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4:15 AM ET, December 10, 2013


 Top Items: 
The Top Ten Finalists for Person of the Year in 2013  —  Here are the final ten contenders for TIME's Person of the Year (listed alphabetically): Bashar Assad, President of Syria Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder Ted Cruz, Texas Senator Miley Cyrus, Singer Pope Francis, Leader of the Catholic Church Barack Obama …
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:
Why Miley Cyrus Should Be The 2013 Person Of The Year Instead Of Pope Francis  —  Time Magazine announced its finalists for Person Of The Year today, and the list is a not unsurprising mix of figures from various realms of public life: … It's easy to declare that one of these things is not like the other …
Matthew Barakat / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
APNewsBreak: US Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida loses $18M in fraud scheme  —  McLEAN, Va. — U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida lost $18 million in a scheme that cheated him and about 120 other investors out of more than $35 million, according to court papers.  —  The Virginia man who ran the scheme …
John Bresnahan / Associated Press:
Alan Grayson loses $18M in fraud scheme  —  Controversial House Democrat Alan Grayson lost $18 million as part of a criminal scheme run by a Virginia man that bilked more than 100 investors out of more than $35 million, according to federal court documents.  —  William Dean Chapman, 44 …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
President lands in South Africa  —  President Barack Obama and his entourage landed in South Africa early Tuesday for the funeral of Nelson Mandela.  —  At about 715 a.m. local time, the president and first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton emerged from Air Force One.
Discussion: CNN
Obama flies to South Africa with Bushes, Hillary Clinton
Alex Seitz-Wald /
How Adam Lanza Wrecked Obama's Second Term  —  Don't blame the catastrophic health care rollout for the president's woes.  The Sandy Hook shooting is the real reason things went amok.  —  There are plenty of reasons this is the lowest point of Barack Obama's presidency.
J.K. Trotter / Gawker:
Fox News Paid Fired Executive $8 Million to Keep Quiet  —  Roger Ailes' secrets command a heavy price.  Last week, the New York Times reported that Fox News had reached an out-of-court settlement with Brian Lewis, the former Roger Ailes aide who was abruptly fired in late July.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Dems: GOPer must quit over ‘death’ quip  —  Three Democratic state lawmakers called Monday for the state chairman of Virginia's Republican Party to resign over comments he made attacking President Barack Obama and Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe, arguing the statements would damage already frayed relations between the parties going forward.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Poll: Mark Pryor trails Tom Cotton in Arkansas  —  Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor trails his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton, by seven points among likely voters in Arkansas, 48 percent to 41 percent, according to a new poll from a conservative group that says his support of the health care reform law is costing him.
Discussion: Hot Air
Union organizer shouts down protesters as they block private Google shuttle  —  Protesters blocked a private Google shuttle on Valencia street today, decrying private shuttle's use of public bus stops without paying fees or fines.  —  The group of 20 or so neon-yellow vested protesters called themselves the …
Rep. Steve Stockman to challenge Sen. John Cornyn in Texas GOP primary  —  (CNN) - Republican Rep. Steve Stockman is launching a primary challenge against fellow Texan Sen. John Cornyn.  —  The Senate's second-ranking Republican, Cornyn is up for re-election next year.
Seni Tienabeso / ABC News:
George Zimmerman's Girlfriend Wants to Drop Charges, ‘Be With Him’ … George Zimmerman's girlfriend who called Florida police to say he was breaking her stuff and was brandishing a weapon no longer wants to press charges against him and instead wants to get back together with him.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Colorado Miscellany  —The recalls of two Democratic State Senators in September weren't an anomaly when it comes to how Colorado voters are feeling about the state legislature.  Republicans lead the statewide generic legislative ballot by a 47/42 margin, including a 41/30 advantage with independents.
John Podesta / Politico:
Income inequality's ripple effect  —  Last week, Barack Obama, delivering the clearest and most powerful economic policy speech of his presidency at an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress, identified “the combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility” as “the defining challenge of our time.”
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Who's in Washington Purgatory?  —  Meet the luckless Obama appointees caught in career limbo.  —  For the past 900 days—nearly three years—Ken Kopocis has been languishing in the bureaucratic equivalent of Guantánamo Bay: The longtime congressional staffer is waiting to be confirmed …
Discussion: CNN
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Kentucky Man Sets Gun On Toilet Paper Dispenser While Using Restroom, Gun Goes Off  —  A Kentucky man just needed a place to set his gun while he relieved himself in a restaurant restroom on Sunday, but the toilet paper dispenser may not have been the best choice.
Associated Press:   Man shot when gun discharges in restroom
Tom Krisher / NBCNews:
U.S. exits GM stake, taxpayers lose $10.5 billion  —  DETROIT — The U.S. government ended up losing $10.5 billion on the General Motors bailout, but it says the alternative would have been far worse.  —  The Treasury Department sold its final shares of the Detroit auto giant Monday …
Senate approves gun screening bill, sends to Obama  —  (CNN) - The Senate voted unanimously on Monday to renew a 10-year ban on guns that cannot be picked up by metal detectors commonly found in airports, court houses and government buildings.  —  The law, which prohibits firearms made mostly of plastic …
Discussion: Politico
AllThingsD Editors Are Said to Complete NBCUniversal Deal  —  AllThingsD editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who are leaving News Corp. at the end of the year, completed a deal with NBCUniversal for a news and conference business that will bring their current staff to a newly named website …
Erin Golden / Omaha World-Herald:
Pete Festersen drops out of U.S. House race against Lee Terry  —  He's out of the race — again.  —  Democrat Pete Festersen is ending his campaign for Republican Lee Terry's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Omaha City Council president told The World-Herald on Monday that he's …
The Sportsman Channel:
Sarah Palin Joins Sportsman Channel as Host of Original Series “Amazing America with Sarah Palin”  —  Cultural, Political and Media Force, Palin Returns to Unscripted Television as Sportsman Channel's “First Lady of the Outdoors”  —  New Berlin, WI (December 9 2013) Former U.S. vice presidential candidate …
Courthouse News Service:
Homeland Security Stiffs Times Reporters  —  MANHATTAN (CN) - Two New York Times reporters sued the Department of Homeland Security for records on their interrogations at JFK Airport this year.  The DHS claims the records do not exist, though one reporter claims his interview was entered on a computer.
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Heritage Action Bashes Ryan-Murray Budget Framework  —  Heritage Action fired a warning shot Monday against an emerging budget agreement between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to set spending levels for a few years and mitigate some of the sequester cuts.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Susan Wyatt / KING-TV:
TSA agent confiscates sock monkey's toy pistol  —  “Rooster Monkburn” the cowboy sock monkey is without his pistol, thanks to a diligent TSA agent in St. Louis.  —  Phyllis May of Redmond, Wash. says she is “appalled and shocked and embarrassed all at the same time” about the incident that happened on Wednesday.
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 More Items: 
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Sander Levin: Rand Paul's ‘disservice to humanity’
Discussion: CNN and Daily Kos
Austan Goolsbee / Wall Street Journal:
Pre-K Education Is a Long-Term Winner
Discussion: National Review and AEIdeas
Ramesh Ponnuru / National Review:
Obama's Iraq  —  Obama lied, insurance plans died.
Discussion: PoliticusUSA
Martin S. Feldstein / New York Times:
Saving the Fed From Itself
Victoria Stilwell / Bloomberg:
U.S. Household Worth Rose by $1.92 Trillion in Third Quarter
Discussion: ThinkProgress and AEIdeas
 Earlier Items: 
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Lindsey Graham declines health care contribution
Discussion: Reuters and CNN
Tomas Hachard / The Atlantic Online:
Finally, Some Films That Don't Make the 1960s Look So Groovy
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Americans Discover They're Trapped In GOP's Medicaid Expansion Gap

From Techmeme:

Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Mandiant links hacktivist group Cyber Army of Russia, which claimed to target utilities in France, the US, and Poland, to Russia-linked hacking group Sandworm

Josh Dzieza / The Verge:
How a network of repair ships helps maintain the estimated 800,000 miles of undersea internet cables; of the 77 cable ships, only 22 are designated for repair

Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:
Current and former T-Mobile and Verizon employees say they are receiving texts offering up to $300 to perform a SIM swap; T-Mobile says it is investigating

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