Government

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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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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