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2:50 PM ET, July 18, 2013


 Top Items: 
Jeanne Marie Laskas / GQ Magazine Online:
Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?  —  That's No Joke.  Consider: He is the most quietly effective politician in D.C. (Don't laugh.)  The “Most Influential Vice President in History.”  (Seriously, stop laughing.)  One of our nation's most senior statesmen.  (Look it up!)
Meredith Shiner / The World's Greatest …:
Testy Meeting Among Senate GOP on ‘Nuclear Option’ Deal  —  A meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday grew tense as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his members he could have gotten a better deal on nominations than the one negotiated by rank-and-file Republicans.
Yahoo! News:
The Senate's Nuclear Deal Isn't Enough for One Senator
Chris Frates /
Republicans, White House in Talks Toward Big Fiscal Deal  —  GOP senators and Obama's chief of staff have been meeting for weeks to set a course that might avoid a crisis when America hits its debt limit in the fall.  —  At least a dozen Republican senators are regularly meeting …
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
What happened to Benghazi probe?
Discussion: Althouse, Chicago Boyz, Hot Air, CNN and The Hill
Patrick Howley / The Daily Caller:
IRS lawyer says scandal was overseen by D.C., names names  —  Top IRS officials in Washington, D.C. planned and oversaw the agency's improper targeting of conservative groups, according to the 72-year old retiring IRS lawyer who will testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee.
Darrell Issa / USA Today:
Rep. Darrell Issa: IRS Tea Party trail leads to DC
Discussion: and The Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:
The IRS Goes to Washington
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
On Obamacare, Republicans test the definition of insanity  —  Well, this is embarrassing.  Republicans have made so many attempts to repeal “Obamacare” that the scorekeepers have lost count.  —  “Republicans,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, “voted to repeal it 40 times.”
Discussion: Althouse and The Daily Caller
Officials warn of Obamacare insurance exchange delays
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
Sam Baker / The Hill:
President to tout ObamaCare savings in Thursday address
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Prominent Democrats Are Now Comfortable With Racial and Ethnic Profiling  —  How else can one interpret President Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer saying that the NYPD's Ray Kelly would make a good secretary of Homeland Security?  —  On Wednesday, President Obama assured a Univision reporter that Ray Kelly …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
For Coalition Politics; Against Hypocrisy Trolling
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Robert Costa / National Review:
Paul Ryan Returns to Iowa  —  Des Moines, Iowa — Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, will headline a prominent Republican dinner in Iowa this fall, a visit that is sure to stoke talk of a potential presidential bid.  —  According to Iowa governor Terry Branstad …
Discussion: Post Politics and Ballot Box
Des Moines Register:
State fires agent who reported speeding
Discussion: The Raw Story
Jon Lovett / Salon:
Liz Cheney for Senate  —  Vicious, cynical and talented Liz Cheney is perfect  —  Liz Cheney, the infamous political operative and daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, announced last night that she is running for Senate.  After careful consideration, I believe this is welcome news …
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Congressman: Benghazi Survivors Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements  —  Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, said today on the House floor that survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements:  —  “On Tuesday I raised the question …
Rich Lowry / Politico:
Conversation about race?  Get real  —  Let's take the advice of the attorney general of the United States.  Let's have a national conversation about race in the wake of the Zimmerman case.  Let's make it a painfully honest conversation — except about all the things that are painful for us to admit.
Hadas Gold / Politico:
DNA test: Rep. Steve Cohen not the father  —  The woman whom Rep. Steve Cohen has been claiming is his out-of-wedlock daughter is not, according to a paternity test revealed on Thursday.  —  CNN had a paternity test done on Victoria Brink with Cohen's participation, although the Tennessee Democrat did not appear on camera.
Discussion: CNN and FishbowlDC
Nasser Al-Awlaki / New York Times:
The Drone That Killed My Grandson  —  SANA, Yemen — I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.  —  The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five …
Discussion: emptywheel and Mediaite
Michael Simkovic / Concurring Opinions:
Brian Tamanaha Says We Should Look at the Below Average Outcomes (And We Did)  —  Brian Tamanaha's response to The Economic Value of a Law Degree, as reported by Inside Higher Education doesn't capture the contents of the study.  According to IHE, Tamanaha said:
Robert J. Lopez / Los Angeles Times:
17 people arrested in Zimmerman trial protest in Victorville  —  Demonstrators in Beverly Hills protest the George Zimmerman verdict on Wednesday.  (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / July 17, 2013)  —  Demonstrators held a peaceful rally in Beverly Hills against the George Zimmerman trial verdict …
Ted Nugent /
Zimmerman should sue Trayvon's parents
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Doug Lederman / Inside Higher Ed:
(Another) Apparent Loan Deal  —  WASHINGTON — The months-long saga to try to reset the interest rates on federal student loans appeared near an end Wednesday night, as Senate negotiators said they had reached a deal that would tie rates to the market and set the rate for all undergraduate loans at 3.86 percent in 2014.
U.S. Senators Said to Reach Deal to Temporarily Hold Down Student Loan Rates
Marco Rubio stumbles  —  Todd Harris, the usually gregarious consultant to Sen. Marco Rubio, uncharacteristically resisted eight days of calls and emails seeking his thoughts for this column.  When he finally did reply, the answer was: “to be honest, another story about Marco and immigration is not high on Christmas list!!”
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
‘Ridiculous’: Reporters Mock, Sneer At Daily Caller Intern Who Dared Ask Jay Carney A Question  —  The impropriety displayed on Wednesday by a high school-age intern who dared to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a question relating to the security provided to the family of George Zimmerman knows no bounds.
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 More Items: 
Keith Coffman / Reuters:
Colorado town mulls issuing licenses to shoot down drones
Pew Global Attitudes Project:
America's Global Image Remains More Positive than China's
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Washington Post
John Gizzi /
Rep. Peter King Mulls 2016 Presidential Bid
Discussion: Ballot Box
Shane Goldmacher /
Americans Want Congress to Pass the Senate Immigration Bill
Discussion: The Fix, CNN, The Plum Line and Hot Air
Ben Hubbard / New York Times:
Momentum Shifts in Syria, Bolstering Assad's Position
Discussion: The Week
Henry Pierson Curtis / Orlando Sentinel:
Does repealing ‘stand your ground’ stand a chance in Florida?
Rich Yeselson / Politico:
Ted Cruz is a legitimate 2016 threat
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hullabaloo
 Earlier Items: 
Norman Ornstein / Washington Post:
Let's enact a new Voting Rights Act
Spencer Ackerman / Guardian:
NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope
Jim DeMint back at war with Republicans
New York Times:
Voters Approve of City's Progress, Poll Finds, but Seek Empathetic Mayor