-- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked Thursday morning by an assailant armed with a 10-inch knife. Lippert suffered cuts on his head and his hands, though the injuries were not life-threatening. The assailant, who was immediately apprehended, shouted for a unified Korea; the same man was arrested in 2010 for throwing a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador. (Washington Post) Lippert tweeted later that he's doing okay. (Los Angeles Times)
-- Wrap-ups of Wednesday's oral arguments in King v. Burwell: Chief Justice John Roberts asked no questions that would hint at his thoughts. Justice Anthony Kennedy called the government's arguments "very powerful" and appeared more open to backing the Affordable Care Act than he was the last time the court heard a challenge. (Washington Post) But Kennedy also suggested he was uncomfortable with the administration's reading of the statute. (New York Times)
-- More: Kennedy "seemed decidedly more sympathetic to the government than might have been expected." (SCOTUSblog) Hospital stocks rose on Kennedy's apparent lean toward the ACA. Both Tenet and HCA rose by 7 percent in Wednesday trading. (Bloomberg)
-- The Justice Department has determined that Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting unarmed teenager Michael Brown because he feared for his life after Brown tried to grab his gun. But in a separate report, the department highlighted widespread racial bias within the 72-member Ferguson Police Department. Attorney General Eric Holder called a system of extracting money from citizens through fines "revenue generation through policing." Ferguson officers competed to see who could issue the largest number of citations during a single stop. (Washington Post)
-- Liberia has released its last Ebola patient, a 58-year old English teacher who went home on Thursday. There are no other confirmed cases in the country, meaning officials can begin a 42-day waiting period before being declared Ebola-free. (Associated Press)
-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with arguments in King v. Burwell, and teases with a big photo of Nationals spring training in sunny, not-snowy Viera, Fla. WSJ leads with SCOTUS arguments, too. NYT leads with DOJ's conclusions on Ferguson. LA Times devotes four left columns to dismally low voter turnout in city elections. USA Today leads with testimony in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
White House 2016: The long, strange road to Pennsylvania Ave.
-- Clinton: The e-mail system set up in Hillary Clinton's home was designed to quickly and completely erase e-mails. But it was partially misconfigured, leaving it vulnerable to hacking. (Bloomberg) The House Select Committee on Benghazi will subpoena e-mails from Clinton's servers. (Washington Post) The Associated Press is considering legal action over long delays to Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department. (Politico) @HillaryClinton, at 11:35 p.m. last night: "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."
-- More Clinton: Matt Paul, a longtime aide to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, will leave the Obama administration to run Clinton's Iowa campaign. DNC deputy communications director Lily Adams will serve in a top Iowa communications role, and Brenda Kole will take a top political role. (Washington Post) Clinton has hired Marc Elias as her campaign's lead campaign lawyer. (New York Times)
-- Rubio: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) unveiled a comprehensive proposal to overhaul the tax code Tuesday, in which they proposed condensing seven individual income tax brackets into two. Those making up to $75,000 a year would pay 15 percent, while those paying more would pay 35 percent. Corporations would pay a top tax rate of 25 percent, down from the current 35 percent rate. (Washington Post) Rubio is canceling plans to attend an Iowa Ag Summit this weekend for a family wedding. (Des Moines Register)
-- Cruz: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has hired former Iowa Family Policy Center communications director Bryan English through his PAC. English helped run the group's campaign against three state Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize gay marriage. (Des Moines Register)
-- Utah: Mitt Romney sent a letter to legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert (R) on Wednesday urging them to hold a presidential primary, rather than a caucus. Romney said a caucus generates far less turnout, but state Republican Party chairman James Evans said he thinks a caucus would actually attract more voters than a primary. The state party voted to hold its caucus on March 22, 2016. (Salt Lake Tribune)
-- Washington: The Washington state Senate voted Tuesday to move the presidential primary to March 8, 2016, a week after Super Tuesday. Both Republicans and Democrats will have to agree to allocate at least some of their delegates for a closed primary. If they can't agree, every presidential candidate would go on the same ballot. National Democratic Party rules prohibit allocating delegates in both a primary and a caucus. (Associated Press)
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- Wisconsin: Wisconsin will be a right-to-work state by Monday, Gov. Scott Walker (R) predicts. The state Assembly will begin debate on the measure this morning, a debate that could last for 24 hours before a final vote takes place. Several Democratic amendments to the bill failed in committee on Wednesday. The state Senate voted for the measure by a 17-15 margin last week. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
-- Maryland: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) is the first candidate to formally throw his hat into the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), with a formal announcement coming this week. Van Hollen was seen chatting with Reps. Donna Edwards (D), Elijah Cummings (D), Dutch Ruppersberger (D), John Delaney (D) and John Sarbanes (D), all of whom have expressed interest in the race, on Wednesday on the House floor. (Washington Post)
-- Utah: The House Business and Labor Committee voted 9-4 to kill Gov. Gary Herbert's (R) Healthy Utah alternative Medicaid expansion program. The panel voted instead to endorse state House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan's (R) alternative, Utah Cares, which would cost the state $31 million and cover an additional 46,500 people. About half of those new people would be covered under Medicaid, and the other half would be covered under the state's Primary Care Network, or PCN. Opponents joke the PCN stands for "Pretty Crappy Network." (Salt Lake Tribune) More like Salty Lake Tribune, amirite?
-- California: The San Diego Chargers will begin circulating petitions in Carson, Calif., by next week for a ballot measure that would change zoning laws to let them begin construction on a new 70,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles area. Another petition-gathering effort in Inglewood, sponsored by the owner of the St. Louis Rams, has already succeeded. Neither the Chargers, the Rams nor the Raiders, who would share the Chargers' stadium, has filed for relocation with the NFL, but the league has formed a committee to study the L.A. market. (Los Angeles Times)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama's only big event on the calendar today is lunch with Vice President Biden.
-- Vice President Biden's only event on the calendar today is lunch with President Obama. Here's hoping Biden's limo can get up that long hill to the Naval Observatory this afternoon.
-- The House and Senate both cancelled sessions today as the winter storm bears down on D.C.
-- The Senate failed to override President Obama's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline in a 62-37 vote on Wednesday. (Associated Press) Democrats voting to override the veto: Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). Full roll call here.
-- Big get for Koch Industries: They've hired Ken Spain, chief spokesman for the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, to serve as a D.C.-based managing director of external relations. (Bloomberg)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- One of the best jobs in D.C. will soon be open, as Distilled Spirits Council CEO Peter Cressy has told his board he will retire at the end of the year. DISCUS is looking for a firm to conduct a national search for a new CEO. Cressy, 74, will return to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he served as chancellor, to reclaim his post as a tenured professor of management. (Washington Post)
-- Kansas City Fed president Esther George says the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates toward the middle of the year to avoid inflation. Presenting her annual economic outlook, George said the economy is approaching normal conditions, which should allow the Fed to gradually shift away from its stimulative monetary policy. (Kansas City Star)
-- Stock futures are up this morning after the Dow dropped 106 points on Wednesday. Asian stocks were mixed, while European shares are trading higher today. (CNN)
C1: Take time to digest the long reads
-- Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the committee that awards the Nobel peace prize, was ousted earlier this week at the hands of rival political parties who said some of his awards hurt Norway's diplomatic status. Ties between China and Norway have been frosty since 2010, when the prize went to dissident Liu Xiaobo. Jagland, a former Norwegian Labour Party prime minister, will be replaced by former Conservative Party leader Kaci Kullmann Five, who was Jagland's number two. (The Guardian)
C4: Fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- What's it look like when a full-sized bison charges your car head on? Find out here. Spoiler: Body work will be necessary.
-- Headline of the Day: "Study shows men are more narcissistic than women. Surprises no one." (Washington Post)
Attn Matt Drudge: What outrages conservatives today
-- Netflix CEO David Wells says his company, one of the biggest backers of net neutrality, didn't actually want the FCC to go as far as they did. At a conference at Morgan Stanley, Wells said his company hoped there would be a "non-regulated solution" to net neutrality. "Were we pleased [the FCC] pushed to Title II? Probably not," Wells said. (The Verge)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- A bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians on religious grounds passed a Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday after the lone Democrat on the panel excused himself to use the restroom. While state Sen. Vincent Fort (D) was away, Senate Republicans took up the religious liberty bill and voted it quickly through committee. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)