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BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

KingDavid 0316wrp opt(Photo: Paris Psalter)Despite being rhetorically chastised a bit by some evangelicals for his support of Donald Trump’s run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell Jr. – the son of the late Moral Majority leader and Liberty University founder, Rev. Jerry Falwell -- is sticking to his guns. There is no doubt that Falwell’s endorsement of Trump surprised many conservative Christian evangelical leaders, as he is one of the few major leaders supporting Trump. Others, including Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Max Lucado, often described as “America’s Pastor,” and the editorial staff of The Christian Post, have consistently criticized Trump. And while Falwell Jr., may be taking the criticism in stride, his wife Becki has lashed out at the critics.

Earlier this month, Becki Falwell posted a “pointed response to her husband’s critics on her Facebook page,” Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt reported. According to Merritt, Becki Falwell’s “comments came … after a prominent member of Liberty’s board of trustees, Mark DeMoss … publicly critique[ed] Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump. DeMoss said he had ‘been concerned for Liberty University for a couple of months now, and I’ve held my tongue.’ DeMoss also challenged Falwell Jr’s claim that Trump is similar to the late Jerry Falwell Sr., who DeMoss served as chief of staff for many years.”

Becki Falwell concluded her post by saying: “Jesus was called a friend of publicans and sinners and called the religious elite of his time hypocrites and a generation of vipers. We all need to remember what Jesus said – that he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

(Falwell responded back on Facebook: “Thank you sweetie! Glad you are on my side!”)

2016.15.3 bf spear(Photo: Claus Gerull)STEFANIE SPEAR OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected the proposal for the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline because its public interest value did not outweigh the project's adverse effects.

"We find the generalized allegations of need proffered by Pacific Connector do not outweigh the potential for adverse impact on landowners and communities," FERC said, adding that "the record does not support a finding that the public benefits of the Pacific Connector Pipeline outweigh the adverse effects on landowners."

2016.15.3 bf chow(Photo: Joe Brusky)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) -- the world's largest trade association for food, beverages and consumer products -- violated "the spirit and letter" of Washington's campaign-finance disclosure laws by trying to hide the identities of corporations that poured millions into a campaign to defeat a 2013 food-labeling initiative, a Washington Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

Initiative 522 would have required the labeling of genetically modified (GMOs) foods, seeds and seed products in Washington state and was narrowly defeated. As it happens, the GMA was the largest single donor to the "No on 522" campaign, spending a record $22 million to stop the measure, according to The Seattle Times.

"There is one, and only one, reasonable inference that can be drawn from the facts before this court: that the GMA intentionally took steps to create and then hide the true source of the funds … from the voting public of Washington state," Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch wrote in a pretrial ruling.

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Trump in New Hampshire(Photo: Marc Nozell)If Donald Trump wins the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and if David S. Bernstein’s calculations are correct, and it will take an overwhelming and unprecedented majority of white male voters to carry him to the White House. In a story for Politico titled “Donald Trump Needs Seven of Ten White Guys,” Bernstein, a contributing editor at Boston Magazine, writes: “If Trump wins the GOP nomination, he will be testing the limits of a strategy that has long haunted the Republican Party. Since the civil-rights era, Republicans have relied heavily on white male voters to overcome a disadvantage among minorities and some subsets of women. Mathematically, that was an easier strategy a half-century ago, when white men dominated the electorate.”

According to Bernstein, Trump would need seven out of ten white male voters to win the presidency. While that number has never been achieved before, judging from who is turning out at Trump rallies – and going to the polls in primaries -- that number might not be as impossible as you might think.

Ever since Team Nixon devised the Southern Strategy, white voters have been the backbone of the Republican Party. As Bernstein points out, “In 1980, when the electorate looked very different than it does today, Ronald Reagan cruised to an easy victory by winning 63 percent of white males, according to exit polls. In 1988, George H.W. Bush took 63 percent of that group in his rout of Michael Dukakis. By 2004, however, winning 62 percent of white men barely got George W. Bush past John Kerry in a squeaker. And eight years later, Romney won 62 percent of white men — and lost to Barack Obama by 3.5 million votes.”

PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaBuchheitflag(Photo: Inverted US flag)A recent Gallup poll found that less people would vote for a socialist than for an atheist, a Muslim, or an evangelical Christian. Media-numbed Americans still believe that "government is the problem." Yet evidence keeps pouring in that free-market capitalism treats public safety as a profit-killer, dismisses environmental issues as irrelevant to business, and eliminates jobs to please investors.

Reports from the past six months show that the ongoing record of capitalist greed and irresponsibility has plunged to new lows.

1. Mocking Public Health and Safety

It's disturbing enough that Volkswagen and Ford and General Motors and other auto companies rigged emissions tests and took safety shortcuts to save money; and that the Southern California Gas Co. lied about its poisonous sulfur levels; and that Exxon was found to be hiding its own climate change research for four decades; and that tens of thousands of government-subsidized abandoned mines have been left to pollute our waterways.

But Monsanto, which proclaims "We are committed to long-term environmental protection," sued the State of California for trying to protect its citizens from the company's toxic materials.

2. Showing Contempt for Workers

The sharing economy has created companies that promote worker 'independence' while denying them health and retirement benefits, sick pay, overtime pay, and vacation pay. It's not a new capitalist idea. Merck and Out Magazine are among the companies that have "outsourced" employee positions to independent contractor positions, either by a mass layoff or by selling part of the company, after which former employees could be hired back at lower pay and without benefits.

Companies like American Express and AT&T have gone a step further with "individual arbitration" clauses, which effectively prohibit class-action lawsuits, the only economically feasible way for defrauded employees and customers to fight back against corporate malfeasance. Legal expert Brian T. Fitzpatrick explained, "Without a class action, if someone loses $500, they will not be able to do anything about it."

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaCorncobs 0311wrp(Photo: Sam Fentress)A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Monsanto Co. by the widow of a prominent Cambria, California farmer alleging that Monsanto had known for years that exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in the agribusiness giant’s flagship weedkiller Roundup—could cause cancer and other serious illnesses or injuries.

The lawsuit, which seeks wrongful death and punitive damages, was filedtoday in Los Angeles federal court by attorneys Michael Baum, Cynthia Garber and Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. of Kennedy & Madonna on behalf of Teri McCall.

Teri McCall claims Roundup caused her husband of 40-years, Anthony Jackson “Jack” McCall, to develop terminal cancer after he used the herbicide on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm for nearly 30 years.

According to a press release from the law firms, Jack McCall was admitted to a hospital in September 2015 to treat swollen lymph nodes in his neck. He found out that same day that the swelling was caused by anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare and aggressive version of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Glyphosate, which is the most widely applied pesticide worldwide, was declared as “probably carcinogenic to humans” last March by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The organization also observed that non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other haematopoietic cancers are the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure.

2016.10.3 bf wasserman(Photo: Paolo)HARVEY WASSERMAN OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Seven top Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) experts have taken the brave rare step of publicly filing an independent finding warning that nearly every U.S. atomic reactor has a generic safety flaw that could spark a disaster.

The warning mocks the latest industry push to keep America’s remaining 99 nukes from being shut by popular demand, by their essential unprofitability, or, more seriously, by the kind of engineering collapse against which the NRC experts are now warning.

As of January 1, the world has more installed wind capacity than nuke. More than $360 billion was invested last year in renewables, dwarfing new reactor investments.

2016.10.3 bf abramsky(Photo: Gage Skidmore)SASHA ABRAMSKY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

J'accuse....

For the past several months, I have written about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and listened, in horror, as his positions have become evermore extreme and evermore publicly violent. Trump’s extraordinary comments come so fast and thick these days that they end up something of a blur. But they’re worth paying attention to, each and every one.

Trump has repeatedly advocated that he would change American law so as to make torture permissible and widely usable. He has repeated, gleefully, the much-disputed story of General Pershing ordering his soldiers to dip bullets in pigs’ blood and then summarily shooting dozens of Philippino terrorists, making it clear he favors similar measures against America’s enemies today. He has urged the collective, and violent, punishment of the families of terrorists. And, at one rally after another, especially in southern states where many in his audience remember the Jim Crow years with nostalgia, he has said he longs for “the good old days” when protestors could be beaten and when police would remove them from events “on a stretcher.” He has, repeatedly, said that he, personally, longs to smash in the faces of his enemies.

WENONAH HAUTER OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaBernieClimate(Photo: NASA)The Democratic debate Sunday night discussed important issues to our food and water, including the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply and climate change. The fact that CNN allowed University of Michigan student Sarah Bellaire to ask the candidates whether or not they support fracking—bringing a real discussion about dirty fossil fuels to center stage—shows how large and influential our movement to ban fracking has become.

Bernie Sanders’ concise response after Hillary Clinton‘s long list of “conditions” that must be met in order for her to support fracking was met with thunderous applause: “My answer is a lot shorter. No, I do not support fracking.”

Watch here.

While the Obama administration—including Clinton herself as secretary of state—has been a staunch promoter of fracking, touting industry claims about energy security and that it could be a bridge to renewables, a growing movement is forcing Democratic leaders to acknowledge that fracking is bad for our environment and public health and a disaster for our climate.

COLE MELLINO OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaOrca(Photo: EcoWatch)Tilikum, the killer whale at the center of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, is in deteriorating health. SeaWorld’s teams are treating him for what they believe is a bacterial infection in his lungs, the company announced on its Facebook page Tuesday.

“We are saddened to report that over the past few weeks, Tilikum’s behavior has become increasingly lethargic, and the SeaWorld veterinary and animal care teams are concerned that his health is beginning to deteriorate,” the company said.

The 35-year-old male orca is not responding to treatment and “a cure for his illness has not been found,” SeaWorld said.

“Since Tilikum became a part of SeaWorld’s family 23 years ago, he has received the best in marine mammal health care and life enrichment available for killer whales—including a focus on his physical health, mental engagement and social activity with other whales,” SeaWorld said. “Despite the best care available, like all aging animals, he battles chronic health issues that are taking a greater toll as he ages.”

Tilikum, whose name means “friend” in Chinook, was captured from the wild in 1983 at the age of 2, according to Reuters. He came to SeaWorld 23 years ago from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada.

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