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12:20 PM ET, July 9, 2013


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Spitzer Redux  —  There will always be candidates for public office who are ethically compromised, temperamentally unsuitable and politically incompetent, but if they insist on running anyway, who has the right to tell them not to?  Campaigns sort out the good public servants from the bad.
Why sex-scarred pols keep coming back for more  —  Another week and there goes another fallen officeholder trying to claw his way back from tabloid purgatory—another chance for some people to marvel about the power of forgiveness and redemption, and other people to marvel about the power of egomania and pure chutzpah.
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
Sex and the Sorriest Pols
Margot Sanger-Katz /
White House Has Known For Months Obamacare Implementation Wouldn't Work  —  Last week, it scaled back several required provisions.  They aren't the first.  And probably won't be the last.  —  If you've been reading all the Obamacare stories lately, you might get the impression …
Mike Allen / Politico:
Eric Cantor plans anti-IRS push  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday will tell House Republicans that he plans floor votes before the August recess on a slew of bills in response to the IRS controversies.  —  The most intriguing: a bill to allow Americans …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Robert Costa / National Review:
Cantor Scolds Committee Chairmen
Discussion: Goppers and The Hill
Weekly Standard:
Kill the Bill  —  We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical.  But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake.
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
John Boehner: No House vote on Senate immigration bill
Discussion: New Republic and The Hill
New York Times:
U.S. Considers Faster Pullout In Afghanistan  —  WASHINGTON — Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” …
Alana Goodman / Washington Free Beacon:
Rebel Yell  —  A close aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator's 2011 book spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father's political career.
Michael W. McConnell / Wall Street Journal:
Michael McConnell: Obama Suspends the Law  —  Like King James II, the president decides not to enforce laws he doesn't like.  That's an abuse of power.  —  President Obama's decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected …
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
A royal prerogative  —  Last week the Obama administration disclosed …
Discussion: National Review and CNN
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama is faulted on leadership  —  Supporters and critics of President Obama are looking for leadership on many pressing issues from the White House, but many believe they are not getting it.  —  On Monday, Obama held a Cabinet meeting and spoke about his effort to modernize government databases.
Discussion: Reuters and National Review
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Right Realizes It Can't Kill Immigration Reform Without An Excuse
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Santorum to jump into Texas abortion ban battle  —  (CNN) - Rick Santorum's heading to Texas to put his support behind a controversial bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  —  According to a press release obtained by CNN that will be sent later Tuesday …
Peter Bright / Ars Technica:
US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses  —  $170,000 of PCs, printers, keyboards, cameras, and mice destroyed in gross overreaction.  —  The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the Department of Commerce that promotes economic development …
Amanda McCorquodale / The Huffington Post:
Florida Accidentally Banned All Computers, Smart Phones In The State Through Internet Cafe Ban: Lawsuit  —  When Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes, they worded the bill so poorly that they effectively outlawed every computer in the state, according to a recent lawsuit.
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Democrats Plan Challenge to G.O.P.'s Filibuster Use  —  WASHINGTON — In a move that could bring to a head six months of smoldering tensions over a Republican blockade of certain presidential nominees, Senate Democrats are preparing to force confirmation votes on a series of President Obama's …
Stuart Rothenberg / Rothenblog:
Rating Alison Lundergan Grimes' Chances in Kentucky
Discussion: The Plum Line and The PJ Tatler
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Rush Limbaugh tells caller not to watch Fox  —  Rush Limbaugh had a message for one of his callers: Stop watching Fox News.  —  “Tony from Tampa” called into Limbaugh's radio show on Monday to complain about the lack of outrage from the right over President Barack Obama's policies …
Washington Post:
Questions for Snowden  —  In a June 2012 Guardian column, Greenwald wrote, “As a foreign national accused of harming U.S. national security, he [Assange] has every reason to want to avoid ending up in the travesty known as the American judicial system.”  —  On April 10, 2012 …
Discussion: Politico and Poynter
Doug Stanglin / USA Today:
Russian's tweet on Snowden asylum OK quickly deleted  —  A Russian lawmaker caused a diplomatic stir Tuesday by briefly tweeting — then deleting — news that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had accepted Venezuela's offer of asylum.  —  Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee …
Kathy Gill / The Moderate Voice:
What The Texas GOP Hopes No One Will Say Out Loud: Proposed Bills Weaken Inspections and Requirements Currently Kick In At 16-weeks  —  Austin has become center stage for the religious conservative effort to reverse Roe v Wade.  Many Texans, like Rep. Greg Bonnen (R), insist that they support …
Discussion: Shakesville, Yahoo! News and Reuters
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin  —  Here's a fascinating little story.  There's been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite.
Discussion: The Raw Story
David Dykes / The State:
SC Gov. Nikki Haley says she was abused as a child  —  GREENVILLE, SC — SC Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday said she was physically abused as a girl by a child-care provider, offering a rare, personal disclosure that she said was meant to underscore the challenge any community faces in protecting its children.
Discussion: Politico
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Did Spitzer actually tear up?  —  Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer seemed to tear up at the end of an interview with Morning Joe on Tuesday while discussing the “pain” he had experienced in the five years since the prostitution scandal that forced him to resign from office.  —  “A lot of pain.
Discussion: Jezebel
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
A.C.L.U. Lawsuit Aims to Overturn Pennsylvania's Ban on Gay Marriage  —  The Supreme Court returned the battle over same-sex marriage to the states last month, and Deb and Susan Whitewood are among the first to pick up the fight.  —  A couple for 22 years with two teenage daughters …
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
The Problem With the ‘Privacy Moderates’  —  Their lukewarm defense of civil liberties is more bewildering than outright rejection.  —  What if I told you that the surveillance state goes too far in secretly spying on innocent Americans — but that Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who exposed …
Discussion: The Reaction and Hullabaloo
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 More Items: 
Timothy B. Lee / Wonkblog:
Here's what can go wrong when the government builds a huge database about Americans
Discussion: Daily Kos
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
Judge Blocks Wisconsin Abortion Law Requiring Doctors Have Admitting Privileges
Discussion: The Raw Story
Marti Maguire / Reuters:
North Carolina protest against abortion bill ends with 64 arrests
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
Breaking Bad: Matt Ridley Exits Wall Street Journal Column As A Climate Science Denier Of the Third Kind
Political Smokeout:
Larry Rhoden: ‘I am in’ for U.S. Senate
Discussion: Ballot Box and The Fix
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Hermann / Washington Post:
Officer cleared of threatening Michelle Obama
Discussion: The Hill
Patrick Howley / The Daily Caller:
IRS supporters 0-for-3 on putting scandal to rest
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Crucial nuclear option decision arrives for Majority Leader Reid
Discussion: E2-Wire and Prairie Weather
Kevin Poulsen / Wired:
Judge Orders U.S. to Release Aaron Swartz's Secret Service File
Agoldberg / The Smoking Gun:
Woman Who Hid Gun In Vagina Gets 25 Years
Discussion: Jezebel