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  1. #76
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    Free Speech Restrictions Leave Federal Workers Anxious About Challenging Trump


    Recent internal memos on how and when federal employees can speak their minds has left those frustrated by President Trump in murky waters, according to advocates.

    For climate scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or rogue members of the National Park Service, this uncertainty around their ability to speak without fear of reprisal is causing confusion and despair as the Trump administration assumes control and attempts to assert its version of the facts,

    you have a chief executive who is somewhat thin-skinned, and that may trickle down through his appointees," who could punish employees for actions perceived as dissent.

    "level of mutual mistrust" between civil servants who staff federal agencies as nonpartisan workers and President Trump, who promised on the campaign trail to gut agencies like the EPA, and announced a hiring freeze for many agencies shortly after taking office.

    "The hiring freeze was not an economic measure but an effort to drain the swamp, as if [federal employees] are a malignant force and, if you can bleed them off, then government will be better," Ruch said. "And a lot of this could be offensive to some of these career civil servants."


    "Federal employees who depart from the official talking points enter murky waters," Ruch said. "Unlike White House staff, who are merely counseled about clear ethics violations, public employees trying to educate the public about the consequences of Trump initiatives may be targeted for discipline or removal."

    "Sean er said, 'Get with the program or get out',"

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39469-free-speech-restrictions-leave-federal-workers-anxious-about-challenging-trump

    Congress may not be able to fire someone easily and quickly, but they reduce their salary to $1.



  2. #77
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    Congress's New Bill Could Stop You From Getting Emergency Contraception

    This month the House introduced The Conscience Protection Act, a bill which is meant to add additional protection for those who religiously object to abortion and birth control by allowing them to file civil suits against those they believe are "discriminating" against them by punishing them when they do not offer care.

    "The Conscience Protection Act would protect health care providers from federal, state, and local abortion mandates if they conscientiously object to assisting with abortions,"
    explains CNA News. "It would also protect religious employers from having to cover elective abortions in their health plans, and establishes a 'right of action' for all entities if they believe their religious beliefs on the matter are violated."

    the Conscience Protection Act will 'enable health care professionals and organizations to serve by their core convictions without coercion,'

    things can get really scary.

    For sexual assault survivors who go to a hospital for a rape kit, finding out that the medical practitioner in charge -- or even the entire hospital itself -- refuses to offer emergency contraception means that the risk for pregnancy will increase dramatically, since the medicine needs to be taken within days to be most effective.

    And yes, hospitals will deny the medicine, even to those who have been raped.

    A new report from Wisconsin uncovered that 22 hospitals were not giving emergency contraception information and medication to those who came in reporting sexual assault.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3...-contraception

    Rape is God's gift of love to you, darlin'



  3. #78
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    FCC Commissioner Thinks Ultra-Fast Broadband Just a 'Novelty'


    One of the hallmarks of Tom Wheeler's FCC was a renewed focus on competition at higher broadband speeds. It's one of the reasons the last FCC bumped the standard definition of broadband from a measly 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up, to 25 Mbps down, and 3 Mbps up.

    large broadband providers (and the politicians paid to love them) quickly threw a hissy fit, insisting that nobody really needs that much bandwidth. This idea that you don't really need faster speeds falls in line with the industry's (and again, many politicians') ongoing refusal to acknowledge that the broadband market isn't all that competitive. After all, if you admit there's a problem, then you've admitted that somebody may just have to fix it.

    FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly is squarely on the side of industry on this subject, having voted down the FCC's higher 25 Mbps benchmark. Even though 25 Mbps is a far from radical benchmark, and 3 Mbps upstream remains a bit of a joke, O'Rielly's dissent (pdf), made his disdain for faster speeds (and the technologies that will use them) abundantly clear:

    "To justify setting the new benchmark at 25/3, as opposed to the current 4/1 or even 10/1 as several commenters suggested, the Report notes that 4K TV requires 25 Mbps. But 4K TV is still relatively new and is not expected to be widely adopted for years to come. While the statute directs us to look at “advanced” telecommunications capability, this stretches the concept to an untenable extreme. Some people, for example, believe, probably incorrectly, that we are on the path to interplanetary teleportation. Should we include the estimated bandwidth for that as well? "

    Chortle! Guffaw! Of course 4K is here now, the streaming of which is already being hamstrung by ISP usage caps, even on ultra-fast connections. Now on the agency's majority, O'Rielly last week again proclaimed that the sector really needs to stop focusing on this whole ultra-fast broadband thing, since faster speeds are really just a novelty:


    "The outcry for things like ultrahigh-speed service in certain areas means longer waits for those who have no access or still rely on dialup service, as providers rush to serve the denser and more profitable areas that seek upgrades to this level,” O’Rielly said. “Today, ultrafast residential service is a novelty and good for marketing, but the tiny percentage of people using it cannot drive our policy decisions."

    Of course, that's not really true.


    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...-novelty.shtml

    So thank to the Repug FCC, Americans can't have really high-speed internet at reasonable prices, as exists in other countries, because the network companies want to pocket the profits rather than invest.



  4. #79
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    GOP-dominated state legislatures are back in session — working hard to take away women’s rights

    From coast to coast, Republican state legislators go on the attack against women's rights and needs

    http://www.salon.com/2017/02/14/gop-...womens-rights/

    Christian Sharia, as misogynist as Muslim Sharia



  5. #80
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    Federal disaster budget on the chopping block

    The proposal to cut disaster aid was part of a lengthy report released last year by the Heritage Foundation.

    Dubbed a Blueprint for Balance, the document argued that the federal government can save $10.5 trillion over the next decade by slashing funds for some programs and eliminating others. [...]

    The Heritage Foundation is extremely influential in the world of conservative politics, and the Trump administration appears ready to lean on the think tank for policy ideas.

    Donald Trump'stransition team was stacked with advisers from Heritage, and the organization helped the president compile a list of potential Supreme Court picks.

    The Hill reported in January that a series of massive budget cuts being considered by the Trump administration "hew closely" to the Heritage budget blueprint.

    Emergency or disaster declarations by a president currently prompt FEMA to help locales rebuild and provide immediate public health relief for up 75 percent of the costs.

    But if the Heritage budget is implemented, state and local governments would have to pony up 75 percent of the costs, up to $5 billion.

    If the cost of an individual disaster tops $5 billion, the federal government's share would gradually increase, reaching 75 percent only if the damage exceeds $20 billion.

    The proposal would also completely eliminate FEMA's fire grants, which subsidize local fire departments.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/0...28Daily+Kos%29

    VCRC stink tank degrading America.

  6. #81
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    Senate Votes To Block Rule Stopping Mentally Ill People From Buying Guns

    The Republican-led Senate has voted to block an Obama-era regulation that would prevent an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm.

    The 57 to 43 vote to revoke the regulation now sends the measure to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

    The Obama administration rule strengthened the federal background check system by requiring the Social Security Administration to include the names of beneficiaries with mental impairments who also have a third party to manage their benefits.


    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/se...+%28TPMNews%29



  7. #82
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    New Oklahoma Bill: Men Must Give Permission For Abortions

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/oklahoma...for-abortions/

    Repugs and Christian Taliban really degrade and HATE women


  8. #83
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    An Extreme Right-Winger for Trump’s Budget Head

    Mulvaney, a steely-eyed tea partier from South Carolina, was first elected to Congress in 2010. He co-founded the extremist “Freedom Caucus” that forced Republican House Speaker John Boehner from power and has pressured his successor, Paul Ryan, to adopt even more conservative positions.

    (Both Boehner and Ryan were well to the right of mainstream opinion on economic issues, according to polls — but that wasn’t enough for Mulvaney.)


    The “Cut, Cap and Balance” Act Mulvaney supported in 2011 was, at its heart, an attempt to limit government’s role in American life. Its provisions would have forced reductions in everything from antipoverty programs to public safety and the national defense.


    Medicare is also in Mulvaney’s sights. He once said, “We have to end Medicare as we know it.”


    Mulvaney supports means-testing Medicare benefits, a costly move that would save very little money unless the cutoff for eligibility was lowered to include a significant number of middle-class recipients.

    Mulvaney hasn’t been trying to get millionaires to pay their fair share for Social Security.

    Instead,
    he’s been busy trying to cut benefits for everyone else, saying, “You have to raise the retirement age, lower a pay-out, change the reimbursement system.”

    Mulvaney supports raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 (it’s already scheduled to rise to 67 from 65), a position he reiterated in his recent Senate testimony.


    Financial Illiteracy

    As OMB Director, it would be Mulvaney’s responsibility to explain the financial implications of budget choices to the president. That makes Mulvaney’s habit of describing Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” especially disturbing. It reveals a basic lack of financial literacy.


    The term “Ponzi scheme” has a clear definition, one that bears no relationship to social insurance programs like Social Security.

    Mulvaney’s insistence on using the term “also reveals a deep hostility to Social Security, which should worry every American.


    Mulvaney also said “we will never, ever balance the budget until we change entitlements.” (“Entitlements” is a preferred Republican term for Medicare and Social Security, presumably because it subtly conveys a sense of unearned privilege. More on that subject here.)


    This statement also betrays a certain lack of fiscal knowledge, since Social Security is forbidden by law from contributing to federal deficits.


    Tough on Seniors, Even Tougher on Senior Women


    Social Security benefits are low by international standards, which means that the benefit cuts Mulvaney backs would be a blow for many of the seniors, disabled, and children who receive its benefits.


    Social Security currently pays an average of $17,106 to men, and $13,150 to women, over the age of 65. Benefit cuts, especially when combined with cuts to Medicare, would hit seniors hard. They would be especially hard on women, since they already receive less in benefits than men.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/20...d-millionaires

    Just another way Trash is disavowing his campaign promise not to touch Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.

    Repugs will ALL THEM UP, screwing Americans.



  9. #84
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    New Oklahoma Bill: Men Must Give Permission For Abortions

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/oklahoma...for-abortions/

    Repugs and Christian Taliban really degrade and HATE women

    Stands to reason. It's "our" beating heart just as much as it's the woman's.

  10. #85
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    Stands to reason. It's "our" beating heart just as much as it's the woman's.
    Where is the OK bill to force men, under pain of imprisonment, to pay for the kid until the kid is 18?

  11. #86
    notthewordsofonewhokneels Thread's Avatar
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    Where is the OK bill to force men, under pain of imprisonment, to pay for the kid until the kid is 18?
    At least I'm off your (to ignore list).

  12. #87
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    EPA knows Pruitt is gonna up the EPA real bad

    The EPA posted a backup of its website dated just before inauguration day

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-russ...cad#.n803i5dr1




  13. #88
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    Republicans Are About to Nuke the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules

    It’s part of a broad GOP effort to roll back regulations across the US economy.

    Republicans in Congress are preparing to blow up federal rules protecting consumers from broadband privacy abuses, and there's virtually nothing Democrats can do to stop them.

    Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican, plans to use a rare legislative vehicle called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to roll back the Federal Communications Commission's broadband privacy regulations, he told Politico on Wednesday.

    The CRA allows Congress to nullify recent regulations with a simple majority vote, and Flake has reportedly lined up at least 12 co-sponsors. Importantly, the CRA process would block the FCC from issuing "substantially similar" regulations in the future. In other words, forget about FCC broadband privacy protections for the foreseeable future.


    Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican who has received colossal sums of campaign cash from the telecom industry, is reportedly taking the lead on the privacy roll-back in the House. Blackburn was recently tapped to lead a key Congressional subcommittee with broad jurisdiction over cable, phone, and internet issues.


    The Republican effort is part of a comprehensive campaign to dismantle regulatory safeguards across broad swaths of the US economy, including rules protecting the environment, internet freedom, and consumer safety and labor rights.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...-privacy-rules

    C R A P I F I C A T I O N, indeed.




  14. #89
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    Congressman looks forward to his armed militia pals attending town hall to counter women protesters



    Fresh from introducing a bill to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency, Congressman Matt Gaetz is headed home to northern Florida during recess week. He plans to hold two town hall constituent events, as is tradition during recess week.

    The local Democratic Women’s Club is planning to attend his lunchtime visit to Grover T's BBQ for Gaetz's open forum.

    Gaetz says all are welcome, but he and his friends are clearly trying to intimidate the constituents who just want an open dialogue with their elected representative. Earlier in the week Gaetz tweeted this:


    Guess he thinks those tough bikers are going to protect him from all the mothers and grandmothers

    coming to have a word with him about the environment, civil rights, and the Affordable Care Act.

    A Florida militia leader, Geoff Ross, put out a call that is clearly meant to threaten and/or intimidate the women who may show up.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/0...28Daily+Kos%29



  15. #90
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    Michael Savage: Armed Militia Members Should Rally Outside Schumer’s House

    On Wednesday, radio host Michael Savage dedicated his program to attacking Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

    Savage blamed Schumer for the resignation of Mike Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser who stepped down this week after it became clear that he misled administration officials about his conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/michael-savage-armed-militia-members-should-rally-outside-schumers-house/

    ... and if he were an imam telling Muslims to arm and gather outside of McConnell's house?


  16. #91
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    Lethal injection drugs are scarce. Arizona wants its death row inmates to bring their own.

    Now Arizona has responded with a new — and some say bizarre — solution to this quandary:

    Death row inmates can bring their own execution drugs.


    The state’s manual for execution procedures, which was revised last month, says attorneys of death row inmates, or others acting on their behalf, can obtain pentobarbital or sodium Pentothal and give them to the state to ensure a smooth execution.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.aeaa4fe81c35



  17. #92
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    Republicans Vote to Allow Killing of Wolves and Bears on Refuges in Alaska

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service rule prohibits controversial methods like gassing dens and shooting cubs.

    The latest casualty of the Congressional Review Act could be a US Fish and Wildlife Service rule that prohibits the wholesale killing of predators on wildlife refuges in Alaska. Already, the CRA has been used to overturn stream protections and fossil fuel industry transparency.

    Until September of last year, it was entirely legal for hunters to bait bears and wolves, to poison them, to shoot them from helicopters, and even to gas dens full of cubs—all an attempt to inflate moose and caribou populations, which are prized game for trophy hunters.

    Then, amid growing public concern, the USFWS finalized a rule prohibiting the Alaska Board of Game's "intensive predator management" practices, as they were called, from being used on national wildlife refuges—public lands in the US set aside to conserve plants and wildlife.


    The USFWS, tasked with taking care of these federally owned wildlife refuges, argued that their job is to maintain the natural diversity of these lands and that doing so means supporting viable populations of apex predators—key components of a healthy ecosystem.

    "Intensive predator management," said then-USFWS Director Dan Ashe in a Huffington Post op-ed, "is purportedly aimed at increasing populations of caribou and moose but defies modern science of predator-prey relationships."

    Congressional Republicans, led by Don Young from Alaska, assert that the rule is a power grab by the federal government and it takes away the state's right to manage game within its borders.

    Young and other Republicans say that the rule is illegal because it violates the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act, which allows rural Alaskans to continue commercial and subsistence hunting on the approximately 76 million acres of wildlife refuges within its borders.

    Conservationists, Democrats, and the USFWS counter that ANILCA is exactly why the rule must stay in effect. The first purpose for all refuges under ANILCA, argued the federal agency, is to "conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity."


    That includes predators.

    With a swipe of the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to void a rule within 60 congressional days of its implementation, the rule protecting predators on wildlife refuges in Alaska could be overturned. Once that happens, a law like it cannot be brought forth by the USFWS ever again.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...ng-republicans


    Will Repugs do it? "states rights" argument is used against knitters, Mexicans, why wolves and bears?



  18. #93
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    Sidelined State Department preparing for a second purge

    Secretary of State is generally thought of as the most important position in the cabinet, but in the Trump regime, the whole department is held in contempt.

    Senior state department officials who would normally be called to the White House for their views on key policy issues, are not being asked their opinion. They have resorted to asking foreign diplomats, who now have better access to President Trump’s immediate circle of advisers, what new decisions are imminent.
    The public voice of the state department has fallen silent. There has not been a daily press briefing, the customary channel for voicing US views and policy on world events, since January.


    This is, after all, a regime which believes diplomacy is something to laugh about, and diplomats don't know what they are doing. After all, if they're so good at deals, why aren't they all billionaires? The State Department has already survived one purge of top leadership.


    The move left Tillerson with a huge hole at the State Department after the departure of the officials, who had a combined 150 years of institutional experience.

    Now Trump and Tillerson are demonstrating their continued disdain with a “shake up” that looks like the start of a deeper purge.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reassigned a majority of the staff meant to work most closely with the top US diplomat in what career officials at the State Department fear is the start of a major reorganization.

    is it De-Clintonization?

    The reorganization includes getting rid of two offices.

    One of these, an internal budget and planning office, was created by Hillary Clinton, so it's not surprising that Trump would target it for destruction.

    The other happens to be a counselor, also brought on board by Clinton.

    Considering Trump's tendency to carry even the slightest grudge to illogical extremes, his whole State Department shunning could come in large part just because Clinton once sat there.

    The staff positions are filled by career foreign service officers and civil servants as opposed to political appointees who serve at the will of the President. The career postings come with a start and end date that traditionally transcend any change in administration.

    But [State Department Counselor Kristie Kenney]’s, ouster and that of other staff on the seventh floor, where Tillerson sits, were described as abrupt and much sooner than expected.


    The unusual move has left career employees on edge about Tillerson's reorganization of the entire agency and what it might mean for policy making.

    Trump has also demonstrated that he views everyone in Washington not one of “his people” as a potential threat.

    ****** Abrams, Tillerson's top choice to be his deputy, was rejected by Trump after the President learned that the former deputy national security adviser had criticized him during the campaign. No replacement has yet been named.
    Diplomacy doesn't matter … unless it's diplomacy about Trump.


    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/0...28Daily+Kos%29

    Trash's govt is all about loyalty to Trash, not about experience, not competence, nor years, decades, of apolitical dedication to govt service.



  19. #94
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     The Trump Administration’s Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression

    Twenty-one states are now considering new laws to make it harder to vote.



    https://www.thenation.com/article/th...r-suppression/



  20. #95
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    Dissent and free assembly criminalized in the American oligarchical, militarized police state.

    Where Protests Flourish, Anti-Protest Bills Follow


    http://www.commondreams.org/views/20...t-bills-follow

  21. #96
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    Can the U.S. promote fair housing? Not if Republicans have anything to do with it

    According to Republicans, telling communities that if they want federal money, they have to tackle racial disparities:

    … is essentially the federal involvement meddling in local zoning issues. Some, including Trump’s pick for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson, go further and call this “social engineering.” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said this was President Obama forcing "his utopian ideology on American communities."

    So Gosar, along with Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, introduced a bill, dubbed

    the Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017, that would roll back President Obama’s legacy on fair housing. Then it bars any similar rules from being created in the future.

    Not only that, the bill as currently written would make sure

    “no Federal funds may be used to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing.”

    It’s a mandate for ignorance.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/0...28Daily+Kos%29

  22. #97
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    Utah Republican argues against equal pay for women: It's 'bad for families' and society


    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/artic...r-10943930.php

    yawn, Repugs, Christian Taliban are misogynist s.



  23. #98
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    chickenshits

    Most Texans in Congress not planning in-person town halls over recess

    Few of the 38 Texans in Congress plan on reaching out to constituents at in-person public forums during this congressional recess,

    conference call-style events, constituents can speak to their representatives under more controlled conditions, where aides can filter questions and thousands can tune in at the same time.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02...-halls-recess/

  24. #99
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    Repug misogynist/Christian Sharia news

    Michigan GOP Attacks Reproductive Health-Care Funds in Latest Anti-Choice Campaign


    Michigan Republicans want to defund several independent clinics and local Planned Parenthood affiliates, which provide critical health services other than abortion care

    to prohibit the state from allocating “funds through grants or contracts for educational and other programs and services” to health-care organizations that provide abortion care.

    The measures would prevent partnerships with several independent clinics and local Planned Parenthood affiliates, which provide critical health services other than abortion care, such as Pap smears and STI testing.

    https://rewire.news/article/2017/02/20/michigan-gop-attacks-reproductive-health-care-funds-latest-anti-choice-campaign/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaig n=Feed%3A+rhrealitycheck+%28RH+Reality+Check%29



  25. #100
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    p/e dumbing down Texas Monthly

    New editor in chief takes Texas Monthly in a ‘lifestyle’ direction


    Tim Taliaferro, who took over after the sale of the magazine to Genesis Park LP, tells CJR it would be foolish to walk away from the history of the magazine, but he hopes to

    focus on growing the lifestyle vertical because “lifestyle sells
    Texas Monthly better.” He added,

    “Literary circles have a bias against lifestyle, but lifestyle is an important part of the magazine, including travel and food.”

    The change has alums and current staffers worried about the potential for layoffs and the future of the magazine as a home for ambitious journalism and celebrated writing. Several top journalists have left, and others are updating resumes.

    Texas Monthly bears the tagline “The National Magazine of Texas”–and it has lived up to the billing. Since its founding in 1973, the magazine has won 13 national magazine awards for public interest, politics, feature writing, and general excellence.

    http://www.cjr.org/business_of_news/...yle-editor.php

    Dumbed down, yet again more redundnat "travel and food", sells better. Quality writing sucks, right?

    "growing the lifestyle vertical" crapified verbiage right there




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