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The Edge

It's Not a Polar Vortex, FLOTUS’s Photobomb, and Why Libraries Don’t Need Books —THE EDGE

January 21, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged with illegally accepting gifts, vacations, and loans. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was inaugurated in the midst of a winter storm—appropriate, considering the whirlwind of controversies he faces. Government offices in Washington shut down as a snowstorm hit, but it's not really a polar vortex. Sen. David Vitter announced he will run for governor of Louisiana, and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah announced he will deliver the tea party's response to President Obama's State of the Union address next week. Ezra Klein is leaving The Washington Post to start his own news organization. Michelle Obama dunked over LeBron James in the name of staying healthy, and libraries have found a way to stay relevant.


MCDONNELL CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY ACCEPTING GIFTS: McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged after an investigation into their relationship with dietary-supplement executive Jonnie R. Williams, who sought special treatment from the state government. (WaPo)


AWKWARD TIMING FOR CHRISTIE'S INAUGURATION: Christie had to cancel his inaugural party due to the snowstorm that hit much of the East Coast, a minor inconvenience compared with the recent allegations of political bullying. At a morning church service Christie attended, the Rev. Joe A. Carter focused his sermon on strength in times of "darkness." (Michael Barbaro, NYT)

DAVID VITTER TO RUN FOR LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: The senator would otherwise be up for reelection in November 2016, but said he "could have a bigger impact" as governor. (Elahe Izadi, NJ)

MIKE LEE TO DELIVER TEA-PARTY RESPONSE TO STATE OF THE UNION: The tea party's largest political action committee, Tea Party Expressed, announced that Lee would lead its response to Obama's speech next Tuesday, calling Lee "a tea party hero for supporters across the nation." The Republican Party has not announced who will deliver its response. (Rebecca Shabad, The Hill)

POLICE WARN OF TERROR SUSPECT IN SOCHI: Russian police in Sochi have put up wanted posters of Ruzanna "Salima" Ibragimova, the widow of a member of a militant group. According to the flier, she may be involved in organizing "a terrorist act within the 2014 Olympic region." (CNN)

RETURN OF THE VORTEX: Washington's suburbs could get up to 10 inches of snow from a storm that will be at its worst in the late afternoon or early evening. The snow is expected to stop between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., but frigid temperatures and strong winds will follow. (Jason Samenow, WaPo)

EXCEPT IT'S NOT REALLY A POLAR VORTEX: The polar vortex is helping push cold air down to the U.S., but it is still anchored farther to the north. Despite the low temperatures, today's weather isn't actually a polar vortex. (Dolce/Wiltgen,

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the U.N.-hosted International Conference on Syria in Montreux and Davos, Switzerland. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will speak at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 82nd Winter Meeting at 2:30 p.m. The House and Senate are not in session.


DOGECOIN HELPS SEND JAMAICAN BOBSLEDDERS TO SOCHI: The story of how Jamaica's bobsled team is funding its trip to Russia seems like the perfect plot for a sequel to Cool Runnings. (Alex Brown, NJ)

'BRASH WUNDERKIND' EZRA KLEIN LEAVES WASHINGTON POST: Klein sought to expand his popular Wonkblog and found more investment from outside sources. (David Weigel, Slate)

NO MORE FAIL WHALE: Twitter is ready for high traffic during next week's State of the Union address. (Brown/Ryan, NJ)

A HOMOGENEOUS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: The percentage of women invited to the event -- a mix of the world's most influential people -- is remarkably low, at 15 percent. Organizers say invitations are based solely on job functions. (David Yanofsky, Quartz)

THE LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE: The public library system in Chattanooga, Tenn., has replaced academic journals with 3-D printers. (Brian Resnick, NJ)


FOR ELITE COLLEGES, DIVERSITY IS EXPENSIVE: The president wants selective colleges to attract a more diverse student body, but those schools have a financial incentive to lean toward wealthy students. (Sophie Quinton, The Atlantic)


HOW TO STAY IN SHAPE WITH A DESK JOB: To stay fit, some people recommend small exercises like pushing up on the bottom of a table. Why not lift the table right off the ground? (James Hamblin, The Atlantic)

MICHELLE OBAMA CAN DUNK, PHOTOBOMB AT THE SAME TIME: Michelle Obama teams up with LeBron James in the background of a Miami Heat White House interview. (NJ)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: President Obama wants Congress to come to a consensus on NSA reforms. That'll happen, Jon Stewart says, right after they all go out for "unicorn burgers and leprechaun juice." (Reena Flores, NJ)

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