Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Team Rubio: Jeb won't push us out of 2016 presidential race — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is planning to take a more active role on the national political stage next month, undeterred by his former mentor Jeb Bush's moves toward running for president. — Republican strategists predicted months ago …
Discussion: Political Wire and Wall Street Journal
Joseph Tanfani / Los Angeles Times:
Jeb Bush eases out of some businesses, such as firm helped by Obamacare — When Jeb Bush completed two terms as governor of Florida in 2007, he reported his net worth at $1.3 million, about $700,000 less than when he took office. — Today, nearly eight years later, he is a wealthier man.
Michael Grunwald / Politico: Jeb Bush leaving health-care company
Rachael Bade / Politico:
GOP learns lessons from Sam Brownback's tax scare — Republicans once idolized the tax-cutting superstar; now they look askance at him. — Ohio Gov. John Kasich will roll out “responsible” tax plans that protect against revenue gaps. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Arizona's …
Discussion: Booman Tribune, The Mahablog and Political Wire
Liz Sly / Washington Post:
The Islamic State is failing at being a state — GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Islamic State's vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies …
Discussion: The Jawa Report, Hot Air, Political Wire and Althouse
Noah Rothman / Hot Air: Are we underestimating ISIS?
Taegan Goddard / Political Wire: Islamic State Not Much of a State
Ann Althouse / Althouse: “The Islamic State is failing at being a state.”
Father asks Islamic State to treat captured pilot son as ‘guest’
Father asks Islamic State to treat captured pilot son as ‘guest’
Discussion: New York Times and Mediaite
Rick Gladstone / New York Times: Jordan Warns Islamic State Militants Against Harming Captive Jordanian Pilot
New York Post:
Passenger tossed after flipping out over staff's ‘Merry Christmas’ — Bah, humbug! — A passenger was tossed off a plane at La Guardia Airport on Tuesday after flipping out — because airline workers wished him a merry Christmas. — The man was waiting to board American Airlines Flight 1140 …
Discussion: BizPac Review, Raw Story, Mediaite, John Hawkins' Right Wing News, TPNN, Slantpoint, Scared Monkeys, Liberty Unyielding, Gawker, Mashable, Vox Popoli and Gothamist
Carmine Sabia / BizPac Review: Holiday traveler kicked off plane; totally snaps when flight crew wishes him ‘Merry Christmas’
David Ferguson / Raw Story: Unhappy holidays: Passenger removed from flight after ‘Merry Christmas’ meltdown
John Hawkins / John Hawkins' Right Wing News: Airline passenger tossed off plane after going nuts over staff's ‘Merry Christmas’
Greg Campbell / TPNN: Airline Passenger FLIPS OUT Over ‘Merry Christmas’ Greeting, Gets BOOTED from the Plane
Scared Monkeys: Male Passenger Thrown Off American Airlines Plane After PC Scrooge Flippied Out After Airline Staff …
Michael Dorstewitz / Liberty Unyielding: Man flips out when flight crew wishes him ‘Merry Christmas’; kicked off plane to cheers
Gabrielle Bluestone / Gawker: Man Kicked Off Flight Thanks to His Burning Hatred for Christmas
Jessica Plautz / Mashable: Airline passenger freaks out over crew's ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting
Rebecca Fishbein / Gothamist: Passenger Gets Kicked Off Plane After “Merry Christmas” Meltdown
Man shot with stun gun dies at border crossing — SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego police say a 40-year-old man died after a border inspector shot him with a stun gun at the nation's busiest crossing. — Police said Thursday that the man jumped over a counter and attacked an inspector …
Spain premier announces modest minimum wage raise — Associated Press 1 hr ago — MADRID (AP) — Spain's prime minister has announced minimal increases to the minimum wage and for government-funded pensions and predicted the nation's economy will “take off” in 2015 following years of crushing financial pain.
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
Ready for Pope Francis — What better time than Christmas to turn our thoughts to Pope Francis, a voice for our generation and all generations who teaches, as all great faiths teach, that those who have the most should extend their hands to those who have the least and that those who have power should serve those who do not.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Tidings of Comfort — Maybe I'm just projecting, but Christmas seemed unusually subdued this year. The malls seemed less crowded than usual, the people glummer. There was even less Muzak in the air. And, in a way, that's not surprising: All year Americans have been bombarded …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Georgia Logothetis / Daily Kos: Abbreviated pundit roundup: Policies that worked, FOIA, Clinton and more
Race and the race — The GOP's 2016 slate may be its most diverse ever, but don't expect the candidates to talk much about it. — Bobby Jindal is Indian-American, but you'll never hear him describe himself that way. Marco Rubio insists he's an “American of Hispanic descent.”
Alex Byers / Politico:
Rock stars amp up in digital music copyright war — Platforms like Spotify, Pandora have raised the stakes in debate as Congress moves toward a comprehensive look at reform. — There are a lot of policy meetings on Capitol Hill — and they pretty much never end in song.
David Lerman / Bloomberg:
U.S. Spy Agency Reports Improper Surveillance of Americans — The National Security Agency today released reports on intelligence collection that may have violated the law or U.S. policy over more than a decade, including unauthorized surveillance of Americans' overseas communications.
Discussion: Raw Story, New York Times, The Verge, Slantpoint, Balloon Juice, Mashable and TPNN
Scott Kaufman / Raw Story: NSA releases decade's worth of damaging intelligence reports in Christmas Eve document dump
Adeel Hassan / New York Times: Tsunami Anniversary, Police Shooting, Christmas Movies
Elizabeth Lopatto / The Verge: Merry Christmas! The NSA's gift is a list of all the times it wrongly spied on you
T. M. Luhrmann / New York Times:
Religion Without God — THIS Christmas our family will go to church. The service is held in a beautiful old church in the charming town of Walpole, N.H., just over the border from Vermont. The Lord's Prayer hangs on the wall behind the sanctuary. A lectern rises above the nave to let the pastor look down on his flock.