Featured Story

Obama Whistleblower Program Requires Whistleblowers to Register to be Protected

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Are whistleblowers—whose anonymity is often their best protection against retribution—made safer by being forced to register as whistleblowers with the U.S. government? The Obama administration is demanding they step forward and sign up under the FBI's Insider Threat program. Senator Charles Grassley criticized the effort, saying it is an idea that “should be pretty alarming to all Americans. Sometimes confidentiality is the best protection a whistleblower has.”   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

Unusual News

  • U.S. Security Barriers on Border with Mexico May Disrupt Pumas more than Humans

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    “The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species.” In some study areas, pumas had largely abandoned habitats divided by a border wall. But coatis, which aren’t inclined to relocate like pumas, could be more impacted by the barriers and might experience a collapse in their population.   read more
  • Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens Suggests Adding 5 Words to Second Amendment to Clarify Right to Bear Arms

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Stevens proposes a five-word change to the Second Amendment. As he would write it, it reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” Those five words, which would clarify the Second Amendment to bring it in line with what Stevens says is the framers’ intent, could prove to do more to protect generations to come than all the armed guards in the world.   read more
  • North Dakota: The State that Loves Drones

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Since May 2013, there have been nine instances in which drones have been used in the Grand Forks area. They include searching a flooded river for drowning victims, photographing a train collision, photographing river bank erosion and damage to historic buildings, searching for two suspects accused of auto theft and child molestation and taking photos of an outdoor murder scene.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Hillary Clinton Makes Money for Boeing

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    During her October 2009 trip to Russia, Clinton made no effort to hide her plans to help Boeing while meeting with the state-owned airline, Rosavia. Her persuasiveness paid dividends for Boeing, which secured a $3.7 billion contract for the planes only months later. Shortly after completing the deal, Boeing contributed $900,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation to help rebuild schools in Haiti damaged by the 2010 earthquake.   read more
  • Maine Gov. LePage Vetoes Bipartisan Bill to Help Solar Energy Industry because of 69-Cent a Year Tax Increase

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Efforts to restore a solar energy program in Maine have died at the hands of Republican Governor Paul LePage, who objected to the bill’s planned 69-cent annual tax increase on residents and business owners. The bill would have revived a solar rebate program to help establish more than 1,250 new solar panel and hot water projects in homes and businesses   read more
  • Day Care Costs More Than College in 31 States

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Residents of some states, like New York, face budget-busting costs to put their kids into day care. There, such services average $15,000 a year. Meanwhile, the expense of in-state college tuition is only $6,500 annually. Massachusetts has an even higher average per-annum day-care cost: $16,500 Other states with significant gaps between the costs of day care and college tuition include Colorado, Maryland and Oregon.   read more

Controversies

  • Florida House Worries Law Enforcement by Passing Bill to Allow Carrying Concealed Weapons without Permit during Riots

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    The Florida Sheriffs Association opposes the bill, and tried for weeks to amend its language. One sheriff, Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, home of St. Petersburg, which saw riots in 1996, called the bill “crazy” and “absurd.” “To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity,” he told the Miami Herald.   read more
  • EPA Loopholes Allow Biomass Facilities to Create more Toxic Pollution than Coal

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Coal plants that emit 100 tons of a pollutant each year are required to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits that mandate EPA oversight, among other things. But biomass plants are allowed to produce 250 tons of a pollutant before the same permit requirement kicks in for them. “We're talking about the same pollution, the same health effects, but biomass plants get to emit two and a half times as much,” Booth said.   read more
  • Rebellious Ranchers Round Up Federally Protected Wild Horses

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Commissioners in Iron County, Utah, complain that there are more horses on the land than the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has planned for and that the bureau has done a poor job of managing the horses, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. County Commissioner David Miller claims there are 2,000 wild horses in the county, while wild horse advocates say the number of less than 500. The commissioners say that if the BLM doesn’t act, the county will. However, public roundups are illegal.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Blackwater Guards Finally to be Tried for Killing 14 Iraqi Civilians

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Following the incident, DSS officials forced the Blackwater specialists to provide written statements of the shootings in exchange for full immunity from criminal prosecution. That decision by the State Department derailed the U.S. Department of Justice’s first attempt to prosecute the guards once they returned to the U.S. A federal appeals court then reinstated the charges, saying the lower court had erred in dismissing the case.   read more
  • Afghan Children Die by the Dozens because of Explosives U.S. Left Behind at Firing Ranges

    Friday, April 11, 2014
    The open fields of Afghanistan have become lethal for many of that nation’s children due to scores of unexploded ordinance left by U.S. military forces. Dozens of Afghan children have died after wandering into abandoned U.S. firing ranges filled with undetonated artillery shells, rockets and grenades. The U.N. says at least 70 civilians—62 of whom were children—have died since 2012 in and around U.S. or NATO firing ranges or bases.   read more
  • Judge Rules Terrorism Victims can Seize $500 Million Midtown Manhattan Office Tower Owned by Iranians

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014
    In September 2013, another federal judge, Katherine Forrest, decided the majority interest held by Assa Corp. and the Alavi Foundation was a front for Iran’s Bank Melli, making it a front for the Iranian government. Forrest also ruled that the U.S. government could take control of the building. The plaintiffs include numerous individuals who claim they were victimized by various terrorism acts supported by Iran, including 1983 bombings in Beirut, Lebanon.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Dept. of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology: Who Is Reggie Brothers?

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    In 2007, Brothers returned to the private sector, joining defense contractor BAE Systems, working on advanced programs and technology. Brothers joined the Obama administration in 2011 as deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Research. In that role, he was responsible for policy and oversight of Department of Defense Science and Technology programs from basic research through advanced technology development.   read more
  • Energy Under Secretary for Science: Who Is Franklin Orr?

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    In 2009, Orr helped found the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford. According to the institute’s website, its mission is to provide funding and associated support for cutting-edge energy research. In recent years, the focus of Orr’s research has been into carbon capture and storage, in which emissions from power plants and other pollution sources are injected into the earth.   read more
  • Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs: Who Is Charles Rivkin?

    Saturday, April 12, 2014
    Rivkin is not the only member of his family to receive an appointment from Obama. His brother, Robert, was selected to be general counsel for the Department of Transportation, and Robert’s wife, Cindy S. Moelis, a close friend of Michelle Obama, was chosen to direct the Commission on White House Fellows. Rivkin’s mother, who died in 2002, and stepfather founded the American Refugee Committee, which helps relocate international refugees.   read more

Featured Story

Obama Whistleblower Program Requires Whistleblowers to Register to be Protected

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Are whistleblowers—whose anonymity is often their best protection against retribution—made safer by being forced to register as whistleblowers with the U.S. government? The Obama administration is demanding they step forward and sign up under the FBI's Insider Threat program. Senator Charles Grassley criticized the effort, saying it is an idea that “should be pretty alarming to all Americans. Sometimes confidentiality is the best protection a whistleblower has.”   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

Unusual News

  • U.S. Security Barriers on Border with Mexico May Disrupt Pumas more than Humans

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    “The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species.” In some study areas, pumas had largely abandoned habitats divided by a border wall. But coatis, which aren’t inclined to relocate like pumas, could be more impacted by the barriers and might experience a collapse in their population.   read more
  • Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens Suggests Adding 5 Words to Second Amendment to Clarify Right to Bear Arms

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Stevens proposes a five-word change to the Second Amendment. As he would write it, it reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” Those five words, which would clarify the Second Amendment to bring it in line with what Stevens says is the framers’ intent, could prove to do more to protect generations to come than all the armed guards in the world.   read more
  • North Dakota: The State that Loves Drones

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Since May 2013, there have been nine instances in which drones have been used in the Grand Forks area. They include searching a flooded river for drowning victims, photographing a train collision, photographing river bank erosion and damage to historic buildings, searching for two suspects accused of auto theft and child molestation and taking photos of an outdoor murder scene.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Hillary Clinton Makes Money for Boeing

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    During her October 2009 trip to Russia, Clinton made no effort to hide her plans to help Boeing while meeting with the state-owned airline, Rosavia. Her persuasiveness paid dividends for Boeing, which secured a $3.7 billion contract for the planes only months later. Shortly after completing the deal, Boeing contributed $900,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation to help rebuild schools in Haiti damaged by the 2010 earthquake.   read more
  • Maine Gov. LePage Vetoes Bipartisan Bill to Help Solar Energy Industry because of 69-Cent a Year Tax Increase

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Efforts to restore a solar energy program in Maine have died at the hands of Republican Governor Paul LePage, who objected to the bill’s planned 69-cent annual tax increase on residents and business owners. The bill would have revived a solar rebate program to help establish more than 1,250 new solar panel and hot water projects in homes and businesses   read more
  • Day Care Costs More Than College in 31 States

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Residents of some states, like New York, face budget-busting costs to put their kids into day care. There, such services average $15,000 a year. Meanwhile, the expense of in-state college tuition is only $6,500 annually. Massachusetts has an even higher average per-annum day-care cost: $16,500 Other states with significant gaps between the costs of day care and college tuition include Colorado, Maryland and Oregon.   read more

Controversies

  • Florida House Worries Law Enforcement by Passing Bill to Allow Carrying Concealed Weapons without Permit during Riots

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    The Florida Sheriffs Association opposes the bill, and tried for weeks to amend its language. One sheriff, Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, home of St. Petersburg, which saw riots in 1996, called the bill “crazy” and “absurd.” “To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity,” he told the Miami Herald.   read more
  • EPA Loopholes Allow Biomass Facilities to Create more Toxic Pollution than Coal

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Coal plants that emit 100 tons of a pollutant each year are required to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits that mandate EPA oversight, among other things. But biomass plants are allowed to produce 250 tons of a pollutant before the same permit requirement kicks in for them. “We're talking about the same pollution, the same health effects, but biomass plants get to emit two and a half times as much,” Booth said.   read more
  • Rebellious Ranchers Round Up Federally Protected Wild Horses

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Commissioners in Iron County, Utah, complain that there are more horses on the land than the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has planned for and that the bureau has done a poor job of managing the horses, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. County Commissioner David Miller claims there are 2,000 wild horses in the county, while wild horse advocates say the number of less than 500. The commissioners say that if the BLM doesn’t act, the county will. However, public roundups are illegal.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Blackwater Guards Finally to be Tried for Killing 14 Iraqi Civilians

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Following the incident, DSS officials forced the Blackwater specialists to provide written statements of the shootings in exchange for full immunity from criminal prosecution. That decision by the State Department derailed the U.S. Department of Justice’s first attempt to prosecute the guards once they returned to the U.S. A federal appeals court then reinstated the charges, saying the lower court had erred in dismissing the case.   read more
  • Afghan Children Die by the Dozens because of Explosives U.S. Left Behind at Firing Ranges

    Friday, April 11, 2014
    The open fields of Afghanistan have become lethal for many of that nation’s children due to scores of unexploded ordinance left by U.S. military forces. Dozens of Afghan children have died after wandering into abandoned U.S. firing ranges filled with undetonated artillery shells, rockets and grenades. The U.N. says at least 70 civilians—62 of whom were children—have died since 2012 in and around U.S. or NATO firing ranges or bases.   read more
  • Judge Rules Terrorism Victims can Seize $500 Million Midtown Manhattan Office Tower Owned by Iranians

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014
    In September 2013, another federal judge, Katherine Forrest, decided the majority interest held by Assa Corp. and the Alavi Foundation was a front for Iran’s Bank Melli, making it a front for the Iranian government. Forrest also ruled that the U.S. government could take control of the building. The plaintiffs include numerous individuals who claim they were victimized by various terrorism acts supported by Iran, including 1983 bombings in Beirut, Lebanon.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Dept. of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology: Who Is Reggie Brothers?

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    In 2007, Brothers returned to the private sector, joining defense contractor BAE Systems, working on advanced programs and technology. Brothers joined the Obama administration in 2011 as deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Research. In that role, he was responsible for policy and oversight of Department of Defense Science and Technology programs from basic research through advanced technology development.   read more
  • Energy Under Secretary for Science: Who Is Franklin Orr?

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    In 2009, Orr helped found the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford. According to the institute’s website, its mission is to provide funding and associated support for cutting-edge energy research. In recent years, the focus of Orr’s research has been into carbon capture and storage, in which emissions from power plants and other pollution sources are injected into the earth.   read more
  • Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs: Who Is Charles Rivkin?

    Saturday, April 12, 2014
    Rivkin is not the only member of his family to receive an appointment from Obama. His brother, Robert, was selected to be general counsel for the Department of Transportation, and Robert’s wife, Cindy S. Moelis, a close friend of Michelle Obama, was chosen to direct the Commission on White House Fellows. Rivkin’s mother, who died in 2002, and stepfather founded the American Refugee Committee, which helps relocate international refugees.   read more