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1:55 PM ET, December 31, 2013


 Top Items: 
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Sarah Palin: MSNBC ‘despicable’  —  Sarah Palin says MSNBC should ashamed of a “despicable” segment in which they mocked Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson.  —  “Leftist media hounds are not expressing an opinion with this attack; they are expressing a prejudice that would never be accepted …
Daily Mail:
Outrage as MSNBC panelists make Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild the punchline of a joke  — Host Melissa Harris-Perry led guests in a segment that ridiculed a photo of the extensive Romney family and its single black member, a baby  — Panelist Dean Obeidallah compared …
Discussion: Althouse
Ashley Killough / CNN:
MSNBC host apologizes after panel makes fun of Romney photo with black grandchild  —  (CNN) - An MSNBC host apologized Tuesday morning after she and panelists on her weekend program faced criticism for poking fun at a photo of Mitt Romney, his wife and their nearly two dozen grandchildren …
Mike Allen / Politico:
JOEL BENENSON'S NEW YEAR'S WISH — TOMORROW'S EMBRACE BETWEEN BILL CLINTON, NYC'S INCOMING MAYOR could be big help to Hillary '16 — THREE CLASSIC COLUMNS by retiring Clyde Haberman  —  HAPPY '14 EVE from breezy, heavenly Waikiki Beach, where we enjoyed a Longboard Island Lager last night at Chip Smith's oceanfront table.
Erin Durkin / NY Daily News:
Bill de Blasio On Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry: “It's Over”  —  Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio vowed to act quickly to abolish horse-drawn carriages in the city.  —  “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages.  Period,” de Blasio said in response to a question at his press conference announcing his schools chancellor pick Monday.
Josh Kraushaar /
The Biggest Political Winners and Losers of 2013
Allie Malloy / CNN:
Bill de Blasio: Central Park's horse-drawn carriages should ride into history
Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone:
On Christmas, Republicans Quietly Declare War on Themselves  —  The holidays are a great time in politics.  Every year it's the same: the minute the last bits of wrapping paper have been cleared away, and Grandpa has passed his last puff of holiday gas, you can always retreat to the inside pages …
Patrick Goodenough / CNSNews:
And The Country Posing The Greatest Threat to Peace as 2013 Ends is ...  ( - The past year witnessed bloodshed in Syria and Iraq, turmoil in Egypt, anarchy in Central Africa, threats by a nuclear-armed North Korea and Chinese military posturing, but as 2013 ends a global poll finds …
Rand Ghayad / The Atlantic Online:
No, Rand Paul, There's No Reason to Cut Unemployment Benefits  —  People aren't long-term unemployed because they prefer getting benefits.  People are long-term unemployed because there still aren't enough jobs.  —  Rand Paul says he cares about the unemployed.
Discussion: Paul Krugman
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera / CNBC:
Pope's sharp words make a wealthy donor hesitate  —  Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the wealthy and capitalism  —  CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera talks to Cardinal Timothy Dolan about concerns following the pope's recent comments.  —  Pope Francis' critical comments about the wealthy and capitalism …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
2014 election: Charles Rangel: 2014 bid will be ‘rough one’  —  Rep. Charles Rangel predicts that his reelection campaign for a 23rd term in office will be “rough,” but he believes it's a worthy gamble.  —  “It's going to be a rough one, but, you know, it's like shooting crap.
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
The Year Washington Fled Reality  —  ‘Message discipline’ can win elections but is not a healthy way to run a country.  —  The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic.  —  In both the executive branch and Congress …
New York Times:
The Facts About Benghazi  —  An exhaustive investigation by The Times goes a long way toward resolving any nagging doubts about what precipitated the attack on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Change Is Obamacare's Only Certainty  —  I said in my last post that our newly implemented health-care law “is undoubtedly going to change in the near future, in ways that will make it more or less stable than it is now.”  To see what I mean, take the individual mandate.
Why Obamacare Will Only Get Less Popular  —  Lisa Myers has an excellent investigative reporting piece up at NBC News documenting how one small business is dealing with Obamacare.  The quotes from the article are just brutal: … Myers does report that, “A handful of the Extreme Dodge workers came …
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Dyson Dismisses Phil Robertson's Biracial Grandson: Abner Louima's Sodomizer Had Mixed Race Kin Too  —  Fresh on the heels of one MSNBC host's program coming under fire after a panel mocked Mitt Romney's adopted biracial grandson for being “not like the other” members of his family …
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Candidate For AZ Governor Misquotes Lincoln On ‘Class Hatred’  —  A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona was forced to backtrack this week after he was caught misattributing several quotes about class warfare on Twitter to Abraham Lincoln.  —  State Sen. Al Melvin (R) …
Chris Greenwood / Daily Mail:
Revealed, the U.S. hate preacher who inspired murderer of Lee Rigby: Killer tells how he became a Muslim after watching Islamic hardliner's sermons  — Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo face life in jail after being convicted of killing Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
U.S. Frees Last of Uighur Detainees From Guantánamo  —  WASHINGTON — In what the Pentagon called a “significant milestone” in the effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military announced on Tuesday that the United States had transferred three Chinese detainees to Slovakia.
S.A. Miller / New York Post:
State Dept. whistleblower has email hacked, deleted  —  WASHINGTON — The personal e-mail account of a State Department whis­tle­­blower was hacked, and four years worth of messages — some detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency — were deleted, The Post has learned.
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 More Items: 
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Senate Discord Drains Power of Finance Chief
Bridget Johnson / The PJ Tatler:
After Attacks, Administration Offers to Help Russia Counter ‘Folks Who Want to Cause Mischief’
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
Kurt DelBene / USA Today:
Resolutions we'd like to see: Our view
Discussion: Daily Kos
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
For 2014, Tweet Less, Read More
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters:
Walgreen offers month of prescriptions to backlogged Obamacare enrollees
Discussion: Mediaite
Robert D. McFadden / New York Times:
Kenneth C. Edelin, Doctor at Center of Landmark Abortion Case, Dies at 74
Discussion: Jezebel and Lawyers, Guns & Money
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Overdue reforms boost Mexico — and the United States
 Earlier Items: 
Nate Raymond / Reuters:
ACLU sues for details of U.S. surveillance under executive order
Eugene Kontorovich / Commentary Magazine:
Murders or Houses: Kerry's V.A.T. on Peace
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Power Line
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The NY Times Looks In the Wrong Place for Corrupt Academics
Home Depot shopper hurt by own gun
Alasdair Glennie / Daily Mail:
You can't parody Islam, says Palin: Monty Python star believes religious sensitivities …
Adam Withnall / The Independent:
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
David Frum / CNN:
Out of jobs, out of benefits, out of luck
Discussion: Washington Center …

From Techmeme:

Mike Isaac / Re/code:
Facebook Launching Mobile Ad Network At F8 Conference

Wall Street Journal:
Apple and Google offer promotional boost to games in exchange for exclusivity

Wall Street Journal:
Square discussed possible sale to Google, Apple, and PayPal, recorded loss of $100M in 2013

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