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2:40 PM ET, January 4, 2014


 Top Items: 
Jon Pareles / New York Times:
Phil Everly, Half of a Pioneer Rock Duo That Inspired Generations, Dies at 74  —  Phil Everly, whose hits with his older brother, Don, as the Everly Brothers carried the close fraternal harmonies of country tradition into pioneering rock ‘n’ roll, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 74.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Liberaland
Randy Lewis / Los Angeles Times:
Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers dies at 74  —  This post has been updated.  See note below for details.  —  Phil Everly, who with his brother, Don, made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys …
Fox News:   Phil Everly, of Everly Brothers fame, dies at 74, wife says
Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed:
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Makes Tearful Televised Apology To The Romney Family  —  “My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off-limits.  For that I am sorry.”  —  MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry opened her Saturday morning show with an apology …
Discussion: Riehl World News
The Hill:
Strategists to GOP: Restrain yourselves on debt ceiling  —  GOP strategists are urging restraint in the upcoming debt-ceiling fight.  —  They are excited by the prospect of reclaiming the Senate in November's midterms elections but anxious about the party's capacity to snatch defeat …
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Wall Street Journal:
Degrees of Value: Making College Pay Off  —  For Too Many Americans, College Today Isn't Worth It … In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody.  A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, “30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education.”
David Harper / Tulsa World:
Tulsa man arrested on religion-based hate-crime complaint  —  A Tulsa man was arrested Thursday on a complaint alleging that he committed a hate crime against a woman he assumed to be a Muslim.  —  Stuart D. Manning, 43, is accused of hitting the woman in the forehead and sticking a knife …
William Bender /
Teens in Muslim garb try, fail to rob gun shop  —  MOST TEENAGERS do dumb things.  But not trying-to-rob-Joe-Galiano dumb.  —  Galiano is the owner of Suburban Armory, the gun shop on MacDade Boulevard in Collingdale, Delaware County.  There is a giant gun-shaped sign on the roof.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Jihad Watch
Itay Hod / Facebook:
people always say, no one has the right to out anyone.  that coming out is a private matter.  i disagree.  as you can imagine, not a very popular opinion.  but bear with me.  —  here's a hypothetical: what if you know a certain GOP congressman, let's just say from Illinois, is gay …
Alexis Kleinman / The Huffington Post:
Isaac Asimov's Predictions For 2014 From 50 Years Ago Are Eerily Accurate  —  Fifty years ago, American scientist and author Isaac Asimov published a story in The New York Times that listed his predictions for what the world would be like in 2014.  —  Asimov wrote more than 500 books in his lifetime …
Discussion: Motherboard and InvestorPlace
Jason Koebler / Politico:
The Congressman Who Went Off the Grid  —  Roscoe Bartlett spent 20 years on Capitol Hill.  Now he lives in a remote cabin in the woods, prepping for doomsday.  —  Bartlett bought the 153-acre property in the early 1980s for $80,000 and built the five cabins himself, wiring the solar panels …
Discussion: FishbowlDC
Carson Walker / Associated Press:
Cold U.S. Temperatures Expected To Break Records As ‘Polar Vortex’ Blasts Midwest  —  SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The weather warnings are dire: Life threatening wind chills.  Historic cold outbreak.  Bitter cold temperatures.  —  Winter is normally cold, but starting Sunday tundra …
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Why Snowden Won't (and Shouldn't) Get Clemency  —  He went too far to be considered just a whistleblower.  —  I regard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot.  I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Political palliatives won't cure ObamaCare's ills.  —  While we were away, the Department of Health and Human Services offered what might be termed a concession to reality.  In a Dec. 19 letter, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed Virginia's Mark Warner and five other members …
Senator Bernie Sanders / Senator Sanders's Feed:
Is the NSA Spying on Congress?  —  U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today asked the National Security Agency director whether the agency has monitored the phone calls, emails and Internet traffic of members of Congress and other elected officials.  —  “Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying …
Discussion: PandoDaily and Hullabaloo
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Bernie Sanders to NSA: Spying on Hill?
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
IMF Says: By the Way, There's a Debt Crisis  —  Two summers ago, we ran the Power Line Prize contest to try to focus attention on the exploding national debt.  The contest was successful, in that it incentivized the production of many high-quality videos, songs, pictures …
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
IMF paper warns of ‘savings tax’ and mass write-offs as West's debt hits 200-year high
Discussion: Clayton Cramer
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 More Items: 
Nina Bernstein / New York Times:
School Experiment That Burned Boy Was Focus of Federal Warning
Discussion: Gothamist
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
New Iranian Foreign Policy Head ‘Approved’ 1994 Terror Bombing
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Jon Favreau / The Daily Beast:
The Social-Minded Pope Francis Is a Very Different Kind of Pontiff
Discussion: Reuters
Brian Beutler / Salon:
GOP's “Duck Dynasty” problem: Why Phil Robertson was a hugely important political story
Jesse Lichtenstein / New York Times:
Ronan Farrow, Reluctant TV Star
Discussion: Althouse, NewsBusters and TVNewser
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Administration faces tough fight on contraception cases
 Earlier Items: 
Bryce Covert / ThinkProgress:
Raising The Minimum Wage To $10.10 Could Lift Nearly 5 Million Out Of Poverty
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Ronald Brownstein /
Why the Senate Will Only Get More Polarized
900 Rich People Won't Pay Into Social Security For The Rest Of The Year
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and Hullabaloo
Washington Free Beacon:
Mother of Five Told by Healthcare.Gov She Faces ‘Worst Case’ of Obamacare Glitches