Featured Story

Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness: Who Is Matthew Doherty?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
In 2013, Doherty was promoted to regional coordinator team leader, and a year later he was made director of national initiatives, a post he held until tapped to lead the ICH. In his tenure at there, Doherty helped implement Opening Doors, an Obama administration program to end homelessness and focus on certain communities within that group. In cities including Houston, New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, the program saw success in cutting homelessness among veterans to zero.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs: Who is Macon Phillips?

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017
    With the rollout of the Obama administration in January 2009, Phillips was appointed director of the newly established Office of Digital Strategy. Among his accomplishments was his development of “We the People,” the White House’s online petitioning system, which served as a platform for 400,000 citizen-petitions signed by more than 16 million users. But Phillips was soon embroiled in controversy over a blog posting on the site related to the debate over Obama’s new health care law.   read more
  • Acting Under Secretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration: Who Is Tom Murphy?

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017
    As the VA's director of compensation services, in charge of the VA’s disability and death compensation programs, Murphy often was called to testify before Congress about the agency’s huge backlog of claims by veterans. Murphy did tout a newly installed computer system designed to handle claims more efficiently, but continued to take heat from Congress. He was also sometimes criticized for denying benefits to veterans claiming damage to their health because of exposure to Agent Orange.   read more
  • Director of the American Institute in Taiwan: Who is Kin Moy?

    Monday, March 20, 2017
    Moy was deputy executive secretary for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held posts in the U.S. embassies in Beijing, China, and in Seoul and Busan, South Korea. He was a key proponent of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy and was involved in Taiwan’s bid to join the TPP trade agreement championed by Obama. His wife, former Wall Street Journal reporter Kathy Chen, was one of the journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize for articles on the U.S. military.   read more

Unusual News

  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more
  • What’s the Most Annoying Word in America?

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and "huge." "No offense, but" is second with 20 percent. In third place is, "You know, right," which is irksome to 14 percent of people, tied with "I can't even." ''Huge" grates on the nerves of 8 percent. "Whatever" is losing some steam, though. Last year it topped the list at 43 percent.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more
  • Trump Claims His Support for Dakota Pipeline is Unrelated to His Stock Ownership in Project Participants

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman's investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide's memo. Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.   read more

Controversies

  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more
  • State Lawmakers’ Skimpy 1-Sentence Draft Bills Often Mislead Public

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Some lawmakers and advocacy groups are critical of these vague and skimpy one-sentence bill drafts, saying they can shut out the public from important policy discussions, be used as a bait-and-switch tactic or lead to unintended consequences. Several lawmakers said that the finished product doesn't always get another public hearing. The National Conference of State Legislatures criticized such skeleton bills decades ago and in 1996 identified a dozen or so states that allowed them.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of the Foreign Service Institute: Who Is Nancy McEldowney?

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017
    She went to Bulgaria as ambassador in August 2008. Her stay there only lasted a year, however. In 2009, she was called back to Washington by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to serve as principal deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs. Some of McEldowney’s State Department cables, as released by WikiLeaks, are refreshingly blunt, although they were not so well-received by members of the governments of Turkey and Bulgaria.   read more
  • Director of the Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment: Who Is Steve Glomb?

    Tuesday, March 07, 2017
    Steve Glomb's M.S. thesis was on “Speciation in the oyster genus Crassostrea: It’s not just a shell game.” He was also the co-author of an academic journal article, “The effect of temperature on growth and ammonia excretion of the Manila clam Tapes japonica,” in Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science.   read more
  • Director of the Art in Embassies Program: Who is Ellen Susman?

    Monday, March 06, 2017
    Susman produced a conference, “The Myth of Superwoman,” which focused on the challenges facing women in the workplace, and she edited a memoir of the life of her late sister who had worked as a photojournalist in the Middle East. In 2011, President Obama appointed Susman as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts for the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. Named as the top female Texas bundler for Obama, she donated $100,000 to the Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action.   read more

Featured Story

Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness: Who Is Matthew Doherty?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
In 2013, Doherty was promoted to regional coordinator team leader, and a year later he was made director of national initiatives, a post he held until tapped to lead the ICH. In his tenure at there, Doherty helped implement Opening Doors, an Obama administration program to end homelessness and focus on certain communities within that group. In cities including Houston, New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, the program saw success in cutting homelessness among veterans to zero.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs: Who is Macon Phillips?

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017
    With the rollout of the Obama administration in January 2009, Phillips was appointed director of the newly established Office of Digital Strategy. Among his accomplishments was his development of “We the People,” the White House’s online petitioning system, which served as a platform for 400,000 citizen-petitions signed by more than 16 million users. But Phillips was soon embroiled in controversy over a blog posting on the site related to the debate over Obama’s new health care law.   read more
  • Acting Under Secretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration: Who Is Tom Murphy?

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017
    As the VA's director of compensation services, in charge of the VA’s disability and death compensation programs, Murphy often was called to testify before Congress about the agency’s huge backlog of claims by veterans. Murphy did tout a newly installed computer system designed to handle claims more efficiently, but continued to take heat from Congress. He was also sometimes criticized for denying benefits to veterans claiming damage to their health because of exposure to Agent Orange.   read more
  • Director of the American Institute in Taiwan: Who is Kin Moy?

    Monday, March 20, 2017
    Moy was deputy executive secretary for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held posts in the U.S. embassies in Beijing, China, and in Seoul and Busan, South Korea. He was a key proponent of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy and was involved in Taiwan’s bid to join the TPP trade agreement championed by Obama. His wife, former Wall Street Journal reporter Kathy Chen, was one of the journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize for articles on the U.S. military.   read more

Unusual News

  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more
  • What’s the Most Annoying Word in America?

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and "huge." "No offense, but" is second with 20 percent. In third place is, "You know, right," which is irksome to 14 percent of people, tied with "I can't even." ''Huge" grates on the nerves of 8 percent. "Whatever" is losing some steam, though. Last year it topped the list at 43 percent.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more
  • Trump Claims His Support for Dakota Pipeline is Unrelated to His Stock Ownership in Project Participants

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman's investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide's memo. Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.   read more

Controversies

  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more
  • State Lawmakers’ Skimpy 1-Sentence Draft Bills Often Mislead Public

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Some lawmakers and advocacy groups are critical of these vague and skimpy one-sentence bill drafts, saying they can shut out the public from important policy discussions, be used as a bait-and-switch tactic or lead to unintended consequences. Several lawmakers said that the finished product doesn't always get another public hearing. The National Conference of State Legislatures criticized such skeleton bills decades ago and in 1996 identified a dozen or so states that allowed them.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of the Foreign Service Institute: Who Is Nancy McEldowney?

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017
    She went to Bulgaria as ambassador in August 2008. Her stay there only lasted a year, however. In 2009, she was called back to Washington by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to serve as principal deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs. Some of McEldowney’s State Department cables, as released by WikiLeaks, are refreshingly blunt, although they were not so well-received by members of the governments of Turkey and Bulgaria.   read more
  • Director of the Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment: Who Is Steve Glomb?

    Tuesday, March 07, 2017
    Steve Glomb's M.S. thesis was on “Speciation in the oyster genus Crassostrea: It’s not just a shell game.” He was also the co-author of an academic journal article, “The effect of temperature on growth and ammonia excretion of the Manila clam Tapes japonica,” in Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science.   read more
  • Director of the Art in Embassies Program: Who is Ellen Susman?

    Monday, March 06, 2017
    Susman produced a conference, “The Myth of Superwoman,” which focused on the challenges facing women in the workplace, and she edited a memoir of the life of her late sister who had worked as a photojournalist in the Middle East. In 2011, President Obama appointed Susman as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts for the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. Named as the top female Texas bundler for Obama, she donated $100,000 to the Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action.   read more