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12:30 AM ET, September 25, 2015


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Transcript: Pope Francis's speech to Congress … Mr. Vice-President,  —  Mr. Speaker,  —  Honorable Members of Congress,  —  Dear Friends,  —  I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
Ali Weinberg / ABC News:
Pope Francis Lines That Got the Most Applause in Historic Speech
Discussion: Red Alert Politics
Meghan Keneally / ABC News:
Read Pope Francis' Historic Speech to Congress
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Boehner plots shutdown move as critics weigh options  —  <p>House Republican leaders will move next week to approve a "clean" government spending bill — and avert a shutdown — but only after they hold a vote on a measure to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood …
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate rejects effort to strip funding from Planned Parenthood  —  The Senate on Thursday rejected a short-term spending bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, thwarting the opening move by Republican leaders to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.  —  Senators voted 47-52 on ending debate …
Discussion: Civil Beat News and Hot Air
Senate stops bill defunding Planned Parenthood
Discussion: Daily Kos
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Here we go again: Cruz vs. McConnell and Boehner
Discussion: Daily Kos, NPR, Booman Tribune and Politico
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Dems on GOP coup: Republicans need to fix their own problems
Stan Collender / Forbes:
4 New Questions That Will Determine A Government Shutdown
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast … President Obama has never been one to go easy on America.  —  As a new president, he dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism, noting that Greeks think their country is special, too.
Gary Emerling / Associated Press:
Pope Francis Just Echoed Obama's ‘Offensive’ Prayer Breakfast Remarks  —  The pontiff said all religions are susceptible to extremism and violence, just like Obama said in February.  —  While delivering the first address from a pontiff to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday …
Molly Ball / The Atlantic:
Why Pope Francis Sounds Like a Democrat
Discussion: Rolling Stone, Crux and Washington Post
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Multiple Candidates Have a Path to the Presidency; Hillary Is Not One of Them [Updated]  —  Today's Quinnipiac poll contains more bad news-very bad news-for Hillary Clinton, if not necessarily for the Democrats.  The poll asks basic favorable/unfavorable questions about all of the presidential candidates …
Hillary Clinton trails Sanders in New Hampshire, even without Joe Biden in the race  —  Sanders drawing sharper contrasts with Clinton  — In a new CNN/ORC/WMUR poll out Thursday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has 46% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary vote
Annie Karni / Politico:
Hillary Clinton sits for interview with Lena Dunham
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
A Day of Empty Seats and Donald Trump in Full Attack  —  NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Donald J. Trump was never exactly a happy warrior, but with some of his Republican rivals gaining on him, he is showing clear signs of discontent.  —  Appearing here on Wednesday afternoon at what was billed …
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Marco Rubio: Trump Is A “Touchy And Insecure” Guy Who's Not Informed On The Issues  —  “He had a really bad debate performance last week.”  —  Sean Rayford / Getty Images  —  Marco Rubio struck back at Donald Trump on Thursday, labeling Trump as a “touchy and insecure guy” who's not informed on the issues.
Christopher Robbins / Gothamist:
White Guy Who “Settled” Downtown Brooklyn Tells Us Why He Lashed Out At Stroller Couple  —  The man who was recently caught on video berating a couple after their stroller hit his leg has not yet watched the video of himself shouting about how he “settled” Downtown Brooklyn for other white people.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
What If Russia's Foreign Minister Conducted Official Business on an Unsecured Private Server?  —  Today Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, testified before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on cybersecurity.  Senator Tom Cotton asked him two questions …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Who's “the Party” That “Decides?”  —  Regular readers know I enjoy expressing irreverent thoughts about The Party Decides, the 2008 tome by political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller that is often quoted like Holy Writ by academicians and even some journalists …
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
Andrew Prokop / Vox:   Political scientists think “the party” will stop Trump. They shouldn't be so sure.
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Hillary approved special status for aide Huma Abedin  —  <p>Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greenlighted paperwork that changed her top aide Huma Abedin's job status to “special government employee” — a classification that allowed Abedin to work for an outside consulting firm …
Chris Moody / CNN:
Fiorina's long-held support for mandatory health insurance  —  From 2013: Carly Fiorina agrees with parts of Obamacare  —  (CNN)Carly Fiorina, who has joined other leading Republican presidential candidates in denouncing Obamacare, once backed an individual mandate to buy health insurance …
Jenna Johnson / Washington Post:
Donald Trump wants the FCC to fine a critical Fox News pundit  —  Donald Trump is still refusing to appear on the Fox News Channel — but apparently his self-imposed boycott doesn't prohibit watching the channel's shows.  —  Trump exploded on Twitter on Wednesday night after National Review …
Tom Batchelor / Daily Express:
We're doomed: EU chief fears union will COLLAPSE over migrant crisis  —  THE European Union has lost control of its borders and risks total collapse if they are not sealed, a senior Brussels diplomat has warned.  —  GETTY  —  Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, spoke out last night
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 More Items: 
Jon Swaine / Guardian:
Maryland man fatally shot by police ‘after imitating gun with fingers’
Discussion: Raw Story and Shakesville
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Libertarians, Greens ready lawsuit against Commission on Presidential Debates
Discussion: Hit & Run
Chris McDaniel / BuzzFeed:
Texas Is Making Its Own Execution Drugs, Oklahoma Inmate Alleges
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Obama administration quietly explored ways to bypass smartphone encryption
Discussion: RT, Shadowproof, VentureBeat and The Verge
Caitlin Cruz / Talking Points Memo:
Trump: My Mass Deportations Will Be Done ‘Warmly And Humanely’
Discussion: Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Last Slide  —  SEATTLE - Two people were killed and nine …
Discussion: Seattle Transit Blog and NPR
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Vitter Badly Damaged; Highly Vulnerable in Runoff Election
Dirk Standen / Vanity Fair:
Exclusive: Kanye West Talks Yeezy Season 2, Presidential Run, and Sweatshirts