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Dan Savage says President Obama's decision to support efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act signals a big shift in the way Democratic politicians handle the LGBT community -- a community that often supports them, only to see their hopes dashed once those Democrats take office.

He credited the move as a sign gay politics are now going mainstream.

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A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll being released on Tuesday shows that a majority of Americans now agree that yes, defaulting on U.S. debt obligations would be a serious problem.

Previous polling had shown not only that raising the debt ceiling itself is unpopular, but that Americans were shaky on the impact of inaction. A recent Pew Research poll, conducted from July 15th to the 17th, showed 39% rejected the idea that the August 2nd deadline was a serious issue at all, with only 40% saying it would cause a major economic crisis, and the rest not sure of either.

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The alacrity with which Democratic and Republican senators have thrown themselves behind the Gang of Six's framework for deficit reduction -- including cuts to entitlement spending and major tax reform -- illustrates how desperate the Senate is to put the debt ceiling brinksmanship behind them.

But the leaders of both parties are well aware there's no time to ram this through the House and Senate before the United States defaults on its payment obligations early next month -- and increasing the country's borrowing limit has to be Congress' top priority.

Here's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), addressing reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday.

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Michele Bachmann is butting heads with ex-aides over their anonymous claims that her chronic migraines may disqualify her from the presidential race.

A piece in The Daily Caller reported that Bachmann suffers from serious headaches, which she treats with medication, and has even been hospitalized several times. An ex-aide described the attacks as "incapacitating"

"As president, when she's in crisis management mode, is she going to have the physical ability to withstand the most difficult challenges facing America?" the ex-staffer asked in the piece.

In a statement to reporters, Bachmann said her condition was not an issue. "I have prescription medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control," she said. "Let me be abundantly clear - my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief."

Full statement below:

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President Obama is officially backing legislation that would repeal the 1996 Defense Of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even for couples married under state law.

The President has "long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on families," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at Tuesday's briefing.

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President Obama likes it. A wide array of Senators, including influential conservative Tom Coburn (R-OK), have given it their blessings. Out of nowhere, the Gang of Six's bipartisan plan for addressing the country's fiscal imbalance has returned from legislative hinterlands -- and has become the only viable, publicly available framework by which Congress can make good on its supposed desire for a grand bargain on deficit reduction.

But according to an aide briefed on the Gang of Six's negotiations, the fledgling framework is still too new and incomplete to be included in a package to raise the debt limit before August 2nd -- and it's more likely to become the basis for a bigger-deal in the weeks and months ahead.

"It will play into getting us through August 2nd in absolutely no way," the aide said. Senators on Tuesday, according to the aide were given "a briefing on a framework of what could become a plan," but the imperative now is to get the debt limit raised one way or another.

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Though the substance of the Parliamentary hearings over the News Of The World phone hacking scandal threatened to be overshadowed by Rupert Murdoch's plate of shaving cream to the face, the upshot of the almost three-hour session was the Murdochs' repeated assertions that they had no idea that many of the most egregious instances of phone hacking were occurring.

The hearing began with profuse apologies over the hackings, with James Murdoch saying that "these actions do not live up to the standards that our company aspires to," and News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch calling Tuesday "the most humble day of my life."

But most of the hearings were characterized by the odd dynamic between James Murdoch's convoluted claims to "no direct knowledge" of the phone hackings, and his father's claims to "no direct knowledge" of essentially anything he was asked. James Murdoch repeatedly interrupted his father to give carefully worded answers about the sprawling allegations, while Rupert Murdoch's answers were characterized by long pauses and curt responses that he was never informed about the details.

When at one point James Murdoch tried to say that it'd be "more helpful" if he could answer about the particular details of what the company knew, one Committee member replied: "It's revealing in itself what he doesn't know and what executives chose not to tell him."

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In what is sure to become a cause celebre, federal law enforcement authorities on Tuesday unsealed an indictment against Aaron Swartz, one of the young creators of the popular social news sharing service Reddit, and a prominent progressive activist.

Federal authorities have charged Swartz with breaking into MIT's network and using an automated program to download more than four million articles from JSTOR, an online database of academic journals maintained at MIT between late September 2010 and early January 2011.

According to the indictment, among other things JSTOR prohibits automated downloads of content and downloads of entire journals. MIT is a subscriber to JSTOR.

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President Obama heaped praise on a deficit-reduction proposal produced by bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six," calling it a "significant step" and arguing that members on both side of the aisle are beginning to coalesce around a balanced approach involving cuts to entitlements and tax increases.

"We're in the same playing field and my hope is that we start gathering everybody in the next couple of days" on an agreement, Obama told reporters in a brief appearance in the White House briefing room Tuesday.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has raided several homes and made arrests as part of their investigation into the 'hackivist' group Anonymous.

An official told TPM that around 14 arrests were expected in the Anonymous raid. CNN reported that 12 arrests have already been made and that 15 were expected.

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