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NRA lobbyist, arms dealer played key role in growth of civilian market for military-style guns

Rene Carlos VosRene Carlos Vos, an arms dealer in Alexandria, began hanging around the Washington headquarters of the National Rifle Association in the mid-1980s. The NRA’s staff was intrigued to see the garrulous, backslapping Vos in the group’s seventh-floor suite, home to its lobbying operation and the chief congressional lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre.

Vos and LaPierre struck those who saw them huddle together as an odd couple. Vos took to cowboy boots and neatly pressed western wear.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s New Political Group Spending Big On Ads Supporting Keystone XL And Oil Drilling

zuckerbergMark Zuckerberg’s new political group, which bills itself as a bipartisan entity dedicated to passing immigration reform, has spent considerable resources on ads advocating a host of anti-environmental causes — including driling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and constructing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The umbrella group, co-founded by Facebook’s Zuckerberg, NationBuilder’s co-founder Joe Green, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Dropbox’s Drew Houston, and others in the tech industry, is called FWD.US.

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In Just Three Months, States Proposed An Astonishing 694 Provisions About Reproduction

War on WomenIn the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.

A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion:

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Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' written by Monsanto-sponsored senator

Monsanto billUnited States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the California-based Monsanto Company from litigation.

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Democrats Share the Blame for Tragedy of Iraq War

iraq warThe Democrats who voted to support the war and rationalized that vote by making false claims about Iraq's WMD programs - a minority of Democrats, but much over-represented in Democratic leadership councils - were responsible for allowing the Bush administration to get away with lying about Iraq's alleged threat.

Here on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, it is important to remember that it was not just those in the Bush White House who were responsible for the tragedy, but leading members of Congress as well, some of whom are now in senior positions in the Obama administration.

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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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