Mark Anderson

I did not turn my back on the church — it turned its back on me

I was baptized and confirmed as a United Methodist. I went to Sunday school and vacation Bible study, and participated in youth groups and missions as a teenager. I have fond memories of Pastor Bob and Pastor Rick, and going on weekend retreats with the youth group.

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It's not about national security: Here's the insidious truth behind Trump's border wall

Throughout history nations have built walls to protect them from invaders, or to keep their people from escaping. China built the Great Wall to protect itself from invaders, but:

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An Unprecedented Grassroots Effort Could Put a Stop to Fraudulent Debt Collections

Federal agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might make headlines, but they don’t always make progress. Sometimes solving problems is up to the people themselves.

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School District Backs Down on Its Plan to Chip Student IDs

The huge Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas announced July 16 it was scrapping its widely distrusted program of micro-chipping student IDs with RFID technology — which brave NISD student Andrea Hernandez opposed with all her might. With unwavering support from her father, she sparked a groundswell that overcame the NISD administration’s designs.

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Maintaining Lower-Case Democracy

Like many progressive Americans, we were distraught when we learned of Sen. Paul Wellstone's sudden death in a plane crash on Friday. It was, as many have observed, like losing a member of one's extended family. However, while the Senator certainly would have been flattered by the outpouring of grief in his name over the past few days, his life and his works make it clear that he would have wanted his memory to endure not as eulogies but as political action.

The coming week is a crucial moment in this country's history for just such action. Simply put: Any future checks and balances on Bush's extremism rest in the Democrats holding the Senate and winning majority control of the House. (And if it can at all be helped -- keeping one's eye on 2004 -- booting Jeb Bush from the Florida governor's chair.)

All of these goals are within reach, but only just. This next week is going to feature extensive (as well as expensive) taxpayer-funded forays by Bush and his minions to do all they can to scuttle such plans.

In the coming few days, a little bit of time and money will go a long way. There are some tight races in the House and Senate right now, ones that will turn Congress either toward a Republican rubber stamp or a Democrat roadblock. What is desperately needed in Washington in the next two years is more of what beltway pundits typically treat with scorn and contempt: Gridlock, glorious gridlock!

Below is a breakdown of the key Senate races and how they stand in the polls, as of Oct. 28 -- from the very helpful site mydd.com. Note, however, that these are only projections. Much can and will change between now and Election Day.

Top Nine Senate seats for Democrats to Take Over

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