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12:45 PM ET, January 2, 2014


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower  —  Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agency's reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages …
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Clemency for Edward Snowden Would Not Set a Dangerous Precedent  —  Some months ago, Edward Snowden wrote an appeal for clemency to the U.S. government, arguing that its “systematic violations of law” created “a moral duty to act.”  —  On New Year's Day, America's most influential newspaper officially agreed.
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
NYT calls for Snowden clemency  —  The editorial board of The New York Times is urging the Obama administration to grant Edward Snowden clemency.  —  “It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home …
Snowden affair: the case for a pardon | Editorial
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The resurgent progressives  —  The reemergence of a Democratic left will be one of the major stories of 2014.  Moderates, don't be alarmed.  The return of a viable, vocal left will actually be good news for the political center.  —  For a long time, the American conversation …
New York Post:
Historic Bible goes missing after de Blasio swearing in  —  The FDR bible used by Mayor Bill de Blasio for his swearing in vanished after the New Year's Day ceremony, sparking a panicked, hours-long search for the historic tome.  —  “They had the whole detail looking through blankets,” …
Henry Goldman / Bloomberg:
De Blasio Sworn In by Clinton Pledges to Focus on NYC Wealth Gap  —  Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) — Bill de Blasio assumed office as New York's 109th mayor yesterday, sworn in by former President Bill Clinton at a ceremony attended by thousands who heard him vow to dedicate his government to improving life for the least fortunate.
Discussion: The Agonist
Edith Honan / Reuters:
Threatening snowstorm may be early test for N.Y. Mayor de Blasio
Discussion: VodkaPundit
Aaron Smith /
“Duck Dynasty” launches its own line of guns  —  The family-owned business at the center of the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty” has launched its own line of guns.  —  The gunmaker Mossberg has teamed with Duck Commander, the company owned by “Duck Dynasty's” Robertson clan, to release nine different shotguns …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
The price of political ignorance: More government  —  It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”  Nevertheless, many voters' paucity of information about politics and government …
CBC News:
Rob Ford files papers for mayoral re-election  —  Toronto mayor registers as candidate in Oct. 27 municipal election  —  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wasted no time relaunching his bid for re-election, officially filing his nomination papers Thursday shortly after the clerk's office opened on the first day for acceptance of nominations.
Associated Press:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford files to run again
Discussion: CNN
Hayden Higgins / The Atlantic Online:
Manly Faces and Aggressive Men  —  The men featured are young.  Most are white.  Many have tousled hair, a couple sport grizzly beards, and a few are tattooed.  As a rule, the men are good-looking.  Their cheekbones would make Derek Zoolander proud, but the models are not sitting for their “Blue Steel” close-ups.
New York Times:
Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration  —  WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation's immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided …
Ruben Navarrette Jr / Houston Chronicle:
Navarrette: Rubio was a failure on immigration reform
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Jonathan Allen / Politico:
W.H. stands by birth-control rule  —  The Obama administration Wednesday said the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulations are fair - and they don't really hurt the Denver-based religious organization that got a temporary New Year's Eve reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
Supreme Court temporarily allows religious groups not to cover birth control
Jonathan Pearlman / Telegraph:
World's climate warming faster than feared, scientists say  —  Scientists say the world's climate is warming faster than feared because previous predictions were too “optimistic” and overestimated the cooling impact of clouds  —  As the planet marked its fourth hottest year on record …
Eric Owens / The Daily Caller:
Professor blames ‘southern white radicals’ for Obamacare debacle  —  A professor who teaches constitutional law courses at the City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice penned a Christmas Day essay blaming “southern White radicals” for the disastrous …
Hanna Rosin / TIME:
Men Are Obsolete  —  Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men  —  How do I know men are finished?  I'll read you a quote that says it all: “Yes.  There have been times when I've been in a drunken stupor.”  Toronto's mayor, a shining example of modern manhood is what I would call …
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Bloomberg's Susan Goldberg Leaving For National Geographic  —  Bloomberg News executive editor Susan Goldberg told staff Thursday in an email that she is leaving the company to become executive editor at National Geographic.  —  Goldberg had previously overseen coverage of federal, state and local government out of Washington.
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
The Two Americas Will Be the Defining Trend of 2014  —  This morning, one of my editors suggested that I might comment on what I thought the big issues of the coming year are going to be.  When it comes to the things that will dominate political discussion, most of it we can't predict.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Claim: Obama Christmas gift goes astray  —  A woman from the Chicago suburbs says she got an unexpected surprise for Christmas: A present that appears to be from the Obama family to Sasha and Malia's godmother.  —  Alane Church told NBC's “Today” show on Thursday that her family received …
Discussion: CNN
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Hawaii Senate primary is dividing Democrats along ethnic and generational lines  —  HONOLULU — Daniel K. Inouye, the most revered and powerful figure in Hawaii political history, had a deathbed wish: that Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) would appoint his protegee, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, to replace him in the Senate.
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Chinese doctor admits to selling patient's babies to traffickers
Discussion: National Review
Luke Harding / Guardian:
Iraq suffers its deadliest year since 2008
What If the 21st Century Begins in 2014?
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic Online:
America's Most Admired? More Like America's Most Powerful
Associated Press:
Former Rep. Renzi seeks later date to report to prison
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
 Earlier Items: 
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Obamacare Contractor Blamed for Slow Medicare Payments to Hospitals
Discussion: Hot Air
NY Daily News:
EDITOR'S PICKS  —  A raging New Year's Day house fire killed …
North Korean leader warns of nuclear disaster, threatens US
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Slow Learners  —  What is it about Obama that makes otherwise intelligent people so dumb?
Nicky Phillips / Sydney Morning Herald:
Helicopter rescue delayed as second ship trapped in ice
John Ingold / Denver Post: