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12:30 PM ET, February 4, 2015


 Top Items: 
Annie Karni / NY Daily News:
Obama shocked, ‘slightly irritated’ by Mitt Romney's 2012 concession call: David Axelrod  —  The president claimed his GOP opponent insinuated that Obama won only by getting out the black vote, according to a new book by the presidential campaign strategist.
Nicky Woolf / Guardian:
Fox News website embeds unedited Isis video showing brutal murder of Jordanian pilot  —  Fox News is only US media company to display extremely graphic 22-minute video showing Muadh al-Kasasbeh being set on fire and burning to death in a cage  —  Fox News has chosen to embed on its website …
Fox News:
Jordan hangs 2 Al Qaeda prisoners after ISIS video shows Jordanian pilot burned alive  —  Jordan executed two Al Qaeda prisoners early Wednesday in response to a graphic video released by the ISIS terror group that showed a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
United Arab Emirates, Key U.S. Ally in ISIS Effort, Disengaged in December
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
Martin Chulov / Guardian:
Isis video shows Jordanian hostage being burned to death
Discussion: Raw Story and The Intercept
Jordan pilot hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh ‘burned alive’
Discussion: Gawker, New York Magazine and Mediaite
Tom Wheeler / Wired:
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality  —  Federal Communication Commission(FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler waits for a hearing at the FCC December 11, 2014 in Washington, DC.  Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images  —  After more than a decade of debate …
A Bibi boycott?  —  Joe Biden is among those not committed to attending the Israeli prime minister's address to Congress.  —  Getty  —  Vice President Joe Biden won't commit to attending Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint meeting of Congress next month.  —  He's not the only one.
Israeli ambassador meets with Jewish Democrats on Hill  —  The ‘spirited’ meeting came as Ron Dermer sought to do damage control over the Netanyahu speech.  —  Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer shuttled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet with seven Jewish Democrats, trying to do damage control …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
After ISIS execution, angry King Abdullah quotes Clint Eastwood to U.S. lawmakers  —  Members of the House Armed Services Committee met with Jordan's King Abdullah Tuesday not long after news broke that ISIS had burned to death a Jordanian pilot captured in the fight against the terrorist group.
Discussion: Daily Mail
Fox News:
At least 23 dead after plane crashes into Taiwan river  —  At least 23 people were killed Wednesday after a Taiwanese flight with 58 people on board turned onto its side shortly after takeoff, clipped a bridge and crashed into a river in the island's capital of Taipei.
Taiwan TransAsia plane crashes into river
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Ralph Jennings / Associated Press:
Taiwan plane with 58 aboard crashes in Taipei; 12 killed
Walker targets Romney donors, Jeb turf  —  But several big donors aren't ready to commit just yet.  —  Scott Walker is moving to seize on Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the presidential race and show he can compete with Jeb Bush as a top-tier candidate.  Sources tell POLITICO …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Matea Gold / Washington Post:
Scott Walker works to harness national donor network for White House run
Discussion: Political Wire
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
GOP on immigration: ‘There is no plan B’  —  House conservatives are doubling down in their efforts to undo President Obama's lenient new deportation policies as part of a bill funding the Homeland Security Department.  —  The Republicans, including Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) …
The Hill:
House votes to repeal ObamaCare
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
IRS offers extra tax refunds to illegal immigrants granted amnesty by Obama … IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted amnesty from deportation under President Obama's new policies would be able to get extra refunds from the IRS for money they earned …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Moussaoui Calls Saudi Princes Patrons of Al Qaeda  —  WASHINGTON — In highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia's royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed …
Bob Davis / Wall Street Journal:
‘Reformicons’ Put New Twist on Tax Debate  —  Young Conservatives Push GOP Presidential Candidates to Back Targeted Breaks, Not Just Broad-Based Tax-Rate Cuts  —  WASHINGTON—A group of young conservatives, dubbed “reformicons,” are making inroads among Republican presidential candidates …
David Harsanyi / The Federalist:
Five Ways Liberals Ignore Science  —  The New York Times claims that this insane “presidential vaccine controversy” we're all taking about raises important questions about “how to approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives.”
Discussion: Mediaite
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Question for Josh Earnest: Does Obama believe vaccines for kids should be mandated by law?
NY Daily News:
Islamic extremist terrorism: The scourge that Obama dare not name  —  There's nothing more childish than living in a fantasyland  —  There's a famous painting of a pipe, by Belgian artist Rene Magritte.  Under the pipe it says in French, “Ceci n'est pas une pipe” — “This is not a pipe.”
Dana Bash / CNN:
Bush to pitch ‘reform conservatism’ in Detroit  —  Detroit (CNN)Jeb Bush will not give his maiden 2016 policy speech in the first caucus state of Iowa, or the first primary state of New Hampshire, but here in one of the most notoriously economically troubled cities in the nation.
Michael Allen /
Cop Accused Of Beating Wife While She Was Driving, Causing Crash  —  Jonathan Osborne, a police officer in Louisville, Kentucky, was recently arrested in Clark County, Indiana, for allegedly punching his wife while she was driving their car on Sunday night.  —  “It was an incident that occurred …
Discussion: FOX News Radio
Matt Fuller / Roll Call:
House Freedom Caucus Looks to Be a Force — in Leadership and Lawmaking  —  The House Freedom Caucus is only a few weeks old, but some members say the new conservative faction is already pulling the House Republican Conference to the right.  Before the HFC convened a single meeting …
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Senator says restaurant employees shouldn't be required to wash their hands  —  Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said at the Bipartisan Policy Center that maybe the government should not require food workers to wash their hands after using the bathroom.  (C-SPAN)  —  Once we're done debating …
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
GOP stalls in effort to oust Reid  —  Senate Republicans are unlikely to land their most formidable recruit to take down Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).  —  With Gov. Brian Sandoval delaying any decision until summer, his indecision is costing Republicans precious time in their quest …
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 More Items: 
Bryce Covert / ThinkProgress:
New York City's Mayor Calls For The Highest Minimum Wage In The Country
Discussion: New York Times
Ruth Gledhill / Christian News on Christian Today:
Influential Church of England evangelical comes out as gay
David Scott / The Charlotte Observer:
Charlie Sifford, first black PGA golfer, dies at 92
Discussion: NPR and
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
Jeb Bush coming to Iowa in March
Rob Copeland / Wall Street Journal:
Hedge Fund Co-Founded by Chelsea Clinton's Husband Suffers Losses Tied to Greece
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Politico
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Blame Hollywood for Anti-Vaxxers
Discussion: National Review
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Lemieux / The Week:
The Supreme Court challenge against ObamaCare is rapidly falling apart
“People could die and that's OK”: Why the right's free-market health philosophy is ludicrous
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
Julie Scelfo / New York Times:
A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Fall in Fortunes for Pennsylvania Attorney General
Discussion: Power Line
Associated Press:
‘No questions!’  Chris Christie clams up and CANCELS three press conferences on final day of disastrous UK trip
Discussion: The Daily Banter
Tina Nguyen / Mediaite:
Bobby Jindal's Official Painting Looks Nothing Like Bobby Jindal