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GOP Mega-Donor Spent $150M on Election

Dec 5, 2012, 11:05 am EDT
GOP Mega-Donor Spent $150M on Election

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson laid down a very expensive bet on the Republican party during the 2012 election: $150 million.

This outpaced many estimates and even Adelson’s initially stated goal of spending $100 million in the hopes of defeating Barack Obama and gaining control of both the House and Senate.

Interestingly enough, Adelson only reported $54 million in donations to the Federal Election Commission. Where did the other $96 million go? To political nonprofits who do not have to reveal their donors. These include an estimated $30-40 million to Crossroads GPS and about $15 million to groups aligned with the Koch brothers. Read 

Ashley Judd May Run for U.S. Senate

Dec 4, 2012, 7:29 pm EDT
Ashley Judd May Run for U.S. Senate

The Democrats have set their sights high for 2014: remove Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from office.

Who might end up running against the powerful Kentucky Republican? None other than actress Ashley Judd.

Judd, who has appeared in movies ranging from Heat to A Time to Kill to Kiss the Girls, is also an eighth-generation Kentuckian, daughter of country singer Naomi Judd, and an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan. She was also a strong supporter of Barack Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections, appearing at the 2012 Democratic National Convention to campaign on his behalf. Read 

Romney Back On Marriott International Board

Dec 3, 2012, 7:54 pm EDT

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has landed a pretty nice consolation prize after being defeated by Barack Obama in the 2012 election: board of directors member.

More specifically, Romney has rejoined the board of directors for hotel and resort company Marriott International (NYSE:MAR), as of today. Romney previously served on Marriott’s board of directors from 1993-2002 and from January 2009 to January 2011. His first term ended when he successfully ran for governor of Massachusetts, and his second term ended when he began his campaign for U.S. president.

In a Marriott press release, Romney said “It is an honor to once again be able to serve in the company of leaders like Bill Marriott and Arne Sorenson and to support the work of the tens of thousands of Marriott associates who make Marriott International the renowned success that it is.” Read 

Newark Mayor to Eat on $4 a Day

Dec 3, 2012, 7:35 pm EDT
Newark Mayor to Eat on $4 a Day

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has risen to the challenge levied by one of his Twitter followers: live off of food stamps for one week.

Starting tomorrow, Cory Booker will only be eating food that he purchased Saturday using the monetary equivalent of a week’s worth of food stamps: $27.98. The follower issuing the challenge is also taking part in it as well, and began yesterday.

Booker, who is vegetarian, tweeted a picture of his receipt from his shopping trip. Items on his grocery list including pink and black beans, corn, and apples. Read 

5 States Experiment With More School Time

Dec 3, 2012, 10:31 am EDT
5 States Experiment With More School Time

Five states are planning to announce an increase of 300 hours for some students’ school years for 2013.

The states, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee, are joining an initiative to try to boost student achievement through increased class hours, according to the Associated Press. The effort is part of a three-year test program changing the hours at 40 schools in the five states. The means by which the school year is expanded is flexible: Parents and the districts can decide whether to add weeks to the school year or to increase the hours per day in school.

The effort is being paid for through a combination of funds, with school district, state and federal dollars contributing to the effort. Also contributing are the nonprofit Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning. Read 

Forced Savings: The Only Way to a Reasonable Retirement

Dec 3, 2012, 7:15 am EDT
Forced Savings: The Only Way to a Reasonable Retirement

The creation of the 401(k) was intended to provide workers with a tax-deferred vehicle to save for retirement.

When used properly, it’s true that a segment of the population has benefited greatly from the 1982 legislation … but for the most part, its intended consequences haven’t come to pass. The investment industry — along with the richest Americans — have profited handsomely while the majority have no chance of retiring at 65.

In fact, Matthew O’Brien, associate editor of The Atlantic, calls the 401(k) a $240 billion waste. Is he right? Read 

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