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6:50 PM ET, December 23, 2015


 Top Items: 
Trump dominates GOP field heading into 2016  —  Washington (CNN)Donald Trump seems set to end 2015 as the dominant force in the race for next year's Republican nomination for president, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz now a clear — yet distant — second after a strong debate performance, a new CNN/ORC poll released on Wednesday has found.
Tony Leys / Des Moines Register:
Clinton says Trump's vulgarity doesn't shock her  —  FAIRFIELD, Ia.  — Hillary Clinton said she wasn't surprised to hear that Donald Trump had used a vulgarity to refer to her this week, but she doesn't plan to rise to his bait by responding directly to his insults.
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
In blockbuster poll, Sanders destroys Trump by 13 points  —  Stop the presses!  According to a new poll by Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) destroys Republican candidate Donald Trump in a general election by 13 percentage points.  In this new poll, Sanders has 51 percent to Trump's 38 percent.
Associated Press:
Carson Telegraphs Major Campaign Shake-Up: ‘Everything Is On The Table’  —  UPPERCO, Md. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Wednesday he is moving toward a major shake-up of his struggling campaign, with just six weeks to go until early voting begins to select party nominees.
Discussion: Politico and Wall Street Journal
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Clinton World stunned by Trump remarks
Discussion: whorunsGov, Instapundit and Politico
Mike Allen / Politico:
What Ted Cruz said behind closed doors  —  In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be “front and center” in his 2016 campaign.  —  In July, he said the Supreme Court's decision allowing same-sex marriage was the “very definition of tyranny” and urged states to ignore the ruling.
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:
UPDATED!  That Deleted Ted Cruz Cartoon Wasn't The Worst Thing Wash Post Published This Week  —  Updated at 10:43 A.M.: Scroll down for cartoonist Ann Telnaes' comments on controversy.  —  By now, you've probably heard about the early Christmas gift that The Washington Post gave to Ted Cruz …
Eliza Collins / Politico:
Washington Post removes cartoon depicting Ted Cruz's daughters as monkeys
NBC News:
Ted Cruz Blasts Washington Post Cartoon of Daughters as Monkeys
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Rand Paul Says He Won't Participate In Undercard Debate  —  “I'm not gonna let any network or anybody tell me we're not a first-tier campaign.”  —  —  Rand Paul said on Wednesday that he will refuse to participate in a “second-tier” debate if he is relegated to the undercard stage by the Fox Business Network.
Sahil Kapur / Bloomberg Business:
Marco Rubio Dips in the Polls Heading into Christmas
Discussion: ABC News and Politico
US stops British Muslim family from boarding flight to visit Disneyland  —  A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles by US authorities at London's Gatwick airport amid concerns of an American overreaction to the perceived terrorist threat.
New York Times:
The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom  —  Families traveling from far-flung places and returning home for the holidays.  That image of an American Christmas, retold in song and movies, fits the perception of Americans as rootless, constantly on the move to seek opportunity even if it means leaving family behind.
Discussion: Jezebel, Mother Jones and The Week
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Bush: Problem With Confederate Flag Is ‘What It Began To Represent Later’  —  GOP 2016er Jeb Bush defended his decision as Florida governor to take down the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol by arguing the controversy around Confederate monuments “isn't the 19th century issue, it's the 20th century issue.”
Holly Ellyatt / CNBC:
Being a woman costs more than being a man: Study  —  Women based products face higher prices than men's  —  A new study finds female based products cost more than those for men  —  Women are paying thousands of dollars more over the course of their lives than men to purchase similar products …
Victoria Cavaliere / Raw Story:
Washington judge bats down NRA and upholds Seattle's ‘gun violence tax’ on sellers of firearms and ammo
New Republic:
Brian Beutler  —  Hillary Clinton has an amazing plan to close every public school in America.  —  But she might want to sit in on a better-than-average math class before stating goals like this: “I wouldn't keep any school open that wasn't doing better than average.”
Debbie Bryce / Idaho Statesman:
Cafeteria worker fired over free lunch  —  Lunch lady offered to pay district the $1.70 cost of the meal she gave to a student without money  —  She plans to seek legal counsel.  “This is just breaking my heart” … For the Idaho State Journal  —  POCATELLO
Edmundo Carrillo / Albuquerque Journal:
Police sgt. says governor was ‘inebriated’  —  SANTA FE - A Santa Fe police officer's recording shows the officer and a Santa Fe hotel security guard discussing whether Gov. Susana Martinez was intoxicated in the moments after she talked to them about a report of loud noise and bottles …
CBS News:
Stephen Colbert on the “one saving grace” of Donald Trump's 2016 bid  —  Stephen Colbert, as the host of CBS' “The Late Show,” makes a living, in part, by cracking jokes at the expense of political figures.  And the 2016 election, dominated on the Republican side by a figure as colorful as Donald Trump …
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Sorry, Conservatives, Obamacare Is Still Working
Ali Weinberg / ABC News:
President Obama's Christmas Wish for Christians Persecuted by ISIS
Discussion: Politico
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
NH reporter: Marco Rubio is like “a computer algorithm designed to cover talking points”
Discussion: Daily Kos
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
In New Hampshire, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie Add Guilt Trips to Campaign Stops
Shasta Darlington / CNN:
Brazil warns against pregnancy due to spreading virus
Discussion: Washington Post and Common Dreams
Rich Lowry / Politico:
The Right's Post-Constitutional Moment
Discussion: Mother Jones and National Review
Jared Piazza / RealClearScience:
Should We Lie to Children About Santa?
Discussion: neo-neocon
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Hamilton / Los Angeles Times:
Judge rules sexual orientation discrimination falls under purview of landmark Title IX law
Discussion: Towleroad
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic:
Why America Is Moving Left
Bernie Sanders / New York Times:
To Rein In Wall Street, Fix the Fed