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7:35 PM ET, June 28, 2013


 Top Items: 
Culture Desk:
Cover Story: Bert and Ernie's “Moment of Joy”  —  “It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week's cover, “Moment of Joy.”  Hunter, who originally submitted his image, unsolicited, to a Tumblr, continued …
June Thomas / Slate:
This Is a Terrible Way to Commemorate a Major Civil Rights Victory  —  The cover of next week's New Yorker, drawn by Jack Hunter and titled “Moment of Joy,” celebrates the fall of DOMA by showing Sesame Street favorites Bert and Ernie snuggled on the sofa of their sparsely appointed living room.
Bryan Fischer /
Prestigious New Yorker magazine irresponsibly promotes child endangerment  —  The tony, elitist New Yorker magazine, read by those who fancy themselves our moral and  —  intellectual superiors, is in effect promoting child endangerment on the cover of its latest issue, and shamelessly using Bert and Ernie to do it.
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Leaders Warn Pro Sports Leagues Not To Promote Obamacare  —  Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare.  —  The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League …
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
UPDATED: NFL says it has no plans to help promote Obamacare  —  ANALYSIS WHITE HOUSE BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  UPDATE: NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy emails: … (Read the letter that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, sent the NFL in the embedded viewer below this story.)
Ashley Killough / CNN:
NFL has ‘no plans’ to promote Obamacare
Discussion: Politico
Fox News:
Witness describes Zimmerman's injuries, phone call to wife  —  A resident of the Florida community where George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin last year told jurors Friday afternoon how he encountered a bloodied Zimmerman immediately after the confrontation and took pictures of the murder defendant's injuries.
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Hank Johnson: Clarence Thomas ‘Worse’ Than Edward Snowden For Gutting Voting Rights Act  —  WASHINGTON — Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said Wednesday that the fact that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas voted this week to gut the Voting Rights Act — the 1965 law aimed at protecting disenfranchised voters …
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:   Dems Set Wheels In Motion On Revising Voting Rights Act
House GOP's immigration playbook  —  Circle July 10 with red ink: It's now the most important day for immigration reform.  —  That Wednesday is when a hobbled, divided and raucous House Republican Conference will meet in the Capitol basement to figure out how to address the Senate-passed bill.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
GOP chief: ‘We need comprehensive immigration reform’
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Benefits extended to same-sex spouses of federal workers  —  Same-sex spouses of federal employees will be able to take advantage of their partner's health insurance and retirement benefits, according to new federal guidance issued on Friday.  —  Just two days after the Supreme Court gutted …
Discussion: Politico
New York Post:
Bloomberg: ‘We disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little’ in stop-frisk checks  —  Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants cops to conduct more stop-and-frisk checks on minorities, not less, and believes whites are disproportionately targeted by the controversial measure.
Discussion: National Review
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:   Mayor Bloomberg: NYPD ‘Stops Whites Too Much And Minorities Too Little’
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Krugman hits Erickson for ‘fake populism’  —  In response to Erick Erickson's latest us-versus-them screed against the Acela-corridor...  Paul Krugman drops some Bureau of Labor Statistics data to show that the price of milk and bread haven't actually gone up at all.  And asks:
George Stark / Daily Mail:
Alec Baldwin's pregnant wife Hilaria TWEETS about Rachael Ray and anniversary gifts during James Gandolfini's funeral  — She later insisted: 'I don't believe in bringing phones into a funeral and I never did and I never would'  —  It may not be considered funeral etiquette …
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Tea Party Worries Colorado Town With Planned July 4 Gun March  —  A tea party group's vow to march with guns in a Fourth of July parade has caused panic in a small Colorado town.  —  The Southern Colorado Patriots Club announced that its members would march with guns in the annual Independence …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Ally Marotti / Denver Post:
Colorado town split on Patriots' plan to carry guns in July 4th parade
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Breanna Edwards / Politico:
Jimmy Carter to Paula Deen: ‘Let the dust settle’  —  Former President Jimmy Carter has advice for his friend and celebrity chef Paula Deen.  —  “I've known Paula Deen quite well for a long period of time.  I advised her to let the dust settle and to make apologies,” Carter said in interview clips aired Friday on CNN.
Joe Sterling / CNN:
Carter: Paula Deen should be forgiven
Discussion: BuzzFeed
Rebecca Elliott / Politico:
Sarah Palin mocks GOP: ‘Great job’  —  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had harsh words for the GOP establishment who voted for immigration reform, saying they “disrespect Hispanics” by passing the bill.  —  “Great job, GOP establishment,” began the statement Palin posted on Facebook on Friday.
Discussion: CNN
Jenna Portnoy / New Jersey Online:
Christie: Obama 'can't figure out how to lead'  —  VERNON TWP.  — Gov. Chris Christie veered to the right this morning, twice touting himself as a “conservative Republican” and taking a shot at President Obama within the first 10 minutes of a town hall meeting in Sussex County.
Lois Lerner's plan: fight on  —  Darrell Issa's committee says Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights — but her attorney says she isn't going down without a fight.  —  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 22-17 on Friday that the embattled IRS official voluntarily waived …
Tom Watkins / CNN:
Father proposes deal for Snowden's voluntary return  —  (CNN) — The father of Edward J. Snowden has offered federal authorities a deal that he says would likely lead the accused leaker to return voluntarily to the United States to face espionage charges.  —  The proposal was laid out in a letter …
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Nationalized gay marriage, now inevitable  —  Under the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages even in states that have legalized it.  This week, the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional.  —  There are two possible grounds, distinct and in some ways contradictory, for doing so.
Emery P. Dalesio / Associated Press:
NC poised to become 1st state to drop federal jobless funds  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and ThinkProgress
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Remember the Obama Scandals?  That Used to Be a Thing  —  Sifting through the Republican responses to President Obama's climate speech Tuesday, an odd omission could be found — or, at least, it would have seemed odd as recently as a week or two ago.  The various Republican statements churned …
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 More Items: 
Adam C. Smith / Tampa Bay Times:
Fla Insider Poll: Gov Scott looking stronger; GOPers not overly worried about Crist
Jake Sherman / Reuters:
CBO: GOP abortion bill would raise deficit
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Boy Scouts Bar Scouts From Wearing Uniform In Gay Pride Parades Or Flag Ceremonies
Discussion: GLAAD
Woman indicted in mailing of ricin-laced letters to Obama, Bloomberg
Discussion: KTLA 5
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Obama administration finalizes birth-control mandate in healthcare law
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Natasha Chart / RH Reality Check:
Just Have the Baby?  A New Mom Reveals Why There Is No ‘Just,’ and Not Necessarily Any Justice Either
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Hullabaloo
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Invest, Divest and Prosper
Discussion: NPR, AEIdeas, ThinkProgress and Wonkblog
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Wall Street Journal:
What's Really ‘Immoral’ About Student Loans
Discussion: AEIdeas and Via Meadia
Shane Goldmacher /
Nearly One in Five Members of Congress Gets Paid Twice
Phillip Molnar / Monterey County Herald:
Restricted web access to The Guardian is Armywide, officials say