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Former Congressman Ron Paul starts Snowden clemency petition

Ron PaulFormer Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has started a petition demanding clemency for the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who revealed its metadata surveillance program.

“Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship, and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program. Thanks to one man’s courageous actions, Americans know about the truly egregious ways their government is spying on them,” Paul says in a video on his Ron Paul Channel website, which he started last summer.

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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found Guilty Of Corruption

Ray Nagin indictedA federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.

Prosecutors also said such as free travel and played a role in funneling money and granite to Stone Age, a company run by his sons. The counts cover a large portion of Nagin's two terms as mayor from 2002-2010, a tenure that included the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.

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‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence

high fructose corn syrupA group called Citizens for Health recently launched a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce high-fructose corn syrup in their diet — filing a petition with the Food and Drug Administration demanding stricter labeling on food items containing the sweetener.

Yet the petition did not disclose that the organization, which bills itself as the “voice of the natural-health consumer,” has received the bulk of its funding in the year it launched the effort from sugar companies, which see corn syrup as a threat to their profits.

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More subpoenas in Chris Christie case as helicopter travel is probed

Chris Christie helicopter dataThe New Jersey state committee investigating the George Washington Bridge traffic jam wants to see Gov. Chris Christie’s helicopter flight records, trying to determine if one flight took him over the scene of the epic mess created by Christie’s aides.

Continuing an aggressive hunt for records, the joint investigative committee on Monday authorized 18 new subpoenas for information, including one to the New Jersey State Police aviation unit, which operates the helicopters, according to a source familiar with the committee.  A spokesman for Christie confirmed one flight in that vicinity during the four-day traffic jam: a trip from Sept. 11 ceremony at the World Trade Center site back to Trenton, the New Jersey capital.

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Florida's Charlie Crist: End Cuba embargo

Charlie ChristFormer Florida Gov. Charlie Crist called this week for the United States to abandon its decades-old trade embargo with Cuba.

"The embargo has done nothing in more than 50 years to change the regime in Cuba," Crist said in a statement to CNN. "If we want to bring democracy to Cuba, we need to encourage American values and investment there."

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How religion in the US today tracks closely with geography

religion and geography in the USTell me where you live, and there’s a good chance I’ll know your religion.  Mississippi or Alabama? Protestant. Rhode Island or New Jersey? Roman Catholic. Mormon? That’s easy: Utah, although a substantial minority in Idaho is Mormon too. Vermont or Oregon? You could well be "unchurched."

Demography isn’t exactly spiritual destiny. But for most Americans, their religious identity tracks closely with where they live.

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Majority of Americans perceive GOP as out of touch with women

GOP and womenA majority of Americans believe the Republican Party doesn't understand the problems and concerns of women, a CNN poll released Friday indicates.

Fifty-five percent of all respondents say the GOP doesn't understand women, while 59 percent of women surveyed and 64 percent of women respondents over age 50 believe the same, results show.

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