All Around American Hero John Glenn has Died at the Age of 95

by Jen Hayden – The U.S. has lost one of our greatest pioneers and heroes. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting former Ohio Senator John Glenn has passed away: An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives. He was 95 years old and his life was legendary: Glenn lived a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! life. As a Marine Corps pilot, he broke the transcontinental flight speed record before being the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 and, 36 years later at age 77 in 1998, becoming the oldest man in space as a member of the seven-astronaut crew of the shuttle Discovery. He made that flight in his 24th and final year in the U.S....

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A Big, Unexpected Crack Just Formed In The GOP’s Wall Of Opposition To Merrick Garland

by IAN MILLHISER – A conservative Republican senator from one of the reddest states in the country just broke with his party’s extraordinary resistance to Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. Just hours after news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death became public, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that he would refuse to confirm anyone nominated by President Obama. He later suggested that he may try to hold the seat open even after the next president is elected. Since then, Senate Republican leadership says that they won’t give Garland a confirmation hearing. Many senators refuse to even meet with the longtime judge. To date, the White House and its allies have concentrated much of their efforts seeking to break this wall of resistance on relatively moderate Republicans, such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), or on senators in difficult reelection fights, such as Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). Thus far, they’ve...

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Meet The INCREDIBLY Racist GOP Senator That Just Endorsed Trump (VIDEO)

by Oliver Willis – After failing to denounce or renounce an endorsement from the Ku Klux Klan, Donald Trump topped off his Sunday with the announcement of an endorsement from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama). Sessions said he would be backing Trump thanks to his harsh anti-immigration policies. “You have asked for 30 years, and politicians have promised for 30 years, to fix illegal immigration,” said Mr. Sessions at the rally, held at an outdoor stadium filled with thousands of Trump supporters. “We have an opportunity Tuesday—it may be the last opportunity we have—for the people’s voice to be heard.” He concluded, “I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States.” But Senator Sessions has a history of alleged racial insensitivity that fits right in with Trump’s white supremacist campaign. In 1986 Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship, but the nomination failed after allegations of racial...

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Senator Wants Names of Red Cross Officials Who Didn’t Cooperate With Government Inquiry

by Justin Elliott – Sen. Charles Grassley is demanding more information about the American Red Cross and its “apparent unwillingness to fully cooperate” with a government investigation into its disaster relief work. Grassley asked the head of the Government Accountability Office for a list of material the Red Cross refused to provide to investigators, as well as the names of officials who didn’t cooperate and any communications in which the charity explained why it was not cooperating. “The lack of transparency is cause for concern as the Red Cross is a federal instrumentality created by Congressional charter and receives millions of dollars every year from donors across the country,” Grassley, an Iowa Republican, wrote in a letter today to the head of the GAO. The GAO report, released last month, explored the Red Cross’ government mandated role in responding to disasters. It found that there is no regular oversight of the...

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GOP’s New Foreign Policy Hero Is a Surveillance-Loving Interventionist Nightmare

Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton wants to invade Iran and Syria, jail journalists and whistleblowers, eavesdrop on Americans, and keep the ‘savages’ locked up in Gitmo by Matt Welch – He’s “the star of the 2014 Senate class,” proclaims The Washington Post. A “conservative superstar,” deems The Atlantic. The “leading GOP national security hawk,” says The Washington Post again. Even a “dark horse” 2016 candidate for president, says The New Republic. So just who exactly is the new letter-writing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, and what does his prominence say about the contemporary GOP? Beyond being a Harvard-educated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s biggest new political protégé, and also a target of sustained affection from National Review, Cotton is a politician who has already taken plenty of policy positions. Among them: * That the U.S. should pre-emptively invade Iran, topple the mullahs, and ensure “replacement...

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GOP Senator’s Crazed Guantanamo Bay Rant Ends In World’s Most Awkward Silence (VIDEO)

by  KERRY-ANNE – Republican Senator Tom Cotton has made his name by flinging outlandish claims at the Obama administration in the cause of extending and expanding the bogus ‘war on terror’ – but when he harangued Pentagon officials about the ‘empty beds’ in Guantanamo Bay this week, things got awkward. After John McCain withdrew his long-term support for President Obama’s plans to close the extra-judicial site, Cotton joins a group of Republicans flinging mud at the decision.  Using jingoistic language almost entirely free of fact, Cotton tore into Pentagon Officials at Congress this week in efforts to make a name for himself as a right-wing firebrand. His argument? There were terrorists before Guantanamo Bay, therefore arguments that the site acts as a recruiting sergeant for terrorists is false and we should keep it open.  His words: COTTON: Islamic terrorists don’t need an excuse to attack the United States. They don’t...

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Edward Brooke, First Elected Black US Senator, Dies at 95

The Republican from Massachusetts was elected to the Senate in 1966 by Common Dreams staff – Edward Brooke, the Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American U.S. Senator ever to be elected by the popular vote, died on Saturday at the age of 95. Ralph Neas, a former aide, confirmed that Brooke died of natural causes at his home in Coral Gables, Florida, with his family by his side. Brooke was serving as Attorney General of Massachusetts when he was elected to the Senate in 1966, winning as a Republican in a Democratic state—and as a black man in a country consumed by racial unrest. He was one of only nine black Senators in the history of the United States, including President Barack Obama. The Guardian reports: A Republican in a largely Democratic state, Brooke was one of Massachusetts’ most popular political figures during most of his 12 years in the...

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