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1:55 PM ET, September 26, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low  —  Republicans ambivalent about movement, while most Democrats oppose it  —  PRINCETON, NJ — As Washington braces for another budget showdown, this time with the threat of defunding the new healthcare law in the mix, the key political force pushing …
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William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Opposition to Tea Party drops to near-record low  —  That's not the headline you will see, of course.  —  Instead, Gallup headlines its story about its most recent polling to emphasize the negative about Tea Party support, Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low.
Michael Walsh / National Review:   What We Just Saw  —  In the aftermath of Senator Ted Cruz's …
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / Bloomberg:
Americans Reject by 61% Obama Demand for Clean Debt Vote  —  Americans by a 2-to-1 ratio disagree with President Barack Obama's contention that Congress should raise the U.S. debt limit without conditions.  —  Instead, 61 percent say that it's “right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling …
RELATED:
Jonathan Strong / National Review:
Revealed: The House GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan  —  Below is an outline of the GOP's debt-ceiling bill obtained by National Review Online.  The document originated with the House Appropriations Committee staff and is dated yesterday.  A GOP-leadership aide says there are some differences between …
Tim Alberta / NationalJournal.com:
House Republicans Ready to Retreat, Easing Shutdown Fears  —  Conservatives appear poised to support Boehner's strategy of using the debt ceiling, not the CR, to fight Obamacare.  —  Conservative Republicans in the House appear ready to back off their demands that the short-term funding …
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
GOP's Dangerous Debt Limit Demand: A Christmas Tree Of Conservative Goodies
Heidi Przybyla / Bloomberg:
American Reject Effort to End Obamacare Amid Ad Barrage
Discussion: The Plum Line and Prairie Weather
Politico:
Republicans shun shutdown but flirt with default
George F. Will / Washington Post:
On Obamacare, Republicans get in their own way  —  When Dwight Eisenhower asked Gen. Georgy Zhukov how the Red Army cleared minefields, Zhukov replied that it marched through them.  Being profligate with lives is a perquisite of command and a luxury of those with an abundance of lives at their command.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Daily Kos
RELATED:
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Cruz, Tea Party Hero, Rankles Senate G.O.P. Colleagues
Paige Winfield Cunningham / Politico:
W.H. official: Don't expect wave of enrollment
Discussion: Hot Air, Reuters and National Review
Michael C. Bender / Bloomberg:
Democrat Manchin Breaks Ranks to Back Mandate Delay  —  U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke ranks with fellow Democrats and said he'd support a stopgap spending plan that delays the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health-care law.  —  “There's no way I could not vote for it …
Politico:
Another Obamacare delay  —  The Obama administration is delaying another piece of Obamacare - this time postponing online enrollment in some of the small-business exchanges scheduled to open Oct. 1, sources tell POLITICO.  —  Small businesses looking to enroll in coverage on so-called SHOP exchanges run …
RELATED:
Sam Baker / The Hill:
DC delays key pieces of ObamaCare exchange
Nikki Schwab / US News:
Comedian Arrested After Punching Journalist Josh Rogin at D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity Competition  —  This year's D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity contest may go down as the most memorable and not for what was going on onstage.  Comedy headliner Dan Nainan — a professional comedian who in the past …
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The Reliable Source:
Comedian Dan Nainan arrested after journalist punched in face over tweets
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Now Revealed by Stripper: Booker's Twitter Messages  —  Mayor Cory A. Booker has a high schooler's affinity for Twitter, reveling in its ceaseless flow of affirmation and infinite space for self-promotion.  —  But the occasional perils of his reliance on the social media service became evident …
RELATED:
Michael Day / The Independent:
‘I would never use homosexual couples in my adverts’: Barilla pasta brand faces boycott after boss's comments spark backlash  —  Gay rights groups are calling for a boycott of the world's biggest pasta maker Barilla after the company's chairman said he would never use homosexual couples in his advertisements.
RELATED:
Reuters:
Italian pasta baron's anti-gay comment prompts boycott call  —  * Gay, lesbian groups call for consumer boycott  —  * Barilla apologises, emphasises women's “central role”  —  Guido Barilla, chairman of the world's leading pasta manufacturer, prompted calls for a consumer boycott on Thursday …
Wall Street Journal:
What Iran's president really told CNN about Nazis and the Jews.  —  Reasonableness at last.  That was the general reaction Wednesday to the news that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to acknowledge and condemn the Holocaust during an interview this week with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Iran's Leader, Denouncing Holocaust, Stirs Dispute
Amanpour:
ENTIRE INTERVIEW: Amanpour/Rouhani
Discussion: Spectator and The Gateway Pundit
Jon.Ralston / Ralston Reports:
“If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't let these people run my bathwater”  —  In one of the more remarkable television interviews with a politician I have ever seen, ex-Rep. Shelley Berkley eviscerated her U.S. Senate campaign staff for bottling her up, not having a strategy and being too paranoid.
Discussion: Post Politics
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
If John Boehner Knows What's Good For Him, He'll Shut Down the Government  —  What the hell is John Boehner thinking?  I don't mean that strictly in a rhetorical sense, though it's hard not to slap your head when you see the most powerful Republican in the country lurching from one cockamamie strategy to another.
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Let ObamaCare Collapse  —  Congress can't kill the entitlement state.  Only the American people can.  —  What the GOP's Defund-ObamaCare Caucus is failing to see is that ObamaCare is no longer just ObamaCare.  It is about something that is beyond the reach of a congressional vote.
John Kartch / Americans for Tax Reform RSS:
IRS Watchdog: $67 Million Missing from Obamacare Slush Fund  —  The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a TIGTA report released today.  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. - The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent …
Drew Altman / Reuters:
How Obamacare may be holding down costs  —  The historic slowdown in health-care costs is continuing.  Earlier this month, the government's actuaries found that total national health spending continues to grow at the lowest rate we've ever seen.  And our annual employer health benefits survey released …
Discussion: BillMoyers.com, CNN and ThinkProgress
Amanda Hess / Slate:
Woman Trades 300 Sandwiches for a Diamond Ring  —  Some afternoons, I will be eating a delicious sandwich alone at my computer when the Internet will heave up a personal essay so poorly conceived and utterly vacuous that it threatens to compromise my ability to ever love again.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Tampa Bay Times:
Allen West: If Rubio runs for president ‘of course’ I would run for Senate
Michael Pearson / CNN:
Wisconsin bridge drops 2 feet
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Peter King: ‘Vile’ phone calls by Ted Cruz allies
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Continued Support for Keystone XL Pipeline
Discussion: E2-Wire and Talking Points Memo
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Equivalency Formula Works Wonders
Discussion: The Plum Line
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Largest Syrian rebel groups form Islamic alliance, in possible blow to U.S. influence
Washington Post:
Time's Stengel latest in long line of reporters who jumped to jobs in Obama administration
Discussion: TheBlaze.com and NewsBusters
Joshua Green / Businessweek:
Jim DeMint, Congressional Republicans' Shadow Speaker
Mary Williams Walsh / DealBook:
Detroit Spent Billions Extra on Pensions