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Rand Paul suddenly supports reaching out to minorities

What’s this?  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of former Congressional racist Ron Paul, is saying Republicans need to reach out to minorities if it wants to survive? That seems to be the message the younger Paul is spouting as he explores his ambition to be what his father could never achieve — President of the Untied States. In Iowa, where Paul is already running for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, the Senator says the party of the elephant needs to broaden its appeal to blacks and Latinos. Said Paul: As a party we need to grow bigger and…attract the
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Madman with a gun wounds 19 in Mothers Day parade

New Orleans police vowed to swiftly track down the gunmen who wounded 19 people at a neighborhood Mother’s Day parade, the latest case of violence flaring up around a celebration in the city this year. Detectives were conducting interviews, collecting any surveillance video they could find and gathering evidence from the scene where gunmen opened fire Sunday on the parade of hundreds of revelers. Cell phone video taken in the aftermath of the shooting shows victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and others bending over to comfort them. At least three of the victims were seriously wounded.
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IRS looked for “tea party” and other buzzwords for audits

When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as ‘Tea Party,’ but later they focused on criticisms by groups of “how the country is being run,” according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday. Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed. At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making “America a better place to
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Republicans continue to seek political gain from Benghazi

The Republican chairman of the House oversight panel is asking a veteran diplomat and a former chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff for sworn testimony about their investigation into the deaths of four Americans at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, planned on Monday to seek depositions from retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen. Issa, who is leading Republicans’ investigations into the attacks on a State Department consulate last September, said he wants to know with whom the pair spoke to reach their conclusion
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Rand Paul busy plotting 2016 Presidential bid

Republican Sen. Rand Paul opened his presidential exploration tour Friday with a splashy set of speaking engagements in Iowa designed to broaden his tea party brand into something more mainstream and, perhaps, viable. The son of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul was the headliner at a marquee Republican dinner and was expected to meet with key voting groups in eastern Iowa. In coming weeks, the Kentucky Republican will reintroduce himself in early voting New Hampshire and South Carolina as a durable would-be candidate able to broaden the GOP into diverse voting blocs dominated by Democrats. He’s laid some of the
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Reactionary Republicans plan to politicize Benghazi tragedy through 2014

Steady drips of information about a horrific night in Libya are fueling Republican arguments and ads designed to fire up the conservative base and undercut the Democrats’ early favorite for president in 2016. Democratic and Republican strategists sharply disagree on the issue’s power to influence elections next year and beyond. But after eight months of trying, Democrats are still struggling to move past last September’s terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Democrats insist that an independent inquiry, the dismissal of several State Department officials, and nine congressional hearings
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IRS claims it is sorry it targeted tea party, other right-wing groups

The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for what it acknowledges was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, said Friday. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said. The agency — led at the time by a Bush administration appointee — blamed low-level
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Washington worried about ‘zero-day’ computer hackers

The proliferation of hacking tools known as zero-day exploits is raising concerns at the highest levels in Washington, even as U.S. agencies and defense contractors have become the biggest buyers of such products. White House cybersecurity policy coordinator Michael Daniel said the trend was “very worrisome to us.” Asked if U.S. government buying in the offensive market was adding to the problem, Daniel said more study was needed. “There is a lot more work to be done in that space to look at the economic questions…so we can do a better job on the cost-benefit analysis,” he said. Some security
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Right-wingers fail to water down immigration bill

A landmark bill backed by President Barack Obama to overhaul the nation’s immigration system survived unscathed on Thursday during the first day of consideration by a divided Senate Judiciary Committee. On bipartisan votes, the panel rejected conservatives’ attempts to thwart implementation of a centerpiece of the bill – a pathway to U.S. citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. By day’s end leading Democratic and Republican senators said the committee had improved the bill. The panel, composed of 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, accepted 21 relatively modest amendments that focus largely on border security and increased congressional oversight. All but one
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Obama jumps back into health care debate

President Barack Obama is launching a new effort to rally the public around his hotly disputed health care law, a strategy aimed at shoring up key components of the sweeping federal overhaul and staving off yet another challenge from Republicans. The president will specifically target women and young people, groups that backed him overwhelmingly during his presidential campaigns. During a Mother’s Day-themed event at the White House on Friday, Obama will promote the benefits of the law for women, including free cancer screenings and contraceptives, and ask moms to urge their uninsured adult children to sign up for the health
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