TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and President Obama promised to continue pushing the protections, but the bill is going nowhere in the House unless Speaker John Boehner drops his opposition to the measure. Federal economists reported better-than-expected growth in the third quarter—expanding at an annual rate of 2.8 percent—but an OMB report suggested October's government shutdown did real damage to the economy. Rand Paul faces new plagiarism accusations, and Christian missionaries are sneaking into North Korea.
SENATE PASSES ENDA; PROSPECTS STILL UNLIKELY IN HOUSE: By a 64-32 vote and with 10 Republicans in favor, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill's passage was expected all week, but most expect it remains DOA in the House. (Ed O'Keefe, WaPo)
WHAT TIPPED THE SCALE ON ENDA? Aides say the testimony of transgender Kaylar Broadus in July of last year may have made all the difference. (Fawn Johnson, NJ)
AN ECONOMIC SUCCESS STORY IN THE 3RD QUARTER! The U.S. economy grew faster than expected at 2.8 percent—well above expectations of 2 percent—but worrywart economists were quick to temper any celebrations, saying the fourth quarter could still be problematic. The gains are largely being credited to inventory investments and a narrowing trade deficit. (Nelson Schwartz, NYT)
THE SHUTDOWN STILL HURT THE ECONOMY. A LOT. Numbers out from the Office of Management and Budget paint an ugly picture for how October's government shutdown hurt the economy. Small businesses are among the casualties. (Matt Vasilogambros, NJ)
DOES RAND PAUL PLAGIARIZE EARLY AND OFTEN? BuzzFeed has dug up more instances of apparent plagiarism by Sen. Paul. The side-by-side text isn't pretty. (Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed)
NJ'S EARLY BIRD TAKES FLIGHT: What's happening to all the military's equipment being left behind in Afghanistan after 13 years of war? And why are Navy officials being arrested in a bribery probe involving prostitutes and fat stacks of cash? You would have known these answers—and a lot more—at 5:43 a.m. this morning if you subscribed to NJ's Early Bird, a new morning new assembly of the best national security, defense, and foreign policy coverage from around the Web. Sign up here, and view today's issue here.
TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Obama heads to NOLA in the morning to talk about the economy and creating jobs by way of exports. POTUS then travels to Miami, where he will remain overnight, for DNC and DSCC events. John Kerry is in Jerusalem. The Senate is in session; the House is out.
TRANS FATS: The FDA plans to gradually eliminate the "artery-clogging ingredient" from our food supply. Will frozen pizzas ever taste the same? (Brady Dennis, WaPo)
TWITTER IPO: No Facebook-esque bungled IPO here. Twitter's stock surged 73 percent from its IPO of $26 to $45.10. This all-too-detailed live blog chronicles the ups and ups. (WSJ)
BLOCKBUSTER DUD: The times, they are a-changin'. Blockbuster is closing its remaining 300 brick-and-mortar stores across the country. Here's a map showing where they are. (Ritchie King, Quartz)
ANTI-OBAMACARE STATES: In Georgia, Ohio, and elsewhere, navigators are being barred from giving advice about the benefits of enrolling. (Olga Khazan, The Atlantic)
SPREADING THE NOT-SO-GOOD GOSPEL IN NORTH KOREA: Inside the "extensive, well-financed network of for-profit missions" that are "using shadowy front companies to evangelize in North Korea." (Rohrlich/O'Carroll, Slate)
THE SECRET DIARIES OF GUANTANAMO'S ABU ZUBAYDAH: Highlights from the first of six notebooks casts new light on the prisoner and chronicles his path from student to mujahideen. Zubaydah's story also challenges some of the Bush administration's claims about its war on terror. (Jason Leopold, Al Jazeera)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is Fox News' worst nightmare, and not just because Joe Lhota was apparently eaten by zombies. Chris Christie too quickly rushes into a serious commitment with the state of New Jersey, but it's OK -- he had us at "hello," anyway. (Reena Flores, NJ)