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Meet Virginia, Where Lenders' Lawyers Play While Soldiers Are Away

Meet Virginia, Where Lenders' Lawyers Play While Soldiers Are Away
The law is clear: When far-flung members of the U.S. military are sued in civil court, judges must at least appoint lawyers for them.
But that basic layer of protection hasn't provided much help to the hundreds of service members sued in Virginia courts each year by high-cost lender USA Discounters.
The state routinely allows plaintiffs like USA Discounters to suggest which lawyers should be appointed. Moreover, the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) doesn't detail what those attorneys must do or how much they'll be paid for doing it.
Practically sp
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Paul Kiel
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Rallying Against Abortion, Christianity Doubles Down at Conservative Conference

Rallying Against Abortion, Christianity Doubles Down at Conservative Conference
“Am I the only guy who’s ending sentences with ‘amen’ this weekend?” Ralph Reed, conservative political operative and born-again Christian, asked during his speech at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this weekend. If the enthusiastic round of cheers and applause offered by the audience in response is any indication, then no, he’s not alone. The culture wars of the 90s and early 2000s have died down considerably as American society becomes increasingly secularized, but religion's role in the conservative right still looms large.
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AL Gov on Looting Education Budget for Corporate Welfare: 'Eat What You Kill'

AL Gov on Looting Education Budget for Corporate Welfare: 'Eat What You Kill'
It may read like satire — but unfortunately, it is not. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is calling for a special Legislative session to divert money from the state's Education Trust Fund to pay for corporate welfare. Because if corporations are people and children are just little people, than this is all the same thing. Right?
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The Corporate Takeover of ‘All Natural’ Food

The Corporate Takeover of ‘All Natural’ Food
Walk through your local grocery store these days and you’ll see the words “all natural” emblazoned on a variety of food packages. The label is lucrative, for sure, but in discussing the natural label few have remarked on what’s really at stake—the natural ingredients and the companies themselves.
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Mississippi Cuts $1.3 Billion From Schools, Gives $1.3 Billion to Nissan

Mississippi Cuts $1.3 Billion From Schools, Gives $1.3 Billion to Nissan
Mississippi has proved to us all that austerity, or the political ideology of "government living within its means," is a farce. All austerity means is taking money away from public services, and giving it to private business. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and the GOP-led legislature illustrated that perfectly in two ways.
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Republicans Becoming Even More Like Hardcore Christians, and that's a Bad Thing

Republicans Becoming Even More Like Hardcore Christians, and that's a Bad Thing
There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family.
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Schooling the Corporate Education Takeover: CT Officials Hit with Federal Subpoenas

Schooling the Corporate Education Takeover: CT Officials Hit with Federal Subpoenas
In the past two and a half years, Connecticut taxpayers have seen tens of millions of dollars in public funds diverted to feed the monster known as the emerging education reform industry, aka Charter Schools. But over the past few months, the tide has been turning as the truth about Malloy, Malloy's administration, the "education reformers" and the charter schools have been coming out. Now, city and state educators have been served with subpoenas by a federal grand jury.
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By Golly, Gun Culture in Missouri Is Getting Extreme

By Golly, Gun Culture in Missouri Is Getting Extreme
Numbers tell stories. Based on statistics from 2010, "24/7 Wall St." ranked Missouri eighth for overall gun violence. Missouri had 14 gun injury deaths per each 100,000 people — only 11 states had a higher rate. The story these numbers tell isn't surprising. Almost all of these states are poor, Southern or Western and deep red or getting redder. Missouri isn't quite as poor or — maybe — as red as some, but given the inclinations of the Republicans who run our legislature, we'll soon be charter members of the hard-scrabble, hand-to-mouth, red-state contingent.
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Dems Get Organized Fighting Charter School Encroachment

Dems Get Organized Fighting Charter School Encroachment
Democrats for Public Education is a new group committed to blocking the progress of the charter school movement with some high profile members. The group plans to take on members of its own party who, like Michelle Rhee, have pushed the pro-corporate schooling agenda.
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MO Gov Nixon Nixes Absurd Gun Law

MO Gov Nixon Nixes Absurd Gun Law
On Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon shone a brief light of sanity on the gun debate playing out in the US when he vetoed a bill allowing teachers to carry weapons to school.
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