Insiders craft speech rules to trap outsiders
AP file photo

Insiders craft speech rules to trap outsiders

By  |  December 29, 2014  |  No Comments

By Jon Cassidy |
The Texas Ethics Commission recently approved new political speech regulations aimed at “dark money.”
The commission and the media have presented the new rules as a corrective by sensible moderates forcing shady political extremists to operate in the light of day. Really, it’s just a classic struggle between a political insider and an […]

Graphic by Paul Scheuer

COUNTDOWN! Worst People of 2014

Virginia  |  4:00 am

In a year of videotaped beheadings, school shootings, Russian invasions and annexations of eastern Ukraine (or, as Valdimir Putin calls them, staycations), Ebola, deadly Mexican cops, deadly American cops, Bashar al-Assad’s readiness to kill his Syrian fellows, Kim Jong Un’s funny/creepy hack of Sony Pictures, the release of those emails revealing that (a) Sony Pictures executives are closet racists and (b) (when they pulled the offending comedy film that irritated KJU) public cowards — in a year like this one, we’re saying, it’s easy to overlook the myriad outrageous acts of your local government bureaucrats. We’re not saying all those in government service are evil, nor even many of them. But they’re out there, the bad or merely incompetent.’s national network of reporters find them.


COUNTDOWN! Good Guys of 2014

Virginia  |  4:00 am

This past year, Eric Epstein and Gene Stilp handed out fake bribes to Pennsylvania lawmakers, used Halloween props to mock a “ghost employee” in the governor’s office and set off a quacking ringtone while the General Assembly discussed the state’s $153 million reserve fund.

COME AND GET IT: John Coles distributed raw milk goat cheese for free at the Charlottesville Farmers Market after the state imposed cheese-making regulations.

Amendment would pour raw milk into Constitution

Virginia  |  3:00 am

The 2015 General Assembly will debate a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to buy homegrown food items at Virginia farms.


2014 was a very weird year for the First Amendment

National  |  4:00 am

From condomless porn laws to Rap Master Chief Justice Roberts sampling some Eminem in Supreme Court oral arguments, it was a very weird year for the First Amendment.

Photo by Moriah Costa

Special education charter uses neuroscience to transform students’ lives

Education  |  4:00 am

The Monarch Academy charter schools in Baltimore don’t look like traditional schools. Instead, the walls and floors, and sometimes even the ceilings, are painted to help students feel like they are in an atmosphere they know — their backyard or downtown streets.


Are earned income tax credits more wasteful than they’re worth?

National  |  December 26, 2014

By M.D. Kittle |

MADISON, Wis. – A recent audit showing the Internal Revenue Service handed out $14.5 billion in improper earned income tax credits in 2012 came as little surprise to budget watchers like Alan Cole.

Photo by Malia Zimmerman

Hawaii prime target of foreign governments seeking US intelligence

Hawaii  |  December 26, 2014

By Malia Zimmerman |
HONOLULU — With its strategic location in the Pacific and substantial military assets, Hawaii has been a prime target of foreign governments seeking U.S. intelligence.
The way to stop intelligence breaches, FBI Director James Comey during a recent trip to the 50th state, is to “know your people” and “who has access to […]

Shutterstock Image

PA lawmakers propose ways to modernize voter registration

Pennsylvania  |  December 26, 2014

In the age of Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, Pennsylvania is stuck in the past century when it comes to voter registration.

Corbett: AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar. Bentley: AP Photo / Dave Martin

How much does your governor earn?

National  |  December 25, 2014

If it’s truly better to give than to receive, please consider Ballotpedia’s analysis of how much you’ve given your top officials — not just governors, but also lieutenant governors, attorneys general and secretaries of state.
Big applause for Ballotpedia, the data geniuses behind the information that Watchdog Data’s lab-coated geeks used to create our own data visualization. […]

The Tennessee State Capitol.

2014’s five trendsetters for waste, fraud and abuse in Tennessee government

Tennessee  |  December 25, 2014

In the spirit of being a true watchdog, you really must keep a sharp eye on certain Tennessee government officials in 2015.




Jon Stewart obliterates ‘slimy’ Democrats over Gruber

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The Daily Show
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Remy goes hard at Obamacare, #Grubergate and Lena Dunham

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As #Grubergate continues to unfold,’s Remy offers up a new video revealing just how President Obama’s administration discussed selling Obamacare to the American people.


 |  Michigan

By Izzy Lyman |
Charlie LeDuff, a Fox 2 reporter known for his offbeat exposés, went mano a mano with a Wayne County squatter.
Lynn Arthur Williams Jr., on probation for a felonious assault with a deadly weapon, had taken up residence in a single-family Detroit home bought by Sarah Hamilton-Gilmer.
Hamilton-Gilmer planned on a third-party short sale […]

Bathrobe-wearing watchdog turns tables on Detroit squatter

 |  Colorado

On the 19th edition of ALEC’s Report Card, Colorado education performance and policies ranked highly among states, with many improvements still to be made.

Report: Colorado education fares OK, rates well next to other states

 |  Colorado

Denver’s real unemployment rate, like Colorado’s is much higher than the official published figured would indicate.

Denver’s real unemployment rate mirrors Colorado’s

 |  Massachusetts

Westminster, MA will hear public comment to make the town the first municipality in the US to ban the sale of all tobacco products within its borders.

Massachusetts town may ban sale of all tobacco products

 |  Alabama

Huntsville schools paid an ex-FBI agent $157,000 to oversee security reforms, including monitoring the social media accounts of the district’s students.

Alabama school district pays ex-FBI agent to monitor students’ social media

 |  Nevada

Nevada Republicans made history in the midterm elections, controlling both houses of the Legislature and Governor’s office for the first time since 1929.

Red tsunami hits Nevada


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