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Friday, Oct 31st

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McCain gets $1,930 a month from 'broken' Social Security system

Republican presidential candidate John McCain cashes his monthly Social Security checks despite calling the federal program "a disgrace," the Associated Press reports.

B.J. Jarrett from the Social Security Administration said that individuals can refuse retirement benefits.

In 2006, McCain's wife Cindy earned $6 million, and has a net worth of approximately $100 million.

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Senate Approves Telecom Immunity and New Eavesdropping Rules

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate on Wednesday affirmed its intention to protect from civil lawsuits telecom companies that helped the government wiretap Americans without court authorization after the Sept. 11 attacks.

It turned back three amendments that were offered during final debate on a bill that overhauls the rules on secret government eavesdropping.

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TVNL Comment:  The US Senate just joined the House in trampling on the Fourth Amendment.  Does anyone care? 

The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.

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US govt ‘gags’ Congress on Nuke deal

With the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement remaining stalled, the State Department has issued a ‘virtual gag order’ to the Congress asking it to keep even unclassified information ‘secret’ out of fear that public disclosure could ‘torpedo’ the deal.

Lynne Weil, a spokeswoman for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the State Department provided a lot of information on the deal, but the committee has agreed not to disclose the answers because some data might be considered diplomatically sensitive. 

TVNL Comment: How is that for democracy?

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On YOUR Dime: Congressmen Lease Luxury Cars

You may not realize it, but members of the House of Representatives can lease a car and have it paid for by you -- the taxpayer. And it's not just the car, but gas, registration, insurance … the works

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151 Congressmen Derive Financial Profit From War

According to the latest reports, 151 members of Congress invested close to a quarter-billion in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. These companies got more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to FedSpending.org, a website of the watchdog group OMBWatch.

Congressmen gave themselves a loophole so they only have to report their assets in broad ranges. Thus, they can be off as much as 160 percent. (Try giving the IRS an estimate like that.)

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Congress Quietly Repeals Martial Law Provision

In late 2006, Congress revised the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act to make it far easier for a president to declare martial law. Those changes were repealed at the end of this January as part of Public Law 110-181 (HR 4986), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (signed into law by President Bush on January 28, 2008).

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