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Friday, Aug 18th

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150 Years Later, Tea Partiers Still Aren’t Over The Civil War

150 Years Later, Tea Partiers Still Aren’t Over The Civil WarToday is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s beginning, when secessionists fired on Union troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. According to a new poll from CNN, the Civil War’s legacy remains unresolved.

The poll finds that Republicans and Tea Party supporters are more likely to support the Confederacy and confederate leaders than Democrats or Independents.

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Christian conservatives discuss strategy for fighting war against gays: Start with semantics

Conservatives war against gaysThe first step for Christian conservatives to win the war against the gay movement is to rebrand the terms, said a few panelists at this weekend’s The Awakening conference at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

“‘Gay’ is a left-wing socio-political construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires,” said Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California. “Gay identity does not exist.”

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Liberals, conservatives may have different brain structures

Human brainOpposing political views may be linked to differences in brain structures, a new study suggests. Researchers at University College London found that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate cortex, while conservatives have a larger amygdala.

Based on what's known about the roles of these two areas of the brain, the structural differences are consistent with previous studies that found liberals are better able to cope with conflicting information and are more open to new experiences, while conservatives are better able to recognize a threat and more anxious when faced with uncertainty, according to team leader Ryota Kanai and colleagues.

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House Dem: Change title of EPA bill to 'Koch Brothers Appreciation Act'

Koch Brothers

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants to change the title of a bill that would permanently block Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations to the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act," a reference to the billionaire brothers who are active in Republican politics.

Connolly has submitted to the House Rules Committee a series of amendments that would change the title of the bill to everything from the "Middle Eastern Economic Development and Assistance Act" to the "Head in the Sand Act."

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House Republicans seek IRS probe of AARP

GOP want IRS probe of AARP

AARP lobbied for the new health care law and now it stands to profit, Republican lawmakers charged Wednesday as they called for the IRS to investigate whether the powerful interest group representing older Americans should be stripped of its federal tax exemption.

Three veteran GOP representatives released a report that estimates the seniors lobby could make an additional $1 billion over 10 years on health insurance plans whose sales are expected to pick up under the new law. They also questioned seven-figure compensation for some AARP executives.

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DOJ's Ethics Office: "No Evidence" To Support Right Wing's New Black Panthers Phony Scandal

New Black Panther Party

In a letter today to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Robin Ashton of the Justice Departments Office of Professional Responsibility, wrote that her investigation found that in their handling of the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, senior career attorneys at DOJ "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment, but rather acted appropriately."

The investigation also found "no evidence" that their decisions were improperly affected by political considerations or by the race of the defendants.

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Wisconsin stops collecting union dues, starts charging more for health care

Wisconsin stopps collecting union duesGov. Scott Walker's administration is no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and as of Sunday began charging employees more for health care and their pensions, even though nonpartisan legislative attorneys say the changes are not yet law.

Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Monday administration attorneys have determined the law is now in effect. State workers will receive paychecks April 21 that reflect the changes, he said in a conference call with reporters.

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