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11:20 AM ET, December 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
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 …
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
The individual mandate no longer applies to people whose plans were canceled  —  Today, the Obama administration announced that people whose insurance plans were canceled this year will “temporarily” be exempted from the law's individual mandate.  Here's how they're doing it — and what it means for the law.
Avik Roy / Forbes:
Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare's Insurance Mandate, ‘Unaffordable’ Exchanges  —  It's hard to come up with new ways to describe the Obama administration's improvisational approach to the Affordable Care Act's troubled health insurance exchanges.
Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans  —  Hundreds of thousands of people whose health plans are being canceled because their coverage doesn't meet Obamacare rules will be exempt next year from the U.S. mandate that all Americans carry medical insurance.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Louise Radnofsky / Wall Street Journal:
White House Will Allow Some To Buy Catastrophic Health Plans  —  Health-Care Law Tweak Addresses People Whose Polices Were Canceled Under New Rules  —  The Obama administration said Thursday it would allow some of the millions of Americans whose insurance policies had been canceled …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Chuck Todd: Will anyone be fined?  —  NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd says with all the changes the Obama administration has made to the rules of Obamacare, he doubts a “single person” will end up paying a penalty next year when the individual mandate takes effect.
Clara Ritger /
Obama Administration to Delay Individual Mandate for Some
Politico:   Six questions for Obama
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:   O-Care ‘fix’ extends to bare-bones plans
Byron Tau / Politico:
For Obamacare boosters, all memes are good memes
Discussion: CNN, and First Read
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.
Phil Robertson Publicly Bashed Gays for Years — A&E Knew All About It  —  Publicly Bashed Gays ... FOR YEARS  —  A&E KNEW ALL ABOUT IT  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  A&E knew all about “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson feelings toward gays when it hired him — because the guy openly preached …
Governor Bobby Jindal:
Gov. Jindal on Phil Robertson Suspension: I Remember When TV Networks Believed in 1st Amendment
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Paul Ryan Finds God  —  How a backstage prayer in Cleveland and a new leader in the Vatican set the budget-slashing congressman on a mission to help the poor.  “My bet is that he's on Pope Francis' team.”  —  On Oct. 24, 2012, Paul Ryan slipped into a high-ceilinged backstage room …
MacIver Institute:
BREAKING: Workers Dismantle Over 70 Unions in Wisconsin  —  [Madison, Wisc...] Workers rejected over 70 of 408 school district unions during annual recertification elections that ended on Thursday, according to a preliminary analysis of the results.  —  The elections went from November 29th until noon …
Discussion: Hot Air and Weekly Standard
Donna Cassata / Associated Press:
Senate To Vote On Yellen For Fed Chair In January  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will vote on the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve in January.  —  Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday night that Republicans and Democrats had worked …
Meredith Shiner / The World's Greatest …:
Senate Deal Sets Up Friday Christmas Exit, Pushes Yellen Confirmation to 2014 (Updated)
Discussion: Booman Tribune
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.
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Obama Commutes Sentences for 8 Drug Convictions
Discussion: The Hill and The Raw Story
Washington Post:
Officials' defenses of NSA phone program may be unraveling  —  From the moment the government's massive database of citizens' call records was exposed this year, U.S. officials have clung to two main lines of defense: The secret surveillance program was constitutional and critical to keeping the nation safe.
Podesta's Push for Executive Power Raises Stakes on Obama Agenda  —  When the Republican victory in the 2010 midterm election raised the prospect of political gridlock, John Podesta was ready with an answer: The president should bypass Congress and wield the executive powers of his office.
Discussion: ABC News
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Messina rejects holding Baucus's Senate seat  —  Jim Messina, who served as President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign manager, said Thursday that he is not considering an appointment in the Senate to replace departing Sen. Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat.  —  The comments came on the heels …
Discussion: Washington Wire
First Read / NBCNews:
First Thoughts: Baucus' ambassadorship gives Democrats a potential 2014 break
Discussion: The Fix and Outside the Beltway
How dogs scan familiar and inverted faces: an eye movement study  — Sanni Somppi, - Heini Törnqvist, - Laura Hänninen, - Christina M. Krause, - Outi Vainio  —  Abstract  —  Faces play an important role in communication and identity recognition in social animals.
Discussion: CBS Philly
Kimberley A. Strassel / Wall Street Journal:
Mary Landrieu and All That JAZZ  —  The Louisiana senator says she's pro-energy, but her PAC has raised a lot of money to elect opponents of the oil and gas industry.  —  Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu rolled out her pitch for a fourth term in an interview with the Times-Picayune in April.
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 More Items: 
The Atlantic Online:
The Gangs of Chicago  —  I spent last week trooping through …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Brendan Nyhan / Columbia Journalism Review:
Political centrism is not objectivity
Discussion: Washington Monthly
James Hohmann / Reuters:
NRSC raised $3.2 million in November
Discussion: CNN
Chicago Tribune:
The Obamacare 10 Percent Club
Discussion: Hot Air
Statement from Scott Brown on move to NH
Discussion: Roll Call and Talking Points Memo
 Earlier Items: 
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call:
Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate
Discussion: Hot Air, Rothenblog and Power Line
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: Politico and The Verge
Rossmurray / GLAAD:
Bob Newhart bows out of gig with anti-LGBT organization

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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