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5:50 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 …
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Four Uncomfortable Questions From Chris Christie's Bridgegate Press Conference  —  The thrust of Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) Bridgegate press conference this morning has been: I didn't know, my staff lied to me, I'm so embarrassed, I'm sorry.  —  Let's say he's telling the truth.
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.
Nate Schweber / New York Times:
Woman Says Lane Closings Were Not to Blame for Her Mother's Death
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:   WATCH LIVE: Christie Pal Testifies On Bridge Scandal
Todd Starnes / Fox News:
Is Chris Christie political road kill?
Discussion: Fox News Insider and Hullabaloo
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Chris Christie Live Blog
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Christie won Fort Lee
Discussion: Politico, Hot Air and Taylor Marsh
Igor Bobic / Talking Points Memo:
Christie Fires Top Aide ‘Because She Lied To Me’
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Chris Christie: ‘I am embarrassed’
Associated Press:
Christie fires aide, apologizes for traffic jams
Discussion: Hot Air
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.
John P / Pew Research Center:
Who is this man?  Many Americans don't recognize top news anchor  —  Nightly News is now the nightly White House propaganda , it's talking points , personal attacks and lies.  They don't even give reeivent news.  I stopped watching the communist run media when I got my first computer.
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
How Marriage Fights Poverty  —  Marco Rubio delivered a speech on poverty today where he observed:  —  Marriage is great.  And it is true that a household with two adult members in it is much less likely to be poor than a household with one adult member.  But even though conservatives say this a lot …
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 …
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 …
David Giambusso / New Jersey Online:
Amiri Baraka, former N.J. poet laureate and prolific author, dead at 79  —  Amiri Baraka, the state's former poet laureate and a revered author, poet and activist, has died.  He was 79.  Baraka is shown in this 2009 file photo.  (Star-Ledger file photo)  —  David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
Discussion: Liberaland, Mediaite and News One
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
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Obama optimistic on unemployment benefits  —  President Barack Obama said Thursday he's glad that Senate negotiations to extend federal unemployment benefits are advancing, and for the second time this week called on the House to do the same.  —  “It's one thing to say we should help more Americans get ahead.
Discussion: CNN
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
Obama to unveil “promise zone” economic initiative
Discussion: Rush Limbaugh and Hot Air
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
JUSTICE: Feds pick Obama supporter to lead probe into IRS tea party targeting  —  The Justice Department selected an avowed political supporter of President Obama to lead the criminal probe into the IRS targeting of tea party groups, according to top Republicans who said Wednesday that the move has ruined the entire investigation.
Frances Martel / BREITBART.COM:
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 More Items: 
EPA Publishes First Rule Limiting Carbon Pollution From New Power Plants
Communications /
Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus
Discussion: Politico, DCist and First Read
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
Jennifer Kabbany / The College Fix:
Under Obama, Youth Misery Index Hits All-Time High
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
Guy Taylor / Washington Times:
Iraqi ambassador slams Obama, praises Bush
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and VodkaPundit
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
The White Ghetto  —  Owsley County, Ky. - There are lots …
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Filibuster Reform Puts A Twist On SCOTUS Recess-Appointment Case
Democrats blame big business for botched rollout
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