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Van Jones has some real talk for progressives, and it's something that's sure to fire you up, make you laugh, make you roll your eyes, and, most importantly, make you think a little bit differently about things (virtually) all at the same time. You don't want to miss Jones' take on what it means to try to "compromise" with Republicans. WATCH:  

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12-year-old Madison Kimrey isn't fooled by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's recent efforts at voter suppression — and tells her fellow North Carolinians as much in a fiery speech aimed at the Governor, who once called her a "liberal prop." It's immediately clear that Kimrey is a lot more than a mere "prop" — the blogger, activist, and Burlington, NC resident even founded her own organization, NC Youth Rock, which aims to educate young people about NC politics. She's the most poised 12-year-old I think I might have ever seen.

Kimrey 2054? (You heard it here first.)


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The shutdown's got me feeling a little down (except the recent polling news; that was some necessary silver lining), so I found this video a welcome change in pace. Inspiring and up-lifting, it was created by the Human Rights Campaign to celebrate National Coming Out Day, which, if you haven't heard, is TODAY!


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On last night's episode of CNN' "Crossfire," things got a little heated as progressive activist and bestselling author Van Jones took Ted Cruz to task over his Obamacare rhetoric. Watch as Jones poses some tough questions to Cruz and lambasts him for providing no solution for uninsured Texans.

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Sometimes trying to debate a conservative Republican is like talking to a brick wall — they're predictable, intransigent, and unwilling to see another's perspective. In response to this issue, The Daily Show brought in an actual former FBI hostage negotiator to teach Jason Jones how to converse with Republicans. Though not completely successful, the result is, at least, hilarious.

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Congressman Doyle (D-PA) hit the House floor today with a short speech likening Republicans' demands to someone asking to burn your house down. It's funny:

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Over the last few days, we’ve heard a lot of complaining about how “tough” a vote on a clean CR would be for ultra-conservative House Republicans. At Obama’s press conference Oct. 8, one reporter said:

“You mentioned yourself that this is a tough vote for all these House Republicans. You're asking them to take a very tough vote for the debt ceiling. Usually, people in both parties want to have some cover…”

And it is a “tough” vote; with constituents so vehemently anti-Obamacare that a possible default appears a veritable Godsend in exchange for its repeal, it may be difficult to convince them of the logic of maintaining a working government. But does anyone spouting this nonsense ever think about why this is such a tough vote? Does it strike these congressmen as strange that their constituents are so alarmed, so illogical, and so deeply immovable in their convictions?

Because here’s the truth, Republicans: you created this monster.

Republicans and Fox News have been working steadily over the past few years to mold the GOP base into exactly what it has become. Is it surprising that they fear and loathe Obamacare when Republicans have repeatedly informed these same voters that Obamacare institutes death panels; kills jobs; pays for abortions (with taxpayer money!); abuses private information (to discriminate against conservatives!); causes skyrocketing premiums; and ultimately represents the end of America as we know it?! Is it surprising that these voters, seeing none of the same alarmist rhetoric employed to describe a default on America’s debt, have drawn the conclusion that Obamacare is much, much worse?

And have congressmen complaining about this “tough vote” acknowledged that the reason their districts are so rabidly conservative is that in 2012 they enthusiastically gerrymandered into irrelevance anyone who didn’t subscribe to Obamacare myths? They’ve created their own conservative dystopias where facts don’t matter and the majority of voters are scared and suspicious of (almost everything, but mostly) Obama, “socialism” and the “liberal elite.” So are they really conflicted now that it’s now “tough” to make logical decisions, or is that just an excuse?

Because either way, this is exactly what they wanted, and they got it. So, GOP: good luck dealing with it.  And no, you don’t get “cover” (i.e. “political goodies”) for creating this problem yourselves. Now stop misinforming your voters, vote on a clean CR, and get back to work.

Show Republicans we're tired of excuses. Tell them to sign the discharge petition and reopen the government.  

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In an article entitled, "Who Would Jesus Shoot: Pennsylvania Church To Offer 4 Week Gun Advocacy Class," Think Progress writer Ian Millhiser pens a damning (yet hilarious) commentary on the strange juxtaposition of guns and religion. It's short and sweet:  

ZING!

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This gem of a clip begins with a metaphor from Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID): Democrats asking Republicans to sign a clean CR is like CNN asking Cooper to sign a contract first and negotiate the terms later. Cooper shoots back: "But it's not really that way because Congress hasn't passed my contract and the Supreme Court hasn't accepted my contract as valid."

Labrador goes for another angle: Romney was lost the election because he was "known as the godfather of Obamacare." Cooper clarifies: "So basically your argument is you're nullifying two presidential elections and you're nullifying the vote of Congress because you don't like it."

Labrador insists that the clean CR wouldn't garner enough votes. Cooper says, "Why not just try?" "Why should we?" Labrador asks. "Because that's how things work," Cooper says. "Your job is to vote on things."

The grand finale comes at 3:30, when Labrador accuses Cooper of "having a stake" in this, to which Cooper responds with the best sound byte of the clip: "This is the way it works in journalism. When you're not on Fox News, you get contentious interviews. When you're not on MSNBC and a liberal, you get contentious interviews. My job is to ask you questions that are different than you think... That's what a journalist does!"

There are enough votes  for a clean CR — 21 Republicans have joined 199 Democrats to surpass the 217 vote majority necessary to pass it. One of two things must occur for the vote to happen: John Boehner changes his mind or Republicans sign onto the discharge petition. Tell Republicans to sign the discharge petition and end this shutdown.  

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In an interesting experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel Live, interviewers asked passersby if they supported "Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act." While it's slightly painful to watch respondents try to justify why they hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act, there's a silver lining: participants informed of what the ACA actually does confirm that they support it.

Republicans caught on to this phenomenon, which is why they were so desperate to sabotage the ACA before enrollment opened today; they know that once Americans find out what it does for them... they'll like it.

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Everyone should watch this speech by Elizabeth Warren from the Senate floor yesterday. In it, she lays out clearly how unbelievably selfish House GOP obstructionism really is — and as per usual, she hits the nail right on the head.

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Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM PDT

How Expanding Social Security Can Help

by lpickett

This is an awesome new infographic on Social Security put together though a partnership between Democracy for America, Move On, and Social Security Works. It explains how retirement savings accounts can reinforce economic inequality and highlights the recent efforts of Senators Tom Harkin and Mark Blegich to strengthen and protect Social Security benefits. Check out the graphic in its original location here.


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