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1:10 AM ET, January 2, 2014


 Top Items: 
Michael Moore / New York Times:
The Obamacare We Deserve  —  TODAY marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act's new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up.  Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful.
David Nather / Politico:
For Obamacare, it's finally showtime  —  Obamacare just got real.  —  Sure, there were some new rules and benefits over the last few years, but that was just a warmup.  Starting today, all of the big pieces of the Affordable Care Act — the biggest domestic achievement of Barack Obama's presidency …
Discussion: ABC News and CNN
New York Times:
Millions Gaining Health Coverage Under Law
Discussion: Daily Kos and Booman Tribune
Washington Post:
With new year, Medicaid takes on a broader health-care role
Discussion: Sic Semper Tyrannis
John Ingold / Denver Post:
WORLD'S FIRST LEGAL RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA SALES BEGIN IN COLORADO  —  Colorado's ambitious experiment in cannabis policy hit a historic milestone Wednesday, when licensed stores began making the first legal sales of recreational marijuana anywhere in the world.
USA Today:
Last Slide  —  The new year got a little happier for pot smokers in Colorado on Wednesday as the nation's first retail outlets for recreational marijuana opened their doors.  —  “Marijuana does not have to be a burden to our communities,” said Betty Aldworth, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Taking Office, de Blasio Vows to Fix Inequity  —  Bill de Blasio, whose fiery populism propelled his rise from obscure neighborhood official to the 109th mayor of New York, was sworn into office on Wednesday, pledging that his ambition for a more humane and equal metropolis would remain undimmed.
Discussion: Washington Post
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
Mayor Bill De Blasio Chooses His Path With Uncompromising Inauguration  —  A mayor unafraid to make enemies, and eager to keep his friends.  —  Former President Bill Clinton, left, administers the oath of office to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, on the steps of City Hall.
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
De Blasio & the Clintons: The ties that bind?
Discussion: Politico
Nicky Phillips / Sydney Morning Herald:
Helicopter rescue delayed as second ship trapped in ice  —  On board the Aurora Australis  —  Plans to rescue 52 passengers trapped on the stricken Russian research ship Akademik Shokalskiy have been thrown into disarray after the Chinese ice-breaker Xue Long itself became stuck in pack ice, west of the Mertz Glacier.
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Slow Learners  —  What is it about Obama that makes otherwise intelligent people so dumb?  —  Politico has a headline for the ages up right now: “Management Experts Knock Obama.”  Management “experts” are just noticing now, after five years, that Obama's lack of experience is significant.
Murder most fowl?  Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan  —  Happier times  —  (CNN) — A giant yellow duck on display at Taiwan's Keelung Port is finding little to be happy about this New Year's Day.  —  The famed 18-meter inflatable art installation, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman …
Paul Krugman:
The State of the Euro, In One Graph  —  Happy New Year!  I'm trying to organize my thoughts and data on matters European, and I think I've come up with a useful way to summarize what has been happening in the euro area.  In the figure below I compare the ratio of government debt to GDP …
Chief Justice Warns Sequestration Cuts Already Threatening Public Safety  —  Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, in his annual Year-End Report on the State of the Federal Judiciary, blasted the 2011 Budget Control Act's automatic “sequestration” federal spending cuts and warned …
Discussion: The Raw Story and Liberaland
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Roberts calls for more money for courts
Discussion: Mediaite and Liberal Values
Lisa Respers France / CNN:
James Avery, star of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ dies at 68  —  (CNN) — Actor James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died, his publicist said Wednesday.  He was 68.  —  The cause of death was complications from open-heart surgery, said his manager, Toni Benson.
Discussion: New York Times and Inside TV
Norman Lebrecht / ArtsJournal:
Outrage at JFK as Customs men smash a musician's instruments  —  Boujemaa Razgui, a flute virtuoso who lives in New York and works with many US ensembles, was returning to base over the holiday when Customs officials at Kennedy Airport asked to see his instruments.
Steve Contorno / PolitiFact:
The top 10 most viewed fact-checks of 2013  —  As 2013 comes to close, it's time again to share our most popular fact-checks from the past 12 months.  Topics ranged from government surveillance to the national debt to the Obamas' family vacation.  —  The following are the 10 fact-checks …
Sarah Lyall / New York Times:
A's for Athletes, but Charges of Fraud at North Carolina  —  CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In the summer of 2011, 19 undergraduates at the University of North Carolina signed up for a lecture course called AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina.  The professor was Julius Nyang'oro, an internationally respected scholar …
Discussion: Liberaland
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
Alabama Republican is Senate's top talker of 2013  —  Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) holds the record for logging the most speaking time on the Senate floor in 2013.  (Alex Wong / Getty Images / November 19, 2013)  —  WASHINGTON — Even in the year of the filibuster, it turns out that slow and steady wins the race.
Discussion: Mediaite and Politico
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 More Items: 
Frances Robles / New York Times:
Florida Law on Drug Tests for Welfare Is Struck Down
Dan Vergano / National Geographic:
Climate: Cloud Mixing Means Extra Global Warming
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Afghans' Plan to Release Prisoners Angers U.S.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
William Wan / Washington Post:
In China, one in five children live in rural villages without their parents
Graham Allison / The National Interest:
2014: Good Year for a Great War?
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
ABC News:
Palestinian Ambassador in Prague Killed in Blast
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
No, 2.1 million haven't enrolled in Obamacare plans
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Edward Snowden, the insufferable whistleblower
13 hospitalized after building explosion in Mpls.
Discussion: NBCNews and The Raw Story
Chelsea J. Carter / CNN:
Former first lady Barbara Bush hospitalized
Discussion: BizPac Review