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Politico: The Koch brothers' secret bank

Koch BrothersAn Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.

The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.

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Get Ready to Support the Kochs, Liberal Apple Fans

Apple and Koch brothersWell, this is awkward: imagine if every time you went out and patronized your favorite store and bought your favorite product, you were putting money into the pocket of someone you loathe.

That’s the exquisite dilemma that Apple fanboys and fangirls of a liberal bent are about to face, now that a pair of left-wing hate objects have acquired a key supplier to the computer company.

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With One Speech Elizabeth Warren Terrifies the Koch Brothers and The Supreme Court

Elizabeth WarrenIn a brief speech at the AFL-CIO convention, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rocked the crowd by taking on the Koch brothers, and the corporate owned and operated conservative Supreme Court majority.

Sen. Warren called the Supreme Court conservative majority among the top ten pro-corporate justices of the last half century, and said, “You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business.”

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The 1 percent played Tea Party for suckers

)ne percentersOn Election Day, November 2, 2010, more than eight million Americans voted for congressional candidates who claimed to represent the Tea Party and its grassroots insurgency against the federal government. Most of the Tea Party candidates won. Their victory marked a sea change in American government.

Even before the winners were sworn in, reporters began to refer to the 112th Congress as “the Tea Party Congress.” On the day of the swearing-in, the prominent Tea Party backer David Koch likened the electoral success of the Tea Party to the American Revolution. “It’s probably the best grassroots uprising since 1776 in my opinion,” he said.

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Anti-abortion lawmakers spur GAO to probe Planned Parenthood

Planned ParenthoodSpurred by a group of anti-abortion lawmakers, the Government Accountability Office is investigating how Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, and other prominent family planning-related organizations spend public funds, the GAO confirmed Friday.

More than 50 members of Congress had written in February to Comptroller General and GAO head Gene Dodaro asking the office to follow up on a 2010 GAO report that detailed federal monies provided to the groups.

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Justice Department to challenge states’ voting rights laws

DOJThe Justice Department is preparing to take fresh legal action in a string of voting rights cases across the nation, U.S. officials said, part of a new attempt to blunt the impact of a Supreme Court ruling that the Obama administration has warned will imperil minority representation.

The decision to challenge state officials marks an aggressive effort to continue policing voting rights issues and follows a ruling by the court last month that invalidated a critical part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The justices threw out a part of the act that determined which states with a history of discrimination had to be granted Justice Department or court approval before making voting law changes.

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An Unholy Religious Exemption to Gay Employment Protection

Unholy exemptionGay rights advocates have been trying to get Congress to move legislation extending workplace protection to gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender people for nearly two decades. Finally, on Wednesday, a Senate Committee approved legislation that would do just that — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The ayes included three of the committee’s Republican members — Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Kirk of Illinois — refreshing bipartisanship and encouraging progress even if enactment doesn’t come this year. (Passage of the bill by the full Senate remains uncertain and the House Republican leadership isn’t even planning to bring it up).

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