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- "Millions of people facing the cancellation of health insurance policies will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from penalties if they go without insurance next year, the White House said Thursday night." (New York Times)
- Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) confirmed his move to New Hampshire. (WMUR-TV)
- "More than a hundred protesters -- from the left and the right -- greeted" Brown in Nashua Thursday "as he headlined a state GOP holiday party." (Boston Globe)
- Rallying outside the party, state Rep. Al Baldasaro (R) said "he is exploring his own possible" Senate run. (New Hampshire Union Leader)
- The NRSC "raised $3.2 million in November and ended the month with $6.4 million cash on hand." The numbers come after the DSCC reported raising $5.1 million. (Politico)
- In IA GOV, state Sen. Janet Petersen (D) "said Wednesday she is considering" running. "Petersen offered no timetable for making a decision and gave little indication of what factors would inform her decision on whether to run. Her interest follows" (Des Moines Register)
- Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) said reelection is the furthest thing from his mind as he focuses on healing and regaining the trust of his family and constituents. (Fort Myers News-Press)
- In the FL-13 Special, state Rep. Kathleen Peters (R) "lashed out" at her primary opponent former Bill Young aide David Jolly, "saying he showed 'a special kind of dishonesty.' She claimed that Jolly, a former congressional aide and lobbyist, got paid to lobby for government-run health care, even though he also vigorously campaigns against 'Obamacare.'" (Tampa Bay Times) And LCV endorsed former state CFO Alex Sink (D).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The latest chapter of the Scott Brown soap opera unfolded Thursday, with the former Bay State senator officially announcing that he's moving to New Hampshire. Many will point to this as a signal that Brown is finally getting serious about running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), but if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it's that Brown might just love keeping his name in the political rumor mill. Since leaving the Senate, Brown has publicly flirted with running in four different races, including the 2016 presidential contest. Maybe Brown will decide to mount a comeback bid in the Granite State, but until he actually launches his campaign, it's hard to take any of the breathless speculation seriously.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Fifth Utah eagle dies, another shows signs of mystery malady" (Salt Lake Tribune)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- A tweet from Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina: "Great hearing from so many friends. Helping @barackobama & growing Messina Group is my focus. No US Sen. appt for me. #GoGriz #MTSEN"
- "GOP hopefuls flock to embattled 'Duck Dynasty' star" (Washington Post)
- Radel "wouldn't even say the word 'cocaine' at a Thursday press, which he held after he left a Naples rehab. He instead repeatedly talked about 'alcohol' and 'alcoholism.'" (Miami Herald)
- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), on running for another term: "I feel so good it scares the hell out of me to be honest. ... I find myself on the dance floor and doing things I haven't done in a long time." (DNAinfo New York)
- "Loretta Sanchez Had to Sell Disney on 2013 Christmas Card" (Roll Call)
- "With Obama Now in Need, Aides Put Off Their Exits" (New York Times)
- "Sean Eldridge's 'Gram's' Recipe Found on Rice Krispie Website" (Washington Free Beacon)
- "I spent a lot of time with him and I've grown to really like him." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). (Politico)
- "Rodman holds tryouts for Pyongyang exhibition game" (AP)
- Obama's half brother "is publishing an autobiography that details the domestic abuse that served as the theme for his earlier semiautobiographical novel, which featured an abusive parent patterned on their late father." (AP)
- "Apopka Mayor John Land, 93, to run again" (Orlando Sentinel)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Partly sunny this morning, then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s. Southwest winds 10-15 mph.
- The Senate returns at 9 a.m.
- The Institute of the Black World and Busboys and Poets hold a discussion on "The Legacy of Mandela and The Unfinished Freedom Struggle In South Africa." (14th St. NW location, 6:30 p.m.)
- The Caps are in Raleigh to face the Hurricanes. (Comcast SportsNet, 7 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Over the last 168 years since statehood in 1845, Florida has elected an ex-governor into office only once: Democrat William Bloxham.
- The winner is Melanie Burns, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "Which six states have yet to elect a woman to the US House of Representatives?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- A Year of Low Output in Congress
- The Most Unlikely Congressional Newsmakers of 2013
- Congressman Waxman Pleads: Don't Kill the Los Angeles Times
- Poll: Democrats Cheer 'Nuclear Option'—Republicans Not So Much
- NASA's 'Asteroid Hunter' Is Back In Action
"Listen, I'm not dead. It's, what, 90 miles away." -- Brown, on moving from Massachusetts to New Hampshire (Boston Globe)
"The Midwest is a strange land for an Easterner of my ilk." -- Former Sen. Bob Kerrey's (D-NE) wife, Sarah Paley, in a Vogue essay, on moving back to Nebraska for Kerrey's failed comeback bid last year. (Omaha World-Herald)
Julie Sobel, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief