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5:15 AM ET, January 12, 2014

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 Top Items: 
Karen Tumulty / Post Politics:
Tom Kean says Christie's leadership should give pause to voters nationally  —  Former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean, one of the state's most revered figures and a mentor to current Republican Gov. Chris Christie, contends that the leadership qualities Christie has shown while in office …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Imagining President Christie  —  Let us count the ways that this week's traffic-jam scandal is actually good for Chris Christie's presidential prospects.  —  First of all, he proved that he could definitely handle an international crisis that required apologizing when the United States did something really stupid.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Alexander Burns / Politico:
The GOP's tarnished golden boys  —  For a while, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell were untouchable.  —  The first major Republicans elected after the 2008 Obama landslide, the tough-as-nails Garden Stater and the straight-edged Virginian heralded the conservative resurgence in 2010 and pointed …
Ben Birnbaum / The New Republic:
Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014  —  He ultimately confronted the right wing.  Will Netanyahu do the same?  —  One day at the Knesset in the early eighties, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon passed a left-wing lawmaker in the hall and said hello, but the lawmaker pretended not to notice.
RELATED:
Darlene Superville / Associated Press:
Obama Says Sharon Dedicated His Life to Israel
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Alan Duke / CNN:   Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, dead at 85
Shadee Ashtari / The Huffington Post:
U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Anti-Abortion Group's Case For Lying In Political Ads  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday said it will hear a challenge to an Ohio law that forbids candidates and issue groups from making false campaign statements.  —  The case, involving …
NorthJersey.com:
Vulgarity-laced emails show attempts to silence GWB story  —  Some of Governor Christie's closest loyalists made an effort to keep information about the George Washington Bridge lane closures out of public view for months, as questions swirled about what now appears to have been a politically …
RELATED:
Joan Walsh / Salon:
No, really: It's over for Christie in 2016  —  MSNBC's Rachel …
Oregonian:
Portland pimp sues Nike for $100 million for lack of warning label after beating victim with Jordans  —  Sirgiorgio Clardy sits strapped into a restraint chair in July during his sentencing hearing.  His legal adviser, sits in the foreground — a safe distance away from Clardy based on the advice of a judge.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Democrats plead with Obama to abandon Social Security cut  —  Democratic senators are pleading with President Obama to abandon his proposal to trim Social Security benefits before it becomes a liability for them in the midterm elections.  —  The president proposed a new formula …
Discussion: The Agonist
Paul Krugman:
A Hammock In Kentucky?  —  National Review has an actually interesting report by Kevin Williamson on the state of Appalachia, providing a valuable portrait of the region's woes — plus an account of how people turn food stamps fungible by converting them into soda.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Terry McAuliffe offers olive branch to GOP  —  RICHMOND, Va. — Terry McAuliffe, the legendary Democratic fundraiser and political fixer, had a message for Republicans during his rain-drenched inauguration Saturday as Virginia's governor: Let's make a deal.  —  With a Republican-controlled …
Discussion: Hot Air and CNN
Wallace Matthews / ESPN:
A-Rod's ban reduced to 162 games  —  Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 season by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who reduced the New York Yankees third baseman's ban from 211 games to 162 for his involvement in Major League Baseball's Biogenesis scandal.
Wall Street Journal:
A judge blocks subpoenas against conservative allies of Scott Walker.  —  Chalk up a big victory for the First Amendment.  On Friday a Wisconsin judge struck a major blow for free political speech when he quashed subpoenas to conservative groups and ordered the return of property to the targets …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Reid backs down in unemployment fight
Discussion: Hot Air
Michael Linhorst / NorthJersey.com:
Incoming NJ Assembly speaker to renew the subpoena power of panel in GWB scandal
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 Earlier Items: 
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Larry Speakes, Public Face of Reagan Era, Dies at 74