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8:20 AM ET, December 28, 2015


 Top Items: 
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Colbert: Trump is playing my old character better than I could  —  Comedian Stephen Colbert says he had to give up his old faux conservative character on the “Colbert Report” because GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is playing it better than he ever could.
Discussion: Political Wire
Nick Gass / Politico:
Trump ties with Pope Francis in U.S. poll for second most-admired man in the world  —  Americans named Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama as their most admired woman and man in the world in 2015, with Donald Trump earning the same share of admiration as Pope Francis …
Discussion: Gallup and The Hill
Diana West / Breitbart:
It's Time to Rally Around Donald Trump  —  Brent Bozell has called on conservatives to rally around Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the Republican presidential nomination.  Ted Cruz is a good man and a fine candidate — my own second choice — but I believe GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is the candidate for American patriots to rally around.
Nicki Rossoll / ABC News:
Donald Trump Expects to Win Republican Nomination, 'Otherwise We Wouldn't Be Running'
Discussion: The Hill, Political Wire and
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Obama's team says the GOP earned Donald Trump
Discussion:, RedState and Hot Air
Al Jazeera America:
The dark side: The secret world of sports doping  —  Al Jazeera investigation raises questions about whether sports heroes are linked to performance-enhancing drugs  —  Inside a hotel room in Austin, Texas, a pharmacist advises a professional athlete on taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Manning retains Ari Fleischer amid HGH allegations
Discussion: ProFootballTalk
Chris Enloe / Business Insider:
A Texas restaurant chain posted a notice declaring itself ‘politically incorrect’  —  See Also  —  About two weeks ago, Berryhill Baja Grill, a restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican cuisine, posted notices outside each of their nine locations warning their customers that the restaurant is …
Paul Sperry / New York Post:
Cleric denies ties to San Bernardino killers as phone records surface  —  The cleric acting as spokesman for the San Bernardino mosque where terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook worshipped claims he barely knew Farook and didn't know his terrorist wife at all.  But phone records and other evidence uncovered …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Jihad Watch
Eric W. Dolan / Raw Story:
Uncle accidentally shoots 2-year-old niece in the face while trying out new Christmas gift  —  DON'T MISS STORIES.  FOLLOW RAW STORY!  —  A 2-year-old girl in Oregon was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the face on Christmas morning by her uncle.
Niall Stanage / The Hill:
Winners and losers of the year  —  It's been a wild year in politics, both on the presidential campaign trail and in the halls of Congress.  —  But as 2015 draws to a close, it's time to take stock of who saw their fortunes rise, and who might want to put the past 12 months behind them.  —  WINNERS
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some straight talk for a change?  —  Don't miss Scott's article in tomorrow's Minneapolis Star Tribune, titled (by the Strib) “Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some straight talk for a change?”  It's a great piece: … But how about those “Minnesota men” …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Democrat: Tighten social media screening of visa applicants  —  A senior Democratic congressman is calling for stepped-up monitoring of social media accounts belonging to people coming into the country through various visa programs, in response to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Timothy Cama / The Hill:
Republicans split on attacking climate science  —  The Republican Party is divided over whether to attack the science of climate change when opposing liberal policies.  —  Many of the most vocal Republicans say they have significant problems with the scientific consensus that the Earth …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Fred Siegel / Orange County Register:
New riot ideology: Results through coercion  —  In the summer of 1966, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach warned that there would be riots by angry, poor minority residents in “30 or 40” American cities if Congress didn't pass President Lyndon Johnson's Model Cities antipoverty legislation.
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Instapundit
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The Enduring Popularity of Fraud  —  Steve's post earlier today is a great reminder of how over the last 200 years, free enterprise has led to an unprecedented explosion of wealth, individual liberty and creativity.  Nothing in human history-putting aside for the moment the claims of religion …
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 More Items: 
Elisha Fieldstadt / NBC News:
Kentucky's Mall St. Matthews Shuts Down After Brawls Involving Up to 2,000
Discussion: Bearing Arms
Amy Chozick / New York Times:
How Hillary Clinton Went Undercover to Examine Race in Education
Discussion: Althouse and
Janet Hook / Wall Street Journal:
Ted Cruz: Republicans Love Him in Iowa, Loathe Him in D.C.
Alexander Mallin / ABC News:
Supreme Court Justice Doubts Mass Internment Would Happen Again in US
Discussion: Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Siegel / The Columbus Dispatch:
End gerrymandering, Kasich says
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Scripting News
Natalie Pompilio / Washington Post:
Pornographic email scandal roils Pennsylvania politics
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Eli Stokols / Politico:
The GOP's New Hampshire nightmare