U.S. House passes ban on tax subsidies for health insurance plans that include abortion coverage

The U.S. House Representatives yesterday approved a measure that repeals part of the year-old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and would, among several provisions, ban tax subsidies for private health insurance plans that include abortion as a covered service; prevent citizens from deducting abortion as a medical expense unless it was the result of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother; and invites the potential for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate how women who had abortions became pregnant and how they paid for their abortions.
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No on 4 campaign closely tied to developers, Republicans

To hear them tell it, the forces arrayed against Amendment 4 represent a broad coalition — Republicans and Democrats, environmentalists and developers, average citizens and the local governments that represent them. But an investigation of the staff and funding behind Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy, the main group opposing the amendment, reveals instead an organization so deeply tied to developers and the Republican Party that it simply cannot be extricated from those interests.

Mississippi lieutenant governor endorses ‘personhood’ movement

In a recent radio interview, Mississippi Lt. Gov. (and gubernatorial candidate) Phil Bryant said that he wholeheartedly supports the fetal personhood movement — and that other Christians should, too. During the same interview, Bryant also espoused his view that it shouldn't be a responsibility of the government to protect children born out of wedlock, and that the unemployed could easily take low-paying jobs typically held by illegal immigrants.

New court documents shed light on congressman’s legal dispute

Newly filed Hillsborough County court documents offer a more detailed glimpse into the ongoing legal dispute between Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and a former business partner who has alleged that Buchanan pressured employees at a car dealership the two owned to donate to Buchanan's 2006 and 2008 campaigns, and then reimbursed them with company money.

Sulfate in the Everglades: Whose problem is it, and what should be done?

The presence of methylmercury in the Florida Everglades has documented by scientists and researchers in the area. The dangerous chemical can cause significant damage to developing fetuses and children, and leads to major hormonal imbalances in animals native to the Everglades. The state's environmental regulators have been slow to tackle the problem. State agencies have almost no regulations for the use of sulfate, one of the chemicals that may be the chemical largely to blame.

Scott strips $10 million from St. Johns River restoration projects

Gov. Rick Scott's recently signed budget includes a long list of vetoes — many of which amount to a loss of thousands of state jobs and cuts to the disabled, elderly and children. In short, no one was safe. But perhaps one of the biggest victims of Scott's cuts was the environment. Scott, for example, eliminated a $10 million restoration project for the St. Johns River, the longest and most commercially significant river in Florida.

Radiance Foundation unveils new billboards: ‘Abortion enslaves us’ (Corrected)

The Radiance Foundation, the group that recently unveiled a series of anti-abortion billboard in Oakland, Calif., has unveiled another set of ads directed at the African-American community. According to a press release, the group will put up no fewer than 50 billboards throughout metro and downtown Atlanta, in an effort to expose what they call the epidemic of abortion.

Mack, Buchanan among legislators who sold BP and Transocean stocks following spill

A recent report by OpenSecrets shows that several high-profile lawmakers (including GOP Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack of Florida) dumped their stock in BP and Transocean following last year's massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Both Republicans and Democrats gave up significant portions of their holdings in the companies, according to the analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Newly released documents shed light on FBI’s role in Secure Communities

It has long been clear that Secure Communities allows local law enforcement officials to check a detainee's fingerprints with an FBI database to check his or her criminal background. But a press release issued by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network Wednesday also claims that Secure Communities is a key component of a little-known FBI project to accumulate a massive store of personal biometric information on citizens and non-citizens alike.