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By Caroline Nyce (@mimbsy)
Protesters continue to control a federal building in Oregon. Three countries joined Saudi Arabia in slashing diplomatic ties with Iran. Rep. Jim McDermott is retiring. Former President Bill Clinton began stumping on behalf of his wife. And Donald Trump released his first TV ad. 
OREGON. Armed protesters still occupy a federal building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI says it is working with other groups “to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation.” (Yan and Sutton, CNN)

FEUD. The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran continued, with three other countries—Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan—“severing or downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran.” (Erdbrink and Sengupta, The New York Times)

GOODBYE TO #THISTOWN. Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, a 14-term member who was once “dubbed Seattle’s ‘congressman for life,’” announced his retirement (

BILL’s BACK. Former President Clinton offered his first stump speech on behalf of his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign: "I do not believe in my lifetime anybody has run for this job at a moment of great importance who was better qualified by knowledge, experience and temperament to do what needs to be done now," Clinton told an audience in New Hampshire. (Lisa Lerer, Associated Press)

THE DONALD RETURNS TO TELEVISION. Donald Trump released his first campaign ad for television. (David A. Graham, The Atlantic)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Jim Gilmore are in New Hampshire. And Sen. Marco Rubio is in Colorado.

Sign up for TwentySixteen National Journal's daily guide to the presidential race.
TOP READ: “What follows is the story of how Republicans got to where they are today, told primarily through the impressions, recollections and analyses of those who lived it personally—the Republican candidates. This article is based almost entirely on on-the-record interviews with most of the major candidates—some of whom fell away—and with their advisers and other strategists. It is the story of a remarkable year in American politics.” (Balz, Rucker, Costa, and Gold, The Washington Post)
SETTING THE STAGE. The Atlantic’s Norm Ornstein lists “the people and institutions who played a role—however deliberate, unwitting, or inadvertent—in laying the groundwork for Trumpism to flourish in America.”

MEANWHILE, ON CAPITOL HILL ... 11 big, unanswered questions facing Congress in 2016. (Ben Geman, National Journal)  

MAY THEY COME IN PEACE. Last week, Hillary Clinton reportedly indicated that extraterrestrials “may have visited us already.” "I just hope it's not like 'Independence Day,'" Clinton said. (Jesse Byrnes, The Hill)
EVOLUTION OF IMMIGRATION. Charting legal immigration to the U.S. since 1820. (Alvin Chang, Vox)

ON JANUARY 4 ... Things that happened on this date in history. (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic)
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