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2:55 PM ET, January 6, 2014


 Top Items: 
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court stops Utah gay marriages (UPDATED)  —  UPDATE 1:16 p.m. State officials said on Monday that they are evaluating the legal fate of Utah same-sex couples who already have been married.  A total of 950 marriage licenses have been issued in the state to gay and lesbian couples …
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Block Gay Marriage in Utah During Appeal of Case  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday blocked further same-sex marriages in Utah while state officials appeal a decision allowing such unions.  —  The terse order, from the full court, issued a stay “pending final disposition” …
Rick Hasen / Election Law Blog:
No Surprise: Supreme Court Stays Utah Gay Marriage Ruling: What It Means  —  As I've been predicting, the Supreme Court unanimously put the Utah same sex marriage ruling on hold this morning, pending disposition of the issue in the Tenth Circuit.  —  This is no surprise.
Discussion: ABC News, BuzzFeed and Law Blog
Irin Carmon /
Court reviews Texas abortion restrictions
Discussion: Daily Kos
Floyd Abrams / Wall Street Journal:
Abortion Rights as a Free-Speech Flashpoint
Discussion: Law Blog and The Volokh Conspiracy
Linda Greenhouse / New York Times:   Crack Cocaine Limbo
Salt Lake Tribune:
Supreme Court halts gay marriage in Utah
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Hot Air
First on CNN: Liz Cheney to abandon Senate bid  —  New York (CNN) — Liz Cheney, whose upstart bid to unseat Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi sparked a round of warfare in the Republican Party and even within her own family, is dropping out of the Senate primary, sources told CNN late Sunday.
Liz Cheney: ‘I have decided to discontinue my campaign’  —  Liz Cheney is ending her campaign for Senate in Wyoming, the Republican announced in a statement early Monday morning.  —  Citing health concerns in her family, Cheney said the issues arising prompted her to end her GOP primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).
Jeff Zeleny / ABC News:
Liz Cheney Abandons Uphill Fight in Wyoming Senate Race, Citing Family Health Problems
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Molly Ball / The Atlantic Online:
The Agony of Frank Luntz  —  Frank Luntz does not want the buffet.  We are on the top floor of the Capitol Hill Club, the members-only Republican hangout a block from the Capitol, where a meaty smell is emanating from steam trays.  Today's main course is ham, and Luntz shakes his head.
Eliana Johnson / National Review:
Rachel's Show  —  MSNBC, the left-leaning cable-news network, has settled on one solution to its recent problems.  It now has an executive reviewing scripts before they go on the air.  The role, which has fallen to Rich Stockwell, a former executive producer of The Ed Show and Countdown …
Ron Johnson / Wall Street Journal:
I'm Suing Over ObamaCare Exemptions for Congress  —  If the president wants to change the health-care law, he must ask Congress to do it.  —  On Monday, Jan. 6, I am filing suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to make Congress live by the letter of the health-care law it imposed on the rest of America.
Sam Baker /
Obamacare Can't Fail ...  ... because the White House won't stop watering down its definition of success.  —  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has moved the goalposts on the Obamacare playing field.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)  —  The standard of success for the Affordable Care Act keeps getting weaker.
Discussion: First Read
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Johnson to sue over O-Care contributions
Brittany Foster / PoliticsPA:
Breaking: Rep. Gerlach Will Not Seek Reelection  —  PA-6 Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) will not seek reelection in 2014.  —  “Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move …
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
HILLARY CLINTON'S SHADOW CAMPAIGN  —  Early last summer in her Georgian-style home near Washington's Embassy Row, Hillary Clinton met with a handful of aides for a detailed presentation on preparing for a 2016 presidential campaign.  —  Three officials from the Democratic consulting firm …
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
How Obamacare Actually Paves the Way Toward Single Payer  —  Last week the liberal documentary-maker Michael Moore prompted indigestion across the progressive wonk community by pronouncing Obamacare “awful.”  In a New York Times op-ed, he bemoaned the way the president's law preserved …
One Of The Steubenville Rapists Has Been Freed After 9 Months  —  Ma'lik Richmond, one of the two young football players who was found “delinquent” of having raped a young girl in Steubenville, OH, last year, has been freed from his sentence at a juvenile detention facility.
Sam Webb / Daily Mail:
Feeling glum?  Well it is Blue Monday: Rain, debt and divorce make it worst day of the year  —  You've finished all the mince pies, the weather is terrible, Christmas ended up being horribly expensive and most of us are back to the daily grind.  —  So it wouldn't come as a surprise if you had started to feel down in the dumps.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The PJ Tatler
Max Boot / Wall Street Journal:
How Al Qaeda Terrorized Its Way Back in Iraq  —  As the country edges closer to civil war, much of the blame goes to Prime Minister Maliki—and the White House.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Instapundit
Michael Wines / New York Times:
Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States  —  LAKE MEAD, Nev. — The sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.  —  The once broad and blue river …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Michael Wolff / USA Today:
The unbeatable Roger Ailes  —  The Fox News chief continues to crush his cable news competitors.  —  Why would you work in the cable news business?  Does anybody look their best in cable news?  The people in front of the camera look extreme, demented, desperate or vapid.
Eric Holthaus / Quartz:
How global warming can make cold snaps even worse  —  The cold air pushing toward America's heartland is of a duration and magnitude rarely seen since record-keeping began in the 1870s.  In Minneapolis, forecasters warned that all-time wind chill records could be broken, with a stunning -65ºF predicted for Monday morning.
National Review:
Sensible on Weed  —  Launching 17 million “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, Colorado has become the first state to make the prudent choice of legalizing the consumption and sale of marijuana, thus dispensing with the charade of medical restrictions and recognizing the fact that …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Pirate's Cove
Ed O'Keefe / Post Politics:
Unemployment insurance extension lacks GOP support  —  A bipartisan plan to once again provide federal unemployment insurance for more than 1 million Americans appears to be falling short of the Republican support needed to clear a key procedural vote scheduled for Monday evening in the Senate.
Robert Stacy McCain / American Spectator:
DeBlasio's Horse-Drawn Carriage Ban: Is It Really About Campaign Cash?  —  Mayor Bill de Blasio's promise to ban New York City's iconic horse-drawn carriages could backfire, exposing what the newly-elected mayor's critics suggest is a corruption scandal masquerading as an animal-rights crusade.
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 More Items: 
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Irony alert: Global warmists get stuck in ice
Scott Jaschik / Inside Higher Ed:
Econ Jobs, Money, Love
Laurence J. Kotlikoff / New York Times:
Abolish the Corporate Income Tax
Discussion: Hit & Run and AEIdeas
Jessica Bakeman / Capital New York:
A Cuomo plan to fund pre-K, preempt mayor
Discussion: Politicker and ThinkProgress
Kyle Trygstad / Roll Call:
Unpopular Obama's New Gig in 2014: Fundraiser in Chief
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
Lindsay Beyerstein / Al Jazeera America:
Texas anti-abortion law forces women to make tough choices
Daniel Byman / Lawfare:
The Foreign Policy Essay: “2013 - The Year We Lost Iraq?”
Discussion: The Dish
Afghanistan girl, 8, wearing suicide vest detained
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Melissa Eddy / New York Times:
German Leader Injured in Skiing Accident
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
From Petraeus Scandal, an Apostle for Privacy
Ashley Killough / CNN:
RNC winter meeting to make time for anti-abortion rights rally
Discussion: Politico and The Raw Story
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Lies of Obamacare: Biggest and best
Discussion: Reason and New York Post
Matea Gold / Washington Post:
Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012