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1:55 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.
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 …
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.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
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 …
House passes bill defunding Obamacare  —  Game on.  —  The House passed a bill 230-189 Friday morning that would keep the government running for three months - and defund the health care overhaul that is President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
House passes spending bill to defund Obamacare  —  House Republicans passed their stopgap funding bill Friday to keep government open while terminating the new health care law, setting up a final showdown next week with Senate Democrats and President Obama who have firmly rejected that.
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 …
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
House GOP Passes Bill To Defund Obamacare Or Shut Down The Government
Discussion: The Raw Story
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:   Reminder: Obamacare Will Continue If Government Shuts Down
Fox News:
House votes to keep government open, defund ObamaCare
Alex Roarty /
The Republicans Who Fear a Shutdown
Discussion: Politico and First Read
Yahoo! News:
House sends government spending bill to the Senate without Obamacare funding
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Andrew Restuccia / Politico:
Al Gore: New EPA rule puts U.S. on path to solve climate crisis  —  Former Vice President Al Gore said EPA's regulations for future power plants are a major step toward putting the United States “on the path toward solving the climate crisis.”  —  “Today's announcement by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Tamara Cohen / Daily Mail:
World's top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ …
Al Gore / Al's Journal:
Statement by Former VP Gore on New Regulations Announced by the EPA
Discussion: E2-Wire and Politico
Owen Bennett / Daily Express:
What climate change? Fewer people than EVER believe the world is really warming up
Discussion: Althouse and Daily Pundit
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 …
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and Betsy's Page
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Fault Mental Health System Most for Gun Violence
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Firm that ran background check on Snowden also vetted Navy Yard shooter
Discussion: ABC News and Shakesville
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
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: The PJ Tatler
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
Washington Post:
Damla Ergun / ABC News:
Obamacare Arrives 3 Years Later, Little Understood and Not Well-Liked
Discussion: and Hot Air
Bill / Catholic League:
POPE COMMENTS ON ABORTION, GAYS  —  Bill Donohue comments on remarks by Pope Francis that were made last month in a three-part meeting in Rome with Catholic journalists; they were published today by America magazine:  —  The New York Times issued a “Breaking News Alert,” followed by a story …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Cristina Jimenez / Foreign Policy:
The SAFE Act is not safe for immigrants and their families
Discussion: American Prospect
Neil Shah / Real Time Economics:
Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
New York Times:
Another Insult to the Poor
Discussion: The Week, The Raw Story and Daily Kos
Washington Post:
EPA moves to limit emissions of future coal- and gas-fired power plants
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: 
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
Katie Pavlich /
Spitting on Their Graves: Democrats Leave Benghazi Hearing Before Testimony From Families of Victims