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Morning Maddow: December 12

Morning headlines: Senate confirms Nina Pillard, Michigan to force women to buy separate abortion insurance, top US-backed Syrian rebel flees the country.

Senate confirms DC Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Nina Pillard in an early morning vote. (NY Times)

Why Rep. Paul Ryan himself is not being blamed by House conservatives who hate the budget deal. (Politico)

Michigan lawmakers approve bill forcing women to purchase separate abortion insurance. (

Professor with Republican ties says his data-crunching shows no voter suppression in Watauga County. (High Country Press)

The top U.S.-backed Syrian rebel has fled the country. (WSJ)

The company that supplied the sign language translator to the Mandela memorial has vanished. (BBC)

Pres. Bush 43 sends a letter to a struggling college football player. (TPM)