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April 23, 2014

Larry Bartels points to the fact that, unlike in other affluent democracies, in America, the desire to cut government spending is almost always much stronger among the rich, and weaker among the poor:

[Washington Post]

Paul Krugman says that "the main point to understand here is that we now know what it means when people urge us to stop talking about class, or denounce class warfare: It is essentially a demand that lower-income Americans and those upper-income Americans who care about them shut up, and stop messing with the elite desire for smaller government."

Krugman is correct — the wealthy in America favor smaller government more than the less wealthy. But what's a little baffling to me is the fact that other affluent democracies don't share America's rich-poor divide on spending cuts. And the fact that this great division exists despite the fact the United States does less to redistribute income than most other economically advanced democracies. This is not the overtaxed rich rebelling against world-leading levels of redistribution. Other countries redistribute far more with far less division between the rich and the poor on the matter.

Larry Bartels argues that the factor that explains this may be race. The only country with a bigger rich-poor divide on spending cuts than the United States is South Africa, which has a wide economic divide between its relatively wealthier white population and relatively poorer black population. Bartels points to a similar "entanglement of class and race in America, which magnifies aversion to redistribution among many affluent white Americans." John Aziz

12:34 a.m. ET
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When the Foster family moved into the El Dorado Hills neighborhood outside of Sacramento, California, they say they discovered a long-forgotten rule regarding the race of residents.

Clause 13 of the Lake Hills CC&R states as follows: "No person except those of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy, or reside upon any residential lot or plot in this subdivision, except when employed in the household of a white Caucasian tenant or owner." Liese Foster told ABC 13 that while "everyone knows you can't enforce things like that," it still "sends a message." Some neighbors had no idea that the rule, on the books since 1961, existed, while others said they did know about it, but since non-whites live in the neighborhood and it's never been enforced, they pay it no mind.

Now that Brent Dennis is aware of the rule, he promises things will change. He is with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District, which handles rule enforcement for the community and more than 30 others. Dennis has worked there for four years, and said before he was approached by a local news station, he didn't know about the rule. He told KTXL that he has no clue why it was ever made, but said it has never been enforced and violates federal law, and members of his staff will work quickly to change it. Catherine Garcia

12:25 a.m. ET

Well, this is something you don't see every day. On Thursday's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon donned his Donald Trump persona and sang a song with the real Barbra Streisand, who looked unsure about the whole endeavor (she is an Oscar-winning actress). "We're going to sing a fantastic song, and together we're going to make duets great again," Fallon's Trump said. "That's if you can sing," Streisand shot back. "Can you?" "I sing all the best words," FalTrump said. The duet is Irving Berlin's "Anything You Can Do," from Annie Get Your Gun, but with slightly different lyrics ("I can build casinos, and deport Latinos," Fallon's Trump sings). If you had any doubt who Streisand is supporting in this election (and you didn't, right?), she laid out her cards in the song, and she got in a few good digs at Trump for good measure. Watch below. Peter Weber

August 25, 2016

It isn't exactly Bill Clinton playing saxophone on Arsenio Hall in 1992 (he also played a ballad), but Hillary Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), pulled out his harmonic on Thursday to do a little blues jam with Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Stephen Colbert's Late Show house band. Now, the harmonic isn't the world's, um, coolest instrument, but it's arguably a step up the hep ladder from the Batiste's melodica, and hey, Kaine isn't bad. If Hillary wins, maybe he and Bill can form a White House band. Watch below. Peter Weber

August 25, 2016

On Thursday, Donald Trump shared with CNN's Anderson Cooper his latest stance when it comes to immigration: No legal status for undocumented immigrants.

It was an apparent shift from comments he made just one day earlier during an appearance on Fox News, when he said "there's no amnesty, but we work with them," and announced that after spending the weekend meeting with Hispanic advisers, his policies "could certainly be softening, because we're not looking to hurt people." When speaking with Cooper, Trump said there is "no path to legalization unless they leave the country. When they come back in, then they can start paying taxes, but there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back." His plan, he said, isn't "a softening. I've had people say it's a hardening, actually."

It's not clear, though, if Trump would try to deport immigrants who have lived in the U.S. peacefully for years, maybe with their family. "There is a very good chance the answer could be yes," Trump told Cooper. "We're going to see what happens."

Trump went on to say that on day one of his presidency, he'll give law enforcement authorization to deport the "bad dudes." When Cooper asked him how he might go about deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., Trump responded, "It's a process. You can't take 11 at one time and just say, 'Boom, you're gone.'" Catherine Garcia

August 25, 2016
Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty Images

The Bolivian government confirmed that the country's deputy interior minister, Rodolfo Illanes, was beaten to death after being abducted by striking miners.

Before the government announced the death of Illanes, a radio station director told local media outlets he saw the body. Earlier Thursday, the government said Illanes, 56, had been abducted and was at risk of being tortured in Panduro, 100 miles from La Paz, Reuters reports. The striking miners are asking for changes to laws, including the right to work for private companies and better union representation, and the protests turned violent on Wednesday when a highway was blocked and two workers were shot and killed. The government says 17 police officers were wounded during the clash. (The article has been updated.) Catherine Garcia

August 25, 2016

Two nuns who worked as nurse practitioners at a medical clinic in rural Mississippi were found murdered in their home Thursday morning.

Maureen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, said there were signs of a break-in at their home in Durant and their vehicle was missing. Authorities did not release a motive, and said it's unclear if their religion had anything to do with it. They also did not say if there are any suspects. The Rev. Greg Plata told The Associated Press police told him the women, identified as 68-year-old Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held, were stabbed. "They were two of the sweetest, most gentle women you can imagine," Plata said. "Their vocation was helping the poor."

While working at the Lexington Medical Clinic, the nuns provided medical care for people who otherwise couldn't afford to go to the doctor. "They'll help anybody they can help," Lexington Medical Clinic manager Lisa Dew told AP. "They'll give you the shirt off their back." Merrill worked for more than 30 years in Mississippi. She was originally from Massachusetts, and joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky in 1979. Held was a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. Catherine Garcia

August 25, 2016
Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

Sonia Rykiel, the French designer dubbed the "queen of knitwear" by Women's Wear Daily in the 1960s, died Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 86.

Rykiel was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the early 1990s. She was born to Russian and Romanian parents outside of Paris in 1930, and in her early twenties, married a Paris boutique owner. She wasn't happy with any of the items he had for sale, and started making her own pieces, beginning with maternity clothes. Her husband sold her work, and the pieces, like the "poor boy" sweater, were so popular she opened her own store on Paris' Left Bank in 1968. Early fans included Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot, and Rykiel's fashion house turned into a multi-million dollar global brand. Her designs have been featured in museums, and she also wrote several books. She is survived by a daughter, Nathalie, and son, Jean-Philippe. Catherine Garcia

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