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12:50 PM ET, December 13, 2013


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Biggest Losers  —  The pundit consensus seems to be that Republicans lost in the just-concluded budget deal.  Overall spending will be a bit higher than the level mandated by the sequester, the straitjacket imposed back in 2011.  Meanwhile, Democrats avoided making any concessions on Social Security or Medicare.
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Glenn Beck attacks ‘worthless’ John Boehner  —  Conservative radio host Glenn Beck went off on Republican leadership after the House passed a budget compromise Thursday, calling House Speaker John Boehner “worthless” and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a “liar.”
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Niall Stanage / The Hill:
Boehner gives immigration backers hope  —  Both sides in the immigration debate are watching Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) closely after Thursday evening's emphatic House vote in favor of a bipartisan budget deal.  —  The calculus is clear in the minds of immigration-reform advocates.
Molly Ball / The Atlantic Online:
Why This Round of the Republican Civil War Was Different  —  Republican leaders finally had enough with conservatives' antics and decided to take back control.  It worked, and we got a budget deal.  —  Another round of the long-running GOP civil war broke out this week, and you could be forgiven for greeting it with a yawn.
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
Twilight of the Sequester  —  In Washington, folks are celebrating a new bipartisan budget deal that saves us from another full round of reductions in federal spending mandated by the “sequester.”  Far fewer are lamenting the dwindling of the sequester itself.  As usual, Washington has things upside down.
Jonathan Merritt / The Atlantic Online:
Insisting Jesus Was White Is Bad History and Bad Theology  —  Fox News television host Megyn Kelly told viewers on her December 11 broadcast that Jesus and Santa are both white men.  —  “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change,” Kelly said.  “Jesus was a white man, too.
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
Megyn Kelly, Fox News's brightest star
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Aisha Harris / Slate:
What Fox News Doesn't Understand About Santa Claus
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Huckabee, Looking to 2016 Race, Speaks of ‘a Real Opportunity for Me’  —  LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has not been among the Republicans frequently named as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but he would like that to change.
David Brody / The Brody File:
Video Exclusive: Mike Huckabee Tells Brody File: “There's An Openness Now” To Run For White House
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Obamacare's Never-Ending Fix-a-Thon  —  The Department of Health and Human Services held a conference call for journalists this afternoon with Kathleen Sebelius and other members of the Obamacare team in which they announced yet another round of fixes.  Most of them are aimed at folks who lost …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:   HHS extends another ObamaCare deadline
Bill Gertz / Washington Free Beacon:
Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters  —  A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.
Adam Goldman / Washington Post:
Ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran was on rogue mission for CIA  —  An American man who disappeared in Iran more than six years ago had been working for the CIA in what U.S. intelligence officials describe as a rogue operation that led to a major shake-up in the spy agency.
Sarah Palin / BREITBART.COM:
EXCLUSIVE — PALIN: READ MY LIPSTICK: NO NEW TAXES  —  No one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan's compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending.  Show me one Republican who got elected on that platform.  Spare America the Orwellian word games.
Discussion: Reuters and ABC News
Jeff Zeleny / ABC News:
Paul Ryan Says Presidential Ambitions Not Derailed by Budget Deal
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Republicans More Optimistic than Democrats about Midterms  —  But Less GOP Optimism than in 2010  —  Less than a year out from the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are more optimistic than Democrats about their party's electoral prospects.  But the “expectations gap” …
Karyn Maughan / eNCA:
Search form  —  A baboon has been spotted on the streets of Bryanston in Johannesburg, appearing hungry and confident... watch the eyewitness video.  —  EXCLUSIVE: Senior ANC officials walked through the stands in a vain attempt to stop crowds booing President Jacob Zuma at Madiba's memorial.
Guy Benson /
Report: Less Than 15 Percent of Obamacare ‘Enrollees’ Are Actually Covered  —  This week's Obamacare headlines have been dominated by HHS' announcement that 365,000 Americans have selected a plan through Obamacare's federal and state exchanges — well short of the administration's projected goal of 800,000 enrollees by December 1st.
Discussion: VodkaPundit
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
Even by North Korean standards, this announcement of Jang Song Thaek's execution is intense  —  North Korean state media are known for hyperbole, but even so, the official announcement of the execution of Jang Song Thaek is a step beyond.  The state-run Korean Central News Agency released …
Charlie Cook /
Americans Won't Be Easily Reassured About the Economy  —  Some political analysts suggest the encouraging economic numbers released last week are a sign that the economy is improving enough to diminish the anti-incumbent mood that has seemed likely to become a dominant factor in the 2014 midterm elections.
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Karl Rove: Obamacare rap crosses line  —  Karl Rove is not happy with a new rap parody of Snoop Dogg's “Drop It like It's Hot” that promotes Obamacare, saying it “crosses the line.”  —  In the video, which directs viewers to Covered California-led efforts and promotes #GetCovered …
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
White House names new legislative affairs director, Katie Beirne Fallon  —  Katie Beirne Fallon, a former top staffer to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), will be named White House Legislative Affairs director - a move intended to shore up a Hill operation that has long needed stronger leadership …
Discussion: Post Politics
A.G. Schneiderman Secures Agreement Requiring Reinstatement Of Domino's Workers  —  Washington Heights Domino's Store Agrees To Reinstate 25 Workers  —  Schneiderman: We Will Take Swift Action to Protect Jobs Of Workers And Guard Against Potential Retaliation
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Daily Kos
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 More Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
Strengthen the Presidency  —  A couple of months ago …
Chris Kirk / Slate:
The Missing 20,000 Gun Deaths
Janet Hook / Wall Street Journal:
House Passes Budget Agreement in 332-94 Vote
Delaware Is On The Verge Of Raising Its Minimum Wage
Discussion: delawareonline and Liberaland
USA Today:
Obamacare remains worthy: Our view
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Obama turns left
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Tempers Flare as New Rules Strain Senate
 Earlier Items: 
Michelle Cottle / The Daily Beast:
The Cruzification of Marco Rubio
Timothy Egan / New York Times:
Govern in Poetry  —  In advance of a long drive through …
Leslie Larson / NY Daily News:
Obama's funeral selfie won't be shared, as Danish PM says it didn't turn out to be a good picture
Steven Morris / Guardian:
Pupils' Christmas ‘ruined’ by vicar's Santa Claus origins story
Discussion: Daily Kos, Booman Tribune and Unfogged
Angie Drobnic Holan / PolitiFact:
Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’