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Sign of the season: Consumers urged to spend, spend, spend
Dec 3rd, 2013 by Warren Swil

Millions can’t afford

to shop at their

own workplaces

Sign of the season: Black Friday, which was followed by cyber Monday.

THE SIGNS OF the season – the shopping season, that is – are unmistakable everywhere.
From Black Friday extensions back to “Blue Thursday” and forward to “Cyber Monday,” Americans are being exhorted and cajoled by every means possible to spend as if there is no tomorrow.
The shameful truth, however, is that for a huge number of those serving the shopping hordes, there is no “tomorrow” – except one of bleak, minimum-wage survival.
What makes it worse is that it need not be this way at all. Wherever the electorate is asked, voters overwhelmingly approve raising the minimum wage.
It is an issue that garners bi-partisan support, except amongst certain politicians in hock to retail and fast-food giants. It’s a national disgrace, that could so easily be changed.


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ESCAPE HATCH: Solution to crises rests with ‘Republican realists’

G.O.P. RADICALS WON’T BUDGE, BUT DEFAULT THREAT MAY MOVE CENTRISTS
With the government shutdown entering its third week and the debt ceiling crisis 48 hours away, time is running out to avert a global calamity.
But, there is a way out. It’s hiding in plain sight. Call it the “escape hatch.”
Do an end run around the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Tea Party. Combine the entire Democratic Party caucus with those Republicans not afraid of the radical right and presto!
Crisis over.
Game called.


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GOP’s worst nightmares turning into harsh reality

OBAMACARE SUCCESS MAY YET SPLIT REPUBLICAN PARTY
President Obama’s signature accomplishment in office – what Republicans disparagingly call “Obamacare” – is off to a rousing start and this is the Republican Party’s worst nightmare.
A second unexpected one, however, is that the continuing shutdown of the federal government – and the looming debt ceiling crisis – threaten to split their party into two warring factions.
It’s tempting to gloat – and I would forgive anyone who does – that the nightmare scenarios for the Republican Party are unfolding before their eyes, and they seem powerless to stop them.


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CRISIS OVERLOAD: Debt ceiling fight may cause financial meltdown, constitutional turf war

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN A MAJOR HEADACHE FOR MILLIONS, BUT WORSE MAY LIE AHEAD
If you think the shutdown of the federal government is bad, take a deep breath.
In a couple of weeks it could go from bad to worse – much worse!
According to most, on Oct. 17 the U.S. Treasury will hit its legal debt ceiling.
If Congress remains in it’s petulant temper tantrum, that could spell financial Armageddon.
And, it could lead to a third crisis: a constitutional one.


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GOP digs in over budget – for no rational reason

LUNATIC DEBT CEILING FIGHT WILL HARM ECONOMY, BUT RADICALS DON’T CARE
The looming budget battles in Congress are totally unnecessary and threaten to wreak havoc on an already fragile economy.
Republicans in the House of Representatives, pressured by far right-wing activist groups, don’t care.
It’s all about posturing and catering to the radial right wing of the party, which is holding the entire country hostage. Damn the torpedoes!
It’s enough to make your head explode.


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GOP losing its grip on reality: fantasy ‘policy’ proposals abound

Republicans’ increasingly fantastical ¬– or is it fanatical? – policy proposals, like Rep. Paul Ryan budget plan, demonstrate an inability to grasp the consequences of their “proposals,” if they can be taken seriously at all.
Their unwillingness to compromise, or even see the potential devastation of their own proposals, is a sure indicator of increased detachment from reality.
Get In the (K)now … here, now


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Short movie about gay love is a sensation (with two videos)

FIVE-HANDKERCHIEF COMING-OUT STORY HITS A NERVE (with two videos)
Love is a universal emotion. Everyone single one of us can identify with the issues so delicately explored by Kim Ho in his intimate personal coming out videos.
Kim Ho, 17, shares his angst over revealing his love for another boy in French class in “The Language of love,” which has been viewed more than 160,000 times on You Tube.
See the video for yourself here.


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Consumer watchdog finally on the job (with video)

PRESIDENT WELCOMES NEW CONSUMER WATCHDOG TO HIS TEAM
At long last, after a three-year battle with Congressional Republicans, consumers have a financial watchdog in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama took great delight in chiding the GOP during comments Wednesday at the White House about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new chief.
Get all the details here.


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‘The Newsroom’ created by Aaron Sorkin is must-see TV (with video)

BRILLIANT DRAMA CAPTURES AMERICAN ZEITGEIST
If Fox News DOESN’T LIKE “The Newsroom,” do you need more of a reason to watch it? I don’t.
Creator/write/director Aaron Sorkin not only begins with a great script, he adds superb production values to produce a gripping drama that keeps one glued to the screen while receiving an important message.
Watch a video clip here and get In the (K)now!


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Oil output boom may threaten move to renewable energy

U.S. SET TO BECOME BIGGEST PRODUCER
Oil production in the U.S. is booming. If present trends continue, this country may become the world’s largest producer of oil in less than eight years.
Without the threat of either limited supplies or higher prices, it is reasonable to expect the incentive to switch to cleaner, more climate-friendly energy sources, will wane.
This is an issue that needs a great deal of further discussion.
That starts here.


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