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3:25 PM ET, September 30, 2013


 Top Items: 
CNN Poll: Americans would blame GOP if shutdown happens tonight  —  If the federal government shuts down 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.
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Countdown to Shutdown  —  Think 1996 was bad for the GOP?  This time will be much, much worse  —  The year 1996, the last time the GOP took its toys and went home rather than fund the government, hasn't loomed so large in Washington since it actually was 1996.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
John Boehner doesn't have to let the Tea Party paralyze whole government  —  The New York Times reports this morning that GOP Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate from Pennsylvania, is working to round up House GOP support for allowing a “clean CR” funding the government, with no Obamacare defunding, to get a vote in the House.
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longtime critics praised him for pushing a government-spending bill that also delayed Obamacare for one year and repealed the medical-device tax.
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
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Senate rejects House funding bill with shutdown in clear sight  —  Congress took another step toward a government shutdown Monday as the Senate voted 54-46 to strip language from a House funding bill that delayed ObamaCare by a year.  —  Senate Democrats called on House Republicans to pass …
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Republican Senator Denounces House GOP's Obamacare Strategy
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama ‘not resigned’ to shutdown
Discussion: Politico
Government shutdown: House GOP leaders huddle
Discussion: Daily Kos and Connecting.the.Dots
Government shutdown update: Mitch McConnell weighs one-week CR
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Dow drops amid government shutdown fears
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.
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.
Cecile Richards / Politico:
The House's war on women  —  The full picture of what the House of Representatives did late Saturday night is just coming into view, and it's startling.  The House voted to keep the government functioning as long as the Affordable Care Act is delayed for a year — and they also voted …
Paul Begala / CNN:
Three ways to score the shutdown battle
Discussion: Roll Call, PoliticusUSA and The Week
ABC News:
Shutdown Showdown: Gridlock Over Obamacare as Deadline Looms
Discussion: CNN, ABC News and Politico
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 …
Eric Garland / The Hill:
GOP Rep. Pompeo: I'll try to enroll in ObamaCare exchange  —  Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), an opponent of ObamaCare, said he will try to sign up for the healthcare exchange when it opens Tuesday.  —  “I'm going to try to enroll tomorrow morning, October 1,” Pompeo vowed.
Discussion: Politico
Avik Roy / Forbes:
New Poll: Only One-Third Of Americans Support Repealing, Defunding Or Delaying Obamacare
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 …
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Most Popular Question at How to Get Exemption From Lack-of-Coverage Penalty Fee?  —  One day away from the launch of the Obamacare marketplaces, the question most on the minds people visiting the website is not about coverage, but rather about avoiding the penalty, or tax, for not having health insurance.
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.
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
6-Year-Old Accidentally Shot In New York  —  A 6-year-old boy accidentally shot himself while playing with a handgun in Rochester, N.Y. on Sunday, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.  —  The child was shot in his lower body and was taken to an area hospital with minor injures.
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Obamacare Website Quietly Deletes Reference to ‘Free Health Care’  —  Even as President Obama and his administration are making a last minute push to encourage enrollment in Obamacare, a quiet change was made on the website regarding those who will still not be able to afford coverage after the program kicks in.
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: 
NY Daily News:
'Because you're black': Framboise Patisserie in Middle Village, Queens, hit with $25,000 in fines …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Jezebel
Wall Street Journal:
Health Law Hits Late Snags as Rollout Approaches
Discussion: Wonkblog and National Review
Ben Child / Guardian:
Star Wars lightsabers finally invented
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Tracy Connor / NBCNews:
‘Really confused’: Kaiser/NBC poll finds Americans angsting over health-care law
Discussion: The Fix and First Read
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
Roger Simon / Politico:
The frauds on the Hill target Obama
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Lawyers Olson and Boies want Virginia as same-sex marriage test case