Republicans keep calling their refusal to even consider President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court in an election year a “tradition.” But Tierney Sneed notes at TalkingPointsMemo.com (2/23) it is really just the opposite.

“The current situation is unprecedented, and not just by virtue of the level of the obstruction Senate Republicans are proposing. It is a happenstance of history but in the modern era, a Supreme Court seat has almost never come open in an election year while the Senate is controlled by the opposite party of the president.

(The one time it did happen, in 1956, President Eisenhower recess-nominated a Democrat, William Brennan.)

While the Senate has the raw power to simply refuse to consider a Supreme Court nominee, Sneed noted, the chance to do so in the final year of an opposing president’s term has simply not come up.

“[Vacancies] just doesn’t happen very often in an election year,” Timothy Johnson, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, told TPM. “The claim that the Republican president candidates are making that this hasn’t happened in 80 years is accurate to the extent that it rarely ever happens in a presidential election year.”

It is also a happenstance that so many historical threads have converged at this moment, Sneed noted. Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly in an election year. The court was divided 5-4 between conservative and liberal justices. The court’s decades-long conservative majority hangs in the balance. And more prosaically but still a powerful factor is that Scalia himself was a conservative lion for the ages, whose replacement by a liberal nominated by this particular president would be be the ultimate affront to conservatives.

Since 1900, there have been five occasions when presidents have been able to get their nominees confirmed when the seat came open in their final year in office, according to SCOTUSblog. It happened in 1912, twice in 1916 (once when a justice died in January and a second time when a justice resigned in June to run for president), 1932, and 1940.

But in each of those five cases, the Senate was controlled by the President’s party.

The nomination battle most often cited since Scalia’s death occurred in the final years of President Reagan’s second term. The events that unfolded then are being claimed by both parties now to justify their current positions.

Reagan was seeking to fill a vacancy left by Justice Lewis Powell, a moderate who announced his retirement in June 1987, more than 18 months before the end of Reagan’s second term. Reagan’s initial nominee Robert Bork, a former solicitor general and an appeals court judge, became an immediate target for the left, who labeled him a conservative extremist.

The fight over Bork’s confirmation represented a turning point in the level of political rancor and the involvement of outside groups in the nomination process. But Bork was given a hearing and ultimately a vote, where he was rejected 42-58, with some Republicans joining the opposition.

After Reagan’s next nominee Douglas Ginsburg, withdrew because of a controversy over his use of marijuana, Anthony Kennedy, was nominated in November 1987. Kennedy, a moderate, sailed through the Senate on a vote of 97-0 in February 1988.

Democrats are now pointing to their support of Kennedy in his February 1988 confirmation vote to argue that the Senate — even a Senate controlled by the party opposing the president — has been willing to confirm nominees in an election year.

ENDANGERED REPUBLICAN SENS. FACE BACKLASH FOR SUPREME COURT OBSTRUCTION. Republican senators in battleground states have largely adopted the party line that President Obama should not be allowed to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, but polling finds obstruction is not popular among the electorate back home.

Strong majorities of voters — 58%-35% in Ohio, 57%-40% in Pennsylvania, 62%-35% in Wisconsin and 59%-36% in New Hampshire— think the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. What’s particularly noteworthy about those numbers — and concerning for Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) — is how strong a mandate there is from independents for filling the seat. In Ohio, independent voters think a new Justice should be named this year 70-24, in Pennsylvania it’s 60-37, in Wisconsin it’s 67-30 and in New Hampshire it’s 60-33. Those independent voters are going to make the difference in these tight Senate races, and they have no tolerance for obstructionism on the vacancy, Public Policy Polling noted.

Voters are particularly angry about senators taking the stance that they’re not going to approve anyone before even knowing who President Obama decides to put forward. By a 76-20 spread in Pennsylvania and 74-18 in Ohio, voters think the Senate should wait to see who is nominated to the Court before deciding whether or not to confirm that person. Toomey and Portman are out of line even with their own party base on that one, PPP noted, as Republicans in Pennsylvania think 67-27 and in Ohio think 63-32 that the Senate should at least give President Obama’s choice a chance before deciding whether or not to confirm them.

In races where they’re already struggling, 53% of voters in Wisconsin say they’re less likely to vote for Johnson because of his refusal to consider a nominee, compared to just 26% who say that stance makes them more likely to vote for Johnson. It’s a similar story with Ayotte — 51% are less likely to vote for her because of this, to only 26% who say they’re more likely to vote for her. This issue is particularly damaging for both of them with independents — 57% in New Hampshire and 56% in Wisconsin say obstructionism on this issue makes them less likely to vote to reelect their Republican senator this fall.

Laura Clawson noted at DailyKos.com (2/24) that this is before Democrats really start beating Republicans up on their refusal to consider a qualified Supreme Court nominee. Republican leaders in the Senate have dug in their heels and made clear they won’t look at the qualifications of anyone President Obama might nominate, but at some point they may have to consider the electoral damage they could face. (Or the prospect of a Supreme Court justice nominated by President Donald Trump, which might scare them just as much.)

CON LAWYERS ARGUE COURT CAN STILL COUNT SCALIA’S VOTES. Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department official in George W. Bush’s administration, said the Supreme Court should count the late Justice Scalia’s votes on pending cases in which the justices had already cast preliminary votes.

Von Spakovsky mentioned Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that would deal a blow to unions and in which Scalia was likely on the anti-union side.

In an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios (2/15), von Spakovsky said that Chief Justice John Roberts has “an absolute obligation” to count Scalia’s vote in Friedrichs and other cases in which justices have already held conferences, Miranda Blue reported at RightWingWatch.org (2/23).

Blue noted that those votes sometimes change as justices work on their opinions. She also noted the irony that von Spakovsky has been one of the primary drivers of the myth that massive voter fraud requires suppressive laws that make it harder to vote. One of the voter-fraud specters he has raised is that of people casting votes on behalf of people who have died.

Other conservative lawyers have taken up the cause of dead judges’ rights. Caitlin MacNeal noted (2/22) that attorney Kory Langhofer, a prominent election law attorney who worked as a lawyer on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, said during a discussion on Phoenix TV station KPNX, “We know exactly what [Scalia] thought. And it’s not unprincipled to say we should give affect to that.”

TRUMP PICKS UP SPEED OUT OF NEVADA. As the presidential race moves to the states that will show their presidential preference on 3/1, real estate tycoon Donald Trump looks increasingly likely to win the Republican nomination after he won the Nevada caucuses with 46% support, earning him 14 delegates.

Marco Rubio finished a distant second with 24%, earning 7 delegates, a disappointment in a state where he spent much of his youth. Cruz was third with 21%, earning 6 delegates. Ben Carson and John Kasich each got a delegate.

After contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, Trump leads with 81 delegates out of 1,237 needed for the nomination, followed by Rubio and Cruz with 17 each, John Kasich with 6 and Ben Carson with 4.

Cruz hopes Texas, the biggest prize on Super Tuesday, will give him a major share of its 155 Republican delegates (Dems will distribute 252), But he’ll have to do it without the editorial support of three of Texas’ largest newspapers, as the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News each expressed deep reservations about their home state senator.

The Dallas paper endorsed John Kasich, saying of Cruz, “As much as we’d like to see a Texan in the White House, we fear that Cruz’s brand of politics is more about disruption than governing and threatens to take the Republican Party to a dark place. As we’ve written before, continuing obstructionist paths might excite primary voters, but it won’t benefit the nation or the conservative cause.”

The Houston paper, after endorsing Jeb Bush, wrote of the hometown senator, “Cruz, the embodiment of the hard right, wears his disdain for government as a badge of honor.

“The dislike the man engenders is so intense it’s hard to find a historical precedent for it. Not only do his political opponents detest him, but also his fellow Republicans. (Obviously, Will Rogers never met Ted Cruz.)”

A February poll of Texas voters found that Cruz had an 8-point lead over Trump, as Cruz got 37%, Trump got 29% and Rubio got 15%. The poll was conducted by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune 2/12-19 (before the South Carolina GOP primary), so it included Jeb Bush, who had 6% in Texas but dropped out of the race after South Carolina. Kasich got 5% and Carson got 4% in the Texas poll.

Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders 54%-44%, the same Texas poll showed.

ENERGY-DEPENDENT STATES RISK RECESSION. As economists size up the chances of the first nationwide slump since 2009, pockets of the country are already contracting. Four states that are heavily dependent upon fossil fuel extraction — Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming — are in a recession, and three others are at risk of prolonged declines, according to indexes of state economic performance tracked by Moody’s Analytics, Steve Mathews reported at Bloomberg News (2/21).

The regions suffering the most are in the flop stage of the energy industry’s boom-to-bust cycle, and manufacturing-dependent areas hurt by a rising dollar are at risk of receding, Matthews wrote. Whether the weak links break the entire US economy will hinge largely on a group that’s benefited from the energy price collapse: American consumers.

Job gains and losses are key factors that the National Bureau of Economic Research uses to chart US expansions and recessions. Even as US employers added 2.7 mln workers in 2015, job cuts last year totaled 18,800 in North Dakota, 11,800 in West Virginia and 6,400 in Wyoming, according to the US Labor Department.

The common thread? They all have concentrations of energy companies. A 72% plunge in crude oil prices since a peak in June 2014 has led to lower production and firings.

Seven of the 50 US states have had downturns in economic activity over the final three months of last year, according to tracking by the Philadelphia Fed. Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma are all at risk of recession, according to Moody’s. Wyoming and North Dakota’s economies have declined for at least the past 10 months, according to the Philadelphia Fed.

Growth in Texas has slowed with falling oil prices, though the state continues to expand because of a diversified economy including technology jobs in Austin and development in Dallas. Texas added 166,900 jobs in the year ended in December, behind only California and Florida.

The relatively healthy state of American consumers may keep the economy afloat. Retail sales rose 3.4% in January from a year earlier, the biggest jump in a year, and stagnant wages are showing signs of perking up: Average hourly earnings in December rose 2.7% from a year earlier, the biggest advance since mid-2009.

“We’re taking account of the fact that the energy sector is very hard hit. We’re losing jobs there,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said (2/10). “But with respect to employment, although there really are very severe losses, it’s a pretty small sector of the work force overall.”

TRUMP’S VEGAS HOTEL SEEKS TO SQUASH UNION. On the eve of the Nevada caucus, Donald Trump addressed a rowdy crowd of thousands at Las Vegas’ South Point casino, speaking in an arena usually used for rodeos. When he is elected president, he told the roaring crowd, “We’re going to have such great deals.”

But in a suite 21 floors up from the arena, Alice Ollstein note at ThinkProgress (2/23), workers from Trump’s signature Vegas hotel, who voted to unionize in December, waited in vain for Trump to arrive and make a deal with them.

The workers, many of them still wearing their uniforms after a long shift, sat with their attorney along one side of a wooden table. On the other side sat an empty chair with a name tag for Trump and a copy of his bestselling book The Art of the Deal. Though the workers did not expect Trump to stop by and bargain with them on his way to address the rally, they wanted to dramatize their plight.

“Mr. Trump is a very good business man,” linens worker Rosebert Donato told ThinkProgress. “I hope he will soon sit down with us.”

“We’re just waiting for a contract,” housekeeper Maria Jaramillo added. “We deserve one. We’re not second-class workers. So we’re here, waiting for him.”

They may be waiting for a long time. As soon as a majority of the 523 workers in Trump’s hotel voted to unionize on 12/5/15, the hotel’s management tried to have the results thrown out, claiming that workers were intimidated by the Culinary Workers Union into voting yes. After weeks of reviewing their claims, a local officer of the National Labor Relations Board sided with the workers and recommended that the employer’s objections be overruled in their entirety.

Jaramillo and her coworkers then formed a bargaining committee, hoping that management would soon recognize their union and begin negotiating with them. But the Trump hotel signaled the week before the caucuses that they have no intention of doing so.

“We will continue our fight to ensure a fair election for our valued associates, many of whom vigorously oppose union representation,” said Jill Martin, an attorney for The Trump Organization, in a statement to reporters. The company alleges misconduct by union agents. Trump management can formally challenge the NLRB recommendation, and then the board’s regional chapter will determine whether or not to certify the union. If the local board backs the workers, Trump can appeal the ruling to the federal board in Washington, D.C.

For some workers, like Donato, that wait is especially painful. After three years working at the hotel, Donato was suspended and then fired shortly after the union election, which he thinks was retaliation for his open support for the union. He is desperately hoping to win his job back as part of the bargaining process, and says he is mostly worried for his elderly mother and siblings in the Philippines, who depend on the money he sends them.

STATES ASK HIGH COURT TO HALT ANOTHER POLLUTION RULE. Attorney generals for 20 states asked the Supreme Court to let power plants continue to put mercury in the environment. In a petition filed 2/23, AGs for Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to stay the Mercury Air Toxics Standard, which was issued by the EPA in 2014 and has been bouncing around the courts ever since, Samantha Page noted at ThinkProgress (2/24).

The standard, commonly known as MATS, was the culmination of more than two decades of effort to limit the amount of mercury from coal-fired power plants. Methylmercury, the compound that comes from power plants, is a powerful neurotoxin that can affect coordination, impair speech and hearing, cause muscle weakness, and degrade vision. Exposure to methylmercury in utero and for infants and small children can have significant long term health impacts, including cognitive and fine motor impairments.

But in June, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had not properly considered the regulation’s cost to industry, and kicked the rule back to the D.C. Circuit Court. The EPA is expected to submit new cost analysis to the court in April, but in the meantime, the rule is still in effect.

Apparently unwilling to wait for a final ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court, the states, led by Michigan, are looking to put the rule on hold immediately. They were bolstered, perhaps, the court’s stay last month on the Clean Power Plan, the EPA’s carbon-limit rule.

The 2/23 petition was sent directly to Justice Roberts, who has the option of ruling unilaterally—which could be subject to appeal—or putting the decision to the bench. Legal experts said it was unlikely that Roberts would rule independently, and with an 8-person bench, it would be nearly impossible for the states to win their petition, Page reported.

THANKS TO TRUMP, MORE LATINOS SEE GOP AS ‘HOSTILE.’ In case anyone was wondering how badly the GOP is tanking with Latino voters, Lynn Vavreck of the New York Times reports that surveys of Latinos conducted by the Gallup Organization, NBC News and CNN all show that the party’s brand has been hurt by the language of the 2016 contest. Data from ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions that spans the three years after Mitt Romney’s loss detail the magnitude and depth of the reaction to the 2016 campaign.

In 2012, only 18% of Latino voters thought Mr. Romney was “hostile” toward Hispanic voters. By November 2015, the number who thought that [about the GOP] had jumped to 45%. The largest shift was among those 18 to 35. More than three times as many young Latino respondents think the party is hostile toward them compared with 2012 results (a move to 65% from 18% in 2012).

The same poll showed 80% of Latinos surveyed had an unfavorable impression of the GOP from Trump’s statements, including 68% “very unfavorable.”

Kerry Eleveld of DailyKos.com noted (2/17), “Donald Trump has railed against anyone and everyone who’s foreign in one way or another, but he launched his campaign last year with an all-out assault on Latinos in particular, characterizing them as rapists and drug dealers and criminals. Even with a field that includes three fluent Spanish speakers, the whole GOP just played along, letting The Donald drag them down to the lowest common denominator. Now the entire GOP brand is saddled with his hateful politics, regardless of who wins the nomination.”

CRUZ CALL TO PRIVATIZE NEVADA’S PUBLIC LANDS GETS COOL RECEPTION. Sen. Ted Cruz had little success from his attempt to win over Nevada voters by channelling the state’s recently indicted rogue rancher and Oregon occupation instigator Cliven Bundy.

“Eighty percent of the state of Nevada is owned by the federal government. That is going to end,” he told hundreds of supporters in Henderson on the Sunday night (2/21) before the caucuses, standing in front of a banner depicting a mountain range with bold red letters reading, ‘RETURN OUR LAND,’" Alice Ollstein reported at ThinkProgress.org (2/23).

“The land of Nevada needs to be owned by the state of Nevada,” Cruz told the crowd, “or even better, the people of Nevada.”

On Monday (2/22), when he delivered the same speech to a crowd of wealthy retirees in the posh suburb of Summerlin, Las Vegas resident Vinny Spotleson stood up and challenged him, saying that most Nevadans, including a majority of Republicans, want public land to stay public. The crowd booed Spotleson as he was escorted out of the venue by security officers, but he told Alice Ollstein of ThinkProgress he thinks Cruz’s message might “backfire” at the following night’s caucus.

“Trump is the only candidate to come out against privatizing public land, and he’s expected to win here,” he noted. “And even though Cruz has distanced himself from Cliven Bundy, he continues to have the same political objectives as Cliven Bundy, to take all the land away from the public and put it in private hands. When they talk about ‘opening up’ federal land, they’re not talking about everyone being able to enjoy the outdoors. It’s because they want to sell it off to oil drilling and fracking and mining. Just look at what happened in Cruz’s own state of Texas, where so much land has been auctioned off and they’re drilling all over. We don’t want to see that here.”

Spotleson, who used to work for the Sierra Club and is currently running for the Nevada State Assembly, said he fears Cruz’s proposal would threaten everything he values about his home state.

Meanwhile, the US House Natural Resources Committee on 2/25 was scheduled to consider three bills that would dispose of vast stretches of national forests and public lands across the country.

The bills represent an escalation of the political battle being waged by the Koch brothers’ political network, anti-government extremist groups, and a small group of conservative politicians led by the committee’s chairman, US Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Matt Lee-Ashley noted at ThinkProgress (2/24).

The first bill, introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-AK), would allow any state to seize control and ownership of up to 2 mln acres of national forests within its borders—an area nearly the size of Yellowstone National Park. A state would then be able to auction off the lands to private ownership or for mining, logging, and drilling.

The second bill, written by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), would give states and counties the right to take direct control of up to 4 mln acres of national forests across the country for clear-cut logging, without regard to environmental laws and protections.

A third bill, written by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), would turn over what the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance estimates to be 6,000 miles of road right-of-ways on US public lands to counties in Utah, opening the door for road construction and development in protected wilderness areas.

These legislative efforts echo the demands of militant rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ryan and Ammon, that the federal government cede ownership of all national forests and public lands to state, county, and private interests. A federal grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted the Bundys on conspiracy charges for leading armed standoffs with federal law enforcement officials in 2014 and in Oregon earlier this year.

Although Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) are making Bundy-inspired pitches on the presidential campaign trail, their proposals to seize or sell public lands are deeply unpopular among most Westerners, Lee Ashley noted. Recent public opinion research from Colorado College found that approximately six in 10 voters in seven Mountain West states — including a majority in Nevada — are opposed to the idea.

There are signs that the Bundys’ political supporters are facing a growing political backlash for their extreme views. In Wyoming, for example, an outcry from hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreationists in the state recently helped defeat two bills that aimed to facilitate a state take-over of national public lands.

EU OFFICIALS TELL EXXON NEW TRADE DEAL WILL EASE ENVIRO OBSTACLES. Newly released documents show that, in back-room talks, European officials assured ExxonMobil that the pending US-EU trade agreement would force the removal of regulatory “obstacles” worldwide, thus opening up even more countries to exploitation by the fossil fuel empire.

Heavily redacted documents pertaining to an October 2013 meeting, obtained by the Guardian and reported 2/23, reveal that then-trade commissioner Karel de Gucht met with two officials from ExxonMobil’s EU and US divisions to address the benefits of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

As the Guardian notes, the meeting was held at a time when countries in South America and Africa were “tightening regulations on fossil fuel companies for the first time in a decade, despite ExxonMobil’s ambitions to open up shale gas fracking wells in North Africa, Asia and South America.”

A briefing paper summarizing the key points of meeting reportedly stated: “TTIP is perhaps more relevant as setting a precedent vis-a-vis third countries than governing trade and investment bilaterally...We think that this third country element is in the interest of the energy sector, and especially globally active companies like Shell or Exxonmobil. After all, companies like Shell or Exxonmobil face the same trade barriers when doing business in Africa, in Russia or in South America.” 

Or, as Guardian reporter Arthur Neslen phrased it, the commission effectively told the oil giant “that once the trade deal was in place, other countries outside it would be progressively forced to adopt the same measures, making it easier for companies such as ExxonMobil to expand into their markets.”

The revelations underscore criticisms that trade agreements like the TTIP constitute a “race to the bottom” for environmental, public health, and labor standards. They come a day after Greenpeace activists set up a blockade outside of negotiations in Brussels to call attention to the environmental threats posed by the corporate-friendly deal, Lauren McCauley noted at CommonDreams.org (2/23).

The TTIP, which is still being negotiated, is believed to have many of the same controversial features to limit regulation of multinational corporations as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the US has negotiated with 11 other Pacific nations. President Obama is expected to send the TPP to Congress for an up-or-down vote in the lame duck session after the general election.

KOCHS PLOT ASSAULT ON ELECTRIC VEHICLES. The oil and gas industry has tried to kill the electric car in the past, but sales—boosted by generous government subsidies and high gas prices—rose dramatically between 2010 and 2014, and energy giants are worried the time has come to kill it again, Peter H. Stone reports at HuffingtonPost.com (2/18).

A new group that’s being cobbled together with fossil fuel backing hopes to spend about $10 mln per year to boost petroleum-based transportation and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles, according to refining industry sources familiar with the plan. A Koch Industries board member and a veteran Washington energy lobbyist are working quietly to fund and launch the new advocacy outfit.

Koch Industries, the nation’s second-largest privately held corporation, is an energy and industrial conglomerate with $115 bln in annual revenues that is controlled by the multibillionaire brothers — and prolific conservative donors — Charles and David Koch. James Mahoney, a confidante of the brothers and member of their company’s board, has teamed up with lobbyist Charlie Drevna, who until last year helmed the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, for preliminary talks with several energy giants about funding the new pro-petroleum fuels group.

COLIN POWELL: GITMO WAS ALWAYS CLOSING. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated his support for closing the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay (2/24), remarking that the facility has “always been slowly closing over the last 10 years,” Nick Gass noted at Politico.com.

Addressing complaints from fellow Republicans that the plan is not specific in terms of where it would place current detainees on US soil, the retired general told MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that senators like John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should press President Barack Obama for specifics and then assess.

“As secretary of state, Guantanamo was a heavy load to carry as I went around the world talking about human rights, talking about how you treat prisoners, talking about how you can’t have indefinite detention or the use of torture to get things out of people. And I always had pushback at me, ‘But look at what you were doing at Guantanamo,’” Powell said. “And the fact of the matter is, it has always been slowly closing over the last 10 years. We started with almost 800 people in Guantanamo.”

“We’re down now to less than 100. Well, where’d the other 700 go? They’re gone, they’ve been sent back because we didn’t have charges on them, we didn’t know how they’d gotten there in the first place,” he said. “And so we’re down to under 100 and we’re going to cut that in half over the next several months. Do we really want to keep, do we really need to keep this place open for 50 remaining detainees who we could easily move to a secure facility in the United States?”

ISN’T THERE A WORD FOR THAT? So asks Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo.com, who noted (2/23) that Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) is encouraging members of the US military to refuse to carry out President Obama’s orders to close the the Gitmo prison facility.

From The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2016


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