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3:15 PM ET, June 30, 2015


 Top Items: 
Obama's approval rating grows following memorable week  —  Story highlights  —  Washington (CNN)Could Barack Obama's great week mark a turning point in his poll numbers?  —  After months of stagnant approval ratings, a new CNN/ORC poll finds that for the first time in more than two years …
Poll: Majorities back Supreme Court rulings on marriage, Obamacare  —  Washington (CNN)Most Americans say they support each of the two major Supreme Court rulings issued late last week, and nearly four in 10 now say they view the Court as too liberal.  —  According to a new CNN/ORC poll …
Barack Obama / The Huffington Post:
A Hard Day's Work Deserves a Fair Day's Pay  —  It's been a good few days for America.  —  On Thursday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Affordable Care Act.  It is here to stay.  —  And, Democrats and Republicans in Congress paved the way for the United States to rewrite the rules …
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Chris Christie Announces Run, Pledging ‘Truth’ About Nation's Woes  —  LIVINGSTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie declared his candidacy for president here on Tuesday in a 20-minute speech full of New Jersey-style swagger, vowing that as president, “there is one thing you will know for sure: I say what I mean and I mean what I say.”
Chris Christie launches 2016 presidential bid
Eli Stokols / Politico:
Betting it all on New Hampshire
Discussion: ABC News
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Ted Cruz rides the backlash  —  Sen. Ted Cruz is hoping to ride the conservative backlash on gay marriage to the front of the Republican presidential pack.  —  The Texas Republican has hit the Supreme Court with repeated rhetorical barbs in the wake of its ruling Friday that allowed …
Janet Hook / Wall Street Journal:
As Book Is Released, Ted Cruz Sours on His Role Model
David French / National Review:   The Church Will Survive Gay Marriage if It Sticks to Its Guns
Washington Post:
A college balks at Hillary Clinton's fee, books Chelsea for $65,000 instead  —  When the University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity speaker to headline its gala luncheon marking the opening of a women's hall of fame, one of the names that came to mind was Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Matt Higgins / CBS Atlanta:
VIDEO: Brawl Breaks Out In Front Of South Carolina Statehouse Over Confederate Flag  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — One man has been arrested after a fight over the Confederate flag in front of the South Carolina Statehouse.  —  The brawl started about 7:15 p.m. Monday …
Richard H. Pildes / New York Times:
At the Supreme Court, a Win for Direct Democracy  —  IN 2000, voters in Arizona adopted a state constitutional amendment that created an independent commission to draw congressional districts.  But the commission immediately faced a legal challenge: the United States Constitution gives …
Discussion: Althouse
Richard L. Hasen / Slate:
Mindlessly Literal Reading Loses Again
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Supreme Court's liberal admirers get reality check
Discussion: SCOTUSblog and ACS Blog
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Next Culture War  —  Christianity is in decline in the United States.  The share of Americans who describe themselves as Christians and attend church is dropping.  Evangelical voters make up a smaller share of the electorate.  Members of the millennial generation are detaching themselves from religious institutions in droves.
Christine Byers / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Justice Department faults Ferguson protest response  —  FERGUSON  • Police trying to control the Ferguson protests and riots responded with an uncoordinated effort that sometimes violated free-speech rights, antagonized crowds with military-style tactics and shielded officers from accountability …
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Misty Copeland Is Promoted to Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater  —  Misty Copeland, whose openness about race in ballet helped to make her one of the most famous ballerinas in the United States, was promoted on Tuesday by American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American …
Matthew Halverson / Seattle Met:
Donor Says Girl Scouts Can't Use $100K Gift for Transgender Girls  —  So the organization gave the money back.  And now they want your help.  —  Courtesy Girl Scouts of Western Washington  —  A $50,000 donation is cause for celebration at the Queen Anne offices of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington.
Washington Post:
The only prudent way forward for Greece  —  GREEK PRIME Minister Alexis Tsipras chose an academic expert on game theory as finance minister, so it's fitting that his left-wing government has now decided to play games with the fate of Europe and the global economy.  Alas, it's no theoretical exercise.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic:
‘The Solution I Propose Is Massive Civil Disobedience’  —  ASPEN, Colo.—Scholar Charles Murray traces his latest book back to a story he heard from a family friend: a small business owner who found himself targeted by a federal regulatory agency.  “Like most businesses of his sort …
Chris Cassidy / Boston Herald:
Liz Warren: “I love what Bernie is talking about”  —  Senator doesn't dismiss campaigning for Bernie Sanders  —  Photo by:  —  Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn't ruling out joining ultra-liberal Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail in New Hampshire …
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Ted Cruz Knows How To Go Viral  —  Ted Cruz is a populist, so the first thing he does when he wakes up every morning is reach for the iPhone on his nightstand and scroll through his @ mentions on Twitter.  The cascading column of messages directed at the conservative firebrand is not exactly a hallelujah chorus.
Post and Courier:
Ku Klux Klan to protest removal of Confederate flag on July 18 at Statehouse  —  The Ku Klux Klan has been approved to hold a protest rally at the Statehouse next month against removing the Confederate battle flag, with the group calling accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a “young warrior.”
Adam B. Lerner / Politico:
KKK chapter to hold rally on South Carolina Statehouse grounds
Discussion: The Week and Daily Mail
Riley Snyder / Associated Press:
Rand Paul Meets With Cliven Bundy on Nevada Campaign Stop  —  Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul met with southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy on Monday during a question-and-answer session in the town of Mesquite with about 50 supporters and activists interested in land rights.
Walt Mossberg / Re/code:
Apple Music First Look: Rich, Robust — But Confusing  —  Paid streaming music has arrived on Planet Apple, where it was regarded as unworthy for years.  Today, the tech giant has entered the streaming music business with its much-anticipated Apple Music subscription service.
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 More Items: 
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Supreme Court To Hear Case Seeking To Gut Public Sector Unions
Contra Costa Times:
California vaccine bill SB 277 signed into law by Jerry Brown
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Verge
Peter Eavis / New York Times:
Loads of Debt: A Global Ailment With Few Cures
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic:
The GOP Fails Its Empathy Test
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Lindsay Abrams / Salon:
Those 4th of July fireworks spectaculars are causing huge spikes in dangerous air pollution
Discussion: The Social Memo
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Conservative confab highlights 10 themes to watch in 2016 race
 Earlier Items: 
Mitch Smith / New York Times:
Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI Made of Condoms Draws Complaints in Milwaukee
Robbie Collin / Telegraph:
Back to the Future remake? Over my dead body, says Robert Zemeckis
David Frum / The Atlantic:
Republicans Should Reform Obamacare, Not Repeal It
Mark Sweney / Guardian:
Monica Lewinsky blocked from sitting near Al Gore at Cannes festival
Discussion: Daily Mail, CBS DC and The Daily Caller
Michael Crowley / Politico:
Does John Kerry want an Iran deal too much?
Discussion: BBC, RedState, The Hill and Israel Matzav