Two Cliven Bundy supporters face up to six years in U.S. prison after pleading guilty Thursday to felonies connected to an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014.

     Michigan has launched an investigation into the Detroit Medical Center after a bombshell newspaper report detailed years of patient neglect and complaints from doctors and nurses forced to use soiled or broken surgical instruments on those in their care.

     The two political parties that own our country are strange things that should be stripped of their dishonest legal protections: particularly, exemption from taxes and antitrust laws.
     The Democratic and Republican parties are not institutions in the public interest. They are not nonprofits. They are profit-seeking institutions, against the public interest.
     Contributions to them should be taxed — against the parties — to recoup a few pennies from the billions of dollars they've given their campaign contributors.
     Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa called Mexico's PRI "the perfect dictatorship," because its stranglehold on Mexico allowed it to create bogus organizations that pretend to protest the PRI, though they are owned by, and were created by, the PRI.
     The only difference between Mexico's system and ours is that we pretend to have two political parties. And that they are not murdering political opponents in the streets. Yet.
     We leave that to the police.
     Aside from that, our political system and Mexico's are pretty much the same.
     That's one reason why this year's presidential campaigns have been so weird.
     Because The People — poor shlubs that both parties have led around for a century — know this now, because of the Republican and Democratic parties' negligent inattention to detail — their failure to actually represent the people they claim to be representing.
     Political parties can fulfill their function only in a functioning state. If the state ceases to function, all that's left is the party. That's called fascism.
     Words that once had meaning — liberal, conservative, fascist, truth — are tossed around like darts today, with no consideration for the words actually mean — so long as the words can hurt someone.
     The political party is a modern invention. The parties of 5th century B.C. Athens, and 1st century B.C. Rome were not political parties as we know them. They were people who supported one group of extended families against another.
     OK, so I guess ours are not that different.
     The political party as we know it — the putative representative of a social class — began in England, as our own revolution was brewing.
     A lot of Englishmen back then were on our side. So when we won our revolution, did we defeat England? Or just one of its parties?
     When Fascism won its first electoral victory with Mussolini in 1922, his party ate the state.
     Think about that.
     Most Americans today believe, incorrectly, that our two-party system is "enshrined" in our Constitution.
     That's nonsense. What the parties have done is to squeeze everyone else out of the political process, unless they have millions of dollars, and hand it over.
     Our phony, constricted two-party system presupposes, illegitimately, that we all must choose allegiance to one of two parties, whose representatives will fight for our interests.
     Need I say: Oh, please. That's an institutional lie as blatant as the institutional lie of my own trade, U.S. journalism, which pretends that there are two sides — and only two — to any question.
     For 36 years, since the election of Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has fought, in the word of its leading light Grover Norquist, to reduce the federal government to such incompetence that Republicans can "drown it in a bathtub."
     Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been doing that all year, by refusing to allow a hearing on President Obama's nomination of a justice to the Supreme Court.
     What if seven of the remaining Supreme Court justices were to die tomorrow of food poisoning, and the only one left was John Roberts? Would McConnell let Roberts dictate the law in the United States?
     What if the only justice who survived the Attack of the Tuna Salad were Justice Sonia Sotomayor?
     You can bet that McConnell would call for hearings pretty damn quick.
     Why, I bet that McConnell would say we had to hold those hearings, to prevent Justice Sotomayor from strangling our freedom in a bathtub.

     Disbarring two lawyers who got opposing counsel arrested for drunken driving, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday slammed the misconduct as some of "the most shocking, unethical, and unprofessional" it has ever seen. 


     Estimating that a redevelopment project will displace nearly 150 low-income families in northeast D.C., residents brought a federal class action to protect their homes. 

     California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday banning state transportation funding for new bulk coal-shipping terminals, and promised additional measures to limit coal usage and reduce pollution. 

     Republican Gov. Paul LePage has unleashed an obscene tirade on a Democratic legislator, leaving him a voicemail message that said "I am after you" and telling reporters he wished it were 1812 so he could challenge the legislator to a duel and point a gun between his eyes.

     The judge who sentenced Brock Turner will no longer preside over criminal cases now that his request to be transferred to the civil division has been granted.

     If "productive" settlement discussions fail, a jury can decide whether insurance giant American International Group deserves $306 million in foreign tax credits from a lawsuit it filed six months after its bailout, AIG attorneys agreed on Friday.

      A former San Diego dental assistant who molested women while they were under anesthesia was sentenced Friday to 15 years in state prison.


     A federal judge sanctioned the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and of its two leaders for violating her orders in a defamation case filed by a priest who claims he was wrongfully accused. 

     Puerto Rico's so-called "Wal-Mart tax" is unconstitutional, the First Circuit ruled, finding that the financially struggling commonwealth cannot force the retail giant's local affiliate to pay a special tax on corporations. 

     A federal class action accuses Twitter of colluding with an app-maker to misappropriate people's identities so game-players could collect and trade profiles "of real-life people as if they were baseball cards." 

     The European Space Agency released images Friday of a bright burst of light from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, apparently caused by a landslide.

     Researchers have developed an inhibitor that could be used as a new therapy option for patients with colorectal cancer, which kills about 700,000 people annually worldwide. 

     The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine breathed new life into its lawsuit accusing the government of downplaying the risks of high cholesterol from eating eggs, even as a federal magistrate indicated she would toss it. 

     Smoke alarms are not to blame after a 4-year-old died in a fire caused by a faulty electrical outlet in her bedroom, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled. 

     An Arkansas woman sued the CIA and FBI this week for information on what she calls "a massive cover-up by federal, state and county officials" in the death of her son and another boy, whose bodies were left on a rural railroad track 29 years ago. 

     The SEC fined 13 investment firms a total of $2.2 million for spreading false claims that F-Squared Investments made about its investment strategy, for which F-Squared itself was fined $35 million.

     The Sixth Circuit upheld a scheme in Kentucky that requires "political groups" like the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party to petition for their candidates to have election-ballot access 

     A federal class action claims Ford vehicles with a Delphi Gen 6 electronic throttle body in model years 2011 to 2015 have a dangerous defect that makes them stall or suddenly decelerate. 

     A federal class action accuses J.B. Hunt Inc. of stiffing drivers for overtime and expenses. 

     A federal judge heard arguments Friday for barring a host of experts retained in a class action claiming Trump University tricked students into paying for bogus real estate tips.

     Five months after handing defeat to Jaycee Dugard — the woman held captive in a shed for 18 years by a man on parole — the Ninth Circuit said Friday that the U.S. government is not liable for incompetent parole officers. 

     An attorney for NBA star Derrick Rose persuaded a judge Thursday to order an independent psychological examination of a woman who claims that Rose and two other men gang-raped at her Los Angeles apartment.

     World Racing Group owes pro racecar drivers millions for ruining their reputations by falsely finding that they violated weight and tire requirements, the drivers claim in federal court. 


     Sordid litigation over a U.S. charity founder dogged by unproven child-abuse allegations returned to court with a new defamation complaint. 

     A jury must decide whether or not police officers had cause to shoot and kill a father who broke into his own home after forgetting his keys, the 11th Circuit ruled. 

     An Arkansas school district did not violate a 1992 consent decree and discriminate against black students by closing an elementary school, the Eighth Circuit ruled Wednesday. 

     A federal judge ruled that a father and son duo jailed for siphoning $100 million from the now-defunct TV giant Adelphia can view favorable evidence withheld from them for more than decade. 

     Michigan's sex offender registration requirements are so stigmatizing and burdensome that they must be considered an ongoing punishment and cannot be applied retroactively, the Sixth Circuit ruled. 

     Carrier IQ will pay $9 million to settle claims that it collected personal information from smartphone users without their permission before sending it to Sprint, AT&T and other companies. 

     Private prison company Corrections Corporation of America asked a judge to seal documents in a case brought by women claiming they had to prove they were on their period when they visited a Tennessee prison. 

     The former public works director of a South Texas town claims he was fired for outing officials who agreed to award a multimillion-dollar contract to a company that bribed them with six figures. 

     A federal judge gave final approval to a settlement barring Yahoo from intercepting non-users' emails for the purpose of "targeted" advertising, and awarded $4 million to the plaintiffs' attorneys. 

     A school district must pay $2.5 million to the mother of an Illinois teen who died of an asthma attack in his high school English class, an appeals court ruled. 

     It is too late, the Eighth Circuit agreed Thursday, for consumers to seek damages from propane-tank distributors over price-fixing that already resulted in settlements. 


     The Food and Drug Administration recommended Friday that all U.S. blood banks begin screening for the Zika virus, which has been transmitted locally in three areas of Florida over the past few months.

     Opioid abuse is ravaging New England but a clinic trying to do something about that in Bangor, Maine, says prejudice from the city is stymieing its efforts. 

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     A former executive assistant's sexual harassment lawsuit against Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Tony Yarber paints a lurid picture of governance and campaign fundraisers intermingled with strip clubs and sex. 


     Donald Trump asked a federal judge to decertify one of two class actions against Trump University, saying proposed changes by the class would create a series of "mini-trials" that he wouldn't have the opportunity to challenge.


     Two imperiled mountain frogs and the Yosemite toad have 1.8 million acres of critical habitat, two years after ESA listing.

     It took six years for New Mexico to adjust wages under its Public Works Minimum Wage Act, so the state owes tens of thousands of workers back pay for those years, 52 workers say in a federal class action. 

     The U.S. Economy expanded at a meager 1.1 percent pace this spring, as businesses large and small trimmed their stockpile of unsold goods and invested less in equipment and new facilities. 

     France's top administrative court overturned a ban on burkinis in a Mediterranean town, in a decision Friday that should set legal precedent regarding a swimsuit crackdown that has divided the country and provoked shock around the world.

     The world's largest brewer, AB Inbev, expects to cut about 3 percent of its total workforce, equivalent to thousands of jobs, once it completes its huge takeover of its closest rival, SABMiller.

     A South African judge on Friday dismissed an appeal by prosecutors for a harsher sentence against Oscar Pistorius who was found guilty of murder for killing his girlfriend in 2013.

     Brazil's Senate on Friday began the second day of deliberations in a trial to decide whether to permanently remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.


     Several retailers are selling shoes, sandals and other clothing that dilute the trademark for Martini Eyewear or Martini Bikini, the latter's owner claims.

 


     Belfor Property Restoration claims Wayne Newton owes $14,643 for work on his Las Vegas home, in Clark County Court. 

     The Missouri United School Insurance Council sued St. Anthony's Medical Center for more than $210,000, claiming nurses injected seven kids with flu vaccine in the bursa instead of the muscle, and they racked up that much in medical bills, in St. Louis County Court.