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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is The sequester and YOU:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling - The sequester and YOU
  • Poll: 72 percent of Americans claim to be politically active online and off. The survey last August by the Pew Internet & American Life Project takes a very generous view of what constitutes politically active:
    The activities fell into four broad categories. Fully 48% engaged in some form of direct activity, such as attending a meeting or rally, being an active member of an interest group, or working with fellow citizens to address some community problem. 39% said they had contacted a government official, signed a petition or spoke out in a meeting or other public forum; 34% said they done similar things online, such as emailing an officeholder or commenting on a blog post.

    Finally, 39% of people said they’d engaged in some sort of civic or political activity via a social-networking site such as Facebook or Twitter, such as posting or reposting political news and commentary, “liking” an issue or encouraging people to vote.

  • IPS-Campaign for America's Future on CEO performance pay loophole
    Report shows execs backing federal budget cuts got big tax deductions via loophole. The study by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Campaign for America's Future found that a tax deduction for "performance pay" allowed CEOs and other top executives whose companies are members of the austerity lobby known as "Fix the Debt" to pocket money that would otherwise have been taxed as part of their already ample salaries. Fix the Debt member firms managed to "sequester" from the IRS as much as $1.6 billion via the “performance pay” loophole between 2009-2011.

    These top executives "are aggressively advocating cuts to government programs that benefit the ordinary American taxpayers subsidizing their compensation," the study's authors say.Many of them "also added to America’s debt and deficit by using tax havens and other accounting tricks to have their corporations avoid paying their fair tax share."

  • David Petraeus to become USC professor. The former general and former head of the CIA will take a position as Widney Professor in honor of Judge Robert Maclay Widney, who founded the university in 1880:
    “USC is thrilled to have General Petraeus join our faculty as a Judge Widney Professor,” President C. L. Max Nikias said in a statement. “He embodies all the noble qualities of our founder along with a fearless commitment to excellence. His presence will have a profound impact on our students across many disciplines.” [...]

    Petraeus holds a doctorate degree in international relations from Princeton University and taught economics and international relations at the United States Military Academy.

  • Public school in Queens goes vegetarian.
  • Catholic families with gay members confront church over communion. In a much-discussed statement last month, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Catholics who support gay civil unions or marriage should not take communion. That has sparked some Catholics to thumb their noses at the hierarchy. Not only are they taking communion, but they're being very public about it. Among them are Tom Nelson and Linda Karle-Nelson, the parents of gay adult children who are in committed relationships.
    “He’s not going to keep me from the Eucharist,” said Nelson, 83, a retired engineer from Farmington Hills. “Somebody’s got to stand up and say, ‘Enough.’ ”

    So they, along with other Catholics who belong to a lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender support group called Fortunate Families, plan to conduct a prayer vigil at 4 p.m. today in front of the Archdiocese of Detroit headquarters downtown.

  • ESPN issues guidelines on references to gays: Radio host Tony Kornheiser said Tuesday that he's in agreement with the guidelines, which encourages broadcasters to use the word “gay” instead of “homosexual,” and “sexual orientation” instead of “sexual preference.”
    Regarding the term “sexual preference,” Kornheiser told his audience that “the science position now” is that you are born gay, so it’s not a preference. [...]

    On Monday, Chris Broussard, who covers the NBA for ESPN, said on air that Collins was a sinner “walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ,” and that he would not characterize him as a Christian.

  • Newspaper Guild runs fake ad for Chicago Sun-Times reporter job. The hilarious ad at Monster.com includes:
    • Ability to interview subjects anytime, anywhere as there is no newsroom. Candidate should have a car, as it may be your office. Familiarity with locations offering free WiFi a plus. [...]

    • Position requires tact to interface with community members who complain about the publication’s lack of content

    Guild communications committee chair Beth Kramer said: “We wrote it because we wanted people to know what our working conditions are really like. Everything in this ad is true.”
  • Stop action movie made by moving atoms one at a time: Nanoscientists at IBM used a scanning tunneling microscope to move atoms around in an image magnified 100 million times. (You won't have time for popcorn.)
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin on the possibility the background check bill might be back. Gun rights advocate Gayle Trotter pulls a story from the files about women & guns, but doesn't quite bulls-eye it. Historical #GunFAIL: Ken Burns-style tribute to the accidental shooting of Stonewall Jackson. Also: does Wall St. use a "drug lord playbook?" Republicans for "armed revolution"? They're already at war with science, and they actively avoid pro-environment behavior. Just like they actively avoid common sense solutions if it might help Obama. InfoWars "reporter" mocked on Boston street. PA judge jailed for selling kids to private prisons.
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