B.C. auditor general and government wrestling with ‘tough issues’ on finances

VICTORIA — The B.C. government is late delivering its year-end financial statement because of what the independent auditor general says are “tough issues” the two sides are debating over how the province accounts for its finances. “I don’t want to say we’re holding things up, because I don’t see it that way,” Auditor General Carol Bellringer said Monday. “Are we having conversations about some tough issues? Yes we are. I can’t tell you what they are until you see the (audit) opinion.” Bellringer said her office is likely to provide its final audit opinion to the government on Aug. 20 or 21. Then it will be up to the NDP… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Liberals should hand confidential money laundering documents over for independent review

VICTORIA — Earlier this month Attorney General David Eby fired off a clever letter to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on the money-laundering scandal. “Former minister Rich Coleman has recently said that the previous government did ‘everything we could’ to crack down on money laundering,” wrote Eby, citing the former deputy premier’s response to release of the Peter German report on money laundering. “In that light,” continued Eby, “I am requesting that the Opposition support our efforts in fighting this criminal activity in B.C. It is our government’s desire to continue to aggressively pursue measures to counter money laundering, but to do so in a manner that does not duplicate unsuccessful… Read More

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Sue Me!

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2), and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal) Today in 5 Lines Amid calls from Democrats to “abolish ICE,” the White House hosted an event honoring what it termed the “heroes” of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Trump tweeted that he hopes former CIA Director John Brennan goes to court over the revocation of his security clearance, saying that it would make it easier to show “the poor job he did” as CIA director. First Lady Melania Trump advocated against cyberbullying as part of her Be Best campaign, while Trump insulted Brennan on Twitter. In an open letter, Pope Francis responded… Read More

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Senator Burr’s Shortcomings Are Showing

Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, leads the only credible congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It is getting harder to have confidence in his leadership. Last week, The New York Times published an op-ed by John Brennan, the Obama administration national-security official who presided over extrajudicial drone killings and made false statements to Congress about CIA spying on its congressional overseers during his tenure. Lately, he has been criticizing President Trump, who decided to revoke his ability to view classified information. Brennan claimed that the decision to do so was politically motivated. But that wasn’t the focus of his op-ed.… Read More

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Fresno’s Mason-Dixon Line

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series exploring the vast racial and economic inequality in Fresno, the poorest major city in California. These stories were reported by students at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. James Helming knew every corner in Fresno. He knew which roads were paved and he knew which way the smoke from nearby factories blew. He knew the houses, and he knew who lived in them. It was his job, after all, to assess every neighborhood in the city for “desirability.” The year was 1936, and Helming, a junior field agent from a federal agency formed under the New Deal,… Read More

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America’s Invisible Pot Addicts

The proliferation of retail boutiques in California did not really bother him, Evan told me, but the billboards did. Advertisements for delivery, advertisements promoting the substance for relaxation, for fun, for health. “Shop. It’s legal.” “Hello marijuana, goodbye hangover.” “It’s not a trigger,” he told me. “But it is in your face.” When we spoke, he had been sober for a hard-fought seven weeks: seven weeks of sleepless nights, intermittent nausea, irritability, trouble focusing, and psychological turmoil. There were upsides, he said, in terms of reduced mental fog, a fatter wallet, and a growing sense of confidence that he could quit. “I don’t think it’s a ‘can’ as much as… Read More

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Jean Swanson and other Kinder Morgan protesters released from jail early

Jean Swanson, a Vancouver city council candidate, was released Sunday from jail after serving partial time for her role in the Kinder Morgan protest. Jean Swanson, a Vancouver city council candidate (center), was released Sunday from jail after serving partial time for her role in the Kinder Morgan protest. Swanson, along with former B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert and five others, were sentenced on Wednesday to seven days behind bars after they pleaded guilty to contempt of court for blocking construction at a Kinder Morgan site in Burnaby. Swanson and Lambert, along with Kathleen Flahert, Gyoba Sachiko, and Heather Martin-McNab, were released early due to good behaviour. Jean is… Read More

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The New Enemies List

Reacting to The New York Times story that White House Counsel Don McGahn has been speaking with Robert Mueller’s team, President Trump tweeted out that McGahn is not a “John Dean type ‘RAT,’” and that the story was fake news. It’s odd that Trump should bring up John Dean this weekend, for it was just this week that we also learned Trump has an Enemies List, just like Richard Nixon. Unlike Nixon, though, the president is hiding nothing—using security clearances and his Twitter account as the chief weapons to go after his opponents. This is a dangerous move. Nixon’s Enemies List, officially called his “Opponents List,” was a document that… Read More

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Democrats Don’t Need a National Message

On an early morning in June, I joined several dozen Democratic donors in a plush residence on the 64th floor of Trump World Tower to support the reelection of a Democratic congressman. The irony that we were raising money in the president’s building escaped no one, and the congressman took some questions from the audience about Trump’s tweets and Robert Mueller’s investigation. But most in the crowd wanted to know one thing: What’s the Democratic message? There, in a building staffed with uniformed doormen, standing on floors so fine that we’d been asked to remove our shoes, the donors demanded to know why their party had no unifying theme. Or,… Read More

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Trump’s Implicit Defense of Alex Jones Is an Echo of Birtherism

The news cameras showed up, like they always do, and Donald Trump was ready for them. He emerged from a helicopter with TRUMP stamped across the side. He grinned. Then he took one of the most absurd victory laps in modern American politics. With every tweetstorm of his presidency, this is the moment—April 27, 2011, on a tarmac in New Hampshire—that should flicker across the national memory. Donald Trump’s Original Sin Trump’s story that day was about the birth certificate of the man who was president at the time, the man whom Trump would eventually replace in the Oval Office. After years of badgering Barack Obama about his birthplace, after… Read More

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