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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 35,780

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Students sue Rhode Island over lack of civics education

Source: CNN

(CNN)Rhode Island is failing to teach civics and prepare students to be "capable citizens," a federal class-action lawsuit alleges.

The 14 students in the suit say the state provided such a substandard education that it violates their rights under the US Constitution.

"The state defendants have failed to provide the named plaintiffs and tens of thousands of other students in the state of Rhode Island an education that is adequate to prepare them to function productively as civic participants," says the complaint filed this week.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/01/us/civics-class-action-lawsuit-rhode-island/index.html

Mike Pence Tweeted, Then Deleted, A Picture With A Florida Deputy Wearing A QAnon Conspiracy Patch

Source: Buzz Feed News

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday tweeted, and then quickly deleted, a picture of himself and a Florida sheriff’s deputy wearing a QAnon conspiracy patch on his uniform.

The picture was similar to other posts when Pence travels across the country, but one of the deputies greeting the vice president just outside of Air Force Two could be seen wearing a prominent red patch on his chest with the letter “Q.”

Minutes after BuzzFeed News reached out to the White House and Pence’s office regarding the picture, the tweet was deleted and reposted, but this time without the image with the QAnon patch.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory that sprung from 4chan, claiming that, among other things, President Trump is trying to save the world from a global pedophile human trafficking ring that involves high-ranking politicians and Hollywood figures. The conspiracy, which has evolved and encompassed a wide range of baseless theories, circles around a figure identified as “Q,” who claims to be a high-ranking US official and who posts obscure statements that followers try to interpret as some sort of information drop to the president’s supporters.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/mike-pence-deleted-picture-qanon-florida

We're Suing the CIA to Find the Body of a Torture Victim

In November 2002, the CIA tortured Gul Rahman to death in a secret prison in Afghanistan. Sixteen years later, Rahman’s family is still desperately trying to find out what the CIA did to his body.

To date, the CIA has told his loved ones nothing, and his daughter cannot even give her father a decent burial.

That same month, Gina Haspel oversaw the torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri at a CIA black site in Thailand. Sixteen years later, Haspel has been promoted to CIA director by President Trump, while Nashiri remains “one of the most damaged victims of torture” a psychiatric expert has ever seen.

To date, the CIA has told the American public nothing about Haspel’s role in the agency’s torture program — even as it waged an unprecedented propaganda campaign on her behalf to win her Senate confirmation. Even a CIA spokesman confirmed that under the Trump administration, the agency pushed harder than usual to get the American public to accept the CIA’s favored choice for director. And now that Haspel has been installed at the top, she is effectively in control of whether her own record of torture remains secret.

The common thread linking the continued suffering of Rahman’s family and the CIA’s efforts to whitewash Haspel’s history is the agency’s use of extreme secrecy to avoid accountability for its shameful and illegal torture program. To force the CIA to come clean, today we filed two lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act.


Never forget what Mitch McConnell did


Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than...


Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here's the Reality.

T.M. Landry, a school in small-town Louisiana, has garnered national attention for vaulting its underprivileged black students to elite colleges. But the school cut corners and doctored college applications.

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. — Bryson Sassau’s application would inspire any college admissions officer.

A founder of T.M. Landry College Preparatory School described him as a “bright, energetic, compassionate and genuinely well-rounded” student whose alcoholic father had beaten him and his mother and had denied them money for food and shelter. His transcript “speaks for itself,” the founder, Tracey Landry, wrote, but Mr. Sassau should also be lauded for founding a community service program, the Dry House, to help the children of abusive and alcoholic parents. He took four years of honors English, the application said, was a baseball M.V.P. and earned high honors in the “Mathematics Olympiad.”

The narrative earned Mr. Sassau acceptance to St. John’s University in New York. There was one problem: None of it was true.

“I was just a small piece in a whole fathom of lies,” Mr. Sassau said.

T.M. Landry has become a viral Cinderella story, a small school run by Michael Landry, a teacher and former salesman, and his wife, Ms. Landry, a nurse, whose predominantly black, working-class students have escaped the rural South for the nation’s most elite colleges. A video of a 16-year-old student opening his Harvard acceptance letter last year has been viewed more than eight million times. Other Landry students went on to Yale, Brown, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell and Wesleyan.


Here is a really good Twitter thread on this:


Zinke says to the incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee:


Government watchdog finds 6 Trump staffers violated Hatch Act

Source: The Hill

The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) on Friday found that six members of the Trump administration violated the Hatch Act.

The OSC cited six staffers with violating the federal law in response to a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in August.

The act bars federal employees from using their offices and resources for political purposes.

The office concluded that deputy press secretary Raj Shah, President Trump’s executive assistant Madeleline Westerhoust, Vice President Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah, White House Deputy Director of Communications Jessica Ditto and two others violated the Hatch Act.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/419119-government-watchdog-finds-6-trump-staffers-violated-hatch-act?__twitter_impression=true

Acting AG Appears to Have Misled FTC Over Actions at Miami Firm

Source: Bloomberg

New documents released by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission suggest that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker misled the agency’s investigators as he was stepping into his role last year as Justice Department chief of staff.

After several attempts to reach Whitaker about the Miami company where he was on the advisory board, the FTC investigator emailed his colleagues to relay that he finally reached Whitaker, who was willing to cooperate and asserted that he “never emailed or wrote to consumers” in his consulting role.

That statement to James Evans of the FTC appears to be inaccurate. Whitaker had written a letter in 2015 to a disgruntled customer who planned to report the company, World Patent Marketing, to the Better Business Bureau. In the letter, which was included in the FTC’s disclosure and reported previously by the news media, Whitaker threatened the customer, writing: “I am assuming you understand there could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you if that is in fact what you and your ’group’ are doing.”

In the letter, Whitaker noted that he was a former U.S. attorney in Iowa and that he was aware that the customer had complained to the company’s chief executive officer, Scott Cooper, in the past. “I am familiar with your background and your history with Scott,” Whitaker wrote. “Understand that we take threats like this quite seriously.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-30/whitaker-appears-to-have-misled-ftc-over-actions-at-miami-firm

PM Shinzo Abe of Japan to Trump just now at G20:

PM Shinzo Abe of Japan to Trump just now at G20: "I want to congratulate you on your historic victory in the midterm election in the United States."

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