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2:25 PM ET, January 13, 2014


 Top Items: 
Chris Frates / CNN:
CNN exclusive: Feds investigating Christie's use of Sandy relief funds  —  Scandal is unfolding around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta to punish a local mayor who wouldn't support him at the polls.
Hillary's hit list  —  The Clintons keep a favor file of saints and sinners, according to this excerpt from HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton.  —  Inside a cramped third-floor office of Hillary Clinton's once-bustling presidential campaign headquarters in the Ballston neighborhood …
Niall Stanage / The Hill:
Kerry, Kennedy top Clinton's traitor list  —  Aides on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign kept a detailed list of party colleagues who staffers believed had betrayed her during the long and bitter primary battle with President Obama, a new book reveals.
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
MSNBC Contributor Sees Sexism in Media Coverage of Hillary Clinton's ‘Hit List’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
Eun Kyung Kim / Today:
Robert Gates: My memoir has been ‘hijacked’ by politics  —  Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates clarified claims he supposedly made about President Obama's commitment to the military surge in Afghanistan, saying Monday he “absolutely believed” the commander-in-chief supported the mission at the time.
Diane Sweet /
John McCain: If I Were Robert Gates, ‘I Would Have Waited’ To Publish Memoirs
Discussion: Liberaland
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Gates ‘disappointed’ by reaction to memoir
Discussion: Hot Air
National Security:
Transcript: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Interview With NPR
Andrea Drusch / Politico:
Jim Inhofe: Robert Gates wasn't being honest
Discussion: Mediaite
Heather Haddon / Wall Street Journal:
Traffic scandal puts spotlight on tactics of Gov. Chris Christie's aides with local officials in N.J.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
New York Times:
Enemies of the Poor  —  Suddenly it's O.K., even mandatory, for politicians with national ambitions to talk about helping the poor.  This is easy for Democrats, who can go back to being the party of F.D.R. and L.B.J. It's much more difficult for Republicans, who are having a hard time shaking …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Morning Plum: Republicans all over the map on jobless benefits
Jill Lepore / New Yorker:
The reputation of Roger Ailes.  —  In the nineteen-thirties, one in four Americans got their news from William Randolph Hearst, who lived in a castle and owned twenty-eight newspapers in nineteen cities.  Hearst's papers were all alike: hot-blooded, with leggy headlines.
David Rogers / Politico:
Veteran Dem George Miller to retire  —  California Rep. George Miller, Nancy Pelosi's strong right arm and one of the top Democratic legislators of his generation, is stepping down at the end of this year after four decades in Congress.  —  Miller informed Pelosi, the Democratic leader …
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Ted Cruz hires sacked RSC staffer Paul Teller  —  A sacked aide to the Republican Study Committee, a group of House conservatives, has joined the office of Sen. Ted Cruz.  —  Paul Teller, who was fired in December as executive director of the RSC after leaking private conversations of members …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Todd J. Gillman / Trail Blazers Blog:
Ted Cruz adds Katrina Pierson to his expanding list of the “utterly fearless”
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
The Fight Over Unemployment Benefits Underscores the Right's Extremism  —  Under George W. Bush, the GOP never balked at extending unemployment benefits, but that was then.  Their newfound intransigence on this issue proves afresh that the party has been hijacked by extremists.
Discussion: NewsBusters blogs
Sen. Mitch McConnell / Politico:
How to save the Senate  —  Lyndon B. Johnson is usually remembered …
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Voice Doubts on Obama Recess Appointments  —  WASHINGTON — In an extended argument that contained large doses of history and practical politics, the Supreme Court on Monday seemed skeptical of the Obama administration's contention that it had acted properly in bypassing the Senate …
Discussion: SCOTUSblog and Weasel Zippers
David Hawkings / Hawkings Here:   A Balance of Powers Case With Senate GOP Power in the Balance
Bill Keller / New York Times:
Heroic Measures  —  LISA BONCHEK ADAMS has spent the last seven years in a fierce and very public cage fight with death.  Since a mammogram detected the first toxic seeds of cancer in her left breast when she was 37, she has blogged and tweeted copiously about her contest with the advancing disease.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Alex Sink rises to top in Florida special election  —  It's been framed as the clearest barometer of the public's mood heading into this year's midterms: a special election battle for a 50-50 congressional district in the famously 50-50 state of Florida.  —  But upon closer inspection …
Ari Fleischer / Wall Street Journal:
How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married  —  In families headed by married couples, the poverty level in 2012 was just 7.5%.  Those with a single mother: 33.9%.  —  If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting …
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Won't Hear Arizona Appeal on Abortion Ban  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from Arizona officials seeking to revive a state law that barred most abortions after 20 weeks of fetal gestation.  The justices offered no reasons for turning down the appeal, as is their custom.
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
MTV's ‘16 and Pregnant,’ Derided by Some, May Resonate as a Cautionary Tale  —  WASHINGTON — Kailyn Lowry, at age 17, decided to let MTV film her pregnancy and the birth of her first child in the hope of persuading other young men and women to wait to start a family.
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Obamacare's Spanish-language Web site is ‘written in Spanglish’  —'s October 1st launch was a disaster.  But at least it was a punctual disaster.  The site's Spanish-language version — — launched more than two months late.
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 More Items: 
Washington Wire:
Gaming the Capital: Profiting From Washington's Secrets
Eliot Nelson / The Huffington Post:
Alaska Is At A Crossroads. Can Mark Begich Keep It From Falling Apart?
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
David Rogers / Politico:
Closing in on a budget deal
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Twinned Cities Now Following Different Paths
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
John Fund / National Review:
Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy
Lori Ziganto / Twitchy:
‘Just WOW!’ Sen. Mike Lee tweets shocking display of Federal Register, regulations [pic]
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Michelle Malkin
Tami Luhby /
Help! I can't use my Obamacare benefits
Discussion: Pirate's Cove, VodkaPundit and Moe Lane
Washington Examiner:
Examiner Editorial: Only a special prosecutor can get truth about IRS abuse
Jeffrey H. Anderson / Weekly Standard:
Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Why Bridgegate made headlines but Obama's IRS scandal didn't