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11:30 AM ET, April 29, 2014


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Post-ABC News poll shows Democrats at risk in November as Obama's approval rating falls  —  Democrats face serious obstacles as they look to the November elections, with President Obama's approval rating at a new low and a majority of voters saying they prefer a Congress in Republican hands …
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
John Kerry backpedals on Israel ‘apartheid state’ comment  —  Secretary of State John Kerry, under fire for warning that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state” in the absence of a peace deal, released a statement Monday evening pushing back hard.  —  “I will not allow my commitment …
Michael R. Gordon / New York Times:
Kerry Apologizes for Remark That Israel Risks Apartheid  —  WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry issued an unusual statement Monday evening expressing his support for Israel after a controversy erupted over a politically charged phrase he used in a private appearance.
Jonathan Topaz / Politico:
Barbara Boxer: John Kerry apartheid critique ‘ridiculous’
Shooter Injures Six In Georgia Town Where Everyone Is Required To Own A Gun  —  A gunman opened fire Tuesday morning at a FedEx facility in Kennesaw, Georgia.  Six were shot, with their injuries ranging from minor to one in critical condition.  Authorities report that the gunman is dead.
Discussion: ABC News
Cobb Co. police say suspect in Kennesaw FedEx shooting is dead
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
6 patients taken to WellStar after FedEx shooting in Cobb; suspect dead
Discussion: Guardian and Mashable
Kennesaw FedEx shooting suspect dead
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / TIME:
Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics  —  It's time to look at ourselves — and our collective moral outrage — in the mirror, says former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  —  Moral outrage is exhausting.  And dangerous.  The whole country has gotten a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome …
Brad Townsend / Dallas Mavericks Blog:
Mark Cuban calls Donald Sterling's comments “abhorrent,” endorses maximum league punishment  —  Apr 26, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Mother Jones:
Donald Sterling Is a Registered Republican
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Places Blame On Sterling's Girlfriend For ‘Cajoling’ Him Into Racist Comments
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Jonathan Feigen / Ultimate Rockets:
Calling Sterling comments disgusting, Leslie Alexander seeks to drive him from NBA
The Daily Beast:
Kerry: U.S. Taped Moscow's Calls to Its Ukraine Spies  —  The secretary of state claimed in a private meeting that the U.S. intelligence community has recordings of pro-Russian forces being managed by government handlers in Moscow.  —  The United States has proof that the Russian government …
Discussion: Mediaite and Hot Air
Balazs Jarabik / Politico:   It's Not All Russia's Fault
David Brooks / New York Times:
Saving the System  —  All around, the fabric of peace and order is fraying.  The leaders of Russia and Ukraine escalate their apocalyptic rhetoric.  The Sunni-Shiite split worsens as Syria and Iraq slide into chaos.  China pushes its weight around in the Pacific.
Discussion: Vox Popoli and Balloon Juice
Charlie Cook /
Why Democrats Should Avoid the ‘R’ Word  —  From time to time, we all read something where suddenly words jump out from the page, grabbing our attention.  This happened to me the other day while reading a memo from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville …
Discussion: Power Line
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Candidates won't commit to McConnell  —  A slew of Republican candidates running for the upper chamber won't say whether they would back Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) if he bids for another term as GOP leader.  —  While Tea Party candidates often run against GOP leaders in Washington during primary contests …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
New York Times:
Snowden Retained Expert in Espionage Act Defense  —  WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who provided journalists a trove of classified documents, retained a well-known Washington defense lawyer last summer in hopes of reaching a plea deal …
Elizabeth Nolan Brown / Hit & Run:
DOJ's ‘Operation Choke Point’ May Be Root of Porn Star Bank Account Closings  —  Despite being in good financial standing, adult film performers and others in the porn industry have had bank accounts abruptly terminated—and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) may have had something to do with it.
Discussion: Guardian and Outside the Beltway
Sally Kohn / The Daily Beast:
How to Really Rein In the Super Rich  —  Thomas Piketty is right—inequality is on the rise.  But until Wall Street gets out of Washington, neither the French economist nor regular Americans will be able to shift the status quo.  —  Thomas Piketty, meet Bobby Tolbert.
Discussion: LewRockwell
Bill Carter / New York Times:
Ratings Slip at MSNBC as Jet Coverage Lifts CNN  —  April proved a cruel month for MSNBC, with the news channel hitting some of its lowest ratings in seven years, and its prominent morning show, “Morning Joe,” falling to third place in the cable news competition.
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2014  —  Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth and Mollyann Brodie … Overall opinion remains unchanged from March  —  Despite the announcement that at least 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the ACA's new marketplace, overall favorability …
New York Times:
Big Texas Utility Files for Bankruptcy  —  Too big just failed.  —  The troubled Texas utility Energy Future Holdings - which, as TXU, was private equity's biggest-ever buyout - filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday.  —  After months of on-again, off-again talks between the company …
Discussion: Eschaton
Yahoo! News:
Ralph Nader's America: Impeach Obama, decriminalize drugs, libertarians & progressives unite!  —  What if Washington politics were no longer defined by partisan gridlock but instead by a cross-party alliance that forged solutions?  The alliance would be unstoppable.
Discussion: ABC News, The Week and National Review
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 More Items: 
Kimberly Hefling / Associated Press:
Obama Admin Develops Task Force To Protect Rape Victims
Discussion: The Raw Story
Conor P. Williams / Talking Points Memo:
The Vast Network Of Common Core Conspiracy Theories
Discussion: Washington Monthly
When Piketty Came to America
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Ending Asia Trip, Obama Defends His Foreign Policy
Discussion: News Desk
Lt. Cmdr / ISAF Latest:
ISAF employee teams with Afghan to help women, children
Discussion: Firedoglake
Erica Pearson / NY Daily News:
Charles Schumer promises immigration reform: ‘We are going to pass that bill and sign it into law this year’
Jason Meisner / Chicago Tribune:
Child porn charges filed against ex-state Rep. Farnham
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Despite Ethics Pledge, Response by G.O.P. Varies
 Earlier Items: 
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Dems' hopes rise to keep Senate
Thomas Heath / Washington Post:
Former Congressman Bonior, longtime liberal on Capitol Hill, discovers the profit motive
Discussion: Ed Driscoll
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Men Who Work Full-Time Earn Less Than 40 Years Ago
Discussion: VodkaPundit and Doug Ross
Laura Barron-Lopez / The Hill:
EPA chief slams ‘secret science’ claims
Discussion: Fox News
Kabita Maharana / International Business Times:
Edible Water Bottles to Tackle Plastic Menace?
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
White House Steps Up Effort to Confirm Federal Judges
Kate Nocera / BuzzFeed:
How North Carolina's Voter ID Law Could Actually Help Democrats This Year