TPM News

The House on Wednesday night passed an amendment that ensures federal contractors cannot discriminate against LGBT employees after several Republicans switched their votes to defeat a similar measure last week, prompting disarray on the House floor.

The House passed the measure sponsored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) as an amendment to an Energy Department spending bill, with 43 Republican members supporting it, according to The Hill.

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Paul Manafort, a top adviser to Donald Trump, told the Huffington Post in an interview published Wednesday night that the Republican presidential candidate will gradually soften his stance on a ban on Muslims traveling to the United States.

"He’s already started moderating on that," Manafort said. "He operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges and then brings it back towards the middle. Within his comfort zone, he’ll soften it some more."

“He’ll still end up outside of the norm, but in line with what the American people are thinking," he added.

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The idea that an overly sensitive rich guy would use clandestine court maneuvers -- in a pro wrestler's defamation case, no less -- to financially drain a pesky news outlet would be comical, if not so troubling.

But Peter Thiel is not just any overly-sensitive rich guy.

He is an outspokenly libertarian, Silicon Valley billionaire who has expressed skepticism about women's suffrage, helped fund conservative gadfly James O'Keefe's "sting" videos, is convinced that death can be evaded through technological advancements, and proposed that like-minded libertarians build sea colonies where they can escape the tyrannies of conventional government.

Now he is also the financial weight behind Hulk Hogan's sex tape lawsuit, and other legal endeavors targeting Gawker, as he admitted to the New York Times after a report by Forbes. He said the roughly $10 million crusade was about "deterrence," after Gawker's "bullying" of him and his colleagues.

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