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12:50 PM ET, July 17, 2014

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 Top Items: 
Tod Lindberg / The New Republic:
The 2014 Midterms Don't Mean Anything  —  Pundits and pols say the stakes couldn't be higher.  Quite the opposite.  —  The political media's handicapping of the November 4 midterm election has contributed to the impression, fostered by many partisans and commentators, that the stakes have never been higher.
Discussion: VodkaPundit
RELATED:
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Hidden Barrier to a Republican Senate Majority  —  The GOP has had little recent success defeating Democratic incumbents  —  If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven't done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November.
Politico:
Cruz's next fight: Immigration  —  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz plans to take a hard-line stand that could rile up conservatives just as lawmakers — including two from his home state — are struggling to address the growing humanitarian crisis along the southern border.
Sky News:
Malaysian Plane ‘Shot Down With 295 On Board’  —  A passenger plane with 295 people on board has been shot down as it flew above eastern Ukraine, according to aviation sources.  —  The Malaysia Airlines plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling at an altitude of 10km …
RELATED:
Ashley Fantz / CNN:
Report: Malaysia Airlines flight crashes in Ukraine  —  (CNN) — A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported Thursday.  —  Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with MH17, and the flight's …
Christopher Gunness / UNRWA:
UNRWA STRONGLY CONDEMNS PLACEMENT OF ROCKETS IN SCHOOL  —  Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip.  UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations.
Maura Dolan / Los Angeles Times:
Federal judge rules California death penalty is unconstitutional  —  A federal judge in Orange County ruled Wednesday that California's death penalty violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.  —  U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, ruled on a petition …
RELATED:
Mike Allen / Politico:
Dag Vega, Obama's TV whisperer, leaving White House  —  Dag Vega — the White House liaison to the TV networks, and one of the few original Obama staffers who moved into 1600 Pennsylvania 5½ years ago — will leave for a soon-to-be-announced job in the private sector on July 25.
Discussion: FishbowlDC
RELATED:
Brian Witte / Associated Press:
Immigration Leads to O'Malley and Obama Spat
Discussion: Politico
San Francisco Chronicle:
Fake screener probes passengers at SFO  —  (07-16) 17:46 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — A man suspected of being drunk posed as a security screener at San Francisco International Airport long enough to direct a couple of women into a private booth for pat downs before real security staffers caught on to him, authorities said Wednesday.
Edward Snowden / Guardian:
‘If I end up in chains in Guantánamo I can live with that’ - video interview  —  Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, talks exclusively to Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, and reporter Ewen MacAskill in Moscow.  The 31-year-old former intelligence analyst discusses whether …
Lanny J. Davis / The Hill:
Lessons from LeBron — How the GOP can use crisis management  —  LeBron James's surprise announcement last Friday that he planned to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Miami Heat offers important lessons for effective crisis management.  Indeed, the most important lesson might …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite
Jim Avila / ABC News:
Exclusive: Feds Struggling to Cope With Medical ‘Breakdown’ at the Border  —  The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it can't provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them - often by air …
Sally Kohn / The Daily Beast:
Chick-fil-A Is Like Gay Sex: Don't Knock It Till You Try It  —  Hats off, Chick-fil-A!  You've overtaken KFC, and you're aiming to sell healthier fare.  But pssst!  Don't you know 'skinny'='gay'?  —  Chick-fil-A is like gay sex: Don't knock it till you try it.
Discussion: NewsBusters and Mediaite
Lindsay Mark Lewis / The Atlantic Online:
The Easiest Fix for Dark Money: Disclose Less Often  —  “Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with nowadays.”  —Will Rogers  —  Super PACs are unquestionably a scandal: The lightly regulated committees mean wealthy donors can funnel unlimited amounts of money into elections anonymously.
Microsoft Corporation:
Stephen Elop's email to employees  —  Microsoft's strategy is focused on productivity and our desire to help people “do more.”  As the Microsoft Devices Group, our role is to light up this strategy for people.  We are the team creating the hardware that showcases the finest of Microsoft's digital work …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Clinton Is Best Known, Best Liked Potential 2016 Candidate  —  Huckabee's image is slightly better than other GOP contenders  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Hillary Clinton is currently the best known and best liked of 16 potential 2016 presidential candidates tested in a July 7-10 Gallup poll …
Discussion: Washington Post, Bloomberg and Politico
Manny Fernandez / New York Times:
Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors  —  OYSTER CREEK, Tex. — A shelter for Central American children who crossed the border illegally opened behind Gregg Griffith's house here a few months ago.  The children are quiet.  No one has hopped over the fence that separates his backyard from the shelter, a once-vacant youth home.
Ned Resnikoff / msnbc.com:
Hobby Lobby: A new tool for crushing workplace unionization?  —  A little-known religious exemption to United States labor law may have just become extremely important, thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby.  —  By declaring that “closely held” corporations may hold religious beliefs …
Seth Lipsky / New York Post:
Time to annex?  If Palestinians can't govern ...  Israeli military vehicles patrol near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.  —  The collapse of a ceasefire plan for Israel and Hamas would be a moment to test the Jewish state's super-weapon — Caroline Glick.
Discussion: VodkaPundit
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg View:
We Don't Need a Corporate Income Tax  —  You can think of corporate taxation as a sort of long chess match: The government makes a move.  Corporations move in response — sometimes literally, to another country where the tax burden is less onerous.  This upsets the government greatly, and the Barack Obama administration in particular.
Discussion: Samizdata
Pew Research Center's Social & …:
In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-Generational Living  —  A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980.1
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
Pentagon told lawmakers that it plans to move six Guantanamo detainees to Uruguay  —  The Pentagon recently notified members of Congress that it intends to transfer six low-level detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Uruguay soon, including a Syrian man who is legally challenging the manner …
Sheila Marikar / New York Times:
Websites Like Thought Catalog and Upworthy Aim to Uplift  —  On a bright afternoon, Alex Magnin, chief revenue officer of the website Thought Catalog, strolled through Dolores Park in San Francisco, sipping a cup of green tea.  Mr. Magnin, 29 and clad in a rumpled plaid shirt …
Discussion: Althouse and The Awl
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Poll: Not Everyone Is Ready for Hillary
Geoff Pender / The Clarion-Ledger:
McDaniel lawyer: Expect runoff challenge within 10 days
Politico:
Tom Steyer struggles to find big-money donors
Discussion: Hot Air and Washington Free Beacon
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  July 17, 2014 - Udall, Gardner Tied …
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Spot
Katie Pavlich / Townhall.com:
EXCLUSIVE: Documents Detail Heinous Crimes Committed by Gang Members Being Housed in Nogales Processing Center
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Rawlinson / BBC:
Blogger fined for restaurant review
Mark Bittman / New York Times:
The True Cost of a Burger
Discussion: Althouse and Forbes
KOMO News:
Man sets house afire trying to kill spider with lighter, spray paint
Discussion: Liberaland and Mediaite
Manu Raju / Politico:
Bluegrass bravado: Untested Alison Lundergan Grimes takes on Mitch McConnell
Discussion: National Review
Josh Rogin / The Daily Beast:
Bowe Bergdahl Thanks Obama for ‘Saving His Life’
Discussion: Politico, New York Times and Mediaite
Benny Johnson / BuzzFeed:
The 7 Ugliest Government Buildings In Washington, D.C.
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Associated Press:
Gatehouse Media parent agrees to buy Providence Journal from Belo for $46M in cash

Margaret Sullivan / New York Times:
‘Not the Time for Antiseptic Coverage’: Dean Baquet on Covering Violence Abroad

Michael O'Connell / Hollywood Reporter:
PBS Chief Paula Kerger Talks ‘Sherlock,’ Streaming and Cable's Exit From Education

 
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