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The Edge

Another Rough Week for Christie, and Who Made Clinton’s ‘Hit List’—THE EDGE

January 13, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc) and Laura Ryan (@NJljryan)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Federal officials began a full-scale investigation into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's use of $25 million in Hurricane Sandy aid to buy ads in which he was featured, a new headache following Christie's now-notorious "traffic study" scandal. The Supreme Court turned down Arizona's appeal to reinstate its ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Democratic Rep. George Miller of California announced he will retire. Water contamination levels are dropping following a chemical spill in West Virginia. And Hillary Clinton has a grudge list of those who spurned her during the 2008 election—but the list's members haven't suffered.


FEDERAL INVESTIGATION ADDS TO CHRISTIE'S PROBLEMS: Federal officials are looking into the ad campaign following superstorm Sandy that featured Christie saying, "We're stronger than the storm." The ads were more expensive than those offered by another firm, which did not plan to include Christie in the commercial. (Matt Berman, NJ)


SUPREME COURT WON'T REVIVE ARIZONA ABORTION LAW: The high court declined to take up Arizona's appeal over its law banning abortions after 20 weeks. The law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court, which said it violated standards set by Roe v. Wade. (Robert Barnes, WaPo)

PELOSI ALLY GEORGE MILLER TO RETIRE: Miller announced he would not seek a 21st term in his Bay Area district, which is considered a safe bet for Democrats. State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who lost a 2009 congressional bid in another district despite Miller's endorsement, is considered a possible replacement. (Emily Cahn, Roll Call)

WEST VIRGINIANS WITHOUT WATER SEE 'LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL': Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said tests show levels of water contamination are dropping. About 300,000 people in the state cannot use their tap water because of a chemical spill in the Elk River. (Ben Geman, NJ)

CRUZ HIRES HOUSE CONSERVATIVES' CASTOFF: Paul Teller, the longtime executive director of the Republican Study Committee, will be the new deputy chief of staff for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Teller was fired last month for leaking internal talks to outside groups but was praised by hard-line conservatives. (Shane Goldmacher, NJ)

GATES DOUBLES DOWN ON BIDEN CRITICISMS: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he genuinely believed that Vice President Joe Biden has an abysmal record on foreign policy. But he also downplayed criticisms of Obama, saying the media has oversimplified his description of the president's conflicted feelings about the war in Afghanistan. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will hold an event honoring the Miami Heat on their 2013 NBA Championship at 2:45 p.m. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Pietro Parolin, secretary of state of the Holy See, to discuss Pope Francis's leadership on peace in the Middle East, poverty, and humanitarian issues. The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a 10 a.m. hearing on lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy. The House and Senate are in session.

Join National Journal on Tuesday, January 21 for "A Conversation with Charlie Cook" underwritten by The Washington Auto Show. Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building, 1:30 - 3:30 pm. RSVP @


CLINTON'S 'HIT LIST': Hillary Clinton may hold a grudge against some Democrats who supported Obama in the 2008 election, but Secretary of State John Kerry and others are doing fine anyway. (Philip Bump, The Wire)

AK-47 CREATOR HAUNTED BY DEATHS: Mikhail Kalashnikov expressed few regrets about the weapon during his life, but in a letter shortly before his death, he said his pain was "unbearable." (Marina Koren, NJ)

CAFFEINE CAN IMPROVE MEMORY: We knew caffeine could help short-term productivity, but new research shows it can help long-term memory, too. (James Hamblin, The Atlantic)

UTAH'S 3 ARGUMENTS AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE: In advocating for its same-sex marriage ban to be reinstated, the state is refining its arguments. (Adam Liptak, NYT)

THE MOST GENEROUS COUNTRY IN THE WORLD: Sorry Sweden, but Luxembourg now gives the highest portion of its gross national income to development aid. (Matt Phillips, Quartz)


AUSTRALIA'S WAR ON SHARKS WON'T HELP SWIMMERS: Sharks killed seven swimmers off the coast of Australia in the last three years. The Western Australian government is stepping up efforts the rid its waters of the most ruthless species sharks: great whites, tiger, and bull. (Gwyn Guilford, Quartz)

GATES SAYS HE'S AT PEACE, BUT HIS DUTY WEIGHS HEAVILY: Under Gates's watch, 9,774 soldiers were wounded and 1,226 were killed. Gates says, "I think about 'em every day." (Dan Zak, WaPo)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Christie's Bridgegate scandal sends a strong presidential message: "It's my way, or I shut down your highway." And it turns out some people get rides in the Popemobile. (Reena Flores, NJ)

40 MAPS THAT EXPLAIN THE WORLD: The world's wealth, Mongolian conquests and more—all in a few dozen maps. (Max Fisher, WaPo)

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