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9:40 PM ET, December 23, 2014


 Top Items: 
CNN/ORC Poll: Obama ends year on an upswing  —  ‘Pals’: The Obama-Biden partnership  —  Honolulu (CNN) — Improving views of the economy have helped hike President Barack Obama's approval rating to a 20-month high, a new CNN/ORC poll showed Tuesday, as markets climbed to record levels at news of an economy in overdrive.
Discussion: theGrio
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Obama's next sales job: The economy  —  Wage stagnation, long-term unemployment undermine rosy numbers.  —  President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address to roll out an agenda aimed at tackling stagnating wages and helping Americans who feel left out of the economy's surge …
Discussion: The Hill
Nelson D. Schwartz / New York Times:
Economic Vital Signs Strongest in a Decade
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Third-Quarter GDP Revised Up to 5.0% Growth
New York Times:
In About-Face, Sony Will Screen ‘The Interview’ in a Small Run  —  LOS ANGELES — “The Interview,” the raucous comedy that became the center of a dispute over cybersecurity between the United States and North Korea, will be released in a small number of theaters on Christmas Day after all, Sony Pictures said on Tuesday.
No rules of cyber war  —  U.S. in uncharted waters with ‘proportionate response’ on hack attacks.  —  A day after a nine-hour Internet outage in North Korea, experts are still debating whether the U.S. government pulled the plug, or perhaps a rogue group of hackers.
Discussion: Washington Post
Brian Stelter /
Groundswell of support for ‘The Interview’  —  Six of out 10 Americans think Sony overreacted by canceling the Christmas release of “The Interview.”  And with each passing day, more of those people — including writers, independent theater owners and members of Congress — are speaking out.
Robert Wilonsky / Pop Culture Blog:
Alamo Drafthouse founder ‘proud to be an American’ as theaters prepare to show ‘The Interview’
GOP leaders refuse to weigh in on Grimm  —  House Republican leadership is refusing to weigh in so far on whether New York GOP Rep. Michael Grimm should remain in Congress after pleading guilty to felony federal tax fraud on Tuesday.  —  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has declined to comment on the case …
Roll Call:
Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion (Updated)
Discussion: Daily Kos
ABC News:
Michael Grimm Resists Calls for Resignation After Guilty Plea to Tax Charge
ABC News:
Calls for Michael Grimm Resignation Mount Ahead of Expected Guilty Plea
Discussion: Politico and Balloon Juice
David S. Joachim / New York Times:
Inquiry Into I.R.S. Lapses Shows No Links to White House  —  WASHINGTON — An 18-month congressional investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's mistreatment of conservative political groups seeking tax exemptions failed to show coordination between agency officials and political operatives …
Stephen Ohlemacher / Associated Press:
Probe fails to link IRS scandal to White House
Discussion: Salon and Mediaite
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
The IRS Scandal, Day 593  —  Daily Caller: BOMBSHELL REPORT …
US Census / Releases by Year:
Florida Passes New York to Become the Nation's Third Most Populous State, Census Bureau Reports  —  By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nation's third most populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau state population estimates released today.
Irene / Judicial Watch:
Oops!  U.S. Offers $5 Mil Reward for Al Qaeda Terrorist it Released From Gitmo  —  Years after liberating an Al Qaeda operative from the military prison at Guantanamo, the United States government has put him on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.
Fox News:
US government offering $5M reward for Al Qaeda leader freed from Gitmo
Discussion: TPNN and The Daily Caller
Michelle Conlin / Reuters:
Off duty, black cops in New York feel threat from fellow police  —  (Reuters) - From the dingy donut shops of Manhattan to the cloistered police watering holes in Brooklyn, a number of black NYPD officers say they have experienced the same racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life.
Jacob Siegel / The Daily Beast:
The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops  —  Evidence from photos, video, social-media posts and interviews suggests it was a single group, desperate to ‘turn up the anger’ at otherwise-peaceful protests.  —  A little over a week ago, a group of people marched down the streets of Manhattan and called for police to be killed.
John Marzulli / NY Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: 911 operators made ‘anti-police’ remarks, causing quarrel with FDNY dispatchers as 2 NYPD cops were dying, sources say  —  The war of words occurred when news broke that NYPD cops Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot Saturday.  One dispatcher allegedly said the cops ‘deserved it,’ said a law enforcement source.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Sean Rossman / Tallahassee Democrat:
Satanic Temple display damaged, woman in custody  —  A woman is in custody in connection with damaging the Satanic Temple holiday display at the Florida Capitol earlier today.  —  The diorama of an angel falling into a pit of fire is in the building's lobby along with five other holiday displays.
Discussion: WGBH News
Larry O'Dell / Associated Press:
Pat Robertson's Charity Tries To Make A Deal For Bob McDonnell's Freedom  —  RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell should perform community service rather than serve prison time for his federal corruption convictions, an international relief organization said Tuesday.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Shane Harris / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Bin Laden ‘Shooter’ Under Investigation for Leaking Secrets  —  The man who claims he killed the world's most wanted terrorist is now being probed for saying too much about the mission.  —  The former Navy SEAL who ignited a controversy when he publicly claimed credit …
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 More Items: 
Glenn Beck / Facebook:
On Police officers and the Hobbit.  —  I have been haunted …
Discussion: Raw Story, and Mediaite
FBI: 18 loaded guns smuggled on flight
Carly Fiorina / Salon:
Carly Fiorina's '16 pipe dream: Why her campaign will be a right-wing sideshow
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hullabaloo
Greg Munno / The FOIA Project:
FOIA Suits Jump In 2014
Discussion: Politico and The Huffington Post
Kelly P. Kissel / Associated Press:
Arkansas to appeal federal gay marriage ruling
Jessica Chasmar / Washington Times:
PSA encourages kids to steal parents' guns, hand over to teachers
Alyssa Zauderer / New York's PIX11:
Southwest jet gets wing clipped in collision at LaGuardia Airport
Discussion: FOX31 Denver, WTVR-TV, Tech Times and Gawker
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Court rejects 2 ozone regulations
Jacob Heilbrunn / New York Times:
The Real Threat to Hillary Clinton: Jim Webb
Duane D. Stanford / Bloomberg:
Coca-Cola Disconnects Voice Mail at Headquarters
Discussion: Mashable, Corrente and Tech Times
Michelle Ye Hee Lee / Washington Post:
Giuliani's claim that Obama launched anti-police ‘propaganda’
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Mitch McConnell: Senate 'didn't do squat for years'

From Mediagazer:

Sam Tobin / Reuters:
UK court documents: actor Hugh Grant settled a lawsuit against The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers over claims of using private investigators to phone tap

Hadas Gold / CNN:
The News/Media Alliance asks the DOJ, the FTC, and California's AG for a probe into whether Google broke any laws when removing some links to CA news sites

Megan Specia / New York Times:
The US assures the UK that Julian Assange could seek US First Amendment protections and wouldn't face the death penalty or be persecuted for his nationality

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