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6:55 PM ET, August 9, 2013


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama announces proposals to reform NSA surveillance  —  President Obama announced plans Friday to pursue reforms that would open the legal proceedings surrounding the National Security Agency's surveillance programs to greater scrutiny, the administration's most concerted response yet to a series of national security disclosures.
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed:
Obama Administration Launching NSA Transparency Website  —  And the NSA is releasing a paper explaining some of its methods.  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced on Friday it will create a new website to address concerns over the transparency of controversial dragnet surveillance programs.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Week
New York Times:
Obama Offers Plan Meant to Ease Concerns on Surveillance
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama heads to vacation with defense of NSA, ObamaCare
Discussion: Politico
Washington Post:
TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's August 9, 2013, news conference at the White House
Discussion: Lawfare, Wonkblog and The Verge
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:   Obama: Putin looks like ‘bored kid in the back of the classroom’
Jana Winter / Fox News:
NSA head says agency working to reduce leaks by replacing people with machines
Discussion: protein wisdom and The PJ Tatler
Joshua Green / Businessweek:
Rand Paul on Republicans' Voter Appeal and the Federal Reserve  —  How seriously are you thinking about the White House?  —  At this point we're thinking about ways to grow the Republican Party and won't make any decision about whether that involves me running or not for about a year.
Paul Krugman:
A Poll I'd Like To See  —  Jonathan Chait finds Rand Paul talking about the evils of “running a trillion-dollar deficit every year” — which, as it happens, is not at all what we're doing; the deficit is at around $600 billion and falling fast.  This follows on Eric Cantor's talk about …
Discussion: Eschaton
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Rand Paul Not So Good With Numbers  —  Let's see ... carry the five ... can I please have a calculator?  —  Josh Green asks Rand Paul about his rather extreme budget proposal, and Paul replies that it's necessary because the only alternative is Trillion-Dollar Deficits As Far As the Eye Can See:
Tony Romm / Politico:
Apple's Tim Cook, tech execs meet with Barack Obama to talk surveillance  —  President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Reid raises race in discussing GOP opposition to Obama's agenda  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday said he hoped GOP opposition to President Obama was not based on his race.  —  Reid made the comments in response to a question during a radio interview.
Discussion: CNN
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Harry Reid: Conference would lead to ‘win’
Discussion: Post Politics
Andrew Rafferty / U.S. News:
Weiner mocks reporter, scolds staff as cameras roll at campaign event  —  “I just have a feeling I like stepped into a Monty Python bit,” Anthony Weiner said as a British journalist questioned him about his campaign to become New York City mayor.  He then offered to present an impromptu weather forecast.
Erin Durkin / NY Daily News:
Anthony Weiner slips to lowest rating ever in poll of Democratic voters
Ashley Killough / CNN:
Weiner mocks British reporter
The Bourne Hypocrisy: Matt Damon's Peculiar School Choice  —  The movie star's explanation for sending his four daughters to private school is disingenuous.  —  Oscar winner Matt Damon has earned millions successfully playing a super spy, tortured genius, rugby icon, and poker player.
Ezra Klein / Bloomberg:
How Dumb Is Immigration Debate?  This Dumb.  —  Everything you know about immigration, particularly unauthorized immigration, is wrong.  —  So says Princeton University's Doug Massey, anyway.  Massey is one of the nation's preeminent immigration scholars.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and
Boxer Sends Open Letter to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner  —  Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent an open letter to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.  The text of the letter follows:  —  Dear Bob,  —  We've known each other for a long time, and have worked together …
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
Boxer writes Filner, tells him it's time to go
Discussion: CNN and National Review
Joel B. Pollak / BREITBART.COM:
TOP 10 QUESTIONS JOURNALISTS WON'T ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA AT PRESS CONFERENCE  —  President Barack Obama rarely makes himself available to the mainstream media.  They adore him anyway.  At rare press conferences, such as the one scheduled for noon Friday at the White House …
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
Candy Crowley on Clinton documentary: ‘Life more difficult’  —  In the wake of news that NBC plans a four-part drama about the life of Hillary Clinton and that CNN has commissioned a documentary on her, both television networks have had to deflect criticism that these are designed to bolster a potential Clinton presidential run.
Jason Richwine / Reuters:
Why can't we talk about IQ?  —  “IQ is a metric of such dubiousness that almost no serious educational researcher uses it anymore,” the Guardian's Ana Marie Cox wrote back in May.  It was a breathtakingly ignorant statement.  Psychologist Jelte Wicherts noted in response that a search for …
Jim Romenesko:
Patch staffers will be laid off and sites closed over next 7 days as Tim Armstrong takes charge  —  Patch employees listened in on this morning's conference call expecting to hear that hundreds are losing their jobs today.  But AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong told the listeners that the layoffs …
Abby D. Phillip / ABC News:
Scott Brown's Younger Brother Arrested Heavily Armed, Impersonating Police … Bruce Brown, the brother of former senator Scott Brown, is shown in this video.  —  —  Bruce W. Brown, the younger brother of former Mass. Senator Scott Brown, was arrested last night heavily armed …
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Oklahoma Congressman Comes Out As A Birther  —  AFTON, Oklahoma — Although Freshman Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) believes President Obama may secretly be a Kenyan who forged his birth certificate, he thinks it's too late to do anything about it.  —  During a town hall meeting …
Discussion: Daily Kos, ThinkProgress and Goppers
James Hohmann / Politico:
Ken Cuccinelli slams Terry McAuliffe at forum  —  MANASSAS, Va. — Republican Ken Cuccinelli threw the kitchen sink at his Democratic opponent Friday, using a forum here to unload the most blisteringly negative and far-reaching attacks yet of an already nasty governor's race.
Chicago Tribune:
Durbin's enemies list  —  Rather than accusing political enemies of flouting federal law, Sen. Dick Durbin is suggesting that he may publicly expose them to public outrage over the killing of Trayvon Martin. … “It is absolutely unacceptable to single out any political group — right …
Joe Concha / Mediaite:
EXCLUSIVE: Alec Baldwin Set To Host New MSNBC Primetime Show (UPDATED)  —  Mediaite has learned from a senior source in the cable news industry with knowledge of MSNBC's programming that actor Alec Baldwin is getting his own weekly show in MSNBC's primetime lineup.
Andrew Kaczynski:
Obama: “We Are Not Going To Completely Eliminate Terrorism”  —  The President said we can weaken terror threats by working with our partners overseas.  —  President Obama said Friday that “we are not going to completely eliminate terrorism.”  The President was speaking at a White House press conference …
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 More Items: 
Jacob Fischler / BuzzFeed:
Obama: “I Don't Think Mr. Snowden Was A Patriot”
Andrew Kaczynski:
Congressman Suggests “Arab Persons” Might Disguise As Hispanics To Cross The Border
Discussion: The Hill and ABC News
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Steve Lonegan camp deletes Cory Booker tweet
Justin Palmer / Reuters:
IOC calls on Russia to explain its anti-gay law
Discussion: BuzzFeed, Advocate and Joe. My. God.
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Majority calls implementation of ObamaCare ‘a joke’
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Seniors Leaving The GOP And It's About Time
Emma Dumain / Goppers:
Can GOP ‘Replace’ Obamacare? The RSC Has a Plan
Kenneth Lovett / NY Daily News:
Gov. Cuomo got $100,000 from developer, then signed law giving it big tax breaks
 Earlier Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Nudge Debate  —  This has been a great era for the study of error.
Discussion: The Spectacle Blog and Cafe Hayek
Tara Brady / Daily Mail:
‘Muslims peaked in the Dark Ages.  But since then?’: …
Discussion: Vox Popoli and Jihad Watch
Andrew E. Kramer / New York Times:
Russia's Stimulus Plan: Open the Gulag Gates
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
A how-to book about inciting a moral panic.