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1:45 PM ET, January 3, 2014

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 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
Weed: Been There.  Done That.  —  For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana.  It was fun.  I have some fond memories of us all being silly together.  I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.  —  But then we all sort of moved away from it.
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Clay Aiken ‘actively considering’ run for Congress: sources  —  Clay Aiken is “actively considering” a run for Congress, sources say.  (Blade file photo by Michael Key)  —  Gay singer and “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is actively considering a bid to represent North Carolina's 2nd …
RELATED:
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Report: Clay Aiken weighs N.C. bid
Discussion: Mediaite
Tom Gardner / Daily Mail:
Kim Jong-Un killed his ‘scum’ uncle by stripping him naked, throwing him into a cage and leaving him to be eaten alive by a pack of 120 starving dogs  —  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un sentenced his uncle to be eaten alive by a pack of 120 wild dogs in a savage punishment for treachery, it has been claimed.
RELATED:
World News:
Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report  —  Rodong Sinmun / Yonhap via Reuters, file  —  Kim Jone Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek is dragged into court by uniformed personnel prior to last month's execution.  —  By Eric Baculinao and Alexander Smith, NBC News
New York Times:
Mayor de Blasio Looks Forward  —  Mayor Bill de Blasio took charge of New York City on Wednesday with a forceful Inaugural Address and pledged to begin the head-on attack on “the inequality crisis” as he had promised.  He repeated the bullet points from his campaign, but insisted …
RELATED:
Jill Colvin / Politicker:
Bill de Blasio Threatens to Strip During Storm Briefing
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and USA Today
Nick Gillespie / The Daily Beast:
Mayor De Blasio's Horse Policy Is a Pile of Manure
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Fix
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
At Work, de Blasio Finds Full Plate of Headaches
Discussion: ABC News and The Reaction
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Another Problem Obamacare Won't Solve: Health Costs  —  Does giving people health insurance help control costs?  —  Conventional wisdom holds that it should, by diverting them from expensive emergency room use to less-expensive visits to doctors and nurse practitioners.
Discussion: National Review
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Ravi Somaiya / Washington Post:
Ezra Klein Is Said to Plan to Leave Washington Post  —  Ezra Klein, an analyst, columnist and television commentator who runs The Washington Post's Wonkblog, is making plans to leave the newspaper after failing to win support for a new website he wanted to create within the company …
Fox News:
Administration to high court: Don't exempt Catholic groups from contraception mandate  —  The Obama administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court not to exempt Catholic groups from an ObamaCare requirement to offer contraceptive coverage, after the high court gave them a temporary reprieve earlier this week.
Discussion: protein wisdom
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David Martosko / Daily Mail:
‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’:  Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment  — MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn't prove they had insurance
Commentary Magazine:
The Closing of the Scientific Mind  —  The huge cultural authority science has acquired over the past century imposes large duties on every scientist.  Scientists have acquired the power to impress and intimidate every time they open their mouths, and it is their responsibility to keep this power in mind no matter what they say or do.
Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Adding a new baby to plan not easy  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — There's another quirk in the Obama administration's new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.
Ken Ham / Around the World with Ken Ham:
Yes, the Debate with Bill Nye Is On  —  Well, we were going to make this announcement next week, but our friends at the post office were able to get our January newsletter into AiG supporters' homes very early this time, so the word is now getting out about next month's creation/evolution debate.
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
A GOP Year  —  A White House official once noted that the problem with the national press corps is it can only keep one idea in its mind at a time.  And while that's often true, it's not at the moment in regard to Republicans.  —  Today's media line on the Republican party is it faces irreversible decline.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Blake Neff / The Hill:
King erupts over Snowden editorial  —  Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) decried The New York Times as a “disgrace” following an editorial calling for clemency for National Security Agency leaker and fugitive Edward Snowden.  —  “Edward Snowden is either a traitor, or a defector, or both …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Laura Barron-Lopez / The Hill:
Climate to be 2014 battlefield  —  Climate change and energy will be a major policy battleground in the 2014 midterms, advocates on both sides of the issue promise.  —  Republicans like Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) plan to go on the attack against President Obama's climate action plan …
RELATED:
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Eleven attorneys general slam Obama healthcare fixes as illegal  —  Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress.  —  The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama's executive action …
Elizabeth Harrington / Washington Free Beacon:
Justice Department Spending $544,338 for an ‘Enhanced Company Profile’ on LinkedIn  —  Contract allows ‘unlimited access’ to all 250 million users  —  BY: Elizabeth Harrington Follow @LizWFB  —  The Justice Department is spending more than $500,000 to “enhance” its company profile on LinkedIn and increase its “brand awareness.”
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Liberals find comfort level in ‘NPR of gun clubs’  —  Marlene Hoeber is feisty, tattooed, transgender, a self-described feminist, a queer activist - and a crack shot with her favorite “toys,” guns of just about every kind.  —  One thing she's not - and proud of it - is a member of the National Rifle Association.
Discussion: Mediaite
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Boehner ally: GOP can win Senate  —  A high-ranking House GOP lawmaker predicts big congressional wins for his party in November.  —  If Republicans don't make an unforced error, such as repeating last fall's government shutdown or failing to raise the debt ceiling, veteran Rep. Tom Cole …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic Online:
Democrats in 2014: The Party of John Edwards  —  In his inaugural address Wednesday, incoming New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to establish an intellectual pedigree for his focus on economic inequality.  He invoked Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Gruber / CNN:
When will we get the verdict on Obamacare?
Discussion: The New Republic
ThinkProgress:
Senator Spends Vacation Day With Homeless Man To Learn About The Challenges He Faces
Discussion: Liberaland
Matt Higgins / CBS DC:
Doctor's Office Spends 2 Hours On Hold With Health Insurer For Patient's Surgery Authorization
Discussion: The Right Scoop
Gerry Mullany / New York Times:
Cambodian Police Fire on Protesters as Clashes Turn Violent
Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress:
Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill
Discussion: susiemadrak.com
Paul Krugman:
Bodyguard of Zombies, Counterattack by Cockroaches
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
Right Now, It's as Cold in Canada as Where Our Rover Is on Mars
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
6 Reasons This Could Be Obama's Best Year as President
John Harwood / New York Times:
When a 2nd-Term President and a Divided Congress Made Magic
Rene Johnston / Toronto Star:
Rob Ford registers to run, claims he is best Toronto mayor ‘ever’
Andrew Johnson / National Review:
Obama's Half-Brother ‘Floored’ About President's Lying About Meeting Him
David Freedlander / The Daily Beast:
In the Buckeye State, the Tea Party Bucks the Establishment Republican Governor
CNN:
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates hurt in fall
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
 

 
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Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Banks: Credit Card Breach at Home Depot

Ian Kar / Bank Innovation:
Apple, Nordstrom in Talks to Partner on Payments

Avram Piltch / Laptop Mag:
Lenovo Tab S8: Intel Quad-Core Android Tablet Is $199

 
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