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3:30 PM ET, September 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
Paul Courson / CNN:
Peter King: Ted Cruz ‘is a fraud’  —  Washington (CNN) - The government shutdown showdown is getting ugly.  —  Republican Rep. Peter King said Friday that his Republican colleague in the Senate, Ted Cruz, “is a fraud” who will “no longer have any influence in the Republican Party” …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Actually, Senate GOP can't filibuster to defund Obamacare  —  BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL CONGRESS OBAMACARE SENATE HEALTH CARE TED CRUZ  —  Senate Republicans, along with GOP lawmakers in the House, know that Sen. Ted Cruz and his colleagues don't have the votes to pass a continuing resolution to defund Obamacare.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House votes 230-189 to fund government, defund ObamaCare  —  The House on Friday passed legislation that defunds ObamaCare but would keep the government running through mid-December.  —  The legislation was approved on a party line 230-189 vote, with Rep. Scott Rigell (Va.) the only GOP no vote.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
In blow to immigration reform, House ‘gang of seven’ bill looks dead  —  In a blow to the hopes of passing immigration reform anytime soon, the bipartisan House “gang of seven” plan is probably dead, and almost certainly won't be introduced this fall as promised, a top Democrat on the “gang” acknowledges.
Tim Alberta /
Inside Boehner's Plan To Avoid Shutdown (And Wound Obamacare)  —  Forget Friday's big spending bill vote.  House leaders know the Senate will reject it and are ready to respond.  Here's the GOP playbook.  —  House Republicans have orchestrated a master plan to avoid a government shutdown …
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Never Surrender  —  Since January 2011, Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare, in whole or in part, more than 40 times.  That number is recited with a predictable sneer by congressional Democrats and the Washington press corps each time a new vote is held.
Robert Costa / National Review:
Ted Cruz Punches Back  —  Even among Republicans, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is one of Washington's most divisive figures.  Activists love him, but leadership staffers and many of his colleagues can't stand him — especially his latest effort to connect a government-spending bill with the defunding of Obamacare.
New York Times:
Conservatives Take Turns Standing Up to the Speaker  —  WASHINGTON — Those in the circle of fiery House conservatives who are spearheading a fiscal showdown that threatens to shut down the government see themselves in vaunted company.  —  “It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks …
Pelosi unplugged  —  Striking a tone of disgust, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridicules the GOP as obsessed with its loathing of President Obama and hell-bent on hurting him politically, regardless the cost.  She assigns little to no blame to the president (even though Democrats privately …
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Rep: Obamacare Defunders Are Following Example Of Rosa Parks, MLK  —  Republicans who pressured House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) into taking up a bill to defund Obamacare and risk a government shutdown are following in the tradition of two American civil rights icons, according to one GOP lawmaker.
Discussion: Daily Kos
New York Times:   House Passes Spending Bill Cutting Health Funds, Drawing Obama's Scorn
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:   Reminder: Obamacare Will Continue If Government Shuts Down
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
House GOP Passes Bill To Defund Obamacare Or Shut Down The Government
Discussion: The Raw Story
Alex Roarty /
The Republicans Who Fear a Shutdown
Discussion: Politico and First Read
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
House passes spending bill to defund Obamacare
Fox News:
House votes to keep government open, defund ObamaCare
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The real Navy Yard scandal  —  In the liberal remake of “Casablanca,” the police captain comes upon the scene of the shooting and orders his men to “round up the usual weapons.”  —  It's always the weapon and never the shooter.  Twelve people are murdered in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard …
Ashley Halsey III / Washington Post:
Navy Yard rampage began with gunman's colleagues, sources and witnesses say
Discussion: WJLA-TV, The Hill and The Week
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Firm that ran background check on Snowden also vetted Navy Yard shooter
Discussion: ABC News and Shakesville
Wall Street Journal:
Pricing Glitch Afflicts Rollout of Online Health Exchanges … Less than two weeks before the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the federal health overhaul, the government's software can't reliably determine how much people need to pay for coverage, according to insurance executives and people familiar with the program.
Avik Roy / Forbes:
WSJ: Obamacare Software Can't ‘Reliably Determine’ Enrollees' Eligibility For Subsidies
Discussion: Hit & Run and The PJ Tatler
Gina McCarthy / The Huffington Post:
Time to Act on Climate Change  —  I didn't plan for a life built around protecting the environment.  In fact, I started my career as a health agent in the town of Canton, Mass., and later worked for the Stoughton Board of Health.  But at some point I realized that at its core …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, and E2-Wire
Tamara Cohen / Daily Mail:
World's top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ …
Hassan Rouhani / Washington Post:
Why Iran seeks constructive engagement  —  Hassan Rouhani is president of Iran.  —  Three months ago, my platform of “prudence and hope” gained a broad, popular mandate.  Iranians embraced my approach to domestic and international affairs because they saw it as long overdue.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Crazy Party  —  Early this year, Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, made headlines by telling his fellow Republicans that they needed to stop being the “stupid party.”  Unfortunately, Mr. Jindal failed to offer any constructive suggestions about how they might do that.
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Rand Paul: ‘We are winning’ like Charlie Sheen  —  Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that Republicans are like Charlie Sheen and are actually “winning” despite criticisms this week of party disarray over a budget strategy that would defund Obamacare, according to reports.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Andrew Rafferty / First Read:
Rand Paul says recent GOP wins a roadmap for party's future
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
Iowa's Chuck Grassley: I am running for re-election (updated)  —  Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, 80, said today that he will run again, which likely means at least one of Iowa's U.S. Senate seats will remain in Republican hands.  —  “I'm planning on running for re-election,” he said on the public television show Iowa Press.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Roll Call
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Democrat says repealing ObamaCare a ‘wet dream’ for Republican radicals  —  Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) on Friday accused Republicans of pursuing a “wet dream” by pushing for the repeal of ObamaCare as part of a short-term spending bill.  —  “I rise in strong opposition …
Washington Post:
Damla Ergun / ABC News:
Obamacare Arrives 3 Years Later, Little Understood and Not Well-Liked
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 More Items: 
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
Life on Mars? Well, Maybe Not
Discussion: Outside the Beltway, The Week and NPR
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Anthony Weiner: 'I'm not an idiot'
Discussion: Daily Pundit
Lacey Rose / Hollywood Reporter:
Benghazi Movie From Jerry Weintraub in Development at HBO (Exclusive)
Kevin Gosztola / Firedoglake:
NSA Sends Letter to Its ‘Extended’ Family to Reassure Them That They Will ‘Weather’ This ‘Storm’
Discussion: Guardian and emptywheel
Neil Shah / Real Time Economics:
Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
Tara Culp-Ressler / ThinkProgress:
Two Universities In The United Kingdom Ban ‘Blurred Lines’ For Promoting Rape Culture
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Watch A Cat Unlock The iPhone 5s Using Touch ID And The Fingerprint Sensor
Discussion: Mashable, ABC News and The Tell
 Earlier Items: 
Bill / Catholic League:
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and Firedoglake
Ronald Brownstein /
How to End the Obamacare Debate
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:
Republican Launches Personal Attack Against Keystone XL Activist At Congressional Hearing
Hillary Clinton on her mark, getting set
James Chapman / Daily Mail:
Poison at the heart of Labour: Damaging questions for Miliband and Balls as explosive book …
Discussion: Guardian, Spectator and BBC