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12:50 PM ET, August 31, 2013


 Top Items: 
Betsy Karasik / Washington Post:
Sex between students and teachers should not be a crime  —  Betsy Karasik is a writer and former lawyer.  —  There is a painfully uncomfortable episode of “Louie” in which the comedian Louis C.K. muses that maybe child molesters wouldn't kill their victims if the penalty weren't so severe.
Jessica McWilliams / CBS Philly:
Police: 2 Women Gang Raped By Juveniles In Wilmington Park  —  WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Neighbors near Kosciuszko Park in Wilmington expressed anger and outrage Friday, after learning the details of a brutal gang-rape that happened in the park Thursday.  —  Police say two women, ages 32 and 24 …
Hanna Rosin / Slate:
You know that “women make 77 cents to every man's dollar” line you've heard a hundred times?  It's not true.  —  How many times have you heard that “women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men”?  Barack Obama said it during his last campaign.
Discussion: FreedomWorks blogs and EconLog
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Some see Syria as edge for Obama in fiscal showdown  —  U.S. military action in Syria could give the White House an advantage in the looming fiscal showdown with congressional Republicans, according to defense and budget experts.  —  They said the Syria crisis could boost calls by President Obama …
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
White House peeved at Pentagon leaks
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
G.O.P. Senators Fail to Head Off Primary Challenges by Tea Party Rivals  —  WASHINGTON — For the past two years, Republican senators facing re-election have very deliberately spent millions of dollars, hired multiple consultants and cast scores of conservative votes with one goal in mind …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Sohrab Ahmari / Wall Street Journal:
Craig Zucker: What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds  —  Buckyballs was the hottest office game on the market.  Then regulators banned it.  Now the government wants to ruin the CEO who fought back.  —  New York  —  'So this is what starting over looks like.  I have a seven-by-seven space with two little desks in it.
The White House:
Government Assessment of the Syrian Government's Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013  —  The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.  We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.
Foreign Policy:
U.S. Had Intel on Chemical Strike Before It Was Launched
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Huffington Post
New York Times:
Kerry Becomes Chief Advocate for U.S. Attack
Michael Falcone / ABC News:
Still Undecided, Obama Favors ‘Limited, Narrow’ Act in Syria
Discussion: Politico, The Caucus and The Hill
Nile Gardiner /
Barack Obama is proving an embarrassing amateur on the world stage compared to George W. Bush  —  George W. Bush was widely mocked by the Left during the Iraq War, with liberals jeering at the “coalition of the willing,” which included in its ranks some minnows such as Moldova and Kazkhstan.
New York Times:
Experts Fear That U.S. Plan to Strike Syria Overlooks Risks  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Obama says he is considering a “limited, narrow” military strike against Syria — an aim that many Middle East experts fear overlooks the potential to worsen the violence in Syria and intensify a fight …
John Caniglia / Plain Dealer:
Conviction of Toledo man for stockpiling weapons began with the tracking of camisoles  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — The paperwork said the mailed package contained $40 worth of women's camisoles.  Someone in China sent it to a Toledo address.  —  Inside, there were no camisoles — just low-quality …
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
White Supremacist Felon Caught With 18 Guns, 45,000 Bullets And A List Of Black & Jewish Leaders
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Kevin Collier / Salon:
The parody shirt the NSA doesn't want you to wear  —  The politically themed T-shirt company Liberty Maniacs is in hot water for its latest spoof design  —  Two days after the world learned the National Security Agency logs practically every American phone call, the agency had started cracking down on entrepreneurs who made fun of it.
Russia's Vladimir Putin challenges US on Syria claims  —  Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the US to present to the UN evidence that Syria was responsible for chemical weapons attacks.  —  Mr Putin said it would be “utter nonsense” for Syria's government to provoke opponents …
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Ginsburg will be first justice to officiate at same-sex wedding  —  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first Supreme Court member to conduct a same-sex marriage ceremony Saturday when she officiates at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser.
Associated Press:
Ginsburg to officiate at gay wedding
Discussion: CNN
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Graham: Response in Syria ‘going to make things worse’  —  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said late Friday that President Obama has “mishandled [Syria] as badly as he could” and warned that the U.S. response there “is going to make things worse.”  —  “The president has mishandled this as badly as he could.
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
Hard Times for Gender Studies Major  —  Hilarity ensued Monday after @Andria_XX complained that social-media criticism of Miley Cyrus included “bodyshaming/slutshaming” and “heteropatriarchal crap.”  Readers will recall that Andria has an “Honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies” …
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Campaign Cheney / Cheney for Wyoming:
Liz Cheney Calls On Enzi To Denounce Dishonest “Poll”  —  CHENEY CALLS ON ENZI TO DENOUNCE DISHONEST “POLL”  —  The Cheney for Senate campaign has received reports that there is a “push poll” underway in the state in which those conducting the poll are lying about Liz Cheney's views on two important issues.
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show
Discussion: The Verge
Andrew Kirell / Mediaite:
Cornel West Attacks Al Sharpton: ‘Bonafide House Negro of the Obama Plantation’
Discussion: News One and The Raw Story
Ian Silver / KOKI-TV:
Owasso man shot by neighbor after chasing burglary suspects
Discussion: Mediaite and The Raw Story
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Charles Krauthammer: Obama humiliated
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Sandra Shea /
C'mon teachers. There's some room to give
Discussion: Seeing the Forest
Larry J. Sabato / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Virginia Governor: A Favorite Emerges
Brad Smith / TechNet Blogs:
Standing Together for Greater Transparency
The Raw Story:
‘Walk-in vagina’ kindles anger and approval in South Africa
Discussion: Jezebel