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Thursday, Apr 17th

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Bloomberg plans $50M gun control network

gun controlFormer New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling 1 million gun-control supporters to the polls, adding a new dimension to his long-running fight for tighter firearms regulation.

The new organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, plans to mobilize voters to back candidates and ballot measures supporting such causes as enhancing background checks for gun buyers, according to a news release. The group also plans to issue candidate questionnaires and scorecards and form a political action committee.

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Home> Politics Texas Grand Jury Being Seated in Rick Perry Ethics Case

Rick PerryA Texas judge selected a second grand jury Monday in an investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by vetoing funding for public corruption prosecutors, and this time the Republican has retained a high-profile defense attorney to represent him.

At issue is Perry's veto of $7.5 million for the state Public Integrity Unit after the prosecutor whose office oversees it refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest. A political watchdog group filed a complaint alleging Perry tried to coerce Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to leave office.

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Anonymous critics to Dropbox: Drop Condoleezza Rice, or we'll drop you

Confy Rice
When Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced on Wednesday that the company had appointed Condoleezza Rice, former US secretary of State, to its board of directors, he might have expected some skepticism.
Calling Dr. Rice “brilliant” and her career “illustrious,” Mr. Houston seemed to hedge against possible blowback in an online post in which he said that she was an ideal candidate to help shepherd an expansion of the cloud storage platform's “global footprint.” Rice is now a professor at Stanford, as well as a consultant to several tech firms.

But, on Friday, techies were not having it.
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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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State workers can wear anti-governor pins, judge says

anti governor pinThe 2011 anti-Branstad pins marks at least the third time state officials have attempted to ban AFSCME pins. The state previously demanded employees remove a pin that read "When will this s--- end? Election day," which the union acknowledged pushed the boundaries and did not challenge.

But an arbitrator ruled in the union's favor in 1998 when the state banned University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employees' pins that read "When will the shift end?"

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Obama taps budget guru, technocrat for health job

Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews Burwell, nominated to run "Obamacare," would bring a wealth of expertise in economics and government management to one of Washington's toughest jobs, even though she has little direct experience in the health care industry.

In selecting Burwell to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Obama chose a veteran technocrat who members of both parties say is up to the challenge of running a $1 trillion bureaucracy that rivals the Pentagon in complexity. If confirmed, she'll inherit a beleaguered agency seeking desperately to turn the page on a tumultuous chapter characterized by the shambolic rollout of Obama's health care law and HealthCare.gov.

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HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigns

Kathleen SibeliusAfter a difficult five years shepherding President Obama's signature health care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has tendered her resignation, according to two senior administration officials.

Obama accepted the resignation this week and intends to announce that he will nominate Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Sebelius.

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