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The Deeper Fox Effect

I did not realize there were academic studies demonstrating that the advent of Fox News - and particularly in districts where it first went live - pushed both Republican and Democratic members of Congress to embrace more Republican policies. Fascinating stuff.

A party owning its own cable news network has big implications.

The Engineered Ignorance of Fox News

You probably saw this story yesterday about a failed GOP congressional candidate from Tennessee who was arrested and charged with conspiring to lead a militia attack - using the assistance of an existing 'militia' which goes by the initials OAF - on a Muslim community in Hancock, New York. "We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace,” he wrote in a Facebook post. And in a call intercepted by federal investigators, he told one woman “When we meet with this state, the people that we will seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings."

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Off to a Great Start

Good Lord. A member of Benjamin Netanyahu's new cabinet is trolling President Obama on twitter.

Uri Ariel, Agriculture Minister from the far-right Jewish Home party is now trolling President Obama on twitter about his government's refusal to budge on settlements or East Jerusalem.

Tweet after the jump ...

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Republicans operatives and policy hands are trying out a new set of Iraq War talking points. Just refuse to answer the question. On principle.

One of the big takeaways from Tierney Sneed's several day effort to find anyone still willing to say the Iraq War was a good idea was just how many big name Bush administration officials and neoconservative policy intellectuals — all architects of the war — were simply not willing to talk about the subject at all. But one of the most striking and darkly comedic findings was the number of less high profile neocons who are simply arguing that the question itself (was invading Iraq a mistake?) is unfair, a liberal trap and that Republicans should simply refuse to answer it on principle.

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Help Me Sleuth Historical Photos?

I'm looking for someone interested in working on a historical photo project we're going to be doing here at TPM. To be clear, this is not a full time or even part time job — more like a couple dozen hours of compensated research a month, which you can do on your own time. The key for this being a good fit is if you're into or fascinated by historical photographs.

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Finally! Or Not

Soon-to-be-presidential candidate Lindsey Graham says the Iraq War was not a mistake. But ... "a land invasion may not have been the right answer." Or something like that.

For more on our search for someone, almost anyone, to say the Iraq War was a good idea see Tierney Sneed's piece here.

Clinton Foundation-palooza Hurtles Toward Its Vince Foster Moment

I mentioned a couple months ago the quiet dread I experienced awaiting the Clinton campaign, the quite possible Clinton restoration and the drama both bring inevitably in their wake. There's another part of that story we're now seeing in spades: let's call it the inevitable Vince Fosterization of really every media scrape, pseudo-scandal and genuine embarrassment the Clintons are ever involved in. (For those of you not familiar with Vince Foster, his tragic suicide or the years-long right-wing clown show it kicked off, it is probably best described as the '90s version of Benghazi.) As with most things Clinton, there's enough to get everyone interested and virtually never enough for there to be any real there there. If there were less of the former or more of the latter, the story would have a clearer, more satisfying conclusion. With the Clintons, the inevitable gap between their pursuers' hopes and the mundane reality, the expectations and inevitable disappointment is the beautiful face that sets sail to a thousand ships of nonsense, wishful thinking and right-wing media rube fleecing.

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The Audacity

I want to make sure that this doesn't get lost in Tierney Sneed's broader piece on how the various Iraq War provocateurs are now defending that fateful decision. The amazing standout nugget is: It's all Obama's fault.

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