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8:45 AM ET, January 16, 2014


 Top Items: 
Mark Murray /
Poll: Christie cruising through bridge scandal (so far)  —  Nearly 70 percent of Americans say the bridge-closure scandal engulfing Chris Christie has not changed their opinion about the New Jersey governor, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.  In addition, 44 percent …
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Chris Christie Is an Amateur  —  The left's political methods make Gov. Christie look like Little Bo Peep.  —  There haven't been so many reporters chasing a story in Trenton, N.J., since Washington crossed the Delaware.  But compared with the methods the Democratic Party is using …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Chris Christie calms fellow governors on scandal  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, battling an ongoing political scandal in his home state, has quietly communicated with several of his fellow governors to reassure them that the situation in Trenton is under control and express appreciation …
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Chris Christie's high-stakes weekend  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has apologized to his constituents for the George Washington Bridge scandal.  Now, he'll face his base.  —  Christie is headed to Florida for a series of events with some of the GOP's deepest pockets …
Jack Shafer:
All lanes close in on Christie
Special counsel named in New Jersey bridge probe
Matt Apuzzo / New York Times:
U.S. to Expand Rules Limiting Use of Profiling by Federal Agents  —  The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.
Discussion: Gawker and Jihad Watch
Peter Baker / New York Times:   Obama's Path From Critic to Overseer of Spying
Washington Post:
Obama expected to turn to Congress to help decide fate of NSA phone data collection
Discussion: Liberaland and Mother Jones
The Hill:
Armed Services Chairman McKeon retiring  —  House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) will announced his retirement on Wednesday, according to two sources close to McKeon.  —  “Mr. McKeon will be making his announcement tomorrow morning that he'll be retiring,” a source close to McKeon tells The Hill.
Donna Cassata / Associated Press:
AP Sources: Armed Services Chairman to Retire  —  Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, who as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has struggled to protect defense spending against deficit hawks, has decided to retire after 21 years in Congress, Republicans officials said Wednesday.
Inside the House GOP's immigration push  —  House Republican leaders are within weeks of releasing their principles for immigration reform — a blueprint that will detail positions on everything from border security to legal status.  —  The document, which has been kept under wraps until now …
Alex Roarty /
NRCC Blacklists Conservative Firm Jamestown for Fighting Republican Incumbents
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Ron Christie / The Daily Beast:
Obama: A President Tests His Limits  —  How can the President boast of making anything happen with a “phone and pen,” while also claiming “there is no shortcut to democracy?”  Ron Christie decodes a mess of slogans.  —  Just two weeks into the New Year, trying to pin down President Obama's …
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Obama fighting perception that administration is out of time to make progress on priorities
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
GOP Congressman: Limiting Abortion ‘Promotes Job Creation’  —  Democratic opponents of a new anti-abortion bill moving through the House of Representatives criticized Republicans on Wednesday for fast-tracking a socially divisive piece of legislation that “does not create a single job.”
Jessica Taylor / The Hill:
Mr. Smith decides to go home  —  To put it bluntly, being a member of Congress sucks — and the 16 members in the growing caucus of legislators heading for the exits seem to agree.  —  Someone has announced his retirement every day this week — on Wednesday it was Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran …
Kyle Trygstad / Roll Call:
Senate GOP More Optimistic About Midterms  —  At the dawn of the election year, Senate Republicans feel a renewed sense of optimism in their fight to net the six seats necessary to win the majority in 2014.  —  The stumbling rollout of Obamacare has given the GOP hope it can loosen …
Discussion: Capitol Report
The Hill:
House easily passes $1T omnibus spending bill with 359-67 vote  —  The House on Wednesday easily approved a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2014 and let Congress avoid the risk of a shutdown until the end of September.
Nico Hines / The Daily Beast:
Senior UK Defense Advisor: Obama Is Clueless About ‘What He Wants To Do In The World’  —  Sir Hew Strachan, an expert on the history of war, says that the president's strategic failures in Afghanistan and Syria have crippled America's position in the world.  —  President Obama is …
Discussion: Yahoo! News
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite:
Reverend Jeremiah Wright: Dr. King Had a ‘Dream,’ Obama Has a ‘Drone’  —  President Barack Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, is back in the news this week, but this time it's for some highly critical comments he made about the president at an event for the Chicago Teachers Union Wednesday.
Discussion: Hinterland Gazette and Liberaland
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Marijuana politics  —  So the POLITICO homepage has gone to pot: Darren Samuelsohn and Byron Tau report on how states are taking the lead on the legalization campaign; Reid Cherlin investigates the legal nightmare this creates between state and federal law — the consequences are far-ranging …
Christopher Weiss / ABC News:
Americans Split Evenly on Legalizing Marijuana
Discussion: Politico
Susanne Craig / New York Times:
Cuomo and Schneiderman Prepare to Fight Over JPMorgan Settlement  —  ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has asked people if they think Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York State, wears eyeliner.  —  Mr. Schneiderman has told people that he believes Mr. Cuomo's administration is Machiavellian and is out to undermine him.
Lizzie Crocker / The Daily Beast:
Virginia Legislator Running for Congress Says Spousal Rape Should Be Legal  —  State Senator Richard Black has been telling his fellow Virginians for more than a decade that spousal rape is not a crime, and now he's running for Congress.  —  Good news for Virginians living in the 13th district …
Discussion: Reuters
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 More Items: 
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Cheating Accusations Among Officers Overseeing Nuclear Arms
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Cleta Mitchell / Washington Examiner:
What FBI ‘investigation’ of the IRS scandal?
Discussion: Power Line
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Doubts over Common Core
Steve Connor / The Independent:
The lost girls: Illegal abortion widely used by some UK ethnic groups to avoid daughters …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Spectator
Daily Mail:
Is Hollande's mistress pregnant? …
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
How Rush Limbaugh Decides What Is True
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Norma Love / Associated Press:
NH House effort to legalize pot faces long odds
Discussion: Mashable
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:
Poverty Is Literally Making People Sick Because They Can't Afford Food
Discussion: The Dish
Rebecca Ballhaus / Washington Wire:
Gates: Syria Red Line Was ‘Serious Mistake’
Shayna Jacobs / NY Daily News:
Pervy former Mount Sinai urologist pleads guilty to filming up a woman's skirt at Union Square subway station
Pics of Marines Burning Bodies Trigger U.S. Military Investigation [PHOTOS]
Discussion: RT and Guardian
Jim Sciutto / CNN:
Source: Missing U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl seen in video