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The year’s five top stories: Big Bird, Al Gore and credit...

What do Big Bird and Al Gore have in common? They draw readers to the site in droves. Ditto marijuana and Bank Transfer Day. Here are the five most read stories of the year.

Big Bird hunter Lamborn pitches for PBS

Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn made national news the past two years for spearheading the Republican drive to end federal funding for public broadcasting. "It’s time for Big Bird to earn his wings and learn to fly on his own," he said. In a bold marketing move, Rocky Mountain PBS has now tapped Lamborn for a fundraising spot. "We don't always see eye to eye on everything about public broadcasting," says Rocky Mountain PBS CEO Doug Price, standing next to Lamborn, to awkward and entertaining effect.

Lamborn touts vote to spend $690 billion on military this year

Just as Republican lawmakers promote their plan to slash federal spending by turning Medicare into a new-style voucher program, come the eye-popping numbers tied to the National Defense Authorization Act. Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, who has praised the proposed Medicare cuts and led the charge to slash federal funding for popular programs like public broadcasting this year as necessary belt-tightening, is celebrating his vote to spend $690 billion on the military next year.

VIDEO: Lamborn simply seeking to free NPR of taxpayer subsidies

Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said that, in leading the charge to strip National Public Radio of taxpayer support, he is aiming simply to "let loose" the station to thrive in the free market. In a round of interviews Thursday held just before and after the House voted along party lines to pass his "defund NPR" bill, he said he was not acting out of partisan motives.

Killing Big Bird: GOP budget would end PBS / NPR funding

The Republican House majority put out a shocker of a budget Thursday that would slash spending by $32 billion in the next seven months. Among the glaringly ideological Republican targets are environmental protection programs and public broadcasting. The "war on Big Bird," as some fans of PBS have called it, has a strong backer in Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, who this session has introduced two bills to zero out funds for public TV and radio.