Protesters rally outside the listening session for the federal government’s coal program on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (photo: Brooke Armstrong)
Clair Moser | ThinkProgress | Reader Supported News | August 1, 2015
ecretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on Wednesday launched the first high-level review of the federal government’s coal program in more than three decades, noting concerns with the program’s environmental impacts and fairness to taxpayers.
“We are committed to making sure we’re doing right by the American citizens and the American taxpayer,” Secretary Jewell told a packed room in Washington D.C. as she kicked off the first in a series of public listening sessions to explore reforms to the outdated program. Following her call for an “honest and open conversation about modernizing the federal coal program” earlier this year, she emphasized the need to ask the “tough questions” about how the Department of the Interior (DOI) can make changes to “bring this program into the 21st Century.”
The DOI’s Bureau of Land Management has planned a series of five listening sessions across the country as the first step to raise rock-bottom coal royalty rates.
Is the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program Targeting Americans With Mental Illness and Cognitive Limitations?
Harlem Suarez. (photo: Facebook)
Trevor Aaronson | The Intercept | Reader Supported News | August 1, 2015
he news spread quickly when federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday night that FBI agents had foiled an Islamic State-linked plot to bomb a beach in Key West, Florida.
The alleged attacker, 23-year-old Cuban-American Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, hardly looks the part of an Islamic State fighter.
In a selfie posted on Facebook, Suarez has closed-cropped brown hair and tattoos that cover his right arm, left shoulder and chest. He wears a Batman T-shirt and a sleeveless hoodie.
The U.S. government alleges that Suarez conspired with an FBI informant and undercover agents to bomb a stretch of beach in Key West. The FBI affidavit supporting the criminal complaint portrays Suarez as a bumbler who lived with his parents — not an uncommon description for targets of FBI counterterrorism stings.
National Guardsmen with bared bayonets hold back a group of demonstrators protesting segregation, Cambridge, Maryland, May 14, 1964. (photo: AFP/Getty)
Zoe Schlanger | Newsweek | Reader Supported News | August 1, 2015
he College Board, the company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students, released a revised set of standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning. Though the number of mentions of the word slavery remains roughly the same, the new document significantly alters the original framework’s tone around slavery, racism, and Native American relations.
Passages that previously cited racial attitudes, stereotyping, and white superiority in early American history have been rewritten or deleted, and some passages that previously implicated early European colonists in racism and aiding in destructive Native American warfare have been softened and replaced with more passive language.
The word “bellicose,” where it was used in the prior edition (p. 79) to refer to President Reagan’s rhetoric, was also removed. That passage was pointed out specifically by conservative critics of the the prior framework. A section on American identity has also been amended to include “American exceptionalism” (p. 11).
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)
Michael Sainato | Observer | Reader Supported News | August 1, 2015
College students are swimming in red ink and it’s hurting America
n May 19, 2015, Bernie Sanders introduced a bill to make all 4-year public college tuition free. Under the proposed legislation, the $70 billion a year awarded in assistance in the form of federal student loans and grants would be paid for through taxes on Wall Street transactions.
But, that’s not all. The bill would also simplify the student financial aid process, expand federal work-study programs, and reduce and cap interest rates on student loans.
The bill comes at a time of soaring college tuition rates as federal assistance is consistently declining.
Senator Sanders has announced his stance on this issue in numerous media appearances. This is a glimmer of hope to those with college degrees in wallowing job markets and burdening student debts, which is over $1 Trillion and counting, in America, while the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the student loans the government will make over the next decade will ultimately yield $135 billion over the term of those loans as graduates pay back their debt with interest.
Graham Gremore | Queerty | August 1, 2015
Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas says he can prove same-sex marriage goes against nature. All he needs are eight gay men, a deserted island, and a couple of centuries.
While speaking before a group of impressionable young conservatives last week, Gohmert proposed a plan to prove, once and for all, that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman by conducting a “science” experiment, an odd gambit for Gohmert, who flatly rejects sexual orientation science.
“We could take four heterosexual couples, married, and put them on an island where they have everything they need to sustain life,” he said. “Then take four all-male couples and put them on an island with all they need to sustain life, take four couples of women, married, and put them on an island, and let’s come back in 100 to 200 years and see which one nature says is the preferred marriage.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren. (photo: elizabethwarren.com)
Elizabeth Warren |, Reader Supported News | August 1, 2015
The Republicans have a plan. Just look at the facts:
- In 2013, Republicans threatened to shut down the government unless they could change the law to let employers deny women access to birth control.
- In 2015, Republicans held hostage an easy-to-pass bipartisan bill to stop human trafficking, demanding an unprecedented expansion of anti-abortion restrictions to cover new funds for providing assistance to trafficking victims.
- Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act dozens of times, including the portions that require insurers to cover contraception – and stop them from charging women more.
- In state legislatures, Republicans have passed nearly 300 new restrictions on abortion access in the past five years – more than 50 this year alone.
So let’s be really clear about something: The Republicans’ scheme to defund Planned Parenthood isn’t some sort of surprised response to highly edited videos.
Let’s call out the Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood on Monday for exactly what it is: Another piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated right-wing attack on women’s rights. And I’m sick and tired of it.