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Wednesday, Sep 02nd

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Media Matters founder goes on the warpath against anti-Clinton book

David BrockDavid Brock on Tuesday slammed media coverage of a forthcoming book detailing foreign donations made to the Clinton Foundation, calling into question how major news outlets are covering the May 5 release of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

“I think this is a political put-up job, and I can smell it from a mile away,” Brock said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is ‘Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy’

Neil deGrasse TysonWhat will you be doing on Monday, 4/20, at 11 p.m.?

Perhaps watching the premiere of acclaimed astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new show StarTalk. Tyson, who may be best known for hosting the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in 2014, will now be appearing weekly on the National Geographic Channel in what may be the first late-night science talk show.

Along with a trusty cast of comedians and science-minded folks like Bill Nye, Tyson hopes the adaptation of his popular podcast to a broadcast format will make getting a regular dose of science as pain-free as possible. He thinks that by embedding it between pop culture discussions and entertaining asides, the science will go down easy, and even leave you wanting more. And he’s right.

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Our Coming Theocratic Hell: The Right’s “Religious Freedom” Push Is Just the Beginning

politics and religionBy now, it’s clear that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act was crafted to empower piously bigoted entrepreneurs and companies desirous of freelancing with their own “Jim Crow for gays” restrictions, and to let them cite as legal justification for doing so their precious religious sensibilities.

The RFRA, said the original text, sought to give judicial succor to those who found that their “exercise of religion . . . has been substantially burdened,” or was just “likely to be substantially burdened” by performing services for people their faith’s sacred credos enjoin them to abhor (gays, in this case). The ensuing uproar in the media and business circles compelled Indiana’s state Senate to amend the legislation to prevent its deployment against the LBGT community, but state Democrats are still calling for its repeal.

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Hillary Clinton officially announces bid for the presidency

Hillary launchesWith much anticipation but little drama, Hillary Clinton officially announced Sunday she is running for president, a launch that will begin with a message on social media and continue over the next week with campaign visits to Iowa and New Hampshire.

The announcement marks an end to the first, awkward phase of Clinton’s roll-out — a non-campaign that has frustrated Democrats who were anxious for her to turn the ignition switch on a campaign that the party is deeply invested in.

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The First Woman to Run for US President: Victoria Woodhull

Victoria WoodhullFew know, though, the name of the woman who put the first crack in that highest, hardest glass ceiling. That honor belongs to a beautiful, colorful and convention-defying woman named Victoria Woodhull, who ran for the office in 1872, 136 years before Clinton made her first run in 2008.

Woodhull, who died nearly twenty years before Clinton was even born, hazarded a path on which no woman before her had ever dared to tread. Even more amazing is that she did it almost 50 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 gave women the right to vote. On Election Day, November 5, 1872, Victoria Woodhull couldn’t even vote for herself.

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Rand Paul walks out on live interview in third testy media exchange this week

Rand PaulRepublican senator Rand Paul walked out of a live interview with the Guardian on Friday, in the third testy exchange he has had with a journalist since launching his campaign for president three days ago.

Paul, who said during his campaign launch on Tuesday he would like to see “any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed”, responded awkwardly when asked which specific piece of legislation he would repeal.

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Barack Obama’s top aide says Israeli ‘occupation’ must end

Denis McDonoughWhite House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made clear in a speech to a left-leaning Israel advocacy group that President Barack Obama isn’t letting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off the hook for his dismissal of a two-state solution.

That stance, as well as Netanyahu’s suggestion also made in the closing days before last week’s Israeli elections that he’d approved settlements in contested territory in Jerusalem for the strategic purpose of changing the borders are “so very troubling,” McDonough told J Street’s annual conference in Washington. He called the pro-Israel group, which opposes some of Netanyahu’s policies, “our partner.”

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