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3:00 PM ET, January 11, 2014


 Top Items:
Vulgarity-laced emails show attempts to silence GWB story  —  Some of Governor Christie's closest loyalists made an effort to keep information about the George Washington Bridge lane closures out of public view for months, as questions swirled about what now appears to have been a politically …
Joan Walsh / Salon:
No, really: It's over for Christie in 2016  —  MSNBC's Rachel Maddow floated an intriguing counter-theory Thursday night for why Gov. Chris Christie's top aides closed four lanes to the George Washington Bridge to strangle Fort Lee in traffic in September 2013.
New York Times:
Bridge Scandal Papers Point to Cover-Up by Chris Christie Allies  —  Officials loyal to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey went to elaborate lengths to make it appear that the September closing of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge was part of a traffic study, even though …
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Ariel Sharon, Fierce Defender of a Strong Israel, Dies at 85  —  Ariel Sharon, one of the most influential figures in Israel's history, a military commander and political leader who at the height of his power redrew the country's electoral map only to suffer a severe stroke from which he never recovered …
Jerusalem Post:
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon dies at 85  —  Israel's 11th premier passes away eight years after a stroke left him comatose; Sharon was one of Israel's legendary politicians and military leaders; Sharon's son Gilad: “He went when he decided to go.”  —  Former prime minister Ariel Sharon died …
Alan Duke / CNN:
Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, dead at 85
Discussion: Liberaland
Darlene Superville / Associated Press:
Obama Says Sharon Dedicated His Life to Israel
Discussion: Politico
Kiley Kroh / ThinkProgress:
PHOTOS: What It Looks Like When A Massive Chemical Spill Contaminates The Water Supply  —  Empty shelves at a local Foodland between Freedom Industries and American Water.  —  CREDIT: Foo Conner/@iwasaround  —  On Thursday morning, a chemical spill was detected at Freedom Industries' storage facility near …
Discussion: Associated Press and Liberaland
Crisis In West Virginia: Wal-Mart Calls In Police To Guard Bottled Water Delivery
Discussion: New York Times, CBS News and Liberaland
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Thousands Without Water After Spill in West Virginia
Discussion: Daily Kos, Mapbox and CNN
Wall Street Journal:
A judge blocks subpoenas against conservative allies of Scott Walker.  —  Chalk up a big victory for the First Amendment.  On Friday a Wisconsin judge struck a major blow for free political speech when he quashed subpoenas to conservative groups and ordered the return of property to the targets …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
The GOP's tarnished golden boys  —  For a while, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell were untouchable.  —  The first major Republicans elected after the 2008 Obama landslide, the tough-as-nails Garden Stater and the straight-edged Virginian heralded the conservative resurgence in 2010 and pointed …
Discussion: The Hill and Firedoglake
Samantha Lachman / The Huffington Post:
Oregon Governor Walks Out Of Interview Over Questions About State's Health Care Website  —  KATU News' exclusive one-on-one interview with Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber ended abruptly Thursday when the station's interviewer asked about problems with the Cover Oregon website.
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
The Udall ukase  —  Paul's post on the efforts of Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall behind the scenes to rewrite the history of the damage wrought by Obamacare in Colorado deserves further comment.  It is a small story of great interest.  Let's pause over it and take another look.
Discussion: Fox News, Politico and The Daily Caller
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Larry Speakes, Public Face of Reagan Era, Dies at 74  —  WASHINGTON — Larry Speakes, who became the public face of Ronald Reagan's presidency when a would-be assassin's bullet gravely wounded his boss, press secretary James Brady, died Friday in his native Mississippi.  He was 74.
Associated Press:   Former Reagan spokesman Larry Speakes dies at 74
Alanna Durkin / Associated Press:
TREASURY: VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS EXEMPT UNDER ACA  —  AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Fire departments won't have to provide coverage to volunteer firefighters under the federal health care law, the U.S. Department of Treasury said Friday, easing concerns that the overhaul would force departments to slash volunteer hours or benefits.
Discussion: The Hill and Daily Kos
Fred Bauer / National Review:
Website of Top House Republican Drops Opposition to Amnesty  —  A key Republican player on immigration may be changing his tune on amnesty.  —  In January 2012, the “Immigration Reform” page on the official House website of Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee …
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 More Items: 
Byron Tau / Politico:
Supreme Court to mull right to lie in political ads
James Pethokoukis / AEIdeas:
Don't blame the weather for the dreadful December job report
Discussion: MoneyBeat and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
David Weigel / Slate:
The Funniest Part of Robert Gates' Very Serious New Memoir
Discussion: Outside the Beltway