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9:55 AM ET, January 5, 2014


 Top Items: 
Jason Samenow / Capital Weather Gang:
An astonishing, dangerous cold snap is about to descend on the U.S.  —  For days, it's appeared on computer model maps in the form of deep blue and purple shades.  Now it's about to get real and up close and personal.  Some of the coldest air in years, if not decades, is poised to pour into the U.S. …
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama looks to re-launch second term bogged down in 2013  —  President Obama returns to Washington hoping to build momentum for a thick agenda that didn't go very far during the first year of his second term.  —  The president will have has hands full: Right off the bat …
Heather Mac Donald / Wall Street Journal:
The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity  —  When Shakespeare lost out to ‘rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class’ at UCLA, something vital was harmed.
New York Times:
Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — The images of recent days have an eerie familiarity, as if the horrors of the past decade were being played back: masked gunmen recapturing the Iraqi cities of Falluja and Ramadi, where so many American soldiers died fighting them.
Discussion: Right Wing News
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Dems seize on income inequality in 2014  —  Democrats aren't wasting any time tackling an issue they are convinced will help them this election year: income inequality.  —  One of the Senate's first votes upon returning to Washington from their holiday break Monday will be on a bill reviving …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
De Blasio's Long Odds  —  THIS much can be said for Bill de Blasio's inauguration, which featured a concentration of left-wing agitprop unseen since the last time Pete Seeger occupied a stage alone: If the waning years of Barack Obama's presidency are going to be defined by a liberal crusade …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Romney to make rare Sunday appearance  —  Mitt Romney, the most recent GOP nominee for president, is scheduled to make a rare Sunday show appearance this week in the wake of a cable news controversy surrounding a photo of one of his grandsons.  —  Romney, the former Massachusetts governor …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Bernanke takes parting shot at Congress, calls fiscal policy ‘counterproductive’  —  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a parting critique of Washington's fiscal policy, arguing it weighed down the economic recovery and has been “counterproductive.”
Discussion: Booman Tribune
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
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.
Washington Post: defects leave many Americans eligible for Medicaid, CHIP without coverage  —  More than 100,000 Americans who applied for insurance through and were told they are eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) remain unenrolled …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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 More Items: 
Ashley Parker / New York Times:
For Obama, a Real and Rare Vacation in Hawaii
Thomas Heath / Washington Post:
Bezos floored by kidney stones on vacation
Discussion: ABC News, Politico and The Raw Story
Carol Kuruvilla / NY Daily News:
Utah man is on hunger strike to end gay marriages in his state
Discussion: Liberaland
 Earlier Items: 
Joshua Werbicki /
Palm Bay man charged for sex acts with family dog, police say
Nina Bernstein / New York Times:
School Experiment That Burned Boy Was Focus of Federal Warning
Discussion: Gothamist