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2:40 PM ET, January 15, 2016


 Top Items: 
Ben White / Politico:
Bush donors await green light to jump ship  —  When Jeb Bush announced a record fundraising haul in July, the Florida Republican rewarded major donors with a two-day celebratory retreat at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.  They also delivered a message: $114 million was just the beginning …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Have Republicans Given Up on Fighting Donald Trump?  —  A strange defeatism takes hold on the debate stage. … Months ago, during the Summer of Trump, Republicans looked at the appearance of this gross, comic, orange interloper among them with a mix of shock and disdain.
Rick Klein / ABC News:
ANALYSIS: Republican Debate Shows What Donald Trump Has Already Won  —  Donald Trump may yet lose the Republican presidential nomination, and Thursday night's debate offered hints of the fights that could make that possible.  —  But the first GOP debate of 2016 revealed the extent to which Trump has already won.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Exclusive: RNC member urges party to rally against Trump  —  CHARLESTON, S.C.—A Republican National committeeman delivered a call-to-arms against Donald Trump during a closed-door GOP meeting on Thursday, urging his colleagues to take a forceful stand against those who he said are destroying the party's brand.
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
The Take: Can Donald Trump actually be the Republican nominee?
Discussion: NBC News
Mike Lupica / New York Daily News:
Lupica: There's just no ‘value’ to Ted Cruz and his criticism to ‘New York values’  —  This is what Ted Cruz, who wasn't just born out of town but out of the country, said about Donald Trump the other day:  —  “Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values.”
Bloomberg Business:
Cruz's ‘Natural-Born Citizen’ Status Tested in Birther Suit
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
We Have Our First Lawsuit Over Ted Cruz's Eligibility — And It's A Doozy
Discussion: Daily Kos
MJ Lee / CNN:
GOP debate: Trump-Cruz ‘bromance’ is over
Walmart Continues Sharpened Focus on Portfolio Management  —  Company exits Walmart Express pilot as part of closing 269 stores globally; Impacted associates to receive assistance  —  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT: NYSE) today announced plans to close 269 stores in the U.S. and globally.
Des Moines Register:
Last Slide  —  Donald Trump has rented space at an Urbandale movie theater and will give Iowans free tickets to a showing of the Benghazi movie that critics of Hillary Clinton have been eagerly awaiting.  —  “Mr. Trump would like all Americans to know the truth about what happened at Benghazi …
New York Times:
Transcript of Republican Presidential Debate  —  Following is a transcript of the main Republican presidential debate, as transcribed by the Federal News Service.  —  NEIL CAVUTO: It is 9:00 p.m. here at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in South Carolina.
Washington Post:
6th Republican debate transcript, annotated: Who said what and what it meant  —  Seven candidates participated in Thursday's 2016 presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C.: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) …
CBS News:
Sean Penn has “a terrible regret” about “El Chapo” meeting  —  Actor Sean Penn is breaking his silence about his trip to Mexico to meet notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.  In an interview for this Sunday's “60 Minutes,” Penn spoke to “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose Thursday night …
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Sean Penn has ‘terrible regret’ for El Chapo interview  —  Sean Penn says he is consumed by a “terrible regret” about his interview with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.  —  But his regret is not of glamorizing the world's most notorious drug trafficker …
Jesse Byrnes / The Hill:
Fiorina: I would have left Bill long ago  —  Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina leaned into her critique of Bill and Hillary Clinton's marriage on Friday morning during a round of interviews where she also blasted the GOP front-runners.  —  “If my husband had done some of the things …
Eugene Scott / CNN:
Fiorina likens Clinton to Mexican drug lord El Chapo
Discussion: The Daily Caller
J.D. Durkin / Mediaite:
Things Get Horribly Awkward When Fiorina Refuses to Say If Clintons ‘Have a Real Marriage’
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
‘Grizzly Adams’ Star Dan Haggerty Dies at 74  —  ‘GRIZZLY ADAMS’ STAR  —  DAN HAGGERTY DIES AT 74 … Famous '70s TV star Dan Haggerty — who played Grizzly Adams — died from cancer early Friday morning ... TMZ has learned.  —  Haggerty died at his home in the San Fernando Valley after battling cancer for the last few months.
Investor's Business Daily:
Humiliated By Iran: How Did The Navy Let It Happen?  —  Weakness: How can an advanced, ultra-agile U.S. combat boat suffer a “navigation error” that leads to a terrorist state capturing its sailors?  Tehran just revealed military ineptitude warranting a congressional probe.
Los Angeles Times:
Search is on for mysterious Powerball winner  —  Powerball players return to Chino Hills 7-Eleven, where one person purchased one of three winning Powerball tickets.  —  The search was on Thursday for the winner of the record Powerball jackpot, which was purchased in Chino Hills.
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
This is how toxic Flint's water really is  —  The city of Flint, Mich., is in the midst of a water crisis several years in the making.  The city opted out of Detroit's water supply and began drawing water from the Flint River in April 2014, part of a cost-saving move.
Discussion: RH Reality Check and Feministing
Stephen Losey / WMAZ-TV:
Robins takes down flyer advertising MLK ‘fun shoot’  —  Robins Air Force Base in Georgia has taken down a flyer advertising a “Martin Luther King Jr. Fun Shoot” scheduled for the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.  —  In a statement to Air Force Times, Robins apologized …
Discussion: Raw Story and
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 More Items: 
Bloomberg Business:
The Culture Caucus Podcast, Episode 1: Political Comedy in 2016
Discussion: Politico and FishbowlDC
Daniel Horowitz / Conservative Review:
It's Beyond Time For A Cold-Eyed Look At Trump's Record
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The Daily Caller
Los Angeles Times:
Yosemite's famous Ahwahnee Hotel to change name in trademark dispute
Discussion: Mother Jones and Gizmodo
Harold Meyerson / American Prospect:
If Labor Dies, What's Next?
Discussion: ACS Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Trump Was Second Most Popular Story On Evening News In 2015
Discussion: The Week
Sarah Westwood / Washington Examiner:
Gowdy: Witnesses have confirmed stand-down order on night of Benghazi
Discussion: Politico and Hot Air
New York Post:
Woman raped at gunpoint by eHarmony date: cops
Discussion: Gothamist
Bethania Palma Markus / Raw Story:
Carly Fiorina just told a whopper about our support to the Middle East at the #GOPDebate
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Did Neil Cavuto Just Blame Obama For The Bush Financial Crisis?
Discussion: New York Times and Washington Post
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton's national lead is slipping faster in 2016 than it did in 2008