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2:50 PM ET, February 4, 2016


 Top Items: 
Des Moines Register:
Last Slide  —  Once again the world is laughing at Iowa.  Late-night comedians and social media mavens are having a field day with jokes about missing caucusgoers and coin flips.  —  That's fine.  We can take ribbing over our quirky process.  But what we can't stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error.
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
What Hillary needs to hear  —  I hope this column provokes a strong reaction from my brothers and sisters in the Democratic establishment, against whom I dissent in large measure today despite my history of working for Democratic leaders in Congress.  —  I am breaking rank and going rogue …
Discussion: Politico, CNN and Taylor Marsh
Nia-Malika Henderson / CNN:
First on CNN: Former NAACP head to endorse Bernie Sanders  —  (CNN)Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, will endorse Bernie Sanders, a source familiar with the campaign told CNN.  —  The endorsement is a potential boost to Sanders who has struggled to gain traction among African-American voters …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
The Iowa Democratic Party Chair Refusing To Review Caucus Results Is A HUGE Hillary Supporter
Discussion: The Resurgent
New York Times:
Chris Christie and Jeb Bush Team Up on a Mutual Target: Marco Rubio  —  MANCHESTER, N.H. — Frustrated and flailing as his candidacy threatens to slip away, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is embarking on a scalding effort over the next week to discredit Senator Marco Rubio of Florida …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
This one moment perfectly captures the Clinton-Sanders war over progressivism  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  Tonight the Democratic presidential candidates are set to debate in New Hampshire, and all indications are that they will use the occasion to battle over whether Hillary Clinton is a genuine progressive …
Zeke J Miller / TIME:
Christie: Obama ‘Hug’ Never Happened  —  ‘When he got off Air Force One, I did shake his hand’  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks often of his response to Hurricane Sandy, which devastated his state days before the 2012 Election.  But on Wednesday, he told a less-frequently discussed story …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jenna Johnson / Washington Post:
Trump and Rubio question President Obama's visit to a mosque
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Santorum can't name any of Rubio's Senate accomplishments
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
Donald Trump's poll numbers took a nosedive in the first national survey after Iowa  —  Real-estate mogul Donald Trump's standing in the Republican presidential race deflated in the first national survey released after his loss to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the Monday-night Iowa caucuses.
Andy Hiller / WHDH-TV:
Hiller Instinct: 7News/UMass Lowell New Hampshire tracking poll day 4  —  It's not an earthquake, yet...But the political ground in New Hampshire is moving.  —  We're seeing more of Iowa's impact, and the war of words underway here.  —  Hillary Clinton is coming back; and Marco Rubio is coming up.
Discussion: The Hill and Slantpoint
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Republican Race Tightens Nationally; Clinton Still Solid  —  PPP's newest national poll finds the race on the Republican side tightening considerably in the wake of Donald Trump's surprise loss in Iowa on Monday night.  Trump's lead has fallen to just 4 points- he's at 25% to 21% each …
Discussion: RedState and Hot Air
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Ben Carson slashes staff as funds dry up  —  CONCORD, N.H. — Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to keep pace with rivals, will cut more than 50 staff positions on Thursday as part of an overhaul and downsizing of his entire campaign.
Matea Gold / Washington Post:
Clinton blasts Wall Street, but still draws millions in contributions  —  Even as Hillary Clinton has stepped up her rhetorical assault on Wall Street, her campaign and allied super PACs have continued to rake in millions from the financial sector, a sign of her deep and lasting relationships with banking and investment titans.
The Hill:
Female senators urge Warren: Back Hillary Clinton
Discussion: Washington Post, ABC News and Politico
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:
Clinton stumbles on Wall Street question at CNN town hall
Discussion: The Atlantic, The Hill and Hot Air
James Hohmann / Washington Post:   The Daily 202: Hillary Clinton makes her Wall Street problem worse
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:
Sanders spotlights Clinton vulnerabilities
Discussion: TIME, Chicago Boyz and Yahoo Politics
O. Kay Henderson / Radio Iowa:
Branstad says Cruz employed ‘unethical and unfair’ tactics Monday night (AUDIO)  —  Governor Terry Branstad is crediting Ted Cruz for running an “old-fashioned”, 99-county campaign that yielded victory in Monday night's Iowa Caucuses, but Branstad is joining the chorus criticizing Cruz for “questionable” campaign tactics.
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Rubio Piles On Cruz ‘Dirty Trick’: ‘That Is A Willingness To Say Or Do Anything’
Discussion: Political Wire
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Plausibility of Ted Cruz
MJ Lee / CNN:
Donald Trump to take N.H. by storm
Discussion: WCMH-TV and
Sarah Ferris / The Hill:
Smirking drug CEO antagonizes lawmakers after pleading the Fifth  —  Embattled drug executive Martin Shkreli antagonized lawmakers on Thursday by smirking and posing for pictures during his first appearance on Capitol Hill even as he refused to answer questions about drug prices.
Discussion: Political Wire
Matt Adams / Fox 59:
Family finds spider crawling inside bag of salad  —  (Feb. 4, 2016) - You definitely don't want to see something crawling inside your bag of lettuce, but that's exactly what happened to an Australian family.  —  Zoe Perry posted a video of the creepy encounter to Woolworths' Facebook page with the following message:
Julia Medew / Sydney Morning Herald:   Salmonella outbreak linked to Coles and Woolworths lettuce
Joshua Green / Bloomberg Business:
The Great GOP Realignment  —  Ted Cruz and Donald Trump may herald an historic working-class Republican revolt against the party establishment.  —  JoshuaGreen  —  A few days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, Brad Martsching was barreling down a Pennsylvania highway, hoping to unload …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Clinton's Security Clearance Is Under Scrutiny  —  Now that several e-mails on Hillary Clinton's private server have been classified, there is a more immediate question than the outcome of the investigation: Should the former secretary of state retain her security clearance during the inquiry?
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Hot Air
New York Post:
The e-mail scandal stretches far beyond Hillary
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The Daily Caller
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Ryan backs voting rights bill — but tells black caucus it's out of his hands  —  Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told black lawmakers Wednesday that he supports new voting rights protections they've championed, but said he won't bypass a committee chairman to move legislation, according to a Democrat who attended the gathering.
William Barber / The Atlantic:   The Strange Career of James Crow, Esquire
Hair tourniquet?  Dad shares photo of baby's swollen toe to warn parents of common hazard … WICHITA, Kansas — A Kansas father has a warning for all parents after finding something strange on his infant daughter's foot.  —  He shared a photo on Facebook to warn other parents.
Discussion: FOX 61 and
Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner:
Border agent: ‘We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether’  —  In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States …
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 More Items: 
Democracy Now:
Exclusive Report: How Long Did Flint's County Jail Inmates Drink Poisoned Water?
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Week
John Parkinson / ABC News:
Joe Biden Becomes First VP to Launch Facebook Page
Discussion: Politico and Mediaite
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
The political wars damage public perception of Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts says
Discussion: Political Wire
The 2016 Presidential Campaign - a News Event That's Hard to Miss
Julian Assange is being arbitrarily held, UN panel to say
David Segal / New York Times:
Playboy Puts On (Some) Clothes for Newly Redesigned Issue
 Earlier Items: 
DeRay Mckesson:
I Am Running for Mayor of Baltimore
Bipartisan Report:
Ted Cruz's Campaign Chair Resigns After Revelations He Lied About Military Service
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Raw Story
Ben Stein / American Spectator:
Anger Makes Total Sense
Bridgette Bjorlo / WATE-TV:
Surveillance video shows Kingston store clerk striking gunman with hammer
Discussion: WKRN-TV