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6:30 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.
Gary Greenberg:
I smoked pot with David Brooks  —  Please note: What follows here is satire of the Juvenalian variety.  I thought I embedded enough tipoffs, but then again I forgot how much stranger than fiction truth can be.  So to those who thought it was real and suffered pain as a result, I apologize.
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Repeat After Me, David Brooks: Repealing Prohibition Is Not the Same As Endorsing the Previously Prohibited Activity
Discussion: Mediaite and National Review
Michelle Goldberg /
This Is David Brooks on Drugs
Discussion: National Review
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.
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.
Tim Stanley /
Did North Korea's Kim Jong-un really kill his uncle with 120 starving dogs?
Katie Pavlich /
BREAKING: Obama Issues New Executive Actions on Background Checks for Gun Purchases  —  President Obama has released two new executive actions on background checks for gun purchases.  The actions were posted on Friday afternoon and according to the Department of Justice …
Discussion: protein wisdom
The White House:
FACT SHEET: Strengthening the Federal Background Check System to Keep Guns out of Potentially Dangerous Hands  —  Today, the Administration is announcing two new executive actions that will help strengthen the federal background check system and keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Fox News:
Rude and Crude: Why MSNBC keeps getting into trouble  —  Is there something in the water over at 30 Rock?  —  Whether you love or detest MSNBC, the network has had a rough few months, and I'm wondering whether a series of embarrassing episodes is more than a coincidence.
Discussion: NewsBusters, Mediaite and TVNewser
Michael O'Connell / Hollywood Reporter:
‘Fox News Sunday’ Books Mitt Romney During Melissa Harris-Perry Controversy
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Clay Aiken ‘actively considering’ run for Congress: sources  —  Clay Aiken is “actively considering” a run for Congress, sources say.  (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)  —  Gay singer and “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is actively considering a bid to represent North …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Bernie Sanders to NSA: Spying on Hill?  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter Friday to the director of the National Security Agency asking if the agency is spying or has ever spied on members of Congress.  —  The Vermont independent said he was “deeply concerned” about the NSA's collection …
Kate Nocera / BuzzFeed:
Bernie Sanders Wants To Know If The NSA Is Spying On Congress
Discussion: Mediaite
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: USA Today and Talking Points Memo
Nick Gillespie / The Daily Beast:
Mayor De Blasio's Horse Policy Is a Pile of Manure
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Fix
Matthew Boyle / BREITBART.COM:
RAND PAUL TO LEAD CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMA OVER NSA SPYING  —  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is leading a class-action lawsuit with hundreds of thousands of Americans against President Barack Obama's National Security Agency (NSA) over its spying on the American people, Breitbart News has learned.
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
Paul to file class action suit against NSA ‘soon’
Discussion: Liberaland and Pat Dollard
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.
Jennifer Haberkorn / Politico:
Sonia Sotomayor faces health law contraception decision
Steve Lonegan / New Jersey Online:
Lonegan says he'll run for Congress in South Jersey  —  Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, is shown just after concession speech to his supporters on election night, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 at the Bridgewater Manor.  (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)
New York Post:
Public advocate caught in lie over Times homeless story  —  She lied on her first day on the job — and got caught.  —  Just hours after being sworn in as the city's public advocate, Letitia James went on TV to claim that she played a key role in helping expose “the face of poverty in the City of New York” …
Henry K. Lee / San Francisco Chronicle:
Hospital agrees to let Jahi McMath family take girl  —  (01-03) 12:43 PST Oakland — Children's Hospital Oakland reached an agreement with the family of Jahi McMath on Friday that will allow a critical care team to enter the hospital to move the girl to an unspecified facility.
James Nichols / The Huffington Post:
Trestin Meacham, Utah Man, On Hunger Strike To Halt Gay Marriage  —  It seems like things may have reached a whole new level of crazy in Utah.  —  Trestin Meacham, a 35-year-old Utah man, is allegedly refusing to eat anything until the state nullifies its recent decision to allow same-sex couples to get married.
Discussion: Right Wing Watch
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
This Might Be The Most Bizarre Campaign Video Of 2014 So Far  —  Rodney Lee Conover launched his campaign in California's 8th Congressional District with a video published on YouTube Thursday in which he compared House Republicans to his 1972 Ford Ranchero.  —  “Hi, I'm Rodney Lee Conover, and I'm running for Congress.
Discussion: Mediaite
Gordon G. Chang / The Daily Beast:
Snowden Lied About China Contacts  —  Snowden lied about his contacts with China.  Should he get clemency?  —  Yesterday, the New York Times urged the Obama administration to offer Edward Snowden “a plea bargain or some form of clemency.”  The paper called the former NSA contractor …
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.
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.
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 More Items: 
Washington Free Beacon:
Mother of Five Told by Healthcare.Gov She Faces ‘Worst Case’ of Obamacare Glitches
Robert Gehrke / Salt Lake Tribune:
Swallow campaign filed fake tax papers, new warrants show
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Advocate
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
Iraqi Troops Besiege Fallujah, Try To Wrest City From Al-Qaida
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jason Beaubien / NPR:
Overweight People In Developing World Outnumber Those In Rich Countries
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Althouse
Ryan Cooper / Washington Monthly:
The Reformish Conservative Holding Pattern
 Earlier Items: 
Timothy Jost / CNN:
GOP health plans good for the rich
Blake Neff / The Hill:
King erupts over Snowden editorial
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress:
Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
A GOP Year  —  A White House official once noted that the problem …
Discussion: Washington Monthly