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Saturday, Nov 29th

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Obama to pick Chuck Hagel for Pentagon

Chuck HagelPresident Barack Obama has settled on Chuck Hagel, a Republican and former U.S. senator from Nebraska, to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with an announcement expected Monday, Democratic officials tell POLITICO.

The choice of Hagel, who opposed his party on the Iraq War as a senator, is likely to ignite a raucous confirmation battle because several Democratic interest groups and prominent Republicans have voiced strong opposition since Hagel’s vetting for the job was reported five weeks ago.

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Who paid for the Log Cabin Republicans' anti-Hagel NYT ad?

Anti Hagel adThe gay GOP group confirms the ad was funded by outside donors, but refuses to identify them or their cause.

Last Thursday, the gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) placed a full-page ad in the New York Times that attacked Chuck Hagel as anti-Israel and anti-gay and urged President Obama not to appoint him as Defense Secretary. This was quite a strange event for multiple reasons.

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Sovereign Citizens Are a Sometimes Violent Fringe Group Rejecting All Government

Sovereign CitizensMeet the Sovereigns, a radical right group that rejects all forms of government, embraces God as the only authority, and clogs the courts with reams of nonsensical paperwork, writes Winston Ross.

His name is Craig Douglas Fleshman, though he won’t answer to that, just as he no longer carries a driver’s license or pays taxes. Pastor Paul Revere doesn’t recognize the authority of the State of Oregon, the United States of America, or anyone else that presumes to have some command over him. He answers only to God.

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Hagel, the lobby and the limits of power

Chuck HagelThe former Republican senator is guilty of a cardinal sin which has cut short many promising careers in Washington.

You have to do no more than watch this attack ad produced by the neoconservative pressure group the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) to understand the significance of Chuck Hagel's possible nomination as US secretary of defence. The former Republican senator from Nebraska is guilty of a cardinal sin which has cut short many promising careers in Washington. He has proved himself insufficiently loyal to Israel and less than enthusiastic about confronting Iran.

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Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law

Voter suppression FLoridaA new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.

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Poetic justice: Romney likely to finish at 47 percent

Romney at 47 percentWhen all the votes are counted, could Mitt Romney really end up achieving perfect poetic justice by finishing with 47 percent of the national vote? Yup. Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report says new votes in from Maryland put Romney at 47.56 percent. He predicts with certainty that with all of New York and California counted, Romney will end up below 47.5 percent of the vote.

Rounded, of course, that would put the final tally at 51-47. Anticipating this moment, Markos Moulitsas has inaugurated the “Romney 47 percent watch.”

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IRS not enforcing rules on churches and politics

Politics and religionFor the past three years, the Internal Revenue Service hasn't been investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches, leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements of political candidates unchallenged.

The IRS monitors religious and other nonprofits on everything from salaries to spending, and that oversight continues. However, Russell Renwicks, a manager in the IRS Mid-Atlantic region, recently said the agency had suspended audits of churches suspected of breaching federal restrictions on political activity. A 2009 federal court ruling required the IRS to clarify which high-ranking official could authorize audits over the tax code's political rules. The IRS has yet to do so.

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