FROM Andre Birotte, Jr.
FBI Arrests 17, Indicts 18 from LA County Sheriff's Department Illegal behavior has become institutionalized in the LA County Sheriff's Department, where some deputies "consider themselves to be above the law." That's according to US Attorney André Birotte, Jr. Today, he unsealed indictments alleging unjustified beatings of both jail inmates and visitors and conspiracies to cover up those actions. Eighteen deputies have been indicted and 16 are under arrest . Late this afternoon, Sheriff Lee Baca held a news conference to respond to the charges. Baca denied that abuse has become "institutionalized" but said he sadly accepted the US Attorney's investigation "whatever the findings are." (Both Sheriff Baca and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.)
The Crackdown on Medical Marijuana: Prohibition Revisited? Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but it's still an illegal, "Schedule 1" drug under federal law. Now the Obama Administration is cracking down , insisting that medical marijuana is a front for recreational use, and generating huge, illicit profits. The poster child is California, which started the movement in 1996 and where medical marijuana reportedly is a multi-billion-dollar business. Is the federal government blind to “compassionate use" by needy patients? Is medical marijuana a scam? What are the parallels to the era of Prohibition?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.