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1:10 AM ET, September 20, 2013

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 Top Items: 
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 …
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Ron Nixon / New York Times:
House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps  —  WASHINGTON — House Republicans narrowly pushed through a bill on Thursday that slashes billions of dollars from the food stamp program, over the objections of Democrats and a veto threat from President Obama.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Senate sees way forward on funding bill
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Boehner To Cruz: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up On Defunding Obamacare
Discussion: National Review and CNN
Bryan Koenig / CNN:
Rep. King on defund plan: ‘Custer, Kamikaze’
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:   McCain: To Think We Can Repeal Obamacare ‘Is Not Rational’ (VIDEO)
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Self-Defeating ‘Defunding’ Strategy
Glenn Kessler / The Fact Checker:
Obama's claim that non-budget items have ‘never’ been attached to the debt ceiling
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
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control  —  Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception …
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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
Discussion: The Dish
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 …
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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
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.
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Cord Jefferson / Gawker:
Horrifying Anti-Obamacare Ad Warns That Uncle Sam Wants In Your Uterus
Discussion: Foolocracy
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’
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 …
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Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Texas Court Overturns Conviction of DeLay
Discussion: The Hill and Washington Monthly
Houston Chronicle:
DeLay conviction overturned
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Raw Story
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 …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
RELATED:
Andrew Krietz / MLive.com:
Road rage shootout: 2 men killed identified after evening incident in Ionia
Discussion: The Raw Story
Dan Primack / Fortune:
AllThingsD parting ways with Dow Jones  —  AllThingsD and The Wall Street Journal call it quits.  —  FORTUNE — The team behind influential tech site AllThingsD is severing ties with founding owner Dow Jones, a subsidiary of News Corp. (NWS).  A formal statement is expected later today.
Dylan Byers / Politico:
DOJ spox to USA Today: ‘I will save what I have for another outlet’  —  A Department of Justice spokesperson who initially offered to provide sources to USA Today has reversed that decision on the grounds that the reporter was “biased” and would not forego his story even if the sources undercut its premise.
RELATED:
Brad Heath / USA Today:
Justice Dept. watchdog never probed judges' NSA concerns
Discussion: Hit & Run and emptywheel
Russell Berman / The Hill:
GOP plans ‘one man, one woman’ law in wake of same-sex marriage ruling  —  A group of Republicans in the House is set to unveil a proposal aimed at protecting conservative groups in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.  —  Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) …
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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.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and Corrente
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
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Colorado House Republicans Unanimously Support Flood Relief, Unanimously Opposed Sandy Aid  —  As historic floods of “biblical” proportions continue to ravage Colorado, President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Sunday — a move that was encouraged by a bipartisan letter last week …
Melanie Eversley / USA Today:
Syria's Assad: Removing chemicals a sensitive operation  —  Syrian President Assad said the cost for removing chemicals from Syria would be $1B.  —  CONNECT  —  Syrian President Bashar Assad wants to cooperate with diplomatic agreements that would compel his country to be rid …
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
My Shutdown Lament  —  I have a problem.  My job is to keep up with the world of politics and then write commentary, explanations, and analysis that readers will find interesting, entertaining, or informative.  Sometimes that involves big-picture looks at policy issues …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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. …
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 More Items: 
NY Daily News:
EDITOR'S PICKS  —  Bill de Blasio already knows one person …
Guardian:
Syrian government says civil war has reached stalemate
New York Times:
Frisking Tactic Yields to a Focus on Youth Gangs
Discussion: Gawker, Colorlines and Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Ditum / Guardian:
Why women have a right to sex-selective abortion
Amanda Ripley / The Atlantic Online:
The Case Against High-School Sports