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10:25 PM ET, December 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
The Atlantic Online:
Phil Robertson's America  —  I've yet to take in an episode of Duck Dynasty.  I hear it's a fine show, anchored by a humorous and good-natured family of proud Americans.  I try to be good natured, and I have been told that I can appreciate a good joke.  I am also a proud American.
Ian Bayne for US Congress:
Duck Dynasty Star is Rosa Parks of Our Generation  —  Today, Ian Bayne called Phil Robertson, star of the A&E series “Duck Dynasty,” the ‘Rosa Parks’ of our generation.  —  “In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013 …
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Congressional Candidate: Duck Dynasty Star Is ‘Rosa Parks Of Our Generation’
Obamacare Initiates Self-Destruction Sequence  —  On Wednesday, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown reported that the administration was saying fewer than 500,000 people had actually lost insurance due to Obamacare-induced cancellations.  This struck me as a strange leak: Half a million is a lot less …
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
The individual mandate no longer applies to people whose plans were canceled  —  Today, the Obama administration announced that people whose insurance plans were canceled this year will “temporarily” be exempted from the law's individual mandate.  Here's how they're doing it — and what it means for the law.
John Fund / National Review:
Who Says Obama Hasn't United the Country?
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Does New Obamacare Mandate Exemption Open A Pandora's Box?
Discussion: Health Affairs Blog
Washington Post:
Obama promises review of NSA spying program, possible reforms  —  President Obama said Friday that he would review the National Security Agency's far-reaching surveillance programs over the holiday break and would make a “pretty definitive statement” in January about possible reforms.
Abby D. Phillip / ABC News:
Obama Vows ‘Year of Action’ After He ‘Screwed It Up’ on Health Care
Discussion: Politico, Reuters and Balloon Juice
Six questions for Obama
Discussion: ABC News and Weasel Zippers
Brooke Adams / Salt Lake Tribune:
Federal judge strikes down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage  —  A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.  —  “The state's current laws deny its gay …
Discussion: The Raw Story and Daily Kos
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Federal Judge Rules That Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal in Utah  —  Salt Lake City began issuing marriage licenses to jubilant same-sex couples on Friday hours, after a federal judge ruled that Utah's amendment barring same-sex marriage violated the United States Constitution.
Ed O'Keefe / Post Politics:
Harry Reid hospitalized  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D- Nev.) was hospitalized early Friday after not feeling well, according to his office.  —  “Early this morning, Senator Reid was not feeling well and as a precaution decided to go to the hospital.  Tests have been conducted and everything is normal.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Senate hatches last-minute deal
Discussion: CNN, Daily Kos and Booman Tribune
Jenny Beth Martin / New York Times:
John Boehner's Betrayal
Sean Fine / Globe and Mail:
Supreme Court strikes down Canada's prostitution laws  —  The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country's major prostitution laws, saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians' basic values.
Discussion: Hit & Run and Outside the Beltway
Charmaine Noronha / Associated Press:
CANADIAN COURT STRIKES DOWN ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS  —  You are here  —  Home » Canada » Canadian court strikes down anti-prostitution laws … TORONTO (AP) — Canada's highest court struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws Friday, a victory for sex workers who stepped …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
2013 SCC 72  —  File No.: 34788.  —  2013: June 13; 2013: December 20.
Discussion: New York Times
Massachusetts State Police / Facebook:
Trooper Joe Petty assisted by Tpr Dave Stucenski & K9 Frankie Locate 1250 Bags of Heroin in Hatfield  —  Early this morning, Trooper Joseph Petty was on a traffic stop of Route 91 in Northampton when a vehicle passed by him.  Trooper Petty observed several violations.
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:
Massachusetts State Police Bust ‘Obama Care’ Heroin
Discussion: The Jawa Report
GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief  —  • Unicef and Médecins du Monde were on surveillance list  —  • Targets went well beyond potential criminals and terrorists  —  • Revelations could cause embarrassment at EU summit
New York Times:
N.S.A. Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses
Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Cards Stolen in Target Breach Flood Underground Markets  —  Credit and debit card accounts stolen in a recent data breach at retail giant Target have been flooding underground black markets in recent weeks, selling in batches of one million cards and going for anywhere from $20 to more than $100 per card, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Rep.: School Lunch Comments Not Targeted At Any Income Group  —  The Georgia Senate candidate who suggested children work to get free lunch at school is standing by his comments, arguing they did not target any particular income group.  —  Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) on Friday told CNN's …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Jack Kingston defends school lunch quote
Discussion: Daily Kos and CNN
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
President ends year at all-time CNN polling low  —  Washington (CNN) - Fourteen points.  —  That's how far President Barack Obama's poll numbers fell in CNN polling over the course of what's been an especially tough year.  —  Obama's approval rating stands at 41% in a new CNN/ORC International …
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed:
High Schoolers Staged A Massive Sit-In After Their Vice Principal Was Ousted Over Same-Sex Marriage  —  The students of Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington staged a sit-in Thursday after it was announced that their vice principal was being fired.
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Economy Begins to Hit Growth Stride
The Trouble With Populism? It Isn't That Popular
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
The Ultimate Obamacare Chill-Out Post
Craig Whitlock / Washington Post:
Report: U.S. Air Force general drank too much, fraternized with foreign women in Moscow
John Biggs / TechCrunch:
Alleged Top Moderators Of Silk Road 2 Forums Arrested In Ireland, U.S. In International Sweep
Discussion: Forbes, The Verge and Mashable
Post Politics: goes down as Dec. 23 deadline looms
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Obamacare ‘death spiral’ scenario is about the states, stupid
Discussion: Washington Post
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Chuck Todd: Will anyone be fined?
MacIver Institute:
Workers Dismantle Over 70 Unions in Wisconsin

From Techmeme:

Emma Roth / The Verge:
The outage appears to have been caused by CrowdStrike pushing a faulty update to its Falcon software that causes Windows machines to get stuck in a boot loop

Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Over 200 Bethesda Game Studios workers unionize with the CWA, forming the first “wall-to-wall” union at a Microsoft game studio; Microsoft recognized the union

Joseph Cox / 404 Media:
The UK and US announce the arrest of a 17-year-old boy from Walsall, UK, suspected of being connected to the ransomware attack against MGM Resorts in 2023

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