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Friday, Apr 25th

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Growing wealth widens distance between lawmakers and constituents

Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars, excluding home ­equity.

Over the same period, the wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the comparable median figure sliding from $20,600 to $20,500, according to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.

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Wealth separates lawmakers from constituents

Wealthy congress membersBetween 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House has risen 2 1 / 2 times, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, rising from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Over the same period, the wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the median sliding from $20,600 to $20,500, according to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.

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The Fracking Industry Has Bought Off Congress: Here Are the Worst Offenders

Fracking industry buys CongressEnvironmentalists and other well-adjusted citizens of Earth, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that, thanks to illuminating documentaries like Josh Fox's Gasland and determined pressure from activists in and out of the mainstream, the toxic ravages of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, are no longer the shale gas sector's dirty secret.

The bad news is that, thanks to the United States' morally bankrupt political system and its Supreme Court's reality-defying ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the fracking lobby's power of the purse is greater than it has ever been.

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Indefinite military detention for U.S. citizens now in the hands of a secretive conference committee

Contrary to popular perception, the Obama Administration is not strongly opposed to the provisions in the bills that would authorize indefinite military detentions for U.S. citizens. Here’s what the Administration had to say in a Statement of Administrative Policy on the Senate bill:

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Bernie Sanders Explains How Citizens United Has Killed America’s Democracy

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Sanders explained how Citizens United has legalized the takeover of our government by a handful of conservative billionaires, “Here’s what it is. Right now, and I think many people may not understand this, because of the Citizens United 5-4 Supreme Court decision, you can have a group of billionaires, a group of corporate executives sitting around the room, and they’re going to say, look, here’s a guy in California. Here’s somebody in Nevada. Here’s somebody in Oregon who’s opposing our interests. They want to protect the middle class and working families. They don’t want to give the rich tax breaks. They don’t want to end Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We have got to defeat that person. All right, I want you to put $20 million into California. $15 million into Oregon. $10 million into Ohio. they do this, Dylan, without disclosure. So somebody goes home to turn on their TV, there’s an ad by Citizens for a Better America, or whatever, attacking a candidate or supporting another candidate. unlimited sums of money from corporations who go into their own corporate treasuries, from the richest people in this country, without any disclosure, bombarding the air waves, electing those people who support big money, trying to defeat those of us who support working class and middle class families.”

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Jobless take their grievances directly to Congress

workers go to CongressAmerica's unemployed workers brought their message of frustration and despair directly to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday as they filled the congressional offices of dozens of lawmakers and refused to leave until they met with their elected representatives.

The sit-in style confrontations were the opening salvo of a three-day protest event dubbed "Take Back the Capitol," which is sponsored by a coalition of progressive organizations.

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MUST READ: & SHARE WITH ALL: Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

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