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In 1620, searching for a place to practice their dissident religion in peace, a small group of English separatists sailed to the wilderness coast of America. They were helped by local Indians, who shared with them a great feast comprised of native foods: turkey, cornbread, pumpkin, cranberries. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and squash together with a fish placed in the soil to encourage robust growth; the colony survived and prospered. Jump cut to the Boston Tea Party, Concord and Lexington, and the modern world’s first successful experiment in democracy.

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A St. Louis County grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, and everyone is now trying to figure out what that means.

Brown's death, which surfaced the deeply burrowed and difficult-to-reconcile tensions that in some ways define our nation's history, seems too visceral, too revealing to be without consequence.

But that might be the deep fear that hides behind the second-guessing of the grand jury: No indictment is, as some have said, an indictment of the system. And what if that system is too difficult to change?

"I just think the institutions have to be looked at," Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and prosecutor who is now a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, told TPM on Tuesday. "The titillating gotcha stuff, that's unfortunately what dominates the news. The real issues are profoundly more complicated."

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can consider appeals.

Like several states, Arkansas and Mississippi had voter-approved constitutional amendments pass in 2004 that defined marriage between one man and one woman.

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Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) remarks Tuesday that Democrats erred by passing Obamacare in 2010 before the economy was fixed did not sit well with Obamaworld.

"Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform," the No. 3 Senate Democrat said at the National Press Club, arguing that his party should have focused on middle class woes at the time instead. He added: "It has been reported that only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote."

Former aides to President Barack Obama took to Twitter to knock Schumer.

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Sen. Ted Cruz is not "all that conservative," says Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican and tea party favorite made the unexpected remarks to Jewish donors in New York City, according to the New York Observer.

He said: “I don’t think I’m all that conservative. And it’s interesting. Reagan never once beat his chest and said ‘I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived.’ Reagan said, ‘I’m defending common sense principles—small businesses, small towns.'”

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This Black Friday, workers are striking at 1,600 Walmart locations for a $15 wage and the end of workplace abuses in a series of strikes. But at the same time, these rights are being undermined, in a legislative chamber miles away, with little input from workers. A new Demos report exposes the increasing political involvement of big retail, and how retailers use the political system to undermine worker rights.

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Pope Francis sought Thursday to inspire an old and "haggard" Europe to find its vigor and greatness once again, urging European governments to welcome migrants, care for the elderly and create jobs for the unemployed.

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