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12:25 PM ET, June 16, 2015


 Top Items: 
Eun Kyung Kim /
Rachel Dolezal breaks her silence on TODAY: ‘I identify as black’  —  Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president accused of pretending to be black, tells TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive live interview that she identifies as black — something she started doing at the age of five.
Wbastone / The Smoking Gun:
NAACP Imposter Sued School Over Race Claims
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Dems should not be losing voting-rights fight  —  Why are Democrats losing the debate over voting rights?  —  The biggest political fight shaping the 2016 campaigns for the White House and Senate is over limiting the Democrats' base of likely voters.  —  President Obama twice won …
Hillary Clinton = Jeb Bush?
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Clintons charge big fees to small groups
Martin Matishak / The Hill:
Week ahead: Defense spending, Benghazi testimony top agenda
Discussion: Washington Post
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Some of Hillary Clinton's Libya emails said to be withheld from Benghazi Committee
Discussion: The Last Refuge
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by F.B.I. for Hacking Astros  —  WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating front-office officials for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful teams in baseball over the past two decades, for hacking …
ABC News:
Trump Makes It Official: He's Running For President  —  Donald Trump, the real estate mogul, reality television star and hair icon, today announced he is taking his first run at the White House.  —  From the iconic Trump Tower in New York City, the Donald told his supporters he is …
Discussion: Bloomberg Business and WKRN-TV
Adam B. Lerner / Politico:
Donald Trump: I'm running for president  —  In a free-ranging speech, Trump takes on China, his own wealth, and declares 'I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created"  —  Donald Trump is running for president.  —  Speaking from New York City's Trump Tower office building …
Discussion: Political Wire
Emily Greenhouse / Bloomberg Business:
Can He Be Hired?  Trump Enters the Presidential Race  —  Billionaire television personality and business executive Donald Trump formally began his Republican presidential campaign on Tuesday in Manhattan, saying that the United States has become “a dumping ground for other people's problems.”
Tina Moore / New York Daily News:
Joyce Mitchell had sexual relationships with both escaped N.Y. inmates, sources say  —  They got out with a bang.  —  The wayward wife accused of helping two killers break out of upstate's Clinton Correctional Facility had sex with both of them, sources told the Daily News.
Source: Fugitives planned to kill husband  —  Mitchell, a prison tailor, is accused of sneaking hacksaw blades, chisels, drill bits, a punch and other contraband into the two convicts' hands.  She has pleaded not guilty to the two charges brought against her but has been talking to investigators.
Michael B. Oren / Wall Street Journal:
How Obama Abandoned Israel  —  Netanyahu and the president both made mistakes, but only one purposely damaged U.S.-Israel relations.  —  'Nobody has a monopoly on making mistakes.  " When I was Israel's ambassador to the United States from 2009 to the end of 2013, that was my standard response …
Wall Street Journal:
Bernie Sanders' Longshot Campaign Drawing Big Crowds  —  Challenge for the Democratic presidential candidate is to channel the enthusiasm into donations, votes  —  DES MOINES, Iowa—It's the sort of problem many candidates would envy.  Sen. Bernie Sanders is drawing large …
Discussion: PoliticusUSA
The Hill:
House punts on trade  —  House GOP leaders are punting on voting again on President Obama's trade agenda, possibly until the end of July.  —  After Friday's failed vote to pass aid for workers displaced by trade deals, known as Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) …
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
GOP On Trade Deal: ‘No One Will Be Negotiating With Leader Pelosi On A Path Forward’
Discussion: and Slantpoint
Democrats face gut-check moment on spending  —  They aim to force Republicans to increase domestic spending by killing GOP funding bills.  —  Senate Democrats are ready to follow through on a risky strategy to confront Republicans this week over government spending, shrugging off Republicans' assertions …
Discussion: The Hill and Balloon Juice
Manu Raju / Politico:
Lindsey Graham's memoir blunt about his upbringing  —  He shares stories of tough times and failed relationships.  —  Lindsey Graham grew up in the back room of a South Carolina bar, sharing a bathroom with patrons who worked down the street at a nearby mill plant.  He took baths with water heated up on the stove.
Discussion: Chicago Tribune and Mediaite
Katie Pavlich / The Hill:
Obama's anti-police ideology  —  As President Obama starts to wind down his tenure in the White House, with just a year and a half to go, he's focusing on federalization of local police forces in the name of “justice.”  Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be his go-to on this project, just as Eric Holder was before her.
Pete Buttigieg / South Bend Tribune:
South Bend mayor: Why coming out matters  —  Editor's note: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wrote this essay, which was published on the Tribune's Voices page.  —  Any day now, the Supreme Court will issue a decision on same-sex marriage that will directly affect millions of Americans.
Discussion: Advocate and ABC News
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
It's official: Obama axes trans fat  —  The Obama administration is making good on its pledge to all but ban trans fat nationwide.  —  The Obama administration is making good on its pledge to all but ban trans fat nationwide.  —  The FDA issued a final decision Tuesday that gives …
Discussion: Guardian and The Week
Pope Francis warns of destruction of Earth's ecosystem in leaked encyclical  —  Vatican condemns early release of document in which pontiff calls on people to change their lifestyles and energy consumption or face grave consequences  —  Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles …
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2015  —  Bianca DiJulio, Jamie Firth, and Mollyann Brodie … A Focus On Prescription Drugs  —  The Public Says Prescription Drug Prices Are Unreasonable  —  In April, when asked about their health care priorities for the President and Congress going forward …
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg View:
Jeb Bush Offers Some Surprises  —  Jeb Bush's speech announcing his presidential campaign today confirmed some things we already suspected — like the fact that he's running — but also revealed a few surprises that suggest the 2016 Republican primaries will be more interesting than expected.
Discussion: Vox, CNN and Washington Monthly
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 More Items: 
GOP rife with tensions over Obamacare-SCOTUS response
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and US News
Alison Elkin / Bloomberg Politics:
Michelle Obama's European Trip in Photos
Discussion: ABC News and BBC
Gerri Willis / Fox Business:
IRS Finds 6,400 Lois Lerner Emails But Won't Hand Em Over
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Online sales tax debate reignited in the House
Discussion: Washington Post
Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
Janine Gibson, a Former Guardian Editor, Will Head BuzzFeed's British Operation
Josh Bivens /
A Vital Dashboard Indicator For Monetary Policy: Nominal Wage Targets
 Earlier Items: 
Lyda Longa / Daytona Beach News-Journal:
2 boys shoot out woman's teeth with BB gun in Holly Hill, police say
Discussion: Associated Press
Michael Bastasch / The Daily Caller:
America's Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US In A 10-Year Cooling Trend
Discussion: Watts Up With That?
Benjamin Freed / Washingtonian:
Arlington Cracks Down on Salty Language