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Liberals, conservatives may have different brain structures

Human brainOpposing political views may be linked to differences in brain structures, a new study suggests. Researchers at University College London found that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate cortex, while conservatives have a larger amygdala.

Based on what's known about the roles of these two areas of the brain, the structural differences are consistent with previous studies that found liberals are better able to cope with conflicting information and are more open to new experiences, while conservatives are better able to recognize a threat and more anxious when faced with uncertainty, according to team leader Ryota Kanai and colleagues.

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House Dem: Change title of EPA bill to 'Koch Brothers Appreciation Act'

Koch Brothers

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants to change the title of a bill that would permanently block Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations to the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act," a reference to the billionaire brothers who are active in Republican politics.

Connolly has submitted to the House Rules Committee a series of amendments that would change the title of the bill to everything from the "Middle Eastern Economic Development and Assistance Act" to the "Head in the Sand Act."

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House Republicans seek IRS probe of AARP

GOP want IRS probe of AARP

AARP lobbied for the new health care law and now it stands to profit, Republican lawmakers charged Wednesday as they called for the IRS to investigate whether the powerful interest group representing older Americans should be stripped of its federal tax exemption.

Three veteran GOP representatives released a report that estimates the seniors lobby could make an additional $1 billion over 10 years on health insurance plans whose sales are expected to pick up under the new law. They also questioned seven-figure compensation for some AARP executives.

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DOJ's Ethics Office: "No Evidence" To Support Right Wing's New Black Panthers Phony Scandal

New Black Panther Party

In a letter today to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Robin Ashton of the Justice Departments Office of Professional Responsibility, wrote that her investigation found that in their handling of the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, senior career attorneys at DOJ "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment, but rather acted appropriately."

The investigation also found "no evidence" that their decisions were improperly affected by political considerations or by the race of the defendants.

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Wisconsin stops collecting union dues, starts charging more for health care

Wisconsin stopps collecting union duesGov. Scott Walker's administration is no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and as of Sunday began charging employees more for health care and their pensions, even though nonpartisan legislative attorneys say the changes are not yet law.

Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Monday administration attorneys have determined the law is now in effect. State workers will receive paychecks April 21 that reflect the changes, he said in a conference call with reporters.

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Rick Scott's Medicaid Overhaul to Benefit…Rick Scott?

Rick Scott

Republican governor Rick Scott's push to privatize Medicaid in Florida is highly controversial—not least because the health care business Scott handed over to his wife when he took office could reap a major profit if the legislation becomes law.

Scott and Florida Republicans are currently trying to enact a sweeping Medicaid reform bill that would give HMOs and other private health care companies unprecedented control over the government health care program for the poor.

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Wisconsin union law published despite court order

Wisconsin union law publishedIt appears the explosive Wisconsin law stripping nearly all public employee collective bargaining rights could take effect as early as Saturday despite a court order that blocked its publication by the secretary of state.

That's because the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau has published the law instead. The action was noted on the Legislature's website Friday. Publishing a law allows it to take effect.

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