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9:45 AM ET, January 18, 2016


 Top Items: 
Rick Klein / ABC News:
Hillary Clinton Embraces Obama Legacy, as Bernie Sanders Aims for Democrats' Hearts  —  The Democrats' final debate before 2016 voting starts brought clarity to the choice ahead for Democratic primary voters, in a battle that's pitting the party's head against its heart.
Paul Sperry / New York Post:
Don't be fooled by Bernie Sanders — he's a diehard communist  —  As polls tighten and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders looks more like a serious contender than a novelty candidate for president, the liberal media elite have suddenly stopped calling him socialist.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and
Ezra Klein / Vox:
Bernie Sanders's single-payer plan isn't a plan at all  —  Sanders's long-awaited health care plan is, by turns, vague and unrealistic.  —  Hillary Clinton has made a lot of bad arguments about Bernie Sanders's support for single-payer.  But her best argument was her simplest …
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Bernie mopped the floor with Hillary  —  Mainstream Democrats breathed a sigh of relief in October when Hillary Clinton dominated the first debate with Bernie Sanders — but after Sunday night's debate, they're probably hyperventilating.  Or ought to be.  —  The Sanders surge …
Annie Karni / Politico:
Clinton and Sanders brawl over doctors, guns and money  —  Hillary Clinton arrived well-prepped Sunday night for a real fight with Bernie Sanders — a surging rival her campaign virtually ignored for the first eight months of the race — on issues of bankers, guns and healthcare.
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Winners and losers from the fourth Democratic presidential debate
Nick Gass / Politico:
Sanders slams Clinton: 'I don't get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs'
Discussion: Hot Air and
Noah Weiland / Politico:
Who spoke the most during the debate?
Bloomberg Business:
Sanders Releases ‘Medicare for All’ Health Plan Hours Before Debate
Discussion: TIME
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Obama's Republican Foreign Policy Critics Don't Understand How the World Works  —  They seem to think that “hitting them hard” is the only way to get people to do things.  —  Wherever your stance on the political spectrum, there's no point listening to Republicans rail against President Obama's policies.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Obama: Always Wrong, Never In Doubt
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Barack Obama and the Hall of Fame of Straw Men
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
In primary challenge, Wasserman Schultz faces unprecedented test  —  For Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the problems with the left just keep coming.  —  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief has infuriated many Democrats with her handling of the party's presidential primary debates.
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
DNC chief: Debates scheduled to ‘maximize’ candidates' exposure
Discussion: RedState
Russell L. Weaver / Courier-Journal:
U of L law professor: ‘Veered to partisan agenda’  —  In a recent commentary, one of my colleagues attempted to portray the law school's decision to embrace “social justice” and “compassion” as benign, and having nothing to do with a “liberal agenda.”  He viewed these concepts as essential in a modern society.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Sam Marcosson / Courier-Journal:
Defending UofL law school's compassion project
Juan Williams / The Hill:
GOP to blame for civility's breakdown  —  If you ask me, President Obama is being way too hard on himself.  —  “It's one of the few regrets of my presidency, that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” the president said during his final State of the Union address last week.
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Why Clinton brought up Flint's water crisis  —  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't want to leave Sunday night's Democratic presidential debate without addressing one topic that didn't come up until she mentioned it: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's handling of a contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Judd Gregg / The Hill:
Restoring the middle  —  Ok, enough.  —  Ok, enough with the anger.  —  No one can govern with anger as their motivation.  It leads, as history has shown all too often, to profoundly unfortunate results.  It is also antithetical to the American dream.  —  This is not a nation built on anger.
Peter Schweizer / New York Post:
Bill Clinton's pardon of fugitive Marc Rich continues to pay big  —  Fifteen years ago this month, on Jan. 20, 2001, his last day in office, Bill Clinton issued a pardon for international fugitive Marc Rich.  It would become perhaps the most condemned official act of Clinton's political career.
Veronica Stracqualursi / ABC News:
New Donald Trump Radio Ad Features Daughter Ivanka  —  GOP front-runner Donald Trump is out with a new radio ad starring his daughter Ivanka Trump.  —  The spot features the 34-year-old businesswoman talking about her father's influence on her as a parent.
Discussion: and Associated Press
Ann Hornaday / Washington Post:
‘13 Hours,’ Benghazi and the slippery definition of ‘political’  —  In a juxtaposition so perverse that it could only have been dreamt up in Hollywood, the holiday designated to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. — America's most prominent practitioner of nonviolence — has become the go-to weekend for war movies.
Secret files exposing  —  evidence of widespread match-fixing by players at the upper level of world tennis can today be revealed by BuzzFeed News and the BBC.  —  The sport's governing bodies have been warned repeatedly about a core group of 16 players - all of whom have ranked in the top 50 …
Discussion: Mashable
Samantha Page / ThinkProgress:
Rubio Says He Bought A Gun On Christmas Eve To Help Defend America Against ISIS  —  Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that he bought a gun on Christmas Eve and will use it to protect his family — and America — against ISIS.  —  “I'm a strong supporter of the second amendment.
STATE OF THE UNION  —  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.  THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.  —  JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Back to back.  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both here just hours before they face off at the debate.
Discussion: ABC News
Militant Says Foster Children Were Pulled From His Home  —  A militant leader on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge told OPB his involvement in the occupation has resulted in the loss of his four foster children.  —  Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and his wife Jeanette were foster care parents for troubled boys.
Brendan O'Connor / Gawker:   Oregon Militia Spokesman Says Foster Children Were Removed From His Home
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 More Items: 
Christine Rousselle / Washington Post:
Walmart Cancels Plans for Two DC Stores Due to Minimum Wage Concerns
NBC News:
Watch Live: NBC News-YouTube Democratic Debate in S.C.
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Last Refuge
 Earlier Items: 
Agence France-Presse:
Czech leader says Muslim integration ‘practically impossible’ in Europe
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Fox host scorches Cruz over ‘carpet bombing’ ISIS rhetoric: It proves you have ‘no military experience’