Courtesy of Nationaal Archief via Flickr Commons (

Last month, we promised you weekly Paper Cuts, our quick updates and occasional commentary on headlines that matter. We’ll have to apologize for now and change “weekly” to “whenever we have time.” If you think we’re missing something important, feel free to email us.

Not My Representative
On Sept. 15, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) of Ocala, the chair of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, drew national attention when he challenged Planned Parenthood once again on its spending. Stearns launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s financial records, requesting documents that go back 12 years from locations across the country. Stearns has also been making headlines with his new investigation into federal loans totaling $535 million made to Solyndra, a failed California-based solar panel manufacturer. Stearns was quoted as saying the U.S. can’t compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines. When called out directly by President Obama on this statement, Stearns clarified he was referring to cheap labor. Read more >>

Florida Organic Growers vs. Monsanto
Since March, organic farmers across the country have been at legal war with Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of genetically altered seeds (and possibly the world’s leading producer of public outrage). The conflict emerges when pollen from modified crops produced by Monsanto gets carried by the wind and genetically contaminates organic farms. Plaintiffs claim Monsanto has sued over 100 farmers for patent infringement, even though their crops had been unwillingly contaminated. In July, Florida Organic Growers joined the fight. Read more >>

Bystander Intervention
This past April, Vice President Joe Biden, who wrote and helped pass into law the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, spoke at the University of New Hampshire to promote a new initiative set forth by the Obama administration. A 19-page “policy guidance” was sent by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to all school districts, colleges and universities that receive federal funding. The letter outlines and reinforces current requirements for handling sexual violence under Title IX, which was originally designed to protect students against sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment and assault. Read more >>

Photo (above) courtesy of Nationaal Archief via Flickr Commons