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And Your New House Speaker Is ...: The same as the old one. Washington Post: "House Speaker John A. Boehner narrowly won reelection Thursday to a second term overseeing a chamber that has proved difficult for him to manage, surviving a rebellion from the most conservative wing of the Republican caucus. The vote followed several recent insurrections from rank-and-file Republicans that left Boehner (R-Ohio) in a less powerful position heading into critical negotiations this year. He survived the defections of 12 Republicans, with the opposition coming from the most conservative members."
Joe Biden Joe Bidens Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's Swearing In: Real Clear Politics: "After the swearing in of freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Vice President Joe Biden made a comment about 'frisking' during a photo with her family. Biden made the comment after everyone was instructed by the photographer to drop their arms to get a better picture. 'Spread your legs, you're going to be frisked,' Biden added. 'If you say that to somebody in North Dakota, they think it's a frisking,' Biden joked to the photographer."* Here's video proof that actually happened on the floor of the Senate:
Geithner Heading For the Door: Bloomberg: "Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to leave the administration at the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the matter. After giving in to Obama’s previous entreaties to stay as long as needed, Geithner has indicated to White House officials and Wall Street executives that he is unlikely to change his departure plans this time, increasing pressure on the president to name his successor at Treasury, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the private talks."
Most Likely To Replace Him: Current White House chief of staff Jack Lew.
Hillary To Return to Work Soon: Reuters: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is resting at home in New York after being treated for a blood clot and plans to return to her office next week, the State Department said on Thursday. Clinton, 65, has suffered a series of ailments over the last month including a stomach virus, a concussion and a blood clot in a vein behind her right ear. She was released from New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday after a stay of several days during which she was given blood thinners to treat the clot. Her doctors have said they expect her to make a full recovery."
Al Jazeera Buys Gore's Current TV: Associated Press: "With its $500 million purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera will soon be seen in tens of millions of U.S. homes. ... The purchase will create a news channel called Al-Jazeera America, coming to American homes with a distinctly non-American view of the world. ... The deal already had its first casualty. The nation's second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable Inc., dropped Current after the deal was confirmed Wednesday, saying the network didn't have enough viewers."
Google Cleared of "Search Bias": Wall Street Journal: "Federal regulators who spent nearly two years probing Google Inc.'s search engine for possible antitrust violations came up virtually empty-handed, in a decision that confounded the company's competitors by upholding Google's central argument that its innovations benefited users. The Federal Trade Commission won some narrower concessions from Google. The company agreed to make voluntary changes to its search practices and give online advertisers more flexibility to manage ad campaigns with rival websites. Also, Google agreed to a settlement resolving FTC charges that the company was stifling competition by misusing key mobile-device patents it acquired when it bought handset maker Motorola Mobility."
U.S. Drone Strike Kills Top Pakistani Militant: New York Times: "An American drone strike killed a top Pakistani militant commander in a northwestern tribal region, security officials said on Thursday. The death of the commander, Maulvi Nazir, was seen as a serious blow to Taliban fighters who attack United States and allied forces in neighboring Afghanistan. The drone strike took place on Wednesday night and targeted Mr. Nazir’s vehicle in the Angoor Adda area in South Waziristan. Five other people were also killed, including one of his key aides, officials said."
More Quick Hits From Slate:
Brow Beat: A Last Talk With Maurice Sendak, Illustrated
Future Tense: Teens Hate Twitter, World Leaders Love It
The Vault: Fitness Instruction From 1920s Chorus Girls
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*Correction: The RCP story quoted above misidentified Sen. Heitkamp as a Republican. The North Dakota lawmaker is a Democrat.
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