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2:20 PM ET, December 14, 2015

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Nomiki Konst / The Hill:
Ted Cruz isn't just surging — he's winning  —  Every show has an end.  Just like “The Apprentice” — gripping the first few few seasons, tired and contrived in the last — Donald Trump's campaign is aging toward death, one reckless outburst at at time.  Although the casual political junkie …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Trump hits new high in poll  —  Donald Trump has crossed the 40 percent threshold in a new national poll, giving the Republican presidential candidate the largest lead he's held in any survey so far.  —  A Monmouth University poll released Monday found Trump taking 41 percent support …
Discussion: Mother Jones and Eschaton
Carrie Dann / NBC News:
NBC Poll: Clinton Would Trounce Trump But Lose to Rubio, Carson  —  Hillary Clinton would defeat Ted Cruz and trounce Donald Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head general election matchup, but she would lose to Marco Rubio or Ben Carson, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.
Joshua Green / Bloomberg Business:
Cruz Poised to Steal Even More Trump Supporters in Iowa  —  The crosstabs of the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll reveal some encouraging findings for the Texas senator.  —  JoshuaGreen  —  Ted Cruz shot to a 10-point lead over Donald Trump in the latest Bloomberg …
Ryan Struyk / ABC News:
Donald Trump Hits 41 Percent Support and Widest Lead Yet in New National Poll
Tony Leys / Des Moines Register:
Clinton builds lead over Sanders, new Iowa Poll shows
Mike Allen / Politico:
POLITICO Playbook, presented by Qualcomm …
Eli Stokols / Politico:
GOP contenders prep for loud, ugly holiday season
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Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
What The Hell Happened To Mickey Kaus?  —  Mickey Kaus was sitting at Superba Food + Bread in Venice Beach, California, an expensive coffee place where an expensive-looking person was yelling at the counter staff about a housefly on a cookie.  —  Kaus was sorry about the location …
Aurelien Breeden / New York Times:
French Teacher Lied About ISIS Stabbing, Prosecutors Say  —  PARIS — The French authorities said on Monday that a teacher who claimed to have been stabbed with scissors and a box cutter at a preschool near Paris had fabricated the story.  —  A police official in Aubervilliers confirmed that the teacher …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Gabriel Sherman / New York Magazine:
Republican Billionaires Just Can't Seem to Buy This Election  —  Money has poured into the political system.  And yet spending the cash haul effectively has never been more difficult. … You'd think buying an election would be easy.  This is, after all, the rough pitch …
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
The biggest Pinocchios of 2015  —  It's time for our annual round-up of the biggest Pinocchios of the year.  —  The 2016 presidential campaign has dominated our coverage of false claims.  In particular, businessman Donald Trump—who has soared to the top of the GOP field—kept us busy.
S.L. Price / SI.com:
2015 Sportsperson of the Year: Serena Williams  —  Real life?  For Serena Williams that's the easy part now.  That's how it works when you zoom—beyond tennis, beyond $74 million in prize money, beyond one of the greatest late-career runs in sports history—into celebrity hyperspace.
Brody Mullins / Wall Street Journal:
Sen. Bob Corker Failed to Properly Disclose Millions of Dollars in Income  —  Tennessee Republican files amendments to reports going back to 2007; ‘I am extremely disappointed in the filing errors’  —  WASHINGTON—Sen. Bob Corker failed to properly disclose millions of dollars in income from real estate …
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
How one word nearly killed the climate deal  —  PARIS — The proposed accord was just hours from a final vote when the glitch was spotted.  Someone had changed a single word in the draft text — from a “should” to a “shall” — and suddenly the entire climate deal appeared at risk of faltering.
RELATED:
Coral Davenport / New York Times:
A Climate Deal, 6 Fateful Years in the Making
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Susan Edelman / New York Post:
School principal bans Santa, Thanksgiving and Pledge of Allegiance  —  Santa Claus is banned.  The Pledge of Allegiance is no longer recited.  “Harvest festival” has replaced Thanksgiving, and “winter celebrations” substitute for Christmas parties.  —  New principal Eujin Jaela Kim …
Amber Jamieson / New York Post:
Plumber's old truck spotted in ISIS video  —  A Texas plumber who was flooded with threats after his old truck — still emblazoned with his company's name — was seen driven by ISIS thugs in Syria has armed himself and is suing a Ford dealer.  —  Mark Oberholtzer of Mark-1 Plumbing …
Discussion: BizPac Review and Fox News Insider
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Pete Rose to Remain Barred by Baseball  —  Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, has decided not to lift the permanent ban imposed on Pete Rose more than a quarter-century ago, meaning the player with more hits than anyone else in the sport's history will continue to be kept out of the Hall of Fame.
Discussion: Bloomberg View, NBC News and The Week
Rebecca Riffkin / Gallup:
Americans Name Terrorism as No. 1 U.S. Problem  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, Americans are now more likely to name terrorism as the top issue facing the U.S. than to name any other issue — including those that have typically topped …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Veronica Rocha / Los Angeles Times:
Man's body pulled from MacArthur Park Lake
Discussion: LAist and KTLA
Nick Gass / Politico:
Obama says U.S. hitting ISIL ‘harder than ever’
Discussion: Bloomberg Business
Ross Ramsey / The Texas Tribune:
Analysis: Let the Political Games (Officially) Begin
New York Times:
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney, Sees Lessons in Albany Corruption Trials
Discussion: Politico
Carimah Townes / ThinkProgress:
Congressman Makes ‘Knife Control’ Joke On Sandy Hook Anniversary
Discussion: Raw Story
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Santorum super PAC ad warns ‘WWIII is upon us’
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and SoundCloud
Josh Zumbrun / Wall Street Journal:
The Mystery of Missing Inflation Weighs on Fed Rate Move
Discussion: Power Line
 Earlier Items: 
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
The Kochs' war on poverty
Elizabeth Kolbert / New Yorker:
The Siege of Miami  —  The city of Miami Beach floods …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Sylvan Lane / The Hill:
Rubio is still insured under Obamacare: report
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Diversity: Seven notes
Travis Gettys / Raw Story:
'Libtard'-hating ex-police chief accused of pointing gun at woman who passed his Hummer
Discussion: alan.com