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1:15 PM ET, January 18, 2013


 Top Items: 
Joe Holley / Houston Chronicle:
Cornyn: Congress will not allow default  —  Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.  —  “We will raise the debt ceiling.
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
A new strategy for the GOP  —  It has become conventional wisdom that Republicans are suffering an internal split that President Obama is successfully exploiting to neuter the Republican House.  It is not true, however, that the Republican split is philosophical and fundamental.
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
GOP De-Escalates Debt Limit Fight  —  The jig is up.  Republicans are going to increase the debt limit.  Probably for free.  —  And in the end, their change of heart took about two weeks.  —  Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who on January 4 warned that Republicans might force the country past the debt limit …
Obama unveils ‘Organizing for Action’  —  President Barack Obama on Friday announced the relaunch of his remaining campaign apparatus as a new tax-exempt group called Organizing for Action that will “play an active role” in “mobilizing around and speaking out in support of important legislation” during his second term.
Discussion: The Plum Line, The PJ Tatler and CNN
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
‘Obama for America’ to morph into ‘Organizing for Action’
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Ken Thomas / Associated Press:
Organizing For Action: Obama Campaign Relaunching As Nonprofit To Support Second Term Agenda
Discussion: Daily Kos and Business Insider
Ken Thomas / Associated Press:
AP Sources: Obama Team to Form Agenda Group
Discussion: CNN and Washington Free Beacon
Up next for Obama: A looming Democratic divide  —  As President Barack Obama approaches his second inaugural on Monday, he presides over a party that has largely papered over its divisions for the past four years thanks to the president's commanding popularity.
First Read:
First Thoughts: Different attitude greeting Obama's upcoming inaugural  —  A different attitude to greet Obama's 2nd inauguration, per new NBC/WSJ poll... “Cope” instead of “hope”... But Obama remains popular in poll... The same isn't true of the GOP, Congress... Majority supports broad principle …
Hayes Brown / ThinkProgress:
New Study Highlights Threat From Far Right-Wing Groups In U.S.  —  A new study from a think tank connected to the West Point Military Academy highlights the threat of violent far-right movements in the United States, leading to the conclusion that, while diverse in in their causes …
Discussion: Alan Colmes' and Booman Tribune
Rowan Scarborough / Washington Times:
West Point center cites dangers of ‘far right’ in U.S.
Discussion: National Review and Weasel Zippers
Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times:
TSA ends contract with Rapiscan, maker of full-body scanner  —  A TSA agent demonstrates the full-body scanner at Los Angeles International Airport.  (Los Angeles Times)  —  The Transportation Security Administration has ended a contract with the Hawthorne-based manufacturer …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Eschaton
Jeff Plungis / Bloomberg:
Naked-Image Scanners to Be Removed From U.S. Airports
Discussion: Hot Air and The Raw Story
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
I Have No Words  —  I'm not going to characterize this or say anything about it.  But I had to share it with you.  From TPM Reader PH ...
Discussion: Eschaton and CANNONFIRE
Charles C. Johnson / The Daily Caller:
In England, Piers Morgan joked about shooting rivals, said homeowners who kill burglars should not be prosecuted  —  CNN host and outspoken gun-control advocate Piers Morgan once joked about shooting professional enemies and separately wrote that he was a “rabid fascist” who wanted burglars tortured after a …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
POLITICO interview: Piers Morgan
Brent Schrotenboer / Associated Press:
Lance Armstrong to Oprah: Story was ‘one big lie’ … Saying his “mythic, perfect story” was “one big lie,” Lance Armstrong admitted that he cheated during most of his famed cycling career and that he bullied people who dared to tell the truth about it.  —  After denying doping allegations …
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories Edge Toward The Mainstream  —  “By far the hottest topic of the moment.”  Ignore it and it won't go away.  —  There are two kinds of conspiracy theories: The ones, about the Illuminati and about mysterious “chemtrails,” that lurk forever in the online twilight zone …
Discussion: and Glenn Beck
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Call for Term Limits, End to Electoral College  —  Virtually no partisan disagreement on these long-discussed constitutional reforms  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Even after the 2012 election in which Americans re-elected most of the sitting members of the U.S. House and Senate …
Discussion: The Hill, The Hill, Hot Air, CNN and Politico
White House releases new presidential portrait  —  (CNN) - The White House released a new portrait of President Barack Obama on Friday, just ahead of the inauguration of his second term.  —  The photo was taken by White House photographer Pete Souza on December 6, 2012.
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Departing aide expects more assertive Obama in second term
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
NRA President Blames Obama For ‘Hundreds’ Of Death Threats … On a right-wing talk show on Thursday, David Keene, the president of the National Rifle Association, blamed President Obama and the left for what he says have been hundreds of death threats made against him and his family.
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
Matthew Boyle / BREITBART.COM:
HOLDER BEGS COURT TO STOP DOCUMENT RELEASE ON FAST AND FURIOUS  —  Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch.  The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating …
Discussion: Hot Air
Stable Hand / The Jawa Report:
Holder Begs Court to Stop Document Release on #FastandFurious
Discussion: protein wisdom
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Dwindling Deficit  —  It's hard to turn on your TV or read an editorial page these days without encountering someone declaring, with an air of great seriousness, that excessive spending and the resulting budget deficit is our biggest problem.  Such declarations are rarely accompanied …
Discussion: Paul Krugman, Hot Air and Hullabaloo
John J. Monahan / Worcester Telegram & Gazette:
Murray will not run for governor  —  WORCESTER — Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray will not run for governor in 2014, citing the demands of campaigning, serving in elected office and his desire to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters.  —  “I've decided that I am not going to run for governor …
Discussion: Post Politics
Gin and Tacos:
FOR WANT OF A NAIL  —  (January 16, 2033.  A fire-lit cabin in the hills of Brezhnev City, Stalinton - formerly Boise, Idaho.  A man sitting on a shattered milk crate looks older than his 53 years.  His rumpled, malnourished grandson sits at his feet.)  —  “Grandpa?
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 More Items: 
Jill Lawrence /
Second-Term Exodus Leaves Zero Hispanics in Cabinet, Few on Dems' Bench
Discussion: Hot Air
James Daly / Wired:
Read a Lawyer's Amazingly Detailed Analysis of Bilbo's Contract in The Hobbit
Discussion: The Verge and io9
Daily Mail:
‘Battalion of Blood’ gunmen had one aim... to ‘kill infidels and Christians’: American …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and The Daily Caller
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
GOProud Backs Civil Marriage For Gay Couples
Discussion: GOProud, Inc. and Joe. My. God.
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
California lawmaker: Guns are ‘essential to living the way God intended’
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Rank and file tell GOP leaders to keep sequester, shutdown ‘on the table’
Discussion: Hot Air
John Avlon / CNN:
GOP's surprising edge on diversity
Margalit Fox / New York Times:
Pauline Phillips, Flinty Adviser to Millions as Dear Abby, Dies at 94
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Recalling Pain of Guns' Toll, Mayors Urge Bills' Passage
Discussion: The Caucus and
Washington Post:
House Republicans using retreat as chance for self-reflection
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Democrats Are Split Over How to Shape Approach to Gun Bills
Discussion: Daily Kos and Capital New York
Dave Itzkoff / ArtsBeat:
Biden Getting an Autobiography From The Onion (Whether He Wants It or Not)