Notes
First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress

More Oregon arrests: Some members of the militia illegally occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are starting to leave the site, and three—including an early leader—have been arrested. The departures come after eight militia members were arrested, including leader Ammon Bundy, and one killed in a confrontation with cops. Police have now blocked off the refuge. Through his lawyer, Bundy called for occupiers to leave. I have more here.

Still holding out: Donald Trump, meanwhile, shows no signs of backing down from his decision to boycott Thursday night’s Fox News debate, the final Republican forum before the Iowa caucuses. Trump went on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show Wednesday night, where the host tried and failed to persuade him.

Naval not-so-intelligence: According to a Washington Post report, the Navy’s top intelligence officer has been barred from viewing any classified materials for the last two years. Vice Admiral Ted “Twig” Branch name came up in a Department of Justice corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor, but more than 800 days later he still hasn’t been charged and still can’t read his division’s work.

NdGT vs. B.o.B.: Not to be outdone by the West/Wiz fireworks, the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson went on The Nightly Show to escalate his beef with B.o.B., who insists the earth is flat. The rapper has been ethered about what’s in the ether.

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