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11:40 PM ET, December 22, 2013


 Top Items: 
Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE - Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson breaks his silence: Reality show star says he's ‘a lover not a hater’ but REFUSES to back down from anti-gay comments  — Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson is sticking by controversial comments he made about homosexuality to GQ magazine
Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times:
The duck and jackass dynasty  —  Not the biggest jackass in the story.  —  I got the gist of the “Duck Dynasty” thing after my first and only viewing: bunch of rural jackasses who somehow struck it rich get brought into our living rooms to be laughed at by the rest of us aristocrats.  —  Well, all right.
Tim Molloy / The Wrap:
‘Duck Dynasty’: Phil Robertson Anti-Gay Sermon Surfaces (Video)
Discussion: Liberaland and Towleroad News #gay
ABC News:
Justine Sacco, Fired After Tweet on AIDS in Africa, Issues Apology  —  The communications director fired over a tweet evoking AIDS and race that was sent as she was headed to Africa has now apologized, saying she is “ashamed” for her insensitivity to the millions of people living with the virus.
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
The worst Twitter day of all time  —  Yesterday was the worst Twitter day of all time.  —  Or at least the worst that I remember.  —  Some lady no one had ever heard of and who had about 100 followers at the time sent the Tweet above.  —  The tweet went viral.
Discussion: Althouse and Instapundit
New York Post:
Father drops toddler from high-rise, jumps to his death  —  A distraught dad tossed his toddler off the roof of a 52-story apartment building on the Upper West Side on Sunday, then jumped himself — killing them both, law enforcement sources said.  —  Dmitriy Kanarikov, 35 …
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Appeals Court Denies Utah Officials' Request For Emergency Halt To Same-Sex Couples' Marriages  —  Although the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency request, the trial court in the Utah marriage case is due to hear arguments Monday on the state's request to stop marriages during the appeal of the case.
Discussion: Advocate and ThinkProgress
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Federal Judge: Right to Same-Sex Marriage Is 'Deeply Rooted in Nation's History and Implicit …
Discussion: BizPac Review and Weasel Zippers
Luke Salkeld / Daily Mail:
M&S faces boycott as it lets Muslim staff refuse to sell alcohol or pork  —  Furious M&S customers threatened to boycott the store last night for allowing Muslim checkout staff to refuse to serve customers who want to pay for alcohol or pork.  —  Managers at a London store told the workers …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
Sandra Yi / KSL-TV:
2 petitions created by opponents, supporters of Amendment 3 decision  —  OGDEN — Two online petitions with opposing views are gaining momentum after the federal judge's ruling that Utah's Amendment 3 was unconstitutional.  —  Hundreds of people lined up at the Weber County clerk's office today …
Washington Post:
Covert action in Colombia  —  U.S. intelligence, GPS bomb kits help Latin American nation cripple rebel forces  —  The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Isaac Chotiner / The New Republic:
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas  —  With the Yuletide season upon us, America is once again engaged in the standard asinine debates about the holiday: Is Santa white?  Is that decorated green perennial at the mall supposed to be called a “holiday treet”?  If you neglect to say the word …
Discussion: Maggie's Farm and Hot Air
Dana Davidsen / CNN:
Democratic senator: Obama's lack of congressional friendships hurts policy efforts  —  (CNN) - The President's failure to build friendships with lawmakers has damaged his chances of finding bipartisan support for legislation, a senator from his own party said Sunday.
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Manchin sees gun control passage still ‘difficult’ in 2014
Discussion: Hot Air and CNN
Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times:
Tom Steyer may be liberals' answer to the Koch brothers  —  The California billionaire is building a vast political network and inserting himself into elections nationwide, with a focus on fossil fuels and global warming.  —  Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, is spending some of his fortune …
Discussion: Liberaland
Claire Atkinson / Associated Press:
DC staff irked as NBC News eyes cuts  —  David Gregory, host of NBC's 'Meet the Press Inset: NBC News boss Deborah Turness  —  NBC News boss Deborah Turness is spending the last few days of the year eyeing cuts — moves that could include axing some senior on-air talent, The Post has learned.
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite:
Meet The Press Reportedly in Jeopardy as NBC Looks to Cut Back DC Bureau
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
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 More Items: 
Ali Meyer / CNSNews:
Obama Took More Vacation on Average Than Private-Sector Workers 20 Yrs on Job
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
New York Times:
When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Pirate's Cove
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Schock, Gabbard talk Congressional Future Caucus
Natalie Villacorta / Politico:
Obamacare outreach hits the clubs
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The PJ Tatler
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Ideas From a Manger  —  PAUSE for a moment, in the last leg …
Discussion: The Hugh Hewitt Show
 Earlier Items: 
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Everyone Knows Obama's 2013 Was Bad, The Tough Question Is Why
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Rand Paul walks tightrope to expand GOP's appeal
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Mixed Messages Add Anxiety as Deadline Nears in Health Act
Discussion: Gawker and
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Obama and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year
Discussion: Power Line and Ed Driscoll
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter hope to rechart the course of Georgia politics
Discussion: Daily Kos
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Is Arkansas Still Friendly to Bill? Clinton Tests It