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2:35 PM ET, February 6, 2014


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Russian Officials Fire Back at Olympic Critics  —  One Sochi Defender Claims Only 103 Registered Complaints; ‘Surveillance Video’ in Hotel Rooms  —  SOCHI, Russia—Rooms without doorknobs, locks or heat, dysfunctional toilets, surprise early-morning fire alarms and a Welcome Wagon of stray dogs …
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:   Racing to Save the Stray Dogs of Sochi
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Cantor takes mission impossible  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is taking the lead on crafting the GOP's Obama-Care replacement proposal.  —  The extraordinarily tough task faces many obstacles and is complicated by election-year politics and an unruly GOP conference.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Senate GOP buoyant about midterms  —  Politics was at the forefront of Republicans senators' minds at their annual retreat on Wednesday.  —  After hearing from a congressional handicapper and conservative observers at the Library of Congress, there's growing optimism among GOP lawmakers …
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Boehner proposes linking debt-limit hike to a restoration of recent cuts to military benefits
Politico:   John Boehner and Mitch McConnell's role reversal
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
New Bogus GOP Obamacare Attack Debuts In 2014 Political Ad (VIDEO)  —  Despite the consistent refutation of their claim that the Congressional Budget Office said Obamacare would cost the country 2 million jobs — even from within their own party — Republicans are now putting the attack in congressional ads.
Chicago Tribune:
Obamacare and the incentive to work
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
James Carville / The Hill:
Days ahead for Dems not so dark  —  When one has retired from the ranks of American domestic political consulting, as I have, you are not really allowed to just quit.  You become emeritus, of counsel, senior status and God knows what.  Basically your role becomes one of trying …
Mother Jones:
The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Last Donor Conference—Read It Here  —  A list of one-on-one meetings between VIP donors and the Kochs and their operatives offers a revealing look into their mighty political machine.  —  Charles Koch: Bo Rader/ZUMA; David Koch: Sonia Moskowitz/ZUMA
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Work was supposed to be liberating.  Now nonwork is.  —  Annie Lowrey, an economics reporter for the New York Times, has an essay in this coming weekend's Times magazine rebutting what she calls “the policy solution du jour” to the problem of “how to alleviate poverty”—namely, “marriage promotion.”
Wall Street Journal:
New evidence undercuts White House claims about IRS motivation.  —  House committees are still digging into the IRS political targeting scandal, and based on a hearing Wednesday there's more to learn.  The day produced more evidence blowing apart President Obama's claims that there was …
How John Podesta is changing Obama's White House  —  John Podesta doesn't have a standing appointment with President Barack Obama.  He doesn't join chief of staff Denis McDonough for the nightly “wrap” meeting with the president.  He doesn't have a defined portfolio of assignments.
Discussion: The New Republic
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
At Executive Mansion, McAuliffe puts out the welcome mat  —  RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe has added a potent weapon to his bipartisan charm offensive: better booze.  —  Desperately in need of Republican friends to get his agenda through a divided General Assembly, McAuliffe (D) …
Ashley Parker / New York Times:
Democrats Aim to Make 2014 More Like 2012 and 2008  —  WASHINGTON — The Democrats' plan to hold onto their narrow Senate majority goes by the name “Bannock Street project.”  It runs through 10 states, includes a $60 million investment, and requires more than 4,000 paid staffers.
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Paul Ryan Is the Odds-On Favorite to Win the Republican Nomination in 2016  —  There's been a lot of blathering about who the front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is, and so far I've resisted taking part.  But I guess I'm kind of curious: Is there much of a case to be made for anyone other than Paul Ryan?
Discussion: Liberaland
Jails Enroll Inmates in Obamacare to Pass Hospital Costs to U.S.  —  Being arrested in Chicago for, say, drug possession or assault gets you sent to the Cook County Jail to be fingerprinted, photographed and X-rayed.  You'll also get help applying for health insurance.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
John Bingham / Telegraph:
Head of Mormon church Thomas Monson summoned by British magistrates' court over Adam and Eve teaching  —  Thomas S Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ordered to appear before British magistrate's court amid claims that the organisation's teaching amounts to ‘fraud’
Scott Kaufman / The Raw Story:
Legal experts gobsmacked after British judge orders Mormon leader to prove faith's origins
GOP Conference chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers faces possible ethics inquiry  —  GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) faces a possible House Ethics Committee investigation over allegations by a former staffer that she improperly mixed campaign and official funds to help win a 2012 House leadership race.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Power Station Sniper  —  What motivated the sophisticated sniper attack on a San Jose power station last April?  The Times wonders:  —  Months Later, Sniper Attack at Power Hub Still a Mystery  —  SAN FRANCISCO — A mysterious and sophisticated sniper attack last year …
Discussion: New York Times and The Week
Robert Stacy McCain / American Spectator:
The Worst Idea in the World  —  Five years after the Bolshevik Revolution, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises predicted that the Soviet project was doomed to fail.  In his classic work Socialism, Mises explained that the attempt to replace the market system with central economic planning could not succeed …
Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed:
22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution  —  I asked 22 self-identifying creationists at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate to write a message/question/note to the other side.  Here's what they wrote.  —  1.  —  Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed  —  2.  —  Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed
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 More Items: 
Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Indie smash hit ‘Flappy Bird’ racks up $50K per day in ad revenue
Jake Tapper's Exclusive Interview with Secretary of State John Kerry
Russian laws choking free speech must be repealed now | @guardianletters
Discussion: BBC and
Laura Litvan / Bloomberg:
Mileage Tax Pushed by Shuster to Pay for Highway Bill
Discussion: Hot Air
Vancouver band demands compensation after learning music used for Guantanamo Bay torture
Discussion: Politico and Washington Wire
Scott Brown cuts ties with company sending emails to his list of political supporters
Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo
David Hawkings / Hawkings Here:
Republican Hedges His Bets by Targeting House Seats in 4 States
Discussion: American Prospect
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Bittman / New York Times:
Just Say No  —  President Obama indicated in his State …
Discussion: Washington Post
Louise Brown / Toronto Star:
U of T student loses bid to avoid class with women because he's shy
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Raw Story
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
Romney floats Martinez, others for 2016
Discussion: Politico
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Karl Rove: The Numbers That Scare Senate Democrats
Ed O'Keefe / Post Politics:
Obama not ‘offended’ if vulnerable Dems stay away
Josh Eidelson / Salon:
Breaking: Union rule despised by right-wingers now roaring back to life
Discussion: Daily Kos