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4:45 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.
RELATED:
Gary Greenberg:
I smoked pot with David Brooks  —  Please note: What follows here is satire of the Juvenalian variety.  I thought I embedded enough tipoffs, but then again I forgot how much stranger than fiction truth can be.  So to those who thought it was real and suffered pain as a result, I apologize.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
The perils of legalized pot
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Repeat After Me, David Brooks: Repealing Prohibition Is Not the Same As Endorsing the Previously Prohibited Activity
Discussion: Mediaite and National Review
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
RELATED:
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
No, Kim Jong Un probably didn't feed his uncle to 120 hungry dogs  —  If you've been on the Internet at all today, you've almost certainly seen the story claiming that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his uncle executed last month by stripping him naked and feeding him to 120 hungry dogs.
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.
Ben Goad / The Hill:
DOJ rejects nuns' argument on ObamaCare contraception mandate  —  The Obama administration on Friday offered a vigorous defense of the Affordable Care Act's “birth control mandate,” disputing as unfounded the religious challenge that led a Supreme Court justice to partially block the provision from taking effect this week.
RELATED:
Fox News:
Administration to high court: Don't exempt Catholic groups from contraception mandate
Discussion: protein wisdom
Amy Davidson / Close Read:
Nuns Against the Obamacare Mandate
Discussion: Guardian, The Dish and Slate
Jennifer Haberkorn / Politico:
Sonia Sotomayor faces health law contraception decision
New York Post:
Public advocate caught in lie over Times homeless story  —  She lied on her first day on the job — and got caught.  —  Just hours after being sworn in as the city's public advocate, Letitia James went on TV to claim that she played a key role in helping expose “the face of poverty in the City of New York” …
RELATED:
Jill Colvin / Politicker:
Video: 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
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Clay Aiken ‘actively considering’ run for Congress: sources  —  Clay Aiken is “actively considering” a run for Congress, sources say.  (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)  —  Gay singer and “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is actively considering a bid to represent North …
RELATED:
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Report: Clay Aiken weighs N.C. bid
Discussion: Mediaite and The PJ Tatler
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.
Henry K. Lee / San Francisco Chronicle:
Hospital agrees to let Jahi McMath family take girl  —  (01-03) 12:43 PST Oakland — Children's Hospital Oakland reached an agreement with the family of Jahi McMath on Friday that will allow a critical care team to enter the hospital to move the girl to an unspecified facility.
Matt Higgins / CBS DC:
Doctor's Office Spends 2 Hours On Hold With Health Insurer For Patient's Surgery Authorization  —  CHICAGO (AP) — The new year brought relief to some Illinois patients newly insured under the nation's health care law.  Others still weren't sure whether they were covered …
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
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
This Might Be The Most Bizarre Campaign Video Of 2014 So Far  —  Rodney Lee Conover launched his campaign in California's 8th Congressional District with a video published on YouTube Thursday in which he compared House Republicans to his 1972 Ford Ranchero.  —  “Hi, I'm Rodney Lee Conover, and I'm running for Congress.
Discussion: Mediaite
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.
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.
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
Adam Bell / The Charlotte Observer:
Indian Trail councilman tenders resignation — in Klingon  —  An Indian Trail councilman decided to boldly go where no politician has gone before — and tendered his resignation this week in the Klingon language.  —  Apparently David Waddell no longer wanted to live long and prosper on the board.
Timothy Jost / CNN:
GOP health plans good for the rich  —  Editor's note: Timothy Jost is a professor of law at Washington and Lee University.  —  (CNN) — The first day of 2014 was a day to celebrate in our history — it was the first time that all Americans could buy health insurance regardless …
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: 
Mariano Castillo / CNN:
Israel shares concerns as peace talks advance
Discussion: ThinkProgress and CBS News
Jason Beaubien / NPR:
Overweight People In Developing World Outnumber Those In Rich Countries
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Althouse
Kate Nocera / BuzzFeed:
Bernie Sanders Wants To Know If The NSA Is Spying On Congress
Discussion: Mediaite
Ryan Cooper / Washington Monthly:
The Reformish Conservative Holding Pattern
ThinkProgress:
Senator Spends Vacation Day With Homeless Man To Learn About The Challenges He Faces
Discussion: Liberaland and The Impolitic
Blake Neff / The Hill:
King erupts over Snowden editorial
Discussion: Hullabaloo
 Earlier Items: 
Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress:
Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Liberals find comfort level in ‘NPR of gun clubs’
Discussion: Mediaite
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
Right Now, It's as Cold in Canada as Where Our Rover Is on Mars
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
6 Reasons This Could Be Obama's Best Year as President