested for protesting the vote to move to a debate on Trumpcare, which would cut health care coverage for up to 32 million Americans, police told reporters not to document the scene. Contrary to what the staffers reportedly suggested, there is no blanket law prohibiting the media from covering a “crime scene.” Journalists also wrote that Capitol Police demanded that photos of the protests and arrests be deleted. As the ACLU...

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On This Day, July 26, 1945 – Winston Churchill Resigns

In the 11th hour of World War II, Winston Churchill is forced to resign as British prime minister following his party’s electoral defeat by the Labour Party. It was the first general election held in Britain in more than a decade. The same day, Clement Attlee, the Labour leader, was sworn in as the new British leader. Born at Blenheim Palace in 1874, Churchill joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in 1895. During the next five years, he enjoyed an illustrious military career, serving in India, the Sudan, and South Africa, and distinguishing himself several times in battle. In 1899, he resigned his commission to concentrate on his literary and political career and in 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals, serving in a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s First Lord of the...

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A New Study Looked at the Brains of Former Football Players and Found CTE in Almost All of Them

by Adam Peck – Among NFL players, 99 percent of them were diagnosed with the disease. On Tuesday, the American Medical Association published its findings of the largest study of its kind into the link between football and CTE, the degenerative brain disease thought to be responsible for memory loss, bouts of uncontrollable anger and violence, and severe depression or suicide. CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, can only be diagnosed posthumously. More than 200 brains from deceased football players were donated for the study, including 111 from former NFL players. Of the 202 brains examined, 177 of them—or 88 percent—were diagnosed with CTE. Among the 111 NFL players examined, all but one of them exhibited the disease. Because the study relies on self-selecting donors rather than a random sample, the results are likely somewhat skewed. A family might be more willing to donate a relative’s brain to the study if he displayed symptoms, for instance. The...

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Intelligence Intercepts Indicate Sessions Lied About Why He Didn’t Disclose Russia Contacts

by Zack Ford – He said it was about his role as a senator. New evidence suggests it wasn’t. According to U.S. intelligence interceptions detailed by a Washington Post report, when then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year during the campaign, the two discussed various campaign-related matters and policy issues important to Moscow. That’s based on intercepted reports Kislyak delivered to his superiors back in Russia after each of the two conversations he had with Sessions, who now serves as President Trump’s attorney general. Though it’s of course possible that Kislyak may have mischaracterized or exaggerated what was discussed in the meetings, the U.S. officials who spoke to the Post said that the former ambassador had a reputation for accurately relaying details about his meetings with government officials. The new report also jibes with a report from someone who was in attendance at the Republican National Convention, where...

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On Fighting Inequality, Which Nations Do More than Pay Lip Service?

by Sam Pizzigati – Two global groups have joined to create a first-ever yardstick for holding our world’s top politicos accountable, nation by nation, for narrowing our grand divides. Two years ago, in 2015, just about all the nations in the world came together and agreed to make reducing inequality — the gap between rich and poor — a prime United Nations “sustainable development goal.” A noble gesture. But UN groups make noble gestures all the time. These gestures do sometimes translate into real progress. They more typically amount to blowing smoke — and obscuring how little progress governments may actually be making. How can we tell which nations are just blowing that smoke? People worldwide clearly need a yardstick that identifies those nations, a global measure that can help average citizens hold their governments accountable to all their noble rhetoric. On inequality, we now have that measure. Oxfam, the activist global charity,...

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Since Trump’s Election, Increased Attention to Politics – Especially Among Women

Most find it stressful to talk politics with those who differ on Trump. Following an election that had one of the largest gender gaps in history, women are more likely than men to say they are paying increased attention to politics. And while far more Democrats than Republicans say they have attended a political event, rally or protest since the election, Democratic women – especially younger women and those with postgraduate degrees – are among the most likely to have participated in such a political gathering. The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 27 to July 9 among 2,505 adults, finds that 52% of Americans say they are paying more attention to politics since Donald Trump’s election; 33% say they are paying about the same amount of attention, while 13% say they are paying less attention to politics. Nearly six-in-ten women (58%) say they are paying...

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The Senate Will Begin Debate on the Republican Health Care Bill

by Amanda Michelle Gomez – Republicans officially moved forward on repealing Obamacare. And the yeas have it. Amidst “kill the bill” and “shame” chants, the Senate voted on Tuesday to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, after mounting pressure from the president and Senate leadership. Republican leaders have not yet said which version of their health care bill they’ll pass before leaving for August recess, leaving millions of Americans unsure about their future health insurance. Several senators were undecided Tuesday morning on whether they would vote yes on the motion to proceed, a senate procedure to begin debate. After some arm-twisting at the senate luncheon, they voted in favor. The vote count: 50 Republicans voted “yes,” to begin debate on the Affordable Care Act. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) were the only Republicans to vote no. Here’s a list of key senators who previously expressed hesitation...

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AARP is Onto Mitch McConnell’s Trumpcare Tricks, Won’t Let Republicans Play Dumb

by Joan McCarter – The AARP writes again to Congress, reiterating their steadfast opposition to every aspect of Obamacare repeal and Trumpcare replacement that might come to a floor vote next week, and they’re putting Republicans on notice that it’s not just how they’ll vote on an eventual bill—it’s whether they vote for the bill to come to the floor in the first place. Oh, and a reminder too that they represent an awful lot of people. Who vote. AARP, on behalf of our 38 million members, strongly opposes the repeal and delay amendment. AARP also remains steadfastly opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation ACT (BCRA) due to the devastating impact the legislation would have on Americans 50 and older. We urge all Senators to vote NO on the Motion to Proceed, as well as reject the repeal and delay amendment and the BCRA. As our...

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U.S. Mum on Iran-Iraq Military Agreement

by D. Parvaz – What does the agreement mean, and how will it affect anything on the ground? Iran and Iraq signed an agreement on Sunday that would see strengthened military cooperation aimed at fighting “terrorism and extremism,” a deal that probably won’t please President Donald Trump. Iranian state media reports that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) “includes expansion of cooperation and exchange of experiences on combating terrorism and extremism, security of borders, as well as educational, logistic, technical and military support.” There hasn’t been much response to the MoU in the United States so far. But given what we know, it’s doubtful that the deal with be met with high-fives. The Trump administration has ratcheted up tensions with Iran, recently accusing the Islamic Republic of violating “the spirit” of the nuclear agreement. The two countries have also butt heads over the civil war in Yemen, with the United States siding with the Saudi-led coalition that...

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