- Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Hobby Lobby, Inc., Converts:
- 326,000 initial claims made for unemployment compensation: For the week ending March 29, seasonally adjusted initial claims were 326,000, up 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 310,000. For the comparable week of 2013, 375,000 people made initial claims. The four-week moving average that flattens volatility was 319,500, an increase of 250 from the previous week. For the week ending March 15, the total number of people making compensation claims was 3,201,504, down 105,367 from the previous week. For the comparable week of 2013, there were 5,279,851 persons claiming benefits. Nearly all of that decrease occurred because of the failure of the Republicans to renew the federal emergency unemployment compensation program in December.
- Sen. Al Franken seeks apology for rotten century-old law:
In the early part of the last century, during the rush of European immigration to the United States, Congress stripped citizenship from any American woman who married a foreigner. The little-known Expatriation Act of 1907 stayed on the books until 1940, so even after women won the right to vote in 1920, those who were married to a non-American could not exercise that newfound right.
Franken would like the Senate to offer, through legislation, its sympathy and regret for passing a law “incompatible with and antithetical to the core principle that all persons, regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity, are created equal.”
- Look how stupid childhood gender roles look when imposed on adults.
- GOP drops Columbus and Phoenix from 2016 convention possibilities:
The Republican National Committee has dropped Columbus, Ohio, and Phoenix, Arizona, from its list of potential 2016 convention cities, leaving just six contenders in the mix.
The committee announced Wednesday that Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas have all advanced to the next round.
- U.S. government secretly built "Cuban" Twitter site: The operation was put together with shell companies and money from foreign banks. The idea of the site, which—over two years—gained tens of thousands of subscribers, was to push dissent.
Yet its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes.USAID has long claimed that it does not run covert operations. That this proves it actually does could undermine what is supposed to be its main mission, providing economic aid and programs for the poor overseas.
It is unclear whether the scheme was legal under U.S. law, which requires written authorization of covert action by the president and congressional notification. Officials at USAID would not say who had approved the program or whether the White House was aware of it. The Cuban government declined a request for comment.
- 92-year-old arrested for civil disobedience in coal protest. Bill Ryan, a World War II veteran, was taken away in handcuffs for a protest of a proposed coal ine that will destroy a piece of Australia’s Leard State Forest. Afterward, he wrote an essay about it in The Guardian.
What concerns me is that this coal will eventually be burnt and produce carbon dioxide, and add to the global warming we’re experiencing, which scientists say will only get worse. They also say we need to keep 80% of the coal in the ground, otherwise it will be a catastrophe for global warming. The use of fossil fuels must give way to renewable energy. [...]
I’ve only got a few years left, but I feel in my conscience that I have to take this stand … I was willing to put my life on the line in the second world war, so putting my body on the line here is a small inconvenience.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Ft. Hood is hit again, and the "too soon" meme starts anew. Greg Dworkin asks questions about McCutcheon, and rounds up the ACA news. MoJo puts an eye on celebs who take big checks to perform for dictators.
- The lack of prison time for du Pont heir Robert Richards IV in the rape of his three-year-old daughter teaches our society that if you're wealthy the law doesn't apply to you. Good job, America. Also on today's show, we discuss World Autism Awareness Day, OKCupid urging a boycott of Mozilla because of the CEO's gay marriage views, and how Mississippi is taking a page from Arizona's crappy playbook.
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