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Saturday, Aug 23rd

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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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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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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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Former U.S. general: When Jesus comes back, he'll be carrying an AR-15

Jerry BoykinDuring a speech at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference in Dallas, former Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin predicted that when Jesus returns to Earth, he’ll be packing heat.  Specifically, an AR-15 assault rifle.

"The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe,” Boykin said during his speech. “And I believe now that the sword he'll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15."

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Obama Admin's TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses from Big Banks

Stefan SeligOfficials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

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