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Bob Schiefer: Hero of the Day

Bob Schiefer: Hero of the Day | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

Bob Schieffer is Hero of the Day! I think this is the best 90 seconds ever about Political Fiscal Theatre III. And you? My apologies for the ad that leads the video.

"Dreaming of a bright future for Congress" - Bob Schieffer travels with the Ghost of Congress Future to a time when lawmakers in Washington stick around and work.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50156083n&tag=api

   
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In Wake Of Colo. Floods, A Scramble To Clean Up Spilled Oil

In Wake Of Colo. Floods, A Scramble To Clean Up Spilled Oil | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Colorado's recent floods caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers.
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Someone Tell Ted Cruz the Obamacare War Is Over

Someone Tell Ted Cruz the Obamacare War Is Over | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
He's turning Japanese.
Greg Russak's insight:

"The premiums are not spin, they are the collective judgment of the marketplace. The conservative judgment of Obamacare has been a ceaseless litany of doom — rate shock, fumbling bureaucracy, unreasonable regulations. If that indictment were true, insurers would be charging higher rates than the administration initially forecast. Instead, the premiums are clearly lower than forecast — 94 percent of customers in the exchanges will have the chance to pay below-forecast premiums." - Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

 

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Party Recon's comment, September 26, 2013 1:06 PM
That's all fine and well, as long as we are not trying, as some have said, to lay ALL of the blame on the republicans. McCain, disappointed as he might have been at the result, is calling out Cruz for halting progress. And the truth is the ACA is NOT perfect. It needs a public option -- period. And everyone on the left side of the aisle agrees on that.
Greg Russak's comment, September 26, 2013 1:10 PM
We're in agreement - again! The blame is not one-sided, McCain did take (an easy) stance against Cruz, the ACA (like all legislation) is imperfect, and yes, yes, YES, it needs not only a public option, we need single-payer healthcare in the U.S.

See how much we agree about the truth?!?!! :-)
Party Recon's comment, September 26, 2013 1:18 PM
Yup. No ignorance, willful or otherwise going on here!
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Consumer Alert:

UNDERSTANDING THE EXCHANGE
What You Need to Know Before You Enroll

On October 1, open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace will begin. The marketplace, or exchange, is an important part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), designed to simplify the process of shopping for and buying health insurance and applying for assistance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers this guide to help consumers understand the exchange and explain how it can help them find affordable coverage.

Greg Russak's insight:

UNDERSTANDING THE EXCHANGE
What You Need to Know Before You Enroll

On October 1, open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace will begin. The marketplace, or exchange, is an important part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), designed to simplify the process of shopping for and buying health insurance and applying for assistance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers this guide to help consumers understand the exchange and explain how it can help them find affordable coverage.

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Guns At College Receive Resounding 'No' From Key Group

Guns At College Receive Resounding 'No' From Key Group | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A new Ball State University survey finds that a a significant majority of college students at 15 Midwestern colleges oppose allowing guns on campus.
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Obama's Bluff

Obama's Bluff | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A Syrian chemical weapons threat will not be solved with airstrikes alone.
Greg Russak's insight:

The question therefore becomes what the United States and the new coalition of the willing will do if the red line has been crossed. The fantasy is that a series of airstrikes, destroying only chemical weapons, will be so perfectly executed that no one will be killed except those who deserve to die. But it is hard to distinguish a man's soul from 10,000 feet. There will be deaths, and the United States will be blamed for them.


George Friedman, Stratfor Global Intelligence

Read more: Obama's Bluff | Stratfor 
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook

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Congresswoman's Voicemail: Where's My Bribe?

Join the fight against money in politics: http://www.wolf-pac.com Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton left a voicemail for a lobbyist in which she brazenly b...
Greg Russak's insight:

Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is the latest poster child for the corrupting influence of money in politics.

If you're fed up with this, don't do nothing. Here are a few suggestions for how you can get involved and make your voice heard:

1. Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act: http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

2. Join forces with Coffee Party USA to demand your representatives go on the record for their plan to fix Citizens United:
http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/ask_your_representative_to_be_a_leader

3. Support Wolf PAC's efforts to states to call for an Article V Convention of the States to amend the Constitution to end corporate personhood and publicly finance all elections in our country:
http://www.wolf-pac.com/ ;

4. Raise awareness! Share this with people you know, and add your ideas, favorite causes, etc., to this list! 

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Capitol Hill's Brain Drain?

Capitol Hill's Brain Drain? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
“This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher healthcare costs and leave federal service, causing a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill.”   

<Insert snarky joke here.>

 

David Lawder’s article about what has happened and is happening now over this issue of Congressional health insurance premiums is more evidence of how completely dysfunctional our – rather, what used to be ‘our’ – Congress has become.

Greg Russak's insight:

This, like most everything else in DC, is and always has been about money, not brains. (Worrying about the latter would be refreshing.)

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The Tea Party’s Path to Irrelevance

The Tea Party’s Path to Irrelevance | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
As the Federalists learned, opposing immigration is suicide.
Greg Russak's insight:

"Tea Partyers often style themselves as disciples of Thomas Jefferson, the high apostle of limited government. But by taking the ramparts against immigration, the movement is following a trajectory that looks less like the glorious arc of Jefferson’s Republican Party than the suicidal path of Jefferson’s great rivals, the long-forgotten Federalists, who also refused to accept the inexorable changes of American demography." - James Traub, a columnist at foreignpolicy.com and NY Times OpEd contributor

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Common Cause Urges Holder to Challenge North Carolina Voter Restrictions - Common Cause

Common Cause
Greg Russak's insight:

Attorney General Eric Holder should seek a court order overturning North Carolina’s discriminatory new voting laws and requiring that future changes in the Tar Heel State’s election statutes be cleared in advance by the Justice Department, Common Cause said Tuesday.

"The attorney general’s strong response to a new Texas law imposing discriminatory Voter ID requirements has put states on notice that the administration intends to continue enforcing the Voting Rights Act," said Arn Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation. "Mr. Holder needs to back up those words with action in North Carolina as well."

North Carolina lawmakers approved a bill last week reducing early voting days, eliminating Election Day voter registration, repealing a program that allowed high school students to register before they turn 18, and dramatically restricting the types of voter identification that officials will accept at the polls.

"It's clear that this legislation was written to make it more difficult for tens of thousands of North Carolinians to exercise their right to vote. It will disproportionately impact minority voters and students, as well the elderly and those with disabilities who may not be able to obtain the kinds of ID it requires or get to a polling place on one of the designated early voting days," Pearson said.

"These are exactly the kinds of maneuvers the Voting Rights Act is designed to prevent," Pearson said. "Until the Supreme Court’s ruling in June in Shelby County v. Holder, the Justice Department had authority to block them through a process called pre-clearance. The Texas and North Carolina laws that have emerged since that decision demonstrate why pre-clearance is so important and why the department should go into court now to restore it."



###

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

 

- See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=13229043#sthash.P0kK4ISC.dpuf

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Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance

Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The movement to significantly rein in surveillance by the National Security Agency began on the political fringes but has built up support from Republican and Democratic leaders.
Greg Russak's insight:

...Then Mr. Sensenbrenner, a Republican veteran and one of the primary authors of the post-Sept. 11 Patriot Act, stepped to a microphone on the House floor. Never, he said, did he intend to allow the wholesale vacuuming up of domestic phone records, nor did his legislation envision that data dragnets would go beyond specific targets of terrorism investigations. “The time has come to stop it, and the way we stop it is to approve this amendment,” Mr. Sensenbrenner said.

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Oldest European fort in the inland US discovered in Appalachians

Oldest European fort in the inland US discovered in Appalachians | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of what is now the United States have been discovered by a team of archaeologists, providing new insight into the start of the U.S.
Greg Russak's insight:

"Why did the Mississipians wipe the Spaniards out so quickly? Beck and colleagues argue that originally, the Spanish bartered with the natives for food.

"The soldiers believed that when their gifts were accepted, it meant that the native people were their subjects," Beck said. "But to the natives, it was simply an exchange. When the soldiers ran out of gifts, they expected the natives to keep on feeding them. By that time, they had also committed what Spanish documents refer to as "indiscretions" with native women, which may have been another reason that native men decided they had to go. So food and sex were probably two of the main reasons for destroying Spanish settlements and forts."

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Billion Dollar Baby: U.S. Chamber is First to Hit Lobbying Milestone - OpenSecrets Blog

Billion Dollar Baby: U.S. Chamber is First to Hit Lobbying Milestone - OpenSecrets Blog | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent more than $1 billion lobbying members of Congress and other officials since 1998 - by far a greater amount than any other organization over the period.
Greg Russak's insight:

1 billion reasons why I'm co-sponsoring the American Anti-Corruption Act, and advocating that everyone I know do the same at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

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This Selfish Ayn Rand Business Philosophy Is Ruining The US Economy

This Selfish Ayn Rand Business Philosophy Is Ruining The US Economy | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Entrepreneurs deserve all the credit and money? Please.
Greg Russak's insight:

"So to suggest that entrepreneurs and investors deserve all the credit or compensation in the economy is absurd. It's also absurd to suggest that placing all of a country's wealth in the hands of entrepreneurs and investors is somehow good for the economy. The 100+ million Americans who work for others, after all, aren't just "employees." They're also American consumers. Every penny they earn is spent on buying products and services. So sharing more of a company's wealth with the folks who create it isn't just the right thing to do. It's also good for the economy."

- Henry Blodget; Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and CEO of Business Insider


Neither political party is blameless, but there's only one party whose core values include this type of destructive economic philosophy and inconceivable levels of immoral selfishness. Just saying.

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Warning: 100-year climate disasters every 100 days Paul B. Farrell

Warning: 100-year climate disasters every 100 days Paul B. Farrell | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Yes, our 21st century is being hit with an accelerating frequency of bigger, more powerful natural disasters and losses.
Greg Russak's insight:

No more reliance on science-denialism and obstructionistic nonsense for anyone, especially not for insurers who want to stay in business in an age of accelerating high-cost megadisasters. The New York Times got it right in “Mutually Insured Destruction ... Denying climate change isn’t just foolish—it’s bad for business.” Insurers get it.

- Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch columnist

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On The Media - The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

On The Media - The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
This week saw another breaking news event, the DC Navy Yard shooting, misreported by the press. Usually, we take time to point out how the media got it wrong and how they can do better next time.

 

We have a responsibility to understand how uncertain and downright wrong the news media - and we! - can be. This On The Media report is tremendously helpful and enlightening. Let's all be better listeners and let's not become part of the problem of bad information, misinformation, and outright lies. <GR>

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The Middle East and the West: WWI and Beyond : NPR

The Middle East and the West: WWI and Beyond : NPR | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
World War I completed the European takeover of the Ottoman Empire's territories in the Middle East, and the region's modern boundaries emerged.
Greg Russak's insight:

There was no such place as Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Saudi Arabia until after World War I. There also wasn't an organization called The Muslim Brotherhood until after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I think it helps to understand the present day dilemas in a context that accounts for the past. And, not far-flung distant past. The World Wars of the 20th century are still part of "living" memory, especially by those who were vanquished and subjugated. 

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We still like Ike

We still like Ike | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
To what era do Americans yearn to return?IN OUR latest weekly Economist/YouGov poll, we asked Americans which decade of the 20th century they would most like to...
Greg Russak's insight:

What is about the 90s that Republicans and older Americans don't like?

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For Freshmen in the House, Seats of Plenty

For Freshmen in the House, Seats of Plenty | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The House Financial Services Committee, critics say, is a place with big incentives for freshman members of Congress to do special favors for the finance industry.
Greg Russak's insight:

Can there be any question or doubt about the corrupting influence money is having on our elected leaders?

 

This isn't a partisan problem, it's an American problem that we need to fix. The American Anti-Corruption Act offers the best way I've found to fundamentally change our electoral and legislative processes so that they work for all of us and not just for Big Money.

 

I've signed up as a citizen co-sponsor of the Act and encourage everyone to do the same at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

 

HERE’S WHAT THE ACT DOES

For more details about the Act: http://anticorruptionact.org/

Shine a light on dark money groups and their secret donors.Outlaw members of Congress from taking donations from the entities they regulate.Close the revolving door between Congress and K Street so politicians (and their staff) aren’t trading their power in exchange for cushy jobs when they leave office.Foster small donor contributions through citizen-funded elections. (If we shut out all the corrupting money, we need to enable clean money. Because like it or not, it costs money to run for office.)Stop Super PACs and dark money groups from coordinating with campaigns.Disempower Super PACs while protecting the free speech rights of Americans.Expand the definition of lobbying to include all types of influence peddlers.
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5 ways fundamentalists misinterpret the Bible

5 ways fundamentalists misinterpret the Bible | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

The Christian message doesn’t contradict science, and nor is it concerned with bourgeois politics. Ultimately Christianity (and many other religions) are about transcending politics and fighting for social justice. Think of Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Thich Quang Duc – all of whom were influenced by their religion to change the world. Jesus saw how oppression and oppressors consumed the world. He, as all great reformers have, sided with the oppressed. This kind of skewed fundamentalism is radically new and far removed from true Christianity. True Christianity offers us a far superior doctrine — one of social justice, love and equality....

 

READ MORE at http://www.salon.com/2013/08/06/when_fundamentalists_get_liberal_about_the_bible_partner/


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Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream | Documentary about Income Inequality | Independent Lens | PBS

Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream | Documentary about Income Inequality | Independent Lens | PBS | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Filmmaker Alex Gibney depicts an uneasy coexistence of wealth and poverty along one New York City thoroughfare.
Greg Russak's insight:

The greatest problem we face? The power and influence of money coming from the tiniest number of people who are among the most incredibly wealthy.


The second greatest threat? There's no other way to say it. It's average Americans buying into their lies.


It's not so much about Republicans and Democrats. It's about money in politics.

 

This video is well worth the time. (The entire documentary is on Netflix or YouTube.) Please do your part to help get money out of politics at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

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Jonathan Haidt: How common threats can make common (political) ground | Video on TED.com

If an asteroid were headed for Earth, we'd all band together and figure out how to stop it, just like in the movies, right?
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Eric Holder is taking on the Wild West!

Eric Holder is taking on the Wild West! | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act last month, Attorney General Eric Holder promised that the Justice Department would continue to fight voter suppression using every tool at its disposal.
Greg Russak's insight:

In 2012, a federal court blocked Texas from instituting new district lines, finding intentional discrimination against Hispanic voters.  Based on that ruling, and a long-history of racial discrimination, Attorney General Holder wants Texas to preclear voting law changes for the next decade.  Governor Rick Perry said Eric Holder's move showed “utter contempt for our country's system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution.”  In his written statement, Governor Perry did not, however, deny any current or previous attempts to disenfranchise minorities. - Thom Hartmann

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Gohmert Piles Distortion Upon Distortion Regarding Religion in the Military

Gohmert Piles Distortion Upon Distortion Regarding Religion in the Military | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

Rep. Louie Gohmert went on Fox News and accused President Obama of a pattern of discrimination against Christians, particularly in the military, but many of his examples were false, distorted or incomplete.

Here are just a few of the claims Gohmert made about the Obama administration:

He talked about “continued reports” of “crosses being removed from [military] chapels.” The military has a longstanding policy against permanent religious symbols being attached to military chapels. During the Bush administration, for example, the Army in 2008 removed three crosses from a chapel in Kosovo.Gohmert said that “it’s considered an act of hostility if you give somebody a Bible on their death bed or mention God” at the Walter Reed military hospital. He’s referring to a poorly worded hospital memo that sought to address patient complaints about proselytizing. The memo was quickly rescinded and never enforced.

READ MORE AT: http://www.factcheck.org/2013/07/gohmert-piles-distortion-upon-distortion/


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