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1:50 PM ET, January 9, 2014


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Christie Fires Aide in Bridge Scandal as U.S. Opens Inquiry  —  Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey apologized to the people of New Jersey on Thursday, saying that he was “embarrassed and humiliated” by revelations that one of his top aides and close associates ordered lane closings …
New York Post:
Staffer's head rolls as Christie looks to save neck over Bridgegate  —  Heads are rolling over Bridgegate.  —  Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday fired the top aide who brazenly plotted the crippling lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, multiple sources told The Post.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Chris Christie, the George Washington Bridge and the IRS.  —  New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie has been tagged as a favorite, if not the favorite, for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.  His landslide re-election victory in 2013, a quarter-century after the Garden State last voted …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Chris Christie announces 11 a.m. presser  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will hold a press conference Thursday morning, the day after controversy erupted over his office's involvement in a major September traffic snafu.  —  Christie will have a press availability at the governor's office …
Leigh Ann Caldwell / CNN:
Christie on bridge scandal: ‘I knew nothing about this’  —  (CNN) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday said he was “embarrassed and humiliated” by the conduct of “some people on my team” over an unfolding political scandal, saying he knew nothing of their activities to apparently punish …
Christie won Fort Lee  —  (CNN) - It seems New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn't need the backing of Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee after all.  —  Christie carried Fort Lee in his landslide re-election victory last November over little known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.
Discussion: Politico
New York Times:
The Bully Was a Dupe  —  Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has explanations to make, apologies to give and an administrative house to clean now that his top aides and political cronies were shown to have been fully and gleefully aware of the chaos they caused by ordering up lane closings …
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Bill Pascrell on bridge flap: ‘Worst is yet to come’  —  New Jersey House members aren't calling for congressional investigations into revelations that a staffer in Gov. Chris Christie's office called for the closing of lanes on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge.
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
Christie Fires Top Aide ‘Because She Lied To Me’
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
Chris Christie: 'I'm embarrassed'
Discussion: CNN
Linh Tat /
EMS responses delayed by GWB lane closures in Fort Lee
Associated Press:
Christie fires aide, apologizes for traffic jams
Discussion: National Review and Hot Air
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Chris Christie's critics savor his misfortune
New York Post:   Bridging Christie's troubled waters
Jethro Mullen / CNN:
Dennis Rodman apologizes for North Korea outburst, says he'd been drinking  —  Rodman, ex-NBAers play North Korea  —  (CNN) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for his much-criticized outburst about an American citizen imprisoned in North Korea, saying he was stressed …
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:   Jesse Jackson: Dennis Rodman North Korea trip ‘illuminating’
Washington Post:
Dennis Rodman's flagrant foul behavior in North Korea
Discussion:, ABC News and CBS DC
Guy Taylor / Washington Times:
Iraqi ambassador slams Obama, praises Bush  —  Ambassador praises Bush's ‘ownership’ of relationship  —  NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW:  —  Iraq's ambassador to Washington says the Obama administration doesn't fully grasp the consequences of failing to more aggressively combat a surging al Qaeda threat inside …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and VodkaPundit
Peter Baker / Reuters:
Grim Sequel to Iraq's War
Fox News:
House GOP group rejects Obama's call for comprehensive immigration reform
Discussion: Right Wing News
Swearing toddler removed from home  —  (CNN) — A Nebraska toddler who repeated a slew of profanities in an online video has been taken into child protective custody, Omaha police said Wednesday.  —  While authorities found nothing criminal in the video, officials from the Omaha police's Child Victim Unit …
Erik Wemple:
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hunkers down on Koch Bros. claim  —  Mark V. Holden is general counsel at Koch Industries Inc., and he has a big file relating to MSNBC.  The progressive cable network tends to make frequent references to Koch Industries and its politically active, free-market major shareholders Charles and David Koch.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
The Poverty Line Was Designed Assuming Every Family Had a Housewife Who Was a ‘Skillful Cook’  —  The official poverty line, as I wrote yesterday, is a dated and crude statistical concept that in many ways fails to capture America's historical success at fighting economic need.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Shakesville
Ramsey Cox / The Hill:
Sen. Durbin to GOP: Put down Ayn Rand books  —  Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Republicans to stop reading Ayn Rand books and help Democrats pass legislation aimed to give struggling Americans a hand.  —  “I say to my conservative friends, put down those Ayn Rand books …
Eleanor Barkhorn / The Atlantic Online:
School Wasn't Canceled for Bad Weather in 1882  —  Record-low temperatures caused by the Polar Vortex have forced schools across the country to close this week.  Weather-related school cancellations tend to raise anxieties about whether we're a nation of wimps.
Discussion: American Spectator
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
The White Ghetto  —  Owsley County, Ky. - There are lots of diversions in the Big White Ghetto, the vast moribund matrix of Wonder Bread-hued Appalachian towns and villages stretching from northern Mississippi to southern New York, a slowly dissipating nebula of poverty and misery with its heart …
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 More Items: 
Jennifer Kabbany / The College Fix:
Under Obama, Youth Misery Index Hits All-Time High
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
Abby Rapoport / American Prospect:
Want to Rock the Vote? Fill the Election Assistance Commission.
Ben Goad / The Hill:
Bill targeting environmental regs threatened with veto
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin
 Earlier Items: 
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
‘Great Society’ agenda led to great — and lasting — philosophical divide
Discussion: The Mahablog
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Filibuster Reform Puts A Twist On SCOTUS Recess-Appointment Case
Rana Foroohar / TIME:
Janet Yellen: The Sixteen Trillion Dollar Woman
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
Republicans call for a new approach to fight poverty
Discussion: First Read
Chris Faraone / Vocativ:
E-book versions of Hitler's opus are rising in the rankings on Amazon and iTunes. What gives?
Discussion: Guardian
Democrats blame big business for botched rollout
Lucy Crossley / Daily Mail:
Student slices off his own penis after stabbing his mother while high on party drug
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit