Featured Story

Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Who Is L. Wayne Brasure?

Saturday, January 21, 2017
In 2001, Brasure was made director of the Air Force’s High Power Microwave Program at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. In 2006, he became chief of the Stockpile Systems Division of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency there. In 2008, he moved to the Dept of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Two years later, he became executive director of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at the Kirtland Base.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Secretary of Treasury: Who Is Steven Mnuchin?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    Steven Mnuchin foreclosed on at least 50,000 homes during the Great Recession. In fact, in 2011, a federal investigation forced Mnuchin's bank to agree to the issuance of a Consent Order to remedy numerous abusive practices it was using to make money. Recently, a complaint filed with the Dept of Housing accused his bank of violating the Fair Housing Act by “redlining,” an illegal practice of not doing business in minority neighborhoods in order to avoid making home loans to minorities.   read more
  • Acting Administrator of the Administration for Community Living: Who Is Edwin Walker?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017
    Walker worked for Missouri’s Dept of Social Services and in 1988 was named director of the Missouri Division of Aging. He pushed through a program that made it easier for the elderly to remain in their homes, instead of being forced into nursing facilities. Walker joined the Administration on Aging in 1992 as associate commissioner for State and Community Programs. He later moved up to be Director of Program Operations and Development, and by 2009 was Deputy Assistant Secretary at AoA.   read more
  • Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Who Is Martin Keller?

    Monday, January 16, 2017
    A native of Germany, Keller came to the U.S. in 1994 as a consultant for biotech firm Diversa. He then joined the company full time and became director of screening and technology development. Diversa worked to turn organisms into enzymes that were used in chemicals. Keller even took organisms from boiling-hot thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park to be used in different compounds. Keller's work at Oak Ridge Lab centered on developing biological replacements for petroleum-based fuels.   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

  • 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
  • Nation’s Big-City Mayors Unite to Defend Minorities, Immigrants against Trump Policies

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Trump's election has reinvigorated the coalition, giving de Blasio the means to rally dissent among big city mayors and helping claim the mantle of a leading Trump antagonist among Democrats. The group also urged the White House to end a registration program for nonimmigrant visitors that could lead to a Muslim registry, an idea endorsed by Trump. Amid pressure from the mayors, Democrats in Washington and civil rights groups, the Obama administration moved last week to dismantle the program.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • 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
  • Nation’s Top Climate-Change Fighter, California, is ready to roll up Sleeves and Go It Alone

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016
    Trump has packed his Cabinet with nominees who dispute climate change. He said he'll withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and belittled global warming. But California — a state that has for 50 years been a leader in environmental advocacy — is about to step into the breach. In a show of defiance, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said they'll work directly with other nations and states to defend and strengthen the most aggressive policies to fight climate change in the nation.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Who Is Ileana Arias?

    Thursday, January 19, 2017
    Arias’ field of expertise is violence among intimate partners and family. She moved to CDC in 2000 and was chief of the Etiology and Surveillance Branch in National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Division of Violence Prevention. By 2004 she was acting director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and was named director the following year.   read more
  • Secretary of Commerce: Who Is Wilbur Ross?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    Trump, who has put several of his businesses into bankruptcy, nominated the so-called “King of Bankruptcy,” Wilbur Ross, to be his Commerce Secretary. Ross is currently on the board of directors of 59 different companies, including ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel firm. ArcelorMittal could be a beneficiary of Ross’ decisions as Commerce secretary. “He might be the second-most complicated person in the administration to vet, behind the President-elect himself,” said ethics lawyer Eisen.   read more
  • Acting Director, Office of Legacy Management: Who Is Thomas Pauling?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017
    Much of Pauling’s tenure with the Department of Energy includes 11 years working on the cleanup of the Weldon Springs weapons manufacturing site near St. Louis. A World War II munitions factory was on the site and later the DOE processed uranium ore there. A quarry was filled with contaminants including uranium. Pauling worked on the cleanup from the early 1990s to 2004. The site is now a tourist attraction.   read more

Featured Story

Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Who Is L. Wayne Brasure?

Saturday, January 21, 2017
In 2001, Brasure was made director of the Air Force’s High Power Microwave Program at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. In 2006, he became chief of the Stockpile Systems Division of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency there. In 2008, he moved to the Dept of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Two years later, he became executive director of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at the Kirtland Base.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Secretary of Treasury: Who Is Steven Mnuchin?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    Steven Mnuchin foreclosed on at least 50,000 homes during the Great Recession. In fact, in 2011, a federal investigation forced Mnuchin's bank to agree to the issuance of a Consent Order to remedy numerous abusive practices it was using to make money. Recently, a complaint filed with the Dept of Housing accused his bank of violating the Fair Housing Act by “redlining,” an illegal practice of not doing business in minority neighborhoods in order to avoid making home loans to minorities.   read more
  • Acting Administrator of the Administration for Community Living: Who Is Edwin Walker?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017
    Walker worked for Missouri’s Dept of Social Services and in 1988 was named director of the Missouri Division of Aging. He pushed through a program that made it easier for the elderly to remain in their homes, instead of being forced into nursing facilities. Walker joined the Administration on Aging in 1992 as associate commissioner for State and Community Programs. He later moved up to be Director of Program Operations and Development, and by 2009 was Deputy Assistant Secretary at AoA.   read more
  • Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Who Is Martin Keller?

    Monday, January 16, 2017
    A native of Germany, Keller came to the U.S. in 1994 as a consultant for biotech firm Diversa. He then joined the company full time and became director of screening and technology development. Diversa worked to turn organisms into enzymes that were used in chemicals. Keller even took organisms from boiling-hot thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park to be used in different compounds. Keller's work at Oak Ridge Lab centered on developing biological replacements for petroleum-based fuels.   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

  • 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
  • Nation’s Big-City Mayors Unite to Defend Minorities, Immigrants against Trump Policies

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Trump's election has reinvigorated the coalition, giving de Blasio the means to rally dissent among big city mayors and helping claim the mantle of a leading Trump antagonist among Democrats. The group also urged the White House to end a registration program for nonimmigrant visitors that could lead to a Muslim registry, an idea endorsed by Trump. Amid pressure from the mayors, Democrats in Washington and civil rights groups, the Obama administration moved last week to dismantle the program.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • 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
  • Nation’s Top Climate-Change Fighter, California, is ready to roll up Sleeves and Go It Alone

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016
    Trump has packed his Cabinet with nominees who dispute climate change. He said he'll withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and belittled global warming. But California — a state that has for 50 years been a leader in environmental advocacy — is about to step into the breach. In a show of defiance, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said they'll work directly with other nations and states to defend and strengthen the most aggressive policies to fight climate change in the nation.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Who Is Ileana Arias?

    Thursday, January 19, 2017
    Arias’ field of expertise is violence among intimate partners and family. She moved to CDC in 2000 and was chief of the Etiology and Surveillance Branch in National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Division of Violence Prevention. By 2004 she was acting director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and was named director the following year.   read more
  • Secretary of Commerce: Who Is Wilbur Ross?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    Trump, who has put several of his businesses into bankruptcy, nominated the so-called “King of Bankruptcy,” Wilbur Ross, to be his Commerce Secretary. Ross is currently on the board of directors of 59 different companies, including ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel firm. ArcelorMittal could be a beneficiary of Ross’ decisions as Commerce secretary. “He might be the second-most complicated person in the administration to vet, behind the President-elect himself,” said ethics lawyer Eisen.   read more
  • Acting Director, Office of Legacy Management: Who Is Thomas Pauling?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017
    Much of Pauling’s tenure with the Department of Energy includes 11 years working on the cleanup of the Weldon Springs weapons manufacturing site near St. Louis. A World War II munitions factory was on the site and later the DOE processed uranium ore there. A quarry was filled with contaminants including uranium. Pauling worked on the cleanup from the early 1990s to 2004. The site is now a tourist attraction.   read more