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11:20 AM ET, August 16, 2013


 Top Items: 
Barton Gellman / Washington Post:
NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds  —  The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited  —  The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government's vast spying programs said that its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.
Andrea Peterson / The Switch:
Remember when Obama said the NSA wasn't “actually abusing” its powers?  He was wrong.  —  At a news conference Friday, President Obama insisted that the threat of NSA abuses was mostly theoretical: … Today our colleague Barton Gellman released new documents that contradicted Obama's claims.
Washington Post:   NSA report on privacy violations in the first quarter of 2012
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
GOP CHIEF: Mitt Romney's ‘Self-Deportation’ Quote Was ‘Racist’ And ‘Horrific’  —  BOSTON — In condemning Rep. Steve King's incendiary comments on immigration, RNC chairman Reince Priebus swept in his party's presidential nominee, saying that talk of “self-deportation” was “horrific” and even “racist.”
Eve of Destruction  —  It is almost impossible to find an establishment Republican in town who's not downright morose about the 2013 that has been and is about to be.  Most dance around it in public, but they see this year as a disaster in the making, even if most elected Republicans don't know it or admit it.
Discussion: The Plum Line
James Hohmann / Politico:
With Clinton vote, RNC pushes back on debates  —  BOSTON — The Republican National Committee will pass a resolution Friday to bar NBC and CNN from hosting GOP primary debates in 2016 if the networks move forward with their Hillary Clinton projects.  —  But the vote is not just about Clinton.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Christie raps potential 2016 rivals at Republican confab
Jeffrey Goldberg / Bloomberg:
What Obama Misunderstands About Egypt  —  This morning, President Barack Obama condemned the Egyptian military's slaughter of Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers, and canceled joint military exercises scheduled for next month.  He said that the violence should stop and that “a process of national reconciliation should begin.”
More clashes feared as protesters vow ‘Friday of anger’ in Egypt  —  Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy gather for a demonstration outside Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses Square in Cairo on Friday, August, 16.  Egypt is bracing for more violence as demonstrators plan to defy …
Elizabeth Chuck / World News:
Egypt may avoid civil war — but bloody conflict could continue for years
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
It's Official: Obama Has Surpassed Jimmy Carter
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Edward Snowden To HuffPost: Media Being Misled  —  NEW YORK — National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to set the record straight after individuals associated with his father have, in his words, “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation.”
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say
John Fund / National Review:
Taking Back the GOP Debates  —  The summer meetings of national political parties are usually quiet affairs, but this week's Republican National Committee meeting in Boston is full of controversy about who should moderate and run the 2016 GOP presidential-primary debates.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
GOP to vote Friday on banning NBC, CNN from debates
Discussion: Washington Examiner and Politico
Philip Bump / The Atlantic Wire:
Defying Reagan, Obama Returns Solar Panels to the White House  —  Now that the tedium of the 2012 campaign is over, President Obama is making good on his 2010 pledge to put solar panels on top of the White House.  The panels (American-made, of course) will be the second set the building has ever seen.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Washington Examiner:
Examiner Editorial: The ‘Great Divider’ likes political speech only when it likes him
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Washington Post
Ben Geman / E2-Wire:
Solar panels return to White House
Anthony Weiner's Relationship With Former Staffer Raises Questions  —  Anthon Weiner.  (Photo: Getty)  —  Before he married his wife, former Congressman Anthony Weiner had a previously undisclosed relationship with an on-again-off-again congressional and campaign aide nearly two decades his junior.
Judy Quest / CNN:
A real clown wouldn't mock Obama  —  Editor's note: Judy Quest is a board member and past president of Clowns of America International, an organization of clowns that promotes the craft.  She has been a clown for 32 years and has trained hundreds of clowns.  She writes regularly for clown journals.
New York Times:
No Banker Left Behind  —  The Detroit bankruptcy case has been cast as a contest between bondholders and pensioners that can be resolved only by shared sacrifice.  —  In principle, we have no problem with that, though in practice, the pensioners' fair share will have to take into account …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Prairie Weather
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Moment of Truthiness  —  We all know how democracy is supposed to work.  Politicians are supposed to campaign on the issues, and an informed public is supposed to cast its votes based on those issues, with some allowance for the politicians' perceived character and competence.
Jonathan Pollard / Jerusalem Post:
Restoring Israel to greatness  —  Speaking up for the first time in 28 years, Pollard reserves some tough words for Israel; says that a country with no respect for the dead has no respect for the living.  —  When tragedy strikes anywhere in the world, the State of Israel is always among …
Discussion: and Israel Matzav
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
Axelrod: More ObamaCare changes likely on the way  —  Former Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod suggested Friday that further changes to the president's signature health care law are on the horizon.  —  Asked on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” if the administration would tweak the law after it is implemented …
Discussion: Politico and Hot Air
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite:
Michael Savage Predicts He Will Replace Hannity at Cumulus, Limbaugh Likely to Stay  —  Conservative radio host Michael Savage teased a “major announcement” on his website earlier today, and tonight, he delivered.  Savage predicted that he will be replacing Sean Hannity's time slot on Cumulus Media's network of stations.
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 More Items: 
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Officials add millions of dollars to ObamaCare enrollment drive
Discussion: National Review, Hot Air and WJLA-TV
Billy House /
What Can Republicans Learn From Steve Pearce?
Discussion: Salon, The Fix and Yahoo! News
Mark Bowden / The Atlantic Online:
The Killing Machines
Discussion: Yahoo! News
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:
Why Is Inequality So Much Higher in the U.S. Than in France?
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Hullabaloo
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
$67 Million Awarded to Groups Helping With Health Law
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
Why Did a Tennessee Grade School Ban Pork?
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Jihad Watch
Congressman Doesn't Believe White Collar Crime On Wall Street Exists
Discussion: The Raw Story and Daily Kos
Jim Galloway / Ajc Blogs: &lsquo:
The new pro-gay agenda over at Fox News
Discussion: Advocate, The Raw Story and Mediaite
Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner:
Study: Journalism grads don't read newspapers, mags, books