Government

Federal Election Commission Effectively Shuts Down

The Center for Public Integrity reports: Federal Election Commission Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen announced his resignation today. This means the agency that enforces and regulates the nation’s campaign finance laws will effectively shut down — something that hasn’t happened since 2008 — because it won’t have the legal minimum of four commissioners to make high-level decisions. Petersen’s resignation, first reported …

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WISCONSIN: GOP Rep. Sean Duffy Abruptly Resigns

From GOP Rep. Sean Duffy’s Facebook page: Next to marrying Rachel, representing you – the people and families of Wisconsin’s 7th District – in Congress has been the highest honor of my life. Together, we have engaged in the most important battles of our time: protecting freedom of speech and religious liberty, taking care of our veterans, defending the unborn, …

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Deficit To Top $1T Two Years Sooner Than Forecast

Bloomberg reports: The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected, even as President Trump openly considers more tax cuts and other ideas that would add to government debt. The deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said in updated forecasts …

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NEW YORK: Cuomo Signs Ban On Floating Billboards

The New York Post reports: Floating digital billboards are headed to Davy Jones’ locker. A bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday restricts vessels with the eyesores from operating in New York’s waters. Billboards on boats using “flashing, intermittent or moving lights” will be prohibited from operating, anchoring or mooring in the navigable waters of the state, …

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Retired State Department Diplomat Gets Five Years For Deluging Arab Group With Hundreds Of Emails, Threats

Via press release from the Justice Department: William Patrick Syring, 61, of Arlington, Virginia, was today sentenced to 60 months in prison for threatening employees of the Arab American Institute (AAI) because of their race and national origin, threatening AAI employees because of their efforts to encourage Arab Americans to participate in political and civic life in the United States, …

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FDA Proposes Graphic Warnings For Cigarette Packs

The New York Times reports: The corpse is gone. So are the grief-stricken woman, the rotting teeth and the man struggling to smoke despite a hole in his windpipe. Nine years after the Food and Drug Administration first proposed graphic images as warnings on cigarette packs but was thwarted by tobacco companies in a successful court battle, the agency announced …

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Texas Legalizes Brass Knuckles Because Of Course

San Antonio’s ABC News affiliate reports: In less than two weeks, Texas residents will be allowed to carry brass knuckles for self defense. Starting Sept. 1, brass knuckles will be removed from the Texas Penal Code’s list of prohibited weapons under legislation signed into law by Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) earlier this year. An analysis of the law conducted by …

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FDA Issues Warning Against “Church Of Bleach”

Via press release from the FDA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase or drink a product sold online as a medical treatment due to a recent rise in reported health issues. Since 2010, the FDA has warnedExternal Link Disclaimer consumers about the dangers of Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine …

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US House Committee Demands Answers On Epstein

The Associated Press reports: The House Judiciary Committee is demanding answers from the Bureau of Prisons after wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a New York jail while awaiting sex trafficking charges. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and the top Republican on the panel, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, wrote the bureau’s acting director on Monday with several …

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WINNING: Federal Budget Deficit Up 27% Over 2018

Axios reports: The U.S. budget deficit has already surpassed last year’s total figure, growing to $866.8 billion in just the first 10 months of the fiscal year, according to Treasury Department data reported by Bloomberg. By the numbers: The deficit is up 27% from the same period last fiscal year, which begins in October. Spending has continued to outpace revenue, …

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200+ Mayors Demand Senate Gun Control Session

The Associated Press reports: More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead. In a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and …

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Rand Paul Has Lung Surgery Related To 2017 Assault, Mitch McConnell Fractures Shoulder In Fall At His Home

Rough weekend for Kentucky senators. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he’ll be sidelined from the Senate until September after undergoing lung surgery over the weekend. Part of Paul’s lung was damaged when he was assaulted by his neighbor in November 2017, the senator said Monday morning in a Twitter post. He underwent an operation over the …

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Pompeo Fires “Abusive” Natural Law Commission Spox

Two months ago the State Department listed former Fox News contributor Kiron Skinner as its media contact for the newly-formed anti-LGBT “natural law” commission. But she’s not anymore. A senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was fired this week over what some described as her “abusive” management style, three officials told POLITICO. Kiron Skinner, the director of the …

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New York Ban Teachers From Carrying Guns At School

The New York Times reports: In the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., President Trump embraced a proposal to arm teachers as a way to prevent further mass shootings in schools. His support for the idea, which had been proposed by the National Rifle Association, invigorated a nationwide debate over whether the people …

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CALIFORNIA: Condom Possession Can’t Be Used As Evidence Of Prostitution Under Law Signed By Gov

The Sacramento Bee reports: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation today that prohibits condoms as evidence of prostitution when prosecuting someone for sex work crimes. Sex workers are also protected under the new law from arrest when they report rape and other serious felonies. The legislation will therefore prevent “sex workers who report violent felonies from being treated as a criminal …

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Senate Votes To Lift Debt Ceiling For Next Two Years

CNBC reports: The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to raise the U.S. budget and lift the debt ceiling for the next two years. The spending deal now heads to the Oval Office to be signed by President Donald Trump. The legislation passed 67-28, with 23 Republicans and five Democrats voting against the bill. Its passage in Congress — shortly …

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Trump’s Tax Cuts Fail To Generate Promised Growth

Reuters reports: U.S. economic growth in 2018 missed the Trump administration’s 3% target by any measure, which could renew criticism of the White House’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. The Commerce Department said on Friday that gross domestic product increased at a 2.9% rate last year, confirming an estimate which was published in March. The department’s annual revisions to GDP …

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White House Mulls Imposing Travel Ban On Guatemala

NPR reports: The Trump administration is actively investigating imposing a travel ban against Guatemala unless the Central American nation takes significant steps to curb illegal migration northward. In a move reminiscent of the pressure campaign President Trump launched against Mexico over immigration, the travel ban is the most explosive option of three that the administration says it’s considering against the …

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DOJ Announces That Feds Will Resume Executions

ABC News reports: Attorney General Bill Barr announced Thursday the federal government will be resuming capital punishment. In the announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice said the decision was made related to “five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly.” The DOJ further added …

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PUERTO RICO: Governor Ricardo Rosello Resigns

The Washington Post reports: The governor of Puerto Rico announced late Wednesday that he will resign effective Aug. 2, amid intense pressure from inside and outside his government, after a series of leaked chat messages denigrating his opponents and Hurricane Maria victims triggered outrage from frustrated citizens who had taken to the streets for 13 consecutive days of protests. Ricardo …

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