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2:55 PM ET, August 28, 2013


 Top Items: 
Noah Shachtman / Foreign Policy:
Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say  —  Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit …
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
Here's why Obama is giving up the element of surprise in Syria  —  Military thinkers from Sun Tzu to Napoleon Bonaparte have long emphasized the element of surprise.  So it might seem strange that the Obama administration is not just clearly telegraphing that it likely plans to launch limited strikes …
John Parkinson / ABC News:
Growing Bipartisan Coalition Urges Obama to Seek Congressional Authorization for Syrian Strike  —  A growing bipartisan coalition in Congress is coming together to “strongly urge” President Obama “to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.”
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. leaks tell Assad he can relax.  The bombing will be brief and limited.  —  An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to “senior U.S. officials” talking to NBC News.  The Washington Post has the bombing at …
Los Angeles Times:
Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama  —  Obama, who before taking office vowed to end the foreign policies of Bush, is now wrestling with some of the same moral and legal realities.  —  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney discusses the potential U.S. response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.
Discussion: Firedoglake and The PJ Tatler
Ian Hurd / New York Times:
Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal  —  EVANSTON, Ill. — THE latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad.  But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis …
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
McCain scolds White House for ‘crazy’ leaks on Syria air strikes
Discussion: Politico
Robert Fisk / The Independent:   Does Obama know he's fighting on al-Qa'ida's side?
Washington Post:
U.S. intelligence has established timeline of Syrian chemical attack, officials say
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013  —  As outreach efforts for enrollment in the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increase over the summer, the August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the public's most trusted sources of information on the law …
Immigration reform's No. 1 enemy: Time  —  Immigration reform advocates have a new enemy: the congressional calendar.  —  Fall's fiscal fights have lined up in a way that could delay immigration reform until 2014, multiple senior House Republican leadership aides tell POLITICO …
Exclusive: U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans  —  (Reuters) - The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
Zach Carter / The Huffington Post:
Taxpayer Dollars Paid A Third Of Richest Corporate CEOs: Report  —  WASHINGTON — More than one-third of the nation's highest-paid CEOs from the past two decades led companies that were subsidized by American taxpayers, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank.
IPS: Latest Content:
Executive Excess 2013: Bailed Out, Booted, and Busted
Discussion: ThinkProgress and MarketWatch
Josh Schiller / Washington Post:
Why you won't see or hear the ‘I have a dream’ speech  —  Josh Schiller is an associate in the New York offices of Boies Schiller & Flexner who has represented plaintiffs and defendants in copyright infringement lawsuits.  —  Fifty years ago this week, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Tracy Connor / NBCNews:
Suspect in WWII vet slay: We were buying crack from victim  —  One of the teens charged with beating to death a World War II veteran allegedly claimed he was buying crack cocaine from the 88-year-old and the transaction turned violent — but cops said there is no evidence to support that.
Tina Daunt / Hollywood Reporter:
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck to Co-Host Cory Booker Fundraiser (Exclusive)  —  JJ Abrams, Michael Eisner and Ted Sarandos will also co-host the event at Ron Burkle's house, marking the second major Hollywood fundraiser in the New Jersey Democrat's run for the U.S. Senate.
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
In Dramatic Reversal, Michigan Senate Passes Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion  —  The Michigan Senate voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, extending health coverage to more than 400,000 low-income residents, but not without a little legislative drama first.
Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of her VMA Performance  —  As a black woman, I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to Mikki Kendall, of Solidarity Is For White Women fame for managing to so perfectly encapsulate years of subjugation of black women by white women.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn / Red Alert Politics:
Rep. Steve King calls on unemployed Americans to get off their butts and start working  —  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is making no excuses for unemployed Americans, urging them to get off their butts and start working, and criticizing the unemployed for failing to contribute to the standard of living.
Discussion: The Raw Story and Right Wing Watch
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
People Who Need to Retire: Pat Robertson Edition  —  The 700 Club host falsely asserted that gay men in San Francisco use special rings to give AIDS to unsuspecting people who shake their hands.  What year is it?  —  Dear people in public life: When you love your job …
Alex Weprin / TVNewser:
August 2013 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits  —  MSNBC continued its rough 2013 in the ratings, continuing to lose significant audience from 2012.  The problems were particularly prevalent in primetime, with some shows losing close to -50% of viewers.  —  The ratings for August 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
Ben S. Carson / Washington Times:
MLK would be alarmed by black-on-black violence, lack of family values  —  It is hard to believe that 50 years have elapsed since the famous “I have a dream speech” of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Mall in Washington.  I was an 11-year-old child in Detroit languishing in the midst of poverty …
Alyssa Abkowitz / Developments:
Rupert Murdoch Closing on L.A. Winery Purchase for $28.8 Million  —  News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch is closing Tuesday on the purchase of an estate and winery called Moraga Vineyards in Los Angeles's Bel Air neighborhood for $28.8 million, according to listing agent Jim Kline …
Discussion: Politico and The Huffington Post
John McWhorter / Wall Street Journal:
A Better Way to Honor Dr. King's Dream  —  The goal of the civil-rights movement was opportunity—not a ‘post-racial’ society.  —  On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we will hear a good deal about how life in this country for black Americans has not changed as much as Martin Luther King Jr. might have wished.
Former San Diego Mayoral Candidate Carl DeMaio Confronts City Hall Bathroom Rumors  —  Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio called a news report accusing him of masturbating in a San Diego City Hall restroom as “disgusting, humiliating and nothing more than a character assassination attempt.”
Elizabeth Warren / Boston Herald:
Battenfeld: Outspoken Liz Warren stays silent on Syria  —  U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been on the warpath against banks since going to Washington, but when it comes to launch­ing a war against Syria, she and other liberal Massachusetts Democrats suddenly don't have much to say.
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 More Items: 
Mariah Blake / Mother Jones:
Internal Documents Reveal How the FBI Blew Fort Hood
Discussion: Hot Air and Instapundit
David Leonhardt / Economix:
‘The Great Shift’: Americans Not Working
Discussion: Via Meadia
Wall Street Journal:
Leaker's Security Check Faulted
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
Fed-Up Saudis Look to Russia
Discussion: Sense of Events
Fox News:
Obama proceeds in Syria without popular support
 Earlier Items: 
Jason Hancock / Kansas City Star:
Missouri chamber is under fire for hosting Texas governor's job hunting visit
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Ousted Illinois Republican chairman hired to lobby on gay marriage bill
Shahien Nasiripour / The Huffington Post:
Federal Reserve Employees Afraid To Speak Put Financial System At Risk
Stevengoddard / Real Science:
Mildest US Summer In A Century
Discussion: Power Line