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If SCOTUS rules that corporations are religions, personal and patient rights will be in jeopardy

Consider how Citizens United has amplified the power of corporate interests in elections. A ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby would do the same to religion.

Hobby Lobby wants to have its cake and eat it, too. A for-profit corporation, Hobby Lobby also wants to have the rights of a religious organization when it comes to providing birth control coverage to its employees.

But Hobby Lobby can’t have it both ways. A corporation pays taxes and must abide by specific laws. Churches and other religious institutions do not have to abide by those same rules. That’s why the Obama administration gave religious organizations an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate.…

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The 2014 State of the Union: Let’s make this a year of action

From my view inside the White House, I saw what every other American watching the President’s speech did: true leadership.

I believe in the dream of America. I always have. So has President Obama, which is why he’s always had my support.

In his 2014 State of the Union address, he made it clear that his optimism is unwavering. Despite all the obstruction and partisanship he’s faced from day one, he still believes that our country can come together for the good of every citizen.

Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want: for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.…
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Get the inside scoop from the 2014 State of the Union

I’ll be reporting live from the White House — and you can be there virtually, too.

There aren’t many things more exciting than being invited to the White House. At least not to me. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn I’d been selected as one of the lucky social media users who will attend the #SOTUSocial at the White House.

I’ll be there in person for President Obama’s State of the Union address — before, during and after. I’ll use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels to share my thoughts on the speech. Our group will also meet with White House officials immediately following the SOTU, when we’ll have a chance to ask them questions about the speech and the legislative agenda it will outline.…

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The Obama administration in Detroit today, will announce $300 million in new investments

The cavalry is coming! The cavalry is coming!

[Image by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]

The Obama adminstration will be in Detroit today and bring with them $300 million in new federal and private investments, much of which is designed to eradicate blight and foster an environment of rehabilitation. The delegation is led by chief White House economic adviser, Gene B. Sperling, and includes three cabinet members: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development; and Anthony R. Foxx, secretary of transportation and a former mayor of Charlotte, N.C.

This meeting is part of an effort by our two Democratic Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, to harness existing federal grants and programs to help out Michigan’s largest city.…

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Reform now or live to regret it

If you have nothing to hide, what’s with the pants?

Oregon’s senior senator Ron Wyden has spent years trying to make Americans aware of the secret surveillance law being written by a secret court made up of judges all appointed by one man — Chief Justice John Roberts.

Wyden along his colleague Mark Udall attempted to get Congress to make that court’s decisions public. Congress refused to do so. Wyden tried to get the director of National Intelligence James Clapper to admit the scope of National Security Agency surveillance. He refused to do so.

And most Americans remained ignorant of how we may be spying on ourselves and the rest of the world — until Edward Snowden leaked what he’d taken during his time working as a contractor for the NSA.…

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While everyone was distracted with Tax Day, Congress repealed disclosure requirements in the STOCK Act

Sunlight extinguished

A couple of weeks ago on Tax Day, April 15th, Congress passed a bill that gutted the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, a law passed just last year to stop insider trading by government employees and elected officials. Later that day, President Obama signed it into law. The justification for the removal of disclosure provisions in the STOCK Act is that putting the financial information of congressional aides and executive branch staffers would endanger national security.

Details after the jump.

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The Obama administration rules out raising Medicare eligibility age, cat food stocks plummet

Garment-rending about a Cat Food Commission just ran headlong into the Obama Reality

Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the lefty concern trolls who are convinced that President Obama is going to feed your grandma a steady diet of cat food once she retires, the Obama administration today unequivocally ruled out raising the eligibility age for receiving Medicare.

I realize that this won’t quell the yammering from the left about how this President, a man with absolutely no history whatsoever of doing things to harm our country’s most vulnerable populations, is going to sell seniors down the river to cut the deficit. But I thought it would be worth, you know, getting the actual facts out there.

Details after the jump.

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Sen. Reid & Obama administration target biggest example of “choosing winners” we have: Big Oil subsidies

Big Oil subsidies are, simply put, indefensible

Conservatives who are dead set against making any investments in new technologies that can help propel our country and its economy forward are famous for using the argument that this is “picking winners and losers”. The irony is that, in order to even be considered for federal government subsidies, new technologies — like renewable energy projects, for example — must have already proven themselves as winners that are simply in need of a kickstart to make them affordable and profitable.

With negotiations over the upcoming sequester — automatic, across the board budget cuts — ready to dominate the headlines, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Obama administration are suggesting that it’s time to end one the most glaring examples “picking winners” that we have in this country today: $4 billion in subsidies to Big Oil companies.

More after the jump.

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Obama administration shoots down the idea of a planet-destroying Death Star — in the most epic way imaginable

This right here? THIS IS THE COOLEST THING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS EVER DONE YESIMSHOUTING

On November 14th, a petition was submitted to the White House on their We the People website that said this:

“Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.

By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.”

The White House policy is to respond to petitions that 25,000 signatures within 30 days. This one has over 34,000 signatures so the White House responded. Their response can be read HERE but, it’s so epic and awesome, I’m reproducing it here on the blog (after the jump.)

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Obama to Congressional Republicans: Go Cheney yourselves

John Boehner: between a tea bag and a hard place

John Boehner has been negotiating all week with President Obama and his staff to resolve the “fiscal speedbump” issue. President Obama took a step toward Speaker Boehner in the negotiations by allowing the Bush tax cuts to remain in place for incomes over $400,000/year (up from $250,000), making some cuts to entitlements to be named later and agreeing to a different way to calculate Social Security cost of living increases that would lower how much our seniors get in their monthly allocation by a smidgen — the so-called “chained CPI”.

In return, Boehner offered to extend the debt ceiling for two years and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for income over $400,000.

This was, however, a bridge to far for his tea party leadership team, according to Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. So, he offered what he’s calling “Plan B” and the response from the White House was a resounding “screw you”.

Check it all out after the jump.

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