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2:20 PM ET, January 4, 2016


 Top Items: 
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's provocative first TV ad raises the temperature of GOP race  —  NEW YORK — Donald Trump's ad begins with a shot of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Then comes a U.S. battleship launching a cruise-missile strike.  From there it moves swiftly through an explosive montage …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's new TV ad: Make America great by keeping the darkies out  —  As the final, frenzied push towards the first presidential voting begins, Donald Trump has unveiled a riveting new television ad that perfectly sums up Trumpism in all its xenophobic glory — and also perfectly captures …
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Trump: Cruz copying my immigration plan  —  Donald Trump is accusing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of stealing his plan to reform immigration.  —  The businessman said he was the first candidate in the Republican primary field to come up with the idea to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Dara Lind / Vox:
Donald Trump's first TV ad is a greatest hits of his campaign's most controversial ideas
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
A Look at Questions That Could Shape the 2016 Race
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Marco Rubio On Oregon Standoff: “You Can't Be Lawless”  —  The Republican presidential candidate added that he thinks there is too much federal control over land in the western United States.  —  Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images  —  —  Marco Rubio on Monday addressed …
NBC News:
Ted Cruz Calls for Oregon Armed Protesters to ‘Stand Down’  —  Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday called for armed protesters who occupied a federal building in Oregon to “stand down peaceably.”  —  “Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa.
Amelia Templeton OPB / OPB:
Militia Occupying Federal Land: ‘We Are Not Hurting Anybody’
Jacob Sullum / Hit & Run:
The Absurdly Harsh Penalties That Sparked the Oregon Rancher Protest
Katie Zezima / Washington Post:
Republican candidates stay quiet on Oregon standoff
Discussion: Raw Story
Jessica Diehl / Vanity Fair:
Blowhards Beware: Megyn Kelly Will Slay You Now  —  The brightest star at Fox News, Megyn Kelly is a newly minted role model for women who sees her gender as irrelevant, and a conservative champion who transcends politics with her skillful skewering of windbags of both parties, most notably Donald Trump.
Matt Adams / Fox 59:
Indianapolis bar's response to customer's complaint about ‘ruined’ New Year's Eve goes viral  —  Missing Attachment Missing Attachment  —  INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 4, 2015) - A woman suffered a heart attack during a New Year's Eve celebration at a downtown Indianapolis bar …
Discussion: WTKR-TV and KFOR-TV
Abby Phillip / Washington Post:
Heckler disrupts Hillary Clinton town hall over Bill Clinton's sexual history  —  DERRY, N.H. — One day before former president Bill Clinton arrives in New Hampshire to campaign for his wife, Hillary Clinton, she was confronted with questions about allegations involving his sexual history at a town hall meeting in the state on Sunday.
Michael Falcone / ABC News:
The Note: Trump Takes To the Airwaves
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Elections Have Consequences  —  You have to be seriously geeky to get excited when the Internal Revenue Service releases a new batch of statistics.  Well, I'm a big geek; like quite a few other people who work on policy issues, I was eagerly awaiting the I.R.S.'s tax tables for 2013, which were released last week.
Discussion: Vox and
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:   G.O.P. Presidential Hopefuls Gird for a Month of Mud-Flinging
Nick Gass / Politico:
GOP contenders cry foul over Obama's gun measures  —  President Barack Obama's plan to issue executive orders on new gun controls has riled up the GOP field, with the presidential contenders blasting Obama's forthcoming actions as lawless, subversive and petulant.
Discussion: Radio Iowa
Mark Hensch / The Hill:
Rubio: Obama has ‘deliberately weakened America’
Discussion: Daily Kos
David P. Goldman / Asia Times:
Saudi Arabia stews in policy hell: Spengler  —  Last week's mass executions in Saudi Arabia suggest panic at the highest level of the monarchy.  The action is without precedent, even by the grim standards of Saudi repression.  In 1980 Riyadh killed 63 jihadists who had attacked the Grand Mosque of Mecca …
Discussion: Power Line
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
U.S. fears Saudi tensions with Iran could affect fight against ISIS
Discussion: USA Today, The Daily Caller, Hot Air and CNN
New York Times:
Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties With Iran Amid Fallout From Cleric's Execution
Mother Jones:
When He Was 16, This Man Threw One Punch—and Went to Jail for Life  —  Tony Clayton was 30 years old, and just two years out from passing the Louisiana bar, when he walked into court in February of 1994, prepared to try his first murder case.  He was, in his words, a “braggadocious kind of little young jit …
Madison Pauly / Mother Jones:
3 Anger-Inducing Charts About Kids and Prison
Discussion: The Marshall Project
Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook:
Every year, I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook.  My challenges in recent years have been to read two books every month, learn Mandarin and meet a new person every day.  —  My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work.
Antoinette Ramseur / WTKR-TV:
Woman shot to death in apartment while mother and children were inside  —  Newport News, Virginia - A 25 year-old woman was shot to death in her Heritage Trace apartment just after 1:30am, on Heritage Way off Warwick Boulevard.  —  The victim's name has not been released by police …
Discussion: WTVR-TV and New York's PIX11
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:
LA Renters Rat Out Airbnb Users, Get Evicted Instead  —  Via Mike Hewlett's Twitter feed comes this tale of overregulation of rental spaces in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles.  —  The LA Times reports: … This doesn't quite rise to the level of seriousness evinced by, say …
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and Moe Lane
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
2015 was the year Congress started working again  —  Hating Congress is an American national pastime, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.  But look back on the just-finished year in legislating, and one thing becomes clear — a lot of legislating happened in 2015.
Siobhan Hughes / Wall Street Journal:
Paul Ryan Wants House to Steer Republican Policy Agenda
Discussion: Washington Post
New York Post:
Here's the bottom line of the Hillary e-mail dump  —  The content of the Hillary Clinton e-mails released New Year's Eve doesn't matter nearly so much as what the State Department held back: It found 275 of the messages to contain classified info — in two cases, “Secret” information.
Discussion: Power Line
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Why GOP moneymen won't attack Trump  —  Share Tweet Reddit Digg Mail Print SMS More  —  Donald Trump is beginning his sixth month atop the polls in the Republican presidential race.  Voting in Iowa is less than 30 days away.  If the much-vaunted GOP establishment, dead set against a Trump nomination …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
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 More Items: 
Harlan Elrich / Wall Street Journal:
Why I'm Fighting My Teachers Union
Discussion: Hit & Run and Joanne Jacobs
Of slavery and swastikas  —  The University of Missouri's efforts …
Discussion: Mediaite
Peter Baker / New York Times:
As Voting for Successor Nears, Obama Seeks to Keep the Spotlight
Discussion: PoliticusUSA
Glenn Whipp / Los Angeles Times:
Will this year's Academy Awards see a repeat of #OscarsSoWhite backlash?
Discussion: BizPac Review
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
One year, two races: Inside the Republican Party's bizarre, tumultuous 2015
A new age of discovery  —  The glory-seeking adventurer of old …
Willy do it? Man with bionic penis to finally lose his virginity at 43
Eddie Van Der Walt / Bloomberg Business:
Stocks Slump Across Europe and Asia Following Shanghai's 7% Crash
Discussion: New York Times