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9:45 AM ET, September 21, 2015


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
GOP braces for Pope Francis  —  The pope has become a political football.  —  Republicans want to use Pope Francis's visit to Congress this week — the first-ever by a pontiff — to highlight their opposition to abortion rights.  —  Democrats, meanwhile, hope the pope will lend new momentum …
Melinda Henneberger / Bloomberg Business:
Pope Francis' Political Critics Are Missing Something Fundamental  —  So much has already been written about what Pope Francis is going to tell Americans when the former archbishop of Buenos Aires visits the United States for the first time in his life this week that this might be a good time to point …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Politico
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Political Split Awaits Pope Francis on Eve of U.S. Visit
Discussion: Slate
Confidential / New York Daily News:
Susan Sarandon worries Pope Francis will be assassinated during New York visit
Discussion: Raw Story
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Carson doubles down on no Muslims in the White House  —  Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson is standing by his view that a Muslim should not be president of the United States, telling The Hill in an interview on Sunday that whoever takes the White House should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran.”
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Sanders scolds Carson for Muslim remark
Discussion: Raw Story
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Bernie Sanders knocks Ben Carson for saying he wouldn't support a Muslim president
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Ben Carson: U.S. shouldn't elect a Muslim president
Discussion: Pamela Geller and Slantpoint
Martin Pengelly / Guardian:
Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become US president
Discussion: Refinery29 and Outside the Beltway
Daily Mail:
Lord Ashcroft's David Cameron biography is the political book of the decade  —  Today we lift the lid on the extraordinary feud between David Cameron and a billionaire Tory donor that has triggered the most explosive political biography of the decade.  —  In the dynamite book …
Daily Mail:
Drugs, debauchery and the making of an extraordinary Prime Minister: For years rumours have dogged him.  Now, the truth about the shockingly decadent Oxford days of the gifted Bullingdon boy  —  The door was always shut, but anyone walking past might have caught a whiff of the sweet musky smell …
Discussion: Guardian, Mashable and Boing Boing
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Poll: Clinton's lead over Sanders grows  — If Joe Biden doesn't enter the race, Clinton's lead would grow to nearly 2-to-1 over Bernie Sanders  —  Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton's lead in the Democratic presidential primary race has grown — and if Vice President Joe Biden decides to stay …
OBAMA READY TO ENDORSE BIDEN—WITH CONDITIONS  —  The talk in Democratic Party circles is that Barack Obama has told Joe Biden that he is prepared to endorse him for president if, in return, Biden promises to let Obama have a final say in the choice of his vice presidential running mate.
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Democrats have a growing debate problem on their hands
Discussion: Vox, New York Times and KUSA-TV
Joseph Goldstein / New York Times:
U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Afghan Allies' Abuse of Boys  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
Noah Rothman / Commentary Magazine:
An Unexpected Democratic Revolt  —  The rise of candidates hailing from outside the class of professional politicians has led observers to accurately assess that the mood among average Republican voters is a rather dark one.  Republicans who profess to pollsters their support for candidates …
Discussion: NewsBusters
John McCormick / Bloomberg Business:
Scott Walker Mounts a Last Stand in Iowa  —  It's been a thrilling—and harrowing—roller coaster ride for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  —  First, the Republican presidential candidate suddenly rose and broke from the pack with a well-received speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January …
Discussion: Business Insider
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Senate records weigh down White House hopefuls  —  The top three Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination, if you include Vice President Biden as a runner in that race, all have Senate voting records.  —  In a populist season when everyone wants to be seen as an outsider …
Shane Harris / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: This Is the ISIS Intel the U.S. Military Dumbed Down  —  The intelligence pros said killing certain ISIS leaders might not diminish the group and that airstrikes might not be working.  The bosses didn't like those answers—not at all.  —  Senior intelligence officials …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Jake Brewer, RIP; Update: Memorial educational fund launched  —  It is with great shock and sadness that we offer our condolences and prayers to the family of Jake Brewer, the husband of Mary Katharine Ham, and the father of Georgia and a child on the way, as well as his colleagues and friends at the White House and
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 More Items: 
Fredrick Kunkle / Washington Post:
Cancer-stricken children, parents ejected from park near White House
Discussion: Twitchy
Aaron Tilley / Forbes:
Following Apple's Lead, Samsung Plans Its Own Phone Leasing Program, Cutting Out Carriers
Discussion: 9to5Mac and Index
New York Times:
U.S. Will Accept More Refugees as Crisis Grows
 Earlier Items: 
Alison Elkin / Bloomberg Business:
Carly Fiorina Responds to Criticism of Hewlett-Packard Sales in Iran
Discussion: Politico, Liberaland and Slantpoint
Joanna Walters / Guardian:
Teen prosecuted as adult for having naked images - of himself - on phone
Discussion: UPROXX, Refinery29, Index and all
New York Times:
How to Close Guantánamo  —  For almost 14 years …
Discussion: Washington Post
Shane Ryan / Salon:
Behind the scenes with Bernie Sanders: Three days in Iowa that explain why Hillary's fading …
Daily Mail:
England star Charley Hull and American rival left in tears after Suzann Pettersen's outrageous decision …
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Campaign seeks national park to honor Stonewall Riots
Discussion: Politico, Raw Story and Towleroad