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5:20 PM ET, January 21, 2016


 Top Items: 
Loras College:
TRUMP AND CRUZ DEADLOCKED, WITH RUBIO A DISTANT THIRD, LORAS COLLEGE POLL FINDS  —  With 11 days to go before the 2016 Iowa Caucuses, real estate mogul Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are deadlocked at the top of the latest Loras College Poll.  The two candidates have distanced themselves …
Tal Kopan / CNN:
Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders hold solid leads in Iowa, CNN/ORC poll finds  —  Washington (CNN)Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in Iowa as Sen. Bernie Sanders takes control of the Democratic race in the critical first-in-the-nation voting state, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Thursday.
NBC News:
First Read: The GOP Establishment's Risky Bet on Trump  —  First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.  —  The GOP establishment's risky bet on Trump  —  Former Sen. and GOP presidential …
Manu Raju / CNN:
The Ted Cruz pile on: GOP senators warn of revolt should he win nomination  —  Washington (CNN)Republican Party leaders and prominent senators are sharpening their knives against Ted Cruz, expressing growing alarm over his candidacy as he continues to mount a serious threat in Iowa.
Discussion: RedState and Hot Air
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat
Rob Sussman /
Cruz Still Ahead of Trump in Iowa, Clinton Beating Sanders, According to Final KBUR/Monmouth College Poll
Harper Neidig / The Hill:
Trump: Cruz is ‘nervous’
Discussion: Politico and Jammie Wearing Fools
Jeff Black / Bloomberg Business:
Trump Fear Stalks Davos as Elite Pray for Spring Reality Check  —  Concerns over protectionism and U.S. reputation bubble up  —  Ex-White House advisor still thinks Trump will be nominee  —  If Donald Trump as president of the United States is the ghost that's stalking Davos …
John Hawkins / John Hawkins' Right Wing News:
The Chart That Proves Donald Trump Has No Chance In A General Election  —  ShareTweet  —  Whether Donald Trump wins the Republican primary or not, he'll never be the President of the United States.  Well, I shouldn't say never.  Hillary could go to jail, a meteor could strike …
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
The coming cascade of smart, educated people embracing Trump.  —  “It troubles me that there can't be a serious discussion about immigration issues because people are afraid of being called racist.  People are afraid of being called a bigot.  And I think one of the things that people …
Adam Gabbatt / Guardian:
Carly Fiorina accused of ‘ambushing’ children for anti-abortion rally  —  Party of schoolchildren visiting Iowa botanical garden become part of backdrop for Republican presidential candidate's speech on abortion  —  Carly Fiorina has been accused of “ambushing” a group of children …
Des Moines Register:
Last Slide  —  Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina …
Discussion: Mother Jones and Fusion
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Bernie Sanders, and Simon and Garfunkel, Put Focus on Voters  —  With the help of the Simon and Garfunkel song “America,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has released a powerful 60-second commercial in Iowa that seeks to remind his supporters how far he, and they, have come — and to inspire them anew to caucus for him on Feb. 1.
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Bernie Sanders's new ad “America” is perfect for now but shows the big challenge he'll face soon
Discussion: The Hill and The Gateway Pundit
Dan Merica / CNN:
Sanders uses Simon & Garfunkel in non-traditional closing ad
Kristina Wong / The Hill:
Pentagon releases al Qaeda bomb expert from Guantánamo  —  The Pentagon on Thursday announced the transfer of two Guantánamo detainees, including an al Qaeda explosives expert who developed bombs to target U.S. forces.  —  Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al-Sawah, 58, was transferred to Bosnia, where he holds citizenship.
Eli Stokols / Politico:
The Bush blame game begins  —  They think he wasted money on everything from an iPad-sized video mailer to direct mail for donors in states that don't yet matter.  They think his attacks on Marco Rubio are doing more harm than good.  And they worry that, at the end, all he will have accomplished …
Annie Karni / Politico:
Bill Clinton questions Hillary's Super Tuesday plan  —  Bill Clinton is getting nervous.  —  With polls showing Bernie Sanders ahead in New Hampshire and barely behind, if at all, in Iowa, the former president is urging his wife to start looking toward the delegate-rich March primaries …
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog and Mediaite
Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Oklahoma City Cop Will Serve 263 Years In Prison For Serial Rape Of Black Women  —  Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to a full 263 years in prison on Thursday for a series of rapes and sexual assaults against black women living on his beat.
Discussion: The Week
New York Times:
As Water Problems Grew, Officials Belittled Complaints From Flint  —  LANSING, Mich. — A top aide to Michigan's governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint's water as an “anti-everything group.”  Other critics were accused of turning complaints about water into a “political football.”
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
The Poisoning of Flint's Water
Adam Taylor / Washington Post:
The ‘Obama is a Muslim’ conspiracy theory is still reverberating in the Middle East  —  When Barack Obama stepped onto the national political stage almost a decade ago, rumors swirled that he was secretly a Muslim.  These rumors have frequently been debunked — the U.S. president is a practicing Christian …
Fox News:
Administration eases visa rules for travelers visiting terror hotspots
Discussion: Allen B. West and Pamela Geller
Alan Cowell / New York Times:
Putin ‘Probably Approved’ Litvinenko Poisoning, British Inquiry Says  —  LONDON — A high-profile British inquiry into the poisoning of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former K.G.B. officer and foe of the Kremlin, concluded on Thursday that his murder “was probably approved” by the head …
Corky Siemaszko / NBC News:
Vets: Don't Blame Obama for Track Palin's Behavior  —  Don't blame President Obama for the PTSD that Sarah Palin claims her oldest son is battling.  —  That was the message Wednesday from the head of a New York City-based veteran's organization that has fought for years to get Iraq …
Anthony DeChristopher / The Hill:
The smoking gun?  —  Special Access Programs (SAP) is a game changer.  It is now undeniably clear that the results of the FBI investigation will be the end of one of two things: Hillary's bid for the White House or the legitimacy of the FBI—at least when it comes to prosecuting cases on the mishandling of classified material.
Discussion: Fox News, Hot Air and Rush Limbaugh
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 More Items: 
Kareem Shaheen / Guardian:
Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white
Discussion: Vlad Tepes, Weasel Zippers and The Week
Guy Benson /
Former CIA Official: ‘Zero Ambiguity’ Over Hillary's Email Conduct, ‘Absolutely’ Endangered Lives
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Trump blames ‘Two Corinthians’ gaffe on Tony Perkins
Discussion: Daily Kos and Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Dr. Susan Berry / Breitbart:
Exclusive: Former Pearson Exec Reveals Anti-American Agenda in Common Core
Charlie Peat / Daily Express:
Muslim cleric ‘says Cologne sex attacks were VICTIMS’ fault because they wore perfume'
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Washington Post:
An inch of snow, icy roads, unleash 9 hours of traffic chaos across D.C. region
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Is The Supreme Court Poised To Redefine Obama's Executive Power?