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Grayson calls on American public to ‘Unmask the Fed’

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Florida Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson wants Americans to help him block Congress from confirming the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to his second term unless he hands over documents relating to the bailouts of financial institutions, including the rescue of Bear Stearns.

In the “Unmask the Fed” campaign, Grayson calls on constituents to sign petitions demanding that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke “come clean” before senators re-confirm his appointment to the helm of the Federal Reserve.

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Grayson wants access to the Bear Stearns rescue paperwork as well as the details of which financial institutions received $1.2 trillion in bailout money, how much each institution received, and what was promised in return.  He’s also seeking Fed documents that discuss the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger, transcripts of Open Market Meeting minutes, and the terms and conditions of Fed transactions not reflected in balance sheets from the past three years.

“[T]he Senate should know who got the $2 trillion the Federal Reserve has lent out over the last two years,” the petition reads.  “Only then will the Senate be able to judge whether he should keep his job.”

Grayson and Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul sent Sen. Chris Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, a letter last week asking him to postpone Bernanke’s re-confirmation hearings until the public has access to more information about the Federal Reserve.

“Without such an understanding, it is impossible to know whether Chairman Bernanke is fit to serve another term and fulfill the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate to ensure price stability and full employment,” the letter to Dodd read.

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It continued: “Today, big banks are being bailed out and have a substantially lower cost of capital through an implicit government backstop even as Americans themselves are seeing their pay cut.”

There are separate bills that would authorize an audit of the Federal Reserve that are picking up speed in both the House and the Senate, with bi-partisan support in both chambers. Paul sponsors the House version of that legislation, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is behind the Senate measure.

“The Federal Reserve has got to understand that this money does not belong to the Federal Reserve. It belongs to the American people,” Sanders told Raw Story in an email from his spokesman.  “As long as the Federal Reserve is allowed to keep the information on their loans secret, we will never know the true financial condition of the banking system.”

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Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography

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According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.

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‘I thought he was joking’: CNN’s Cuomo didn’t buy Spicer’s humble brag about being a ‘staunch Christian’

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Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo

During the Tuesday night "hand-off" between CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, the two chuckled about former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who made his "Dancing with the Stars" debut Monday night. Spicer bragged about being a "staunch Christian," as the reason for why he won't win "Dancing with the Stars." But Cuomo chastised Spicer for trying to score votes.

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CNN

Trump adviser ties his tongue in knots trying to explain away the president’s anti-Hispanic racism

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On Monday night, President Donald Trump received heavy criticism after a rally in New Mexico in which he turned to one of his Hispanic advisers, Steve Cortes, said he "looks more like a WASP than I do," and asked him "Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?"

Talking with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday, Cortes was completely undeterred from going to bat for Trump against accusations of racism.

"Forget about how he put what he put to you last night. He's not the greatest wordsmith. It was a little clumsy, you recognize that, none of that matters to me," said Cuomo. "Here's what matters to me. How can the Latino community believe that he loves them when he has said so many anti-Mexican and even anti-Puerto Rican things, how can he love Latinos when she's shown such animosity?"

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