Privacy Nightmare: McCain Bill Could Have Military Monitor The Internet – New bill by John McCain would result in the military monitoring the civilian Internet.
House Republicans Vote Against Keeping Keystone XL Oil In America – When the House of Representatives voted on a transportation bill, H.R. 3408, that expands oil drilling into long-protected areas and forces construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Republican lawmakers proved their complete allegiance is to Big Oil. Although Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have parroted the myth that the pipeline would “lower gas prices” and “reduce our dependence on hostile, unstable sources of energy,” their actions show that helping American families is only an empty promise.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) offered an amendment to the bill during the Feb. 15 vote, giving the House a chance to “ensure that if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, the oil that it transports to the Gulf of Mexico and the fuels made from that oil remain in this country to benefit Americans.” But the amendment failed 173-254. Not surprisingly, the 254 members who voted against the amendment have collected seven times more total campaign cash from oil and gas interests. The 254 members (230 Republicans) took in $37.3 million in career campaign contributions from oil and gas companies and executives.
The vote shows that House Republicans will not even support their own spin about the supposed benefits of increasing U.S. oil and gasoline supplies from the Keystone XL pipeline. In fact, the pipeline does nothing to impact production and Time magazine concurred that “Keystone would have little immediate [price] effect, especially since there’s already sufficient pipeline infrastructure in place for the next few years.” At best, gasoline prices in the Gulf Coast region would be only one and three-quarter cents lower per gallon, while prices would increase in the Midwest because the current oil glut keeps prices there lower.
Indiana’s Republican Secretary of State Guilty of Three Counts of Felony Voter Fraud – The chief election official in the very first state in the nation to implement polling place photo ID restrictions — under the guise of preventing “voter fraud” — has been found guilty of three counts of felony voter fraud.
A jury in Hamilton County found Indiana’s Republican Secretary of State Charlie White guilty of three counts of voter fraud related to having voted in a precinct where he did not live and where he was illegally registered to vote. The Hoosier State’s controversial first-in-the-nation Photo ID restrictions, originally implemented in 2008, did nothing to prevent either White’s illegal registration or his unlawful vote for himself as Secretary of State in 2010 when he was elected to office.
The jury also found him guilty of three other Class D felonies related to perjury and theft.
Republican Attacks on Teachers Are Destructive, Hurting Educators’ Morale and Hurting Students’ Educational Opportunities – The latest “MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy” shows that education budget cuts to public schools and the demonization of teachers have taken a toll on teachers’ job satisfaction.
The findings of this new national survey echo what we have found in our two recent Texas surveys of teachers and other school personnel, parents, and superintendents: Deep budget cuts are destructive, hurting educators’ morale and hurting students’ educational opportunities.
Some key findings from “The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy”:
* Teacher satisfaction has decreased by 15 points since “The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher” measured job satisfaction two years ago, now reaching the lowest level of job satisfaction seen in the survey series in more than two decades.
* This decline in teacher satisfaction is coupled with large increases in the number of teachers who indicate they are likely to leave teaching for another occupation, and in the number who do not feel their jobs are secure.
* More than three-quarters of teachers have faced budget cuts in their schools in the last year.
* Two-thirds of teachers report that their schools have had layoffs of teachers, parent/community liaisons, or other staff in the last year.
* Nearly three in 10 teachers indicate that there have been reductions or eliminations of health or social services in their schools.
* Six in 10 teachers report that the average class size in their schools has increased.
* One-third of teachers also indicate that educational technology and materials have not been kept up to date to meet student needs.
Tea Party Judge E-Mailed a Racist, Misogynist “Joke” About President Obama’s Deceased Mother – A Montana Tea Party federal judge got caught forwarding a disgusting racist, misogynist “joke” about President Obama’s deceased mother. Judge Richard Cebull, the chief Federal District Court judge in Montana, admitted that sending the email to his personal contacts — from his official email account on a government computer — showed “terrible judgment” and that he was aware that the joke was racist, but that he did not send it because it was racist. He sent it because it was “anti-Obama.” And, in his eyes, that made it okay.
Republicans At Work! – There are 450 bills on birth control and abortion in state legislatures across the country. In Texas, the legislature is in the midst of a bitter fight to eliminate state support for a wide range of women’s health services. They’ve already eliminated two-thirds of their funding for women’s health, closing more than half of the state’s Planned Parenthood and other clinics. And now they’re voting to reject aid for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, denying hundreds of thousands of women access to basic health care. Don’t Mess with Texas Women