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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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After Watering Down Financial Reform, Ex-Senator Scott Brown Joins Goldman Sachs’ Lobbying Firm

Scott BrownDuring his nearly three years in the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown (R-MA) frequently came to the aid of the financial sector — watering down the Dodd-Frank bill and working to weaken it after its passage — and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from the industry.

Now, the man Forbes Magazine called one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Congressmen” will use those connections as counsel for Nixon Peabody, an international law and lobbying firm.

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Left, right: The brain science of politics

Left - right brain scienceSick of partisanship in Washington? Blame science.

A growing body of experimental research is finding evidence suggesting that, to some degree, political inclinations and ideological leanings may be tied to innate factors like a person’s biology, physiology and genetics. In fact, Al Gore recently raised the thorny issue when he spoke about political differences in “human nature.”

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Crazy Pro-Gun Republicans Claim Obama is Raising Private Black Army to Massacre Whites

Crazy GOPGun Owners of America president Larry Pratt appeared Tuesday on the  Talk to Solomon Show alongside conservative blogger Greg W. Howard, of  Twittergate fame, for another chance to spew  anti-Obama conspiracy theories.

Pratt predicted that President Obama may begin confiscating guns  in order to provoke a violent response to justify further oppression, which host Stan Solomon feared would lead to the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people.

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Bloomberg-backed anti gun candidate wins Dem primary in Illinois

Robin KellyIllinois Democrats sent a message Tuesday night about guns and the power of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as they nominated Robin Kelly in a special election primary for Congress.

Kelly, a former state representative, supports an assault weapons ban. She is now heavily favored in the race to replace Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. in the Chicago-based district.

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FreedomWorks Made Video of Fake Giant Panda Having Sex With Fake Hillary Clinton

Freedomworks filmAn internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on president Matt Kibbe's management of the organization, his use of its resources, and a controversial book deal he signed, according to former FreedomWorks officials who have met with the private lawyers conducting the probe.

One potential topic for the inquiry is a promotional video produced last year under the supervision of Adam Brandon, executive vice president of the group and a Kibbe loyalist. The video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton. [Author's note: The previous sentence contains no typos.]

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Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers

Tea PartyA new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.

Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry's role in driving climate disruption.

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So, just how powerful is the Israel lobby in the US?

AIPACThe correct term, as Hagel quickly acknowledged last week, is "Israel lobby".

And that is precisely what it is: one of the most potent advocacy groups in Washington DC, and not only here. Few of its spokesmen were more forceful than Ed Koch, the colourful former mayor of New York who died on Friday. Koch, child of Jewish immigrants from Poland, was a passionate Israel supporter, and accused Obama of "turning his back on Israel" by naming Hagel to the Pentagon, which he called "a terrible appointment".

There are those who claim that the lobby's clout is vastly exaggerated, insisting that far from being a sinister body subverting US foreign policy in one of the world's most unstable regions, it is pushing at an open door. Even without a lobby, the thesis runs, Americans would be overwhelmingly supportive of Israel. Which may be true, but misses the point.

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