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9:40 AM ET, October 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
Matt Fuller / Roll Call:
Ted Cruz, House Republicans Meet in Secret at Tortilla Coast  —  Sen. Ted Cruz met with roughly 15 to 20 House Republicans for around two hours late Monday night at the Capitol Hill watering hole Tortilla Coast.  —  The group appeared to be talking strategy about how they should respond …
New York Times:
Senators Near Fiscal Deal, but the House Is Uncertain  —  WASHINGTON — Senate leaders neared the completion Monday night of a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown while the rest of the world braced for the possibility of an American default that could set off a global financial disaster.
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Reid, McConnell near deal to end shutdown, raise $16.7T debt limit  —  An emerging Senate deal would raise the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until mid-February, according to Senate aides.  —  There were conflicting claims on how long the extension would last, with one aide saying …
Carrie Budoff Brown / Politico:
What Barack Obama, Republicans get with a deal  —  It's not a perfect deal for the White House — but it's a worse deal for Republicans.  —  Democrats won't say it too loudly just yet, but the emerging budget agreement leaves Republicans with remarkably little to show for forcing …
Discussion: Hot Air and ABC News
Abby D. Phillip / ABC News:
Senate Nears Debt Limit Deal … A tentative breakthrough in negotiations among congressional leaders to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling faces a major test today: approval from the rank and file members of Congress.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. …
Discussion: ABC News and THEROOT.COM
Felix Salmon:
The default has already begun  —  The big question in Washington this week is whether, in the words of the NYT, we're going to see “a legislative failure and an economic catastrophe that could ripple through financial markets, foreign capitals, corporate boardrooms, state budget offices and the bank accounts of everyday investors”.
Niels Lesniewski / The World's Greatest …:
Senate Debt Limit Framework Emerges (Updated)
Discussion: First Read and Roll Call
Washington Post:
Senate leaders within striking distance of deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit
Washington Post:
NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally  —  The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials …
Jonathan Capehart / PostPartisan:
Ugly rebel yell in front of the White House  —  If you want to curdle the blood of an African American and send a message of menace without resorting to burning a cross on the lawn or marching around in white sheets all one need do is wave the Confederate flag.
Jose DelReal / Politico:
Sarah Palin: Barack Obama flirts with impeachment
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Panetta rebukes Obama's handling of shutdown  —  Leon Panetta served in Washington with nine presidents, starting with Lyndon Johnson.  He has been a member of Congress, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary …
Gerald F. Seib / Wall Street Journal:
Three GOP Faces Who Are Outshining Their Party  —  Paul, Christie and Ryan Manage to Improve Their Standing During the Shutdown  —  At this point, it's both an understatement and a statement of the obvious to say the government-shutdown showdown hasn't been good for the Republican Party.
Discussion: First Read and ABC News
David Frum / CNN:
A tea party exit would be a blessing for GOP  —  Editor's note: David Frum, a CNN contributor, is a contributing editor at The Daily Beast.  He is the author of eight books, including a new novel, “Patriots,” and a post-election e-book, “Why Romney Lost.”  Frum was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002.
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and The Dish
13 THINGS THAT DEFINE THE NEW AMERICAN CENTER  —  It is bigger than you think...  An exclusive Esquire-NBC News survey shows us that everything we are told about politics in America today—that there is no middle ground between left and right, blue and red, us and them—is wrong.
Discussion: Real Clear Politics and NBCNews
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Obamacare Needs a Drop-Dead Date  —  Exactly how bad are things on the federal health-care exchanges?  The working assumption among most journalists, including me, is that they would be fixed in a few weeks — that is, by the end of this week.  But yesterday's New York Times brought …
The Fix:
Poll: Republicans losing no-win game  —  All of Washington's elected leaders earn negative marks for handling budget negotiations, but the public's ire toward Republicans in Congress has hardened quicker than disapproval of President Obama and Democrats through a fortnight of failed negotiations.
Gary Langer / ABC News:
Disapproval of GOP Peaks in Blame for the Budget Crisis
Discussion: Hot Air
Serdar Yegulalp / InfoWorld:
How federal cronies built — and botched —  —  Many contractors for site seem to have been picked based on past government work rather than IT expertise  —  The biggest problem with seems simple enough: It was built by people who are apparently far …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
British authorities break up terror plot
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Dean Baker / Guardian:
Republicans are delusional about US spending and deficits
Josh Rosenstock / Apple:
Angela Ahrendts to Join Apple as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores
Discussion: New York Times, BBC and TechCrunch
 Earlier Items: 
Roger Simon / Reuters:
Government shutdown unleashes racism
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
This Republican Congressman Wants To Put The US Through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Discussion: and Hullabaloo
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Obama Makes Sandwich
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
6 Questions For Niall Ferguson
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
John Stanton / BuzzFeed:
This Video Of Republicans Tightening Control Of House Is As Unusual As It Seems