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5:50 PM ET, October 15, 2015


 Top Items: 
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump threatens to pull out of next GOP debate  —  <p>A Republican National Committee conference call to discuss plans for the Oct. 28 GOP debate with top advisers to the presidential campaigns spiraled into chaos on Thursday afternoon, as Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the debate …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Donald Trump Campaign Raises Specter of Boycotting Next Debate  —  An aide to Donald J. Trump has raised the possibility of the candidate not attending the next Republican presidential debate unless the criteria set by CNBC are changed, according to two people briefed on a conference call where the matter was discussed on Thursday.
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Rand Paul, It Is Time to Take Your Campaign Out Back and Shoot It  —  “Go home to Kentucky, Senator, and save your Senate seat before Kentucky's voters take the incompetence of your Presidential campaign as a reflection on you and your Senate campaign.”  —  What is the most endearing moment …
The Intercept:
THE DRONE PAPERS … DRONES ARE A TOOL, not a policy.  The policy is assassination.  While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word “assassination.”
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Obama Announces Halt of U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan  —  WASHINGTON — The United States will halt its military withdrawal from Afghanistan and instead keep thousands of troops in the country through the end of President Obama's term in 2017, Mr. Obama announced on Thursday …
Ken Dilanian / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: US analysts knew Afghan site was hospital  —  3 photos  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on an Afghan hospital days before it was destroyed by a U.S. military attack because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Why Talk of “Tyranny” Is Dangerous  —  So here was Ted Cruz' calm and reflective observations about the first Democratic presidential debate, as conveyed to an Iowa audience (per the Dallas Morning News' Todd Gillman): … I'm guessing a lot of observers hear this sort of thing and just shrug …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Keeping His Distance from the RINOizer  —  In recent days, I've had a very hard time figuring out whether we're in a ‘Paul Ryan considering phase’ in the House leadership drama or in a ‘GOP caucus in epic denial’ phase of the same.  Frankly, I'm not sure anyone quite knows.  Ryan has said he's not running for Speaker.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Morning Plum: Republicans are destroying the House Benghazi probe's credibility.  But will it matter?
Dylan Byers / CNNMoney:
Wayne Simmons, recurring Fox News guest, charged with lying about CIA ties  —  Wayne Simmons, a recurring guest on Fox News who claimed to have 27 years of experience with the CIA, was arrested Thursday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he lied about his service.
Heba Amin:
“Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked an Award-Winning Series  —  What's wrong with Homeland's political message?  The very first season of “Homeland” explained to the American public that Al Qaida is actually an Iranian venture.  According to the storyline …
Nancy Tartaglione / Deadline:
“'Homeland' Is Racist” Graffiti Airs On Showtime Series; Showrunner Alex Gansa Admires Act Of “Artistic Sabotage”
Discussion: New York Times and NBC News
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Huckabee Suggests Poor People Should Be Sold Into Slavery For Stealing  —  The United States criminal justice system could be improved if we sell poor people convicted of crimes into slavery, according to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.  —  The former Arkansas governor weighed …
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Rand Paul swears he's still running for president  —  <p>Rand Paul wants you to know he's still running for president.</p><p> In recent videos, interviews and in a memo released today, the Kentucky senator is trying to get the word out that his campaign is still breathing …
Discussion: Political Wire
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Rand Paul Campaign Releases Memo Explaining Why He Won't Drop Out Of Race
Discussion: Hit & Run
Katherine Faulders / ABC News:
Ben Carson Puts Public Campaign Events on Hold for 2 Weeks  —  Republican presidential contender Dr. Ben Carson has put his public campaign events on hold for two more weeks to go on book tour for his new tome “A More Perfect Union” and catch up on fundraising events.
Mark Hensch / The Hill:
Carson puts public campaign events on hold
Discussion: Eschaton
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Lindsey Graham: Democratic Debate “Made Me Sick”  —  “Everybody had an isolationist, disengagement policy regarding radical islam.”  —  Andrew Burton / Getty Images  —  South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says Tuesday's first Democratic debate disgusted him.
Discussion: Mediaite
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Moon Colony Idea No Lunacy, Says a Starry-Eyed Jeb Bush  —  CONCORD, N.H. - It was among the most memorable campaign pledges of the 2012 presidential race: In a Newt Gingrich administration, the onetime House speaker vowed, the United States would colonize the moon.  —  Debate audiences laughed.
Discussion: The Verge, Daily Kos and The Week
Dan Steinberg / Washington Post:
Jeb Bush has added the Redskins to his stump speech
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mashable
Jim Webb / Washington Post:
People are criticizing my dad, Jim Webb, for killing a man.  Here's what they're missing.  —  If you watched the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night, you probably heard the closing comment by my father, Jim Webb.  Without hesitation he answered that the enemy he was 'most proud …
The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons  —  1Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302, USA.  —  2Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA.  —  3National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Jeb cuts back  —  <p>On the first day of a two-day Iowa swing back in August, Jeb Bush flew from Davenport to Ankeny in a private plane.  The next day, after he spent more than four hours bounding around the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, a top adviser attributed Bush's high energy level …
Daniel Watson / U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Treasury Sends Debt Limit Letter to Congress  —  Dear Mr. Speaker:  —  I am writing to follow up on my previous letters regarding the debt limit and to provide additional information regarding the Department of the Treasury's ability to continue to finance the government.
John McCormick / Bloomberg Business:
Walker's Campaign Spent Heavily Before its Collapse  —  Campaign finance report shows that the famously frugal governor ended his campaign with enough money to pay the bills.  —  McCormickJohn  —  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's now-ended Republican presidential bid was spending almost …
Discussion: Politico
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic:
The Anti-Free-Speech Movement at UCLA  —  A half-century ago, student activists at the University of California clashed with administrators during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, a series of events that would greatly expand free-speech rights of people at public colleges and universities.
Jason MeisnerContact / Chicago Tribune:
Lawyers for Dennis Hastert could reveal Thursday if plea deal reached … Lawyers for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert could tell a federal judge Thursday if they have reached a plea deal with prosecutors that would keep bombshell allegations of hush-money payments from ever being aired in a public trial.
Anna Palmer / Politico:
Schock shells out $900K on legal fees  —  <p>Former Rep. Aaron Schock shelled out an additional $900,000 in legal fees during the third quarter of this year and still owes one firm nearly $747,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings made public Thursday.</p><p> Schock (R-Ill.) …
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 More Items: 
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Missouri GOPer wants to force Planned Parenthood to build ‘Vietnam Wall’ memorial for aborted fetuses
Discussion: Mediaite
The Cornell Daily Sun:
Cornell Faculty Donations Flood Left,Filings Show
Elspeth Reeve / New Republic:
Jim Webb Is the Ghost of Democrats' Recent Past—Especially Hillary's
Tjfang / CBS San Francisco:
Oakland Gospel Choir Draws Nuisance Complaint, Faces $500 A Day Fine
Discussion: Raw Story and Rare
Molly McHugh / Wired:
Tesla's Cars Now Drive Themselves, Kinda
Discussion: Bloomberg View and Consumerist
Aamer Madhani / USA Today:
Illinois gives lottery winners IOUs
Discussion: Truth Revolt
Jeb Bush raises $13.4 million, more than Rubio and Cruz
Discussion: news
Nirvi Shah / Politico:
American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president
Discussion: American Prospect and Intercepts
 Earlier Items: 
Alexander Mallin / ABC News:
Joe Biden Laughs Off Questions of Possible 2016 Run
Discussion: Politico
Julie Bosman / New York Times:
Kansas Voter ID Law Sets Off a New Battle Over Registration
Black Lives Matter sign near Va. farm causes brief outcry
Doug Stewart / FOX CT:
‘She loves us’: Nephew speaks out on aunt's lawsuit brought against him
Discussion: FOX5 San Diego, WHNT-TV and Mashable