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9:05 AM ET, September 18, 2015


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Crazy Talk at the Republican Debate  —  Eleven presidential candidates had three prime-time hours on the national stage on Wednesday to tell the American people why they should lead the country.  —  Nobody forced them to be there.  They were there freely, armed with the best arguments …
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
The ‘Everything is Bad’ party  —  The debate made it official: For the GOP, Morning in America is now Darkness at Noon.  —  America's potential, said Carly Fiorina, is being “crushed.”  America's military, said Marco Rubio, is being “eviscerated.”  Working people, said Mike Huckabee, are “taking a gut punch.”
Ryan Struyk / ABC News:
7 Ways the Second Republican Debate Changed the 2016 Presidential Race
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
No, Jeb Bush, Your Brother Did Not Keep Us Safe
Discussion: Business Insider and Eschaton
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
An Overdose of Donald Trump at the G.O.P. Debate
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Go ‘nuclear’ to stop Obama's Iran deal, urge 57 House Republicans in letter  —  Dozens of House Republican lawmakers are making a late stab at pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to abandon the filibuster on legislation to block the nuclear deal with Iran.
Patricia Zengerle / Reuters:
Last bid to kill Iran nuclear deal blocked in Senate
Discussion: and RedState
Timothy Cama / The Hill:
Summer was the hottest on record  —  June through August of this year was the hottest summer in recorded weather history, federal scientists said Thursday.  —  Surface temperatures around the globe were 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above their average for those months throughout the 20th century …
The Hill:
House GOP leaders to members: We'll be blamed for shutdown  —  House GOP leaders are trying to convince their rank and file it would be a bad move to risk a government shutdown over blocking funding for Planned Parenthood.  —  At a closed-door conference meeting on Thursday morning …
Mollie Hemingway / The Federalist:
Watch The Video Planned Parenthood And Its Media Allies Deny Exists
Amanda Marcotte / Slate:
What Was Up With Carly Fiorina's Grisly Abortion Rant?
Sara Jerde / Talking Points Memo:
Bristol Palin Rages: Obama ‘Needs To STAY Out Of’ Ahmed Mohamed's Case  —  Bristol Palin wrote on her blog Thursday that President Obama “needs to STAY out of” the case of a 14-year-old Muslim student in Texas who was wrongly arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school.
Discussion: Raw Story
MaryAlice Parks / ABC News:
Discussion: Power Line
Jenna Johnson / Washington Post:
Trump doesn't correct rally attendee who says Obama is Muslim and ‘not even an American’  —  During a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday evening, Donald Trump did not challenge an audience member who said that President Obama is Muslim and “not even an American.”
What Is Hillary's Greatest Accomplishment?  —  Carly Fiorina dared Democrats to name it. 20 top Dems accepted the challenge.  —  Getty  —  “If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton,” Carly Fiorina quipped at Wednesday's Republican debate.
Discussion: Erick on the Radio
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Biden may not decide soon  —  <p>DETROIT — Joe Biden may have more time to make up his mind about running for president than most people assume.  He and the people planning his potential campaign certainly think so.</p><p>Running a primary race — particularly against Hillary Clinton …
Washington Post:
Amid dropping poll numbers, Scott Walker will retreat to focus on Iowa  —  GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker — who has tumbled from top-tier status amid tepid debate performances and other missteps — will pull back from other early-voting states in favor of a heavy focus on Iowa …
Congressman Paul Gosar /
Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis' Address to Congress  —  It is difficult to convey the excitement I first felt when it was revealed that His Holiness Pope Francis was invited to Washington D.C. to address the world from the floor of the House of Representatives.
Discussion: Mediaite
Ben Schreckinger / Politico:
New data shows Trump fever breaking  —  <p>Donald Trump looked tired after a grueling Republican debate.  He might not be alone.</p><p>After a summer of spectacle and saturation coverage, signs are accumulating that, for the public and the media, the onset of Trump fatigue has begun.</p><p>Mentions …
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
Fiorina gains ground on social media during debate
Eric Wolff / Politico:
Keystone and crude oil surprisingly similar fights  —  With help from Darius Dixon, Darren Goode, and Alex Guillén  —  CRUDE EXPORTS FIGHT AND KEYSTONE BATTLE: SEPARATED AT BIRTH?  While these two policy disputes have obvious differences in content, they bear marked similarities.
Alison Morrow / KING-TV:
Asthmatic sea otter learns to use inhaler  —  The Seattle Aquarium believes it has diagnosed the first case of sea otter asthma.  —  “Mishka” knows nothing about wildfires, but the 1-year-old did learn what it's like to have trouble breathing when smoke got thick and hovered over Seattle skies.
Discussion: Daily Mail, Mashable, KFOR-TV and USA Today
Avery Wilks / The State:
BREAKING: Friend of Dylann Roof arrested by the FBI  —  Joey Meek was picked up by FBI agents just before 4 p.m. Thursday, girlfriend tells The State newspaper  —  Meek said Tuesday he doesn't think he committed any crime  —  Accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof stayed with the Meeks on and off before the June 17 shootings
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.  Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing moderately, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft.
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 More Items: 
Daily Mail:
PASSPORT TO TERROR: MailOnline reporter buys Syrian papers being sold to ISIS fighters sneaking …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Finger-Pointing, but Few Answers, After a Syria Solution Fails
Discussion: and Slantpoint
Tressie McMillan Cottom / The Atlantic:
Race Is Always the Issue
Discussion: National Review
Brendan Pierson / Reuters:
Contraception opt-out violates religious freedom: U.S. appeals court
 Earlier Items: 
Julia Preston / New York Times:
New White House Campaign Will Encourage Legal Immigrants to Become Citizens
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senators: ISIS fighters posing as migrants could slip into US
Betty Blake / New York Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Race relations in America are ‘getting worse,’ …
Discussion: Raw Story and Daily Mail