NOTE: Entries on these pages contain excerpts from the news stories or external pages to which the entry is linked.

This Is Ridiculous
"The Iraq War is a vast and complicated enterprise. ..."

Indeed.

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Excerpt made on Saturday July 14, 2007 at 07:48 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Spell It Out

    

A scorching internal review of the Bush administration's billion-dollar-a-year reading program says the Education Department ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted.

The government audit is unsparing in its view that the Reading First program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum schools must use.

It also depicts a program in which review panels were stacked with people who shared the director's views, and in which only favored publishers of reading curricula could get money.

Excerpt made on Friday September 22, 2006 at 03:23 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Penny Wise Pound Foolish

    
Prosecution of polluters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "will be compromised" due to the loss of "timely, correct and accessible" information from the agency's closure of its network of technical libraries, according to an internal memo released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA enforcement staff currently rely upon the libraries to obtain technical information to support pollution prosecutions and to track the business histories of regulated industries.
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Excerpt made on Sunday September 03, 2006 at 10:13 AM | View Full Excerpt »

Crude Propaganda

    

The official who oversees the federal government's broadcasts to foreign countries directed staff to do personal work and used government resources for his private racehorse operation, State Department investigators conclude in a new report.

Kenneth Tomlinson, a Bush appointee who chairs the Broadcasting Board of Governors, also double-billed the board for his own work, according to the report released Tuesday.

The new allegations come after Tomlinson was forced to resign last year as head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting amid revelations of impropriety there.

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Excerpt made on Thursday August 31, 2006 at 12:22 AM | View Full Excerpt »

Awfully Coincidental

    

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. "There is no explanation for it being left off the list," Ms. McLane said. "It has always been an eligible major."

...

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

...

That the omission occurred at all is worrying scientists concerned about threats to the teaching of evolution.

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Excerpt made on Thursday August 24, 2006 at 01:37 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Fact From Fiction

    
    
    
Dr. Shaber tries hard to separate fact from fiction because, she says, "rumor and hearsay can start to seem real." In the past, she'd sometimes refer patients to government websites and printed fact sheets, or rely on those outlets to help create her own materials. Not anymore. "As a physician, I can no longer trust government sources," says Dr. Shaber. She is not a political activist or a conspiracy theorist; in addition to her own practice, she's Kaiser Permanente's director of women's health services for northern California and head of the HMO's Women's Health Research Institute. Yet this decidedly mainstream doctor and administrator says, "I no longer trust FDA decisions or materials generated [by the government]. Ten years ago, I would not have had to scrutinize government information. Now I don't feel comfortable giving it to my patients."
...
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Excerpt made on Sunday June 04, 2006 at 01:11 AM | View Full Excerpt »

The New Plumbers

    

The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.
...
Some media watchers, lawyers and editors say that, taken together, the incidents represent perhaps the most extensive and overt campaign against leaks in a generation, and that they have worsened the already-tense relationship between mainstream news organizations and the White House.

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Excerpt made on Friday March 10, 2006 at 01:32 AM | View Full Excerpt »

Control

    

Continuing to remove a woman's right to make her own decisions, or have control over her own body.

A US state has signed into law a bill banning most abortions, in a move aimed to force the US Supreme Court to reconsider its key ruling on the issue.

The South Dakota law - approved by the governor on Monday - makes it a crime for doctors to perform terminations.

Exceptions will be made if a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape or incest.

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Excerpt made on Thursday March 09, 2006 at 09:16 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Tithing Your Taxes

    

President Bush ordered the Department of Homeland Security yesterday to create a center for faith-based and community initiatives within 45 days to eliminate regulatory, contracting and programmatic barriers to providing federal funds to religious groups to deliver social services, the White House announced last night.
...
Federal funding is controversial among such groups. Some organizations, such as Catholic Charities, accept such funds, while others, such as the Rev. Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing, have said in the past that they would not accept it.

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Excerpt made on Thursday March 09, 2006 at 08:59 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Anomaly

    

After investing over $7,000 and waiting nine months for the records, Black Box Voting discovered that the voting machine logs contained approximately 100,000 errors. According to voting machine assignment logs, Palm Beach County used 4,313 machines in the Nov. 2004 election. During election day, 1,475 voting system calibrations were performed while the polls were open, providing documentation to substantiate reports from citizens indicating the wrong candidate was selected when they tried to vote.

Another disturbing find was several dozen voting machines with votes for the Nov. 2, 2004 election cast on dates like Oct. 16, 15, 19, 13, 25, 28 2004 and one tape dated in 2010. These machines did not contain any votes date-stamped on Nov. 2, 2004.

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Excerpt made on Friday February 24, 2006 at 10:40 AM | View Full Excerpt »

Clean Out

    

[Carol Tombari] was among the disappeared from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, where 31 workers were dismissed seven days after President Bush read the words "addicted to oil" off the teleprompter and announced yet another "Advanced Energy Initiative."

"It was a week to the day after the State of the Union," Tombari said. The single mother of three with a son in college was given one month's severance pay.

"I can understand budget cuts. I can understand realigning the mission at NREL. But being treated like a corporate saboteur, that was rough," said Tombari, who has worked in energy policy for more than 25 years.
...

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Excerpt made on Friday February 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Perpetuating Poverty

    
    
Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday, making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future.
A labor-backed measure by Sen. Edward Kennedy would have raised the minimum to $6.25 over an 18-month period. A Republican counterproposal would have combined the same $1.10 increase with various breaks and exemptions for small businesses.
...
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Excerpt made on Monday October 31, 2005 at 07:14 PM | View Full Excerpt »

On The Backs Of The Poor

    

Republicans ... working to bring you cheap, desperate slave labor.

House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.
More politically difficult votes -- to cut Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies -- were on tap Thursday as more panels weigh in on the bill.
...

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Excerpt made on Monday October 31, 2005 at 06:10 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Blatant Censorship

    

Who controls what you listen to? Of course, the silver lining in all of this is that "they" must feel threatened somehow (by open discussion of ideas?)....

Armed Forces Radio (AFR) is a station that is broadcast to American troops overseas through "over 1,000 outlets in more than 175 countries." It currently features an hour of programming from right-wing host Rush Limbaugh. There is no comparable progressive program.
Today, that was supposed change. Ed Schultz the most popular progressive radio show in the country was supposed to start broadcasting on Armed Forces radio. Jones Radio, the company that syndicates the Ed Shultz show, received an email on September 29 from an Armed Forces Radio official confirming that one hour of the Ed Schultz show would begin airing today, October 17.
But morning this at 6AM, the producer of the Ed Schultz show, James Holm, received a call from Pentagon communications aide Allison Barber. She told Holm that she was calling so early to let Schultz know his show would not begin airing on AFR today. You'll remember Barber as the aide caught coaching troops before a photo-op with President Bush last week.
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Excerpt made on Monday October 17, 2005 at 01:50 PM | View Full Excerpt »

Faith & Charity

    
After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
FEMA officials said it would mark the first time that the government has made large-scale payments to religious groups for helping to cope with a domestic natural disaster.
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Excerpt made on Tuesday September 27, 2005 at 12:30 PM | View Full Excerpt »