TRP: 56 Senators Back New Keystone XL Bill

May 1, 2014, 3:02 pm EST

TransCanada Corp’s (TRP) Keystone XL bill might come into fruition after all.

Republican Senator John Hoeven reintroduced legislation that could bring the Keystone XL pipeline back to Congress on Thursday. Hoeven claims that he has 55 co-sponsors for a bill that would put the fate of the pipeline in the hands of Congress.

The bill has been backed by union supporters who believe that the Keystone XL bill would create thousands of construction jobs. However, environmentalists believe that the pipeline would hurt the environment by emitting gases linked to climate change. Read 

Redskins Name Change: Harry Reid Calls Team Name ‘Racist’

May 1, 2014, 9:29 am EST

Taking note of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) quick response to derogatory remarks against African Americans made by Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the National Football League (NFL) should take a similar stand against the name of the Washington Redskins, which some native Americans find offensive. Source: Wikipedia

In remarks made on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid said that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had “Set the standard for how professional sports associations should act in the face of racism” when dealing with Sterling. The Nevada Democrat then wondered: “How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero, as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?” USA TODAY notes.

Efforts to force a Redskins name change have so far failed to persuade team owner Daniel Snyder to adopt a new team name. Snyder has argued that the Redskins name is a tradition. Harry Reid sneered at the idea. “Tradition? What tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake,” the senator said. Read 

NY Congressman Michael Grimm Arrested by FBI

Apr 28, 2014, 12:30 pm EST

On Monday, Michael Grimm, a Republican congressman from New York, surrendered to FBI agents as federal prosecutors unsealed a 20-count indictment against him. Source: Wikipedia

Michael Grimm, who represents New York’s Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, is expected to be arraigned later in the day on conspiracy, obstruction, mail fraud and perjury charges at a federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors accuse Michael Grimm of hiding more than $1 million in gross receipts at his Healthalicious restaurant from federal and state taxes, USA TODAY notes.

A former FBI agent, Michael Grimm was denounced by George Venizelos, the FBI’s New York field office assistant director, who said, “He cheated, evaded and then lied.” Read 

U.S. Postal Workers Protest Staples-Post Office Partnership

Apr 25, 2014, 9:46 am EST

U.S. postal workers protested at 50 Staples (SPLS) locations over a partnership between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the retailer.

The partnership between the USPS and Staples has post office stores opening inside around 80 of the retail chain’s locations. The program lets people buy stamps, send packages and use Priority and certified mail all from inside a Staples store. Hundreds of postal workers turned out to protest these new locations, reports Salt Lake Tribune.

The issue that postal workers have with the Staples and USPS partnership is that the in-store post offices aren’t manned by postal employees. Instead, the deal has Staples employees manning the counters. Postal unions claim that this is the first step to taking away jobs from trained postal employees and privatizing mail, Salt Lake Tribune notes. Read 

Say What? IRS Gives Bonuses to Disciplined Employees

Apr 23, 2014, 12:03 pm EST

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave $1.1 million in bonuses to employees with back taxes.

According to an inspector general’s report, the IRS gave out the $1.1 million in bonuses in a two-year period to over 1,100 employees that owed back taxes. These same employees also received pay increases at a faster rate than what is normal and 10,000 hours of additional time off, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The 1,100 employees that owed back taxes were part of a group of 2,800 IRS employees that were disciplined and then received bonuses not even a year later. The inspector general that filed the report has advised the IRS to make a policy change that would affect how bonuses are handed out to employees that have back taxes, L.A. Times notes. Read 

Obamacare Enrollment Hits 8 Million

Apr 18, 2014, 9:57 am EST

With Obamacare enrollment now at 8 million, President Barack Obama said the partisan debate over the controversial healthcare law should finally come to a close.

The Obama administration’s original target for health coverage on the government-run exchanges was 7 million enrollees — for the first year of the mandate for individuals to carry insurance.

The Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by the GOP — has produced the largest increase in healthcare coverage that the United States has seen since Medicare and Medicaid were rolled out. Read 

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