How the tax software industry lobbied against free, simple tax filing

The non-profit investigative journalism outfit ProPublica just received its third Pulitzer Prize in seven years since it started in 2008. The organization is one that I have been financially contributing to for some time. It was created at a time when newspapers were cutting back on investigative reporting because of the cost involved, though one could argue that it should be the heart of any news outlet.
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Why can’t we all get along?

As one music group and business after another announce that they will be avoiding North Carolina after that state adopted its new law, ostensibly aimed at restricting the bathrooms transsexuals can use to only the ones that correspond to the gender assigned to them on their birth certificates but in fact allows wider discrimination against the LGBT community and others, Stephen Colbert wonders why we can’t get along the way that Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee did after the bitter civil War.
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Fascinating science gifs

I visit a lot of websites and a lot of them are like my own where there is a paragraph above the fold that indicates what the post is about and, if one is interested enough to read the full post, one has to click on the ‘more’ link. I have noticed more and more people using gifs (those videos that last about a second and repeat endlessly) above the fold.
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New York primary results

The result of the New York primary is not good news for the Bernie Sanders campaign. While he was expected to lose, the almost 16-point margin of defeat (57.9%-42.1%) is large enough that it has to be seen as a major setback and a downer after his recent string of successes, even though he still picked up 106 delegates to Hillary Clinton’s 139. He will have to do much better in the five primaries next Tuesday (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island).
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How do you feel when the audience ignores you?

I often feel sorry for music performers at restaurants, especially when it is a band and not (say) a solo pianist who knows that he or she is there to just provide background music. It must be galling when the people in the room completely ignore you and continue to talk and eat and I often wonder how they feel. Maybe Ted Cruz can tell us because he recently had that experience when he spoke at an event in New York City as part of his campaign in that state’s primary being held today.
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Why do we solve for X?

Those of us who love algebra (and even those who don’t) are familiar with problems that end up with the command to ‘solve for X’. But why, of all the letters in the alphabet, has X been chosen for this singular honor of representing the unknown, a practice that has extended well beyond algebra? To the extent that any of us thought of this at all, we may have put it down to sheer accident. Someone back in time picked that letter for who knows what reason and it stuck as others followed the practice.
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Hillary Clinton epitomizes how the Democrats have gone wrong

Today is the New York state primary that it looks like Bernie Sanders will lose, even though some national polls have recently shown a steady tightening of the race with just a two point gap between them, down from nine points just a month ago. The establishment media will seize on a Hillary Clinton win of any size to suggest that Sanders has lost and should leave the race. It is interesting to note that although both Trump and Clinton lead in the delegate counts of their respective parties by roughly the same amounts, Trump is always portrayed as if he is in a precarious situation while Clinton is seen as inevitable. Could this be because he is opposed by the establishment while she is favored by them?
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