ThinkProgress

Paul Ryan Searches for Waste in 16 Anti-Poverty Programs, But Reveals They're Amazingly Efficient

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a 204-page report on Monday analyzing the effectiveness of the nation’s anti-poverty programs 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a national War on Poverty.

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5 Steps Government Officials Are Considering To Deal With The Situation In Ukraine

As a tense situation continued to unfold in Ukraine on Sunday, the major Sunday talk shows brought on Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as other government officials, to discuss whether there should be any U.S. involvement here over Russia’s decision to send troops into the semi-autonomous region of Crimea and, if so, what that could look like.

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California's Water Crisis is Becoming a Beer Crisis

Along with California’s water supplies and public health, the ongoing drought in the state may have yet another victim to claim: beer.

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Ole Miss Fraternity Suspended For Hanging a Noose on Statue of Civil Rights Hero

Three freshmen were expelled from their fraternity at University of Mississippi (popularly known as Ole Miss) Friday for hanging a noose on a statue of James Meredith, a civil rights hero who was the first African American to attend the university. The chapter has also been suspended indefinitely by the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization.

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Jordan Davis’ Mother Says Killing Of Her Unarmed Teen Son Was Racial

The mother of the unarmed teen shot and killed by Michael Dunn after a dispute over loud music responded to the public comments of two jurors this week that race did not play a factor in their deliberations, saying the role of race “cannot be denied.”

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Georgia Bill Would Lead To Guns In Airports, Bars, Churches, Elementary Schools, And Libraries

The Georgia House passed a bill Tuesday to allow guns in places of worship, bars, government buildings without security checkpoints, and even eliminate criminal charges for those who accidentally bring their guns to the airport or other secured buildings where guns are prohibited. The bill, a smorgasbord of new gun rights expansions that safety advocates say may amount to the most aggressive bill yet, also expands gun rights in both public K-12 schools and colleges, and even broadens the state’s expansive Stand Your Ground law.

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Republicans Slam Stimulus On Fifth Anniversary - But Most Took Credit For It Back Home

Monday marks the five-year anniversary of the passage of the American Recovery Act, President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus stimulus package that invested in everything from infrastructure projects to electronic medical health care records and alternative energy sources. Every single Republican in the House and almost every Republican in the Senate — with the exception of Former Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — voted against the measure and today the GOP continues to deride the law as wasteful an ineffective.

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In Debate With Bill Nye 'The Science Guy', Congresswoman Says Carbon Dioxide Pollution is Good for Plants

Attempting to host a productive debate on climate change policy can be hard when one of the people debating said policy does not believe climate change exists. But that is exactly what NBC’s “Meet the Press” attempted to do on Sunday, with host David Gregory moderating arguments between Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ and Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the vice chair of the notoriously anti-climate change House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Activist Allegedly Beaten Into Unconsciousness By Police Faces 7 Years In Prison For Elbowing Cop

Over one weekend in March 2012, police arrested more than 70 Occupy Wall Street activists in a violent altercation in New York City’s Zuccotti Park. Among those arrested was then 23-year-old graduate student Cecily McMillan, who suffered a seizure while allegedly being beaten unconscious by police. On Monday, McMillan will go to court to face up to seven years in prison over felony charges that she assaulted a police officer with her elbow.

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Congresswoman Spends Night In a Shelter To Learn More About Homelessness

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) spent Friday night away from the comforts of her Bay Area home, instead sleeping in cramped quarters at a local homeless shelter to better understand what life is like on the margins.

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10 Sports Stories To Watch At The Sochi Olympics

The Sochi Winter Olympics officially open Friday, and while much of the focus before the Games has trained on the cost, corruption, an anti-gay law, safety issues, and Russia’s general unpreparedness, there will be plenty of stories to watch that involve actual Olympic sports too.

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You Got Sick! AOL Slashes 401K Benefits And Blames Two Women Who Gave Birth To Sick Babies

AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong blamed the babies of two employees for increasing the company’s benefit costs on Thursday, explaining in a conference call that AOL had to pay millions out in medical bills and alter its entire benefits package. The remarks came just hours after the company announced changes to its 401(k) plans and complained that Obamacare has increased costs by $7.1 million.

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Obamacare Allows People To Stop Working And Boosts Wages, Congress's Top Budget Expert Says

It would be perfectly understandable if you are confused about the latest news swirling around the Affordable Care Act.

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National Abortion Rate Sees Huge Drop As More Women Are Using Birth Control

Between 2008 and 2011, the national abortion rate declined by 13 percent, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute that will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health journal. That puts 2011′s abortion rate at 16.9 abortions per every 1,000 women of reproductive age, the lowest rate recorded since Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure in 1973.

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Obama Calls Out Fox News: ‘You and Your TV Station’ Keep Scandals Alive

Before kickoff of NFL Super Bowl XLVIII, President Obama sat down with Bill O’Reilly. The longtime Fox News host and conservative firebrand focused on his network’s favorite anti-Obama topics, including the botched roll-out of Obamacare’s website, the attack at the consulate in Benghazi, and the questionable IRS investigation of some Republican-leaning organizations. And while Obama was for the most part cordial in the charged but measured interview, he pushed back for one moment against O’Reilly when asked about the Cincinatti IRS’s improper investigation of some conservative groups:

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Can One State Wipe Out Sexism At Work In One Fell Swoop?

On Thursday, Minnesota state lawmakers unveiled the “Women’s Economic Security Act of 2014,” a legislative package “designed to break down barriers to economic progress facing women – and all Minnesotans,” according to the release. Among the pieces of the package are paid sick leave, a raise in the minimum wage to $9.50, and expanding access to high-quality, affordable childcare.

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Utah School Threw Out Students’ Lunches Because They Were In Debt

A Utah school’s child nutrition manager threw out the lunches of about 40 elementary school students this week after the kids’ parents fell behind on payment.

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6 Ways Income Inequality Is Making Your Life Worse

President Barack Obama will focus on what he has described as "the defining challenge of our time” during the State of the Union address on Tuesday: the nation’s growing gap between the rich and poor. What economists saw as a temporary aberration in the early 1970s — the first time since the end of World War II when the incomes of lower- and middle-income Americans failed to keep pace with those of the rich — has in the intervening 40 years become a full-blown crisis.

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Another 'Marlboro Man' Dies from Smoking-Related Disease

Eric Lawson, the actor who portrayed the “Marlboro Man” in the iconic 1970s cigarette ads, has passed away at the age of 72. He died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — a disease that makes it progressively more difficult to breathe over time — which is primarily caused by cigarette smoking.

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TransCanada Pipeline Explosion Shuts Off Gas For 4,000 Residents In Sub-Zero Temperatures

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

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Immigrants Get Deported for Far Less Than Justin Bieber Did

Canadian pop star sensation Justin Bieber was arrested late Wednesday night on charges of drag racing in a rented Lamborghini and driving under the influence (DUI) in Miami, Florida. At the time that he failed his sobriety test, Bieber was “incoherent, had his hands in his pocket and resisted arrest without violence,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez in an interview with the Miami Herald. Bieber also told Martinez that he had smoked marijuana and consumed prescription medication, according to CNN.

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PA Man Confronts Governor For Refusing To Expand Medicaid: ‘How Many People Have To Die?’

This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) had a run-in with one of his constituents as he was leaving a fundraising event. Scot Rosenzweig — who identified himself as a fellow Republican — showed Corbett a large photograph of his fiancee, Dina Nelson, who died at the age of 41 because she was uninsured and couldn’t afford a liver transplant. “I think maybe we should consider accepting the Medicaid expansion,” Rosenzweig told his governor, explaining that people like Nelson need access to lifesaving health treatment.

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The Myth of the Absent Black Father

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published new data on the role that American fathers play in parenting their children. Most of the CDC’s previous research on family life — which the agency explores as an important contributor to public health and child development — has focused exclusively on mothers. But the latest data finds that the stereotypical gender imbalance in this area doesn’t hold true, and dads are just as hands-on when it comes to raising their kids.

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Republican Senate Candidate Suggests Teachers Should be Able to Carry Machine Guns in School

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R), who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the GOP primary, said on Friday that school teachers should be able to carry machine guns to protect students from gun violence.

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4 Ways Martin Luther King Was More Radical Than You Thought

[Editor's Note: This story was first published on AlterNet in 2014. We are rerunning it for the Martin Luther King holiday as its message is evergreen, and perhaps more relevant now than ever.]

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Chemical-Related Hospital Admissions in West Virginia Have Doubled Since Drinking Water Deemed Safe

It took nearly five days after a major chemical spill in West Virginia for residents to receive the go-ahead to start using their water again.

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Requiring an ID to Eat?! The Right-Wing's Next Crazy Plot Against Low-Income Americans

Food stamp recipients will have their grocery store humiliation compounded by having to show a photo ID in order to buy food if Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) gets his way.

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New Hampshire House Becomes First Legislative Body to Pass Bill Legalizing Recreational Pot

The New Hampshire House became the first legislative body Wednesday to pass a billlegalizing recreational marijuana. The bill is modeled on the laws passed by ballot initiative in Washington and Colorado, and would legalize up to an ounce of possession, tax and regulate distribution, and allow individuals to grow up to six plants.

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Inventor of World’s Most Popular Assault Rifle Felt Responsible for Millions of Gun Deaths

Mikhail Kalashnikov spent much of his life defending his most famous invention, the AK-47 assault rifle. But a newly released letter suggests the creator of the world’s most popular firearm felt some qualms later in life about the millions of deaths caused by his invention.

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