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7:10 AM ET, January 5, 2014


 Top Items: 
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 …
New York Times:
New York State Is Set to Loosen Marijuana Laws  —  ALBANY — Joining a growing group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.
Discussion: NBCNews, The Verge and Business Insider
Mordechai Kedar / Jerusalem Post:
Sisi: 1, Obama:0  —  If Netanyahu is as determined as is Sisi, he will succeed against Obama and Kerry, exactly as Sisi has.  —  Everyone is aware of the American plan to impose the Muslim Brotherhood on Egypt and any other country that would allow it.  The reasons for this American plan were revealed on this stage a half-year ago.
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Weasel Zippers
Thomas Heath / Washington Post:
Bezos floored by kidney stones on vacation  — founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, who purchased The Washington Post last year, suffered a kidney stone attack while vacationing in the Galapagos Islands over the New Year's Day holiday and was flown back to the United States for treatment.
Discussion: ABC News, Politico and The Raw Story
NSA statement does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress  —  Spencer Ackerman in Washington and Martin Pengelly in New York  —  The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is ... currently spying …
Carol Kuruvilla / NY Daily News:
Utah man is on hunger strike to end gay marriages in his state  —  Trestin Meacham has already lost 25 pounds after embarking on a fast with ‘no end in sight.’ The man, a devout Mormon, is pledging not to eat anything until Utah stops issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Discussion: Liberaland
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 …
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 …
Peter Travers / Rolling Stone:
Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For  —  Guaranteed jobs, universal basic incomes, public finance and more  —  It's a new year, but one thing hasn't changed: The economy still blows.  Five years after Wall Street crashed, America's banker-gamblers have only gotten richer …
Felix Salmon:
Netflix's dumbed-down algorithms  —  Alexis Madrigal has a rollicking investigation into Netflix's movie genres — all 76,897 of them, from category #1 (African-American Crime Documentaries) to category #91,307 (Visually Striking Latin American Comedies).  His story is titled …
Ashley Parker / New York Times:
For Obama, a Real and Rare Vacation in Hawaii  —  KAILUA, Hawaii — After a two-week vacation on the windward side of Oahu, ensconced with his family in a private beachfront rental, President Obama prepared on Saturday to return to the chillier clime — both politically and weather-wise — of the nation's capital.
Joshua Werbicki /
Palm Bay man charged for sex acts with family dog, police say  —  Cops say Papa John's delivery driver caught on video abusing dog  —  WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. -  —  A Palm Bay man was arrested after police say home surveillance video caught him in sexual acts involving his family's dog.
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 More Items: 
Nina Bernstein / New York Times:
School Experiment That Burned Boy Was Focus of Federal Warning
Discussion: Gothamist
Jason Koebler / Politico:
The Congressman Who Went Off the Grid
Discussion: FishbowlDC
 Earlier Items: 
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Wall Street Journal:
Degrees of Value: Making College Pay Off
Discussion: The Right Scoop and Instapundit
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Political palliatives won't cure ObamaCare's ills.
Jon Favreau / The Daily Beast:
The Social-Minded Pope Francis Is a Very Different Kind of Pontiff
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