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8:55 AM ET, January 3, 2014


 Top Items: 
Matt Higgins / CBS Seattle:
Oregon Mother: I Can't Afford Obamacare For Myself, 1-Year-Old Son  —  PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — One Oregon mother says that she is unable to afford health insurance for her and her 18-month-old son because it's too expensive.  —  Kate Holly, 33, tells KOIN-TV that she originally …
Brian Beutler / Salon:   GOP's 2014 horror strategy: Exploit Americans' misfortune, drum up fake outrage
Peter Suderman / Hit & Run:
No, Obamacare Won't Reduce Emergency Room Usage
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Emergency Visits Seen Increasing With Health Law
Sarah Kliff / Wonkblog:
Study: Expanding Medicaid doesn't reduce ER trips. It increases them.
Discussion: The Week, National Review and
Chris Kluwe / Deadspin:
I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot  —  Hello.  My name is Chris Kluwe, and for eight years I was the punter for the Minnesota Vikings.  In May 2013, the Vikings released me from the team.  At the time, quite a few people asked me if I thought …
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Clay Aiken ‘actively considering’ run for Congress: sources  —  Clay Aiken is “actively considering” a run for Congress, sources say.  (Blade file photo by Michael Key)  —  Gay singer and “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is actively considering a bid to represent North Carolina's 2nd …
Laura Barron-Lopez / The Hill:
Climate to be 2014 battlefield  —  Climate change and energy will be a major policy battleground in the 2014 midterms, advocates on both sides of the issue promise.  —  Republicans like Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) plan to go on the attack against President Obama's climate action plan …
Coral Davenport / New York Times:
Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate Pact
David Brooks / New York Times:
Weed: Been There.  Done That.  —  For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana.  It was fun.  I have some fond memories of us all being silly together.  I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.  —  But then we all sort of moved away from it.
Discussion: Crooked Timber and National Review
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates hurt in fall  —  (CNN) - Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was back home on Thursday after injuring his neck in a fall on New Year's Day.  —  Gates accidentally fell and fractured his first vertebrae at his home in Washington state …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
Ravi Somaiya / Washington Post:
Ezra Klein Is Said to Plan to Leave Washington Post  —  Ezra Klein, an analyst, columnist and television commentator who runs The Washington Post's Wonkblog, is making plans to leave the newspaper after failing to win support for a new website he wanted to create within the company …
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic Online:
Democrats in 2014: The Party of John Edwards  —  In his inaugural address Wednesday, incoming New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to establish an intellectual pedigree for his focus on economic inequality.  He invoked Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt …
New York Times:
Qaeda-Aligned Militants Threaten Key Iraqi Cities  —  BAGHDAD — Radical Sunni militants aligned with Al Qaeda threatened Thursday to seize control of Falluja and Ramadi, two of the most important cities in Iraq, setting fire to police stations, freeing prisoners from jail and occupying mosques …
Find Friends Abuse  —  When we first built Snapchat, we had a difficult time finding other friends that were using the service.  We wanted a way to find friends in our address book that were also using Snapchat - so we created Find Friends.  Find Friends is an optional service that asks Snapchatters …
Daily Mail:
Duck Dynasty launch their own line of guns as Phil hatches plot to move his family to rival TV network after A&E bosses ‘humiliated’ him over anti-gay storm  — Phil Robertson feels betrayed by bosses at A&E and is plotting to get his family out of the $200,000 per episode contact they signed last August
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
A GOP Year  —  A White House official once noted that the problem with the national press corps is it can only keep one idea in its mind at a time.  And while that's often true, it's not at the moment in regard to Republicans.  —  Today's media line on the Republican party is it faces irreversible decline.
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
Right Now, It's as Cold in Canada as Where Our Rover Is on Mars  —  Canada is having a cold snap at the moment.  This week, in Southern Manitoba, the temperature reached a blisteringly frigid -31 degrees Celsius, or nearly -24 Fahrenheit.  (Wind chill values in Winnipeg …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Liberals find comfort level in ‘NPR of gun clubs’  —  Marlene Hoeber is feisty, tattooed, transgender, a self-described feminist, a queer activist - and a crack shot with her favorite “toys,” guns of just about every kind.  —  One thing she's not - and proud of it - is a member of the National Rifle Association.
Discussion: Mediaite
Rene Johnston / Toronto Star:
Rob Ford registers to run, claims he is best Toronto mayor ‘ever’  —  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford keeps promise to run for re-election and wants to be judged on his fiscal record, but won't discuss his conduct … Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, with his brother Doug Ford, left, files his nomination papers at Toronto City Hall.
New York Times:
Mayor de Blasio Looks Forward  —  Mayor Bill de Blasio took charge of New York City on Wednesday with a forceful Inaugural Address and pledged to begin the head-on attack on “the inequality crisis” as he had promised.  He repeated the bullet points from his campaign, but insisted …
David Martosko / Daily Mail:
‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’:  Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment  — MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn't prove they had insurance
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Eleven attorneys general slam Obama healthcare fixes as illegal  —  Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress.  —  The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama's executive action …
Washington Post:
NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption  —  In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical …
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
6 Reasons This Could Be Obama's Best Year as President  —  With the economy improving and Obamacare working, the president has a lot to be optimistic about.  —  “Obama is done!  He's a lame duck.  It's over for the president.”  —  These are the type of the comments we saw in the media as 2013 came to a close.
Discussion: Yahoo! News and PoliticusUSA
Commentary Magazine:
The Closing of the Scientific Mind  —  The huge cultural authority science has acquired over the past century imposes large duties on every scientist.  Scientists have acquired the power to impress and intimidate every time they open their mouths, and it is their responsibility to keep this power in mind no matter what they say or do.
Discussion: Vox Popoli, Ed Driscoll and Instapundit
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Exclusive: MSNBC to name Thomas Roberts host of ‘Way Too Early’  —  MSNBC has decided to replace the anchor of “Way Too Early” with the openly-gay Thomas Roberts because the left-leaning channel wants the show to be seen as more “diverse,” a source inside the cable network tells The Daily Caller.
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 More Items: 
Paul Krugman:
Bodyguard of Zombies, Counterattack by Cockroaches
John Harwood / New York Times:
When a 2nd-Term President and a Divided Congress Made Magic
Wal-Mart recalls donkey meat in China
Discussion: InvestorPlace
Andrew Johnson / National Review:
Obama's Half-Brother ‘Floored’ About President's Lying About Meeting Him
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
John Kerry / US Department of State:
Remarks With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Their Meeting
David Freedlander / The Daily Beast:
In the Buckeye State, the Tea Party Bucks the Establishment Republican Governor
Discussion: Associated Press
Lobbyists cash in on do-nothing Congress
 Earlier Items: 
The Boston Globe:
Virtuoso's flutes destroyed by US Customs
Annie-Rose Strasser / ThinkProgress:
Mass Shootings Are Becoming More Frequent
Discussion: Yahoo! News
Alexis C. Madrigal / The Atlantic Online:
How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
Former Florida Governor Apologizes For Anti-Gay Record
Discussion: Advocate and Liberaland
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Three Stages of Obamacare Acceptance
Margaret Sullivan / The Public Editor's Journal:
Weeks in the Making, an Editorial on Snowden May Go ‘Beyond What Is Realistic’