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1:10 PM ET, September 18, 2013


 Top Items: 
And what's right with Obama?  —  The British have a saying about the twin rules of journalism: first simplify, then exaggerate.  —  Perhaps Barack Obama can comfort himself with the reality that his current travails are both more complicated in their causes and less dire in their consequences …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Losing the Room  —  WASHINGTON — On the most deadly day here since Sept. 11, 2001, with the capital reeling over the sadly familiar scene of a mass shooting by a madman, the chief executive stepped to the microphones and captured the heartbreak.  —  It wasn't the chief executive of the nation.
Wall Street Journal:
The President finds an enemy he's willing to bomb—Republicans.
Discussion: Power Line, Betsy's Page and Fox News
Starbucks Coffee Company:
An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company  —  Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer  —  Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns.  In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners …
Sheldon Alberts / The Hill:
House Republicans up ante in showdown over federal shutdown  —  House Republican leaders bowed to conservative demands and announced plans Wednesday to strip out money for President Obama's healthcare law in a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Sept. 30.
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
White House gets ready for shutdown  —  The White House told federal agencies on Tuesday to prepare for a government shutdown.  —  President Obama's budget director Sylvia Matthews Burwell in a memo to agencies said they should set their plans in case Congress fails to pass a funding measure by the end of the month.
Discussion: CNN and The Moderate Voice
New York Times:
The Money Behind the Shutdown Crisis  —  Representative Aaron Schock is a conservative Republican from Illinois, but not conservative enough for the hard-right activist group Club for Growth, which is seeking someone to run against him in next year's primary.  —  His crime?
Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
White House Shifts Debt-Ceiling Tone, Warning of Fiasco
Discussion: Wonkblog
Robert Costa / National Review:
House to Vote on Defunding Obamacare  —  Leadership sources tell me the House GOP will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare.  Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday's closed-door conference meeting.
The Fix:
Boehner Agonistes (again)
Robert Costa / National Review:
Boehner: 'We're Going to Put Obamacare Defunding Directly Into the CR'
Discussion: Hot Air and Daily Kos
Ramsey Cox / The Hill:
Reid: GOP doing ‘everything they can’ to get rid of government
Discussion: Politico
Emma Dumain / Roll Call:
Conservatives to Unveil Obamacare Replacement Bill
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama distress signal: President seeks help from first-term A-Team  —  A struggling President Obama is calling for help from members of his first-term A-Team, who have left the White House for other jobs.  —  With his poll numbers falling and his second-term floundering so far …
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
State Law Prevented Sale of Assault Rifle to Suspect Last Week, Officials Say  —  WASHINGTON — The gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test-fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits …
Washington Post:
Buddhist community ponders apparent link between their faith and Navy Yard shooter  —  In the aftermath of the Washington Navy Yard shootings, gunman Aaron Alexis's interest in Buddhism seemed at odds with conventional Western stereotypes of serene, nonviolent meditators.
Wall Street Journal:
Walgreen to Give Workers Payments to Buy Health Plans  —  Drugstore Chain's Move Underscores Shifting Burden on Insurance  —  Rising health-care costs and a climate of change brought about by the new federal health law are prompting American corporations to revisit the pact they've long had with employees over medical benefits.
Discussion: National Review and Pirate's Cove
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Walgreens, Blue Cross launch effort to promote ObamaCare
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Reaping Profit After Assisting on Health Law
Discussion: Via Meadia and
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
IRS officials thought Obama wanted crackdown on tea party groups, worried about negative press  —  IRS employees were “acutely” aware in 2010 that President Obama wanted to crack down on conservative organizations and were egged into targeting tea party groups by press reports mocking the emerging movement …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Dave Jamieson / The Huffington Post:
White House Brings Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections To 2 Million Home Care Workers  —  WASHINGTON — In a move that will change working conditions for two million Americans, the Labor Department announced Tuesday the enactment of a new rule that will extend minimum wage and overtime protections …
Discussion: American Prospect
Harold Meyerson / American Prospect:   Time to Give America a Raise
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  September 18, 2013 - Virginia Voters Dislike Mcauliffe Less Than Cuccinelli, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Libertarian Could Be Key In Tight Race  —  With 7 percent of likely voters, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate in the too-close-to call Virginia governor's race …
The Raw Story:
Muslim beauty pageant challenges Miss World  —  Muslim women in headscarves and elaborately embroidered dresses took to the stage Wednesday for the finale of an Islamic beauty pageant in Indonesia, a riposte to the Miss World contest that has sparked hardline anger.
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
The Man With Pink Hair  —  I was at a conference in Bern, Switzerland, last week and struggling with my column.  News of Russia's proposal for Syria to surrender its poison gas was just breaking and changing every hour, forcing me to rewrite my column every hour.
Discussion: Daniel W. Drezner
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Appeals court rules in favor of ObamaCare birth control mandate  —  The decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals represents a victory for the Obama administration in a series of ongoing fights over the contraception policy, which critics see as a violation of religious freedom.
The Atlantic Online:
Photos: Raising the Costa Concordia  —  After spending more than 600 days partially submerged near Isola del Giglio, Italy, the wreck of the Costa Concordia was successfully rolled upright last night.  The cruise ship capsized after striking a reef on January 13, 2012, killing 32 passengers and crew members.
Discussion: The Reaction
Agoldberg / The Smoking Gun:
Cops: Man Hit Girl To Beat Of “Blurred Lines”  —  Floridian facing child abuse rap for striking victim with metal rod  —  A Florida man arrested for child abuse struck his underage female victim with a metal rod to the beat of “Blurred Lines,” the hit song by Robin Thicke, according to a police report.
Discussion: The Raw Story and BuzzFeed
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 More Items: 
Kurtis Lee / Denver Post:
Hoover Institution:
What Economic Recovery?  —  by Lee Ohanian (Senior fellow) …
Discussion: Power Line
Martin O'Malley / Washington Post:
What Maryland does better than Texas
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog and WJLA-TV
Melanie Eversley / USA Today:
Federal government to seize NYC skyscraper tied to Iran
Discussion: Yahoo! News
Tim Alberta /
Justin Amash Will Not Run for Senate in Michigan
Discussion: Politico
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Darrell Issa: I can call Hillary Clinton back
 Earlier Items: 
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed:
9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped By Someone With A Personally Owned Firearm
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
Fox News:
FOX News announces new prime-time lineup
NY Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Vice President Joe Biden's niece in police custody in Tribeca
Discussion: Gothamist and The Gateway Pundit