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9:15 AM ET, December 9, 2013


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Year of living dismally  —  Heading into an election year, Democrats and Republicans are trying to figure out how to salvage their brands after a bruising 2013.  —  The political year has seen a succession of angry standoffs, starting with the fiscal cliff fight last New Year and ending …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Budget deal expected this week amounts to a cease-fire as sides move to avert a standoff  —  House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:   Eric Cantor on how Republicans can win again
Dana Davidsen / CNN:
Durbin: Unemployment benefits won't make or break budget deal
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Durbin: No ultimatum on jobless benefits
Discussion: English and Firedoglake
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal  —  ANALYSIS/OPINION:  —  Fact: The IRS targeted conservative and tea party groups requesting tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.  That's a fact.  —  Congress held hearings — embarrassing hearings.
Discussion: Power Line and Betsy's Page
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Punishment Cure  —  Six years have passed since the United States economy entered the Great Recession, four and a half since it officially began to recover, but long-term unemployment remains disastrously high.  And Republicans have a theory about why this is happening.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Post Politics
New York Times:
Three Senators Try to Hold Off G.O.P. in South  —  NEW ORLEANS — Things traditionally get started a little late down here, an inclination that runs from mealtimes to political races.  But with nearly a year to go before the 2014 election, it is already open season on Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.
Nelson Mandela / CNN:
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, congressional Democrats to commemorate Mandela in South Africa
The Atlantic Online:
Newt Gingrich To Conservatives: ‘What Would You Have Done?’
John Diedrich / JSOnline:
ATF uses rogue tactics in storefront stings across nation  —  By John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Journal Sentinel  —  Aaron Key wasn't sure he wanted a tattoo on his neck.  Especially one of a giant squid smoking a joint.  —  But the guys running Squid's Smoke Shop in Portland …
Discussion: Hit & Run, NPR and Gawker
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Worries about Hillary Clinton  —  Hillary Clinton may be the overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but she's going to have to deal with some knotty problems sooner or later.  She can't ignore forever either her party or the media's entreaties to talk on important subjects.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Globe and Mail:   Obamacare, where the liberal dream crashes and burns
David Lightman / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
McClatchy-Marist Poll: 68% of Americans expect no budget deal by shutdown deadline  —  McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 8, 2013 Updated 16 hours ago  —  Facebook Twitter Google Plus Reddit E-mail Print  —  WASHINGTON — A Congressional budget deal expected this week might not be a grand bargain …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
Gillibrand sees assault vote slip away  —  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is headed back to the drawing board with her controversial proposal to take sexual assault cases outside the chain of command.  —  Gillibrand had been assured a vote on her plan during work on the Defense authorization bill.
Discussion: New Yorker
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Among ‘Obama Coalition,’ Obama approval plunges  —  BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL BARACK OBAMA POLLS APPROVAL RATINGS  —  President Obama won re-election with the rock-solid support of what has become known as the “Obama Coalition” — young people, minorities, women, and low-income voters.
Seymour M. Hersh / London Review of Books:
Whose sarin?  —  Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August.  In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts.
New York Times:
Amid the Uproar Over the Health Law, Voices of Quiet Optimism and Relief  —  Since his chronic leukemia was diagnosed in 2010, Ray Acosta has paid dearly for health insurance: more than $800 a month in premiums, plus steep co-payments for the drug that helps keep him alive.
Shanna McCord / Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Merrill Newman said he was comfortable during detention in North Korean hotel room  —  SANTA CRUZ — A relaxed Merrill Newman walked outside his Santa Cruz home on Sunday morning and was immediately greeted by a neighbor with a giant hug.  —  The neighbor told Newman how she “just knew” …
Discussion: CNN, NBCNews and Guardian
Stephanie Kirchgaessner / Financial Times:
New Affordable Care US health plans will exclude top hospitals  —  Americans who are buying insurance plans over online exchanges, under what is known as Obamacare, will have limited access to some of the nation's leading hospitals, including two world-renowned cancer centres.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
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 More Items: 
Channel NewsAsia:
Police say the riot in Little India which broke out on Sunday night took place after a fatal …
Discussion: Crooked Timber and Guardian
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
NSA morale down after Edward Snowden revelations, former U.S. officials say
Discussion: Guardian, AllThingsD, emptywheel and Gawker
David Harding / NY Daily News:
Christmas lights cause furor in Rome after rainbow colors used for anti-homophobia message
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Joe. My. God.
Katrin Bennhold / New York Times:
Britain's Ministry of Nudges
Discussion: Politico and Liberaland
 Earlier Items: 
David Simon / Guardian:
‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’
Ashley Killough / CNN:
Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, three others recognized at Kennedy Center Honors
Discussion: Associated Press

From Mediagazer:

Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Newspaper industry narrowed revenue loss in 2013 as paywall plans increased

Ken Doctor / Nieman Journalism Lab:
Kyiv Post delivers English language news from embattled Ukraine with budget of $60k a month

Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Beats Bites the Bullet, and Starts Selling Subscriptions From Apple's App

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