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11:50 AM ET, January 8, 2013


 Top Items: 
USA Today:
Giffords and Kelly: Fighting gun violence  —  Our new campaign will launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby.  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  — The children of Sandy Hook deserve our efforts to stop gun violence.  —  In response to a horrific series …
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
The White House Just Set Gun Rights Activists Ablaze  —  Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the gun violence task force led by Vice President Biden is considering gun legislation “far broader and more comprehensive...than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.”
Michael Falcone / ABCNEWS:
The Fiscal Cliff's Winners And Losers (The Note)
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Gabrielle Giffords launches anti-gun website
Discussion: and CNN
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Giffords launches new gun-control initiative
Discussion: CNN
New York Times:
My Successor?  Mayor Ponders Dream Choices  —  It has been a bedrock assumption of this year's race for New York City mayor: Michael R. Bloomberg and the muscular political operation that guided him to three electoral victories will coalesce around his favored candidate, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.
Michael Schwirtz / New York Times:
Richard Cramer, Wrote of Presidential Race, Dies at 62  —  Richard Ben Cramer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of “What it Takes,” a superbly detailed account of the 1988 presidential election considered among the finest books about American politics ever written, died in Baltimore on Monday night.
First Read:
First Thoughts: No margin for error in Hagel nomination  —  President Obama's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for defense secretary has been earning criticism, with Hagel under fire for past statements on Iran and Israel.  Obama, however, said Hagel's “willingness to speak his mind” …
New York Sun:
Hagel and the Jews  —  A friend and admirer of Senator Hagel called the other day to ask whether we'd ever met the nominee to be secretary of defense.  We expressed our regrets that we hadn't.  Our friend wanted us to know that Mr. Hagel does not dislike the Jews.
Discussion: Right Turn
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
John Brennan, “Arabist”  —  By the standards of the Obama administration, John Brennan, its nominee for CIA director, will not be noteworthy for lack of warm feelings towards the State of Israel.  In a normal administration, though, he would stand out for this reason.
CBS News:
Hagel nomination cheers Iran, worries Israel
Discussion: Hot Air, Right Wing News and The Week
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Republicans getting weak-kneed about debt ceiling fight  —  House Speaker John Boehner spoke at length with the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore about the coming confrontation over the debt ceiling, the sequester, and the spending cuts Republicans will try to achieve.
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
U.S. may default on its debt half a month earlier than expected, new analysis shows
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dem lawmakers say courts should resolve debt-limit standoff
Discussion: Hot Air
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
‘Deport Piers Morgan’ Creator Flips Out On Morgan's Show: 1776 Will Commence Again If Guns Taken Away  —  Tonight Piers Morgan sat down with the creator of a White House petition to get him deported from the United States.  Alex Jones was fired up throughout the entire interview …
Discussion: Hot Air and Joe. My. God.
David Brooks / New York Times:
Why Hagel Was Picked  —  Americans don't particularly like government, but they do want government to subsidize their health care.  They believe that health care spending improves their lives more than any other public good.  In a Quinnipiac poll, typical of many others …
Obama's Second Term: More (and More Presidential) Polarization  —  By Francis Wilkinson 2013-01-07T18:23:23Z  —  President Barack Obama's anticipated nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary shows how the polarization of Obama's second term might differ from that of his first.
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Report: Debt ceiling ‘X Date’ Feb. 15  —  The next debt ceiling battle could come as soon as mid-February, when the federal government looks to hit its borrowing limit, a new report says.  —  “Based on financial data from Treasury, we estimate that the government will be unable to pay …
Bipartisan Policy Center:
New Bipartisan Policy Center Analysis Shows Debt Ceiling Limit Fast Approaching; Could Hit Ceiling …
Discussion: Business Insider and Wonkblog
Rescued by a Bailout, A.I.G. May Sue Its Savior  —  Fresh from paying back a $182 billion bailout, the American International Group has been running a nationwide advertising campaign with the tagline “Thank you America.”  —  Behind the scenes, the restored insurance company is weighing whether …
Discussion: The Week, Hullabaloo and Quartz
Michelle Boorstein / Washington Post:
Widow of Medgar Evers to deliver invocation at Obama inauguration  —  President Obama has picked Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in later this month.  It is believed to be the first time a woman …
Fox News:
Graham seeks delay to confirmation of Brennan until Benghazi questions answered  —  A top Republican senator called Monday for a delay in the confirmation of President Obama's pick for CIA director until more questions are answered on the deadly attack last year on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
Discussion: The Hill and The Other McCain
Carlo Muñoz / The Hill:
Obama's CIA nominee to face tough questions about ‘enhanced interrogation’
Discussion: Guardian
Fast-Food Worker Hours Cut, New Health Care Law Blamed  —  A fast-food chain is slashing employee hours so franchise owners don't have to pay health benefits.  Around 100 local Wendy's workers have learned their hours are being cut.  A spokesperson says a new health care law is to blame.
Discussion: AMERICAblog
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:   Wendy's Franchise Cuts Employee Hours To Part-Time To Avoid Obamacare
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Majority disapprove of Boehner's handling of ‘cliff’ talks, poll finds  —  Fifty-one percent disapproved of Boehner's efforts in budget talks, with 52 percent approving of Obama's stance.  —  A slim majority of Americans disapprove of Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) handling of budget negotiations …
Discussion: ABCNEWS and The Fix
Greg Holyk / ABCNEWS:
Public Lukewarm on Cliff Deal, But Obama Bests Boehner
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Most in U.S. Say Politics in Washington Cause Serious Harm  —  Slight majority optimistic that things will improve over next 10 years  —  PRINCETON, NJ — More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) say the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the United States …
Glen Johnson / Boston Globe:
Barney Frank disagrees with gubernatorial aide's criticism of him as potential interim senator  —  Former Representative Barney Frank had a succinct rejoinder today to Doug Rubin, the top political adviser to Governor Deval Patrick who said over the weekend that there were “better options” for interim US senator.
Discussion: Politico and Ballot Box
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
U.S. Lawyers Divided Over Prosecuting Terrorism Cases  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration legal team is divided over whether to drop two terrorism cases originally prosecuted in a military commission at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a decision that could have far-reaching consequences …
Discussion: Lawfare
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 More Items: 
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
Obama's failure to nominate women for two top Cabinet posts questioned
Saud Mehsud / Reuters:
Latest drone strike kills eight in northwest Pakistan
Discussion: Wired and emptywheel
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
GOP may use debt ceiling to force Harry Reid to pass budget
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
McChrystal backs gun restrictions
Discussion: and Taylor Marsh
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Energy Department, EPA nominations may be on tap
 Earlier Items: 
Score begins weekly editions for 2013 …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Adam Harrington / CBS New York:
New Jersey Senate President: Christie May Have ‘Prayed’ For Sandy To Come
Carlo Muñoz / The Hill:
'Don't ask, don't tell' dischargees to receive full back pay from DOD
Discussion: ACLU and Daily Kos
Rick Green / Capitol Watch:
State Rep. DebraLee Hovey to Gabby Giffords: Stay Out
Investor's Business Daily:
Hugo Chavez Hit By Cuba's Surgical Strike
Discussion: Power Line
Rasmussen Reports:
Just 8% Now Say They Are Tea Party Members