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1:35 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 …
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 …
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
McCain scolds White House for ‘crazy’ leaks on Syria air strikes
Discussion: Politico
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 …
Discussion: Daily Kos and New York Times
Elizabeth Warren / Boston Herald:
Battenfeld: Outspoken Liz Warren stays silent on Syria
Emma Dumain / Goppers:
If Obama Bypasses Congress on Syria, Will He Face Consequences?
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
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.
New York Post:
Weiner paid for phony supporters at campaign events, source says  —  Anthony Weiner is having such a hard time generating support for his limp campaign that he has resorted to paying a rent-a-crowd firm to provide “supporters” for his events, The Post has learned.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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
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.
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 …
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.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Boston Magazine:
Behind the Scenes of The Hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  —  All photographs by Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Sean Murphy  —  It was likely the most terrifying manhunt in Boston history.  With the city under lockdown and armored vehicles rolling through Watertown, the alleged Boston …
Wall Street Journal:
Leaker's Security Check Faulted  —  Review of Former NSA Contractor Snowden Found to be Inadequate  —  WASHINGTON—The most recent background check of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was so inadequate that too few people were interviewed and potential concerns weren't pursued …
Robert Fisk / The Independent:
Does Obama know he's fighting on al-Qa'ida's side?  —  ‘All for one and one for all’ should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad's Syrian regime  —  If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured - for the very first time in history - that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa'ida.
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
Fed-Up Saudis Look to Russia  —  Talk about a cry for help.  The Saudis have apparently judged President Obama to be rudderless in his Middle East policies, judging by their recent diplomatic moves toward Russia: They appear to have plied Putin with a deal to collude in the global oil market …
Discussion: Sense of Events
Stevengoddard / Real Science:
Mildest US Summer In A Century  —  This summer, the US has experienced the fewest number of 100 degree readings in a century.  The five hottest summers (1936, 1934, 1954, 1980 and 1930) all occurred with CO2 below 350 PPM.  —  CO2 went over 400 PPM this year, indicating that heatwaves and CO2 have nothing to do with each other.
Discussion: Power Line
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.
Discussion: Ballot Box
Fox News:
Obama proceeds in Syria without popular support  —  What happens when American military action has neither public support nor congressional approval?  Looks like we're getting ready to find out.  —  Americans did not much like President Obama's 2011 decision to intervene in the Libyan civil war …
The United States Department of Justice:
Bank Chairman Pleads Guilty To Using Public Funds To Purchase Luxury Vacation Condo  —  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., bank chairman pleaded guilty in federal court today to misleading federal investigators …
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 More Items: 
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
Stay out of Syria's civil war
New York Times:
Private Manning's Transition
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
Arizona Republic:
FONT:  —  As members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” …
Brendan Sasso / Hillicon Valley:
Pro-Syrian hackers apparently hit New York Times, Twitter
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Fifty years after March on Washington, economic gap between blacks, whites persists
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Wonkblog
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Tightens Grip on Telecom
Discussion: Hot Air and The Verge
Jason Hancock / Kansas City Star:
Missouri chamber is under fire for hosting Texas governor's job hunting visit
 Earlier Items: 
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Ousted Illinois Republican chairman hired to lobby on gay marriage bill
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
GOP building digital voter ID network to top Obama's
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Shahien Nasiripour / The Huffington Post:
Federal Reserve Employees Afraid To Speak Put Financial System At Risk
Greg Tuttle / Billings Gazette:
Former Senior High teacher gets 30 days for rape of student
ABC News:
Twerking: A Scientific Explanation