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3:20 PM ET, October 24, 2013


 Top Items: 
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
ObamaCare website contractors blame Obama administration  —  Principal contractors hired to build the ObamaCare website are hitting back at the Obama administration for the site's overwhelming technical problems.  —  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) …
New York Times:
Republicans, Sensing Weakness in Health Law Rollout, Switch Tactics  —  WASHINGTON — Emboldened by the intense public criticism surrounding the rollout of the online insurance exchange, Republicans in Congress are refocusing their efforts from denying funds for the health care law to investigating it.
Norm Ornstein /
Buck Stops With Obama on Rocky Rollout of Health Care Plan  —  The debacle has been thoroughly dissected so far by America's best health journalists and policy analysts.  To be sure, every major rollout of a new or changed social policy, including Medicare itself, is rough and takes weeks or months to resolve.
Associated Press: Problems Are Target at Hill Hearing
Discussion: Politico, Daily Kos and The Week
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Contractors Assign Blame, but Admit No Faults of Their Own, in Health Site
Discussion: Politico and First Read
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Morning Plum: House GOP pivots from Obamacare to Obamacare
Cole Premo / CBS Minnesota:
Rep. Nolan: Firings Needed Over Health Law Woes
Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
Americans will have an extra six weeks to buy health coverage before facing penalty
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Harry Reid Told Caucus That Pete Sessions Was Behind Obama Insult, Senators Say  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told his Democratic caucus last week in a private meeting that a top House Republican said to President Barack Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you …
Todd S. Purdum / Politico:
Trash-talking the president
Jeane MacIntosh / New York Post:
Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats  —  A change to the Marine Corps' uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks from the Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street.  —  Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a “unisex” look for the Corps …
EndPlay / WIVB-TV:
Hillary Clinton speaks at UB, is heckled … AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to a large crowd at the University at Buffalo Wednesday night, as part of the university's Distinguished Speaker Series.
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
George Soros Backs ‘Ready For Hillary’ PAC
Discussion: Liberaland
Matea Gold / Post Politics:
George Soros joins Ready for Hillary national finance council
New York Times:
Health Care Law Fails to Lower Prices for Rural Areas  —  As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program's loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans.
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Ted Cruz's Wife Confirms He's Covered Under Her Blue-Chip Health Plan  —  The wife of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who led a vocal effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, confirmed in a New York Times interview published Wednesday that the senator receives health care coverage through her blue-chip employer insurance plan.
Discussion: Liberaland
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Darrell Issa to introduce immigration bill  —  Rep. Mike Coffman, who represents a swing district in Colorado with about 20 percent Latino residents, and California Rep. David Valadao, whose district is 70 percent Latino, said they were both working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Reuters
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama: Immigration's fate up to GOP
Discussion: CNN
James Ball / Guardian:
NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts  —  • Agency given more than 200 numbers by government official  —  • NSA encourages departments to share their ‘Rolodexes’  —  • Surveillance produced ‘little intelligence’, memo acknowledges
Tom Simonite / MIT Technology Review:
The Decline of Wikipedia  —  The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10.  It is not operated by a sophisticated corporation but by a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Medicaid could be the next headache for Obamacare  —  A new phase of the Obamacare launch is coming, this one involving Medicaid.  And it could be déjà vu all over again.  —  On Nov. 1, the health law's malfunctioning enrollment system is supposed to send reams of data to states …
Kyle Cheney / Reuters:
What makes so complicated?
Discussion: Politico and Infowars
Nicholas G. Hahn III / RealClearReligion:
The Devil and Herman Cain  —  It's been two years since allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, but Herman Cain is finally fighting back.  —  The former Republican presidential hopeful gave RealClearReligion an exclusive look at evidence he'll be using in a soon-to-be published column …
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
How The Pope Could Tear Apart The Religious Right  —  Conservative Christians revolt against the new pope's new tone.  “That man needs to read his Bible,” says one evangelical.  —  John Gara  —  WASHINGTON — As political spectators gawk at the “civil war” currently engulfing congressional Republicans …
Discussion: The Dish
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Why Obamacare Is Like Three Mile Island  —  I've been blogging a lot over the past week or so about the risk of an insurance market “death spiral” — where young people stay away, so the only people buying insurance are old and sick, causing the cost of insurance to rise over time and pushing ever …
Lucy Kinder / Telegraph:
‘Offensive’ Halloween costumes banned by US university  —  University of Colorado Boulder tells students to avoid costumes including cowboys, indians, white trash or anything potentially deemed offensive  —  University students in America have been told not to wear “offensive” …
Baltimore Sun:
Gansler says breaking up teen party was not his job  —  Attorney general has advocated against underage drinking  —  Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (white shirt with cell phone, right of center) is seen in a photo posted to Instagram from a senior week party in Delaware this summer.
Discussion: Mediaite and Talking Points Memo
Fox News:
Dems join call to delay ObamaCare mandate amid website failures  —  Several Democratic senators are calling on the Obama administration to delay enforcement of the health care law's individual mandate, joining their Republican colleagues in saying it would be unfair to penalize Americans …
Russell Brand / New Statesman:
Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”  —  But before we change the world, we need to change the way we think.  —  When I was asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me.
Discussion: The Raw Story, Gawker and Mediaite
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 More Items: 
Billy House /
Budget Conference Committee Schedules First Meeting for Next Wednesday
Discussion: First Read
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
McCaskill Condemns Alan Grayson's Email Comparing Tea Party To KKK
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Mediaite and BuzzFeed
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Here's The Conversation We Should Really Be Having About Obamacare And Part-Time Work
Discussion: National Review
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
House Dem Rips GOP's Hearing As ‘Monkey Court’ (VIDEO)
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Jaclyn Friedman / American Prospect:
A Good Men's Rights Movement Is Hard to Find
Discussion: The Raw Story and man boobz
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Study: ObamaCare spending to top contractors tops $1B
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
Dylan Byers / Politico:
NYT's Rick Berke to join POLITICO as executive editor
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal Revolution:
Stayaway from Layaway  —  Layaway plans are immensely popular …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
 Earlier Items:
Teacher Took Students to Strip Club: Police
Discussion: Gawker and The Daily Caller
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Henninger: Obama's Credibility Is Melting
Beth Reinhard /
Inside the Messy but Moneyed Republican Plan to Neutralize the Tea Party
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Mother
Discussion: Shakesville and Law Blog
GOP reconsiders Obamacare tactics
David Nather / Reuters:
Obamacare hearings: Oversight or heckling?
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Secret memos reveal explicit nature of U.S., Pakistan agreement on drones