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Friday news dump: GOP-led panel debunks Benghazi conspiracy theories

Political cynics in Washington have a term for the convenient timing of news releases from embarrassed politicians and agencies that don’t want them to gain any more attention than is absolutely unavoidable. They’re called “Friday night news dumps.” But there’s a risk, of course, that such sneakiness will only heighten public attention in the long run, especially when the news at issue contradicts the rhetoric peddled for months by political demagogues. HERE‘s a perfect example: A two-year investigation by...

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Tragedy: Paul Ryan, the erstwhile Janesville genius, is suffering from acute amnesia

I can’t even bring myself to describe this heart-breaking situation. You can read about it HERE.

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Did your ancestors from abroad go through any formal immigration process?

Almost everybody in America had ancestors who came from some other country. But if yours came  here much more than a century ago, they didn’t likely endure any official immigration rigamorole. They just arrived on ships or some other mode of transportation and found some place to call home. But it’s not unusual these days for Americans to claim, often with an unwarranted air of certainty, that their ancestors “came here legally.”  In truth, their ancestors’ arrival might well have been neither legal nor illegal....

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Urgent Notice: Whatever you do, don’t drink the water!

Say what you will about Republican politicians, but don’t say they’re not concerned about the purity of the water we drink. On the contrary, they’ve warning for years now that the well has been poisoned by a fellow named Barack Hussein Obama. HERE‘s a handy collection of those warnings.  ...

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It’s absurd to argue that Obama’s immigration plan is lawless

If the bogus right-wing claims made against President Obama’s immigration-reform initiative came in the form of snowplows, the streets of Buffalo could be cleared by nightfall. Most of the complaints come from ordinary folks who are completely unaware of certain facts regarding Obama’s record concerning illegal immigrants. They don’t know, for example, that deportations of illegals have increased under Obama, as have expenditures on border security. They also don’t know the number of people trying to cross our border...

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Theory: Obama leaked a scoop to Fox News just to mess with John Boehner’s mind

Everyone loves a story about how someone they don’t like is cleverly outmaneuvered by someone they do like. THIS is just such a story, but it’s too complicated to excerpt here. Read the whole...

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Wall Street Journal poll: Most Americans support Obama’s immigration objectives

Republicans want you to notice that a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published yesterday shows that a plurality of Americans would prefer that immigration reform be achieved by congressional action rather than presidential executive order. But a more important finding in that poll is that a clear majority –57  percent — are in favor of the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants proposed by President Obama. The majority increases to 74 percent when respondents are told that such a pathway requires paying fines and back taxes,...

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Just like all his predecessors, Obama can choose not to enforce certain laws

The White House announced today that President Obama will address the nation Thursday night on his plans to issue an executive order on immigration reform, which no doubt will touch off a firestorm of outrage among Republicans in general and GOP lawmakers in particular. If you want to sound well-informed on this controversy, even if you disagree with the direction of Obama’s initiative, you’ll acknowledge that history is on his side in terms of the legality of what he’s doing. You see, a president doesn’t have to fully...

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Republicans vote to bar scientists who aren’t beholden to industry from advising EPA

The Republican Party’s antipathy toward science was enhanced — or worsened, in reality — when the U.S. House approved a measure that allows the Environmental Protection agency to receive advice only from scientists who have financial ties to industries affected by EPA regulations. Independent scientists need not come calling. Reactions to this ridiculous measure included THESE: “In other words,” wrote Union of Concerned Scientists director Andrew A. Rosenberg in an editorial for Roll Call, “academic scientists who know the...

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GOP claim that Obama is a dictator rests on public ignorance of American history

Much has been written in recent days about how the executive order President Obama is expected to issue on immigration reform mirrors similar actions taken by two of his Republican predecessors, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. But these history lessons are lost on most Americans. So are stories about executive orders issued by Abraham Lincoln regarding slavery, Franklin Roosevelt regarding the internment of Japanese-Americans, Gerald Ford regarding draft evaders in the Vietnam era and other examples of presidents exercising the grant of...

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Study shows that America is facing a coming epidemic of power blackouts

Remember where you heard it: The number of power failures affecting over 50,000 Americans has more than doubled in the past 10 years — and the pace is likely to increase. HERE‘s the deal: Industrialized countries face a future of increasingly severe blackouts, a new study warns, due to the proliferation of extreme weather events, the transition to unconventional fossil fuels, and fragile national grids that cannot keep up with rocketing energy demand. “We need a fundamental re-think about how electricity is generated and...

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Dick Durbin and five other top Senate Democrats urge Obama to go it alone on immigration

Fresh off re-election in an otherwise good year for Republicans, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, has joined with five colleagues in urging President Obama to move forward unilaterally on immigration, saying they “strongly support” his plan to offer legal protection to some of the undocumented immigrants already in the country. Durbin and Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Patty Murray of Washington, Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, have signed a letter to the...

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