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Thursday, Jul 30th

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A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act

a Dream UndoneIn the morning of his wedding, in 1956, Henry Frye realized that he had a few hours to spare before the afternoon ceremony. He was staying at his parents’ house in Ellerbe, N.C.; the ceremony would take place 75 miles away, in Greensboro, the hometown of his fiancée; and the drive wouldn’t take long. Frye, who had always been practical, had a practical thought: Now might be a good time to finally register to vote.

He was 24 and had just returned from Korea, where he served as an Air Force officer, but he was also a black man in the American South, so he wasn’t entirely surprised when his efforts at the registrar’s office were blocked.

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Petition to pardon Edward Snowden rejected by Obama administration

SnowdenThe White House has rejected a petition to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, dubbing the former contractor’s revelations about the US government’s surveillance apparatus as “dangerous” and compromising to national security.

Responding to a “We the People” petition, launched after Snowden’s initial leaks were published in the Guardian two years ago, the Obama administration on Tuesday reiterated its belief that he should face criminal charges for his actions.

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Bloomberg: Trump Worth 1/3 What He Says

Trump worth on third of claimThe latest math on Donald Trump: $2.9 billion.

An analysis by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, based in part on a 92-page personal financial disclosure form made public last week, revealed a portfolio dominated by skyscrapers and golf courses. The celebrity presidential candidate says he’s worth more than $10 billion.

Trump has vaulted to the top of some polls in the crowded field of Republican contenders hoping to win the White House next year. His comments against illegal immigration and Senator John McCain’s status as a Vietnam War hero have attracted attention—and renewed the focus on his many and varied claims to the size of his own wealth.

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Surprise! Pro-GMO Lawmakers Get Big Funds from Agribusiness Lobbies

GMO supporters gat agri donorsFile this under unsurprising, but nefarious nonetheless.

Members of U.S. Congress who vote against mandatory labeling for genetically modified (GMO) products receive three times as much funding from the food and agriculture lobbies as their colleagues, according to new reporting from Open Secrets, a project of the Center for Responsive Politics.

The political finance watchdog group found that the supporters of the anti-labeling bill which passed the House of Representatives last Thursday collectively received $29.9 million from the agribusiness lobby and food and beverage industry during the 2014 election cycle.

File this under unsurprising, but nefarious nonetheless.

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Obama calls GOP criticism of Iran deal 'ridiculous' 'sad'

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama unleashed a blistering and belittling rebuke of Republican White House hopefuls Monday, calling their attack on his landmark nuclear deal with Iran "ridiculous if it weren't so sad."

Standing before television cameras during a trip to Africa, Obama suggested the bellicose rhetoric from some GOP candidates was an attempt to divert attention from Donald Trump, the wealthy businessman-turned presidential contender whose popularity is confounding the Republican field.

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Billionaire brothers give Cruz super PAC $15M

Two low-profile Texas brothers have donated $15 million to support Sen. Ted Cruz, a record-setting contribution that amounts to the largest known donation so far in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Farris and Dan Wilks, billionaires who made their fortunes in the West Texas fracking boom, have given $15 million of the $38 million that the pro-Cruz super PAC, Keep the Promise, will disclose in election filings next week, according to sources outside the super PAC with knowledge of the giving.

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Veterans named as Donald Trump supporters say they were not consulted

Donald TrumpSeveral people listed as part of the “Veterans for Trump coalition” formed by Donald Trump following his incendiary comments about John McCain’s war record have denied they are part of the group, the Guardian has learned.

Trump’s campaign announced the formation of the New Hampshire-based group in response to criticism of the business mogul’s labelling of McCain, who spent five and a half years in a North Vietnamese jail, where he was tortured, as “not a war hero”.

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