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1:00 PM ET, July 18, 2013


 Top Items: 
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 …
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!!”
Discussion: and Pat Dollard
Immigration could hinge on August recess
Discussion: Weekly Standard and The Plum Line
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
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!)
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.
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Ed Driscoll
Fox News:
How high did it go? Republicans to step up pressure on IRS at scandal hearing
Discussion: BizPac Review and Scared Monkeys
Bernie Becker / The Hill:   GOP says IRS chief counsel's office had role in Tea Party delays
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.
Andrew C. McCarthy / CNN:   Politics shouldn't force federal case vs. Zimmerman
Henry Pierson Curtis / Orlando Sentinel:
Does repealing ‘stand your ground’ stand a chance in Florida?
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: The Fix, Althouse and The Daily Caller
Sam Baker / The Hill:
President to tout ObamaCare savings in Thursday address
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
House Republicans Pass Dead-End Bill To Delay Obamacare Individual Mandate
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 …
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
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Virginia governor race 2013 poll: Terry McAuliffe holds narrow edge  —  Days before their first debate, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is maintaining a slight lead over Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race, according to a poll on Thursday.
New York Times:
Voters Approve of City's Progress, Poll Finds, but Seek Empathetic Mayor
Gail Collins / New York Times:
The Cheney in Waiting  —  Dick Cheney's daughter wants to be a senator!  To give Wyoming a conservative voice!  Well, it's about time somebody thought of that.  —  “Over the last several years, citizens across our great state have urged me to consider running for the Senate,” Liz Cheney said, announcing her candidacy via YouTube.
Michael O'Brien / First Read:
Cheney calls GOP senator she's challenging ‘confused’
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
Des Moines Register:
State fires agent who reported speeding  —  Larry Hedlund plans to sue the state, alleging mistreatment  —  Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent: Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent  —  Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent  —  RAW VIDEO: Iowa troopers chase speeding governor's...
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.
Jim DeMint back at war with Republicans  —  Jim DeMint's at war with Republicans — again.  —  The tea party firebrand who made his mark in GOP primary races across the country is now at the helm of the Heritage Foundation where its political arm is doing the same thing: holding conservatives feet to the fire.
U.S. Senators Said to Reach Deal to Temporarily Hold Down Student Loan Rates  —  WASHINGTON — U.S. senators reached a deal on Wednesday to temporarily hold interest rates on student loans at lower levels as they raced to get the measure completed before an August deadline, a Senate aide said.
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 More Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
For Coalition Politics; Against Hypocrisy Trolling
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Rich Yeselson / Politico:
Ted Cruz is a legitimate 2016 threat
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Norman Ornstein / Washington Post:
Let's enact a new Voting Rights Act
Con Coughlin / Telegraph:
Army chief: We risk war with Syria
Discussion: Yahoo! News, Spectator and BBC
Spencer Ackerman / Guardian:
NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope
Ben Geman / E2-Wire:
Barrasso touts Keystone, EPA amendments to efficiency bill
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
 Earlier Items: 
JPMorgan in Talks to Settle Energy Manipulation Case for $500 Million