Featured Story

South Dakota Drops Study of Early U.S. History as a High School Requirement

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Such milestone events as the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution could be completely ignored. Cutting out early U.S. history in 11th grade hurts the ability of students to “think historically” when they reach higher education, according to a letter sent to the state Board of Education by university educators.That, of course, might be exactly what the Republican-dominated state government has in mind. “It’s disabling their citizenship,” said DSU's Ben Jones.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • North Dakota becomes First State to Allow Police to Weaponize Drones

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Lobbyist Bruce Burkett convinced lawmakers to amend HB 1328 so it allowed “less than lethal” weapons on drones, including rubber bullets, tear gas and Tasers--many of which have caused death. The ACLU argues that "police drones are a new kind of threat to that compromise between security and liberty,” wrote Pyke. “[It] supports laws to restrict law enforcement’s use of them, and makes a compelling case that absent such restraints the technology is fundamentally at odds with the Bill of Rights.”   read more
  • Consumer Reports Testing Finds All Beef Shows Signs of Fecal Contamination

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    The meat was purchased from a variety of stores. The test results showed that all 458 pounds of the beef contained bacteria that indicated feces came into contact with the meat at some point. One kind of bacteria detected can cause blood or urinary tract infections. Nearly 20% of the test meat contained another bacteria that causes about 1 million cases of food poisoning each year. Only 1% contained Salmonella, which causes 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. annually.   read more
  • Despite Annual Budget of more than $27 Billion, Nuclear Security Administration Says it Doesn’t have Enough Money to Protect against Fires

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Despite government claims of safety, officials admit that one way nuclear material could be spread into the atmosphere is if a nuclear facility was hit by a fire. Now a report says that a federal nuclear agency has failed to upgrade aging fire suppression systems in its buildings. The NNSA claims it doesn’t have enough funding to replace aging water pipes intended to prevent or fight fires at nuclear weapons facilities.   read more

Unusual News

  • U.S. Spy Agencies Agree to Warn Possible Victims of Attacks and Kidnapping

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    The possible victims could be Americans or non-Americans, as well as institutions, businesses, structures and locations. The directive, however, contains several examples of when U.S. intelligence agencies could skip notifying someone in the line of fire. For instance, if the notification “would unduly endanger U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations,” an agency could disregard the policy.   read more
  • Mississippi and Idaho only States without Laws Forbidding Unwanted Sexual Touching

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    Unwanted sexual contact is a common occurrence for many women—nearly 30% will experience it sometime during their lives, according to the CDC. That’s why legal experts say it is important for states to have laws on their books that address this problem. “Society can condemn this behavior through criminal law and say, ‘You pay a penalty for this.’ It may be a small penalty, but you pay a penalty,” said professor Erin Murphy.   read more
  • Improved Economy Leads to more Gridlock as D.C. Passes Los Angeles for Worst Traffic

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    D.C. had an average of 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours). The study says “travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours – 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.”   read more

Where is the Money Going?

Controversies

  • Suspicions Arise over Accuracy of Pentagon Assessments of War on ISIS after Insiders Complain

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    The Pentagon’s inspector general is checking on intelligence assessments coming out of CENTCOM. Suspicions arose after a civilian DIA analyst claimed to have evidence that officials at CENTCOM “were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama,” the Times reported. The story added that the possibility of “skewed intelligence” could “help explain why pronouncements about the progress of the campaign have varied widely.”   read more
  • Kansas Officials Fight to Hide Voting Machine Records

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has gone to court in Wichita to block the release of voting machine tapes from the November 2014 election. Those same records were requested by statistician Beth Clarkson to analyze statistical aberrations she discovered in electronic voting machines. The records, Clarkson says, do not contain any personal voter data, but Republican Kobach has refused. Clarkson's research into other voting records has revealed anomalies that tended to favor Republicans.   read more
  • Despite Admitting to Voting Fraud at last Two Presidential Elections, County Officials in Atlanta get off with just $180,000 in Penalties

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Officials “admitted to illegally disenfranchising and misleading voters” and to violations of “improperly rejecting eligible ballots and sending voters to the wrong precincts,”said ThinkProgress. They also failed to comply with voter requests for absentee ballots, provided wrong information to precincts about who was coming to vote and when, and failed to add to the rolls voters who registered in a timely manner. The names of 9,600 voters weren’t included on lists in polling places in 2012.   read more

U.S. and the World

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia: Who Is Jennifer Zimdahl Galt?

    Saturday, August 22, 2015
    Galt returned to Washington in 2008 as deputy director of the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. She was sent to North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010, first as public affairs advisor and the following year as senior public affairs advisor. Galt went back to China in 2012 as the consul general in Guangzhou, supervising the 400-person office there.   read more
  • Administrator of the General Services Administration: Who Is Denise Turner Roth?

    Monday, August 10, 2015
    Raised by her mother, who cleaned houses for a living, Roth grew up in the Anacostia neighborhood of southeast Washington D.C. “There were times,” she has said, “when it was five of us in a two-bedroom apartment and there were times when there were just two of us. There were times when the lights were on and times when they weren't. I know what it means to have the food truck come and get cheese and bread.”   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic: Who Is Jeffrey J. Hawkins?

    Sunday, August 09, 2015
    In 2008, Hawkins was named a deputy chief of mission again, this time in Luanda, Angola. He returned to Washington in 2010 to be director of the Office of Near East and South and Central Asia in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where he managed human rights programs. In 2012, Hawkins was sent to Lagos, Nigeria as consul general.   read more

Featured Story

South Dakota Drops Study of Early U.S. History as a High School Requirement

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Such milestone events as the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution could be completely ignored. Cutting out early U.S. history in 11th grade hurts the ability of students to “think historically” when they reach higher education, according to a letter sent to the state Board of Education by university educators.That, of course, might be exactly what the Republican-dominated state government has in mind. “It’s disabling their citizenship,” said DSU's Ben Jones.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • North Dakota becomes First State to Allow Police to Weaponize Drones

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Lobbyist Bruce Burkett convinced lawmakers to amend HB 1328 so it allowed “less than lethal” weapons on drones, including rubber bullets, tear gas and Tasers--many of which have caused death. The ACLU argues that "police drones are a new kind of threat to that compromise between security and liberty,” wrote Pyke. “[It] supports laws to restrict law enforcement’s use of them, and makes a compelling case that absent such restraints the technology is fundamentally at odds with the Bill of Rights.”   read more
  • Consumer Reports Testing Finds All Beef Shows Signs of Fecal Contamination

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    The meat was purchased from a variety of stores. The test results showed that all 458 pounds of the beef contained bacteria that indicated feces came into contact with the meat at some point. One kind of bacteria detected can cause blood or urinary tract infections. Nearly 20% of the test meat contained another bacteria that causes about 1 million cases of food poisoning each year. Only 1% contained Salmonella, which causes 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. annually.   read more
  • Despite Annual Budget of more than $27 Billion, Nuclear Security Administration Says it Doesn’t have Enough Money to Protect against Fires

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Despite government claims of safety, officials admit that one way nuclear material could be spread into the atmosphere is if a nuclear facility was hit by a fire. Now a report says that a federal nuclear agency has failed to upgrade aging fire suppression systems in its buildings. The NNSA claims it doesn’t have enough funding to replace aging water pipes intended to prevent or fight fires at nuclear weapons facilities.   read more

Unusual News

  • U.S. Spy Agencies Agree to Warn Possible Victims of Attacks and Kidnapping

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    The possible victims could be Americans or non-Americans, as well as institutions, businesses, structures and locations. The directive, however, contains several examples of when U.S. intelligence agencies could skip notifying someone in the line of fire. For instance, if the notification “would unduly endanger U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations,” an agency could disregard the policy.   read more
  • Mississippi and Idaho only States without Laws Forbidding Unwanted Sexual Touching

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    Unwanted sexual contact is a common occurrence for many women—nearly 30% will experience it sometime during their lives, according to the CDC. That’s why legal experts say it is important for states to have laws on their books that address this problem. “Society can condemn this behavior through criminal law and say, ‘You pay a penalty for this.’ It may be a small penalty, but you pay a penalty,” said professor Erin Murphy.   read more
  • Improved Economy Leads to more Gridlock as D.C. Passes Los Angeles for Worst Traffic

    Thursday, August 27, 2015
    D.C. had an average of 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours). The study says “travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours – 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.”   read more

Where is the Money Going?

Controversies

  • Suspicions Arise over Accuracy of Pentagon Assessments of War on ISIS after Insiders Complain

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    The Pentagon’s inspector general is checking on intelligence assessments coming out of CENTCOM. Suspicions arose after a civilian DIA analyst claimed to have evidence that officials at CENTCOM “were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama,” the Times reported. The story added that the possibility of “skewed intelligence” could “help explain why pronouncements about the progress of the campaign have varied widely.”   read more
  • Kansas Officials Fight to Hide Voting Machine Records

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has gone to court in Wichita to block the release of voting machine tapes from the November 2014 election. Those same records were requested by statistician Beth Clarkson to analyze statistical aberrations she discovered in electronic voting machines. The records, Clarkson says, do not contain any personal voter data, but Republican Kobach has refused. Clarkson's research into other voting records has revealed anomalies that tended to favor Republicans.   read more
  • Despite Admitting to Voting Fraud at last Two Presidential Elections, County Officials in Atlanta get off with just $180,000 in Penalties

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    Officials “admitted to illegally disenfranchising and misleading voters” and to violations of “improperly rejecting eligible ballots and sending voters to the wrong precincts,”said ThinkProgress. They also failed to comply with voter requests for absentee ballots, provided wrong information to precincts about who was coming to vote and when, and failed to add to the rolls voters who registered in a timely manner. The names of 9,600 voters weren’t included on lists in polling places in 2012.   read more

U.S. and the World

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia: Who Is Jennifer Zimdahl Galt?

    Saturday, August 22, 2015
    Galt returned to Washington in 2008 as deputy director of the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. She was sent to North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010, first as public affairs advisor and the following year as senior public affairs advisor. Galt went back to China in 2012 as the consul general in Guangzhou, supervising the 400-person office there.   read more
  • Administrator of the General Services Administration: Who Is Denise Turner Roth?

    Monday, August 10, 2015
    Raised by her mother, who cleaned houses for a living, Roth grew up in the Anacostia neighborhood of southeast Washington D.C. “There were times,” she has said, “when it was five of us in a two-bedroom apartment and there were times when there were just two of us. There were times when the lights were on and times when they weren't. I know what it means to have the food truck come and get cheese and bread.”   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic: Who Is Jeffrey J. Hawkins?

    Sunday, August 09, 2015
    In 2008, Hawkins was named a deputy chief of mission again, this time in Luanda, Angola. He returned to Washington in 2010 to be director of the Office of Near East and South and Central Asia in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where he managed human rights programs. In 2012, Hawkins was sent to Lagos, Nigeria as consul general.   read more