Government

Robocalls Bill Heads To Senate After House Approval

Roll Call reports Lawmakers and their constituents are fed up with the bombardment of nuisance and scam calls plaguing their cell phones and on Wednesday the House passed a bipartisan measure to combat robocalls. The House voted 429-3 to pass a bill that would require phone companies to offer screening technology to customers at no cost that would identify and …

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TRAILER: Netflix Series Unmasks Secretive DC Christian Group Working To End Separation Of Church And State

The Wrap reports: Meet The Fellowship, the secret organization at the center of Netflix’s upcoming five-part docuseries “The Family,” a project that was made “with unprecedented participation from members of the organization,” which examines the “sophisticated, successful tactics its affiliates use to influence policy-making around the globe.” In the trailer, which dropped Wednesday morning, you’ll see experts and organization members …

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Facebook Settles Federal Privacy Probe For $5 Billion

The Verge reports: The Federal Trade Commission formally announced its $5 billion settlement with Facebook on Wednesday morning, which is the culmination of a years-long investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy breaches. In the agreement filed today, the FTC alleges that Facebook violated the law by failing to protect data from third parties, serving ads through the …

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Notorious RBG Opposes Adding More SCOTUS Justices

NPR reports: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview Tuesday that she does not favor proposals put forth by some Democratic presidential candidates who have advocated changing the number of Supreme Court justices if the Democrats win the presidency. “Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she said, adding, “I think …

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BRITAIN: Staffer Uses Anti-Gay MP’s Twitter Account To Resign, Calls MP “Disgustingly Morally Bankrupt”

Yahoo News UK reports: An independent MP’s aide staged a dramatic resignation – using his boss’s own Twitter account. Gareth Arnold, who worked for Sheffield Hallam Independent MP Jared O’Mara [photo], branded his boss “the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with” in a series of tweets on Tuesday night. In the string …

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Rand Paul Fails To Stop 9/11 Victims Compensation Bill

The Associated Press reports: The Senate voted Tuesday in favor of a bipartisan bill to ensure a victims’ compensation fund related to the September 11 attacks never runs out of money. The announcement came after Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, both of New York, reached an agreement with Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of …

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NEW YORK: Governor Signs Ban On Declawing Cats

The Democrat & Chronicle reports: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday banning the declawing of cats, making New York the first state in the nation to prohibit the procedure decried by animal-rights advocates as inhumane. State lawmakers approved the measure in June despite opposition from some veterinary groups who feared it could lead to more house cats being euthanized. …

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Mystery Behind Pence’s Canceled Flight Finally Known: He Was About To Meet With Alleged Fentanyl Dealer

Politico reports: Vice President Mike Pence was one short plane ride away from shaking hands with an alleged interstate drug dealer. Pence abruptly canceled his trip to Manchester, N.H., earlier this month but never said why he was pulled from Air Force Two at the last minute. Jeff Hatch, who agreed in federal court Friday to plead guilty and will …

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Al Franken “Absolutely” Regrets Resigning From Senate

The New Yorker reports: Despite his current isolation, Franken is recognized nearly everywhere he goes, and he often gets stopped on the street. “I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of ‘You shouldn’t have resigned,’ ” Franken said. He appreciates the support, but such comments torment him about his departure from the Senate. …

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PUERTO RICO: Embattled Governor Apologizes, Won’t Resign, Won’t Run For Reelection, Protests Continue

Bloomberg reports: Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello’s promise not to seek re-election was meant to mollify citizens of the bankrupt commonwealth after reams of embarrassing texts leaked from his administration. On Sunday night, many said Rossello was merely postponing his well-deserved exit. After days of protests, residents of San Juan poured into the colonial quarter to celebrate his retreat — …

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GOP NH State Rep: Slavery Wasn’t Based On Racism

USA Today reports: A New Hampshire lawmaker came under fire this week for claiming American slavery was based on economics, not racism. Republican state Rep. Werner Horn stated his case in a now-deleted Facebook post, then reaffirmed his position in multiple interviews with media outlets. Horn initially drew attention for his comments in a Facebook post by former state House …

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Trump To Nominate Scalia’s Son As Labor Secretary

Politico reports: President Donald Trump is likely to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be the next Labor secretary, according to three sources familiar with the plans. The younger Scalia, a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is a management-side attorney who in 2006 argued on behalf of Wal-Mart against …

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SURVEY: Mitch McConnell Is Most Disliked Senator

My money would have been on Cruz or Graham. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is America’s most unpopular senator with voters in his state, with Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) coming in as a close runner-up, a new Morning Consult poll has found. The results show McConnell leading the list of the country’s 10 most unpopular senators with a …

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US House Chaplain’s Invocation Asks Jesus To “Cast Out All Spirits Of Darkness From This Chamber” [VIDEO]

So this totally happened this morning: After several chaotic and historic days on Capitol Hill, the chaplain of the House of Representatives opened the legislative day Thursday with a prayer to cast out “all spirits of darkness from this chamber.” “This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the …

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House Approves $15 Federal Minimum Wage By 2025 But McConnell Likely To Block Bill’s Hearing In Senate

The Washington Post reports: The House passed a bill Thursday that would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade — but there’s little chance the measure will be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate. The House vote was 231-199. Three Republicans — Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Francis Rooney of Florida and Chris Smith of New …

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GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson Hospitalized After Fall

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was hospitalized after falling in his new D.C. apartment and suffering four fractured ribs late Tuesday. The Republican’s office said, one day later, that the 74-year-old senator is “in pain but resting and doing well.” “Senator Isakson looks forward to fully recovering and getting back to work for Georgians,” said spokesperson …

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Jon Stewart Tears Into Rand Paul For Blocking 9/11 Victim Compensation Bill: It’s Absolutely Outrageous

“It’s absolutely outrageous. Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling. At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul …

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Florida City Plays Baby Shark To Drive Away Homeless

The Palm Beach Post reports: The city of West Palm Beach has launched a music offensive, playing torturous sound loops all night long of the children’s song “Baby Shark” to keep the homeless from lying about the patio of the city’s Lake Pavilion. The pavilion, a glass-walled events venue that overlooks the waterfront and downtown’s Great Lawn, hosted 164 events …

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House Panel Advances Bill To “Stop Bad Robocalls”

Broadcasting & Cable reports: The House Energy & Commerce Committee has voted unanimously to dramatically raise the per-violation fines for illegal robocalls. That was part of an omnibus bill, the “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act,” which also passed unanimously (48-0)* as part of a markup for a couple dozen bills. The bill, actually a combination of five bills, had passed unanimously …

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Manhattan Blackout Blamed On Transformer Fire

NBC News reports: Power was restored to the heart of New York City after a major outage impacted an estimated 72,000 customers, mostly in Manhattan’s midtown and Upper West Side. Con Edison said it completed power restoration to all customers on the West Side of Manhattan shortly before midnight and the last of six electrical networks was back in service. …

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