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1:40 PM ET, January 26, 2022


 Top Items: 
Pete Williams / NBC News:
Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from Supreme Court, paving way for Biden appointment  —  Live coverage: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire  —  WASHINGTON — Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, according to people familiar with his thinking.
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, giving Biden a chance to nominate a replacement  — Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, NBC News reported, giving President Joe Biden a crucial opportunity to replace the liberal justice.  —  Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer …
Breyer retirement hands Biden open Supreme Court seat  —  The Supreme Court's oldest member — Justice Stephen Breyer — plans to retire, a person familiar with the process said Wednesday, giving President Joe Biden his first, highly coveted opportunity to nominate a member of the nation's top court.
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Vacancy to Give Biden His First Chance to Nominate a Justice  —  The vacancy will give President Biden his first chance to name a new justice.  He has promised to nominate a Black woman.
Discussion: Washington Post and Althouse
Kaelan Deese / Washington Examiner:
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire  —  Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire.  —  As one of three liberal justices on the Supreme Court, his vacancy, reported by several outlets Wednesday, will pave the way for President Joe Biden to nominate a new judge to the highest court.
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from Supreme Court  —  Justice Stephen G. Breyer will retire at the end of the current Supreme Court term, according to a person familiar with his plans, giving President Biden the chance to make his mark on the Supreme Court by nominating …
Will There Be a War Over Ukraine?  13 Putin Watchers Weigh In  —  Russian President Vladimir Putin sought a confrontation with the West and he got one.  So now what?  —  Diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis appear to have stalled.  In the past month, Putin has escalated his long proxy war …
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Kremlin TV Worries Tucker Carlson's Pro-Putin Bias Has Gone Too Far  —  Top Russian state propagandists are concerned that no one will take the Fox News host seriously any more.  —  With Russian troops steadily massing on the Ukraine border and a looming threat of an invasion …
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Russia threatens retaliation if Ukraine demands not met
The Daily Beast:
Florida Shock Jock in Matt Gaetz Circle Pleads Guilty  —  The feds are closing in on Rep. Matt Gaetz for his alleged underage sex crimes with yet another criminal case, this time against a key witness: his wingman's best friend. … “Big Joe” Ellicott, a former Florida shock jock …
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
GOP Has Congress Edge by Default  —  Few say either party is very concerned about ‘average Americans’  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Congressional Republicans have a small edge over their Democratic colleagues on a dubious metric - they are slightly less likely to be seen as lacking concern for the average American's financial well-being.
The Atlantic:
The Case Against Masks at School  —  Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit. … In the panicked spring of 2020, as health officials scrambled to keep communities safe, they recommended various restrictions and interventions …
Discussion: DCist
The Dworkin Report:
Author reveals how Peter Thiel helped Trump cut a deal with Facebook to evade fact checking  —  Scott talks with author and journalist Max Chafkin, who is a features editor and a tech reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek.  Max is the author of “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power …
'She was Zoom'd out:' Veep mulls escape from D.C. bubble  —  Sitting among some of the most influential Black women in America last month, Vice President Kamala Harris confessed to a stifling sensation that had fallen over her while in office.  She was struggling to escape the D.C. bubble …
Discussion: RedState and HotAir
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Partisanship Made the Omicron Crisis Worse  —  On Monday, at least 2,181 Americans died from COVID-19.  Over the past week, average daily COVID deaths in the United States have risen to 2,369 — the highest death rate the country has seen in nearly a year.  Given the lag time between spiking cases …
Jazz Shaw / HotAir:
Canceled NY mask mandate is uncanceled again... for now  —  Yesterday we discussed the ruling of a New York State supreme court judge who issued an injunction against Governor Kathy Hochul's statewide face mask mandate.  The judge found that the mandate violated two different state laws …
Discussion: Fox News, Politico and Associated Press
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Raphael Warnock has amassed a $23M war chest for Senate reelection bid  —  Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock raised more than $9.8 million in the last three months of 2021 and will end the quarter with roughly $23 million in cash on hand for a reelection battle that could decide control of the U.S. Senate.
Mike Murphy / MarketWatch:
Nancy Pelosi says she's running for re-election, warns democracy is ‘at risk’  —  California Democrat brushes away retirement speculation  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday she will once again run for re-election this fall.  —  There had been speculation …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats  —  Senate Democrats say a proposal to raise the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, a top priority of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is likely to be cut from the revised Build Back Better Act.
Matt Friedman / Politico:
New Jersey political consultant Sean Caddle pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot  —  The 44-year-old resident of Hamburg, Sussex County, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire in the stabbing death of the unnamed victim.  —  The New Jersey state house is pictured.
Eric Kaufmann / City Journal:
A Generational Threat to Free Expression  —  Survey data show that Americans under 30 prize cancel culture over liberty.  —  Economy, finance, and budgets  —  Politics and law  —  The Social Order  —  The clash between socialist and liberal economics defined the late twentieth century …
Washington Post:
Matea Gold named National Editor, Philip Rucker named Deputy National Editor  —  Announcement from Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, Senior Managing Editor Cameron Barr, Managing Editor Steven Ginsberg, Managing Editor Tracy Grant, Managing Editor Krissah Thompson, and Chief Product Officer and Managing Editor Kat Downs Mulder:
Nick Judin / Mississippi Free Press:
Ridgeland Mayor Demands LGBTQ+ Book Purge, Threatens Library Funding  —  Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee is withholding $110,000 of funding from the Madison County Library System allegedly on the basis of his personal religious beliefs, with library officials stating that he has demanded …
Discussion: Raw Story and Insider
Kristen Jordan Shamus / Detroit Free Press:
For 1st time in Michigan history, more people died than were born in 2020  —  For the first time in Michigan's recorded history, deaths outpaced births in 2020 — a situation worsened by the wave of deaths from COVID-19, said Kurt Metzger, a demographer who founded Data Driven Detroit and studies Michigan population trends.
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
How Senate Dems reaped the benefits from 2 little-known GOP maneuvers  —  Senate Democrats lost their fight to weaken the filibuster, but they're capitalizing big on another rules change — that the GOP pushed.  —  After an Obama administration marked by Democratic frustration over the pace …
John Archibald /
Brookside Police Chief Mike Jones resigns after report on traffic trap  —  7,533  —  Mike Jones, the chief of police in the small Alabama town of Brookside, resigned today in the wake of revelations by that he turned the department into an aggressive traffic trap …
Bloomberg Law:
Biden FCC Nominee Settles Case That Spurred GOP Senator's Fight  —  A confidential settlement involving Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn appears to undercut a key Republican senator's stated reason for opposing her nomination.  —  The delay in confirming Sohn …
Tess Owen / VICE:
Leaked Chats Reveal Fascist Group Patriot Front Shames Members About Their Porn, Junk Food Habits  —  The inner workings of the group were laid bare after the release of 400 gigabytes of data by the left-wing collective Unicorn Riot.  —  TO  —  It shouldn't be a surprise that fascists rule …
Discussion: Raw Story
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Cawthorn Challenge Raises the Question: Who Is an ‘Insurrectionist’?  —  The challenge to Representative Madison Cawthorn's re-election bid could set a precedent to challenge other Republicans who encouraged the Jan. 6 attack.  —  WASHINGTON — A group of lawyers is working to disqualify …
Jason Rantz /
Downtown Seattle Target barely surviving as shoplifting ravages store  —  The Target department store in downtown Seattle is being absolutely ravaged by shoplifters, with one staff member telling me theft happens “about every 10 minutes.”  He wasn't kidding.
Discussion: HotAir
Michael Schaub / Kirkus Reviews:
Missouri School District Bans Toni Morrison Book  —  A school board in Missouri has banned four books, including Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, from libraries in the district's high schools, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.  —  The Wentzville School Board voted 4-3 to remove …
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Sen. Mark Kelly ‘does not support the censure’ of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema  —  Sen. Mark Kelly broke his silence over the censure of his Democratic colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, with a campaign spokesperson saying he disagreed with it and she should not be singled out over her opposition to changing the Senate's filibuster rules.
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 More Items: 
Top aide to Mark Meadows met with January 6 committee
Discussion: Raw Story
Spencer Ackerman / Forever Wars:
Iran, Sanctions and Inflation as a Weapon of Mass Destruction
University of New Hampshire Scholars' Repository:
Biden Approval in NH Plunges as Approval Among Democrats Falls 1/26/2022
Discussion: NRCC
Jason Tidd / USA Today:
Kansas bill forces pharmacists to fill ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine as off-label COVID treatment
Discussion: KFOR-TV
CBS News:
Domestic extremists have plotted to disrupt U.S. power grid, DHS bulletin warns
 Earlier Items: 
Zach Hirsch / NCPR Daily News:
Special report: How Stefanik won power and support for spreading Trump's ‘Big Lie’
Discussion: Grid News
Sergio Olmos / The Guardian:
‘The most dangerous man in Congress’: how Paul Gosar became a darling of the far right
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Michael Daly / The Daily Beast:
DeSantis' Demented Doc Is About to Get the Grilling He Deserves
Discussion: and Raw Story
Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
'He's a villain': Joe Manchin attracts global anger over climate crisis
Paul Burton / CBS Boston:
Man Can't Get Heart Transplant Because He's Not Vaccinated Against COVID
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Federal judge rejects challenge to ‘weighty and urgent’ Jan. 6 committee
Discussion: Bloomberg and Instapundit