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WEEKEND HEADLINES, 7/22 & 7/23/17 *** Trump is set to name coal industry lobbyist Jeff Holmstead as second-in-command at the Environmental Protection Agency. Since 2007, Holmstead has represented coal, railroad and utility companies as a partner at a powerful Washington DC law firm. Holmstead is also a former staffer to Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a prominent climate change denier *** Civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills would criminalize free speech and peaceful protests. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements—punishable by at least a quarter-million-dollar fine, with a maximum penalty of two decades in prison and a fine of $1 million. So far, 43 senators and 234 representatives across both sides of the aisle support the legislation. The attempt to criminalize the BDS movement comes amid a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where the United Nations said this month conditions have become "unlivable" *** The Senate on Thursday voted 51-47 along party lines Thursday to confirm Judge John K. Bush for a lifetime appointment to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush has a long history of homophobic and sexist comments, and has compared abortion to slavery. Bush has also used a pseudonym to post right-wing blog entries denying the science of climate change and repeating the false claims of so-called "birthers," who say President Obama was not born in the United States *** More later...

PICTURES! From last night and WGT in Germany....

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