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  • Jon Stewart Deftly Shows Sean Hannity Why You Don’t Pick A Fight With Jon Stewart

    On Thursday night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart admitted that he is, in fact, a bit obsessed with Fox News host Sean Hannity, as Hannity had suggested on his show Tuesday night. But obsession isn’t pretty, and Stewart didn’t mean it in a nice way. On… This brewing spat started on Monday night, when Stewart mocked Hannity for supporting Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in his battle against the federal BLM. Hannity hit back on Tuesday night. On Wednesday’s show, Stewart walked through Hannity’s criticisms and showed why the Fox News star is tossing his verbal stones from a glass house. Stay with it until the end, though. That’s when Stewart moves from his typical clip juxtaposition and satiric gymnastics to a timely history lesson about the founding fathers and the rule of law. Hannity’s colleague Bill O’Reilly has a long-running, largely friendly, mutually beneficial feud going with Stewart, but Hannity just walked into a trap: Stewart’s simply better at this game, and his writers do their homework. —Peter Weber

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  • RNC Still Trying To Unskew Unfavorable Polls

    When confronted with a prediction that doesn’t match your own, it’s natural to assume you are right and to try and prove it. It’s why, with polls showing President Obama headed toward a comfortable re-election two years back, many Republicans set… With the midterms on the way, the unskew movement is back. And this time, the poll in question is a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation survey, released Wednesday, that shows Democrats doing well in four crucial Senate races. In the most remarkable finding, the poll gave Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) — who was believed to be the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this cycle — a 10-point lead. The Republican National Committee’s response: “Desperate after losing Nate Silver, The New York Times published a poll taken from people they found outside the DSCC who confidently predicted they’d keep the Senate.” The RNC’s beef is that the poll ostensibly overrepresented Obama supporters, thus boosting the Dem candidates. (The percentage of respondents who said they voted for Romney in 2012 didn’t match the actual elections results.) But as the Times’ Nate Cohn explained in defending the survey, “there’s a well-known bias toward the victor in post-election surveys,” so it’s likely some Romney voters either claimed to have backed Obama, or declined to say whom they voted for. And since the rest of the poll’s demographics make sense, the results can’t just be dismissed out of hand.

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  • Americans Are Coming Around On Obama

    For today’s reminder that political headwinds can change on a dime, consider President Obama’s approval rating. Or, more specifically, consider that it has rebounded from last fall’s record lows and is creeping back toward positive territory. Obama’s approval rating stands at 46 percent in the latest Gallup tracking poll, just a smidge less than the 48 percent of adults who disapprove of the president’s job performance. Though that’s still a net negative split, it’s far better than Obama… Other polls have shown a similar trend emerging. So what changed? For one, ObamaCare has gone from a careening disaster to a feel-good success, with more than 8 million people signing up for health insurance. And we’re also further away from October’s disastrous government shutdown, which dragged down the approval ratings of pretty much everyone in Washington. It’s the first bit that is most salient to Democrats as they head into the midterms. Republicans have been counting on Obama and ObamaCare to be less popular than the plague come November in hopes it will weigh down Democratic candidates. They may need a new plan. Polls have shown voters warming up to the health care law, and if they keep warming to the president, too, that could shred part of the GOP’s campaign strategy.

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  • NAACP Head Praises Rand Paul

    Over at NPR, Liz Holloran’s latest piece on Sen. Rand Paul’s efforts to loosen the Democratic Party’s lock on black votes included some positive feedback from a prominent African-American leader: “He’s a different voice in the arena that we don’t traditionally hear,” says Lorraine Miller, acting head of the NAACP, who expects to invite Paul to speak at the organization’s July national conference in Las Vegas. “He’s an engaging guy — that’s why we want to talk to him,” Miller says. Miller is not the only black leader who has been intrigued by Paul, whose father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, had three unsuccessful presidential runs and amassed a fervent… Miller’s predecessor, Benjamin Jealous, has previously hailed Paul’s position on reforming drug and sentencing laws, which disproportionately affect African-American individuals and families… [NPR] This hardly constitutes an endorsement, of course. But you’ve got to start somewhere. Give Miller credit for welcoming diverse viewpoints, and give Paul credit for engaging a community of voters that — let’s be honest — too many Republicans have simply written off.

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  • Jon Stewart Calls B.S. On Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine Protestations

    Russian President Vladimir Putin “lies all the time,” said Jon Stewart on Monday night’s Daily Show, citing as a prime example Putin’s protestations that the mysterious “green men” in Crimea weren’t Russian troops… until he admitted they were… The question is how to respond to such obvious falsehoods, Stewart said. He didn’t provide any answers really, but did showcase how adept the supposedly amateur Ukrainian self-defense militias are at doing doughnuts in pilfered tanks. Maybe fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden could hold Putin’s feet to the fire? Stewart wondered. It turns out: Nope. But Stewart didn’t blame Snowden: “Who would’ve ever thought Putin could outwit a prerecorded question from a man whose life is in his hands?” —Peter Weber

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  • The Daily Show Quizzically Mocks Sean Hannity For Siding With Cattle Scofflaw Cliven Bundy

    On Monday night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart made a pretty persuasive case that Sean Hannity would be using his Fox News show to eviscerate fee-dodging Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy if… well, Stewart isn’t quite sure why Hannity is defending… These are all points also made by Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson, among other conservatives — a rare place for Stewart to be, as he acknowledged Monday night: “Sean Hannity has now made Glenn Beck the voice of reason.” At the same time, Hannity isn’t alone — Sen. Dean Heller (R) considers Bundy and his armed defenders “patriots.” So does Bundy. But when the rancher compares himself to the Founding Fathers, Stewart had enough: “Dude, you’re a welfare rancher trying to pull off the world’s largest cattle dine-and-dash.” —Peter Weber

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  • A Real-life ‘The Notebook’ Story: Ohio Couple Dies 15 Hours Apart After 70-Year Marriage

    Much like the classic Nicholas Sparks novel, The Notebook, in which (spoiler!) the main characters die holding hands, an Ohio couple died just 15 hours apart earlier this week, reports The Associated Press. “We knew when one went, the other was going to go,” Linda Cody, one of the couple’s daughters, said. Helen and Kenneth Felumlee met several years before they eloped in Newport, Ky., on February 20, 1944. Kenneth, who was two days shy of his 21st birthday, couldn’t yet legally marry in the couple’s home state of Ohio, so they headed across the Ohio… September 1941 | (AP Photo/Felumlee family) Helen Felumlee died at 92 on April 12, and Kenneth, 91, died the next morning in Nashport, Ohio. “He was ready,” Cody said. “He just didn’t want to leave her here by herself.” The couple’s eight children said the two remained inseparable over their 70-year marriage, holding hands each morning at breakfast and traveling extensively across the United States after Kenneth retired — always by bus. “He didn’t want to fly anywhere,” Jim Felumlee, one of the couple’s sons, said. “Because you couldn’t see anything as you were going.” The couple celebrated their 70th marriage anniversary in February. —Sarah Eberspacher December 2012 | (AP Photo/Dick Felumlee)

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  • Lindsay Lohan Says She Suffered A Miscarriage While Filming Docu-series

    On the season finale of her OWN docu-series Lindsay, Lindsay Lohan shared that during the two weeks she took off from filming the show, she had a miscarriage. She dropped that news during a follow-up interview at the end of the show, when a producer asked her what it had been like watching Lindsay. Lohan began to cry before she announced the miscarriage, and added that it was the reason why she couldn’t… “Mentally, that messes with you,” she continued. “And watching this series, I just know how I felt at that moment, and I can relate to that girl, which sounds kind of crazy, but I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is really sad. Like, who’s helping her?’” Watch the video below. —Catherine Garcia

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  • Jeb Bush Has An ObamaCare Problem

    This could get awkward. Since wrapping up his tenure as Florida governor seven years ago, Jeb Bush has been quietly building a fortune for himself, raking in millions of dollars from consulting gigs, real estate investments, and that staple for… Yet Bush has also netted more than $2 million from his work as a board member with Tenet Health Care, according to The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro. That tie could prove troublesome for Bush if he runs for president in 2016 because Tenet, Barbaro writes, “aggressively encouraged Americans to sign up for insurance under the [Affordable Care Act] and trumpeted the legislation as a boon to the company’s finances.” Though Bush is no fan of the law — he once called it “flawed to its core” — his association with a group that effusively endorsed it could be a stain on his resume. ObamaCare is such an anathema to conservatives and the Tea Party that there are efforts afoot to oust members of the party leadership who refused to play along with the government shutdown last year in an ill-fated attempt to defund the law. That anger on the right could subside somewhat come 2016, especially if ObamaCare continues to enroll people in bunches. Still, it’s not hard to imagine Bush’s GOP opponents, should he run for president, ganging up on him for his association with Tenet, much like Mitt Romney’s foes beat up on him for signing off on Massachusetts’ health-care overhaul.

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