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8:20 AM ET, April 1, 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 …
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
The Left wages total war; and then plays victim  —  On one side is the CEO of the world's largest company, the president of the United States and a growing chunk of the Fortune 500.  On the other side is a solo wedding photographer in New Mexico, a 70-year-old grandma florist in Washington and a few bakers.
Discussion: The Anchoress
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.
Mark Berman / Washington Post:
Arkansas lawmakers approve religious liberty bill despite firestorm over Indiana law  —  Amid intense criticism of Indiana's religious liberties law, which has prompted lawmakers in that state to vow to fix the legislation, another state charged ahead with a similar measure.
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.
Danielle Kloap / Arkansas Online:
HB1228 passes House, heads to governor
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:   “Smoking Doesn't Kill” And Other Great Old Op-Eds From Mike Pence
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Could Another Democrat Beat Hillary Clinton? Strategists Offer a Blueprint
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Hillary Clinton Makes It Hard to Follow the Money
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
IRS chief to GOP: You can't abolish us  —  The IRS commissioner on Tuesday brushed aside GOP proposals to abolish his agency, insisting the U.S. would have to have a tax collector one way or another.  —  “You can call them something other than the IRS if that made you feel better,” …
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 …
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 …
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.
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
Los Angeles Times:
Andrew Getty's death does not appear to involve foul play, authorities say  —  Authorities investigating the death of Andrew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, said a preliminary investigation suggests foul play was not involved.  —  The death appeared to be natural or an accident …
Discussion: BuzzFeed, The Week and FOX40
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Removes Weapons Freeze Against Egypt  —  WASHINGTON — Seeking to repair relations with a longtime ally at a time of spreading war in the Middle East, President Obama on Tuesday lifted an arms freeze against Egypt that he first imposed after the military overthrow of the country's …
The White House:
FACT SHEET: U.S. Reports its 2025 Emissions Target to the UNFCCC  —  State Department Submits President Obama's Ambitious 2025 Target to Cut U.S. Climate Pollution by 26-28 Percent from 2005 Levels  —  To view the INDC submission, click HERE.  —  Building on the strong progress …
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Secret, unlimited donations could boost a Jeb Bush run
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Alexa V. Morgan / Spectrum:
Ex-NASCAR driver Tyler Walker sentenced to jail, probation
Dylan Byers / Politico:
National Review goes nonprofit
Laura Vitto / Mashable:
18 simple April Fools' Day pranks
Discussion: WHNT-TV
 Earlier Items: 
Page Six:
Weinstein accused of molesting model
Discussion: Daily Mail and The Daily Caller
Ben Domenech / The Federalist:
The End of Tolerance And Enforced Morality
Discussion: The Mahablog
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Laura Ingraham to launch news site
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Harry Reid's appalling defense of his attack on Mitt Romney's tax record
David Dayen / Salon:
Barney Frank drops a bombshell: How a shocking anecdote explains the financial crisis