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Thursday, Sep 18th

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Judge orders legislature to redraw Florida congressional map

Florida votersCircuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled Friday that the Florida Legislature must immediately revise its flawed congressional map and ordered lawmakers to submit a revised map by Aug. 15 and the secretary of state to propose a special election plan for the affected congressional districts.

Lewis agreed with the Legislature's lawyers and concluded "there is just no way, legally or logistically, to put in place a new map, amend the various deadlines and have elections on November 4th as prescribed by Federal law."

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GOP Senate Candidate Caught Saying States Can Nullify Laws

GOP candidat : states can nullify“You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator why should we be passing laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws. We’re right…we’ve gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment’s states’ rights.

We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators—as senators or congressman—that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line.”

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Judge tosses Wisconsin senator's health care suit

Ron JohnsonA federal judge on Monday dismissed a U.S. senator's lawsuit challenging a requirement that congressional members and their staffs to obtain government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges, saying the senator had no grounds to sue.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, filed the lawsuit in January after the Office of Personnel Management decided months earlier that lawmakers and their staffs should continue to receive health care benefits covering about 75 percent of their premium costs after leaving the health insurance program for federal workers.

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Republicans Freak Out At Learning Reagan Decree Protects Lois Lerner

Darryl IssaAlthough legal experts warned at the time that little would come of Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) attempt to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner for contempt of Congress, Republicans on Issa's Oversight and Government Reform Committee were infuriated to learn Thursday that a key obstacle is a Reagan administration legal opinion.

Issa's committee and then the full House voted to hold Lerner in contempt because she twice asserted her Fifth Amendment right in refusing to testify about her role in the IRS's botched screening of political nonprofits. She led the unit that oversees whether such groups get tax breaks, and was in charge when an inspector general found the IRS used "inappropriate" terms that largely singled out conservative groups.

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Congressional staffer arrested for bringing gun to Capitol office

Ryan ShucardCapitol Police arrested the press secretary of a Republican congressman Friday when he entered a House-side office building carrying a handgun.

Ryan Shucard, the press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., was found carrying a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol and magazine when he tried to go through security at the Cannon office building at approximately 9:15 a.m., said Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.

All people entering buildings on the Capitol Hill complex are required to pass through metal detectors and send bags through an x-ray belt, although members of Congress are generally allowed to pass through without a check.

TVNL Comment:  Yeah, sure....you can carry a handgun and magazine 'by mistake.'  Geez.

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White House to issue order on LGBT federal contractors

barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama will on Monday sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a senior administration official said Friday.

The action, which amends two existing executive orders, will also formally prohibit discrimination against federal workers on the basis of gender identity.

With Congress unable thus far to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – which would apply to most employers nationwide – LGBT activists had for years been calling on the president to take action where he could, and to sign an executive order opposing discrimination at the 24,000 companies employing 28 million workers who have government contracts. But it does not have an exemption for religious employers — something that religious groups had asked the White House to include in the measure.

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Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students

Charles KochIn the spring of 2012, Spenser Johnson, a junior at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas, was unpacking his acoustic bass before orchestra practice when a sign caught his eye. "Do you want to make money?" it asked.

The poster encouraged the predominantly poor students at Highland Park to enroll in a new, yearlong course that would provide lessons in basic economic principles and practical instruction on starting a business. Students would receive generous financial incentives including startup capital and scholarships after graduation. The course would begin that fall. Johnson eagerly signed up.

In some ways, the class looked like a typical high school business course, taught in a Highland Park classroom by a Highland Park teacher. But it was actually run by Youth Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit group created and funded primarily by Charles G. Koch, the billionaire chairman of Koch Industries.

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