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3:25 PM ET, January 3, 2014


 Top Items: 
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.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
The perils of legalized pot
World News:
Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report  —  Rodong Sinmun / Yonhap via Reuters, file  —  Kim Jone Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek is dragged into court by uniformed personnel prior to last month's execution.  —  By Eric Baculinao and Alexander Smith, NBC News
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
No, Kim Jong Un probably didn't feed his uncle to 120 hungry dogs  —  If you've been on the Internet at all today, you've almost certainly seen the story claiming that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his uncle executed last month by stripping him naked and feeding him to 120 hungry dogs.
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Hit & Run
Tom Gardner / Daily Mail:
Kim Jong-Un killed his ‘scum’ uncle by stripping him naked, throwing him into a cage and leaving him to be eaten alive by a pack of 120 starving dogs  —  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un sentenced his uncle to be eaten alive by a pack of 120 wild dogs in a savage punishment for treachery, it has been claimed.
Ben Goad / The Hill:
DOJ rejects nuns' argument on ObamaCare contraception mandate  —  The Obama administration on Friday offered a vigorous defense of the Affordable Care Act's “birth control mandate,” disputing as unfounded the religious challenge that led a Supreme Court justice to partially block the provision from taking effect this week.
Fox News:
Administration to high court: Don't exempt Catholic groups from contraception mandate
Discussion: protein wisdom
Jennifer Haberkorn / Politico:
Sonia Sotomayor faces health law contraception decision
Amy Davidson / Close Read:
Nuns Against the Obamacare Mandate
Discussion: Guardian, The Dish and Slate
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 …
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Report: Clay Aiken weighs N.C. bid  —  Former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is reportedly looking at a challenge to Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.).  —  According to the Washington Blade, the openly gay entertainer has spoken to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee …
Discussion: Mediaite and The PJ Tatler
Jill Colvin / Politicker:
Video: Bill de Blasio Threatens to Strip During Storm Briefing  —  Bill de Blasio makes his offer.  (Screenshot:  —  Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to make reporters pay attention to his winter snowstorm briefings.  —  At the very end of a detailed press update …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and USA Today
Nick Gillespie / The Daily Beast:
Mayor De Blasio's Horse Policy Is a Pile of Manure
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Fix
Ariel Kaminer / City Room:
A Snow Day Coming? Dante's Friends Want to Know
Discussion: Politicker and Capital New York
Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Adding a new baby to plan not easy  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — There's another quirk in the Obama administration's new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.
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
Timothy Jost / CNN:
GOP health plans good for the rich  —  Editor's note: Timothy Jost is a professor of law at Washington and Lee University.  —  (CNN) — The first day of 2014 was a day to celebrate in our history — it was the first time that all Americans could buy health insurance regardless …
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 …
Ken Ham / Around the World with Ken Ham:
Yes, the Debate with Bill Nye Is On  —  Well, we were going to make this announcement next week, but our friends at the post office were able to get our January newsletter into AiG supporters' homes very early this time, so the word is now getting out about next month's creation/evolution debate.
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.
Matt Higgins / CBS DC:
Doctor's Office Spends 2 Hours On Hold With Health Insurer For Patient's Surgery Authorization  —  CHICAGO (AP) — The new year brought relief to some Illinois patients newly insured under the nation's health care law.  Others still weren't sure whether they were covered …
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.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
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 …
Kate Nocera / BuzzFeed:
Bernie Sanders Wants To Know If The NSA Is Spying On Congress  —  The independent Vermont Senator sent a letter to Gen. Keith Alexander asking if the NSA has or is spying on elected officials.  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders  —  Drew Angerer / Getty Images  —  WASHINGTON— Sen. Bernie Sanders …
Discussion: Mediaite
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 …
Blake Neff / The Hill:
King erupts over Snowden editorial  —  Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) decried The New York Times as a “disgrace” following an editorial calling for clemency for National Security Agency leaker and fugitive Edward Snowden.  —  “Edward Snowden is either a traitor, or a defector, or both …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
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 More Items: 
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
This Might Be The Most Bizarre Campaign Video Of 2014 So Far
Discussion: Mediaite
Ryan Cooper / Washington Monthly:
The Reformish Conservative Holding Pattern
New York Post:
Public advocate caught in lie over Times homeless story
Virginia Postrel / Bloomberg:
Two Cheers for ‘First World Problems’
Senator Spends Vacation Day With Homeless Man To Learn About The Challenges He Faces
Discussion: Liberaland and The Impolitic
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Boehner ally: GOP can win Senate
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
 Earlier Items: 
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Another Problem Obamacare Won't Solve: Health Costs
Discussion: National Review
Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress:
Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Liberals find comfort level in ‘NPR of gun clubs’
Discussion: Mediaite
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
Right Now, It's as Cold in Canada as Where Our Rover Is on Mars
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
6 Reasons This Could Be Obama's Best Year as President