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4:40 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 …
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 …
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.
Leigh Ann Caldwell / CNN:
Christie drops swagger amid heat of scandal  —  (CNN) — The usual swagger and bluster were gone.  Chris Christie stood contrite and humiliated as he told reporters on Thursday that he knew nothing about an unfolding political scandal that has upended his administration and could mean bigger problems if he runs for President.
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Over Two Weeks Ago, Christie Claimed His Staff Gave Him a ‘Full Briefing’ on Bridgegate  —  Governor Christie's problems are even worse than Eliana's grim post suggests — and I don't say that just because the press coverage here in Jersey, where Democrats are turning up the heat, is now unrelenting.
Washington Post:
Full transcript: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie's Jan. 9 news conference on George Washington Bridge scandal  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) held a news conference Jan. 9 to address revelations that a senior aide and two top political appointees forced days of traffic jams in September …
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:   WATCH LIVE: Christie Pal Testifies On Bridge Scandal
Christie won Fort Lee
Discussion: Politico, Hot Air and Taylor Marsh
Nate Schweber / New York Times:
Woman Says Lane Closings Were Not to Blame for Her Mother's Death
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Four Uncomfortable Questions From Chris Christie's Bridgegate Press Conference
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Chris Christie Live Blog
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Chris Christie: ‘I am embarrassed’
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
Christie Fires Top Aide ‘Because She Lied To Me’
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’
Complete Colorado / Page Two:
Udall's office pushed back hard on number of health care cancellations  —  At the height of controversy surrounding President Obama's promises on the federal health care overhaul, U.S. Senator Mark Udall's office worked assiduously to revise press accounts that 249,000 Coloradans received health care cancellation notices.
Eli Stokols /
GOP blasts Udall for ‘bullying’ Dept. of Insurance over Obamacare cancellations
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
A health industry expert on ‘the fundamental problem with Obamacare’  —  Robert Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a policy and marketplace consulting firm where he works closely with many in the heath industry as they try to navigate the Affordable Care Act.
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.
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
Intel panel: DOD report finds Snowden leaks helped terrorists  —  Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Agency programs have put U.S. troops at risk and prompted terrorists to change their tactics, according to a classified Pentagon report.  —  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers …
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 …
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
Communications /
Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus  —  For the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Discussion: Politico and First Read
Jennifer Kabbany / The College Fix:
Under Obama, Youth Misery Index Hits All-Time High  —  A Youth Misery Index that measures young Americans' woes has skyrocketed under President Barack Obama and hit an all-time high.  —  The index, released Wednesday, was calculated by adding youth unemployment and average college loan debt figures …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
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
Democrats blame big business for botched rollout  —  Democrats taking heat back home for Obamacare's rocky online rollout say don't blame them — blame Big Business.  —  Facing an onslaught of constituent frustration over problems with online exchanges, several Democrats have started pointing fingers …
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 More Items: 
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
Obama to unveil “promise zone” economic initiative
Discussion: Rush Limbaugh and Hot Air
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
How Marriage Fights Poverty
Nanci G. Hutson / News-Times:
Embattled Brookfield BOE member resigns
Government agency calls ‘Redskins’ offensive
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
Despite what the critics say, Obamacare is working
Discussion: VodkaPundit and Off the Kuff
Abby Rapoport / American Prospect:
Want to Rock the Vote? Fill the Election Assistance Commission.
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
The White Ghetto  —  Owsley County, Ky. - There are lots …
Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin
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
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
The Poverty Line Was Designed Assuming Every Family Had a Housewife Who Was a ‘Skillful Cook’
Discussion: Shakesville and Washington Monthly