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4:20 AM ET, December 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
Swalker / Duck Commander:
The Robertson Family Offical Statement  —  We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.
Why The Racist And Homophobic ‘Duck Dynasty’ Comments Have Nothing To Do With Free Speech  —  On Wednesday, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson made comments in a GQ interview condemning homosexuality as sinful and comparable to bestiality, as well as claiming that African Americans were better off under Jim Crow laws.
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
The Right's ‘Duck Dynasty’ Hypocrisy  —  By Dean ObeidallahDecember 19th 201312:00 PM  —  Conservatives think people should be held responsible for their actions—until one of their own, like Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, has to pay a price for their hateful views.
Governor Bobby Jindal:
Gov. Jindal on Phil Robertson Suspension: I Remember When TV Networks Believed in 1st Amendment
Ted Cruz / Facebook:
Free Speech Matters  —  The reason that so many Americans love …
Steve Deace / USA Today:
A&E fowls up ‘Duck’ flap: Column
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Ultimately There Will Be No Option for Silence or the Sidelines. You Will Be Made To Care.
Mollie Hemingway / The Federalist:
Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Knew Exactly What He Was Doing
Discussion: Equality Matters
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Obama Commutes Sentences for 8 Drug Convictions  —  President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unduly harsh drug sentences in the most expansive use yet of his power to free inmates.  —  All eight were sentenced under old federal guidelines …
Discussion: The Hill and The Raw Story
The White House:
Statement by the President on Clemency  —  Three years ago, I signed the bipartisan Fair Sentencing Act, which dramatically narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses.  This law began to right a decades-old injustice, but for thousands of inmates, it came too late.
Adam Serwer /
Conservatives freak out over ‘pajama boy’  —  Conservatives are in a tizzy over a seemingly innocuous Obamacare ad from Organizing for Action featuring a young man in pajamas.  —  He's “a metrosexual hipster in a plaid onesie” scowled National Review's Charles Cooke, a “vaguely androgynous …
Charlie Spiering / Washington Examiner:
Meet Ethan Krupp: Pajamacare boy and Organizing for Action employee  —  BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL OPINION OBAMACARE ORGANIZING FOR ACTION  —  This is the Obamacare Pajama boy in the latest Organizing for Action ad.  —  Pajamacare boy is Ethan Krupp, an Organizing for Action employee and the subject …
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
“Pajama Boy's” Blog Featured Post Criticizing President Obama
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Meredith Shiner / The World's Greatest …:
Senate Deal Sets Up Friday Christmas Exit, Pushes Yellen Confirmation to 2014 (Updated)  —  Updated 10:25 p.m. |  A bit of bipartisan Christmas cheer finally arrived in the Senate around 10 p.m. Thursday.  —  That's when senators locked in an agreement that will set up a series …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Dems plan big Christmas push on unemployment benefits
Discussion: Post Politics and Hullabaloo
First Look / Omidyar Group:
Pierre Omidyar Provides Initial Funding of $50M to Establish First Look Media  —  Honolulu - Dec. 19, 2013 - The news organization created by Pierre Omidyar (formerly dubbed “NewCo") has taken another step forward with an infusion of $50M in capital to fuel operations being established on both coasts.
Discussion: Mediaite, Guardian and Politico
FY 2013: ICE announces year-end removal numbers  —  98 percent of the agency's total removals were convicted criminals, recent border crossers, illegal re-entrants or those previously removed by ICE, in line with agency's enforcement priorities  —  WASHINGTON — Today …
Bradley Klapper / Associated Press:
Defying Obama, 26 Senators Push New Iran Sanctions
Discussion: Politico
Verizon to Publish Transparency Report Disclosing Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Information  —  NEW YORK - Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced plans to publish an online report that will provide data on the number of law enforcement requests for customer information …
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Marriage Equality Is The Law In New Mexico, State Supreme Court Rules  —  “We hold that the state of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry,” the justices unanimously concluded.  The state becomes the 17th in the U.S. to approve marriage equality.
Discussion: Hot Air
ABQJournal Online:
NM Supreme Court affirms same-sex marriage rights
Bill Mears / CNN:
New Mexico high court rules same-sex couples have right to marry
Discussion: KRQE-TV and Outside the Beltway
Amy Goldstein / Washington Post:
Obama administration relaxes rules of health-care law four days before deadline  —  The Obama administration Thursday night significantly relaxed the rules of the health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they could buy bare-bones health plans …
Sam Youngman / Politico:
Take This Town and Shove It  —  A White House reporter's tale of sex, booze and the briefing room.  —  If you write about American politics for a living, stop right there.  Get back to work, and don't read another damn word.  —  Sign out of Twitter, say “thanks but no thanks” …
Byron Tau / Politico:
For Obamacare boosters, all memes are good memes  —  When it comes to marketing Obamacare, all memes are good memes.  —  So say progressive activists and Democratic strategists, pushing back against a wave of fresh criticism that mocks their youth outreach efforts as somewhere between slightly awkward and totally tone-deaf.
Discussion: Reuters, CNN, CBS New York and Betsy's Page
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call:
Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate  —  The Arkansas Senate race continues to be close and hard-fought.  Polling shows the race extremely competitive, and both sides have already spent heavily.  Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor has spent almost $900,000 on his re-election bid …
Discussion: Rothenblog, Hot Air and Power Line
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 More Items:
How dogs scan familiar and inverted faces: an eye movement study
Discussion: CBS Philly
Skschust / CBS New York:
NYC Council Approves Ban On Indoor E-Cigarette Use
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
Peter King Slams Paul For Attacking Clapper: ‘He Disgraced His Office’
Discussion: The Verge and Politico
Rep. Trey Radel completes rehab, plans to stay in Congress
Discussion: Reuters
First Read / NBCNews:
First Thoughts: Baucus' ambassadorship gives Democrats a potential 2014 break
Discussion: The Fix and Outside the Beltway
Rossmurray / GLAAD:
Bob Newhart bows out of gig with anti-LGBT organization
 Earlier Items: 
Ishmael Reed / New York Times:
The President of the Cool  —  OAKLAND, Calif. — WHEN I lived …
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Reid: ‘I Have Grown To Really Like’ Rand Paul
Alex Pareene / Salon:
Hack list No. 1: Mike Allen
Discussion: The Dish and his vorpal sword
Andrew Ramonas /
Report: Former Bush Lawyer Harbored Anti-Gay Animus
Josh Levin / Slate:
The Welfare Queen  —  Ronald Reagan made Linda Taylor a notorious American villain.
Discussion: Hit & Run

From Mediagazer:

Ted Johnson / Variety:
Concept for Live TV On-the-Go Was Around Long Before Aereo

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

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