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7:05 AM ET, December 17, 2014


 Top Items: 
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Is Jeb Bush Too Liberal To Win The Republican Nomination In 2016?  —  On Tuesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced that he will “actively explore” a bid for the White House.  While Bush has not yet formed a presidential exploratory committee, he's “running” for president by any practical definition of the term.
Money men cheer Bush news  —  Republican rivals will struggle to raise big cash.  —  In one swift move, Jeb Bush showed his fundraising prowess without raising a dollar.  —  A number of top tier donors reacted to the Republican's announcement on Facebook that he would “actively explore the possibility” …
Zeke J Miller / TIME:
Rand Paul is Already Running an Ad Against Jeb Bush  —  That didn't take long  —  The 2016 Republican primary battle is up and running—at least on Google.  —  Hours after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced he would “actively explore” a run for the White House, the political action committee …
Discussion: Slantpoint and Political Wire
Steve Peoples / Associated Press:
No doubt now: Jeb Bush eyeing 2016 race  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — It's suddenly become crystal clear that Jeb Bush has his eye on the presidency.  —  With just a few words, the former Florida governor stepped further into the 2016 Republican presidential contest than potential rivals …
Discussion: The Seattle Times
Jill Colvin / Associated Press:
Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she's proud to have been part of an administration that “banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations” and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world.
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:   GOP Sen. Coburn blocks terrorism insurance measure
Associated Press:   Ex-staffer for congressman alleges harassment
Joan Lowy / Associated Press:   Senate approves new auto safety chief
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Poll: Jeb Bush is a front-runner — but an underwhelming one
Joan Lowy / Associated Press:   TSA chief: Travelers from some nations targeted
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Bush fires starting pistol for 2016
Associated Press:
Bush (almost) Announces; He'll ‘Explore’ Candidacy
Josh Lederman / Associated Press:
Biden marks start of Hanukkah at national menorah
Discussion: Slantpoint
Burgess Everett / Politico:   Hill Republicans not lining up behind Jeb Bush
Brent Lang / Variety:
Sony Hackers Threaten 9/11 Attack on Movie Theaters That Screen ‘The Interview’  —  The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco's North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.
David Perera / Politico:
DHS: No credible threat to Sony movie launch
Alex Stedman / Variety:
Seth Rogen and James Franco Cancel All Media Appearances for ‘The Interview’
Jonathan H. Adler / Washington Post:
District court declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional (Updated)  —  Earlier Tuesday, a federal court in Pennsylvania declared aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional.  —  According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab …
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Republican Judge Strikes Down Obama's Immigration Order
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Monthly
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:   Federal Judge Declares Obama's Immigration Action Unconstitutional
Manu Raju / Politico:
Ted Cruz apologizes to colleagues over antics  —  Ted Cruz privately apologized to GOP senators Tuesday for interrupting their holiday schedules by his surprise tactics that effectively brought the Senate into session over the weekend.  —  According to five senators who attended Tuesday's caucus lunch …
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
Secretive groups ran $25M in ads for state races  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released Wednesday.
Brian Krebs / Politico:
Ever Wondered Who's Behind Those Viagra Emails?  —  The dark and deadly world of pharma spam.  —  Marcia Bergeron's body was discovered by a neighbor the day after Christmas 2006.  The coroner didn't have to look far for a cause of death: More than a hundred generic pills were found in her home …
The Independent:
There just might be life on Mars...Nasa Curiosity rover picks up mysterious methane ‘burps’ that could possibly be coming from alien organisms  —  Evidence of life on Mars could have been found by Nasa's Curiosity Rover.  —  Mysterious spikes of methane that cannot easily be explained …
Discussion: FOX News Radio
Dominic Kelly /
Irate Passenger Throws Cup Of Boiling Noodles At Flight Attendant (Video)  —  Cameras caught the moment that an irate passenger on an AirAsia flight threw a cup of boiling hot noodles at a flight attendant because she wouldn't let her sit next to her boyfriend, and now, the couple may face charges.
Discussion: FOX News Radio
Gregory Korte / Associated Press:
Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’  —  By issuing his directives as “memoranda” rather than executive orders, Obama has downplayed the extent of his executive actions.  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum …
William Desmond / National Law Journal:
Op-Ed: Delaying Exams Is Not a Request from ‘Coddled Millennials’  —  Over the last week, much has been said about law students' petitioning for exam extensions in light of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers.
Abby Ohlheiser / Washington Post:
Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons  —  Democrat Brad Woodhouse and Republican Dallas Woodhouse received a surprise during their joint appearance on C-SPAN when their mother called into scold them for fighting over the holidays.  (C-SPAN)
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
'Oh God It's Mom': Brother Operatives Get Surprise C-SPAN Caller
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Slantpoint
Stephen Ohlemacher / Associated Press:
In final 2014 push, Congress renews tax breaks  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Banks, retailers, commuters and teachers will keep their temporary tax breaks for another year after Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a massive tax package affecting millions of businesses and individuals.
Frances Robles / New York Times:
Ecuador Family Wins Favors After Donations to Democrats  —  MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.
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 More Items: 
Jaime Fuller / Washington Post:
People Magazine's worst selling issue this year? The one with Hillary Clinton on the cover.
Gary Langer / ABC News:
Six in 10 See CIA Actions as Justified As Many Question Committee Report
Philip Ewing / Politico:
Foreign lobbying oversight found lax
Discussion: and POGOBlog
Jennifer O'NeillWriter / Yahoo Parenting:
Second Graders Spend Recess Protesting Ferguson. Are They Too Young?
Discussion: FOX News Radio
Daisuke Wakabayashi / Wall Street Journal:
Apple Wins iPod Antitrust Trial
Discussion: ABC News, The Hill and NPR
 Earlier Items: 
Victor Fiorillo / Philadelphia Magazine:
Gay-Bashing Suspects Held on All Charges
Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: 'I was only 18 when Bill Cosby drugged me. …