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Greens rally in Michigan as courts in three states weigh recounts

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Green Party supporters rallied in freezing temperatures in Michigan’s capital on Thursday and urged its high court to revive a recount of presidential votes in one of three states where the party wants ballots re-examined.

About 50 people marched in a circle for about an hour in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, where Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has asked the justices to hear an appeal. As a light snow fell, they beat on pots and pans and shouted, “Come out of hiding and start recounting!”

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Even if recounts were completed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as Stein has asked, however, they would be extremely unlikely to change the outcome of the Nov. 8 election in which President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Although Clinton won the national popular vote, she lost to Trump in the Electoral College, the 538-person body chosen state-by-state that actually selects the president. Trump, who won a projected 306 electoral votes, takes office on Jan. 20. Stein won no Electoral College votes.

The three “Rust Belt” states narrowly supported Trump, reversing their recent history of backing Democratic candidates for president.

A recount is ongoing in Wisconsin, where a federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday in a lawsuit by Trump’s supporters who wish to halt it.

In Pennsylvania, a federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on Friday in a lawsuit brought by Stein asking to begin a statewide recount there.

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A federal judge on Wednesday halted the Michigan recount in its third day by siding with a state appeals court that found Stein did not have grounds to mount the challenge. Stein said the recount was aimed at reinforcing the integrity of Michigan’s voting system, while Trump supporters called it a waste of money.

Looking at paper ballots is the only way to ensure voting machines were not hacked, Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer scientist, said at Thursday’s rally.

“I know Michigan’s voting system can be hacked. The only security measure Michigan has is the paper ballot,” he said.

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The state’s Supreme Court could rule at any time on Stein’s appeal. Stein has also asked two of the court’s justices to disqualify themselves because they are on Trump’s list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

Federal law requires states to resolve disputes over the appointment of Electoral College voters by Dec. 13.

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(Reporting by Tim Branfalt in Lansing; Writing by David Ingram; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell)


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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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Elections 2016

As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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