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Sex Scandal Rocks Duggars’ Project

TLC

The far-right Christian Patriarchy—brought to American audiences by the Duggar family—is on the verge of collapse after a series of alleged sex scandals involving the movement’s leaders.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have put many years and a lot of work into putting a smiling, nearly normal-seeming face on the extreme Christian right. The couple adheres to a fringe strain of fundamentalist Christianity dubbed the “Christian patriarchy” or sometimes the “Quiverfull” movement, and while there is a lot of internal diversity to the movement, they generally preach a combination of beliefs that run counter to mainstream America: absolute female submission, a ban on dating, homeschooling, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as humanly possible.

Little-Guy Hero

Gun-Toting Ranchers Defeat Feds

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The U.S. government says Cliven Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees and sent in contract cowboys to round up his cattle. But the 67-year-old rancher managed to fight them off—for now.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has lost in every court his boots have walked into in recent years.But thanks to the Bureau of Land Management’s mismanaged attempt to round up his “trespass cattle” from federal land, Bundy has won a round in the court of public opinion and emerged as a little-guy hero to conservative media outlets and right-wing politicians.The land-use issue isn’t a small one in the Silver State. The federal government rides herd over 86 percent of Nevada’s public space, and ranchers here have long been at odds with the regulatory enforcement style of the BLM.

Proud History

Liam Neeson’s Horse Cart Crusade

The Daily Beast

The actor says horses are bred to pull carriages and have done so forever. The minute he uttered those words, he should have packed up and left New York City.

Critics of gay marriage often find themselves simply confused by the terms of the debate. They seem to encounter the same unbending opposition, whether their approach is an appeal to the prudence of political gradualism, an invocation of the natural order, or a warning about the risks of casting aside centuries of habit and custom.That’s not because of anything that special about gay marriage. There’s a larger pattern at work. It’s the reason why conservatives find themselves playing defense so often.

Coming Home

Divided in the Wake of Fort Hood

Ben Sklar/Getty

After Fort Hood many veterans saw a tragic but isolated incident, while a narrative about PTSD fueled violence spread in the media. The tragedy revealed the extent of our divisions.

The country has buried the dead of the recent Fort Hood shooting. A lone bugler played taps to a forlorn tree line and three folded American flags were given away to those dreaded words: “on behalf of a grateful nation.”Rituals of public mourning typically bring Americans together in the wake of tragedies, but in many ways the reaction to Fort Hood has driven us further apart. The difference between how military and veterans communities dealt with the shooting and the popular views expressed in some media outlets was so vast that it was hard to imagine the two groups were responding to the same event.

Surveillance

Killing the Muslim Spy Unit

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

An NYPD unit tasked with spying on the city’s Muslims was publicly killed Tuesday, just days after a ruling that upheld its legal basis. So what gives?

New York is the country’s largest city and one of its most progressive but since 2001 it’s also been at the forefront of some of the most aggressive and controversial anti-terrorism tactics. Yesterday, city officials announced the end of one of those major tactics: targeted spying on Muslim communities.But there’s some strange timing going on here. For one thing, New York’s liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio was in favor of the surveillance program before he was against it.

Here’s Where Your Tax Dollars Go

JIM WATSON

It’s the $2.8 trillion-dollar question on Tax Day: Where—exactly—does my money go?

—By CNBC’s John Schoen. It’s the $2.8 trillion-dollar question many people ponder when they write that check payable to the U.S. Treasury. Where does all that money come from? And where—exactly—does my money go?If you have trouble balancing your checkbook, imagine trying to keep track of where $2.8 trillion goes every year. Even with armies of government accountants and auditors, it’s hard to know with certainty exactly where each dollar of your income taxes ends up.

Fraternity

Boston, NYC Bonded by Tragedy

Michael Dwyer

A relationship that started on 9/11 was strengthened by the Boston Marathon bombings and endures through smaller but no less painful moments.

For all the raucous rivalry between Red Sox and Yankee fans, there is a bond between Boston and New York that is as strong as both cities proved to be when terrorism struck.A soul-stirring reminder of that came on March 26, as members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band were preparing to return from playing at a Burn Association gathering in Boston.As they departed the hotel, the New York firefighters paid a noontime visit to a firehouse around the corner, the quarters of BFD’s Engine 33/ Ladder 15.

NO ANSWERS

Who Radicalized Boston Bombers?

Sean Murphy/Massachusetts State Police, via AP

It seems the FBI have made little progress on why the Tsarnaev brothers bombed the Boston marathon. The mystery deepens: who radicalized Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

One year ago today, two backpack bombs were detonated at the Boston Marathon, killing three people. More than 260 others were wounded or maimed. In the months since, many man-hours have been spent investigating the accused perpetrators of the bombings, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. However, a key question remains unanswered: did the brothers have any substantive ties to terrorists abroad?  The extent of the confusion surrounding this basic question is troubling.

Interactive Map

Who Pays the Most Income Taxes?

Shutterstock

It’s April 15 and your taxes are done—or at least they should be. Check out an interactive Brookings Institution map for more about tax rates at the county level across the nation.

How much does the average tax filer in your county pay in income taxes, and how does your county stack up to the rest of the nation? An interactive map from the Brookings Institution allows users to explore income tax rates at the county level nationwide. Click a county to zoom in, and click it again to zoom out. Darker colors indicate higher values; gray shading indicates unavailable data.For more, read “The U.S. income tax burden, county by county,” by Ben Harris.

Hated by Haters

White Supremacists Reject Miller

KMBC-TV/AP

Don Black, founder of the online hate forum Stormfront.org, says white nationalists have long shunned the alleged killer—and it’s people like him who give the movement a bad name.

Of all the people and organizations decrying the shootings Sunday that killed three people at two Jewish centers outside Kansas City, perhaps the most unlikely is Stormfront.org, one of the oldest and largest white nationalist forums on the internet.“We have enough of a problem with how we are portrayed without some homicidal whack job coming along and reinforcing that,” Stormfront founder Don Black told The Daily Beast.Black has known the alleged shooter, Frazier Glenn Miller, since the early 1980s, when they were both prominent leaders in the white nationalist movement.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

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