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  • Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz Battle Donald Trump for Silliest Republican of the Week

    Thursday, January 30, 2020
    With a face as straight as Ken Starr’s, Trump asked Palestinians to adopt laws “protecting against financial and political corruption.” He did this while standing next to Benjamin Netanyahu, who, that same day, had been indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three different cases of corruption.   read more
  • Top Kansas Official under Fire for Errors in Kansas Spanish-Language Voter Guides

    Thursday, April 14, 2016
    Critics have blasted Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as incompetent after errors were discovered in Spanish-language voter guides that could have caused voters to miss registration deadlines. English guides gave voters 21 days to register, while Spanish ones gave 15 days. The Spanish version also omitted passports as an acceptable form of voter ID. Critics say the errors are another example of Kobach--an advocate of photo ID laws--enacting policies that disenfranchise minority voters.   read more
  • Judge Rules against Delisting of Historic Site Caused by Coal Industry Pressure

    Thursday, April 14, 2016
    In what became known as the Battle of Blair Mountain, 5,000 coal miners marched to liberate fellow miners living under martial law in West Virginia in late August 1921. That scene, the biggest labor war in U.S. history, was removed from the National Register of Historic Places under pressure from coal mining interests, "without any indicia of reasoned decision-making," a federal judge ruled.   read more
  • Dept. of Education Routinely Failed to Fully Investigate Misconduct at For-Profit Colleges

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Education Department reviewers found in 2013 that a major for-profit college chain had systematically raised students' tuitions without properly telling them. As a result, the U.S. government demanded a refund — but only for the handful of students whose records had led to the discovery. Though the company's schools had more than 100,000 students, reviewers never investigated further. A new report has concluded that flaws in the government's oversight of student aid were routine.   read more
  • Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion Leads Low-Level Drug Offenders toward Help, Not Jail

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    The notion of using Medicaid to steer people away from jails and into services that offer housing, job training and mental-health or substance-abuse treatment comes at a crucial time for the criminal-justice reform movement. Incarceration numbers are making headlines. States are legalizing marijuana, and police departments hammered over questionable shootings are trying to reconnect with the public they serve. Instead of booking people into jail, police try to enlist them in social services.   read more
  • USAID Emails Reveal Efforts to Thwart Release of Documents in Freedom of Information Requests

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Under the president's instructions, the U.S. should not withhold or censor government files merely because they might be embarrassing. USAID cited privacy exemptions in 82 requests last year, and that was the exception cited most often. In one newly released USAID message, one government official's friend suggested FOIA should be tightened up: "AP didn't get this through FOIA, did they? If so, maybe it's time to hire some new redactors. They got a bit too much of an inside view."   read more
  • Lawsuit Accuses EPA of Delaying Enforcement of Limits on Aircraft Emissions

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Aviation accounts for about 5% of global carbon emissions, with U.S.-owned airliners emitting about 30% of all aircraft pollution worldwide. While carbon emissions from land-based sources are largely in decline, pollution from airplanes is projected to triple by 2050 without stricter limits. "The evidence becomes clearer every day that airplanes significantly accelerate climate disruption," said FOE's Marcie Keever. "The Obama administration must act immediately..."   read more
  • Wind Energy Produced Record Electricity to Power 17.5 Million U.S. Homes; Wind Jobs Up 20%

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    More than 8,500 megawatts of wind power capacity was built last year, almost double the 2014 tally. More than 3,600 megawatts of that construction - enough to power about 100,000 homes - was built in Texas, which now counts almost a quarter of the country's wind energy. The surge followed a rush by wind developers to get projects under construction before the end of 2014 out of fear Congress would not renew the tax credit, an uncertainty that has hung over the industry for nearly 20 years.   read more
  • Fine Print Allows Goldman Sachs to Save Up to $1 Billion in Settlement over Wrongdoing

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    Goldman is the last major bank to settle with the government. Deals with other banks contained some of these concessions, but Goldman appears to have negotiated an even sweeter deal. “They appear to have grossly inflated the settlement amount for PR purposes to mislead the public, while in the fine print, enabling Goldman Sachs to pay 50 to 75% less,” said Dennis Kelleher. “[These settlements] are carefully crafted more to conceal than reveal to the American public what really happened here...”   read more
  • Tribe on Front Lines of Fight over Nuclear Lab Contamination

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    The tribal community of San Ildefonso Pueblo sits in the shadow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The tribe is on the front lines of a battle to rein in contamination left behind by decades of bomb-making and nuclear research. Groundwater sampling shows increasing chromium concentrations at the edges of the plume, indicating it's migrating through an area considered sacred by the tribe. It's only about a half-mile from the closest drinking water well.   read more
  • High Number of Retaliation Complaints by Exonerated TSA Whistleblowers

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    Dozens of TSA employees in recent years have been reassigned, demoted, investigated or fired for reporting lapses or misconduct by senior managers, charges later upheld by whistle-blower protection agencies. OSC said 87 complaints were received last year from workers at the TSA claiming retaliation, discrimination and other prohibited hiring practices. OSC took the cases of two of the top women at TSA, Sharlene Mata and Heather Chuck, to begin a full investigation of their retaliation claims.   read more
  • U.S. Lobster Industry Accuses Sweden of Feigning Disease Concerns to Hide Big-Business Motives

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    Exactly how 32 American lobsters wound up in Swedish waters isn't clear. But many suspect they were exported to Europe and then either escaped or were set free by animal rights activists. Whatever the case, their discovery has set off a high-stakes trade dispute between Sweden on one side and the U.S. and Canada on the other. The North Americans are recruiting members of Maine's congressional delegation and U.S. ambassadors and asking Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House for help.   read more
  • Wealthiest Americans Outlive Poorest by at Least 10 Years

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    Men with the top 1 percent in income lived 15 years longer than men with the lowest 1 percent in income; for women that gap was 10 years. The lowest life expectancies for the poorest men and women — less than 78 years — were in Indiana, Nevada and Oklahoma. For the richest, the lowest life expectancies — less than about 85 years — were in Hawaii, Nevada and Oklahoma. The poorest Americans fared best in affluent cities with highly educated populations.   read more
  • California's Marijuana Regulator Admits She Doesn't Know How it Affects People or "What it Does"

    Monday, April 11, 2016
    California’s medical marijuana czar says she believes there’s a need for weed, although she’s never smoked pot herself. “Unlike regulating alcohol, I’m not a user of marijuana, so I am not familiar with how that affects people or what it does,” Lori Ajax said. “But from the outreach I’ve done since I got here, it appears there is a medical need, and I’m tasked with doing this, and I’m going to do it.”   read more
  • Ohio Disenfranchises Voters Who Skipped 2012 Election, Suit Claims

    Monday, April 11, 2016
    In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless allege that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s “actions violate the roll-maintenance provisions of the National Voter Registration Act,” causing many Ohioans to be deprived of their voting rights “merely because they had not voted for a period of six years.”   read more
  • Juvenile Lifers Have Little Shot at Release Despite Court Decision

    Monday, April 11, 2016
    The U.S. Supreme Court may have struck down mandatory life sentences for minors, but a new federal complaint says hundreds of these “juvenile lifers” have received no “meaningful opportunity for release.” Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit Wednesday on behalf of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a nonprofit prisoners’ rights advocacy organization.   read more
  • Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case Going to Trial

    Monday, April 11, 2016
    A challenge to what 12 Democratic voters claim is “one of the worst partisan gerrymanders in American history” is headed to trial in Wisconsin next month. The voters sued the individual members of Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board in 2015, claiming that Republican lawmakers secretly crafted and hurriedly passed a redistricting plan that would give them overwhelming – and unfair – control of the state legislature.   read more
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