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9:50 PM ET, March 31, 2015


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Defying Criticism, Arkansas Legislature Passes Bill on Religious Freedom  —  LITTLE ROCK, Ark., — Despite intensifying criticism from business leaders both within and outside of Arkansas, the state legislature on Tuesday passed its version of a measure billed as a religious freedom law …
Charles Pierce / Esquire:
David Brooks Would Like You To Lower Your Voice  —  In which David Brooks would like gay people to lower their voices.  —  GETTY BRYAN BEDDER FOR THE NEW YORKER  —  Before we deal with the well-mannered moral monster that is David Brooks, we should dispense with some of the WeaselSpeak …
Jill Lawrence / US News:
A Glimpse Into the GOP's Backward Bubble  —  Defending Indiana's anti-gay, ‘religious freedom’ law makes Gov. Mike Pence the face of GOP insularity.  —  If there's one takeaway from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's “religious freedom restoration” debacle, it's that Republicans ignore today's cultural environment at their peril.
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
“Smoking Doesn't Kill” And Other Great Old Op-Eds From Mike Pence  —  The Indiana governor who is at the center of the debate surrounding the recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act in his state wrote some interesting op-eds 15 years ago.  —  “Time for a quick reality check.
David Brooks / New York Times:
Religious Liberty and Equality  —  Over the past few decades the United States has engaged in a great struggle to balance civil rights and religious liberty.  —  On the one hand, there is a growing consensus that straight, gay and lesbian people deserve full equality with each other.
Brian Beutler / The New Republic:
The Real Consequences of Indiana's “Religious Freedom” Law  —  It's not about boutique wedding shops.  What if Hobby Lobby refused to allow gay customers?  —  When Arizona's then-Governor Jan Brewer vetoed legislation last February to protect religious individuals and business owners …
David Weigel / Bloomberg Business:
Trevor Noah, From Progressive Icon to Villain in 24 Hours  —  Why people turned on Trevor Noah so quickly.  —  The media hot take, the quick response to unfamiliar news, generally ages like milk left out in the August sun.  Sonia Saraiya's reaction to Trevor Noah, the new host of The Daily Show, has not even aged that well.
Jessica Winter / Slate:
The Problem Isn't That Trevor Noah Is Offensive.  The Problem Is That He's a Giant Dope.  —  Not since John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate have the vetting capacities of a powerful political force been cast into such doubt.  When Trevor Noah was announced Monday as the next host …
Adam Nossiter / New York Times:
In Nigeria's Election, Muhammadu Buhari Defeats Goodluck Jonathan  —  KANO, Nigeria — With anger swelling over corruption, inequality and a devastating Islamist insurgency in the nation's north, Nigerians chose a former general who once ruled with an iron hand to be their next president, according to election results on Tuesday.
Eun Kyung Kim / Today:
Elizabeth Warren on 2016: 'I'm not going to run' — and Hillary Clinton deserves ‘a chance to decide’  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a populist figure among the Democratic faithful after taking on Wall Street and the banking industry, reaffirmed to Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Tuesday that she has no plans to run for president in 2016.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Hillary Clinton Makes It Hard to Follow the Money
Discussion: BREITBART.COM and Weekly Standard
Neil Eggleston / White Blog:
Upholding the Principle of Fairness in Our Criminal Justice System Through Clemency  —  Building on his commitment to address instances of unfairness in sentencing, President Obama granted 22 commutations today to individuals serving time in federal prison.  Had they been sentenced under current laws …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Harry Reid's appalling defense of his attack on Mitt Romney's tax record  —  One of the more outlandish moments of the 2012 campaign came when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the floor of the world's greatest deliberative body and accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years.
Washington Free Beacon:
Harry Reid Justifies Lying About Romney's Taxes from Senate Floor: 'He Didn't Win, Did He?'
Discussion: RedState and Hot Air
Page Six:
Weinstein accused of molesting model  —  Harvey Weinstein leaves his home in New York City on Tuesday.  The Hollywood exec faces accusations he groped Italian model Ambra Battilana (right).  —  A stunning 22-year-old model with ties to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told police …
Discussion: Daily Mail and The Daily Caller
Brian Deese / Medium:
We're taking action on climate change—and the world is joining us  —  Last November, President Obama stood in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping—and made history.  —  The leaders of the world's two largest economies—and two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases …
Rand Paul Said He Doesn't Believe In The Concept Of Gay Rights  —  Sen. Rand Paul said he doesn't buy into the concept of gay rights because they are defined by a gay person's lifestyle.  —  “I don't think I've ever used the word gay rights, because I don't really believe in rights based on your behavior …
Frédéric Helbert / Le fil info Royal Blog de …:
EXCLUSIVE: THE FINAL MOMENTS BEFORE THE CRASH  —  A short video found on the site of the crash appears to confirm the data recovered from one of the two black boxes of the A320.  —  Paris Match and Bild obtained a video taken during the final seconds of the fated Germanwings flight 4U9525 …
Lazar Berman / The Times of Israel:
Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’  —  Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatens Saudis, saying their fate will be like that of Saddam Hussein  —  The commander of the Basij militia of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
The MSNBC ratings keep getting worse  —  Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for MSNBC, along came the quarterly ratings reports.  —  In both daytime and prime time, MSNBC endured its lowest quarterly demo numbers in a decade, and its total viewership since the final quarter of 2007.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Ben Domenech / The Federalist:
The End of Tolerance And Enforced Morality  —  Are you having a fun Culture War 4.0?  It's certainly been a crazy ride for Indiana state representatives, who appear to be caving to pressure to “clarify” RFRA language after being assaulted for being anti-gay.
Discussion: The Mahablog
David Dayen / Salon:
Barney Frank drops a bombshell: How a shocking anecdote explains the financial crisis  —  Barney Frank has a new autobiography out.  He's long been one of the nation's most quotable politicians.  And Washington lives in perpetual longing for intra-party conflict.
Discussion: Bloomberg View
Ben S. Bernanke / Brookings Institute:
Why are interest rates so low, part 2: Secular stagnation  —  Three of the most important objectives for economic policy are:  — Achieving full employment  — Keeping inflation low and stable  — Maintaining financial stability  —  Larry Summers' secular stagnation hypothesis holds …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
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 More Items: 
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Lifts Arms Freeze Against Egypt
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Alexa V. Morgan / Spectrum:
Ex-NASCAR driver Tyler Walker sentenced to jail, probation
Andrew Wolfson / Courier-Journal:
Ky: No one can marry same sex, ban not biased
Dylan Byers / Politico:
National Review goes nonprofit
Associated Press:
Officials: Iran nuke talks to continue in new phase
Laura Vitto / Mashable:
18 simple April Fools' Day pranks
Discussion: WHNT-TV
 Earlier Items: 
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Laura Ingraham to launch news site
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel / Washington Post:
A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans
Discussion: Common Dreams and Instapundit
Jennifer Chowdhury / NBC News:
Indiana Woman Gets 20 Years for Feticide
Michael Stratford / Inside Higher Ed:
Cash Monitoring List Unveiled
Jura Koncius / Washington Post:
Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents' treasures
Jack Gillum / Associated Press:
Clinton also used iPad for email; mixed personal, work chats

From Mediagazer:

Blake Brittain / Reuters:
Filing: OpenAI asks a US federal judge to dismiss parts of NYT's copyright suit, alleging it “paid someone to hack OpenAI's products” and violated OpenAI's TOS

Samantha Cole / 404 Media:
Internal docs: Tumblr staff compiled users' data in preparation for deals where Automattic would sell the data to OpenAI and Midjourney to train AI tools

Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: WBD is no longer pursuing a merger with Paramount, Skydance is doing due diligence, and Comcast is exploring commercial partnerships with Paramount

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