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2:30 PM ET, August 29, 2013


 Top Items: 
Kim Jong-un's ex-lover ‘executed by firing squad’  —  Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad nine days go, according to South Korean reports.  —  Hyon Song-wol, a singer and rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader …
Joe Kemp / NY Daily News:
Ex-girlfriend of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed by firing squad: report  —  Hyon Song-wol, a well-known pop artist and longtime girlfriend of the dictator, was one of a dozen performers gunned after they were arrested for allegedly breaking pornography laws, according to a report.
Digital Chosunilbo:
Kim Jong-un's Ex-Girlfriend ‘Shot by Firing Squad’  —  Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad on Aug. 20, reports said Wednesday.  —  Sources in China said singer Hyon Song-wol as well as Mun Kyong-jin …
Discussion: and Business Insider
Clara Ritger /
Obama's Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit Unaffordable  —  Independent National Journal analysis finds premiums higher under Obamacare as employers weigh dropping coverage.  —  Republicans have long blamed President Obama's signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the “Unaffordable Care Act.”
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
This Is What Obamacare Outreach Looks Like (VIDEOS)
Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
States find new ways to resist health law
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
No widespread premium increases coming under ObamaCare, study says
Discussion: CNN
Associated Press:
AP SOURCES: INTELLIGENCE ON WEAPONS NO ‘SLAM DUNK’  —  You are here  —  Home » United States government » AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no ‘slam dunk’  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack …
Josh Rogin / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Obama Refused to Send Gas Masks to Syrian Opposition for Over a Year
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Chemical weapons a game-changer on U.S. public opinion on Syria
Discussion: Politico, Associated Press and NBCNews
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Reinforce a Norm in Syria
Discussion: Hit & Run and Los Angeles Times
New York Times:
U.S. Facing Test on Data to Back Action on Syria
Allison Benedikt / Slate:
If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person  —  A manifesto.  —  You are a bad person if you send your children to private school.  Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation's-most- essential-institutions-in-order-to-get- what's-best-for-your-kid bad.
Josh Lederman / Associated Press:
OBAMA OFFERS NEW GUN CONTROL STEPS  —  You are here  —  Home » United States government » Obama offers new gun control steps  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control …
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
White House announces new action on gun control
Discussion: CNN
Lara Seligman / The Hill:   Obama imposes new limits on guns through executive action
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Dubious Data Points For 2016  —  Taking advantage of a slow news week, Tom Edsall takes to the virtual pages of the New York Times' Opinionator blog today to assess Republican odds of regaining the White House in 2016, which is audacious since many news consumers groan about early discussions …
Discussion: Eschaton
Washington Post:
Pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA positions itself to support Hillary Clinton
Thomas B. Edsall / Opinionator:
Democrats may dream of sixteen years of dominance, but on Nov. 8 …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Washington Post:
U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary  —  U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats …
Douglas McIntire / Bangor Daily News:
Sabattus man says ‘shoot’ posting wasn't a threat against Obama, defends using racial slur  —  SABATTUS, Maine — David Marsters said Tuesday night that the wording of his Facebook post was a mistake, but he defended it, anyway.  —  “(The Secret Service) didn't see no pictures of Obama with bullet holes in his head,” Marsters said.
David Hench / Portland Press-Herald:
Local official rebuked for offensive Obama Web post
Discussion: Mediaite and Daily Kos
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Republicans absent from March on Washington  —  Not a single Republican elected official stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday with activists, actors, lawmakers and former presidents invited to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — a notable absence …
Jessica Parks /
State: Montco same-sex marriage licenses meaningless  —  The Corbett administration said its lawsuit seeking to halt same-sex marriage licenses in Montgomery County “would have no direct effect” on the couples who have already received them.  —  In a brief Wednesday, state attorneys …
Eliana Johnson / National Review:
Cory Booker's Imaginary Friend  —  Go back and listen to Cory Booker's stump speeches over the years, and, as in those of any politician, you'll hear many of the same stories.  But Booker's are more dramatic and heart-rending than most.  They draw heavily on his experiences in Newark, N.J. …
Chris Brennan /
First Term Troubles - Corbett's numbers continue to drop  —  PENNSYLVANIA governors typically encounter trouble in their first terms and the polls reflect that with dipping popularity.  —  It happened to Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican, in the late 1990s.  —  It happened to Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, in the mid-2000s.
U.S. fast-food workers plan nationwide strikes over wages … Atossa Araxia Abrahamian  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fast-food workers across the United States are expected to stage their largest strike to date on Thursday in an almost year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector.
Discussion: Firedoglake and Joe. My. God.
The Atlantic Online:
On the Death of Dreams  —  If we are honest with ourselves we will see a president who believes in particular black morality, but eschews particular black policy.  —  Watching Barack Obama's speech yesterday, I thought of a young W.E.B. Du Bois who in 1897 authored the original Poundcake Speech:
Discussion: The Dish and News Desk
Jerusalem Post:
WATCH: IDF soldiers ‘abandon patrol to party with Palestinians in Hebron club’  —  Army probing soldiers apparently seen dancing to Gangnam style.  —  The Israel Defense Forces has launched an investigation after Israeli soldiers from the elite Givati Brigade were captured on camera dancing …
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 More Items: 
Rich Yeselson / Politico:
Bill de Blasio's America
Gregg Zoroya / Associated Press:
Military civilian medical workers quit after furloughs
Discussion: Defense One
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
FBI arrests man accused of threatening to behead lawmaker
 Earlier Items: 
Anita Hofschneider / Wall Street Journal:
Bosses Say ‘Pick Up the Phone’
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Daily Mail:
Trump University students ‘cheated’ …
Robin Wright / Los Angeles Times:
The risk of taking on Syria
Discussion: Slate
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
‘The Most Dangerous Negro’  —  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s …
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Hate-crime hoaxes and “counter-Trayvonism.”
Laurel Conrad / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
15 liberals who can't handle the truth about the Oberlin racism hoax
Discussion: The Other McCain
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Obama is talking America into a war