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11:00 PM ET, February 12, 2014

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 Top Items: 
New York Times:
G.O.P. Senate Leaders Avert Debt Ceiling Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — It was a moment of real drama in a chamber known for its somnambulism .  Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, counted votes on his hand, at one point holding up three fingers as he searched for the remaining votes.
RELATED:
John Stanton / BuzzFeed:
Someone's Been Sending GOP Lawmakers A Bizarre Threat Over The Debt Ceiling  —  House Republicans have been getting a weird email in recent weeks: a threat over the debt ceiling vote that's been sent to the lawmakers' closely guarded personal email addresses.  “It's got to be another member.
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Why the Speaker capitulated to Obama  —  Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) abrupt decision to capitulate and hand President Obama a straightforward debt-ceiling increase resulted from simmering divisions that have virtually paralyzed his majority.  —  On an issue that once defined his Speakership …
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
An Act of Surrender May Strengthen Boehner's Control
Discussion: Washington Post
CNN:
Former New Orleans mayor guilty of bribery, money laundering, fraud  —  (CNN) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, whose desperate pleas for help during Hurricane Katrina drew national attention, walked silently out of a courthouse Wednesday after a jury convicted him of federal corruption charges.
RELATED:
Robert McClendon / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Live coverage: Ray Nagin convicted, guilty on 20 charges  —  Ray Nagin has been found guilty on 20 of 21 corruption charges.  You can read the full list of charges penalties below.  —  3:20 p.m.: The court has released a copy of the verdict form handed in by the jury and signed by its forewoman.
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite and Hinterland Gazette
Associated Press:
Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin found guilty of corruption
Gromer Jeffers Jr / Dallas Morning News:
Wendy Davis backs 20-week abortion ban that defers to women  —  Wendy Davis said Tuesday that she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if the law adequately deferred to a woman and her doctor.  —  Davis, a Fort Worth senator and the likely Democratic nominee for governor …
RELATED:
Robert Draper / New York Times:
One sunny Friday morning in late January, Wendy Davis took …
Discussion: National Review and alicublog
Andrew Wolfson / Courier-Journal:
Kentucky ban on gay marriages from other states struck down by federal judge  —  In a ruling that could open the door to gay marriage in Kentucky, a federal judge on Wednesday struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates …
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Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
Bevin Links KY Judge Behind Same-Sex Marriage Ruling To McConnell
Discussion: Washington Post
Kirsten Powers / USA Today:
Paul's misguided war on Hillary: Column  —  Senator's attempt to tar her with her husband with Lewinsky affair isn't working.  —  Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is trying to prove there is no GOP “war on women” by launching a war on one woman: Hillary Clinton.  He has suddenly been afflicted …
RELATED:
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Secularist Menace  —  Maybe I just travel in different circles from my old buddy Damon Linker.  But as a Man of the Left who is also a Christian, I just don't see the “broader, troubling trans-Atlantic trend of secular liberalism steamrolling competing, non-liberal visions of the good” that he laments at The Week.
Abby Livingston / Roll Call:
Gary Miller to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)  —  California Rep. Gary G. Miller announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election.  —  “It has been a great honor to spend so many years in public service, striving to make a difference for Southern California families,” Miller said in a statement.
Discussion: Daily Kos
RELATED:
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
California GOP Rep. Gary Miller to retire
Discussion: Politico
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Christie Ridicules Democrats for Emphasizing Income Inequality  —  CHICAGO — Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey delivered an unexpectedly blistering broadside on Tuesday against the Democratic Party's growing emphasis on income inequality, warning that the movement would “drive America toward mediocrity” …
RELATED:
Emma Bazilian / Adweek:
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's Newest Model: Barbie Mattel unveils new ‘Unapologetic’ campaign in advertorial By Emma Bazilian  —  This year, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue turns 50, which means that plenty of SI Swim Legends will be popping up to pay tribute to this all-American institution.
Discussion: The Verge and National Review
Jenna Levy / Gallup:
U.S. Uninsured Rate Drops so Far in First Quarter of 2014  —  Rate among 26- to 34-year-olds continues to fall  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The percentage of uninsured Americans fell to 16.0% so far in the first quarter of 2014 from 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Union Drive Doesn't Bother Management, but G.O.P. Fumes  —  As workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., prepare to vote this week on whether to join the United Automobile Workers, they are facing unusual pressure from the state's Republican legislators to reject the union.
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
Gay Republican Candidate's Ad Poses Test for Party  —  Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins.  But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has …
CNN:
Exclusive: Stop the NSA while we still can  —  Editor's note: Rand Paul is a Republican senator representing Kentucky.  Matt Kibbe is president and CEO of FreedomWorks.  Ken Cuccinelli is former attorney general of Virginia and a former Republican candidate for governor.
RELATED:
Jaime Fuller / Post Politics:
Rand Paul files suit against Obama, NSA Wednesday
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Daily Kos
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
No one can make ObamaCare work  —  I could rage on and on about Monday's gobsmacking announcement that the Obama administration is once again unilaterally delaying a key aspect of its health-care law and what this act of astonishing royalism suggests about the president and his fundamental disrespect …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
RELATED:
Washington Post:
The Obama administration has a mandate on the health-care law, too
ABC News:
Topless Images of Olympic Skier a Scandal in Lebanon  —  BEIRUT - Lebanon has long been known as the most liberal Arab country in the Middle East, many of its women unafraid of baring the kind of flesh that would invite scorn and outrage elsewhere in the region.
Mark Boxley / Courier-Journal:
Eight Corvettes swallowed by massive sink hole at National Corvette Museum  —  A 40-foot sink hole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green swallowed eight of the sports cars on display inside the the facility's iconic Sky Dome Wednesday morning, said executive director Wendell Strode.
Associated Press:
Michelle Obama covers those famous arms in ‘$12,000’ Carolina Herrera gown at the White House state dinner  —  Michelle Obama chose Venezuelan-American designer Carolina Herrera for the gown she wore Tuesday to the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.
RELATED:
Dan Donahue / The Lead with Jake Tapper:
Why is there no U.S. Ambassador to France?
Discussion: Hot Air and Twitchy
 
 
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 More Items: 
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Left and Right Object to I.R.S. Plan to Restrict Nonprofits' Political Activity
Sarah Hurtubise / The Daily Caller:
How many Obamacare customers have paid for their plans?
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Labor Department Isn't Protecting Trans Workers, Secretary Says Issue “Under Review”
Discussion: Washington Blade
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
The plot to make Big Food pay
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
North Dakota Leads in Job Creation for Fifth Straight Year
 Earlier Items: 
Bloomberg:
How Much Does It Cost to Be Ambassador to Hungary?
Discussion: The Week and The Dish
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study
Discussion: The Raw Story
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Obama, legislator-in-chief, suffers setback on illegal IRS rules
Discussion: National Review
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
In Governors' Races This Year, Lessons for 2016
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
NYT response to plagiarism claim acknowledges improper use of language, details from Wikipedia

Bloomberg:
AMC Networks Said to Discuss Acquiring Stake in BBC America

Bill Glauber / JSOnline:
Journal Communications of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps announce merger, spinning off newspapers

 
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