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Friday, May 22nd

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his campaign launch on Tuesday he would like to see “any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed”, responded awkwardly when asked which specific piece of legislation he would repeal.

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Court refuses to lift block on Obama's immigration plan

immigration block lift deniedA Texas federal judge refused to lift a temporary block on a White House immigration plan that would defer deportation for up to 5 million people in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen rejected a request by the federal government that he stay his Feb. 16 decision, which granted a preliminary injunction blocking President Barack Obama's executive action. He said the government has not "shown any credible reason" why the order needed to be set into action immediately.

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Robert Reich: Colleges, Churches and Non-Profits Doing the Wealthy's Dirty Work

robert reich editotial

Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of the congregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy.

He said he didn’t want to antagonize certain wealthy congregants on whose generosity the congregation depended.

I had a similar exchange last year with the president of a small college who had invited me to give a lecture that his board of trustees would be attending. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t criticize Wall Street,” he said, explaining that several of the trustees were investment bankers.

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Voodoo Economics: The morning after the tea party

Tea partyConservative U.S. governors who came to power during the 2010 tea party electoral wave are facing a reality check. A few years ago, catering to a far-right constituency, they campaigned on pledges of slashing taxes and bolstering business. Their subsequent policies have benefited the wealthy but failed to bring trickle-down prosperity to their states.

It is the morning after the tea party. Republican governors are waking up to a sluggish job market, stagnant wages, state deficits and impoverished services. The party’s trickle-down ideology is no way to manage a government. And a state cannot be run on tax cuts alone.

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Top nuclear experts endorse Iran deal

iran dealThe White House is getting a cheering section going for the Iran deal — thanks to a ramped-up series of briefings to allies who can make the case from the outside.

Diplomats, scientists and other activists began making their own arguments Monday for the preliminary nuclear deal reached last week, releasing statements that praised the agreement and urged lawmakers to give negotiators a chance to pursue a comprehensive accord.

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Barack Obama fights back against Israeli critics of Iran nuclear deal

obama fights back Barack Obama has answered continuing Israeli criticism of the framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, telling the New York Times the deal is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see whether or not we can at least take the nuclear issue off the table”.

The US president added: “There is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward – and that’s demonstrable.”

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Jeb Bush marked 'Hispanic' on Fla. voter registration form: NYT

Jeb BushLikely Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who was popular among Spanish-speaking voters while Florida governor, marked himself as 'Hispanic' on a 2009 voter registration application, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper posted a fuzzy copy of the form, which it said it obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. The circle marked "Hispanic" was checked. The next circle said "White, not Hispanic," which was not checked.

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