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2:10 PM ET, December 29, 2014


 Top Items: 
Margaret Talev / Bloomberg Politics:
Five Ways Obama Can Mess with Republicans in 2015  —  President Barack Obama knows how to get under Republicans' skin (in so many ways, but in this case we're talking about going around Congress to get things done), and he ended 2014 with a bang: A climate deal with China.  Executive action on immigration.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Josh Lederman / Associated Press:
Obama warns GOP he plans to use veto pen in 2015  —  HONOLULU (AP) — Warning from President Barack Obama to congressional Republicans: I have a veto pen and, come January, I won't be afraid to use it.  —  Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Extend Run as Most Admired  —  Story Highlights  —  PRINCETON, N.J. — Americans continue to name Hillary Clinton as the woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most, and name Barack Obama as the man they admire most.
Michael C Bender / Bloomberg Politics:
Soldiers Relocate Wedding to Accommodate Obama's Golf Game  —  Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, were walking from their wedding rehearsal on Saturday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii when they were informed …
New York Post:
‘Traitor’ de Blasio booed at Police Academy graduation  —  Mayor Bill de Blasio was booed and heckled as he spoke to the city's newest cops Monday morning.  —  During a graduation ceremony for the latest class of graduates from the Police Academy, audience members shouted “Traitor!” …
Emily Ngo / Newsday:
Rudy Giuliani criticizes de Blasio on talk shows; NYPD's Bratton denounces cops' mayoral snub
Discussion: National Review
Transcript: President Obama's Full NPR Interview  —  NPR's wide-ranging interview with President Obama covers recent executive actions on Cuba and immigration, race relations in the U.S., health care, the midterm elections and extending democracy in the Middle East.
Molly Ball / The Atlantic Online:
Is the Most Powerful Conservative in America Losing His Edge?  —  Erick Erickson built his career on stoking populist rage.  But now the man who steers the Tea Party says conservative anger has grown toxic and self-defeating.  —  Photos by Audra Melton
Tracybloomktla / KTLA:
2 Police Officers Ambushed, Shot at in ‘Unprovoked Attack’ in South Los Angeles: LAPD  —  Los Angeles police called off an intense 8-hour manhunt Monday morning that began after two officers were ambushed in an “unprovoked attack” in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood of South L.A. the previous night.
Los Angeles Times:
Gunmen fire on LAPD patrol car in South L.A., prompting tactical alert
Mexican female bullfighter Karla de los Angeles gored  —  Mexican bullfighter Karla de los Angeles has been injured in a bullfight in Mexico City.  —  Ms de los Angeles was going in for the kill during Sunday's event when the bull tossed her over its head.
Discussion: Daily Mail
Fern Shen / Baltimore Brew:
Episcopal bishop identified as driver in fatal bike crash  —  BREW EXCLUSIVE: Heather Cook, No. 2 official in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was named in church communication  —  In an email to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton …
Discussion: Raw Story and Althouse
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
READ: Police Chief Tells Pro-Cop Critic To Respect Protesters In Powerful Letter  —  Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson gave the perfect response Friday to a pro-cop resident who criticized his department for going soft on anti-police brutality protesters.
Discussion: and Gawker
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Obama Recovery  —  Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat.  You'd feel pretty bad.  Correspondingly, you'd probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped.  What would that improvement in your condition tell you?
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Zoe Kleinman / BBC:
Politician's fingerprint ‘cloned from photos’ by hacker  —  Mr Krissler provided details of his technique at a convention in Hamburg  —  A member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) hacker network claims to have cloned a thumbprint of a German politician by using commercial software and images taken at a news conference.
Discussion: Big Think
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
WATCH: Fox Host Wonders If Metric System To Blame For Latest Missing Jet  —  After another jetliner mysteriously went missing without a trace on Sunday, cable news hosts are yet again filling time by speculating about what could have happened to Air Asia flight QZ8501 over the Java Sea.
Discussion: Associated Press
James Bennet / The Atlantic Online:
Editor's Note: Executive Dysfunction  —  It's happened by this point in every modern two-term presidency: If we weren't sick of the guy to start with, we certainly are by now.  What once seemed like roguish charm, or bracing surety, or nuanced intelligence, has curdled into self-indulgence, or arrogance, or passivity.
Debbie Purdy: Right-to-die campaigner dies  —  Right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdy, who won a landmark ruling to clarify the law on assisted suicide, has died.  —  The 51-year-old from Bradford had lived with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for almost 20 years.
Discussion: Guardian
Lucy McCalmont / Politico:
Charles Koch calls for criminal justice reform  —  Conservative mega-donor Charles Koch, better known for his support of libertarian and Republican causes, is opening his wallet on an unexpected issue.  —  Koch, according to a story published Sunday by The Wichita Eagle, plans to increase his efforts on criminal justice reform.
Discussion: CNN, Addicting Info and Wichita Eagle
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
16 in '16: The new battle for the Senate  —  Republicans begin the new election cycle on defense.  —  Republicans just won the Senate majority last month.  But can they keep it?  —  A cursory glance at the 2016 Senate map shows a slew of endangered Republicans up in two years …
Mark Thompson / TIME:
U.S. Ends Its War in Afghanistan  —  But the flag-lowering won't end the bloodshed  —  The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan ended its combat mission Sunday, marking the formal—if not real—end to the longest war in American history.  —  American warplanes began bombing the country on Oct. 7 …
Justin Fenton / Baltimore Sun:
Bicyclist, 41, struck, killed in Roland Park  —  A 41-year-old bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and killed Saturday afternoon in North Roland Park, police said.  —  The driver of the vehicle — a 58-year-old woman — initially left but returned while investigators were still on the scene, said Det.
Discussion: Baltimore Brew
The Local:
Conchita seeks ‘meeting of minds’ with Putin  —  Austria's superstar symbol of tolerance and respect for alternate sexuality explained in an interview with Austria's Kurier newspaper that she wanted to spend a week with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in order to better understand him.
George E. Condon Jr / National Journal:
The Year of Unconventional Wisdom  —  Unsurprisingly, political experts were wrong a lot in 2014.  —  People who make a living predicting the political future had a rough 2014.  —  Voters had a way of not always following the script—otherwise known as “conventional wisdom” …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Salena Zito / Real Clear Politics:
Elizabeth Warren Is No ‘Populist’  —  Democrat Elizabeth Warren's claim to being a Main Street populist is an abuse of the American populist narrative, not unlike the hijacking of the tea party following the 2010 elections.  —  Yet that hasn't stopped the freshman U.S. senator from Massachusetts …
Discussion: Moe Lane
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 More Items: 
Katie DeLong /
“Nobody deserves this:” 13-month-old boy loses his life after “dozens” of shots fired into home
Discussion: KTLA and Daily Mail
Al Jazeera America:
Al Jazeera staff held for one year in Egypt
Sari Horwitz / Washington Post:
A man of healing, a saga of suffering
Discussion: Daily Mail and The Other McCain
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / USA Today:
Politicians benefit from American tribal warfare: Column
Discussion: Hit & Run
New York Post:
Holder and Obama are making race relations worse, inflaming hatred
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Carsten / Reuters:
Gmail blocked in China
Brent Lang / Variety:
Sony: ‘The Interview’ Has Made Over $15 Million Online
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
10 senators who could lose reelection in 2016
The Atlantic Online:
The Tragedy of the American Military
Michele Corriston /
Chris Rock & Wife Malaak Compton-Rock Split
Discussion: CNN, Hinterland Gazette and