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Oligarchy Of Super PAC Megadonors Have Conquered American Politics

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A new oligarchic era of American politics came into full view on Friday, as super PACs disclosed fundraising details showing billionaires bankrolling the 2016 presidential race to an unprecedented degree. 

The unlimited-money super PACs account for one-third of all federal election funds raised in the first half of 2015 — up from 4 percent at this time in the last presidential election. Three-quarters of all super PAC money came from more than 500 wealthy donors, corporations and unions in contributions above $100,000. More than half the money in the presidential race so far — to super PACs and to campaigns — came from donors who have given at least $100,000.

For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The presidential campaigns, limited to a maximum of $5,400 from a single donor, raised a combined $128 million. Super PACs supporting those candidates pulled in $260 million, with $208 million from those giving $100,000 or more. 

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!!!!!THE NEW OLIGARCHY1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for article and charts:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oligarchy-super-pac-megadonors-have-conquered-american-politics_55bc1eece4b0b23e3ce2f5ec?

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‘It Takes Us’ Photo Project Shows Survivors Of Gun Violence

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As the nation reels from yet another high-profile gun violence tragedy — this time in  a movie theater in Louisiana — photographer Joe Quint was, sadly, not surprised. 
 
“We’ve come to accept [gun violence] as tragic and awful and a part of life, but no one expects to be sitting in a movie theater and watching a comedy and someone stands up and starts shooting,” Quint told The Huffington Post Friday. “That’s not normal.”
 
Despite the abnormality of the experience, Americans “haven’t had the collective shift in consciousness yet to rise up with a unified voice and say ‘enough’.”

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                         1 photo from article                                                    Joe Quint

“A sound came out of me that I don’t ever want to hear again,” says Eric, as he remembers identifying the body of his daughter, who was killed in a mass shooting at Northern Illinois University.

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Click link below for all photographs:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/it-takes-us-photos-gun-violence_55b2438ae4b0074ba5a42da9

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Iran Nuclear Deal Means Compromise For Both Sides

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The nuclear accord with Iran required a difficult series of compromises for world powers and Tehran.

For President Barack Obama, it meant climbing down from demands that Tehran halt almost all of its enrichment of potential bomb-making material and shutter an underground facility possibly impervious to an air attack. It also meant dropping pledges to secure “anytime, anywhere” inspections and Iran’s complete answering of questions related to past weapons work.

But Iran’s supreme leader was forced to retreat on some key issues, too. Relief from crippling economic sanctions won’t come on Day 1, as he long clamored for, and his country will have to open up military sites to international inspectors at some point if the Islamic Republic is going to fulfill its commitments. Iran also will have to adhere to multiyear restrictions on enrichment and nuclear research and development that Ayatollah Khamenei and other leaders once opposed.

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!!!!!BN2015-7-15AFTERGLOW1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for story and video:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/15/iran-nuclear-deal_n_7799102.html

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Addendum – 

~~~~NBCNews1

Obama: Iran Nuke Deal Makes Our Country, World Safer

Click link below for story and videos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/coming-obama-takes-questions-iran-nuclear-deal-n392511

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S.C. House Approves Bill To Remove Confederate Flag From Statehouse

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More than 50 years after South Carolina raised a Confederate flag at its Statehouse to protest the civil rights movement, the state is getting ready to remove the rebel banner.

A bill pulling down the flag from the Capitol’s front lawn and the flagpole it flies on passed the South Carolina House early Thursday morning. It should get to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk before the end of the day.

The governor promised to sign it quickly, but didn’t say exactly when. That’s important, because the bill requires the flag be taken down within 24 hours of her pen hitting the paper and shipped to the Confederate Relic Room.

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!!!!!ConfederateFlag1Down it comes

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Click link below for story and video:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/south-carolina-confederate-flag_559e0307e4b05b1d028fb690?

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Obama To Unveil Plan To Bring Overtime Pay To 5 Million More Workers

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 President Barack Obama this week will propose a plan to extend overtime pay to 5 million American workers who are currently excluded under federal law, according to sources.
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The president will recommend updating overtime rules so that salaried workers who earn less than roughly $50,400 per year would be guaranteed time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Under the current rules implemented by former President George W. Bush, salaried workers must earn less than $23,660 per year in order to be automatically eligible for overtime pay.

The president announced his intention to make overtime reforms last year, but the details of the plan have been kept secret until this week. The president is expected to discuss the proposal later this week during a visit to Wisconsin. Details of the proposal were first reported by Bloomberg.

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!!!!!BN2015-6-30ActionOvertimepay1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for story, video and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/29/obama-overtime_n_7536928.html

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Gun Control Measures Dormant In Congress After Charleston Shooting

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This week’s slaughter of nine people in a South Carolina church left prospects that Congress will curb guns right where they’ve been for years — remote for now, according to lawmakers and activists on both sides of the issue.

Conceding that congressional action was unlikely soon, President Barack Obama said lawmakers will tighten federal firearms restrictions when they believe the public is demanding it.

“I am not resigned,” Obama told the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Friday. “I have faith we will eventually do the right thing.”

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!!!!!BN2015-6-21Outgunned1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/20/gun-control-charleston_n_7626602.html

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Republican-Controlled House Passes Bill To Cut $242 Million From Amtrak’s Budget

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 The GOP-controlled House passed legislation Tuesday to cut Amtrak’s budget by $242 million, though lawmakers added new funding for video cameras inside locomotive cabs to record engineers and help investigators get to the bottom of crashes such as last month’s deadly derailment in Philadelphia.

Amtrak announced last month it is going to install the cameras after years of delays. The transportation and housing measure approved by a narrow 216-210 vote contains $9 million approved last week to fund the inward-facing camera initiative in the budget year starting in October.

Amtrak is among many domestic programs whose budgets are cut or frozen by the GOP measures, as automatic spending curbs known as sequestration are again hitting federal agencies after two years of relief. Previous House GOP attempts to cut Amtrak over the years have been reversed, and Tuesday’s transportation measure is but an opening move in a longer chess match with the White House over spending levels for agency operating budgets passed annually by Congress.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amtrak

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Click link below for story and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/10/congress-amtrak-budget_n_7549746.html

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