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Friday, Nov 28th

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‘Congress ready to increase Israel defense funding’

US legislators set to more than make up for White House cuts to missile defense spending, Capitol Hill sources tell the ‘Post’; if Israel asks for more money, “without a doubt they would get it,” Congressional aid says.

Congress is set to significantly increase funding for Israeli missile defense to more than make up for White House cuts to the program, Capitol Hill sources told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

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Senate Passage of FAA Reauthorization Attacks Collective Bargaining Rights

US SenateThe Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that contained a vicious attack on bargaining rights for workers in the aviation and rail industries:

"AFA has long been a proponent of passing a comprehensive funding bill that allows the FAA to move forward on vital safety and airport improvement projects that help to enhance the world's greatest aviation system. Corporate interests and right-wing ideologues took this vital piece of legislation and used it to destroy collective bargaining affecting workers across the country.

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Congress, rules keep Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay

Gitmo prisonCongress has used its spending oversight authority both to forbid the White House from financing trials of Guantánamo captives on U.S. soil and to block the acquisition of a state prison in Illinois to hold captives currently held in Cuba who would not be put on trial — a sort of Guantánamo North.

The latest defense bill adopted by Congress moved to mandate military detention for most future al Qaida cases. The White House withdrew a veto threat on the eve of passage, and then Obama signed it into law with a “signing statement” that suggested he could lawfully ignore it.

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Congressmen are Paid to Vote for War

US CongressCongressmen regard "public service" as an opportunity to enrich themselves, their families and friends.

According to reports from OpenSecrets.org, in 2006, 151 members of Congress had $195.5 million invested in defense corporations. Their average net worth was $910,000 compared to $100,000 for American families in general. Over 50 range between $5 million and $190 million. John Kerry is at the top end of the scale.

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Growing wealth widens distance between lawmakers and constituents

Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars, excluding home ­equity.

Over the same period, the wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the comparable median figure sliding from $20,600 to $20,500, according to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.

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Wealth separates lawmakers from constituents

Wealthy congress membersBetween 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House has risen 2 1 / 2 times, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, rising from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Over the same period, the wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the median sliding from $20,600 to $20,500, according to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.

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The Fracking Industry Has Bought Off Congress: Here Are the Worst Offenders

Fracking industry buys CongressEnvironmentalists and other well-adjusted citizens of Earth, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that, thanks to illuminating documentaries like Josh Fox's Gasland and determined pressure from activists in and out of the mainstream, the toxic ravages of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, are no longer the shale gas sector's dirty secret.

The bad news is that, thanks to the United States' morally bankrupt political system and its Supreme Court's reality-defying ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the fracking lobby's power of the purse is greater than it has ever been.

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