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12:15 PM ET, January 31, 2013


 Top Items: 
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
The Chuck Hagel confirmation whip count  —  Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel testifies Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee as part of his bid to become the next defense secretary, and behind the scenes, senators are quietly lining up on both sides of the confirmation fight.
Stephanie Gaskell / Politico:
A résumé check: Is Chuck Hagel up to the job?  —  There's not much on Chuck Hagel's résumé that screams secretary of defense.  —  He's not a former White House chief of staff, like Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld.  He never ran the CIA, like Leon Panetta or Robert Gates.
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
What Professor Hagel Taught  —  Cyberwar and Bjorn Lomborg at Georgetown.  A former student is “disgusted” by the nomination process.  —  Before he became President Obama's Secretary of Defense nominee, Senator Chuck Hagel was a professor at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service for three years.
Chris Good / ABCNEWS:
Chuck Hagel Defends His Worldview  —  Facing a rocky confirmation process, Chuck Hagel defended his record before his former Senate colleagues in Washington today.  —  “I'm on the record on many issues, but no one individual vote, no one individual quote, no one individual statement defines me …
Discussion: and Politico
Yochi Dreazen / Talking Points Memo:   The GOP Tips Its Hand
First Read:
First Thoughts: Chuck Hagel's big day
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
At Confirmation Hearing, Hagel Offers Forceful Endorsement of U.S. Military Power
Discussion:, Daily Kos and First Read
Wall Street Journal:
Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed  —  Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration's health-care overhaul when it was up for debate.  Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.  —  Union leaders say many of the law's requirements will drive …
Tara Culp-Ressler / ThinkProgress:
Idaho Republican Compares Obamacare To The Holocaust  —  A state senator in Idaho is expressing her distaste for President Obama's health care reform law by drawing a comparison between the private insurance companies participating in Obamacare and the “Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps” during the Holocaust.
Idaho senator compares health exchange to Holocaust
Discussion: Associated Press and The Raw Story
The Daily Caller:
Dominican prostitute: Sen. Bob Menendez ‘likes the youngest and newest girls’  —  In a little-noticed email published online Wednesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a young Dominican woman wrote nine months ago that she slept with 59-year-old New Jersey Democratic …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Menendez rushes to pay private-jet tab after FBI raid  —  “Wonderful things, subpoenas,” Wilford Brimley said in Absence of Malice, after the threat of one broke the silence of conspirators in the film's climax.  We can add FBI raids to that list of wonderful catalysts.
Nicole Perlroth / New York Times:
Chinese Hackers Infiltrate New York Times Computers  —  SAN FRANCISCO — For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.  —  After surreptitiously tracking …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Worth Reading  —  Here's a really meaty and interesting essay in the new and relaunched TNR about gun ownership and what gun owners want.  What Gun Owners Really Want by Walter Kirn.  —  There's a lot there.  But one point resonated with me because it's a flip side of something I was trying …
Caitlin Kenney / NPR:
Should Gun Owners Have To Buy Liability Insurance?
Discussion: Capitol Confidential
Kurt Schlichter / BREITBART.COM:
IGNORE LENA DUNHAM'S ‘GIRLS’ AT YOUR OWN PERIL, CONSERVATIVES  —  There's plenty about Girls to annoy conservatives, yet this often creepy, usually skeevy, critically-acclaimed HBO series is also a test for conservatives.  —  Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart's warnings about the importance …
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Kelly ‘proud’ of Giffords's Senate testimony  —  Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said Thursday he was “extremely proud” of his wife's testimony before a Senate hearing on stemming gun violence.  —  “For her to get up there ... as people can see …
Discussion: Politico
Christina Wilkie / The Huffington Post:
Gayle Trotter Testimony Captivates Senate Gun Control Hearing
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
RUBIO'S AMNESTY A PATH TO OBLIVION FOR GOP  —  RESIZE:  —  Apart from finding out that Barack Obama did far worse in his re-election than nearly any other incumbent who won re-election, the only thing that perked me up after Nov. 6 was coming across a Time magazine published after the 2004 election …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and Hot Air
Gina Kolata / Well:
Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says  —  If schools reinstated physical education classes, a lot of fat children would lose weight.  And they might never have gotten fat in the first place if their mothers had just breast fed them when they were babies.
Syria, Iran threaten consequences for Israeli strike  —  In wake of reported IAF attack on a military research center in Syria, Syrian ambassador to Lebanon says Damascus has option to respond as Iran threatens “serious consequences” for Tel Aviv; Hezbollah, Russia condemn strike.
James Hamblin / The Atlantic Online:
Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda  —  Social injustice and “a most wonderful invigorator of sexual organs”  —  1894 ad for Vin Mariani, art by Jules Cheret  —  When cocaine and alcohol meet inside a person, they create a third unique drug called cocaethylene.  Cocaethylene works like cocaine, but with more euphoria.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
S.A. Miller / New York Post:
Homeland Security has advice for confronting mass murders: scissors  —  WASHINGTON — Is your workplace getting shot up by a crazed gunman?  —  No problem — just grab a pair of scissors and fight back!  —  That's some of the helpful advice in a new instructional video from the Department …
Associated Press:
Obama's jobs council shutting down Thursday  —  By By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press - 36 minutes ago  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.
Jeffrey H. Anderson / Weekly Standard:
The Cost of Obama's Regulatory Explosion
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
House Judiciary Chair Introduces Unconstitutional Bill To Permanently Abolish The Income Tax  —  Last week, House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the Tax Code Termination Act, which would abolish the entire federal tax code in 2018, with exceptions for Social Security and Medicare taxes …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Katie McDonough / Salon:
Tennessee “Don't Say Gay” bill would require teachers to out their students  —  Language in the bill also appears to endorse counseling for students who are “at risk” of being LGBT  —  If you thought that you'd heard the last of Tennessee's “Don't Say Gay” bill after state lawmakers abandoned the legislation last year, think again.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Joy Resmovits / The Huffington Post:
Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says  —  Arne Duncan, Stanford, Charter Schools, Joy Resmovits on Education, Charter School Growth, Charter School Performance, Charter School Replication, Charter Schools Credo, Charter Schools Over Time, Charter Schools Stanford …
Sam Baker / The Hill:
HHS clarifies exemptions from individual mandate in states that buck Medicaid expansion  —  As the Obama administration took new steps Wednesday to implement the healthcare law's individual mandate, it clarified an exemption for people whose governors don't take part in the expanded Medicaid program.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Obama administration takes steps to implement individual mandate
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 More Items: 
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
DCCC outraises NRCC in 2012 election cycle
Discussion: CNN
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Government is hurting the economy — by spending too little
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Law Schools' Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut
Camille Williams /
Home invasion suspect arrested after woman opens fire
Kevin Cirilli / Politico:
Rand Paul: GOP must ‘evolve’ on immigration
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar /
Some families to be priced out of health overhaul
Discussion: Right Wing News
 Earlier Items: 
Anne Marie Chaker / Wall Street Journal:
Backyard Farming Gets Fancy
Discussion: Democracy Project
Jana Winter / Fox News:
Obama goes ‘skeet shooting all the time’? Hardly ever, sources say