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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Pence Cannot Block Biden Confiormation

While January 6 is normally a date of no consequence, in the coming New Year it will mark Congressional ratification of the Electoral College vote that Joe Biden won. But Donald Trump, intent on chaos as he leaves the Oval Office, appears to have persuaded his far-right followers that could be the day when the deranged autocrat overthrows our democracy.

Their conspiracy revolves around Vice President Mike Pence, who presides over the Senate and is expected by the extremists to somehow reject or alter the Electoral College tally.

According to MSN's Law and Crime, however, Pence will not be able to perform any chicanery that could end in Congress not certifying the President-elect's victory.

"When each state's electors publicly cast their official votes," writes reporter Jerry Lambe, "there is no mechanism for reversing these votes."

"Legal experts say Pence has absolutely no authority, constitutional or otherwise, to prevent ratification of the electoral college votes," Lambe continues.

The theory that Pence could somehow deny Electoral College votes has been tossed around on the far-right since states certified the totals, but it has been increasingly circulated since Trump retweeted one of his supporters urging Pence to do so.

So this user feels Pence should destroy our democracy and Constitution by defying the will of the voters to "defend our Constitution from our enemies." Strangely this MAGA-touting Twitter user also mentioned Russia, whose electoral meddling has dogged the Trump Administration from the beginning. Last week Trump attempted to blame the recent hacking of government agencies on China, even though investigators and close allies, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have blamed the attacks on Russia.

Though this analysis comes as good news to those who believe in democracy, all eyes will be on Congress as they certify the Electoral College votes on January 6.


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Supreme Court of the United States

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A new analysis is explaining the disturbing circumstances surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how the U.S. Supreme Court has morphed into an entity actively working toward authoritarianism.

In a new op-ed published by The Guardian, Jill Filipovic —author of the book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness—offered an assessment of the message being sent with the Supreme Court's rollback of the 1973 landmark ruling.

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After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.

Last June, drawing on the largest trove of confidential American tax data that’s ever been obtained, ProPublica launched a series of stories documenting the key ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, strategies that are largely unavailable to most taxpayers. To mark the first anniversary of the launch, we decided to assemble a quick summary of the techniques — all of which can generate tax savings on a massive scale — revealed in the series.

1. The Ultra Wealth Effect

Our first story unraveled how billionaires like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos were able to amass some of the largest fortunes in history while paying remarkably little tax relative to their immense wealth. They did it in part by avoiding selling off their vast holdings of stock. The U.S. system taxes income. Selling stock generates income, so they avoid income as the system defines it. Meanwhile, billionaires can tap into their wealth by borrowing against it. And borrowing isn’t taxable. (Buffett said he followed the law and preferred that his wealth go to charity; the others didn’t comment beyond a “?” from Musk.)

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