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2:30 PM ET, January 31, 2013


 Top Items: 
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.
Yochi Dreazen / Talking Points Memo:
The GOP Tips Its Hand  —  9:45 — Sen. James Inhofe, the new ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, has already penned a Washington Post op-ed which surprised no one by announcing that he'd vote against Hagel.  Still, his opening remarks were interesting because they outlined …
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.
Chris Good / ABCNEWS:
Chuck Hagel, John McCain Butt Heads at Defense Secretary Confirmation Hearing  —  Facing a rocky confirmation process, Chuck Hagel today defended his record before his former Senate colleagues, including an openly impatient Sen. John McCain.  —  “I'm on the record on many issues …
Discussion:, CNN and Politico
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
Rubio says he will vote against Hagel  —  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday added his name to the list of Republicans who will vote against former Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-Neb.) confirmation to become Defense secretary.  —  Rubio said in a Fox News interview that he would not support President Obama's pick to head the Pentagon.
McCain to Hagel: ‘You refused to answer’
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
Hagel defends record at confirmation hearing
First Read:
First Thoughts: Chuck Hagel's big day
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
At Hill hearing, Wayne LaPierre tries to manhandle facts and logic  —  Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's chief executive, arrived for his hearing on Capitol Hill in the organization's trademark fashion: violently.  —  When he and his colleagues stepped off the elevator …
Anna Palmer / Politico:
NRA digs in on background checks  —  Universal background checks may be picking up steam in Congress, but not with the National Rifle Association.  —  NRA President David Keene said the burden would be too high for individual gun seller.  Plus, it wouldn't impact criminals looking to buy a firearm.
Discussion: CNN
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Kelly ‘proud’ of Giffords's Senate testimony
Discussion: Politico
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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: The Raw Story and Associated Press
Rich Lowry / Politico:
Marco Rubio's bad deal  —  In Washington, a new gang has been born.  The Gang of Eight on immigration is here to tell us that we have succeeded in not enforcing the law so persistently and thoroughly that now we have to give up all pretense.  —  The Gang of Eight wants to amnesty …
Discussion: Booman Tribune, National Review and CNN
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Obama's GDP headache  —  Today's news of a 0.1 percent shrink in the 4th Quarter Gross Domestic Product is ambiguous in terms of the economics — the fall was largely due to a drop in government spending and some shuffling of private inventories.  —  Nonetheless, the politics are unambiguously terrible for Barack Obama.
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
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
PERSONAL INCOME AND OUTLAYS, DECEMBER 2012  —  Personal income increased $352.4 billion, or 2.6 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $331.3 billion, or 2.7 percent, in December, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $22.6 billion, or 0.2 percent.
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.
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 …
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
In forthcoming book, Cuccinelli echoes Romney's ‘47 percent’  —  RICHMOND — Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's new book doesn't hit stores until Feb. 12, but a few pages of it have trickled out to The Washington Post.  —  The Republican gubernatorial candidate wrote the book …
Ian Mohr / New York Post:
EXCLUSIVE: NFL legend Dan Marino had a love child with CBS employee in 2005  —  PAGE SIX EXCLUSIVE  —  Dan Marino is famous for his touchdowns — but the Hall of Famer's scoring off the field is downright shocking.  —  The married gridiron great — a pregame analyst for CBS since 2003 …
Discussion: American Power and CBS New York
Camille Williams /
Home invasion suspect arrested after woman opens fire  —  Suspect arrested at hospital … MAGNOLIA, Texas -  —  A home invasion suspect was arrested at a hospital after a mother shot him during the crime at a Montgomery County home, deputies said Wednesday.
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 More Items: 
The United States Department of Justice:
Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Challenging Anheuser-Busch Inbev's Proposed Acquisition of Grupo Modelo
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Complaint: Sebelius' illegal campaign trip for Obama worse than we thought
Lori Ziganto / Twitchy:
Sexist heckling!  Gun rights proponent Gayle Trotter mocked by media, attacked by Left …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Justin Sink / The Hill:
White House to shut down jobs council
Discussion: Politico, CNN and Outside the Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Joy Resmovits / The Huffington Post:
Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
House Judiciary Chair Introduces Unconstitutional Bill To Permanently Abolish The Income Tax
Discussion: Daily Kos
Syria, Iran threaten consequences for Israeli strike
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Law Schools' Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut
Sam Baker / The Hill:
HHS clarifies exemptions from individual mandate in states that buck Medicaid expansion
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
Anne Marie Chaker / Wall Street Journal:
Backyard Farming Gets Fancy
Discussion: Democracy Project