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1:20 PM ET, January 12, 2014


 Top Items: 
Keith Laing / The Hill:
Christie scandal: 5 things we don't know  —  Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) may have exhausted reporters' inquiries into his administration's involvement in the closing of lanes on the country's most heavily-traveled bridge, but there are still many unanswered questions in the unfolding political saga.
New York Times:
Thunder Road  —  WASHINGTON — I HAVE learned two things covering politics.  —  One, first impressions are often right.  John Edwards is slick.  Hillary Clinton is expedient.  W. was in over his head.  Barack Obama is too much in his head.  Chris Christie can be a bully.
Discussion: Althouse, Daily Kos and Washington Post
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
The unanswered ‘Bridgegate’ questions  —  Political scandals thrive on open questions, and Chris Christie's Bridgegate has plenty.  —  The political world was rocked last week when the New Jersey governor dismissed two of his advisers after emails showed they were involved in shutting …
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
Karl Rove: Bridge scandal proves Christie is ‘what we want’ in a president  —  Republican strategist Karl Rove asserted on Sunday that New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie's (R) handling of the George Washington Bridge Scandal showed he had the right qualities to be president of the United States.
Karen Tumulty / Post Politics:
Tom Kean says Christie's leadership should give pause to voters nationally
Michael Isikoff / NBCNews:
Democrat heading bridge probe says Christie could be impeached if he knew of closures
Discussion: Mediaite and Liberaland
New York Times:
Imagining President Christie
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Democrats plead with Obama to abandon Social Security cut  —  Democratic senators are pleading with President Obama to abandon his proposal to trim Social Security benefits before it becomes a liability for them in the midterm elections.  —  The president proposed a new formula …
Discussion: The Agonist
Steven Yaccino / New York Times:
Keeping Public Buildings Free of Guns Proves Too Costly for Kansas Towns  —  WICHITA, Kan. — Reasoning that more guns mean greater safety, Kansas lawmakers voted last year to require cities and counties to make public buildings accessible to people legally carrying concealed weapons.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Andrew J. Bacevich / Los Angeles Times:
The misuse of American might, and the price it pays  —  The United States no longer knows how to win wars, but it continues to start them.  —  “These days the United States absolves itself of any responsibility to finish wars that it starts,” writes Andrew J. Bacevich.  (Edel Rodriguez / For The Times / January 11, 2014)
Ashley Killough / CNN:
McCain: Send Petraeus back to Iraq  —  (CNN) - President Barack Obama should send David Petraeus, a retired four-star general who ran the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, back to Iraq to help deal with the growing unrest in the country, Sen. John McCain said Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union.”
Discussion: Politico
Jeffrey Goldberg / Bloomberg:
Ariel Sharon Never Changed  —  Shortly after the eruption of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000 — an uprising allegedly, though not actually, triggered by an infamous Ariel Sharon walkabout atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — I was visiting Sharon's ranch in southern Israel for the harvest holiday of Sukkot.
Ben Birnbaum / The New Republic:   Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014  —  He ultimately confronted the right wing.
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Rep. Darrell Issa's agenda in 2014: IRS, Benghazi and Fast and Furious  —  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in 2014 will pursue the IRS scandal, the deadly Benghazi attack and the botched Fast and Furious operation in what will likely be his last year as the House GOP's chief investigator.
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Washington Post:
Maryland officials were warned for a year of problems with online health-insurance site  —  More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project …
Discussion: Post Politics and Right Wing News
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
A National Strategy Funds State Political Monopolies  —  By his third year as chairman of the Alabama Republican organization, Mike Hubbard believed his party had just about everything it needed to win control of the State Legislature.  —  He had a plan: an 88-page playbook for the 2010 campaign …
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Liberaland
Tim Ross / Telegraph:
95 Tory MPs call for EU law veto  —  Exclusive: In a major intervention, backbenchers have written to the Prime Minister urging him to change the law to block new EU legislation  —  Parliament must be given the power to veto every aspect of EU law, 95 Conservative MPs demand in a letter to David Cameron.
Discussion: Guardian and Spectator
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 More Items: 
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Christie's bridge scandal and the muddled search for a GOP nominee
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Shadee Ashtari / The Huffington Post:
U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Anti-Abortion Group's Case For Lying In Political Ads
James Hohmann / Politico:
Terry McAuliffe offers olive branch to GOP
Discussion: Hot Air, Moe Lane and CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Wallace Matthews / ESPN:
A-Rod's ban reduced to 162 games
Discussion: ABC News
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Reid backs down in unemployment fight