Toyota

Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon



Saturday, April 30, 2016

RSN: Bianca Jagger | Will the Paris Climate Agreement Deliver?




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FOCUS: Bianca Jagger | Will the Paris Climate Agreement Deliver? 
Climate protesters. (photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) 
Bianca Jagger, Reader Supported News 
Jagger writes: "Anything above 1.5 degrees Celsius is a death sentence for us and for the planet." 
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Anything above 1.5 degrees Celsius is a death sentence for us and for the planet.
he Paris Agreeement
A historic event took place on Earth Day 2016. It was a decisive moment for the planet. On Friday, April 22nd around 60 heads of state gathered at the United Nations in New York for the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement. 175 governments took the first step of signing onto the deal and according to the White House at least 34 countries, representing 49% of greenhouse gas emissions have formally ratified the Paris Agreement. It was ‘the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony,’ indicating ‘strong international commitment to deliver on the promises.
I was at COP21 in Paris when negotiators finally agreed the Paris Agreement, the first legally binding global climate deal: the culmination of 21 years of international negotiation and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process: a massive global political mobilization in response to the looming threat of catastrophic climate change. It scales up ambition from the previous international instrument, the Kyoto Protocol, by placing mitigation and adaptation obligations on all Parties. The Agreement includes elements of previous international agreements and follows on from the Kyoto Protocol and the shameful failure of the Copenhagen Accord. The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented evolution in both international law and climate change law. We all hope that it will be enough to save the planet.
The program for the opening ceremony included messages from civil society, a UN messenger for Peace, participation of schoolchildren and a performance by the Julliard Quintet. The ceremony itself was preceded by a high level debate on climate change and sustainability. These are perceived as hopeful signs that the Paris Agreement will be inclusive and fulfill the needs of all, including the most vulnerable. “At the ceremony Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an indigenous women’s leader from Chad, called on countries to follow through on their promises. Temperatures in her country were already a blistering 48C (118F), she said, and climate change threatened to obliterate billions spent on development aid over recent decades.”
I welcome the commitments of the Paris Agreement, which “aims... to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty... to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.” The agreement commits to “adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience,” to “Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development,” all “implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.” These pledges are a great step forward in the race against catastrophic climate change.
I am very concerned, however, about the Agreement’s provision to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.” This is a dangerous equivocation. By now we all know that a 2°C target is woefully inadequate.
The 1.5 degree celsius target
Some critics have been skeptical about the Paris Agreement, and expressed doubts that governments have either the intention or the ability to live up to their promises — I share their doubts. NASA climate scientist Professor James Hansen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on climate change, said of the agreement, “It’s a fraud really, a fake... It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises.’”George Monbiot writes of the Paris Agreement, “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.”
Scientists at MIT say that under the current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) the global average temperature will soar by as much as 3.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100. This is far above the 1.5 degree Celsius target, which, as President Hollande memorably stated at the opening of COP21 in Paris, is the ‘absolute ceiling’ for global temperature rise if we are to prevent climate catastrophe. Anything above 1.5 degrees C is a death sentence for us and for the planet.
A new report released in the Earth Systems Dynamics Journal in April 2016 maps the different consequences between a 1.5 and a 2 degree Celsius warmer world. Unsurprisingly, the 2 degree scenario is apocalyptic: extreme weather events, water scarcity, reduced crop yields, coral reef degradation and sea-level rise. We are already well on our way to creating this future. 2014 saw record-breaking temperatures and 2015 was the hottest year on record. 2016 has already surpassed previous temperature highs: in February, the global temperature was 1.34C above the average from 1951-1980, according to Nasa data.
We have now arrived at the tipping point. There is no more time for procrastination, or half-measures. The time is now, and there is no Plan B.
Politican will
Enforcing the Paris Agreement will need world leaders’ commitment for many years to come. The agreement is vulnerable, because it is subject to the vagaries of political will, and to changes in administration. President Obama has, to date, been more committed to combating climate change than any other U.S. President in recent history, and he is a key supporter of the agreement.
What happens, it has been asked, when Obama’s administration comes to its end? What if the unthinkable happens and Donald Trump takes the White House? Would Trump feel bound by the Paris Agreement and continue the US’s current trajectory towards decarbonization and lowering emissions? Not bloody likely. Hopefully the US will escape the fate of a Trump administration. The only hope is that Hillary Clinton, if she becomes the next President of the U.S., will demonstrate the same, or greater commitment as President Obama has done to the Paris Agreement.
The renewable energy revolution
In order for the Paris Agreement to keep the warming of the world below the 1.5 degree Celsius target governments must commit to reducing CO2 emissions “in accordance with best available science.” They must commit to halt the burning of fossil fuels, which have already formed a toxic “blanket” around the earth - they must “leave it in the ground.” On April 22nd, at the signing ceremony, more than 170 countries vowed to put an end to the age of fossil fuels. These are fine words; but they will remain only words if countries don’t commit to eradicating fossil fuels from our energy systems. They must embark upon a renewable energy revolution now.
The transition to renewable energy is urgent and necessary; and it is already bringing great economic benefit across the world. The International Energy Agency has forecast that renewables will produce more power than coal within 15 years. In July 2015, on a windy day, Denmark’s wind farms produced between 116 and 140 percent of the national electricity requirements. Mexican energy firm TAU has saved so much through use of renewable energy, that they provide their customers with as much free electricity as they wish between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. “A network of land‐based 2.5 MW wind turbines... operating at as little as 20% of their rated capacity, could supply more than 40 times current worldwide consumption of electricity, more than 5 times total global use of energy in all forms,” according to Harvard University. If solar’s current rate of growth continues, its output could match world power demand in just 18 years time. Big banks like UBS and Citigroup are investing heavily in solar, a market Deutsche Bank estimates will be worth a staggering $5 trillion in 2035. ‘The sun has become mainstream, and... promises to democratise energy generation,’ writes Leonie Greene in the Telegraph.
CO2 emissions reductions that meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement can only be achieved if a transition occurs from fossil fuels to renewables and if the 196 countries that gathered in Paris implement what the Agreement sets out on sequestration and decarbonisation. Article 4.1 of the Agreement states that “In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal ... Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible ... and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century...”
One of the highlights of COP21 was Al Gore’s speech “Impacts and Solutions to the Climate Crisis.” Before a packed crowd of more than 2,000 people he sounded the death knell for fossil fuels with a sobering and powerful address, in which he championed the viability of renewable energy.
However, not everyone has seen the (solar-powered) light. Oil and gas are currently the cheapest they have been for many years and this is a dangerous incentive for energy corporations. “A critical point is that while the world’s governments have signed on the dotted line, the world’s companies have not... As long as fossil fuel energy is cheaper than renewables, oil gas and coal will be dispensed by the energy companies and burned by us all in vast quantities.” Herbert Girardet writes in his article “COP-out in Paris,” in Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, May/ June 2016. China, India and Indonesia are investing as heavily as ever in coal-powered electricity generation. Here in Great Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has enthusiastically adopted fracking, touting it as the solution for energy independence for the UK despite the irrefutable evidence that fracking causes earthquakes, contamination of aquifers, leakage of toxic chemicals into the ground, air pollution, increased road traffic and significantly contributes to climate change. Each well drilled requires millions of litres of water, which places an immense strain on resources.
Extreme weather events
In his speech Al Gore mentioned the Weather Disasters report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), released a week before COP21 got underway, which details how 90% of the natural disasters during the last 20 years have been caused by extreme weather events. The report records 6,457 floods, storms, heat waves, droughts and other weather-related disasters, claiming the lives of 606,000 people, an average of some 30,000 per year, with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance. Gore said “This is the acceleration of the climate crisis ... It’s like a nature hike through the book of Revelations.”
The figures in the report for this year end in August 2015, but — needless to say — weather related disasters continue to ravage the world. In the whole of 2015 earthquakes, floods, heat waves and landslides left 22,773 people dead, affected 98.6 million others and caused $66.5bn (£47bn) of economic damage. In December 2015 a powerful winter cyclone left devastation across the globe, leading to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding, driving temperatures in the North Pole up to 50 degrees above average. On 13 January this year a huge, dry electrical storm set more than 70 fires rampaging across the island of Tasmania, destroying most of the island’s UNESCO world heritage site, which contained unique, ancient and irreplaceable ecosystems, including many trees that were over a thousand years old. This month devastating floods killed 53 people in Pakistan alone.
Forest landscape restoration and the born challenge
In order to preserve the planet and combat climate change, we must preserve the forests - between now and 2020 alone, we stand to lose 1,460,000,000 acres of tropical forest and 273,750 species. We must also restore degraded, and deforested land to purpose. There are 2 billion hectares of degraded and deforested land across the world with potential for restoration. Restoration of degraded and deforested lands is not simply about planting trees. People and communities are at the heart of the restoration effort, which transforms barren or degraded areas of land into healthy, fertile working landscapes. Restored land can be put to a mosaic of uses such as agriculture, protected wildlife reserves, ecological corridors, regenerated forests, managed plantations, agroforestry systems and river or lakeside plantings to protect waterways.
The Bonn Challenge was established by the German Government and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at a ministerial roundtable in September 2011. It is the largest restoration initiative the world has ever seen. The objective of the Bonn Challenge was originally to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land across the world by 2020. The New York Declaration on Forests raised the Bonn Challenge ambition in September 2014 by calling for restoration of an additional 200 million hectares by 2030, bringing the total target to 350 million hectares by 2030.
Achieving the 350 million hectare by 2030 goal would result in estimates of 0.6 - 1.7 Gt CO2 sequestered per on year average, reaching 1.6 - 3.4 Gt per year in 2030 and totalling 11.8 - 33.5 Gt over the period 2011-2030. Even restoring 150 million hectares would capture 47 Gigatonnes of CO2, and reduce the emissions gap by 17%. Forest restoration is invaluable in the race to tackle climate change. That is why, in 2012, I became IUCN Ambassador for the Bonn Challenge. Not only is forest landscape restoration a critical tool against climate change, it is an issue of the most basic human rights: the right to food, shelter, clean water and sustainable livelihoods. The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation (BJHRF) of which I am Founder, President and Chief Executive, is committed to forest conservation and restoration. Almost 20 million hectares have already been pledged by governments, communities and the private sector. Commitments of further 40 million hectares are being finalised.
Indigenous people's rights
I am concerned by the lack of protection for the rights of indigenous peoples in the Paris Agreement, who have time and again been proven the best custodians of ecosystems, including forests. According to Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “studies over the last year have shown that indigenous peoples outperform every other owner, public or private entities on forest conservation.” According to the Center for World Indigenous Peoples, it was pressure from the United States, the European Union, and Norwegian delegates at COP21 which ‘caused reference to the “rights of Indigenous peoples” to be cut from the binding portion of the Paris Agreement, relegating the only mention of Indigenous rights to the purely aspirational preamble.’ Megan Davis, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Chair, said in her statement to the COP, “Sadly, the agreement asks States to merely consider their human rights obligations, rather than comply with them.”
The critical role of indigenous people in combating climate change is recognised in the Paris Agreement — but their rights are not protected. Article 7.5 of the Paris Agreement acknowledges “that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems.”
Women
Article 7.5’s language regarding women, “a gender-responsive... approach,” is also weak and non-binding. It has long been established that women are disproportionately affected by climate change, especially in poorer countries. They are often most responsible for food production, household water supply and energy for heating and cooking - activities which will be seriously impacted by climate change. Yet women are often underrepresented or excluded from decision-making.
We cannot combat climate change without involving all stakeholders, including women and indigenous people, and their rights should have been at the heart of the Paris Agreement.
Financing
The Agreement provides $100 bn in financing to compensate poorer countries’ for ‘loss and damage,’ mitigation and adaptation. But this is a drop in the ocean, to put it mildly. Much more financing is needed to ensure that low lying and developing countries don’t pay the price for decades of reckless gas guzzling, coal burning and emissions by the richest countries.
Conclusion
To hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” is a mockery. Much as I applaud the historic diplomatic achievements the agreement represents, the treaty contains fatal flaws that threaten us and the planet. This is the most important treaty the world has ever known; world leaders should have come away with an agreement that is bold and ambitious enough to save us from climate catastrophe. As the climate demonstrators at COP21 called out, as they assembled peacefully in the conference halls and Paris streets, as was written large on the signs they carried aloft: it is “1.5 to stay alive.”




Intrepid Report: Widespread public distrust of mainstream media, Why is the progressive left helping the elite elect Hillary?, No prizes for guessing Netanyahu’s plans, The U.S. decision to kill more civilians in Iraq and Syria




Intrepid Report
Newsletter

We cannot keep publishing without your help. We rely on
you to help us pay our monthly expenses. So please

Monday

By Stephen Lendman
Americans have little faith in so-called major media news and information, a collective lying machine by any standard, suppressing what’s most important to report, substituting managed news misinformation rubbish.

By Wayne Madsen
Long discredited, the Monroe Doctrine, a policy set forth by President James Monroe that stipulates that the Western Hemisphere is America’s backyard over which it exercises complete tutelage, has been dusted off by Barack Obama. The neo-Monroe Doctrine, which can be called the Obama Doctrine, has seen the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, State Department, and the Pentagon actively work to oust progressive leaders from power in Latin America.

By Paul Craig Roberts
The Washington elite believe that the British people should serve Washington’s interest and not their own. To this end, President Obama has been sent to London to emphasize that the UK must remain in the EU.

By Luciana Bohne
Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind, and suddenly there was light, and warmth, and the gathering at the hearth. The gods never forgave, and ever since periodically they thrust a torch into villains’ hands and watch the hearths burn and bring the roofs down. Civilization weeps, in Troy, Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

By Gilad Atzmon
The Times of Israel explained earlier this week “How Bernie Sanders just became the rabbi of the Jewish left.”

Tuesday

By Mark Taliano
“Reverse Projection,” as described by Canadian professor John McMurtry, is a staple of propagandists as the imperial West imposes its toxic agenda of war and poverty domestically, and throughout the world.

By Stephen Lendman
Trump remains overwhelmingly popular among GOP voters, way outdistancing his rivals. Cruz and Kasich alone remain—allying in a desperate bid to stop him.

By Paul Craig Roberts
Have you noticed that it is not only the presstitute media and the two establishment political parties that are beating up on Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump but also the progressive left? Sometimes the messages overlap so much that the progressive left sounds like the One Percent. But mainly the progressive left is down on Sanders because he is “not pure,” and they don’t like Trump because he hurts people’s feelings and doesn’t apologize.

For revolutionists the question is far from academic.
By Gaither Stewart
In his work “Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution,” Lenin discusses a vexing Russian pre-revolutionary problem similar to the problem facing American left radicals today. For Russia of that epoch the question was one of timing and tactics: Was the classical Marxian bourgeois revolution leading to a democratic republic as a first step toward the Socialist Revolution necessary, and even possible, considering the pusillanimous nature of the Russian bourgeoisie at the time? Or could Russia bypass bourgeois capitalism altogether and leap directly from backwardness into advanced socialism? Today, more than a handful of people ask: What will be the nature of the long overdue Great American Revolution?

By Missy Comley Beattie
“Smile,” she said, “no one wants to be in the company of someone who’s sad.” She performed happiness confidently, although once during lunch at a crowded cafĂ©, she looked at me, began to cry, then loudly said, “Cancer is so fucking terrible.” Her son died in 2006 and when I met her in 2009, she was grieving, like me. I was Brailing my way, wondering if anything ever would be normal for me again after my husband’s death. She and I became friends.

Wednesday

By Dave Alpert
The more aware I become of Israel and the people who occupy what was formerly Palestine, the more difficult it is for me to be a Jew.

By John Chuckman
In truth, there is no such thing as a right.

By Walter Brasch
Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault.

By Paul Craig Roberts
Having removed the reformist President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Washington is now disposing of the reformist President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

By Ramzy Baroud
“We won’t act like them, we will not use violence or force, we are peaceful, we believe in peace, in peaceful popular resistance.” This was part of a message issued by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in October, only days after a few incidents took place in which Palestinian youth were accused of attacking Israeli soldiers and settlers with knives.

Thursday

By Nicolas J S Davies
USA Today reported on April 19th that U.S. air forces bombing Syria and Iraq have been operating under new, looser rules of engagement since last fall. The war commander, Lt Gen McFarland, now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from U.S. Central Command, and U.S. officials made it clear to USA Today that U.S. air strikes are killing more civilians as a result of the new rules.

By Paul Craig Roberts
The Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage?

By Robert Reich
Will Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

By Linda S. Heard
All of a sudden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the international community to recognise Syria’s Golan Heights, captured by Israel during the 1967 War, as belonging to Israel.

By Linh Dinh
Don, Friendly Lounge owner, told me this joke, “How is a South Philly guy like Jesus? One, he’s never left his neighborhood. Two, he hangs out with the same 12 guys. Three, his mother thinks he’s God.”

Friday

By Stephen Lendman
Sunday’s announced Cruz-Kasich alliance to stay out of each other’s way in upcoming primaries as a way of challenging Trump faltered straightaway—Kasich urging supporters to stick with him.

By Joseph M. Cachia
Each year, as we join millions across the world to celebrate the victories of workers, our own Freedom Day remains still fresh in our minds.

By Ben Tanosborn
It was expected to happen and, true to course, it did. On Tuesday, April 26, presidential primaries in five northeastern states hermetically, and silently, sealed the fate of how the US will be dealing with the rest of the world on all issues, geopolitical or economic, for another four, perhaps eight years.

By Wayne Madsen
WMR was told by a longtime national security aide to then-President Ronald Reagan that First Lady Nancy Reagan told White House staff that “I never want to see the Bushes again.” The comment came after Bush family friend John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan on March 30, 1981, some ten weeks after the presidential inauguration. Mrs. Reagan apparently was convinced that Vice President George H W Bush and Second Lady Barbara Bush were somehow connected to the assassination attempt.

By John W. Whitehead
In past ages, those who dared to speak out against tyranny—viewed as an act of treason—were blinded, castrated, disfigured, mutilated, rendered mute by having their tongues cut out of their heads, and ultimately crucified.








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RSN: Even When Big Corporations Lose, Their CEOs Always Come Out Winners, 1 in 4 Americans Have PTSD-Like Symptoms From Financial Stress





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Robert Reich | Even When Big Corporations Lose, Their CEOs Always Come Out Winners 
Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star) 
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page 
Reich writes: "Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex W. Tillerson is delivering bad news to shareholders: Profits were down 63 percent in the first quarter financial results, announced yesterday. But don't cry for Tillerson. He's scheduled to retire next March with a nest egg of $218 million in Exxon stock plus a pension plan worth $69.5 million." 
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No Criminal Charges for US Military's Bombing of Kunduz Hospital in Afghanistan 
Robert Burns, Associated Press 
Burns writes: "No criminal charges have been leveled against U.S. military personnel for mistakes that resulted in last's year's attack on the civilian hospital in Afghanistan operated by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders. The group has called the attack a war crime." 
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Elizabeth Warren Calls on Banks to Invest in Minority Neighborhoods, Businesses 
Isaac Park, The American Prospect 
Park writes: "Senator Elizabeth Warren recently warned that minority families and businesses continue to suffer disproportionately from the lingering effects of the Great Recession and called on the country's banks to step up to assist local communities." 
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1 in 4 Americans Have PTSD-Like Symptoms From Financial Stress 
Kate Ashford, Forbes 
Ashford writes: "If you've ever felt like financial stress was bringing you down, you might be interested in the findings of a new study. In an analysis of data from 2,011 survey respondents, researchers discovered that 23% of respondents were experiencing symptoms commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder related to their finances." 
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The Secret World of Government Requests for Facebook's User Data 
Nicole Lee, Engadget 
Lee writes: "In a biannual transparency report, Facebook has revealed that 60 percent of the data requests it gets from world governments includes a gag order. That means they include non-disclosure directives that prevent the company from telling the user about the request." 
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$5 Million Is Going to Koch-Backed Think Tanks in Arizona Universities. Professors Are Angry. 
Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress 
Quinlan writes: "Arizona lawmakers could provide the state's public universities with $32 million in additional funding this year - but some of that money will go to supporting conservative causes. A $5 million addition has been specifically earmarked for 'freedom schools' at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic." 
READ MORE
Neil Young's New Album Was Inspired by the Wonder of Earth's Natural World 
Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch 
Chow writes: "Neil Young has announced his new, full-length album EARTH. The 98-minute record, out June 17, features an unusual set of collaborators: live animals." 
READ MORE


Friday, April 29, 2016

John McCain Stuns America And Says This Candidate Has The Best Record On Veterans Issues



John McCain Stuns America And Says This Candidate Has The Best Record On Veterans Issues


When it comes to issues that involve America’s veterans, there are few people who are more respected and influential within the U.S. Congress than John McCain. McCain, who was a POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War, has spent much of his time in the Senate working on issues related to healthcare, job opportunities, and benefits for those who have served their country.


And now McCain has entered the Democratic race for the White House with comments he recently made regarding Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee with McCain:
‘The fact is we were able to come together and pass legislation that was nearly unanimous in both the House and the Senate, so he does have a record of advocacy for our veterans. To my knowledge, I know of no activity, legislative or otherwise, that Hillary Clinton was engaged in during her time as a United States senator.’

McCain made his comments in response to a remark from the former Secretary of State that long delays for vets seeking treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are not a “widespread” problem. The Arizona Senator did not mince his words, saying of Clinton:
‘I would say that if Hillary Clinton really believes the comments that she made, I don’t see how any veteran who cares about their fellow veterans could possibly have any good things, nor could support her quest for being commander-in-chief.
‘[The] commander-in-chief not only sends the young men and women into conflicts, but [the] commander-in-chief has an obligation, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated, about our care for the widows and the wounded.’
Clinton, while appearing on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Friday, said that long wait times at VA medical facilities have not been “as widespread as it has been made out to be,” adding that Republicans had pursued an “ideological agenda” to make VA hospitals “fail.”
In response to that claim from Clinton, McCain said Clinton needed to apologize for what she said and also accused her of attempting to “downplay” the serious nature of wait times at VA facilities.
Here’s Senators McCain and Sanders discussing the VA health care bill on the floor of the Senate:




http://bipartisanreport.com/2016/04/10/john-mccain-stuns-america-and-says-this-candidate-has-the-best-record-on-veterans-issues/

Hillary Clinton, Voter Suppression, Rigged Elections, Electoral Fraud


Progressive shift 
Why we need an investigation into electoral fraud favoring Hillary Clinton
MEDIUM.COM|BY SPENCER GUNDERT
  • This fraud is seeing the light of day and there will be hell to pay. There is no intention of letting this slide. Clinton would have been eliminated long ago were it not for election fraud. Yet she boldly stands up and claims her lead. She is the most dishonest politician imaginable. So you Hillary supporters had better wake up, we sure the hell don't need this lying corporatist as our President.



Hillary Clinton and Electoral Fraud

Why we need an investigation into electoral fraud favoring Hillary Clinton







I would have voted for Hillary Clinton three months ago. I believed that our elections are just, verifiable, and democratic—but then discovered how easy it is to hack a voting machine without a trace. I told myself that previous elections hadn’t necessarily been rigged—but then found evidence proving me wrong. I convinced myself that it didn’t mean this Democratic nomination was rigged — until I uncovered the truth.
I am an ardent skeptic turned fervent believer.
Over the course of this article, I will demonstrate that electoral fraud was committed favoring Hillary Clinton with a plethora of sources: exit poll data, statistics, mainstream and independent media articles, expert quotes and analysis, videos, anecdotes, and so forth. All of these sources can be accessed through clickable hyperlinks (the underlined text).

How to Rig an Election

First, our elections are remarkably easy to rig. The simplest and increasingly widespread way to do so is through our electronic voting machines.
For example, a study from the Brennan Center for Justice found that 43 out of 50 states use machines at least 10 years old for 2016 elections, making their security systems outdated and extremely easy to hack. In addition, according to nonpartisan and non-profit organization, Verified Voting, some of the machines do not even print a paper receipt of the votes, so their results are unverifiable:
“Far too many states use unreliable and insecure electronic voting machines, and many states have made their situation worse by adding some forms of Internet voting for some voters, which cannot be checked for accuracy at all. Even in states where verifiable systems are used, too often the check on the voting system’s function and accuracy is not done.
The leader of this voting machine movement is Election Systems and Software, which incorporates a company formerly known as Diebold Election Systems, whose machines have repeatedly been proven easy to hack. For example, on a Fox News segment in 2006, Princeton University Professor Ed Felten stated, “It only takes a few seconds to insert a virus into [Diebold’s] voting machine…and the computer virus [switches] the votes.” He demonstrated it by hacking a Diebold Accuvote-TS (touchscreen) machine on air, contending that others could do it “at any time before election date” and the votes would be flipped permanently.
This isn’t restricted to just Diebold. In elections between 2002 and 2014, Virginia used touchscreen voting machines with the password protections “abcde” and “admin.” They could be hacked from each polling place’s parking lot. Meanwhile, in 2012, the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory discovered that some of our voting machines “can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education…while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.”
This contrasts elections all over the world, where the majority of countries strictly use hand-counted paper ballots, leaving citizens far more confident in the results. Yet, the United States spends substantially more time, money, and energy telling people to vote rather than ensuring the process in which they do so is just.
As proof, in 2004, computer programmer Clint Curtis testified under oaththat he helped hack voting machines in an election. He wrote computer software for Tom Feeney in 2000 to flip the vote to “whoever you wanted it to go to, and whichever race you wanted it to win,” not realizing it would be used for fraud. The election officials could “never see” the software and that, to detect it, “you would have to view it either in the source code, or you’d have to have a receipt, and then count the hard paper against the actual vote total. Other than that, you won’t see it…It’s a simple program…a hundred lines of code, tops.”
Clint Curtis further testified:
“If you have exit polling data that is significantly off from the vote, then [the election’s] probably hacked.”
Which brings me to my next point…


Exit Polls: Why They Have Been Significantly Off

“Over the past decades, exit polling has evolved into an exact science. Indeed, among pollsters and statisticians, such surveys are thought to be the most reliable…Exit polls in Germany, for example, have never missed the mark by more than three-tenths of one percent. ‘Exit polls are almost never wrong,’ Dick Morris, a political consultant who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats, noted after the 2004 vote. Such surveys are ‘so reliable,’ he added, ‘that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries.’ In 2003, vote tampering revealed by exit polling in the Republic of Georgia forced Eduard Shevardnadze to step down. And in November 2004, exit polling in the Ukraine — paid for by the Bush administration — exposed election fraud that denied Viktor Yushchenko the presidency.” — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
There are two main types of election polls: pre-election and exit.
Pre-election polls predict how people will vote; exit polls tell how people voted.
As Edison Research’s executive vice president Joe Lenski states, all exit polls are conducted by Edison Research and distributed to six media organizations: Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the Associated Press. Exit polls are private, anonymous, and adjusted before release to account for every group or demographic that chooses not to respond for any reason.
When the polls close in each primary, media organizations release the full exit polling data. Afterwards, Edison Research compares them to actual voting results and makes adjustments. For instance, the exit polls initially showed a 4 point win by Hillary Clinton in New York at 9 PM, but were changed to 12 points at 9:45 once Edison obtained voting results.
Therefore, the best time to determine the actual exit poll results is right after voting closes. However, this year in the Democratic primaries, the exit polls have been consistently, significantly, and systemically off:





Table compiled by Theodore Soares and attained from richardcharnin.wordpress.com

I verified the table with tweets from fivethirtyeight.com and PDFs of the first reported exit polling data, also accessible as images. This table was attained through Election Integrity, a Facebook and Google group of over 1,000 people dedicated to uncovering and preventing election fraud. While some confessed that election research and data can be a minefield, they unanimously agreed upon this:
When the exit polls are way off, either the polls are wrong, electoral fraud was committed, or both.
As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. mentioned, research shows that exit polls are almost always spot on. When one or two are incorrect, they could be statistical anomalies, but the more incorrect they are, the more it substantiates electoral fraud.
This is shown by the data, which is extremely suspicious: discrepancies ineight of the sixteen primaries favoring Clinton in voting results over exit polling data are outside of the margin of error. That’s half of them outside the margin of error: 2.3% greater in Tennessee, 2.6% in Massachusetts, 4% in Texas, 4.7% in Mississippi, 5.2% in Ohio, 6.2% in New York, 7% in Georgia, and 7.9% in Alabama.
This is extremely, extremely abnormal.
The margin of error is designed to prevent this. When an exit poll or two is outside the margin of error, it denotes failure in the polling; when eight defy it — egregiously so — that indicates systemic electoral fraud.
Keep in mind, these are the discrepancies in favor of Clinton between exit polls and voting results, from lowest to highest: -6.1%, -1.9%, 1.1%, 1.7%, 3.4%, 3.9%, 4.1%, 4.3%, 4.6%, 5.2%, 8%, 8.3%, 9.3%, 9.9%, 10%, 11.6%, 12.2%, and a whopping 14%.
The discrepancies alone demand an investigation of electoral fraud. These are not just small, isolated errors, but systemic and alarming differences that point towards Hillary Clinton beating exit polls in an impossible way.
Nevertheless, one may still contend that 1) exit polls are “unreliable” and 2) Bernie supporters are more “enthusiastic” to take exit polls than Clinton supporters.
However, if exit polls were done that poorly, we wouldn’t bother using them in the first place. In addition, they would be all over the place numerically, instead of consistently and considerably skewed towards Hillary Clinton. Besides, exit pollsters are, frankly, not idiots; they’ve had decades to hone, adjust, and perfect their methods, and have many elections to compare results to.
Therefore, they account for any and all unlikely changes, including response bias — the possibility that Bernie supporters are more enthusiastic. Moreover, Donald Trump supporters are arguably more enthusiastic while deriving from a similar anti-establishment base. Since Edison Research compiles the exit polls singlehandedly and the Republican race has easily been more polarizing, divisive, and contentious, one would expect that Republican exit polls would be even more skewed.
Except they haven’t been. They’ve been spot on almost every time.
I was able to find tweets of almost all of the first Republican exit polls from fivethirtyeight.comPhD student and election tracker Taniel, and CBS live blogs. Here is a table comparing their data and the actual voting results:





If you have more data, feel free to add it in the comments.

In every primary I could find data for, the Republican primaries have been almost exactly right, with every data point in the margin of error, during amore polarizing, contentious, and hard-to-predict race. Hence, this should be enough to prove my point: if exit polls were unreliable, then the Republican primaries would have equally bad exit polling data, but they don’t, not even by a long shot.
It demands an independent investigation, with the nomination results and voting ballots thoroughly, fairly, and properly audited.
But this isn’t the only evidence of electoral fraud…

How Voter Suppression Proves Electoral Fraud

“We really are the only advanced democracy on Earth that systematically and purposely makes it really hard for people to vote…We sort of just assume, yeah, that’s I guess how it is. There’s no other country on Earth that does that.” — President Barack Obama, April 2016
According to the Electoral Integrity Project, America’s elections rank dead last out of every “long-established democracy.” Problems include “the quality of the electoral laws, voter registration, the process of drawing district boundaries, as well as the regulation of campaign finance.”
This all links directly to rampant voter suppression in this year’s Democratic primaries. I researched countless anecdotes of it for nearly three months, and after every primary, this was what I found:
I could not find any instances of voter suppression disadvantaging Hillary Clinton. Yet, it unquestionably affected Bernie Sanders.
For better understanding, here’s a look at the facts behind voter suppression:
Fact 1: Polling places were closed in ArizonaNew YorkRhode Island, and other voting locations. Fewer polling places leads to longer lines, and thus, voters get discouraged from voting when they otherwise would. This consistent, unusual closure hints at electoral fraud, since Bernie Sanders’s base (younger voters) votes later in the day because they have school, jobs, and generally more responsibilities. Clinton’s base consists of elderly voters, who are often retired, vote in by mail significantly more, and have more time throughout the day to vote; therefore, they don’t have to endure long lines as frequently.
One example is in Arizona, where some Bernie Sanders voters waited up to five and a half hours to vote. One voter professed that after waiting all that time, he couldn’t vote because his Democratic registration was changed. Furthermore, the media called the primary for Hillary Clinton with less than 1% of the votes reported, disregarding the extremely long lines of people still trying to vote.
Fact 2: At least three states are under lawsuit and audits for voter suppression—ArizonaNew York, and Illinois. Lawyers and election officials of these states have tried to impede or block all of them. If electoral fraud didn’t actually take place, then why block the audits and lawsuits?
Because it did. In Chicago, an auditing group testified that the results of hand-counted votes from voting machines were changed to match the machines’ false electronic counts. In one instance, 21 Sanders votes were erased and 49 Clinton votes were added, which is indisputably election fraud. As for Arizona, hacker group Anonymous demonstrated how easy it is to hack and manipulate the voter database, as verified by a Reddit commenter, who said:
“Speaking as a database guy, one could hypothetically pull a list of names from the voter file that had indicated they were ‘strongly in support’ of Bernie Sanders, and write a script to update only their party affiliation. This might be the work of about an hour.”
Fact 3: Dishonesty from election officials has only affected Bernie Sanders. For instance, voter signatures were forged to change Democratic registrations to Republican. Moreover, 126,000 voters were purged from Democratic registration lists in Brooklyn, with one commenter noting, “Is it just a coincidence that the area with the highest numbers of purged voters happens to be an area with high numbers of young, white, educated, liberals [Bernie’s base of supporters]?”
“I’ve had reports from at least a dozen friends, family members, and friends of friends in other areas who have been switched. All Bernie supporters: I have yet to hear of this happening to a Clinton supporter.”
This is undeniably voter suppression.
In summary, just like the mentioned discrepancies between voting results and exit polls, voter suppression has overwhelmingly damaged Bernie Sanders, leaving Clinton unharmed. Again, one or two could be anomalies, but systemic voter suppression is a distinct indicator of electoral fraud.


Summing Up

The perpetrators behind this electoral fraud are unknown. Until the voting ballots and results are fully investigated, the truth will remain clouded and our election results will never be verified.
Our democracy lives on transparency, fairness, and justice, and when our elections are blatantly corrupted and fraudulent, that democracy dies. We can either stay silent and watch our country disintegrate or stand up and fight for our rights. So, if you are disturbed by my findings, please share this as widely as you can and demand independent investigations into our elections.
Our democracy depends on it.







What else is new eh? ‪#‎LetMePutMySunglassesOn‬ I CALL BULLSHIT!!


The state's election law didn't stop them from trying to sway 
Democratic voters to Hillary Clinton.
VIVALA.COM















photo: Nik Hampsire/Corbis


Philly’s Democratic Party Breaks Law for Hillary

The state's election law didn't stop them from trying to sway Democratic voters to Hillary Clinton.

Philadelphia will always remain important in the history of the American experiment. The City of Brotherly Love was home to the First and Second Continental Congresses and, for the 10 years following the Revolutionary War, served as our fledgling nation’s capital city before Washington, D.C. assumed the role of home to the federal government. In today’s primary election, Philadelphia’s Democratic Party apparatus seems to have behaved quite undemocratically — and broke a law in the process.


At 7:30 a.m., Matthew Leister, a 26-year-old photographer and Democrat, was complying with his civic duty by voting at Benjamin Franklin High School, just north of Philly’s center. A man at the door to the polling place handed Leister his “sample ballot.” The “Official Democratic Ballot” — in red, white, and blue — had only one candidate for president: Hillary Clinton. 
The problem? The “Official Democratic Ballot” is a pro-Clinton campaign tool, and as such, the city’s Democratic Party wasn’t supposed to be handing it out within 10 feet of the polling place. Pennsylvania’s election law didn’t stop Philly’s Democratic Party from attempting to sway voters at Franklin High School or at other sites in the city.


At Fire Engine Company Number 13, just blocks away from Franklin High School, Democratic voter Nik Harris, 29, faced some confusion when he received his “Official Democratic Ballot” at just after 3 p.m. 
“I didn’t know what I was looking at,” the model and musician originally from New Hampshire recalls. He wondered if he needed to hold onto the paper to vote, or if the paper was a guide on how Democrats should vote. 
“I saw Hillary at the top,” he says. “I flipped it over a few times. Bernie’s name couldn’t be found.” He asked the man at the check-in table about the “ballot,” and received no clear answers. 
The two people who were handing out the pro-Clinton flyer were inside the firehouse, sitting in the doorway. From their position — not ten feet from the polling place — they handed out their flyer to all voters who walked by, Harris says. “Very shady. Very ambiguous.”
An official at the County Board of Elections says that the agency received numerous complaints of irregularities. The man, who asked to not be identified, says that when a complaint is received, the agency sends someone to the site or calls the judge for elections. He says at least some of the complaints were substantiated, but retracts to “I know we sent people out all the time. I don’t know what they did or saw.”  
A lawyer for Philadelphia’s Democratic Committee, who also asked to remain nameless, says that the city’s Democratic leaders chose to endorse Hillary Clinton this year. The Committee, chaired by Democratic U.S. Congressman Robert Brady, did not endorse a candidate in 2008 so as not to “set people against each other.”   
This year, it seems, Philadelphia’s Democratic leaders, in their organization that functions as a political action committee, found it fit to set “people against each other” and violate their state’s voting law that only allows campaigning “at least ten feet distant from the polling place during the progress of the voting.” 
It is no secret that the U.S.’s Democratic Party has a favorite in this primary season. What is becoming clear is the extent to which that party will act to ensure that favorite ends up on the ballot in November. 
“Had I been someone who is not so inquisitive,” Harris says, “I would have seen that ['ballot'] and assumed Hillary is the only candidate.”