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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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Obama To Sign Executive Orders On Equal Pay

equal pay executived orderPresident Barack Obama will sign two new executive orders on equal pay for women Tuesday, Politico reports. The executive actions coincide with "Equal Pay Day" -- the date that symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn the same amount of money men earned last year.

Both executive orders mirror provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress has twice failed to pass. One would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other. The provision is inspired by Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the first bill Obama signed on equal pay in 2009, who worked for nearly 20 years at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. before discovering that men in her same job with equal or lesser experience were earning significantly more money than she was.

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Feds accused of steering funding to anti-pot researchers

Feds pushing anti pot researchAs the nation’s only truly legal supplier of marijuana, the U.S. government keeps tight control of its stash, which is grown in a 12-acre fenced garden on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

From there, part of the crop is shipped to Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where it’s rolled into cigarettes, all at taxpayer expense.

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Pensiongate? Christie Campaign Donors Won Huge Contracts

Chris ChristieFour months into his first term, Governor Chris Christie stood at the podium of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, and laid out what was billed as the “Christie Reform Agenda.” To enthusiastic applause, the New Jersey governor railed against what he described as an out-of-control state public pension system. “Our benefits are too rich, and our employees aren’t contributing enough, either,” he said. “We are careening our way toward becoming Greece.”

Christie had just won his first statewide election with the help of Paul Singer, the hedge fund manager who chairs the Manhattan Institute. The month before Christie’s election victory in November 2009, Singer had given $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which aired a barrage of advertisements in Christie’s favor.

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Koch Brothers Group Abandons Anti-Obamacare Ads After Fact-Checkers Prove Them False

David KochThe Koch brothers-funded Americans For Prosperity are still railing against Obamacare.  But their new ads are toned down, which could be a result of the backlash against their older, misleading ads slamming President Obama’s healthcare legislation.

Americans For Prosperity is a leading conservative group that spends millions of dollars attacking liberals.  They’ve taken up the fight against Obamacare, and have funded TV advertisements against Democratic senators.

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Big business takes on tea party over Common Core

Common Core standardsTea party activists have been waging war for months against the Common Core academic standards. Now, in a coordinated show of muscle, Big Business is fighting back — and notching wins.

The urgent effort stems from a sense among supporters that this is a make-or-break moment for the Common Core, which is under siege all over the country.

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Conservative group Alec trains sights on city and local government

ALEC targeting towns and citiesThe rightwing group Alec is preparing to launch a new nationwide network that will seek to replicate its current influence within state legislatures in city councils and municipalities.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, founded in 1973, has become one of the most pervasive advocacy operations in the nation. It brings elected officials together with representatives of major corporations, giving those companies a direct channel into legislation in the form of Alec “model bills”.

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