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2:50 PM ET, September 15, 2015


 Top Items: 
CBS News:
New poll: Donald Trump still leads, but Ben Carson makes strong gains  —  Shares -  —  At 27 percent nationally, Donald Trump maintains his frontrunner status among Republican primary voters, but Ben Carson is now close behind him, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds.
Mark Halperin / Bloomberg Business:
Can Donald Trump Be Stopped?  —  Like almost everyone I know who is working on, covering, or closely following the presidential election, I spend about 60 percent of my waking hours talking about Donald Trump.  People want to know if he can win, if he will win, and what might possibly derail his candidacy.
First Draft / New York Times:
Today in Politics: In New Poll, Ben Carson Pulls Up Alongside an Idling Donald Trump  —  Good Tuesday morning.  The day before the second Republican debate, campaigns are honing their strategies, Twitter is looking at donations, and polls are rearranging the numbers and the leader board.
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Halperin Gets His Thug On  —  I guess this is Trump Panic Day (or perhaps week, depending on what happens in Wednesday's GOP candidate debate), and the best sign of that is not so much the reports of angst on Wall Street as the reaction of everybody's favorite Insider Journalist …
Tom Kludt / CNNMoney:
Conservative pundit Bill Kristol: If Trump wins, I'd support a third-party choice  —  Donald Trump has signed a pledge to support the Republican Party's presidential nominee — even if it isn't him.  But one of the best-known pundits in conservative media isn't making the same promise.
Ben White / Politico:
Wall Street's latest panic: Trump could win  —  With Bush and Clinton taking their lumps, financial executives face populist critics in both parties.  —  NEW YORK — Wall Street is growing increasingly terrified that Donald Trump — once viewed as an amusing summertime distraction …
Kevin Cirilli / The Hill:
Trump: 'I'm not going anywhere'
Discussion: TIME, Politico and Washington Post
Summer Fields / ABC News:
The Note: A Clash Over Trump
Discussion: and American Spectator
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Price Tag of Bernie Sanders's Proposals: $18 Trillion  —  Democratic presidential candidate's agenda would greatly expand government  —  WASHINGTON—Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose liberal call to action has propelled his long-shot presidential campaign, is proposing an array of new programs …
Annie Karni / Politico:
How Hillary Clinton is using old photographs to make herself more ‘relatable’  —  In a bid to burnish her image with voters, the Clinton campaign is flooding the Internet with nostalgic pictures of the Democratic front-runner.  —  Splashed across social media and the airwaves, the photos are hard to miss.
Zachary Roth /
Clinton: ‘We need to end campus sexual assault’  —  Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton added her voice Monday to the growing push to combat the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses.  And she said her rival Bernie Sanders is “doing a great job.”  —  “It is not enough to condemn campus sexual assault.
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
Signs of Hillary Clinton's Troubles, in Charts  —  pts.  —  Source: The Huffington Post Pollster, Charles Franklin  —  Hillary Rodham Clinton was inevitably going to lose some of her aura once she started campaigning.  The high favorability ratings she earned as Secretary of State simply weren't sustainable.
Discussion: Political Wire
Libby Nelson / Vox:
POLICY & POLITICS  —  DES MOINES, Iowa — People concerned about liberal political correctness on college campuses have a powerful ally: President Obama.  —  At a town hall here on college affordability on Monday afternoon, one student asked Obama to respond to Republican presidential …
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Obama: College Students Shouldn't ‘Silence’ Conservative Speakers
Discussion: Jezebel
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Florida Down on Bush, Rubio Campaigns  —  PPP's new Florida poll finds that a plurality of voters in the state think that both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio should drop out.  —  Only 40% of voters in the state think Bush should keep running, compared to 47% who think he should drop out.
Discussion: Orlando Sentinel, Hot Air and Daily Kos
Adam C. Smith / Tampa Bay Times:
Jeb's Super PAC kicks off $24-million TV campaign to introduce the candidate
Discussion: NPR
Walter Russell Mead / The American Interest:
Fecklessness 101  —  Apparently the Obama administration turned down a Russian offer to dump Assad... because the Administration was sure he was going to fall on his own.  The Guardian reports: … If true, this was a staggering missed opportunity.  The President's string of misjudgments …
Discussion: Power Line and Guardian
Bastien Inzaurralde / Guardian:
West 'ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria's Assad step aside'
Discussion: Hot Air and War in Context
Washington Post:
Post-ABC poll: Most say Kim Davis should issue marriage licenses to gay couples  —  Sixty-three percent of Americans say Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis should be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples regardless of her religious objections, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Discussion: Towleroad and Daily Kos
David Daleiden / The Center for Medical Progress:
Top Planned Parenthood Exec Agrees Baby Parts Sales “A Valid Exchange,” …
Todd S. Purdum / Politico:
Donald Trump's Grand Inquisitor  —  Hugh Hewitt drew Trump's ire with a smart question.  On Wednesday night, the conservative talk radio host will be ready for round 2.  —  Getty  —  When the motor-mouthed mogul next takes the stage with the ten nearest rivals who have failed for months to trip him up …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama won't watch second GOP debate  —  President Obama will follow news coverage of the second Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday night, but he won't be tuning in.  —  “He has better things to do,” press secretary Josh Earnest said when asked why Obama is skipping the debate, which will air on CNN.
Discussion: Political Wire
Bremerton football coach investigated for post-game prayers  —  BREMERTON, Wash. — The Bremerton School District is investigating a football coach for praying after high school football games.  District policy states “school staff shall neither encourage nor discourage” students from praying.
Discussion: Raw Story and Fox News Insider
Ashley Lee / Hollywood Reporter:
Donald Trump for President?  Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Sandra Bullock Sound Off at TIFF  —  Bryan Cranston, Naomi Watts, Ellen Page, Geoffrey Rush and Davis Guggenheim assess the starry political scene, while suggesting who from Hollywood should jump to the Hill.
Kim Holland / KRQE-TV:
Court-ordered religious classes raise concerns  —  ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Holly Salzman was hoping to get some help co-parenting her 11-year-old twin boys with her ex-husband.  Instead she says she got 10 court-ordered religious sessions that she did not want.  —  “It's very inappropriate,” Salzman said.
Discussion: Friendly Atheist and Raw Story
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 More Items: 
David Vitter / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
David Vitter responds to question about prostitution scandal
Discussion: The Hayride
Clemens Wergin / New York Times:
Germany's Real Refugee Crisis
Discussion: Guardian
The Huffington Post:
Daily Mail:
Guantanamo Bay prisoner Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani has DATING PROFILE
Ashley Parker / New York Times:
CNN Hopes to Capture Candidates' Combative Spirit in G.O.P. Debate
Caroline Fredrickson / The Atlantic:
There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts
Discussion: ACS Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Luqman Adeniyi / The Texas Tribune:
Nationalist Group Wants TX Secession on Primary Ballot
New York Times:
5 From Baruch College Face Murder Charges in 2013 Fraternity Hazing
New York Times:
For Those Who Remain in Syria, Daily Life Is a Nightmare
Discussion: Slantpoint
Sean McElwee / The Atlantic:
Why Non-Voters Matter
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Labour's Dead Center
Discussion: Eschaton