Dawn Unfolds

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Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, Son of Joe Biden, Dies of Brain Cancer at 46

By David  Nir, Daily Kos – Very sad news: Vice President Joe Biden announced the passing of his son, Beau Biden, in a statement released by the White House. “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” reads the statement from Vice President Biden. “The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us — especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter. “Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the...

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Maine Governor’s Massive Tantrum: Will Veto Every Bill Dems Propose Until He Gets What He Wants

by JAMESON PARKER – You don’t have to know a lot about how America’s political system works to see that a governor threatening to grind the entire legislative process to a halt until he unilaterally gets his way presents a serious problem for democracy – but that’s just how Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage rolls. In the latest move in a string of almost criminally-incompetent governing, LePage has announced that he will veto literally any and every Democratic-sponsored bill that comes to his desk as punishment for the lawmakers not going along with his “eradicate the income tax” plan. According to the Associated Press, LePage was fairly open about his new found love of governing by hostage-taking. During what they called a “spirited news conference” (read: polite Associated Press way of saying “insane”), LePage bragged about it: “The Maine people deserve to have a say on the income tax and...

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Greaseless Ball Bearings: A Revolutionary Spin on a Design That’s Been Around for Ages

By Loz Blain, Gizmag – While the ball bearing might be among Leonardo Da Vinci’s less celebrated inventions, it’s arguably one of his most important. Though it was initially designed as part of his failed helicopter invention, it has stood the test of time – there are ball bearings of a similar design to Leonardo’s in just about every moving machine. The basic design in simple: in order to reduce rotating friction between two pieces, the bearing has an inner and an outer race. A number of balls roll in between these two races, allowing the smallest possible contact points between the inner and outer races. The balls roll a lot easier than the two pieces would slide against each other. The ball bearing can only work if the balls are kept separated and evenly spaced throughout the races. Touching each other would produce friction, and uneven spacing would...

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Bobby Jindal’s Lawsuit Against Common Core Law He Signed Moves Forward

by CASEY QUINLAN – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has continued his legal battle against Common Core standards, despite the fact that he enthusiastically supported the standards in 2012. Jindal pushed for the implementation of standards, even as the state’s education department officials were concerned that a bill easing implementation of the standards wasn’t worth the political dust-up. Three years has made a quite a difference in Jindal’s outlook on the issue. Jindal, who is expected to announce he is running for president, is suing the Obama administration in federal court. The lawsuit, which first began in August of last year, claims that the administration is directly implementing national education reform “far beyond the intentions of Congress” and is responsible for “federal direction or control of curriculum” and that the Obama administration’s actions violate the 10th amendment. The latest development in this legal saga occurred in Baton Rouge Thursday where...

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Alabama’s Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Resigns

by quaoar – It took long enough. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Alabama, who last summer was arrested on charges he beat his wife in a hotel room in Atlanta, announced today that he will resign his lifetime appointment. Fuller — the judge who presided over the case of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman — wrote a letter to President Obama and the 11th Circuit saying he will step down on Aug. 1. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, said she welcomed the announcement from Fuller and is relieved that Congress can avoid going through an impeachment process.”Justice was not served. We sent the wrong message to victims of domestic violence by allowing a federal judge to collect a paycheck — without managing a caseload — and ultimately having his record expunged,” Sewell said. “Judge Fuller failed to uphold the values we hold dear.” Alabama’s GOP congresswoman was also happy to see...

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In Face of Rising Climate Movement, Tar Sands on Life Support: Report

by Deirdre Fulton – Evidence of struggling tar sands sector suggests opportunity to slow the rate of growth ‘significantly’ With dozens of carbon-intensive tar sands projects delayed or on hold, a new report released Friday confidently declares: “The case for the tar sands is crumbling.” A new analysis by Oil Change International identifies 39 projects—representing more than 1.61 million barrels per day (bpd) of potential tar sands oil production capacity—that companies are currently unable or unwilling to invest in. That’s good news for the climate and the environment, as well as for frontline communities that bear the brunt of the toxic tar sands production. And it’s bad news for the tar sands sector, which now finds itself “struggling to justify many new projects,” says Hannah McKinnon, senior campaigner on private finance at Oil Change International. According to the report, On the Edge: 1.6 Million Barrels per Day of Proposed Tar Sands...

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Meet the Corporate Villains Sponsoring the COP21 Climate Talks

by Sarah Lazare – ‘The effort of these corporations to green-wash their ongoing damage of the planet in order increase profit and gain public support is offensive’ Fresh revelations that yet another round of United Nations climate talks—this time the upcoming negotiations in Paris—will be sponsored by some of the very corporations driving global warming have been met with outrage and alarm that the global process continues to be “captured by big polluters.” Pierre-Henri Guignard, Secretary-General of the UN Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), unveiled the list of corporate sponsors on Wednesday. “We are building a very business friendly COP which will show the commitment of the private sector to the spirit of the convention,” he stated. But climate justice advocates say that by being “business friendly,” the conference is, in fact, hostile to the public good—and the planet itself. “Today’s announcement of the corporate sponsors of the COP21 exposes...

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The TPP Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

By Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research – The push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its final stages as the House of Representatives will soon take the key vote on fast-track trade authority which will almost certainly determine the pact’s outcome. The proponents of TPP are clearly feeling the pressure, as they make every conceivable argument for the deal, and unfortunately many that are not quite conceivable. In the last few weeks, TPP proponents have repeatedly tripped up, as they got their facts wrong and their logic twisted. This hit parade of failed arguments should be sufficient to convince any fence sitters that this is a deal not worth doing. After all, if you have a good product, you don’t have to make up nonsense to sell it. Leading the list of failed arguments was a condescending editorial from USA Today directed at unions who oppose the TPP because...

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This Is How The ‘Christian’ Right Has Held Jesus Hostage To Fuel Corrupt Capitalism

by SARAH – If any supposed Jesus-loving “Constitutional Conservative” were to actually sit down and read the United States Constitution, there is something missing that may be of interest to them — any mention of God, Jesus, or Christianity. If we’re going to look back at how the rise of the fallacy that we are a “Christian nation” came to be, we need look no further than the Great Depression and the political tactics that were used to shift blame and build a movement that has now become too big for its britches. When FDR implemented the New Deal after the fall of the economy which led into the Great Depression, he used a few tactics to sell his ideas. Tactics that included using scripture — accurate depictions of scripture. Such as, lifting the nation out of poverty by implementing economic measures that helped bring the economy back and relieve...

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Will Bernie Sanders Take on Hillary?

by Ralph Nader – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is off and running after his formal announcement for the presidency this past Tuesday before 5,000 cheering supporters in Burlington, Vermont. He is starting from the region that launched the American Revolution and he is promising to“begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally,” with “the support of millions of people throughout this country.” He will take on the corporate plutocracy and its servile political oligarchy with numerous assets. In his long, scandal-free elective career, from Mayor of Burlington to the House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate, Sanders can match his progressive rhetoric with a consistent voting record. He has a large number of progressive supporters who are not “Ready for Hillary” because of her corporatism and militarism. This will assure his ability to raise at least $20 million, mostly in small donations, by the end of...

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‘A Step in the Right Direction’: US Removes Cuba from Terror List

Move signals continued restoration of diplomatic ties, but economic sanctions will remain in place By Nadia Prupis, C0mmon Dreams – The U.S. has formally removed Cuba from its list of “state sponsors of terror,” the State Department announced on Friday, signaling one more step forward in a renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries after more than 50 years. Some economic sanctions against the Caribbean nation will remain in place. President Barack Obama announced his intention to remove Cuba from the list in April, giving Congress 45 days to consider the new policy. Cuba’s placement on the list, which began in 1982 over its support of leftist movements in South and Central America, has complicated the country’s access to financial markets for decades and been a roadblock in the building of foreign embassies there. Keith Bolender, freelance journalist and author of Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism...

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Mysterious Substance Fouls California Beach

Blobby slick of tarlike substance washes ashore 100 miles south of recent oil spill  A slick of unidentified tar-like substance forced the closure of another stretch of the California coast on Wednesday as federal authorities ordered the company at the center of a spill last week to continue its efforts to clean up after the pipeline breach that poured crude oil onto a stretch of pristine shore. Los Angeles County lifeguards spotted mysterious blobs washed up on Manhattan Beach at 10 a.m. and the substance continued to wash ashore on the surf for about two hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The globs fouled a 6.8-mile stretch, according to according to ABC 7, and authorities closed the beaches as precaution. Coast Guard Cetty Officer Marshal Anderson described the small balls as oil patties to NBC Los Angeles. The fire department said investigators have collected samples and are...

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Nature Faces Off Against Politics in North Carolina

By Kirk Ross, Al Jazeera – RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — During the early morning hours of May 2, part of the northbound lane of North Carolina Highway 12 in Kitty Hawk broke off and washed into the Atlantic Ocean. While the loss of 200 feet of roadway and about 500 feet of a protective sand berm will be temporary, it was more than just another hit to the road from a big spring storm at high tide under a full moon. In a state that has been engaged in a highly charged, highly politicized debate about climate change for more than five years, it was a reminder that the Atlantic isn’t waiting to see who wins the argument. It was also a reminder that North Carolina, with its rapidly developing coastline and intricate ecological network of sounds and estuaries, has a lot at stake as sea levels rise. The state has...

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Anti-Immigration Conservatives Hit a New Low

by A. Barton Hinkle – What’s wrong with letting undocumented immigrants serve in the U.S. military? If Cesar Vargas ever becomes a military lawyer, the terrorists will have already won. Or so says Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary contest a little less than a year ago. Brat says people such as Vargas represent nothing less than the decline of Western civilization. Vargas’ parents brought him to the United States from Mexico more than a quarter-century ago, when he was 5. He went to school, then to college, and then to law school, making honor lists along the way. He interned with the New York Supreme Court. When the court considered his application to join the bar, it rated his performance “stellar.” But his status as an unauthorized resident alien got in his way. Vargas aspired to join the military. “This country...

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Drought May Force Californians To Drink Treated ‘Toilet To Tap’ Water (VIDEO)

 By DEBORAH MONTESANO, Addicting Info – Californians are running out of options for water sources, but they have one big one left: wastewater. The technology to turn wastewater into drinking water has been around for years, but in the past, the possibility has been vetoed by people who can’t get past the “yuck factor.” Donald Schultz, an activist from Van Nuys, is an example of how crisis can change attitudes. He told the Los Angeles Times: “You know, toilet to tap might be the only answer at this point. I don’t support it, but we’re running out of options. In fact, we may have already run out of options.” Advocates say that the water that comes out of the treatment process is cleaner than the water currently coming out of taps. As George Tchobanoglous, an expert in water reuse at the University of California, Davis, puts it: “When it comes down to it,...

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Critics Blast ‘Compromises’ as Patriot Act Barrels Toward Sunset

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘The USA Freedom Act alone does fundamentally very little in terms of significantly constraining the ability of the National Security Agency to perform bulk collection of data about anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise.’ With the sunset of key spy powers on the near horizon and lawmakers scrambling to save them, privacy and internet freedom groups are dialing up the pressure on Congress to end mass surveillance as we know it. The Senate will return to Washington, D.C. for a rare session on Sunday, on the heels of a week-long Memorial Day recess. With sections of the Patriot Act barreling toward a 12am June 1 expiration, lawmakers are reportedly scrambling to come up with a last-minute deal to save the law after a series of Senate votes on Friday failed to resolve an impasse. The debate over the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spy powers has some senators pushing...

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Report: Hastert was Paying Man to Keep Quiet About Sexual Abuse Dating from Hastert’s Teaching Days

by David Nir – A new report in the New York Times fills in some important details about former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert’s shocking indictment: J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a man to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of Mr. Hastert on allegations that he made cash withdrawals designed to hide those payments and for lying to federal authorities about the purpose of the withdrawals. The man—who was not identified in court papers—told the F.B.I. that he had been touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said on Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because...

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On This Day, May 30, 1806 – Future President Andrew Jackson Kills Charles Dickinson

On this day in 1806, Revolutionary war veteran and future President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel. Born in the Waxhaws area along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, Andrew Jackson was the last president to be a veteran of the American Revolution and the first president to bring the backcountry values of the Carolinas to the White House. His willingness to not only duel Charles Dickinson, but also to kill him at short range for having printed libelous comments about Jackson, revealed the extent to which he had imbibed the brutality of the Carolinas during the revolution. Born in 1767, Jackson served with the Patriots in the devastatingly brutal battles that characterized the American War for Independence in the Carolinas. His eldest brother died following the Battle of Stono Ferry in 1779. A print depicts a young Jackson, who served as a scout in...

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Corporate Media Accused of Parroting Fear-Mongering over Patriot Act

by Nadia Prupis – With key provisions of the USA Patriot Act nearing a long-awaited expiration date, there remains one last adversary to take down in the fight for privacy rights: the corporate media. The most recent case is the New York Times, which on Thursday quoted several anonymous White House officials who warned that allowing the Patriot Act to sunset is akin to “playing national security Russian roulette” and leaves intelligence agencies in “uncharted waters…fraught with unnecessary risk.” If Congress fails to strike a deal to renew the Patriot Act’s controversial Section 215 by its June 1 deadline, the officials warned that the result would “suspend crucial domestic surveillance authority at a time of mounting terrorism threats.” But as other national security experts note, the Patriot Act is far from a safeguard against terrorism. In an op-ed published last Sunday, ACLU legal deputy director Jameel Jaffer criticized the media’s choice of...

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