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12:00 AM ET, January 29, 2014


 Top Items: 
Brianna Keilar / CNN:
Obama to put women's issues ‘front and center’ in address  —  (CNN) - Working women and their struggles will form a major part of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, CNN has learned, underscoring the important role women play both in Obama's domestic agenda …
State of the Union 2014: Rand Paul to stress jobs in Obama rebuttal  —  Sen. Rand Paul plans to offer up Republican red meat by calling for lower taxes and blasting the president's jobs record as he delivers one of several GOP responses to the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Vows to Take Economic Action on His Own  —  After five years of fractious political combat, President Obama declared independence from Congress on Tuesday as he vowed to tackle economic disparity with a series of limited initiatives on jobs, wages and retirement that he will take without legislative approval.
Jon Favreau / The Daily Beast:
How Obama Prepares for the Grueling State of the Union  —  The president puts in back-to-back 2 a.m. nights rewriting his speech to make it “sing” and hopefully sway Congress.  A former speechwriter shares what it's like inside the White House.  —  There are plenty of reasons to think that the State …
Discussion: The Fix, Hot Air and News Desk
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
State of the Union 2014: Obama calls for ‘year of action’  —  President Barack Obama plans to make 2014 a year of action by using his executive authorities wherever possible, while still striving to work with Congress on big pieces of his agenda, he will say Tuesday night in his State of the Union address.
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Obama's SOTU Could Be A Big Deal For Immigration Reform — Really  —  Democrats expect President Barack Obama to strike a conciliatory tone on immigration reform Tuesday night when he delivers his State of the Union address, as a sign of good faith after Republican leadership has cracked open the door for a compromise on the issue.
Discussion: and Vox Popoli
Boehner warns Obama headed for ‘brick wall’  —  Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner warned President Barack Obama that he will “run into a brick wall” by using his executive power and bypassing Congress, as the White House has signaled the President intends to do.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
State of the Union 2014: Obama to hand Senate tough wage battle  —  President Barack Obama will pass the baton on raising the minimum wage to Congress on Tuesday night, leaving an uphill battle for Senate Democrats intent on boosting the rate.  —  The Senate's liberal wing said they hope …
Discussion: ABC News
Dana Davidsen / CNN:
Wendy Davis' daughters step in to defend their mother's life story  —  (CNN) - The two daughters of Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis penned their support of their mother, as well as her personal history, in open letters released Tuesday.
Discussion: Politico
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Great Caesar's Ghost
Discussion: American Spectator
Associated Press:
Excerpts of Obama's State of the Union Address
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ashley Killough / CNN:
‘Duck Dynasty’ to represent at State of the Union
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Banter
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Obama to lay out go-it-alone approach in State of Union speech
Discussion: TalkLeft
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Obamacare: Tom Coburn loses cancer doctor  —  Cancer-stricken Sen. Tom Coburn revealed Tuesday that his health insurance under Obamacare doesn't cover his oncologist, but said he still is receiving excellent care.  —  “I'm doing well from a health standpoint, got great docs,” Coburn said on MSNBC's …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
The End of the Beginning on Obamacare Repeal
Washington Free Beacon:
Tennesseans Losing Their Doctors Because of Obamacare
Discussion: Hot Air and Weekly Standard
City Journal:
America's Most Successful Communist  —  It was no surprise last year when rock stars, led by Bruce Springsteen, barnstormed battleground states for John Kerry, and no surprise that, save for a handful of country singers, George W. Bush could count on no similar support from pop performers.
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Rand Paul: Hillary off hook for Bill's past  —  Sen. Rand Paul doubled down Tuesday on his recent criticism of Bill Clinton, even as he stressed that the fallout from the former president's philandering in the 1990s wouldn't “apply” to Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run for the White House.
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
Hillary Clinton's Enemies Can't See Straight
Discussion: The Fix
Ted Hesson / Fusion:
Wendy Davis Rebuffs Bristol Palin's Motherhood Critique  —  Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator and Democratic candidate for governor, rejects the idea that she's a bad mother and “downright pathetic” — just a few of the barbs thrown her way in a recent column and tweet by reality TV personality Bristol Palin.
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Wendy Davis hits back at Bristol Palin
Shoebat Foundation / Walid Shoebat:
Obama's Brother joins Hamas, says ‘Jerusalem is ours; We are Coming’  —  By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack  —  While in Sanaa, Yemein in 2010, President Barack Obama's brother Malik Obama was at an event billed as the Orphans Development Fund (ODF) Conference.
Jim Lindgren / Washington Post:
If we want more income equality, should we return to the economy of George W. Bush?  —  Other things being equal, income equality is better than inequality.  But other things are NOT equal.  The easiest way to make incomes more equal in the short run is to have a recession.
Plenty of winners and losers in new farm bill  —  Soybean and catfish farmers, dairy food manufacturers, U.S. cattlemen and the organic food industry all counted themselves among the big winners this week, following the release of the farm bill conference report.
Ron Nixon / New York Times:
Farm Bill Compromise Will Change Programs and Reduce Spending
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
Christine Whitman recalls her 1995 GOP State of the Union response  —  Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman during a walk-through of her response to President Clinton's State of the Union Address, at the state Assembly chambers in Trenton, N.J. (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press / January 23, 1995)
Why These Undocumented Immigrants Will Join President Obama At The State Of The Union  —  When Cristian Avila was rejected for a college scholarship a few years ago, his mother “fell to her knees” crying and profusely apologized.  That was the moment Avila found out that he was undocumented.
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
One-Third of Americans Who Were Middle Class in 2008 Now Consider Themselves Lower or Lower Middle Class  —  Pew Research has a new poll out tracking how many people call themselves middle class vs. some other class.  The chart on the right shows the basic results over the past few years.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Text and Video of Obama's State of the Union Address
Associated Press:
FLOTUS guests: Gay athlete, woman CEO
Discussion: USA Today
Patrick Healy / ArtsBeat:
‘King Kong’ Will Stomp Onto Broadway in December, Producer Says
Discussion: PopWatch and
Mike Isaac / Re/code:
Medium, Evan Williams's Post-Twitter Media Startup, Raises $25 Million Round
 Earlier Items: 
Dean Obeidallah / The Daily Beast:
Can the GOP Get Out of Its Own Way? Recent Comments Make You Wonder
Ukraine's PM Azarov and government resign
Jack Shafer:
The limits of Ezra Klein's star power
Discussion: Mediaite, Politico and The Daily Caller
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Gibbs: Obama ‘Stopped Trying’ to Change Washington Long Ago
Kevin Sieff / Washington Post:
Karzai suspects U.S. is behind insurgent-style attacks, Afghan officials say