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2:05 PM ET, December 16, 2015


 Top Items: 
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
GOP chair probes if Cruz unveiled classified info during debate  —  A key Senate Republican is looking into whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) discussed classified information during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate.  —  “I'm having my staff look at the transcripts of the debate right now …
James Morgan / BBC:
Republican debate: Tweeters mock Trump's internet call  —  As the candidates in Tuesday's Republican debate grappled over how to tackle the growing threat of the Islamic State group (also known as Isis), Donald Trump calmly reassured them “the answer is simple”.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and whorunsGov
Leon H. Wolf / RedState:
Ted Cruz Has a Problem  —  Up until last night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100%'s refusal to attack Donald Trump was defensible.  Without question, it was smart politics, as his rise in the polls would attest.  But it was also defensible on the merits as a guy who is a solid conservative in good standing …
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
Cruz Blusters and Trump Sulks at Tense Republican Debate  —  Someone needs to explain carpets to Ted Cruz.  —  They're continuous stretches of material, usually rectangular, sometimes round.  They're not staggered, interrupted, with stops, starts, holes and sharp jags so that they smother …
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Chris Christie just made the GOP race a lot more interesting  —  After being in the minors for two debates, Chris Christie graduated to the main stage of the Republican clash for the presidential nomination Tuesday night.  And he made the most of it.  —  The governor of New Jersey …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Jeremy Diamond / CNN:
CNN Republican debate: Winners and losers  —  Washington (CNN)Republican presidential candidates sought to cement — or improve — their standings in a debate Tuesday night that comes less than two months before the first votes of the election season are cast.
Discussion: ImmigrationProf Blog and Towleroad
Shane Goldmacher / Politico:
Bush v. Trump: Behind the Vegas rumble  —  LAS VEGAS - Jeb Bush came at Donald Trump with everything he had, turning in his strongest debate performance to date just as much of the party was threatening to tune out his flagging candidacy entirely.  —  He dismissed Trump as a “chaos candidate” …
Will Rahn / The Daily Beast:
Was Marco Rubio Overrated All Along?  —  Marco Rubio was supposed to be the savior of the Republican establishment.  But after Tuesday's debate, maybe we should start asking ourselves if this is really a two-way race between Cruz and Trump.  —  That was a rough debate for Marco Rubio.
Jason Howerton /
Joe Scarborough Notices Something During Debate That Has Him Convinced Trump, Cruz Made 'Inside Deal …
Discussion: Hot Air and The Daily Caller
Shushannah Walshe / ABC News:
Fifth Republican Presidential Debate: 7 Moments That Mattered
Michael Crowley / Politico:
How Cruz and Rubio exposed the GOP's rift on foreign policy
Discussion: Yahoo Politics
Cate Martel / The Hill:
Trump dominates social media during debate
Discussion: Mother Jones
Jeremy Diamond / CNN:
Trump pledges allegiance to GOP, rules out independent bid
Bloomberg Business:
Congress Reaches Fiscal Agreement Ending U.S. Oil Export Ban  —  Speaker Ryan seeking votes this week on spending, tax bills  —  Plan extends solar, wind energy credits backed by Democrats  —  Congressional leaders unveiled a broad package of spending and tax legislation that would avert …
Washington Post:
Congress reaches year-end deal on taxes and spending
Anna Palmer / Politico:
Qualms in both parties over massive tax and spending package
Discussion: Forbes and Washington Free Beacon
The Hill:
Ryan unveils sweeping $1.6T deal on government funding, taxes
Erin Kelly / USA Today:
Congress reaches deal on 2016 spending bill to fund federal government
Isite Design / Wheaton College Home:
Wheaton College Statement Regarding Dr. Larycia Hawkins  —  In response to significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements that Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins has made about the relationship of Christianity to Islam …
Washington Post:
5th Republican debate transcript, annotated: Who said what and what it meant  —  Nine Republican candidates are participating in tonight's 2016 presidential debate in Las Vegas: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former tech executive Carly Fiorina …
Philip Haney / The Hill:
Administration nixed probe into Southern California jihadists  —  There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them.  That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part …
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Jihad Watch
Todd Starnes / Fox News:
Students practice calligraphy by writing “There is no god but Allah”  —  The Riverheads High School calligraphy assignment (Courtesy The Schilling Show)  —  A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith, “There is no god but Allah.
Discussion: Pamela Geller and Jihad Watch
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
FBI: ‘No evidence’ Calif. shooters supported jihad on social media  —  The FBI said on Wednesday that suspected San Bernardino, Calif., shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not express their support for jihad publicly on social media, potentially undercutting efforts to ramp up surveillance of foreign travelers' online presences.
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 More Items: 
Olivier Knox / Yahoo:
Obama says he'll push Congress to lift Cuba embargo in 2016
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Nick Gass / Politico:
Rand Paul tries to revive Bridgegate scandal
Discussion: The Hill and Washington Monthly
Washington Post:
Secret Service officer on leave in domestic incident fatally shot in D.C.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo, WTTG-TV and DCist
Barbara Sprunt / NPR:
The Debate Clock: Cruz Talks The Most
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Trump Won't Say If He's A Birther: 'I Don't Talk About That Anymore' (VIDEO)
Phillip Lucas / Associated Press:
Alabama mayor, councilman fight at City Hall
Discussion: Talking Points Memo, and CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Robby Soave / Hit & Run:
Cop Who Sought Photos of Teen's Erection in Sexting Case Commits Suicide Moments Before Arrest
Discussion: Althouse
Jennifer Pak / Telegraph:
Chinese buy up bottles of fresh air from Canada
Michael A. Cohen /
Donald Trump and the ugliness in Las Vegas
David Neumark / Wall Street Journal:
The Evidence Is Piling Up That Higher Minimum Wages Kill Jobs
Discussion: Forbes and Cafe Hayek
Andrew McCarthy / National Review:
Why People Hate the Media, Chapter 732,851,997 ...
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Mother Jones
Arturo Garcia / Raw Story:
Republican chickenhawk Huckabee speaks to youth: ‘Get off your butt’ and defeat ISIS