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July 10, 2014
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Part of the U.S. Capitol was shut down Thursday morning after what officials termed an "industrial spill" rendered the area hazardous. The incident occurred when workers removing asbestos on the fourth floor triggered a "potential release" of dangerous material, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

All lawmakers and staff who work on the House side of the building have been told to stay away until further notice — not that Congress was planning to do much of anything anyway. Jon Terbush

9:42 a.m. ET
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John Hinckley Jr., who on March 30, 1981, shot and wounded then-President Ronald Reagan, has been granted release from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and will be transferred to outpatient care. A federal judge granted Hinckley's request Wednesday on the strict conditions that Hinckley not contact any of the victims in the shooting or their relatives. Hinckley has been in treatment at the hospital since the shooting, for which he was acquitted by reason of insanity after it was found he committed the would-be assassination to impress the actress Jodie Foster, whom he is also banned from contacting.

Hinckley shot four people, including Reagan, outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Reagan's press secretary James Brady was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the head by Hinckley; when Brady died in 2014, his death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, who said he succumbed to health problems stemming from the 1981 shooting.

CBS News reports that St. Elizabeth's is required by constitutional law to advocate for Hinckley's release because of an "obligation to transition patients to outpatient care when they are ready. This case is not about the merits of whether an individual should be able to shoot four people, including a sitting U.S. president, and then be able to spend the last third of his life as a free man."

Hinckley, now 61, will be sent to live with his 90-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia. He could be released as soon as next week. Kimberly Alters

9:36 a.m. ET
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Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton 56 percent to 25 percent among white men, according to a recent survey — and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes she knows why.

"So many times, white — non-college-educated — white males have voted Republican," she said in an interview with PBS on Tuesday. "They voted against their own economic interests because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G's — God being the woman's right to choose."

Pelosi advised Clinton to attract more white male voters to her campaign "with an economic agenda to create jobs" because, for this demographic, "it's about the economy."

A New York Times report last week suggested the Clinton camp is already worried about its deficit with white men and picked Sen. Tim Kaine for the VP slot in an effort to address that problem. Bonnie Kristian

9:28 a.m. ET

Bill Clinton has a reputation for being a brilliant public speaker, although his appeal might be quickly wearing off. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow slammed the former president for being un-feminist in his introduction of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention Tuesday night, telling her fellow commentators that, "I think the beginning of the speech was a controversial way to start, honestly, talking about the girl, a girl, leading with this long story about him being attracted to an unnamed girl and thinking about whether he was starting something he couldn't finish, building her whole political story, for the whole first half of the speech around her marriage to him."

Maddow gave the end of his speech an "A+" but went as far as to say "the top of the speech I found shocking and rude." Watch her full justification, below. Jeva Lange

9:08 a.m. ET

Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday night by becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major American political party. Some in newspaper photo departments around the country, though, might have missed that memo:

Ahem, that was Hillary Clinton making history, not the other "Clinton"…

Yes, sure, Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker for the night. But... really? Jeva Lange

8:56 a.m. ET

When it comes to swiping that company credit card, usually you're just getting a free fancy, schmoozy dinner or commercial airline flight at best. But if you're astronaut Buzz Aldrin, your job required you to take quite the extended business trip — and even interplanetary travel must be formally expensed:

Yes, folks: Even as one of the first two humans to walk on the Moon, Aldrin had to submit to the corporate monstrosity that is bureaucratic paperwork. Kimberly Alters

8:48 a.m. ET

Michelle Obama reminded Americans of the darker side of our history when she spoke at the Democratic convention Monday night of waking up every morning "in a house that was built by slaves." The stirring line, though, was one of hope and progress: "I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn," she went on.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly wasn't having it. The political commentator attempted to "fact-check" Obama's statement by saying that "slaves that worked [on the White House] were well fed and had decent lodgings…So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well."

Of course, the point isn't how "well" some slaves might have been treated, or if there were other workers. The point is, slaves built the White House.

This shouldn't even need to be written, but if you ever feel like defending the use of slaves — don't. Jeva Lange

7:50 a.m. ET

Following Tuesday night's historic nomination of the first woman from a major party for president, you can say we've come a long way as a nation since 1995 — the year that Walmart pulled T-shirts that read "someday a woman will be president" from their shelves, calling the message "offensive":

A Walmart spokeswoman said the company stopped selling the shirts at the only store that had them after one customer complained. The store sold about two-thirds of its 204 shirts.

"It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor," Jane Bockholt said. She refused to reveal the nature of the customer's complaint. [The Associated Press]

"Promoting females as leaders is still a very threatening concept in this country," the shirt's designer, Ann Moliver Ruben, said at the time. She explained that, according to Walmart buyer Sharon Higginbotham, the message on the shirt went "against Walmart's family values."

(Calle Hack)

After outcry from women's groups, the shirts later returned to Walmart shelves, The Telegraph reports. Jeva Lange

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