Featured Story

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
Latest News

Top Stories

Unusual News

  • July was the Warmest Month in the 135-Year History of Record-Keeping

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    A high-pressure dome over the Middle East resulted in “what may be one of the most extreme heat indices ever recorded in the world on July 31st,” according to NCEI. The Iranian port city of Bandar Mahshahr weathered an unprecedented temperature of 165°F. The record-breaking scorcher prompted the government to declare a four-day national holiday so people would stay indoors rather than step out into the heat to go to work.   read more
  • Nebraska School District Asks Teachers to Sign 1951 Loyalty Oath

    Sunday, August 23, 2015
    A Nebraska school district is asking its teachers to sign a loyalty oath created during the McCarthy Red Scare era that was declared unconstitutional more than 50 years ago. Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, spurred by requests from a right-wing Lincoln salesman, wrote a letter to the state’s school districts reminding them of the oath, and another law that requires school districts to create an “Americanism” committee.   read more
  • Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Ordering Defendant to Copy Bible Verses and Marry his Girlfriend

    Saturday, August 22, 2015
    Judge Rogers ordered Bundy to copy Proverbs 26:26: “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” Rogers also required Bundy to marry Jaynes within 30 days as a condition of his probation. Otherwise, the deal was off, and Bundy would spend 15 days behind bars. Bundy chose probation and its conditions because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he missed work. An ethics complaint was filed against the judge accusing him of illegal conduct for which “he should face serious consequences.”   read more

Where is the Money Going?

Controversies

  • Coal Power Plant in Utah has not been Inspected for 12 Years

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    The Sierra Club says the Hunter power plant “is one of Utah’s worst polluters and a major source of dangerous smog-causing nitrogen oxide pollution, soot, and smog pollution.” Air quality modeling shows emissions from the plant are reportedly causing “significant exceedances of national clean air standards for dangerous sulfur dioxide pollution.” Pollution from Hunter and other sources has made the air in Utah’s several national parks barely suitable for breathing, according to the NPCA.   read more
  • Congress Avoids Obama’s Call for a Resolution of War against ISIS

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Obama submitted “a complex draft resolution that authorizes the president to use force against the Islamic State,” said The Atlantic. Some Republicans in Congress, however, won’t touch the authorization—not because it could potentially draw the U.S. into a protracted conflict, but because it doesn’t go far enough. Obama’s request specifies that the use of U.S. ground troops is forbidden, and it puts a three-year limit on the authorization. Republicans would prefer something more open ended.   read more
  • 15,000 Federal Employees and Military Caught in Ashley Madison Hack

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Does using a government computer to access a website dedicated to helping people have extramarital affairs constitute grounds for punishment? The answer is probably not. “The rules of the game for morality in federal offices may be straightforward for pornography (it can get you fired) — but the kind of skeleton in the closet that showed up in the trove of 36 million users exposed on the cheating Web site presents officials with a murkier problem, experts say,” according to the Washington Post.   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

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
Latest News

Top Stories

Unusual News

  • July was the Warmest Month in the 135-Year History of Record-Keeping

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    A high-pressure dome over the Middle East resulted in “what may be one of the most extreme heat indices ever recorded in the world on July 31st,” according to NCEI. The Iranian port city of Bandar Mahshahr weathered an unprecedented temperature of 165°F. The record-breaking scorcher prompted the government to declare a four-day national holiday so people would stay indoors rather than step out into the heat to go to work.   read more
  • Nebraska School District Asks Teachers to Sign 1951 Loyalty Oath

    Sunday, August 23, 2015
    A Nebraska school district is asking its teachers to sign a loyalty oath created during the McCarthy Red Scare era that was declared unconstitutional more than 50 years ago. Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, spurred by requests from a right-wing Lincoln salesman, wrote a letter to the state’s school districts reminding them of the oath, and another law that requires school districts to create an “Americanism” committee.   read more
  • Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Ordering Defendant to Copy Bible Verses and Marry his Girlfriend

    Saturday, August 22, 2015
    Judge Rogers ordered Bundy to copy Proverbs 26:26: “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” Rogers also required Bundy to marry Jaynes within 30 days as a condition of his probation. Otherwise, the deal was off, and Bundy would spend 15 days behind bars. Bundy chose probation and its conditions because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he missed work. An ethics complaint was filed against the judge accusing him of illegal conduct for which “he should face serious consequences.”   read more

Where is the Money Going?

Controversies

  • Coal Power Plant in Utah has not been Inspected for 12 Years

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    The Sierra Club says the Hunter power plant “is one of Utah’s worst polluters and a major source of dangerous smog-causing nitrogen oxide pollution, soot, and smog pollution.” Air quality modeling shows emissions from the plant are reportedly causing “significant exceedances of national clean air standards for dangerous sulfur dioxide pollution.” Pollution from Hunter and other sources has made the air in Utah’s several national parks barely suitable for breathing, according to the NPCA.   read more
  • Congress Avoids Obama’s Call for a Resolution of War against ISIS

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Obama submitted “a complex draft resolution that authorizes the president to use force against the Islamic State,” said The Atlantic. Some Republicans in Congress, however, won’t touch the authorization—not because it could potentially draw the U.S. into a protracted conflict, but because it doesn’t go far enough. Obama’s request specifies that the use of U.S. ground troops is forbidden, and it puts a three-year limit on the authorization. Republicans would prefer something more open ended.   read more
  • 15,000 Federal Employees and Military Caught in Ashley Madison Hack

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Does using a government computer to access a website dedicated to helping people have extramarital affairs constitute grounds for punishment? The answer is probably not. “The rules of the game for morality in federal offices may be straightforward for pornography (it can get you fired) — but the kind of skeleton in the closet that showed up in the trove of 36 million users exposed on the cheating Web site presents officials with a murkier problem, experts say,” according to the Washington Post.   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