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Christopher Williams believes that one little box changed the trajectory of his life.

Williams has been to prison more than once. When he was inside, he tried to prepare himself for the outside, for a chance to move on from the thing for which he’d done his time, by participating in job training programs and GED classes. But when he got out, that box — the box on job applications that asks if the applicant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime — stopped him in his tracks.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Friday acknowledged that Congress will not grant President Obama fast-track trade promotion authority, which analysts say is critical to the president’s hopes to forge huge trade deals with Asia and Europe.

When besieged residents, already choked by toxic coal dust, face off with Peabody Energy officials on Feb. 18, in Harrisburg, at an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) hearing for a five-year strip mine expansion permit, more than 1,019 paltry acres will be at stake.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 03:20

Michael Sam stands tall

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“I’m a football player, and I’m gay.” With those words, Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end from the University of Missouri, demonstrated courage far beyond that demanded on the football field. And America may, for the first time, witness an openly gay man playing professional football.

Date on which a break in a stormwater pipe beneath a coal ash disposal pit at a shuttered Duke Energy power plant near Eden, N.C. contaminated the Dan River with toxic coal ash: 2/2/2014

Estimated tons of coal ash -- which contains toxins including arsenic, lead, mercury,  and radioactive elements -- that were released to the river: 50,000 to 82,000

Number of Olympic-size swimming pools that amount of coal ash would fill: 20 to 32

Monday, 10 February 2014 21:00

Nevada will be key battleground on voter ID

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Four years ago, Sharron Angle gave to Democrats the greatest gift they could have asked for in the campaign, assuring through her nomination that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be re-elected.

Now, Angle is about to prove that she is the gift that keeps on giving. Or so some opponents of voter ID would hope as Nevada, inevitably, becomes a focal point of the national, partisan battle over voter suppression laws.

I started a chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America in Springfield a few years ago. Since then our chapter has grown to include the Greater Springfield Area. At an event last fall in front of U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin’s office we had 75 folks attend from various unions and organizations, many of them traveling from Normal, Bloomington, Peoria, Jacksonville, Morrisonville and Champaign.

Congressman Keith Ellison(D-MN, 5th District) / Author of the new book, My Country 'Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future joins Thom Hartmann.

The two-year-plus political drama is nearing its climax.

On Monday night, thousands rallied across the country against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline—the latest show of strength for an environmental movement that’s reaching the home stretch after more than two years of successfully delaying the project. The next three months will determine whether the Keystone project is greenlit or killed.

As I boarded my plane from Los Angeles to the Bay Area the other week, I did a double take when I walked by a guy that looked an awful lot like California Governor Jerry Brown. Turns out it was him, which is ironic since earlier that week I had been following the governor around Los Angeles berating him for his support of fracking.

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