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6:00 AM ET, February 13, 2014


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
G.O.P. Senate Leaders Avert Debt Ceiling Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — It was a moment of real drama in a chamber known for its somnambulism.  Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, counted votes on his hand, at one point holding up three fingers as he searched for the remaining votes.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
GOP leaders help Senate pass large increase in debt limit  —  Democrats see opening with fractured minority  —  Congress approved a massive increase in the federal debt Wednesday, but only after Republican leaders linked arms and jumped together, helping Democrats pass a plan …
Michele Richinick /
Ted Cruz threatens filibuster on debt-limit bill
Discussion: PoliticusUSA
Carl Hulse / New York Times:   ‘Vote No, Hope Yes’ Defines Dysfunction in Congress
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:   An Act of Surrender May Strengthen Boehner's Control
David Faber / CNBC:
Comcast set to buy Time Warner Cable in all-stock deal  —  Comcast has reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable in all-stock transaction worth roughly $159 a share, according to people close to the deal.  —  The new company, created by the $44 billion purchase …
Discussion: Gigaom, and Mediaite
David Gelles / DealBook:
Comcast Set to Acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 Billion  —  Comcast will announce a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth more than $45 billion that will unite the biggest and second largest cable television operators in the country, according to people briefed on the matter.
Comcast Said to Agree to $44 Billion Time Warner Cable Deal  —  Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) for about $44 billion, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal, according to four people familiar with matter.
Robert McClendon / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Live coverage: Ray Nagin convicted, guilty on 20 charges
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite and Hinterland Gazette
Associated Press:   Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin found guilty of corruption
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Secularist Menace  —  Maybe I just travel in different circles from my old buddy Damon Linker.  But as a Man of the Left who is also a Christian, I just don't see the “broader, troubling trans-Atlantic trend of secular liberalism steamrolling competing, non-liberal visions of the good” that he laments at The Week.
Andrew Wolfson / Courier-Journal:
Kentucky ban on gay marriages from other states struck down by federal judge  —  In a ruling that could open the door to gay marriage in Kentucky, a federal judge on Wednesday struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates …
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
Bevin Links KY Judge Behind Same-Sex Marriage Ruling To McConnell
Major Garrett /
Obama's Arbitrary Health Care Flexibility
Discussion: National Review, Hot Air and Wonkblog
Abby Livingston / Roll Call:
Gary Miller to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)  —  California Rep. Gary G. Miller announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election.  —  “It has been a great honor to spend so many years in public service, striving to make a difference for Southern California families,” Miller said in a statement.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
California GOP Rep. Gary Miller to retire
Discussion: Politico
New York Times:
Sid Caesar, Comedian of Comedians From TV's Early Days, Dies at 91  —  Sid Caesar, a comedic force of nature who became one of television's first stars in the early 1950s and influenced generations of comedians and comedy writers, died on Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.
Discussion: Joe. My. God., BBC and The Talking Dog
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
Gay Republican Candidate's Ad Poses Test for Party  —  Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins.  But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has …
Discussion: Post Politics and Liberaland
Gromer Jeffers Jr / Dallas Morning News:
Wendy Davis backs 20-week abortion ban that defers to women  —  Wendy Davis said Tuesday that she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if the law adequately deferred to a woman and her doctor.  —  Davis, a Fort Worth senator and the likely Democratic nominee for governor …
Robert Draper / New York Times:
One sunny Friday morning in late January, Wendy Davis took …
Discussion: National Review and alicublog
Emma Bazilian / Adweek:
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's Newest Model: Barbie Mattel unveils new ‘Unapologetic’ campaign in advertorial By Emma Bazilian  —  This year, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue turns 50, which means that plenty of SI Swim Legends will be popping up to pay tribute to this all-American institution.
Discussion: The Verge and National Review
Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace increases by 53 percent in January  —  27 percent of January enrollees are young adults - up 3 percentage points  —  Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace continued to rise in January, with a 53 percent increase in overall enrollment …
Nick Viviani / WIBW-TV:
Kansas House Approves Gay Marriage Bill |  Dems Under Fire  —  TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _  —  The Kansas House has approved a bill aimed at keeping individuals, groups and businesses from being compelled to help with same-sex weddings.  —  The House's 72-49 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate.
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and ThinkProgress
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 More Items: 
David Sirota / PandoDaily:
The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the secret corruption inside PBS's news division
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Left and Right Object to I.R.S. Plan to Restrict Nonprofits' Political Activity
Sarah Hurtubise / The Daily Caller:
How many Obamacare customers have paid for their plans?
ABC News:
Topless Images of Olympic Skier a Scandal in Lebanon
 Earlier Items: 
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
The plot to make Big Food pay
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Union Drive Doesn't Bother Management, but G.O.P. Fumes
Jaime Fuller / Post Politics:
Rand Paul files suit against Obama, NSA Wednesday
Discussion: TIME, Taylor Marsh and Daily Kos
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
North Dakota Leads in Job Creation for Fifth Straight Year