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6:40 PM ET, June 7, 2013


 Top Items: 
The Official Google Blog:
What the ...?  —  You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers.  As Google's CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.
Nick Hopkins / Guardian:
UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation  —  Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world's biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme  —  The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence …
Mark Zuckerberg  · 18,221,868 followers  —  I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:  —  Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.  We have never received a blanket request …
Republican lawmakers: NSA surveillance news to us  —  Several Republican lawmakers said they had not been briefed on the Obama administration's classified programs to monitor cellphone and Internet traffic.  —  That's in direct contradiction to President Barack Obama's assertion.
Discussion: American Spectator
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Dem.  Senator disputes Obama's claim that Congress was briefed  —  Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Friday disputed a claim President Obama made at a press conference only moments earlier, when the president said that every member of Congress had been briefed on the National Security Agency's (NSA) domestic phone surveillance program.
Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks  —  Exclusive: Top-secret directive steps up offensive cyber capabilities to ‘advance US objectives around the world’  —  • Read the secret presidential directive here  —  Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security …
Obama tells intelligence chiefs to draw up cyber target list - full document text
Discussion: The Hill and Lawfare
Obama speech-less  —  (CNN) - President Barack Obama got off to an awkward and unusual start Friday morning as he took the stage to give a speech on health care reform.  —  Once he took the podium, he realized he didn't have anything to talk about.  —  “Good morning everybody.
Discussion: The Hill and Politico
Justin Sink / The Hill:   President: I could become NSA target
Wall Street Journal:
Thank You for Data-Mining  —  The NSA's ‘metadata’ surveillance is legal and necessary.
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
Soldier Told Not to Read Levin, Limbaugh or Hannity in Uniform  —  A veteran member of the U.S. Army Band said he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh …
U.S. News:
Texas woman arrested in ricin letters to Obama, Bloomberg: Officials  —  A Texas woman has been arrested in connection with the mailing of three letters containing a form of the poison ricin to President Obama, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, federal authorities said.
Jonathan D. Salant / Bloomberg:
Manchin Seeks End to Widespread Anti-Terror Surveillance  —  President Barack Obama should end the broad surveillance of telephone calls and Internet usage, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said today.  —  “It bothers me, and I think it bothers you and every other American,” Manchin …
Discussion: Hot Air, Mediaite and Post Politics
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Manchin urges Holder to consider resigning
Discussion: Politico and CNN
David Simon:
We are shocked, shocked...  Is it just me or does the entire news media — as well as all the agitators and self-righteous bloviators on both sides of the aisle — not understand even the rudiments of electronic intercepts and the manner in which law enforcement actually uses such intercepts?
Fox News:
‘Uhhh...Uh...Uhhh....People!’  Obama at Total Loss for Words When Staff Forgets His Speech  —  President Obama strolled out to the podium today in San Jose, CA and was immediately at a loss for words.  Not only did the President not have teleprompter, his aides forgot his speech.
Andrew Blankstein / Los Angeles Times:
Three shot, suspect detained at Santa Monica College  —  The suspect was located in the school's library and was taken into custody.  —  Three people were wounded Friday during a shooting in the Santa Monica College area, law enforcement sources told The Times.
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Think Officials Knew About IRS Political Targeting  —  Majority disapproves of the way Obama has handled the matter  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Nearly six in 10 Americans believe that high-ranking IRS officials in Washington were aware the IRS had a practice of targeting conservative political groups …
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
Stephen Carter / Bloomberg:
Detroit's Van Gogh Would Be Better Off in L.A.  —  When the news broke that if Detroit goes into bankruptcy the city might cover some of its $15 billion debt by selling Detroit Institute of Arts treasures, the reaction was predictable and the language harsh.  —  The DIA's director, Graham Beal, called the idea “sickening.”
Discussion: Hit & Run and National Review
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Massive Government Spying Is The Result Of A Public Obsessed With Eliminating Terrorism  —  The revelations about massive National Security Agency snooping in Americans' phone records and Internet activities appear to be shocking, but they aren't.  —  The reason programs like these exist …
Maggie Fox / Vitals:
Get used to killer heat waves, CDC warns  —  People crowd at the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 2012, as heat waves and thunderstorms hit the eastern United States  —  Think last summer was bad?  You better get used to it, federal health officials warned Thursday.
Dylan Byers / Politico:
N.Y. Times changes scathing editorial  —  The New York Times editorial board has quietly changed the language in the most widely cited line from Thursday's scathing editorial about the Obama administration's surveillance of U.S. citizens.  —  The line — “The administration has now lost all credibility” …
Glenn Greenwald / Guardian:
On whistleblowers and government threats of investigation  —  No healthy democracy can endure when the most consequential acts of those in power remain secret and unaccountable  —  We followed Wednesday's story about the NSA's bulk telephone record-gathering with one yesterday …
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
GLENN GREENWALD: The US Wants To ‘Destroy Privacy Around The World’  —  The journalist who took part in breaking two attention-grabbing stories on government surveillance charged that the United States is interested in destroying privacy all over the world.  —  “There is a massive apparatus within …
Why Obama Keeps Losing at the Supreme Court  —  In cases before the Supreme Court last year, President Barack Obama's Justice Department relied on outlandish legal theories that pushed a constitutional interpretation of extreme federal power.  That posture led to unanimous losses in three …
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Flatten the IRS?  —  The cartoon below brings up the question that has been on my mind since the IRS scandal first broke: might this be the opening for tax reform, or better still, a flat tax?  The arguments for a flat tax have long been not just simplicity but that it would be more conducive to economic growth.
Sen. John McCain / Politico:
The fishy deal on catfish  —  Catfish is one bottom-feeder with friends in high places.  In fact, they're about to hook two prominent U.S. senators into spending $15 million a year - permanently - to build a special Catfish Office inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Behind the Obamacare Derangement Syndrome  —  At TNR today, Noam Scheiber looks at the deep investment Republican pols and conservative scribblers and gabbers seem to have in the failure of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and sees a concentration of the biases we have all called the Obama Derangement Syndrome on this one issue.
Discussion: Hullabaloo, New Republic and Politico
Rape suspect buried alive in Bolivia  —  A man suspected of rape has been buried alive by villagers in the southern highlands of Bolivia.  —  Police had identified the 17-year-old as the possible culprit in the rape and murder of a 35-year-old woman near the municipality of Colquechaca.
Discussion: Gawker
Kevin Liptak / CNN:
Ted Cruz Iowa bound  —  (CNN) - That trip to South Carolina must have gone well.  —  Sen. Ted Cruz, who spoke to Palmetto State Republicans in early May, has another trip to an early voting state slated for July when he'll headline the Iowa GOP's annual summer picnic.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Ballot Box
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 More Items: 
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Dershowitz To CNN: ‘Hearing Lot Of Lies’ From People Like Greenwald Who ‘Foment A Paranoid Streak’
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
The IRS Can't Plead Incompetence
Jon Hilsenrath / Wall Street Journal:
Fed on Track to Ease Up on Bond Buying Later This Year
Carol Cratty / CNN:
Prosecutors want 4 year sentence for Jesse Jackson Jr.
Discussion: Politico and Weasel Zippers
Kate Galbraith / The Texas Tribune:
West Texas Oilfield Town Runs Out of Water
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Monte Whaley / Denver Post:
New state: Weld County floats secession plan for northeastern Colorado
 Earlier Items: 
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Romney mixes business and politics at exclusive Utah conference
John McCormick / Bloomberg:
Clinton Slips in Poll After Benghazi Hits, Christie's Up
Discussion: Washington Wire, CNN and ViralRead
Joe Arnold / WHAS-TV:
Grimes asks for Democrats support ahead of U.S. Senate decision
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Admit It, Rep. Sensenbrenner: You Were Wrong About the Patriot Act
Ronald Brownstein /
Why Republicans Can Get Away With Ignoring Their Problems
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Yahoo! News
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
George W. Bush critics turn wrath on President Obama