Featured Story

Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: Who Is Anna Maria Farias?

Friday, July 21, 2017
When the George W. Bush administration took over in 2001, Farias was named to head the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, the same position to which she was nominated in 2017, but the job fell through at that time. Instead, she started as counsel to HUD Secretary Martinez and later joined the Office of Community Planning and Development. Farias was named HUD’s director of faith-based and community initiatives in 2007.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • CEO of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak): Who Is Richard H. Anderson?

    Monday, July 17, 2017
    The new head of Amtrak comes from one of train travel’s biggest competitors: the airline industry. The job may prove to be a challenge for Richard Anderson: in May President Trump proposed ending $630 million in subsidies for Amtrak’s long-distance train service, which comes to 45% of the $1.4 billion the government spends on Amtrak each year. Like Amtrak's outgoing CEO, Charles Moorman, Anderson has agreed to work for a “token sum.” He retired as CEO of Delta Airlines in May 2016.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone: Who Is Maria Brewer?

    Sunday, July 16, 2017
    In Washington, Brewer has served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of administration and then special assistant to the undersecretary for management and in the Bureau of African Affairs executive office as the supervisory post management officer. Brewer’s most recent overseas assignment was as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Lagos. She returned to Washington in 2016 as deputy director for career development and assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources.   read more
  • Surgeon General of the United States: Who Is Jerome Adams?

    Friday, July 14, 2017
    Adams hadn't been on the job long as Indiana's health commissioner when he had to deal with a crisis--an outbreak of HIV, caused by drug users sharing needles. He had to overcome then-Gov. Mike Pence’s opposition to needle exchange programs to slow the spread of disease. “No matter how uncomfortable syringe service programs make us, they are proven to save lives, both by preventing the spread of diseases...and by connecting people to treatment...” Adams wrote.   read more

Unusual News

  • Should Panhandlers be Issued Licenses?

    Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Our idea about what it takes to regulate panhandling intelligently: Encourage “successful panhandling,” which brings together willing donors and willing solicitors; and discourage “unsuccessful panhandling,” which targets people who don’t even want to see solicitations, let alone give money to someone asking for help on the sidewalk. What’s wrong with most anti-panhandling ordinances is that they try to ban or discourage both kinds instead of promoting the former and discouraging the latter.   read more
  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • 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

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • 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

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 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

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

  • Assistant Secretary for Aging: Who Is Lance Robertson?

    Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Just a year after graduating, Robertson co-founded the Gerontology Institute at Oklahoma State University, of which he was director from February 1994 to June 2005. He also served as executive director of PartnerShips for Aging, the largest regional gerontology association in the U.S. Additionally, Robertson has served as the president of the National Association of States United for Aging & Disability (NASUAD), a leading authority on aging and disability.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Costa Rica: Who Is Sharon Day?

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017
    Day, who until late 2016 served as the co-chair of the RNC, has been nominated by President Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica. She has no diplomatic experience. But, like Trump, she has a history of media bashing. In 2012, the Republican presidential candidate lost the women’s vote for the sixth election in a row. Day then spent the next two years traveling around the U.S. encouraging women to vote Republican. She's such an enthusiastic Republican that she named her dog Reagan.   read more
  • Secretary of the Navy: Who Is Richard Spencer?

    Thursday, July 06, 2017
    Donald Trump has chosen another money man to lead the Navy. His nomination of Spencer is his second try at filling the job, after financier Philip Bilden decided not to serve because of the cost to his portfolio. Given Spencer’s wealth, it's not surprising it was reported that he “is also caught up in a mess of financial entanglements that have proved tricky to unwind.” Spencer had been VP of Spirit Airways before heading east to find his fortune on Wall Street, where he worked for 16 years.   read more

Featured Story

Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: Who Is Anna Maria Farias?

Friday, July 21, 2017
When the George W. Bush administration took over in 2001, Farias was named to head the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, the same position to which she was nominated in 2017, but the job fell through at that time. Instead, she started as counsel to HUD Secretary Martinez and later joined the Office of Community Planning and Development. Farias was named HUD’s director of faith-based and community initiatives in 2007.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • CEO of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak): Who Is Richard H. Anderson?

    Monday, July 17, 2017
    The new head of Amtrak comes from one of train travel’s biggest competitors: the airline industry. The job may prove to be a challenge for Richard Anderson: in May President Trump proposed ending $630 million in subsidies for Amtrak’s long-distance train service, which comes to 45% of the $1.4 billion the government spends on Amtrak each year. Like Amtrak's outgoing CEO, Charles Moorman, Anderson has agreed to work for a “token sum.” He retired as CEO of Delta Airlines in May 2016.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone: Who Is Maria Brewer?

    Sunday, July 16, 2017
    In Washington, Brewer has served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of administration and then special assistant to the undersecretary for management and in the Bureau of African Affairs executive office as the supervisory post management officer. Brewer’s most recent overseas assignment was as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Lagos. She returned to Washington in 2016 as deputy director for career development and assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources.   read more
  • Surgeon General of the United States: Who Is Jerome Adams?

    Friday, July 14, 2017
    Adams hadn't been on the job long as Indiana's health commissioner when he had to deal with a crisis--an outbreak of HIV, caused by drug users sharing needles. He had to overcome then-Gov. Mike Pence’s opposition to needle exchange programs to slow the spread of disease. “No matter how uncomfortable syringe service programs make us, they are proven to save lives, both by preventing the spread of diseases...and by connecting people to treatment...” Adams wrote.   read more

Unusual News

  • Should Panhandlers be Issued Licenses?

    Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Our idea about what it takes to regulate panhandling intelligently: Encourage “successful panhandling,” which brings together willing donors and willing solicitors; and discourage “unsuccessful panhandling,” which targets people who don’t even want to see solicitations, let alone give money to someone asking for help on the sidewalk. What’s wrong with most anti-panhandling ordinances is that they try to ban or discourage both kinds instead of promoting the former and discouraging the latter.   read more
  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • 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

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • 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

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 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

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

  • Assistant Secretary for Aging: Who Is Lance Robertson?

    Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Just a year after graduating, Robertson co-founded the Gerontology Institute at Oklahoma State University, of which he was director from February 1994 to June 2005. He also served as executive director of PartnerShips for Aging, the largest regional gerontology association in the U.S. Additionally, Robertson has served as the president of the National Association of States United for Aging & Disability (NASUAD), a leading authority on aging and disability.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Costa Rica: Who Is Sharon Day?

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017
    Day, who until late 2016 served as the co-chair of the RNC, has been nominated by President Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica. She has no diplomatic experience. But, like Trump, she has a history of media bashing. In 2012, the Republican presidential candidate lost the women’s vote for the sixth election in a row. Day then spent the next two years traveling around the U.S. encouraging women to vote Republican. She's such an enthusiastic Republican that she named her dog Reagan.   read more
  • Secretary of the Navy: Who Is Richard Spencer?

    Thursday, July 06, 2017
    Donald Trump has chosen another money man to lead the Navy. His nomination of Spencer is his second try at filling the job, after financier Philip Bilden decided not to serve because of the cost to his portfolio. Given Spencer’s wealth, it's not surprising it was reported that he “is also caught up in a mess of financial entanglements that have proved tricky to unwind.” Spencer had been VP of Spirit Airways before heading east to find his fortune on Wall Street, where he worked for 16 years.   read more