1. Sean Sullivan on Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) last big moves as majority leader.

2. Fact-checker Glenn Kessler on the biggest whoppers of 2014.

3. Evan Osnos profiles Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations, in The New Yorker:

In the senior ranks of an Administration that is often disparaged as a shrinking corps of fawning courtiers, Power is known for pushing unpopular ideas. “People call her the activist-in-chief,” Madeleine Albright, who served as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, told me. Jake Sullivan, who headed Hillary Clinton’s policy-planning staff and later served as Vice-President Joe Biden’s national-security adviser, said, “More than other individual actors, Samantha is somebody who will encourage, cajole, push, and prod the whole system: State Department, Treasury Department, Defense Department.” A bureaucrat who is reflexively against the consensus runs the risk of being ignored. But Secretary of State John Kerry told me that Obama does not expect to see everything the way Power does: “I’m confident the President put her there and nominated her because he wanted that.” He went on, “He may not agree with the point of view, and the point of view may not carry the day, but it becomes part of considering what’s out there.”

4. Why Stephen Colbert (who wraps up his Comedy Central show this Thursday) is not inherently a political comedian, by Will Leitch at Bloomberg Politics.

5. Detainee abuse photos are much worse than the report.

6. Here’s how Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) top advisers are thinking about 2016.

7. Fact of the Day/Sports break: The Lakers are horrible. Just sayin'.