Tuesday, Nov 24th

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Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship

Ben Carson liesBen Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.


Trump courted megadonors he now scorns

Donald TrumpDonald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers.

But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors.


Marco Rubio spent lavishly on a GOP credit card, but some transactions are still secret

Marco RubioIt has become legend in Florida political circles, a missing chapter in Marco Rubio's convoluted financial story: two years of credit card transactions from his time in the state House, when he and other Republican leaders freely spent party money.

Details about the spending, which included repairs for Rubio's family minivan, emerged in his 2010 U.S. Senate race. But voters got only half the story because the candidate refused to disclose additional records.


In Victory for Public Ed, Colorado Boots Koch-Backed School Board

Colorado school board members oustedIn a resounding blow to the national education "reform" movement, voters in Jefferson County, Colorado on Tuesday overwhelmingly chose to recall three Koch-backed conservative school board members who, among other transgressions, last year suggested censoring U.S. history curriculum to promote patriotism.

Ousted JeffCo board members Julie Williams, Ken Witt, and John Newkirk have been in office for two years. They won seats in 2013 on the five-member board and, as the Washington Post reports, "moved quickly to institute controversial school reforms, including a merit pay system for teachers and an educator evaluation system that used student test scores." They also championed charter schools and voucher programs.


Bernie Sanders launches new climate plan to curb US fossil fuel extraction

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders launched a new climate campaign on Wednesday, aimed at fighting global warming by banning new coal, oil and gas mining on public land.

The Keep it in the Ground Act co-sponsored by the senator and Democratic presidential candidate aims at plugging one of the big gaps in Barack Obama’s climate change plan: his administration’s continued sanction of fossil fuel extraction on the government’s lands and waters.


Ohio Rejects 'Deeply Flawed, Monopolistic' Legal Weed Measure

pot law fails in OhioOhio voted Tuesday against legalizing recreational and medical marijuana via an amendment to the state's constitution, shooting down a proposal to grant a small number of wealthy investors sole permission to operate commercial marijuana farms.

"The people of Ohio have understandably rejected a deeply flawed, monopolistic approach to marijuana reform that failed to garner broad support from advocates or industry leaders," National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith said in a statement after Tuesday's vote. "This debate has shown that there is a strong base of support for legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana. Now the foundation has been laid for a potential 2016 effort that would put forward a more common-sense initiative and have a major impact on the presidential conversation in the process."


Mayor: Fight not over for Houston nondiscrimination measure

Houston electionHouston Mayor Annise Parker has rallied supporters of a defeated ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in the city, telling them the fight isn't over.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was soundly rejected Tuesday by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent, following a nearly 18-month battle in the nation's fourth-largest city that spawned rallies, legal fights and accusations of religious intolerance and demonization of the LGBT community.


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