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3:05 PM ET, June 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Breakthrough in Senate immigration talks; announcement set for Thursday  —  Senators seeking a solution to a deadlock over border security have reached a tentative agreement they believe could win the votes of a significant number of Republican lawmakers for the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Ramsey Cox / The Hill:
Senate votes 54-43 to reject Cornyn plan for border security ‘trigger’  —  The Senate on Thursday rejected Sen. John Cornyn's (R-Texas) immigration reform bill amendment that would have put mandatory border security triggers in place before immigrants were given legal status.
Discussion: National Review
Wall Street Journal:
The Border Security Ruse  —  For many Republicans, the border will never be secure enough.  —  The immigration debate has turned once again to “securing the border,” and Republicans are once again demanding more enforcement as the price of their support.  Here's the real story …
Kasie Hunt / First Read:
Senators reach border deal, smoothing path to immigration overhaul
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Rubio hails border deal, hopes immigration bill finds ‘support it needs’
Discussion: CNN
Exodus International:
Exodus International to Shut Down  —  Thirty-seven-year-old ministry for those with same-sex attraction marks its last national conference  —  Irvine, Calif. (June 19, 2013) — Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight …
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Leading ‘Ex-Gay’ Organization Closes, Apologizes To LGBT Community
Discussion: Truth Wins Out
Alan Chambers / Exodus International:
I Am Sorry  —  Three years ago, Leslie and I began …
Barack Obama bombs in Berlin: a weak, underwhelming address from a floundering president  —  When John F. Kennedy delivered his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate on June 26, 1963, 450,000 people flocked to hear him.  Fifty years later a far more subdued invitation …
Michael Hirsh /
Obama's Turbulent European Vacation
Discussion: Hot Air, New York Times and CNN
Republican News Watch:
Rodney Davis team member issues racist rant attacking Erika Harold  —  To understand why the Illinois Republican Party keeps losing elections - look no further than the racist rant (copied below) from a GOP party official.  —  The email was sent to Republican News Watch's Editor …
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Illinois GOP Pol Calls Black Female Candidate A ‘Street Walker’  —  A GOP county chairman in Illinois called a black female congressional candidate a “street walker” and the “love child” of the Democratic party — and he was referring to a fellow Republican, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House rejects farm bill, 195-234  —  In a blow to House GOP leaders, the House on Thursday rejected a five-year farm bill.  —  Members voted down the $940 billion bill in a 195-234 vote that only won 24 Democratic votes.  Most Democrats voted against the bill because it cut food stamp programs by more than $20 billion.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner urges Obama to ‘compel’ Senate Dems to act on student loans
Discussion: Politico
House on Gang of 8 bill: Whatever
Longtime CNN Reliable Sources host moves on  —  Washington (CNN) - Longtime media reporter Howard Kurtz and CNN parted company as Kurtz and CNN confirmed the end of his 15-year run hosting CNN's Reliable Sources program.  Kurtz will become a contributor to Fox News.
Tom Goldstein / SCOTUSblog:
Power  —  You should decide now what kind of Supreme Court you want.  Don't wait until after the Justices hand down the Term's major decisions.  That will be too late.  Make a real choice now about how much power you think the Court should have - before your judgment is skewed by either elation or outrage at the results.
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
CNN Poll: Judging the Supreme Court
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Manchin hits back at NRA in new TV ad  —  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday hit back at the National Rifle Association, accusing its leaders of shifting their stance on background checks for political gain, and unveiling a new television ad defending his bipartisan gun-control measure.
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Jane C. Timm /
Manchin unveils fiery new ad against the NRA
Discussion: The Week and Post Politics
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
Virginia Lt. Gov. Candidate Says Social Programs Hurt ‘Black Family’ More Than Slavery (Video)  —  The Virginia GOP's nominee for lieutenant governor, E.W. Jackson, gave a speech Wednesday in which he claimed government social programs have done more harm to the “black family” than slavery.
Emily Goodin / The Hill:
Dems start Obama-to-Clinton transition  —  Democrats in Washington are starting to shift from the Obamas to the Clintons.  [WATCH VIDEO]  —  Hillary Clinton has already racked up a couple of endorsements for the 2016 presidential race — and she hasn't even announced she's running yet.
Discussion: CNN, Politico, Taylor Marsh and ABCNEWS
Talking Points Memo:
Ted Cruz's Father Bribed An Official To Come To U.S.  —  In a report Thursday on NPR about how Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) father shaped his vision on immigration, his father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, an immigrant from Cuba, said that while he “came to this country legally,” he basically bribed an official to get to the United States.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Tea party scalds Marco Rubio  —  The tea party returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, but this time the don't-tread-on-me crowd trod upon one of its own.  —  Much of the scene was familiar: the yellow flags, the banners protesting tyranny and socialism, the demands to impeach President Obama and to repeal Obamacare.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown  —  KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.
Tim Duy / Tim Duy's Fed Watch:
The Chart to Watch?  —  Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog has a common chart illustrating the Fed's recent forecast errors:  —  The story is that the Fed has tended to overestimate the strength of the economy, and has consequently had to maintain easy policy longer than policymakers had anticipated.
Dylan Matthews / Wonkblog:
This graph shows how bad the Fed is at predicting the future
Discussion: The Week
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
SCOTUS: Aid groups not required to oppose prostitution  —  In a ruling backing robust free speech rights for recipients of government funds, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional the federal government's requirement that groups accepting U.S. aid declare their opposition to prostitution.
Discussion: New York Times and SCOTUSblog
James Hohmann / Politico:
GOP poll has Gabriel Gomez down 3 in Mass.  —  A Republican poll conducted for a Super PAC boosting Gabriel Gomez found the GOP candidate trailing by only 3 points ahead of next week's Massachusetts special election.  —  The survey—conducted Monday through Wednesday by conservative pollster John McLaughlin …
Betsy McCaughey / Investor's Business Daily:
Using ObamaCare To Create A Permanent Democratic Majority  —  If you have to keep it a secret, you probably shouldn't be doing it.  —  But the California legislature and the new Covered California health insurance exchange are conspiring to keep secret how they will dole out more than half …
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley: An ObamaCare Board Answerable to No One
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
A Nation Divided Against Itself
Discussion: Vox Popoli
New York Times:
Web's Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders
Fox News:
Lawmakers question Obama's pledge to scale back US nuclear arsenal
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The PJ Tatler
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
Do Unpaid Internships Lead to Jobs? Not for College Students
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg:
Why Government Spending Does Nothing for Jobs
 Earlier Items: 
Jeffrey Lord / American Spectator:
Heritage, Levin Call for Immigration Debate
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Sex, Lies and the War on Men
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House votes to let states run drug tests on food stamp applicants
Molly Ball / The Atlantic Online:
The Do-Nothing Congress Has Done a Lot
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Paranoia Strikes Deep: The Press and Rand Paul
Dave Itzkoff / New York Times:
James Gandolfini Is Dead at 51; a Complex Mob Boss in ‘Sopranos’