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Pelosi: GOP lawmaker ‘clearly, gleefully’ admitted Benghazi may have violated ethics rules

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A probe of the 2012 Benghazi attacks may have violated congressional ethics rules, House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday after a top Republican indicated it was aimed at hurting Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

Angry Democrats called for the Benghazi panel to be disbanded following the remarks on Tuesday evening by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He is campaigning to be the next speaker of the House when the current speaker, John Boehner, retires on Oct. 30.

McCarthy on Thursday voiced regret for making the remarks after some House Republicans said they thought he should apologize for, or explain, them. Others expressed understanding for what they saw as a media stumble.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy told Fox News on Tuesday. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her (poll) numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”

Democrats said McCarthy’s comments revealed the truth about the committee and countered the long-standing Republican contention that the panel was set up to find out what happened in the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

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Pelosi said political efforts by the Benghazi committee could violate ethics laws that ban using taxpayers’ dollars for political purposes.

“The question is, is this an ethics violation of the rules of the House?” she said. “I think he (McCarthy) clearly, gleefully claimed that this had a political purpose and had a political success.”

McCarthy told Fox News on Thursday he “did not intend to imply in any way” that the committee’s work was political.

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Asked if he had apologized to the panel’s chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, McCarthy said: “I talked to Trey and I told him I regret that this has ever taken place … and Trey goes: ‘I know it’s not your intention.'”

Boehner, a Republican, said the committee would continue its work. “This investigation has never been about former Secretary of State Clinton and never will be,” he said in a statement that did not mention McCarthy.

McCarthy’s words were widely considered a major gaffe. They were some of his first public remarks after jumping into the race to replace Boehner as speaker. He is the leading candidate for the post.

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Asked if his comments could hurt his chances, McCarthy told Fox News: “This is not what you’re going to see as speaker of the House.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan; Editing by Christian Plumb and Jonathan Oatis)


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Trump’s packed Supreme Court backs ‘forced arbitration’ that bars workers from taking abusive bosses to court

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Corporations are rapidly rendering sexual harassment, race and gender discrimination, life-threatening workplaces and wage theft immune to employee legal action.

They achieve this by forcing the vast majority of non-union private-sector workers to sign away their rights to go to court or use class or collective arbitration. Instead many millions of workers are being forced to forgo these efficient legal ways to resolve issues and to file individual arbitration claims.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy says that by 2024 more than 80% of non-union private-sector workers will find courthouse doors chained shut by forced arbitration clauses that ban lawsuits and collective actions. (EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to press the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.)

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Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels — here’s why

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A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.

I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.

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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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