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6:35 PM ET, September 19, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Self-Defeating ‘Defunding’ Strategy  —  It will only strengthen the president while alienating independents.  —  In 2010, Republicans took the House of Representatives by gaining 63 seats.  They also picked up six U.S. senators and 675 state legislators, giving them control …
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David Weigel / Slate:
Welcome to the Republican Party's make-believe fight to defund Obamacare.  —  If you're in a hurry, and you can only memorize one fact about the coming congressional debt and budget war, try this: There will be no “defunding of Obamacare.”  It's impossible for Republicans to admit it …
Brian Beutler / Salon:
New test could expose GOP's pack of charlatans  —  Conservatives in the Senate have spent weeks and weeks hectoring House Republicans to stand true to GOP principles and make funding for the federal government contingent upon Democrats agreeing to defund Obamacare.
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Ted Cruz Digs Himself In Further On Obamacare: ‘Likely That It Will Take Another Election For A Full Repeal’  —  WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn't have much to say Thursday in response to House Republicans fuming at him for conceding that the Democrat-controlled Senate …
Kirsten Powers / The Daily Beast:
The GOP Is Threatening Murder-Suicide With New Shutdown Warnings  —  If the president refuses to defund Obamacare, House Republicans are happy to retaliate with a government shutdown.  What they're really headed for is complete ruination, says Kirsten Powers.  —  The Republican Party is destroying America.
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Boehner To Cruz: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up On Defunding Obamacare
Discussion: National Review
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:   McCain: To Think We Can Repeal Obamacare ‘Is Not Rational’ (VIDEO)
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner challenges Senate GOP to ‘get the job done’ on defunding
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Some House GOP conservatives want Cruz-Paul-Rubio-Lee filibuster on Obamacare defunding
Discussion: Daily Kos, Hot Air and National Review
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner: Obama should negotiate on debt, but not with me
Discussion: E2-Wire, Politico, The Hill and Daily Kos
Glenn Kessler / The Fact Checker:
Obama's claim that non-budget items have ‘never’ been attached to the debt ceiling
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
Pope Bluntly Faults Church's Focus on Gays and Abortion  —  Alessandro Di Meo/European Pressphoto Agency  —  Pope Francis, who has said the church should be a “home for all,” on Sept. 4 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.  —  Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy …
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America Magazine:
A Big Heart Open to God  —  The exclusive interview with Pope Francis  —  Editor's Note: This interview with Pope Francis took place over the course of three meetings during August 2013 in Rome.  The interview was conducted in person by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal.
CNN:
Pope Francis: Church can't ‘interfere’ with gays
Associated Press:
DeLay thanks God after aquittal for money laundering  —  HOUSTON - Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay says he thanks God for his acquittal on money laundering charges, calling the prosecution, “an outrageous criminalization of politics.”  —  Lunching in the Capitol with other Texas Republicans Thursday …
RELATED:
Sarah Wheaton / New York Times:
Conviction of DeLay in Texas Donation Case Is Overturned
Discussion: Washington Monthly
USA Today:
Texas court overturns Tom DeLay conviction
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Tom Delay's conviction overturned
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Houston Chronicle:
DeLay conviction overturned
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Raw Story
Yahoo! News:
Creepy Obamacare ad hits college campuses and your nightmares  —  There will be girls.  There will be beer.  There will be cornhole.  And someone will be dressed in the creepiest Uncle Sam costume you've ever seen.  —  Welcome to the strange new front in the war over Obamacare.
RELATED:
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
WATCH: Anti-Obamacare Videos With ‘Creepy Uncle Sam’
English pravda.ru:
Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin  —  When Pravda.ru editor, Dmitry Sudakov, offered to publish my commentary, he referred to me as “an active anti-Russian politician for many years.”  I'm sure that isn't the first time Russians have heard me characterized as their antagonist.
RELATED:
Laura Collins / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Two decades after her affair with Bill Clinton, Gennifer Flowers reveals they'd be together now if it wasn't for Chelsea and how former president confided in her that Hillary was bisexual  — She bitterly regrets rejecting him when he last begged to see her and says he's the ‘love of her life’
Craig Bannister / CNSNews:
Obama: ‘Raising the Debt Ceiling...Does Not Increase Our Debt,’ Though It Has ‘Over 100 Times’  —  Raising the debt ceiling doesn't increase the nation's debt, Pres. Obama declared in a speech today.  —  In a speech at the Business Roundtable headquarters in Washington, D.C. …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Warming lull haunts authors of key climate report  —  STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scientists working on a landmark U.N. report on climate change are struggling to explain why global warming appears to have slowed down in the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising.
Discussion: PlanetSave
RELATED:
Marc Morano / Climate Depot:
Nature editorial: 'The IPCC's mega-assessments are out of date by the time they hit the streets'; …
Katie Pavlich / Townhall.com:
Spitting on Their Graves: Democrats Leave Benghazi Hearing Before Testimony From Families of Victims  —  During the second portion of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing about Benghazi Thursday on Capitol Hill, the majority of Democrats on the Committee left the room and refused …
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Two Men Dead In Michigan Road Rage Shootout, Police Say  —  Police said two men died Wednesday after a shootout allegedly motivated by road rage, the Grand Rapids Press reported.  —  The initial police investigation showed Ionia, Mich. residents James Pullum, 43, and Robert Taylor, 56 …
RELATED:
Andrew Krietz / MLive.com:
Road rage shootout: 2 men killed identified after evening incident in Ionia
Discussion: The Raw Story
Marc Caputo / Naked Politics:
Hillary Clinton's image control: Security swipes man's phone, erases pic of her at speech  —  Hillary Clinton quietly slipped into Miami on Thursday to address a travel agents convention in a speech where the former secretary of state said little about troubles abroad or the future ambitions of the likely presidential-race frontrunner.
Discussion: The Hill
Amanda Ripley / The Atlantic Online:
The Case Against High-School Sports  —  The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide.  And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings?  —  Every year, thousands of teenagers move …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Dan Primack / Fortune:
AllThingsD parting ways with Dow Jones
Russell Berman / The Hill:
GOP plans ‘one man, one woman’ law in wake of same-sex marriage ruling
Brad Heath / USA Today:
Justice Dept. watchdog never probed judges' NSA concerns
Ben Domenech / The Federalist:
Ken Cuccinelli's Window of Opportunity
Guardian:
Syrian government says civil war has reached stalemate
Sarah Ditum / Guardian:
Why women have a right to sex-selective abortion
 Earlier Items: 
Felix Salmon:
The surprising value of not tapering
Discussion: Bloomberg and Business Insider
The Huffington Post:
Dallas - 4 dead  — Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, a former teacher …
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
Capitol Police investigating Navy Yard ‘stand down’ claim
BBC:
Nintendo visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi dies aged 85
Discussion: The Verge
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dem tries to shame members on food stamps with props
Norm Ornstein / NationalJournal.com:
Congress's Fiscal Fiasco Forces Americans to Wear Badge of Shame
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Nicole Wallace: GOP is playing in traffic