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Obama to Give Jan. 20 State of the Union (Updated)

Updated 10:41 a.m. | President Barack Obama is accepting an invitation to deliver the 2015 State of the Union on Jan. 20, according to a White House official.

President Signs Year-End Health Bills

A few health program bills managed to squeeze past House and Senate roadblocks during the final days of the 113th Congress. President Obama on Thursday signed measures reauthorizing newborn screening (HR 1281), sudden infant death reporting (HR 669, traumatic brain injury (HR 4276) programs and a breast health education bill (HR 5185). On Tuesday, the President signed a separate measure (S 2917) that adds research for Ebola drugs to an FDA program that expedites research on tropical drugs. However, the Senate this week was unable reach an agreement on final action on a bill enhancing veterans’ suicide prevention programs (HR 5059).

D.C. Helps Stephen Colbert Say Goodbye

Citizens of #ThisTown were among the pop culture illuminati sending off faux conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert on the final episode of “The Colbert Report,” all to a resounding singalong of “We’ll Meet Again.”

FCC Rejects Complaint That Saying "Redskins" on the Radio Is Obscene

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday rejected a request by George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf that it deny a license renewal for radio station WWXX over its broadcast of the term “Redskins.”

Weekly Recap: Pakistan, Cuba, Russia

If you look carefully, you can see Gen. Ray Odierno and other national security/foreign policy figures joining in on a farewell “We’ll Meet Again” song for the Colbert Report. We’ll bid you our own farewell for the week with a recap of what we wrote about at Five By Five, and some highlights from elsewhere, too.

Five By Five Friday Q&A: Arnold Punaro, NDIA

Ret. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro is the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, as well as CEO of the Punaro Group. He’s also a former long-time Hill staffer.

Bill O'Neill, Jerry Hogan: 2 Friends Taken in 2 Days

The low odds of two friends in the same tight-knit community on Capitol Hill dying on consecutive days were mercilessly defied last week, as a sad 24 hours rocked the tech and telecom lobbying world — along with numerous other universes both inside politics and out.

FDR Would Have Supported the TPP; Congress Should, Too | Commentary

On Dec. 7, we remembered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 63 years ago, an event that fundamentally transformed America’s role in the world from isolationist to global superpower. That tragic day firmly entrenched America in an important and sustained engagement in East Asia that lasts to this day.

Martin Paone New Senate Liaison

The White House’s new Senate liaison is an old familiar face around the chamber, and someone who really knows how the trains run.

It's Time for the Affordable Care Act to Make Care Affordable | Commentary

The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage to millions. But a recent Gallup survey found that 1 in 3 Americans still put off needed health care this year because it cost too much.

A Simple Way to Boost Homeownership - End Conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac | Commentary

For generations, affordable homeownership has been a pillar of the American dream and the primary driver of wealth creation and social mobility. While Congress has not yet come to a consensus on how to proceed with housing reform, studies have shown the host of positive externalities that stem from homeownership — ranging from better health and education to safer streets and more vibrant communities.

How the Nuclear Option Changed the Judiciary

For Sen. Harry Reid, going “nuclear” set the groundwork for his last great act of the 113th Congress.

Economist: Studies Suggest Some Effectiveness of E-Cigarettes

Cigarette smoking is an addiction that is difficult to quit, despite well-known health warnings and numerous smoking cessation programs. One controversial pathway toward quitting is the electronic cigarette, which delivers the addictive nicotine without the tar and smoke. This week’s Economist magazine examines several studies that suggest e-cigarettes are effective in easing smokers away from tobacco cigarettes by focusing on maintaining the ritual of puffing without inhaling carcinogens and other poisons from burning tobacco leaves and additives.

Most Encouraging News Of 2014, Part Two

Here’s our second selection of views from transportation advocates, analysts, and interest group representatives on the most encouraging or discouraging transportation developments of the past year. . ..

Heritage Action Staffers Migrate to House

Heritage Action for America is losing three staffers, including its top House lobbyist, to a trio of newbies in the 114th Congress.

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