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Attorney in Texas

Attorney in Texas's Journal
Attorney in Texas's Journal
June 12, 2016

Advice to Hillary in advance of her meeting with Sanders on Tuesday

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I was happy to hear you are meeting with Senator Sanders on Tuesday.

I offer you three suggestions for that meetring:

1. Ask Sanders for his help in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin

New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin are three of the most important states this election cycle. They are three key swing states in the presidential election and also three states with tight races critical to re-taking control of the Senate. The Sanders organization is much stronger than the Clinton organization in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin; don't be too proud to ask for Sanders' help in these key states (and other states, too, but these three states are the most critical in terms of bringing Sanders' strengths to the table in critical battlegrounds).

2. Give Sanders what he wants in terms of platform and party rules/leadership reform

The first step in fixing a problem is identifying and acknowledging the problem. Sanders won 22 states (the same number the Clinton campaign won in the 2008 primary you described as incredibly close), and you are not universally trusted by young Democrats, progressive Democrats, and liberal independents who lean Democratic. Nobody likes the anti-democratic superdelegate scheme, and the DNC is widely seen as biased. Adopting the progressive platform and DNC reforms that Sanders seeks would do much to reinforce the fractures in that trustworthiness among progressives, and it would help you distance yourself from perception that you are a status quo candidate basically offering a third Obama term in an election cycle where the voters crave change. You need only see the polling that two-thirds of Americans believe we are on the wrong track to know that you ought to embrace change where you can, and embracing much-needed change within the party would be a concrete demonstration that you can be more than a status quo candidate.

3. Seek Sanders' input on a running mate

Your first leadership test will be whether you can unite the party. Your choice of a running mate can further fracture the party (as Gore's choice of Lieberman did) or you can unite the party. No matter who you choose, it makes sense to solicit the advice of the candidate preferred by about 46% of Democrats. Your choice could put us on the Gore-Lieberman path or on a pathway to unity and a victory by a large margin.

Good luck.
June 3, 2016

What does the Supreme Court of the United States say about GMOs?

From the Supreme Court of the United States opinion in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms:

Emphasizing “the undisputed concentration of alfalfa seed farms,” the District Court found that those farmers had “established a ‘reasonable probability’ that their organic and conventional alfalfa crops will be infected with the engineered gene” if RRA is completely deregulated. App. to Pet. for Cert. 50a. A substantial risk of gene flow injures respondents in several ways. For example, respondents represent that, in order to continue marketing their product to consumers who wish to buy non-genetically-engineered alfalfa, respondents would have to conduct testing to find out whether and to what extent their crops have been contaminated. See, e.g., Record, Doc. 62, p. 5 (Declaration of Phillip Geertson in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment) (hereinafter Geertson Declaration) (“Due to the high potential for contamination, I will need to test my crops for the presence of genetically engineered alfalfa seed. This testing will be a new cost to my seed business and we will have to raise our seed prices to cover these costs, making our prices less competitive”); id., Doc. 57, p. 4 (Declaration of Patrick Trask in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment) (“To ensure that my seeds are pure, I will need to test my crops and obtain certification that my seeds are free of genetically engineered alfalfa”); see also Record, Doc. 55, p. 2 (“There is zero tolerance for contaminated seed in the organic market”). Respondents also allege that the risk of gene flow will cause them to take certain measures to minimize the likelihood of potential contamination and to ensure an adequate supply of non-genetically-engineered alfalfa. See, e.g., Geertson Declaration 3 (noting the “increased cost of alfalfa breeding due to potential for genetic contamination”); id., at 6 (“Due to the threat of contamination, I have begun contracting with growers outside of the United States to ensure that I can supply genetically pure, conventional alfalfa seed. Finding new growers has already resulted in increased administrative costs at my seed business”).Such harms, which respondents will suffer even if their crops are not actually infected with the Roundup ready gene, are sufficiently concrete to satisfy the injury-in-fact prong of the constitutional standing analysis.

Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, 561 U.S. 139, 153-56, 130 S. Ct. 2743, 2754-56, 177 L. Ed. 2d 461 (2010).

If someone wants to have a bullshit argument about whether GMOs are safe to eat, that's fine, but why does anyone dispute that GMOs are horrible for independent farmers?

Why does anyone dispute that consumers have the right to know if the product they are buying is putting independent farmers into bankruptcy?

If we don't have the right to know if the crap for sale at the supermarket contains GMOs, do we also lose the right to know if wedding rings have conflict diamonds, if coffee is fair-trade, if pasta is gluten-free, if chickens are free-range, if beef is grass-fed (or confined in a crate and fed milk until it is slaughtered as a calf as sold as veal)?

Under what market system would we want to hide this information from consumers?
June 1, 2016

Sanders has already won most of the West and North states; will he also carry most Central states?

West Coast: Sanders (at least 4 out of 5 states on the Pacific)

Alaska - Sanders
California -???
Hawaii - Sanders
Oregon - Sanders
Washington - Sanders

North: Sanders (at least 8 out of 14 remaining states on the northern border)

Idaho - Sanders
Illinois - Hillary
Indiana - Sanders
Maine - Sanders
Michigan - Sanders
Minnesota - Sanders
Montana - ???
New Hampshire - Sanders
New York - Hillary
North Dakota - ???
Ohio - Hillary
Pennsylvania - Hillary
Vermont - Sanders
Wisconsin - Sanders

South: Hillary (give her credit, she swept the 13 states of the Old South)

North Carolina
South Carolina

Central: Sanders (leads Hillary 8 to 7 out of 18 states with 3 decided next week)

Arizona - Hillary
Colorado - Sanders
Connecticut - Hillary
Delaware - Hillary
Iowa - Hilary
Kansas - Sanders
Maryland - Hillary
Massachusetts - Hillary
Nebraska - Sanders
Nevada - Hillary
New Jersey - ???
New Mexico - ???
Oklahoma - Sanders
Rhode Island - Sanders
South Dakota - ???
Utah - Sanders
West Virginia - Sanders
Wyoming - Sanders

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