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Former MA Governor Mitt Romney campaigns through swing states, seen here in June with Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)

The curious number in Romney's tax proposal

10/03/12 01:28PM

In a Monday night interview with a Fox affiliate in Denver, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced he would limit tax deductions up to $17,000. That's all well and good, but did he pick that number out of thin air? The former Massachusetts governor didn't specify in his quoted comments:“As an option you could say everybody’s going to get up to a $17,000 deduction; and you could use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others — your healthcare deduction, and you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way. read more

Republican candidate for Senate, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, lost to Claire McCaskill. (Christian Gooden/AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, )

'Legitimate rape' not Akin's first gaffe, or last

10/03/12 05:15AM

Two months ago, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin made headlines for insisting that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" can't get pregnant. That instance outed the Republican Senate candidate as dangerously uninformed at best, and sexist at worst. It's enough to expect that such incendiary bombast occurs once in a person's political tenure. But Amanda Marcotte over at Slate unearthed a video from 2008 of Akin on the house floor making yet an even more outlandishly mendacious remark (emphasis mine): read more

Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk (L) during drills at a July NFL football training camp. Birk recently spoke out against marriage equality.

NFL player's opposition to marriage equality: 'Marriage is in trouble right now'

10/02/12 12:24PM

Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk penned an op-ed this past weekend for the Minneapolis Star Tribune condemning same-sex marriage."I think it is important to set the record straight about what the marriage debate is and is not about, and to clarify that not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing," Birk wrote.His piece goes on to say that "marriage is in trouble right now" for many reasons, and America has a duty to "preserve and promote a healthy, authentic pro-marriage culture." Birk encouraged all Americans to engage in the debate over marriage equality with civility and r read more

Ohioans 'sleeping out' for early vote tonight

Ohioans 'sleeping out' for early vote tonight

10/01/12 09:13PM

If my church home back in Philadelphia, Mother Bethel A.M.E., is skipping a worship service, you know something's up. The reason they did so yesterday was a good one if civic participation and responsibility is your thing:As the city, state, and nation await the fate of Pennsylvania's new voter-ID law a little more than a month before the presidential election, a historic church in Philadelphia took matters into its own hands Sunday.Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, at Sixth and Lombard Streets, canceled its 11 a.m. read more

California Gov. Jerry Brown looks on during a news conference at Google headquarters on September 25, 2012 in Mountain View, California.

Domestic workers movement hits speed bump in California

10/01/12 03:58PM

The domestic workers rights movement suffered a significant legislative defeat on Sunday when California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, vetoed that state's proposed Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The law would have mandated that all of California's estimated 200,000 domestic cleaners, health care workers, private cooks and child care professionals receive regular meal breaks and pay for overtime.Brown indicated his support for domestic worker protections in general, but said the bill left "unanswered questions" about enforcement and a potential increase in the cost of domestic labor. read more

Trafficking survivor Aisha Graves, one of our guests today.

Human trafficking is your problem, too

09/30/12 02:07PM

This is a guest post from one of our guests today, FAIR Girls executive director Andrea Powell, written prior to her appearance today.Human trafficking isn’t something that happens "over there." I know this because as co-founding Executive Director of FAIR Girls, I spend my days side by side with girls from all over America who have been bought and sold like commodities. FAIR Girls helps hundreds of victimized girls each year become safe, healthy, and restored survivors.This should be a central issue this election season, and one that every voter knows and cares about. read more

Sikh woman's graceful response to cyberbully turns would-be enemy into ally

09/30/12 12:40PM

COMMENTARYThe Internet is a brutal place. Shielded by digital anonymity, bullies are emboldened to unleash cruelty that shames, hurts and silences their victims. That seemed to be what was happening when a young man posted a photo of Ohio State University sophomore Balpreet Kaur in the 'funny' section of social news website caption read, "I'm not sure what to conclude from this." Kaur is a Sikh woman. Her appearance is unusual because she has facial hair that she chooses not to remove. She did not know this photo was taken. She did not know it was posted on the Internet. read more

In our September 30 show, we'll get technical

09/30/12 09:45AM

A far cry from the microchips, wires, and bits and bytes that form them, what computers have come to mean in our culture has manifested itself in so many positive and negative ways. It's no different in politics, where campaigning has seized technology as a way to reach out and connect in an emotional and substantive way. read more

Good Look: Willie Nelson arrives in #nerdland

09/30/12 09:31AM

Last week, we had the legendary Willie Nelson join us from the road to talk not just about his 27th year of Farm Aid (which was a big success on Saturday):"I was just hoping to help farmers be able to farm food and feed their families," Nelson told the Patriot-News of the event's origins in an interview on Friday. "There was a time we were the strongest, after World War II, when everybody was pulling the plow. read more

Marion Leary and one of the Philadelphians she helped.

Meet Marion Leary, micro-savior

09/29/12 09:50PM

Melissa began today's "Foot Soldiers" segment with a fable about a starfish, meant to illustrate the power of doing even a little bit to make a difference -- even when the difference you're making appears to some as too small to bother. read more