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The Black Hawk County, Iowa Democrats posted a message to their Facebook page earlier this month calling President Ronald Reagan a "white supremacist," according to the Iowa county's Republican Party.

Black Hawk County GOP Chairman Scott Adkins in Wednesday a statement called the post "offensive and extremely disrespectful to the Reagan family," according to the DesMoines Register.

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As condemned Arizona killer Joseph Rudolph Wood III lay dying for nearly two hours on the execution table in state prison, his lawyer frantically pleaded over the phone with a federal judge to halt the botched lethal injection.

A transcript released Thursday of the call reveals a 30-minute conversation in which public defender Robin Konrad sought a stay of execution for Wood after the execution had already begun and appeared to be going wrong. Konrad spoke on the phone with federal district Judge Neil Wake and Assistant Arizona Attorney General Jeff Zick.

The execution was supposed to last 10 minutes, but about 10 minutes after it began, Konrad said, Wood began to breathe and opened his mouth. "He has been gasping and snorting for over an hour," she said, citing an attorney at the scene.

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the chairman of the health committee and a chief author of Obamacare, tore into an appeals court ruling this week that forbid the federal exchange to provide subsidies to millions of Americans in 36 states.

"It's nuts," he told TPM in an interview in the Capitol on Thursday.

Harkin said he's certain Congress intended to provide the premium tax credits on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, rather than simply the state exchange, as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday.

"Of course we did!" an impassioned Harkin said. "It's plain to see. You can read our reports and everything else. ... I was one of the people who wrote it! Of course we wanted it to be accessible to everyone, not just people on state exchanges."

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The Texas judge hearing True the Vote's lawsuit over access to poll books from the U.S. Senate runoff primary in Mississippi questioned the group's motives for suing Mississippi officials, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

True the Vote, a Tea-Party aligned group focused on voter fraud, says it was denied access to records in nine counties, prompting the organization to sue the Mississippi secretary of State and state Republican Party.

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside, Palestinian officials said, as Israel pressed forward with its 17-day war against the territory's Hamas rulers.

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