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12:15 AM ET, December 7, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
South Carolina Sheriff Refuses To Lower Flag For Mandela  —  Rick Clark, the sheriff of Pickens County, S.C., vowed on Friday to defy President Obama's order that U.S. flags be lowered to half staff in honor of deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela.  —  Clark made his promise …
RELATED:
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
7 Nelson Mandela Quotes You Probably Won't See In The U.S. Media  —  The former South African president, who died Thursday, was a revolutionary and a deep skeptic of American power.  —  Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters  —  “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.
Facebook:
Ted Cruz  · 562,730 like this  —  Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe.  He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography …
Discussion: The Raw Story, Daily Kos and BOR
The Atlantic Online:
Apartheid's Useful Idiots  —  Nelson Mandela died yesterday, and all around the world, much-deserved hosannas are coming in, praising the life of one of the most important figures in modern Western history.  That last bit reflects my own bias.  What's become clear in all my studies …
ThinkProgress:
The Right Wing's Campaign To Discredit And Undermine Mandela, In One Timeline  —  The world is celebrating Nelson Mandela as a selfless visionary who led his country out of the grips of apartheid into democracy and freedom.  But some of the very people lavishing praise on South Africa's …
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Meet The Mandela RINOs: Republicans Who Lost Their R-Card For Praising Mandela  —  Republican politicians have tried to pay homage on Facebook to the late Nelson Mandela since his death on Thursday, but many of their conservative supporters want to hear none of it.
Discussion: American Prospect
Anneta Konstantinides / ABC News:
Ted Cruz Criticized for Praising Nelson Mandela  —  While much of the world was eulogizing Nelson Mandela, some of Sen. Ted Cruz's followers were fuming that the man who defeated South Africa's apartheid and won the Nobel Peace Prize should be reviled as a communist and a terrorist.
Discussion: ABC News, The PJ Tatler and Twitchy
Leslie Larson / NY Daily News:
Sen. Ted Cruz's praise for Nelson Mandela met with criticism by supporters  —  The Texas senator posted a message on his Facebook page saying that Mandela would ‘live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty,’ but some of the comments posted called the former South African leader a 'terrorist …
Washington Free Beacon:
Matthews to Sharpton: McConnell Worse than de Klerk
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Jacob Fischler / BuzzFeed:
South Carolina Sheriff Refuses To Lower Flag For Nelson Mandela
Discussion: Mediaite
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Matthews: South Africa's White Apartheid Leaders Were More Patriotic Than GOP
Discussion: Hot Air and National Review
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Nelson Mandela funeral: George W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton to attend Mandela memorial
Nick Wing / The Huffington Post:
Dick Cheney Didn't Regret His Vote Against Freeing Nelson Mandela, Maintained He Was A ‘Terrorist’
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Santorum: Fight Against Obamacare Like Fight Against Apartheid
Discussion: Jezebel, Gawker and Liberaland
Travis Gettys / The Raw Story:
Sarah Palin: ‘Angry atheists’ are trying to ‘abort Christ from Christmas’  —  If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, Sarah Palin said, he would probably go on Fox News to complain about the war on Christmas.  —  The former half-term governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate appeared Thursday …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Carney criticizes report on Sebelius  —  The White House on Friday criticized as misleading a report in POLITICO Magazine claiming that President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met just once since the signing of the Affordable Care Act more than three years ago.
RELATED:
Justin Sink / The Hill:
White House: Obama won't insist on jobless aid in budget deal
Discussion: The Agonist
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Patriot Act author: Obama's intel czar should be prosecuted  —  Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the original author of the Patriot Act, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be prosecuted for lying to Congress.  —  “Lying to Congress is a federal offense …
Detroit Free Press:
Rand Paul on Detroit: The city's future won't come from Washington; magic is in Motown  —  DETROIT — The best way to bring Detroit back from the brink of economic collapse isn't through a government bailout, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said during a speech to the Detroit Economic Club today.
Discussion: The Fix and The Raw Story
Jada F. Smith / New York Times:
Slowly They Modernize: A Federal Agency That Still Uses Floppy Disks  —  WASHINGTON — The technology troubles that plagued the HealthCare.gov website rollout may not have come as a shock to people who work for certain agencies of the government — especially those who still use floppy disks, the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s.
Discussion: Business Insider
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Exclusive: The Obamacare Error Rate Has Fallen Dramatically  —  Some perspective on the latest ACA freak-out  —  These days it seems like everybody following Obamacare is talking about the 834s.  Those are the personal data files that healthcare.gov sends insurance companies, in order to notify them of new enrollees.
Richard Pollock / Washington Examiner:
Doctors boycotting California's Obamacare exchange  —  WATCHDOG OBAMACARE CALIFORNIA HEALTH CARE HEALTHCARE.GOV HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES  —  An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate …
Antoni Slodkowski / Reuters:
Insight - Fukushima water tanks: leaky and built with illegal labor  —  (Reuters) - Storage tanks at the Fukushima nuclear plant like one that spilled almost 80,000 gallons of radioactive water this year were built in part by workers illegally hired in one of the poorest corners of Japan …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Challenged by Tea Party, Veteran Mississippi Senator Seeks 7th Term  —  WASHINGTON — Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican who was first elected to the Senate in 1978, set up a generational and ideological clash in the state's Republican primary when he announced Friday that he would seek a seventh term in 2014.
RELATED:
Clarion-Ledger:
Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran said Friday he will run for re-election next year.
Discussion: NPR, Business Insider, CNN and Politico
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ted Van Dyk / The Atlantic Online:
The Democratic Party: How It Can Save Itself
Discussion: Power Line
Brendan Bordelon / The Daily Caller:
Obama dismisses IRS targeting of conservatives: 'They've got a list, and suddenly everybody's outraged'
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
New York Times:
Health Care Law Providing Relief and Frustration
David Nather / Politico:
Next up: Obamacare worst-case scenario?
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:
Nullifiers Have A Plan To Stop The NSA: Turn Off Its Water Supply
Discussion: The Verge
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Beutler / Salon:
GOP hits pathetic new low: “47 percent” thinking creeps even deeper
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Politico:
Improving economy defies Washington, for now
Associated Press:
Schoolchildren ordered indoors as air pollution cloaks Shanghai
Discussion: Via Meadia and Mashable
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Scott Brown: Where am I?