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4:00 PM ET, January 13, 2014


 Top Items: 
Chris Frates / CNN:
Feds investigate Christie's use of Sandy relief funds  —  Washington (CNN) — Just days after dismissing two top advisers for their roles in the George Washington Bridge scandal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faced questions over the use of Superstorm Sandy relief funds.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Christie Story Attracts Little Public Interest  —  Recent Opinions of New Jersey Governor Are Largely Unchanged  —  The public paid far more attention to last week's cold snap than to the controversy swirling around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  There also has been little short-term change …
Ana Marie Cox / Guardian:
That West Virginia chemical spill? It's likely a bigger scandal than Bridgegate
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
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Argument recap: An uneasy day for presidential power  —  Seeming a bit troubled about allowing the Senate to have an on-off switch on the president's power to temporarily fill vacant government posts, the Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it may yet allow just that.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
SCOTUS skeptical on White House recess appointments  —  The Supreme Court seems poised to reject President Barack Obama's bold use of the recess appointment power, judging from the surprisingly widespread hostility the administration's arguments received Monday from conservative and liberal justices.
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Voice Doubts on Obama Recess Appointments
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
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.
Leo Shane III / Stars & Stripes:
Gates as VP? Memoir is full of interesting tidbits
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Gates ‘disappointed’ by reaction to memoir
Discussion: Hot Air
National Security:
Transcript: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Interview With NPR
Diane Sweet /
John McCain: If I Were Robert Gates, ‘I Would Have Waited’ To Publish Memoirs
Discussion: Liberaland
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: AEIdeas and 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.
Heather Haddon / Wall Street Journal:
Records Show Christie Administration Canceled Meetings After Jersey City Mayor Didn't Endorse  —  Documents released Monday indicate that meetings arranged between top commissioners to Gov. Chris Christie and Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop were abruptly canceled without reason last year …
Todd J. Gillman / Trail Blazers Blog:
Ted Cruz adds Katrina Pierson to his expanding list of the “utterly fearless”  —  Sen. Ted Cruz, hunting pheasant on Oct. 26 with Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa — one of a growing list of allies he has described as “utterly fearless.”  (AP/Nati Harnik)  —  WASHINGTON -It's pretty high praise to be called …
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Ted Cruz hires sacked RSC staffer Paul Teller
Discussion: Daily Kos
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Fars News Agency:
Snowden Documents Proving “US-Alien-Hitler” Link Stun Russia  —  TEHRAN (FNA)- Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed documents providing incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving US domestic and international policy …
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 …
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 More Items: 
From G'day USA to promised Pacific pact
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Agonist
Washington Wire:
Gaming the Capital: Profiting From Washington's Secrets
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
MTV's ‘16 and Pregnant,’ Derided by Some, May Resonate as a Cautionary Tale
 Earlier Items: 
Eliot Nelson / The Huffington Post:
Alaska Is At A Crossroads. Can Mark Begich Keep It From Falling Apart?
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Facebook acquires link-sharing service Branch for around $15 million
Discussion: DealBook, TechCrunch, Mashable and Gigaom
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Twinned Cities Now Following Different Paths
Discussion: The Daily Caller
John Fund / National Review:
Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy
Tami Luhby /
Help! I can't use my Obamacare benefits
Discussion: Pirate's Cove, VodkaPundit and Moe Lane
Jeffrey H. Anderson / Weekly Standard:
Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Rush Limbaugh
Ari Fleischer / Wall Street Journal:
How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married