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5:05 PM ET, January 18, 2014


 Top Items: 
Steve Kornacki /
Christie camp held Sandy relief money hostage, mayor alleges  —  Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie's administration warned a New Jersey mayor earlier this year that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Romney: Christie's presidential ambitions ‘not hurt’ by bridge scandal  —  Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had handled the scandal over lane closures on the George Washington bridge “in a very effective way” …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Marc Caputo / Naked Politics:
FL's Brian Ballard, top Romney fundraiser, dumps on ‘horrific’ Chris Christie before FL visit  —  Some of Florida's biggest money men will attend the state's various fundraisers for Gov. Rick Scott headlined this weekend by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, with one notable exception: Brian Ballard.
Tjfang / CBS San Francisco:
Actress Out Of San Francisco Production After Endorsing Tea Party Candidate  —  SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A famed actress is facing backlash in San Francisco's Latino community, after she voiced support for a conservative candidate for California governor.  —  Maria Conchita Alonso starred …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Althouse
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Wonkblog sells out.  —  Ezra Klein is back in line.  The Journolist founder, who now runs Wonkblog for the Washington Post, took some flak from other left-liberal journalists last year when he acknowledged that the ObamaCare exchanges had serious technical flaws.
Discussion: The Other McCain and Instapundit
Ryu Spaeth / The Week:
Mitt on Netflix: A knight errant in an age of political cynicism  —  A new documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at Mitt Romney's ill-fated presidential campaigns  —  W  —  hen we think of that rarest figure in American politics — a man of integrity — Mitt Romney does not usually leap to mind.
Tom Leonard / Daily Mail:
Is the Obama marriage on the rocks?  Astonishing claims emerge of ugly fights over that selfie, and even a Presidential affair  —  With invitations warning guests to ‘EBYC’ — Eat Before You Come — and rumours they'll be dancing to star turns from Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay Z, it won't be your usual White House knees-up.
Barton Gellman / Washington Post:
Obama's restrictions on NSA surveillance rely on narrow definition of ‘spying’  —  President Obama said Friday, in his first major speech on electronic surveillance, that “the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security.”
Megan R. Wilson / The Hill:
Watchdogs sue FEC, demand investigation of Karl Rove group  —  Watchdog groups are suing the Federal Election Committee after it dropped its inquiry into Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit organization co-founded by GOP operative Karl Rove.  —  The Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen filed …
Discussion: Liberaland
Pope Benedict doubled defrockings  —  Close to 400 priests were defrocked in only two years by the former Pope Benedict XVI over claims of child abuse, the Vatican has confirmed.  —  The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase compared with previous years, according to a document obtained by the Associated Press (AP).
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Candida Moss / Politico:
The Political Genius of Pope Francis
Discussion: Liberaland
Wall Street Journal:
Most health-exchange sign-ups already had coverage  —  Early estimates suggest that a majority of people signing up in the new marketplaces already had health plans.
Nathaniel Popper / New York Times:
After Leaving Office, Bloomberg Is More Hands-On at Old Company  —  At editorial meetings in Bloomberg L.P.'s headquarters this week, Michael R. Bloomberg gave clear signs that he would not be taking a hands-off approach as he returned to his old company.  —  Just two week's removed from City Hall …
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Bloggers = Media for First Amendment Libel Law Purposes  —  So holds today's Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014) (in which I represented the defendant).  To be precise, the Ninth Circuit concludes that all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press …
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 More Items: 
Mzielinska / CBS New York:
Trespasser Freed From Pipe At United Water Plant In New Jersey, Faces Criminal Charges
Discussion: Gothamist and Jihad Watch
Nick R. Martin / Talking Points Memo:
Judicial Giant Quietly Retired Under Investigation For Travel Expenses
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
2 students shot in Philadelphia high school gym; suspect nabbed
Supreme Court to take major look at privacy in digital age
Discussion: The Verge
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Iraq's Maliki says he has asked for weapons from U.S., will also seek training for troops
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Andreessen Horowitz raising $1.5 billion for new fund
Discussion: TechCrunch and Re/code