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Lawsuit challenges ‘work-activity programs’ for Oregon’s disabled

PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) – Thousands of disabled Oregonians are stuck segregated in dead-end jobs at “sheltered workshops,” in violation of federal law, because of failed state programs that should help them find mainstream employment, according to a landmark lawsuit filed on Wednesday. Sheltered workshops, sometimes called “work-activity programs,” are facilities…

Hinckley is a ‘danger’ if released: psychiatrist

John Hinckley’s tendency to lie and his isolation increase the risk that he presents a new danger to society after 30 years of confinement for shooting president Ronald Reagan, a psychiatrist told a federal judge. The judge is reviewing Hinckley’s case to decide whether to expand the conditional release rights…

Is the American Dream still achievable in 2012?

President Barack Obama’s populist vision of a fairer US society comes at a time when the American Dream is becoming tougher to achieve after three decades of rising inequality, experts said. With a US election in his sights, Obama used his State of the Union speech to urge large tax…

Cross-hair stickers placed outside Missouri lawmakers’ offices

Missouri Capitol Police are searching for who placed orange cross-hair stickers outside the Capitol offices of five Democratic senators and one Republican lawmaker, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. “We don’t have any explanation,” Democratic state Sen. Jolie Justus said on the Senate floor. “Many of us when we came…

Gingrich promises moon base that could become 51st state

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Wednesday vowed to build a lunar colony that he said could eventually become the 51st state. Speaking to Republicans on Florida’s Space Coast, the former House Speaker explained that the “grandiose” idea would be possible because the government would fuel innovation by awarding prizes…

Indiana state House approves right-to-work bill

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Indiana’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed right-to-work legislation on Wednesday, sending on to Governor Mitch Daniels a controversial measure that could hit organized labor in the pocketbook. Once signed into law by Daniels, who gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech…

Geithner says wouldn’t serve in an Obama 2nd term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he would not expect to be asked to continue as Treasury chief if President Barack Obama wins re-election. “He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said during a Bloomberg television interview conducted in North…

Gingrich, Romney slam Havana to woo Cuban-Americans

MIAMI — Newt Gingrich was ahead in the rhetorical war among Republican presidential hopefuls on who could be toughest on Cuba’s communist regime, suggesting Wednesday he would bomb the island if there were a popular uprising. Both former House speaker Gingrich and his top rival, ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, were…

Rep. Van Hollen pushes to enhance Super PAC disclosure

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) plans to introduce legislation that would require Super PACS to more fully disclose donations and stand by their ads, according to The Huffington Post. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in January 2010 gave rise to Super PACS, officially known as independent-expenditure only committees. These…

Obama denies Republican claims of ‘class warfare’

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — US President Barack Obama Wednesday denied Republican claims he was waging class warfare as he set out to sell his call for tax hikes on the rich in states crucial to his reelection bid. Hours after his combative and populist State of the Union address, Obama…

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