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Saturday, Apr 19th

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The tea party radio network

tea party radioGlenn Beck worked the crowd like a preacher at a rally this month in Louisville, Ky., declaring that God had responded to conservatives’ prayers by sending a slate of tea party candidates to wrest control of the Republican Party from Mitch McConnell.

But there was a more earthly benefit to the arrangement that brought Beck to the rally. It was organized by the tea party nonprofit group FreedomWorks, which had endorsed the candidates — and which has paid more than $6 million in recent years to have Beck promote the group, its initiatives and events.

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The US is not a democracy but an oligarchy, study concludes

wall streetOligarchy is a form of government in which power is vested in a dominant class and a small group exercises control over the general population.

A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful.

"Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" analyzed extensive data, comparing nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted between 1981 and 2002 with the expressed preferences of average and affluent Americans as well as special interest groups.

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Bloomberg plans $50M gun control network

gun controlFormer New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling 1 million gun-control supporters to the polls, adding a new dimension to his long-running fight for tighter firearms regulation.

The new organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, plans to mobilize voters to back candidates and ballot measures supporting such causes as enhancing background checks for gun buyers, according to a news release. The group also plans to issue candidate questionnaires and scorecards and form a political action committee.

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Home> Politics Texas Grand Jury Being Seated in Rick Perry Ethics Case

Rick PerryA Texas judge selected a second grand jury Monday in an investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by vetoing funding for public corruption prosecutors, and this time the Republican has retained a high-profile defense attorney to represent him.

At issue is Perry's veto of $7.5 million for the state Public Integrity Unit after the prosecutor whose office oversees it refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest. A political watchdog group filed a complaint alleging Perry tried to coerce Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to leave office.

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Anonymous critics to Dropbox: Drop Condoleezza Rice, or we'll drop you

Confy Rice
When Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced on Wednesday that the company had appointed Condoleezza Rice, former US secretary of State, to its board of directors, he might have expected some skepticism.
Calling Dr. Rice “brilliant” and her career “illustrious,” Mr. Houston seemed to hedge against possible blowback in an online post in which he said that she was an ideal candidate to help shepherd an expansion of the cloud storage platform's “global footprint.” Rice is now a professor at Stanford, as well as a consultant to several tech firms.

But, on Friday, techies were not having it.
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NRA gunning for more than just right to bear arms

NRAWhen the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban.

While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant poaching, it warned that something far more important was at stake: “This is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to ban firearms,” the organization asserted in an alert.

When it comes to defending gun rights, no issue is seemingly too obscure for the NRA — not even the ivory trade. Amid the high-profile epic battles, including the recent clashes following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, there have been smaller, under-the-radar ones, too — often appearing to touch only tangentially on actual guns.

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State workers can wear anti-governor pins, judge says

anti governor pinThe 2011 anti-Branstad pins marks at least the third time state officials have attempted to ban AFSCME pins. The state previously demanded employees remove a pin that read "When will this s--- end? Election day," which the union acknowledged pushed the boundaries and did not challenge.

But an arbitrator ruled in the union's favor in 1998 when the state banned University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employees' pins that read "When will the shift end?"

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