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6:00 PM ET, September 18, 2015


 Top Items: 
Mark Hensch / The Hill:
Trump drops out of Heritage event after birther backlash  —  Donald Trump canceled his appearance Friday evening at a major campaign stop for the GOP presidential field in South Carolina as he faces criticism from both Republican and Democratic candidates over his failure to address claims …
Theodore Schleifer / CNN:
Trump declines to correct questioner who says Obama is a Muslim  —  Washington (CNN)Donald Trump on Thursday declined to correct a supporter of his who alleged that President Barack Obama is Muslim and not an American.  —  “We have a problem in this country.
Pamela Geller / BREITBART.COM:
Ahmed Mohamed and the ‘Islamophobia’ Clock
Justin Sink / Bloomberg Business:
Rivals Condemn Trump as Muslim Obama Suggestion Returns to Spotlight
Discussion: Politico, ABC News and NBC News
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
Donald Trump Pulls Out Of Heritage Presidential Forum
Discussion: Mediaite
Mark Hensch / The Hill:
GOP field heads to SC for Heritage sales pitch
Francis X. Rocca / Wall Street Journal:
Vatican Disputes White House Guest List for Papal Visit  —  Invitations to transgender activists, first openly gay U.S. Episcopal bishop and activist nun to White House event prompt pushback  —  On the eve of Pope Francis's arrival in the U.S., the Vatican has taken offense …
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.
Reid Wilson / Morning Consult:
Poll: Fiorina Wins Debate, Trump Still Leads  —  Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won Wednesday's second Republican presidential debate, according to voters who watched the Simi Valley showdown polled by Morning Consult.  —  It was a performance that vaulted Fiorina into the top tier of a crowded field.
Post-Debate Poll: Trump Increases Lead; Fiorina Leaps, Carson Sinks
Chris Littleton / Voter Gravity:
Fiorina Leads in NH in Post-CNN Debate Poll
Discussion: The Hill, Mediaite and Hot Air
John Patrick Yob / Facebook:
Last night I went to a bar on Mackinac Island for the GOP Mackinac Conference.  I ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn't even know who it was at first because he isn't relevant in our political world.  Anyway, he is Marco Rubio's national campaign manager.
Ryan Felton / Guardian:
Marco Rubio official punching Rand Paul adviser caught on security video
Sarah Ferris / The Hill:
House votes to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood  —  The House on Friday voted along party lines to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood after weeks of escalating tension surrounding its use of fetal tissue.  —  In a 241-187 vote, nearly all Republicans …
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:   Marco Rubio: Obama And Democrats To Blame For A Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Obama to nominate first openly gay service secretary to lead the Army  —  President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services.
New York Times:
U.S. Agrees to Begin Military Talks With Russia on Syria  —  LONDON — Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the United States was prepared to engage in military-to-military talks with Russia concerning Syria, even as Russia continued its military buildup there by deploying fighter jets.
New York Daily News:
How Putin outflanks Obama: Russia's objectives in Syria are blindingly obvious
Discussion: Washington Post
What Is Hillary's Greatest Accomplishment?  —  <p>"If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton," Carly Fiorina quipped at Wednesday's Republican debate.  The line got hearty applause—but it also cut to the core of one of the defining lines of attacks …
Jason M. Breslow / FRONTLINE:
New: 87 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease  —  A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation's largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.
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 …
ABC News:
Discussion:, Daily Mail and Hot Air
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
WATCH: Anderson Cooper Loses His Cool With Trump Supporter On-Air  —  CNN host Anderson Cooper got heated with a Donald Trump backer Thursday night, losing his famously calm disposition when the guest tried to explain Trump's remarks about Muslims at a campaign event.
Discussion: US News
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Sources: Scott Walker's Donors Are Circulating Rumor About Campaign Manager  —  As Scott Walker's presidential bid founders, some in the candidate's orbit are participating in a whisper campaign against his top strategist and campaign manager, Rick Wiley.  —  A number of Walker's donors …
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 More Items: 
Exclusive: Democratic donors urge Biden to challenge Clinton in U.S. 2016 race
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
AP: Deputy Kentucky Clerk's Lawyer Says Kim Davis Disobeyed Judge's Order
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Obama Admin Will Not Reveal to Congress Number of Americans Killed By Iran
Boston's ‘Baby Doe’ identified, source says
Discussion: Daily Mail and WWLP-TV
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Wong / The Hill:
Smith-Schock ties attract scrutiny
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. Orders Big Recall
Discussion: The Next Web and The Verge
Los Angeles Times:
A high-speed rail from L.A. to Las Vegas? China says it's partnering with U.S. to build
Discussion: ABC News and
Wayne Ford / Athens Daily News:
Elberton church responds to ouster of church's oldest member
Discussion: Daily Mail
Ed Straker / American Thinker:
Want to know what gay tastes like? Try Rainbow Doritos!
Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
Donald Trump May Not Have a Second Act
Discussion: Erick on the Radio