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12:50 AM ET, August 12, 2014


 Top Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
Actor, comic Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide  —  Robin Williams, a comic and sitcom star in the 1970s who became an Oscar-winning dramatic actor, died Monday at 63 in Marin County.  The Marin County Sheriff's Office said he appears to have committed suicide.
Hollywood Reporter:
Robin Williams Dies of Suspected Suicide  —  The Oscar-winning actor and comedian was 63  —  Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has died at age 63, according to police in Marin County, Calif.  —  The full statement is below. … Williams' publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter …
Robin Williams Dead — Commits Suicide  —  COMMITS SUICIDE  —  BREAKING NEWS  —  Robin Williams has committed suicide.  —  The Oscar-winning actor/comedian killed himself in Tiburon, in Northern California.  His people tell us he's been recently battling severe depression.
Steve Martin / Fox News:
Robin Williams dead at 63 in suspected suicide  —  Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, who dazzled in such wide-ranging dramatic and comedic roles as alien, nanny, therapist and cartoon genie during a four-decades long career, was found dead in his northern California home in a suspected suicide Monday.
Nicole Sperling / Inside Movies:
Robin Williams dead at 63  —  Oscar winner and comedian Robin Williams died this morning at 63.  While his publicist wouldn't confirm that it was a suicide, they did issue this statement.  “Robin Williams passed away this morning.  He has been battling severe depression of late.
Alan Duke / CNN:
Comedian Robin Williams dead, sheriff says
Discussion: and Booman Tribune
Barack Obama's mixed messages  —  President Barack Obama isn't just grappling with what feels like an endless foreign policy nightmare around the world.  Now he's got one hell of a messaging problem at home.  —  The United States will not intervene in foreign crises directly …
David Rutz / Washington Free Beacon:
Bombs Over Erbil  —  It was an applause line during almost every campaign address made by President Obama in 2012: “I promised to end the war in Iraq, and I did.”  —  Now, he's backing off.  —  President Obama ordered a full troop withdrawal from Iraq, which was completed in December 2011.
Discussion: Western Journalism and TPNN
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama seeks Iraq regime change
Discussion: Politico, ABC News and his vorpal sword
Spencer Ackerman / Guardian:
US to directly arm Kurdish peshmerga forces in bid to thwart Isis offensive
Washington Post:
U.S. sending weapons directly to Kurdish forces, officials say
Discussion: Hot Air, Hullabaloo and The Week
Michael Georgy / Reuters:
Iraqi Shi'ite coalition close to nominating prime minister
Discussion: Power Line, Bloomberg and TalkLeft
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Obama's Immigration Plan Should Scare Liberals, Too  —  Crossing a Rubicon of presidential authority.  —  Shares  —  The Obama years have taught us the sometimes frightening lesson that our Constitution and legal structure alone don't secure the Republic.
Tim Mak / The Daily Beast:
Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less  —  Campaign staffers who are people of color routinely get paid less than their white counterparts, and are often given less glamorous jobs.  How an antiquated understanding of race relations results in minority staffers getting the short shrift.
LZ Granderson / CNN:
How many unarmed people have to die?  —  Editor's note: LZ Granderson is a CNN contributor, a senior writer for ESPN and a lecturer at Northwestern University.  He is a former Hechinger Institute fellow and his commentary has been recognized by the Online News Association …
Mike Allen / Politico:
EXCLUSIVE: “MEET THE PRESS” plans to announce new moderator soon: CHUCK TODD is the favorite - BACKSTORY on Hillary interview with Jeffrey Goldberg - B'DAYS: Rob O'Donnell, Sam Myers Jr.  —  SIREN: Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of …
Adam Weinstein / Gawker:
James O'Keefe Is Getting Desperate as Hell, Part MCMXVII  —  “I just returned from the border with shocking new video—video that will outrage you,” James O'Keefe III writes.  “I dressed up like Osama bin Laden and crossed the Rio Grande river from Mexico to the United States.”
Juliana Valencia / WCTI-TV:
Customer finds Nazi symbol on her chicken sandwich  —  MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY -  —  A Carteret County mother makes a shocking discovery when she goes to eat her chicken sandwich from a McDonald's drive-thru in Morehead City.  That customer, Charleigh Matice, said when she went …
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Colleen Hanabusa cites ‘irregularities’ in Hawaii vote  —  Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who's trailing in the too-close-to-call Hawaii Democratic Senate primary against incumbent Brian Schatz, warned Monday of voting “irregularities” in precincts crippled by a massive tropical storm last week …
Pete Yost / Associated Press:
DEA IMPROPERLY PAID $854,460 FOR PASSENGER LISTS  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over nearly 20 years to obtain confidential information about train passengers, which the DEA could have lawfully obtained for free through a law enforcement network …
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Raw Story
Stephen F. Hayes / Weekly Standard:
Intel Chief Blasts Obama  —  As the world watches the strengthening of global jihadist movements - from ISIS to al Qaeda to dozens of affiliated and like-minded groups - one of those inside the U.S. government who was most vocal about the growing threats is leaving his position.
Discussion: Hot Air and The PJ Tatler
Trevor Timm / Freedom of the Press Foundation:
More Than a Dozen Pulitzer Winners Call on the Justice Dept to End its Pursuit of James Risen  —  Today, fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners have issued statements in support of journalist James Risen and in protest of the Justice Department's attempt to force Risen to testify against his sources.
Discussion: Hit & Run, Firedoglake and Hullabaloo
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
“The Enthusiasm Gap was Taken to the Woodshed”  —  Regular readers might guess this excerpt from a Chris Cillizza post is sweet music to my ears: … The 2012 numbers show an “enthusiasm gap” favoring Republicans similar to that being shown by similar polls today.
Discussion: Washington Post and Booman Tribune
Andrew Kirell / Mediaite:
Ronan Farrow: ‘My White Mother Had Black Motheritis’  —  MSNBC host Ronan Farrow understands the enormously disparate scrutiny faced by black men for their public appearance or behavior because his mother, actress Mia Farrow, has an adoptive black son.  —  During a Monday afternoon segment discussing …
Tom Dougherty / Practical Politicking:
Is the Tea Party Express Just a Fundraising Scam?  —  $9.5 million raised, at a cost of $8 million, with less than $400,000 going to candidates.  —  What would you consider a charity that raised almost $10 million, but actually used less than 5% of that total on its mission and programs?
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
97 Year-Old Woman Denied The Right To Vote Because Of Voter ID  —  “97 Year-Old Woman Denied The Right To Vote Because Of Voter ID” Share:  —  Last Tuesday, Beth Hiller, a 97 year-old nursing home resident from Topeka, Kansas, boarded a shuttle along with several other residents of the nursing home's health care unit.
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and Jezebel
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 More Items:
Trayvon Martin family attorney to represent slain Missouri teen
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
James Clyburn predicts impeachment plans
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite
Abbe R. Gluck / Politico:
Another Hole in the Halbig Verdict
Mark Landler / New York Times:
A Rift in Worldviews Is Exposed as Clinton Faults Obama on Policy
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
String of same-sex marriage rulings broken
Sam R. Hall / The Clarion-Ledger:
McDaniel spokesman named in subpoena leaked by Johnson
 Earlier Items: 
Alexander Burns / Politico:
CBS News veteran Dotty Lynch dies
The Huffington Post:
Nancy Pelosi To Be Guest Judge On TLC's ‘Next Great Baker’
Discussion: Mediaite, Jezebel, OnPolitics and Politico
Kendall Breitman / Politico:
Kennedys dare Obama on ALS dunk
Rebecca Leber / The New Republic:
The Right-Wing Press' New Climate Change Lie
Christopher Goffard / Los Angeles Times:
Austin Beutner named publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times
Marissa Newman / The Times of Israel:
Hamas said to have executed dozens of tunnel diggers
Discussion: Power Line
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
Is a Hard Life Inherited?