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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important news stories of the day

OBAMA AGENDA: Hawkeye State of mind

President Barack Obama is in Iowa today to unveil his broadband competition plan. The Des Moines Register writes that he will "unveil a series of programs and coalitions intended to increase broadband access to Americans by spurring competition among Internet providers when he visits Cedar Falls Wednesday."

About yesterday, from the Wall Street Journal: "Republicans left the White House meeting seeing opportunities for cooperation on possible cybersecurity legislation and authorization for the use of military force against Islamic State militants. But the GOP leaders also drew a sharp line with Mr. Obama on issues that already have sparked partisan rancor, including immigration and energy, suggesting some policy areas lie beyond bipartisan collaboration."

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attack in Paris.

The Wall Street Journal: "For years, the U.S. has ceded more and more of its manufacturing to lower-cost corners of the global economy. No one expects the U.S. to again make most of the electronic gadgets, tools, toys, furniture, lighting and other household products that tally more than $500 billion a year in imports. But some companies contend the U.S. has renewed its attraction."

CONGRESS: Up in smoke?

The Washington Post writes about D.C. versus Congress on marijuana: "The District of Columbia defied the new Republican Congress on Tuesday, challenging the House and Senate to either block or let stand a voter-approved ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital."

Notes the New York Times: " In the span of a month, the nation’s biggest banks and investment firms have twice won passage of measures to weaken regulations intended to help lessen the risk of another financial crisis, setting their sights on narrow, arcane provisions and greasing their efforts with a surge of lobbying and campaign contributions. The continuing assault on the 2010 Dodd-Frank law has achieved remarkable success, especially compared with the repeated failures of opponents of another 2010 law, the Affordable Care Act."

Michael Robert Hoyt, a bartender at a country club frequented by the House Speaker, was indicted Jan. 7 on charges of threatening to poison Boehner's drinks, reports NBC News.

National Journal asks how hard Republicans will fight on immigration and executive action. "Senate Republicans are willing to use a vital spending bill to fight President Obama on immigration. But not as hard as their House colleagues would like."

OFF TO THE RACES: Ramping up

The Washington Post rounds up the quick pace of the past week: "A broad field of GOP candidates are ramping up preparations for presidential runs in the wake of early maneuvering by establishment favorites Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, kicking off the race for the 2016 Republican nomination at a breakneck speed."

CHRISTIE: The New York Times reports that Christie will set up a leadership PAC "as early as this month."

The New Jersey governor's State of the State address was at times directed well beyond the Garden State, writes NBC's Andrew Rafferty.

CLINTON: "John Podesta, a top White House adviser, will take on a senior role in Hillary Clinton ’s emerging presidential bid after he leaves the administration in February, three people familiar with the matter said. The move is one of the most definitive signs yet that Mrs. Clinton is building the apparatus to launch a 2016 run," the Wall Street Journal reports.

PAUL: Rand Paul announced that he's hiring former Rauner staffer Chip Englander as his campaign manager.

ROMNEY: NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell and Mark Murray report that Romney will appear at this week's upcoming RNC meeting in San Diego.

Jonathan Martin's take on the GOP's conflict over a third Romney run: "[I]nterviews with more than two dozen Republican activists, elected officials and contributors around the country reveal little appetite for another Romney candidacy. Beyond his enthusiasts — a formidable constituency given that many are donors — opinions range from indifference to openly hostility."

Florida is turning into a donor battleground, writes the Tampa Bay Times: "Bush is now weeks into his own aggressive foray into the presidential race and commands the loyalty of Florida's top fundraisers, many of whom were on board with Romney's last campaign. That Romney would even make phone calls in Bush turf is a signal that he's serious and sets up a clash between two of the most well-known figures in Republican politics."

WALKER: NBC: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, eying the presidency in 2016, used his State of the State address on Tuesday to highlight his conservative successes and take gentle swipes at potential GOP rivals mulling a White House bid. Lower property taxes and a fully funded pension system are two reasons "the Wisconsin comeback is working," and also two things few other governors can boast about, Walker said."

WARREN: From "Two top progressive groups that are urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to run for the Democratic presidential campaign are bringing their campaign to New Hampshire this weekend."

And around the country...

CALIFORNIA: Tom Steyer says he'll decide "soon" if he'll run for Senate in California.

IOWA: The Des Moines Register sums up Gov. Branstad's Condition of the State address.

NEW YORK: "Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday sharpened his opposition to a City Council bill that would criminalize the use of chokeholds by New York City police officers, promising to veto the proposed legislation if it reached his desk,” reports the New York Times.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The State: "When Gov. Nikki Haley takes her second oath for the state’s highest office Wednesday, she will stand as a survivor of a sometimes turbulent first term, having outlasted many of her opponents and controversies.”

VIRGINIA: In the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Del. Joseph D. Morrissey on Tuesday won a special election to keep his seat in the 74th House of Delegates district, making him the first jailed lawmaker in modern Virginia history to win reelection."

WISCONSIN: The Journal-Sentinel "With Gov. Scott Walker proposing the merger of state departments, some Democrats are questioning whether the plan could repeat the mistakes of a previous state agency overhaul."


*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall talks with CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper regarding the Charlie Hebdo cover that once again features the Prophet Mohammed, Executive director of the Nigerian leadership council Samuel Okey Mbonu, railroad expert with Robson Forensic Gus Ubaldi about the DC metro tunnel fire that left one dead earlier this week, and UH Case University Hospital’s infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Washington Post’s Tom Toles, Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus and NBC’s Ron Allen, Pete Williams and Ayman Mohyeldin.