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John Hickenlooper Has a Curious Connection to a Trump Cabinet Secretary

John Hickenlooper Has a Curious Connection to a Trump Cabinet SecretaryFormer Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s ties to the oil and gas industry run deep, especially when compared to those of other candidates in the unwieldy 2020 Democratic field. In some ways, given that Hickenlooper served two terms in the fifth-largest oil-and-gas-producing state, these connections are not surprising. But what may be less apparent is that his government service also intersected with David Bernhardt, the new secretary of the interior responsible for opening public lands to industry development. Hickenlooper has also often ended up aligned with Bernhardt’s former law and lobbying firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, on matters regarding fracking, the use of public lands, and support for the oil and gas industry over the interests of consumers. Any governor of Colorado, no matter what party, would inevitably come into contact with the firm, which represents dozens of clients across the…

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The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests Is Unnecessary

The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests Is UnnecessaryOperation Varsity Blues was full of salacious accusations detailing how wealthy parents allegedly cheated to get their kids into elite schools through hefty bribes and outright lies. But one particular deceit orchestrated by William Singer, the college-consultant fixer at the center of the scam, drew the ire of the disabilities-rights community: the abuse of extended-time accommodations on standardized tests. “All the wealthy families that figured out that if I get my kid tested and they get extended time, they can do better on the test,” he allegedly told one parent. “So most of these kids don’t even have issues, but they’re getting time.”Time extension is just one of several accommodations that students can apply for when registering for standardized tests—including the SAT, the ACT, the MCAT, and the LSAT—as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The alternative arrangements run the gamut from…

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Everyone in the World Wants to Fix Facebook. Here’s Why No One Can.

Everyone in the World Wants to Fix Facebook. Here’s Why No One Can.While the US holds congressional hearings to listen to tech giants explain they want to do better, other countries are passing and promising new laws that aim to take action against the virulent spread of disinformation, violence, and hate speech. Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May unrolled a proposal that outlines new regulations for social media companies, holding them responsible for a “duty of care“—which includes strict penalties if hate speech is not policed. “The era of social media firms regulating themselves is over,” she says in a video on Twitter. May is not alone in her efforts. Australia passed a law that outlaws “abhorrent violent material” on social media in the wake of the massacre at Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 50 people dead at the hands of a gunman who livestreamed his rampage.  Canada is “actively” considering content moderation. Singapore plans to…

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Mitch McConnell Is Single-Handedly Destroying the Senate

Mitch McConnell Is Single-Handedly Destroying the SenateCongress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want. America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the worlds greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog. Recently McConnell used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges. In truth, McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about partisan wins. On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president.” Between 2009 and 2013,…

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Once Upon a Crime

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Once Upon a CrimeWhat We’re Following TodayIt’s Thursday, April 11. ‣ A U.S. federal court unveiled an indictment charging the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with conspiring in 2010 with the former U.S. Army analyst Chelsea Manning to illegally obtain secret U.S. intelligence. Earlier today, British police arrested Assange in response to the United States’ extradition request.‣ Federal prosecutors charged Gregory Craig, the former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, with making false statements to federal officials about his work on behalf of the Ukrainian government. The case is linked to work from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.‣ Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for Stormy Daniels, was indicted on 36 counts—ranging from fraud to identity theft—by federal prosecutors in California.Here’s what else we’re watching:President Pete?: Every election cycle has its flukes. Some pundits say Pete Buttigieg, the gay, Christian, 37-year-old mayor of South Bend,…

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The Assange Exception to the First Amendment

The Assange Exception to the First AmendmentThe debate about whether Julian Assange should be considered a journalist, reignited by the WikiLeaks founder’s arrest in London last week, gives employees of news and opinion outlets ample opportunity to display their high self-regard and contempt for amateurs who fall short of their lofty standards. But the question is constitutionally irrelevant, because freedom of the press belongs to all of us, no matter where we work or what the journalistic establishment thinks of us. The same goes for the limits to freedom of the press. The right to use media of mass communication does not give a journalist, no matter how public-spirited or well-respected, permission to burglarize someone’s home or office in search of newsworthy information. On its face, the federal indictment of Assange, which was drawn up in March 2018 and unsealed last Thursday, charges him with a crime akin to burglary:…

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