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2:15 PM ET, January 4, 2013


 Top Items: 
Kevin Robillard / Reuters:
Barney Frank: I want to be senator  —  Barney Frank, one day out of Congress, said on Friday that he has asked Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to send him back as an interim senator when Sen. John Kerry becomes secretary of state.  —  “A month ago, or a few weeks ago, I said I wasn't interested,” Frank said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”
Cliff Owen / Boston Globe:
Barney Frank says he would like to be interim senator to conclude ‘fiscal cliff’ fights
Discussion: BuzzFeed and Poliglot
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Former Rep. Barney Frank wants interim appointment to replace Kerry in Senate
Discussion: Michelle Malkin, CNN and Twitchy
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Barney Frank Would Welcome Interim Appointment To Fill Kerry's Senate Seat (VIDEO)
Discussion: Balloon Juice and The Raw Story
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich warns Boehner could have ‘disaster on his hands’  —  Newt Gingrich warned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that he risks losing control of his conference without a more coherant strategy.  —  “He can't keep thinking the way he's thought the last few months without having a disaster on his hands …
Discussion: Politico and Washington Monthly
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner to GOP: Public is behind us on spending, debt limit fight
Discussion: The Hill and Booman Tribune
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Cornyn: ‘It may be necessary to partially shut down the government’
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
David Axelrod: Boehner's ‘unruly children’
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Wall Street Journal:
Boehner's Second Chance
Discussion: The Plum Line
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Club for Growth will punish members voting for Sandy flood aid  —  The conservative Club for Growth said Friday that it will punish House members who voted for a flood insurance measure aimed at helping pay for Hurricane Sandy's damage.  —  The Club will “key-vote” the measure, using it to compile an annual rating for each lawmaker.
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House approves $9.7 billion in Sandy relief  —  The House passed legislation on Friday that allows the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to take on $9.7 billion in new debt to help meet claims related to Hurricane Sandy.  —  Members easily passed the bill in a 354-67 vote — the only “no” votes came from Republicans.
Raymond Hernandez / New York Times:
House Passes $9.7 Billion in Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims  —  WASHINGTON — Under intense pressure from New York and New Jersey officials, the House on Friday adopted legislation that would provide $9.7 billion to cover insurance claims filed by individuals whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
David Rogers / Politico:
House to take up Sandy aid bill on Friday
Discussion: First Read and
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
No, a $1 Trillion Platinum Coin is Not Legal  —  For some reason, the possibility of evading the debt ceiling by minting a $1 trillion platinum coin is getting some blogospheric love again.  This is based on a 2000 revision to the U.S. statute on money and finance that reads:
Hollywood Reporter:
Post-Newtown, 70 Percent Say Hollywood Shows Too Much Violence (Poll)  —  The Hollywood Reporter and pollster Penn Schoen Berland asked consumers of movies and television how their views on depictions of violence were affected by the Dec. 14 shooting in Connecticut.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers, The Hill and Movieline
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:
How To Change Pop Culture's Reliance On Violence
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Stephen L. Carter / Bloomberg:
Angry at the NRA? That Won't Reduce Gun Violence
Sam Baker / The Hill:
House rules aim to block controversial healthcare board's Medicare cuts  —  House Republicans signaled Thursday they will not follow rules in President Obama's healthcare law that were designed to speed Medicare cuts through Congress.  —  The House is set to vote Thursday afternoon on rules for the 113th Congress.
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Gore Went to Bat for Al Jazeera, and Himself  —  Al Gore at the Current TV studios in San Francisco in 2005.  He said Al Jazeera's coverage was “thorough, fair and informative.”  —  Al Gore's Current TV was never popular with viewers, but it was a hit where it counted: with cable and satellite providers.
Torie Bosch / Slate:
Leading Environmental Activist's Blunt Confession: I Was Completely Wrong To Oppose GMOs  —  Anti-Monsanto activists in Germany in 2009  —  If you fear genetically modified food, you may have Mark Lynas to thank.  By his own reckoning, British environmentalist helped spur the anti-GMO movement …
Discussion: Hit & Run
Jenn Taylor / Twitchy:
Hope and less change: Americans cringe at first paychecks of 2013; Stunned lib asks, ‘What happened?’  —  Happy New Year and happy payday!  Thank goodness our “lord and savior” Obama signed the fiscal cliff bill into law after proudly proclaiming, “Under this law, more than 98 percent …
Discussion: National Review
Hayley Peterson / Daily Mail:
Workers making $30,000 will take a bigger hit on their pay than those earning $500,000 under new fiscal deal  —  Middle-class workers will take a bigger hit to their income proportionately than those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 under the new fiscal cliff deal, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
David Weigel / Slate:
Eighty-Six Minutes of Joe Biden Being Incredible  —  I only spent a little time today watching Vice President Biden conduct ceremonial (read: photo-op) swearings-in for the 34 senators taking office today.  My mistake: As the viral video wizards quickly proved, it was a movie-length event …
Discussion: The Week and The Fix
Mary Pat Flaherty / Washington Post:
Sen. Michael Crapo sentenced on DWI charge, apologizes  —  Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty Friday to drunk driving following a December arrest in Alexandria, and issued a sweeping apology after a judge accepted his plea.  —  Crapo, who appeared in Alexandria District Court …
Associated Press:
Crapo scheduled for DUI court appearance
Discussion: CNN
Greg Giroux / Bloomberg:
Final Tally Shows Obama First Since '56 to Win 51% Twice  —  Eight weeks after the Nov. 6 presidential election, a revised vote count in New York shows that Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the vote twice.
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
New Jersey's Cory Booker Problem  —  The Newark Mayor's decision to run for Senate has offended Lautenberg, and frustrated the state's Democratic party.  “I'm not angry, I'm disappointed.”  —  Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker  —  Image by Max Morse / Getty Images
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Return of the real Obama  —  The rout was complete, the retreat disorderly.  President Obama got his tax hikes — naked of spending cuts — passed by the ostensibly Republican House of Representatives.  After which, you might expect him to pivot to his self-proclaimed “principle” of fiscal …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
U.S. Continues to Add Jobs at Slow Pace, Report Shows  —  Despite their concerns about looming tax increases and government spending cuts, American employers added 155,000 jobs in December, about apace with job growth over the last year, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Associated Press:
US economy adds 155K jobs, rate stays at 7.8 pct.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
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 More Items: 
Steve Horwitz / Bleeding Heart Libertarians:
No Girls Allowed!  —  This morning Julie Borowski …
Discussion: EconLog and Consulting by RPM
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
GOP scrambles to fix its primary problem
William Kremer / BBC:
Does confidence really breed success?
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
The Worst Moments Of The 112th Congress
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Liked but Not Feared, Boehner Keeps a Job Some Might Ask Why He Wants
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
Too much leadership at the cliff
Discussion: Hit & Run and Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
HHS approves healthcare exchanges in 8 states
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / The Caucus:
Chief Justice Roberts to Preside at Obama Swearing-In
Discussion: CNN, The Hill and Connecting.the.Dots
Ashley Parker / New York Times:
First Day of 113th Congress Brings More Women to Capitol
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Truthdig
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Battles of the Budget  —  The centrist fantasy of a Grand Bargain …
Randall S. Kroszner / New York Times:
The New Tell-All Fed  —  WITHIN moments of their release …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and Quartz
Rebecca Smith / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Electricity Use on Wane
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The 20 Most Annoying Liberals of 2012 (10th Annual)