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7:50 AM ET, December 16, 2013


 Top Items: 
Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
Ryan Says GOP to Make Debt-Ceiling Demands in Early '14  —  House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) signaled that Republicans would not raise the debt ceiling next year without some sort of concessions from Democrats, saying lawmakers were still crafting their strategy.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
In budget deal, a secret reward for Dems  —  The two-year budget deal approved by the House has hidden political benefits for Senate Democrats, Republicans charge.  —  Because it sets a top-line budget number for 2015, Democrats won't have to write and pass a budget resolution in the midterm election year.
Discussion: Politico
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Durbin: GOP presidential ambitions and Tea Party challengers imperil budget deal  —  Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Senate Democratic leader, said Sunday that Republicans jockeying for the White House in 2016 and Tea Party challengers in 2014 have imperiled the budget deal.
Discussion: CBS News
CNN vote count: Budget deal nearing Senate approval, but not there yet  —  Washington (CNN) - The budget deal struck by Republican and Democratic lawmakers that easily passed the House of Representatives last week has run into some opposition in the Senate.  But according to CNN's vote count, the deal appears to be nearing passage.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
GOP zeroes in on debt limit debate
Discussion: Mediaite and Business Insider
Benedict Nightingale / New York Times:
Peter O'Toole, Star of ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ Is Dead at 81  —  Peter O'Toole, an Irish bookmaker's son with a hell-raising streak whose performance in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia” earned him overnight fame and established him as one of his generation's most charismatic actors, died on Saturday in London.
Steven Zeitchik / Los Angeles Times:
Tom Laughlin, star of ‘Billy Jack’ films, dies at age 82  —  Actors Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor starred in the 1971 movie “Billy Jack.”  (File photo)  —  Tom Laughlin, the maverick actor and filmmaker best known for the “Billy Jack” films, has died.  He was 82.
Discussion: Firedoglake
John Miller / CBS News:
NSA speaks out on Snowden, spying  —  The NSA gives unprecedented access to the agency's HQ and, for the first time, explains what it does and what it says it doesn't do: spy on Americans  —  The following is a script from “Inside the NSA” which aired on Dec. 15, 2013.  John Miller is the correspondent.
Maureen Callahan / New York Post:
What happened to Lady Gaga?  —  It's already known as ARTFLOP.  —  On Nov. 6, amid the kind of hype not seen since Michael Jackson floated a statue of himself down the Thames River, Lady Gaga released her third studio album, “ARTPOP.”  —  And not since Jackson has such a globally famous …
Discussion: Power Line
Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner:
Poll: Ted Cruz 3rd ‘most influential’ world leader, behind pope, Obama  —  WASHINGTON SECRETS OBAMACARE JOHN BOEHNER TED CRUZ CHRIS CHRISTIE POPE FRANCIS  —  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has had the best year of any Republican and virtually anyone in the world, ranking third in Rasmussen Report's …
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Weasel Zippers
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Gingrich: Budget deal keeps focus on Obamacare
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …, Hot Air and CNN
Rasmussen Reports:   23% Name Pope Francis Most Influential, 21% Say Obama
North Carolina Legislator: Obamacare Worse Than Terrorists, Stalin, Hitler Combined  —  A 2008 Bob Rucho for North Carolina Senate re-election ad  —  North Carolina State Senator Bob Rucho (R) tweeted Sunday that he believes the Affordable Care Act ranks as worse than the worst atrocities of the past century.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Why Inequality Matters  —  Rising inequality isn't a new concern.  Oliver Stone's movie “Wall Street,” with its portrayal of a rising plutocracy insisting that greed is good, was released in 1987.  But politicians, intimidated by cries of “class warfare,” have shied away from making …
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
G.O.P. Firebrands Tone Down Their Message and Run Again  —  LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — “My name is Congressman Bob Dold!” said the fleece-clad man making his way through a popular restaurant here.  —  Well, not exactly.  His name is Bob Dold, but he isn't a current member of Congress.
Discussion: Liberaland
The Hill:
Podesta: Climate game changer  —  Environmental groups believe John Podesta will be a force for change on climate issues at the White House.  —  The groups argue that for most of Obama's years in office, an administration that took power at the height of the recession has prioritized helping the economy over other goals.
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 More Items: 
Joan Walsh / Salon:
Poverty nation: How America created a low-wage work swamp
Discussion: Daily Kos
USA Today:
Hillary Clinton may affect campaigns far ahead of 2016
Doyle McManus / Los Angeles Times:
Moonwalking in Syria  —  U.S. efforts there may be giving …
Discussion: Hit & Run
Associated Press:
Discussion: Politico and Hot Air
Chris Matyszczyk / CNET:
Apple approves ‘only gay social app for ages 12 and up’
Colorado's school shooting — over in 80 seconds
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The Week
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Daughter Theory  —  FOR our age of wonks and white papers …
Discussion: The Raw Story and JustOneMinute
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Warren / Weekly Standard:
Kerry: N. Korea ‘Potentially’ Having Nuke Would Be ‘Unacceptable’
Arthur C. Brooks / New York Times:
A Formula for Happiness
Associated Press:
George P. takes baby steps away from Bush name
Discussion: The Reaction
Michael Goodwin / New York Post:
How the West was lost by the selfie president
Jenn Taylor / Twitchy:
US embassy in London unveils huge tapestry of Obama, gushes over his ‘warm smile’ [pics]
Discussion: Power Line and Michelle Malkin

From Mediagazer:

Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Aereo Launches To Explain Its Position Vs. Broadcasters

Lucia Moses / Digiday:
Condé Nast dives deep into native ads

Joe Pompeo / Capital New York:
Michael Wolff's column for the Guardian discontinued

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