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2:00 PM ET, September 30, 2013


 Top Items: 
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Key players in the shutdown debate  —  Washington (CNN) — If the federal government shuts down starting Tuesday because of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law, more people say congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama would be responsible, according to a new national survey.
Republicans' Shutdown Fight Exposes Simmering Civil War  —  The Republican war with President Barack Obama over funding the government and the new health-care law will play out in the coming days and months.  The conflict now exposed within the party may shape its future for years.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Taylor Marsh
Robert Costa / National Review:
The Speaker's Slog  —  There were no tears, just cheers, when Speaker John Boehner announced his latest fiscal strategy on Saturday at a closed-door conference meeting.  Even Boehner's longtime critics praised him for pushing a government-spending bill that also delayed Obamacare for one year and repealed the medical-device tax.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The Associated Press Goes to Bat For the Democratic Party  —  Why do Republicans never seem to come out ahead politically when they go toe-to-toe with the Democrats?  Part of the reason, at least, is that the press, to a greater extent than at any time in our history, is monolithically Democrat.
New York Times:
Senate Action on Health Law Moves to Brink of Shutdown  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to reject decisively a House bill that would delay the full effect of President Obama's health care law as a condition for keeping the government running past Monday, as Senator Harry Reid …
Holly Yan / CNN:
Government shutdown: What you need to know  —  (CNN) — Let's start with the obvious question: Will the government shut down this week?  Most likely.  —  Republicans and Democrats can agree on that.  It's everything else that has them bickering and blaming.
Government shutdown: House GOP leaders huddle
Discussion: Daily Kos
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Republican Senator Denounces House GOP's Obamacare Strategy
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Countdown to Shutdown
Eric Garland / The Hill:
GOP Rep. Pompeo: I'll try to enroll in ObamaCare exchange
Discussion: Politico
Senate slated to table House bill
Cecile Richards / Politico:
The House's war on women
Discussion: and ABC News
Washington Post:
Washington braces for the first shutdown of the national government in 17 years
ABC News:
Shutdown Showdown: Gridlock Over Obamacare as Deadline Looms
Discussion: CNN, Politico and ABC News
Charles Ferguson / The Huffington Post:
Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton  —  In late 2012, CNN Films approached me about directing a documentary.  We discussed a number of potential subjects, and eventually settled on Hillary Rodham Clinton.  The film would be ambitious, controversial, and highly visible.
Dylan Byers / Politico:
CNN Films cancels Hillary Clinton doc, director cites pressure from Clinton aides  —  CNN Films has decided to cancel its highly anticipated documentary about Hillary Clinton after director Charles H. Ferguson backed away from the project on Monday, citing a lack of participants due to pressure from Clinton-world.
CNN's Hillary Clinton film scrapped as director blames lack of co-operation
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
CNN cuts Clinton film after director quits
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Brian Beutler / Salon:
Right-wing extremists “are guilty of murder,” Sen. Angus King tells Salon  —  In an interview with Salon, Independent senator unloads on conservatives who urge young people to remain uninsured  —  Tuesday begins a 6-month race to enroll as many uninsured people as possible in the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges.
Two in Three Uninsured Americans Plan to Buy Insurance  —  Less than half say they will use the state or federal exchanges  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Nearly two in three uninsured Americans say they will get insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, rather than pay a fine as mandated by the Affordable Care Act …
New York Times:
Qaeda Plot Leak Has Undermined U.S. Intelligence  —  WASHINGTON — As the nation's spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda …
Bill Keller / New York Times:
The Right Gets Its '60s  —  “Something's happening here.  —  What it is ain't exactly clear.  The right-wing campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act has driven a lot of normally temperate people past the edge of exasperation.  Pundits have described the crusade as crazy, stupid …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Rebels Without a Clue  —  This may be the way the world ends — not with a bang but with a temper tantrum.  —  O.K., a temporary government shutdown — which became almost inevitable after Sunday's House vote to provide government funding only on unacceptable conditions — wouldn't be the end of the world.
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Danger to economy worries experts weighing potential government shutdown, default
Discussion: ThinkProgress and DealBook
Roger Simon / Politico:
The frauds on the Hill target Obama  —  Who are these people?  Of what are they made that they can say and do such things on the floor of Congress?  —  No nonsense is too great, no act too low.  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) leaves the floor of the House in the wee hours of Sunday morning …
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Jon Favreau / The Daily Beast:
House Republican Hostage-Takers Are Unfit to Govern  —  They're threatening an economic shutdown that will cause financial hardship and even ruin for millions of Americans.  So let's call these House Republicans what they are, says Jon Favreau.  —  The most terrifying speech I ever wrote for President Obama was one he never gave.
Discussion: VodkaPundit
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 More Items: 
Ben Child / Guardian:
Star Wars lightsabers finally invented
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Rajeev Syal / Guardian:
Global warming can have a positive side, says Owen Paterson
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Power Line
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Three-quarters of White House staffers would stay home in a shutdown (Video)
Tracy Connor / NBCNews:
‘Really confused’: Kaiser/NBC poll finds Americans angsting over health-care law
Discussion: The Fix and First Read
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Obamacare Website Quietly Deletes Reference to ‘Free Health Care’
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Only Congress Can Raise the Debt Ceiling
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Spencer Bachus, dean of Alabama delegation, retiring
Discussion: CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Mary Eberstadt / TIME:
The Pope Is No Radical  —  Francis isn't throwing Catholics under the Popemobile.
Discussion: Hot Air
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Populist Left Makes Warren Its Hot Ticket
Discussion: ABC News and Taylor Marsh
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Lawyers Olson and Boies want Virginia as same-sex marriage test case
Atul Gawande / New Yorker:
STATES OF HEALTH  —  Ours can be an unforgiving country.