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3:40 PM ET, January 5, 2009

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Pat / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Court rejects Coleman bid to consider rejected absentee ballots  —  The ruling clears the way for election officials to certify results showing Democrat Al Franken in the lead.  —  The Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected a bid by Norm Coleman in the disputed U.S. Senate election …
Discussion: Scorecard's Blogs and TIME.com
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
MN-Senate: Coleman's Window Closing  —  The Minnesota state Supreme Court has turned down Sen. Norm Coleman's plea to include 654 rejected absentee ballots in the final vote count in his race against entertainer Al Franken, a major setback for the GOP incumbent who is seeking to make up a 225-vote deficit.
Amy Forliti / Associated Press:
Minnesota canvassing board expected to say that Democrat Al Franken …
Michelle Malkin:
A real clown takes a Senate seat
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's impressive new OLC chief  —  (updated below)  —  The Office of Legal Counsel, inside the Justice Department, is probably the most consequential federal government office that remains relatively obscure.  The legal opinions which it issues become, more or less automatically, the official legal position of the Executive Branch.
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Change.gov:
President-elect Obama announces key Department of Justice posts  —  WASHINGTON—Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced that he intends to nominate the following individuals for key posts at the United States Department of Justice: David Ogden, Deputy Attorney General; Elena Kagan …
Foon Rhee / Boston Globe:   Kagan nominated for solicitor general
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
TRANSITION TO JUSTICE.  —  The latest news from the Transition Office …
New York Times:
Restore the Senate's Treaty Power  —  THE Constitution's Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments.  The clause will likely be tested by Barack Obama's administration …
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John R. Bolton / Washington Post:
The Three-State Option  —  War in the Gaza Strip demonstrates yet again that the current governance paradigm for the Palestinian people has failed.  Terrorists financed and supplied by Iran control Gaza; the Palestinian Authority is broken, probably irretrievably; and economic development is stalled in Gaza and the West Bank.
William Kristol / New York Times:
Why Israel Fights  —  The Israeli assault on Hamas in Gaza is going to be a replay, we're told, of the attempt to subdue Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006.  And the outcome, it's asserted, will be the same: lots of death and destruction, no strategic victory for Israel …
The Caucus:
Panetta to Be Named C.I.A. Director  —  President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods …
CNN:
Secretary of the Senate rejects Burris appointment  —  (CNN) — An aide to Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson tells CNN that this morning she rejected Roland Burris' certificate of appointment to the Senate.  —  Robert Baxter says Erickson rejected Burris' appointment because it does …
Discussion: The Swamp and Hot Air
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Paul Krugman:
Is Obama relying too much on tax cuts?  —  I don't know yet.  But news reports this morning certainly raise questions.  —  Let's lay out the basics here.  Other things equal, public investment is a much better way to provide economic stimulus than tax cuts, for two reasons.
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Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Fighting Off Depression  —  “If we don't act swiftly and boldly,” declared President-elect Barack Obama in his latest weekly address, “we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment.”  If you ask me, he was understating the case.
The Prowler / American Spectator:
Beyond Bill Richardson  —  The Obama transition team was aware of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's relationship with the firm currently being investigated, CDR Financial Products, because Richardson had introduced the firm's founder, David Rubin, to Obama fundraisers during the Democrat convention in Denver last August.
Discussion: Commentary
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Connie Hair / Human Events:
Pelosi Erases Gingrich's Long-Standing Fairness Rules  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to re-write House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation.  Pelosi's proposals are so draconian, and will so polarize the Capitol …
CNN:
Republican party showdown today  —  WASHINGTON DC (CNN) - Call it a first step in the Republican Party's push to return from the political wilderness.  —  The six candidates running to lead the GOP's national committee face off today at a debate in Washington.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
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Alexander Burns / The Politico:
RNC chair race: ‘Everyone is ... pissed’
Discussion: Bluey's blog and Think Progress
Right Wing News:
The 7th Annual “20 Most Annoying Liberals Of 2008”  —  Honorable Mentions: Bill Ayers, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Juan Cole, Kent Conrad, The Daily Kos, Bill Delahunt, Glenn Greenwald, Alcee Hastings, Christopher Hitchens, The Huffington Post, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr. Caroline Kennedy …
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
Kara Scannell / Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Chasers Dug for Years, to No Avail  —  Regulators Probed at Least 8 Times Over 16 Years; Congress Starts Review of SEC Today  —  Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC was examined at least eight times in 16 years by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, who often came armed with suspicions.
David J. Lynch / USA Today:
Investors dump $89B in U.S. securities in historic fire sale  —  The deep river of private money that helped knit together the global economy has abruptly dried up, new government figures show.  —  As the global financial crisis grew more severe this summer, foreigners sold almost $90 billion …
Maria Recio / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Bush first ex-prez to face limit on Secret Service protection  —  WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush's “after-life,” as Laura Bush calls the post-presidency, is shaping up to be pretty comfortable, with a Dallas office, staffers, Secret Service protection, a travel budget …
Discussion: Political Machine
nsnetwork.org:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - BUSH'S BOMBS: A NATIONAL SECURITY LEGACY OF FAILURE  —  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  —  The sorry national security legacy of the Bush administration can be measured in in the President's failure to meet his own rhetorical objectives: “victory” in Iraq, an Afghanistan cleansed of terrorists …
Maureen Sieh / Metro Voices on syracuse.com:
U.S. Senate hopeful meets with community leaders in Syracuse  —  There was a lot of excitement three weeks ago when Caroline Kennedy came to town to meet high-profile Democrats in Central New York to talk about her interest in replacing Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.
George Selgin / Wall Street Journal:
Argentina Is Short of Cash - Literally  —  Spare some change?  —  Suppose you want to ride the bus or feed a parking meter without exact change.  Or suppose you just want to drop a few cents in a street musician's hat.  Nothing easier, right?  Not if you live in Argentina.
Discussion: Reason
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
‘Like Son Jeb as President’  —  Former President Bush (there's currently only one of those!) has endorsed his other governor-son for president.  As we await David Paterson's Caroline Kennedy Senate appointment, I have to think that Jeb for President is not the craziest idea.
Ami Eden / The Telegraph:
Dove fight  —  J Street — the new dovish pro-Israel lobby/political action committee — is facing stiff criticism from an unlikely source: Rabbi Eric Yoffie, arguably the Jewish community's most important dove.  —  In an opinion piece in the Forward, Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
For NASA Administrator, This Mission Is a Tad Personal
Discussion: Think Progress
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
The Unserious Left  —  The ground invasion of Gaza has begun.
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cuteness Stimulus  —  Obama transition team acts …
Discussion: The Quick and the Ed
Agence France Presse:
US ex-envoy says Mideast two-state solution unworkable
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CHUTZPAH WATCH.... John Bolton, the former ambassador to the U.N. …
Discussion: Reason
Chicago Breaking News:
U.S. granted more time to indict Blagojevich
Discussion: TIME.com
 Earlier Items: 
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Fox Business's ‘Bell’ Sounds A New Start For Liz Claman
Discussion: The New Republic
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Washington Post's Managing Editor to Step Down
Discussion: FishBowlDC
Charles V. Bagli / New York Times:
As Vacant Office Space Grows, So Does Lenders' Crisis
Fares Akram / The Independent:
Gaza: The death and life of my father
Discussion: reliefweb.int and Mondoweiss
Pajamas Media:
Some Differences Between Hamas and the Nazi Party
Debora Spar / Washington Post:
One Gender's Crash  —  Let me begin with the caveats: I like men.
Discussion: The American Scene