All Those "Signing Statements"? Ignore ’Em.

If you had a vigilant liberal in your life during the past eight years, you probably heard about Bush's "signing statements." These were, in...

If you had a vigilant liberal in your life during the past eight years, you probably heard about Bush's "signing statements."These were, in essence, little memos Bush would issue when he singed some piece of legislation into law, asserting his right to ignore it (in whole or in part).There's no explicit constitutional justification for signing statements, but they've been thought to fall under the president's responsibility to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Other presidents have used them to question the constitutionality of certain aspects of laws here and there. But Bush used them to, in effect, retroactively edit legislation. And he used them a lot.

There was controversy about Bush's use of signing statements. He used them to ignore prohibitions on torture, to skirt requirements that he report how the Patriot Act was being implemented, and to allow the military to use intelligence that was collected from U.S. citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In effect, he had a final, unchecked edit on any law.Today, the New York Times reports "President Obama ... ordered executive officials to consult with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before relying on any of [Bush's signing statements] to bypass a statute." So, in effect, they're all void.This is good news. But we need some actual clarity on the legal status of these signing statements. Even if Obama has addressed Bush's misuse of signing statements, he hasn't at all addressed the potential for their misuse.
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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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