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11:30 AM ET, December 28, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
Explosive on Flight 253 Is Among Most Powerful  —  Sewn into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a powerful plastic explosive, the authorities say.  —  Had Mr. Abdulmutallab, sitting in seat 19A of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Friday from Amsterdam to Detroit …
RELATED:
Washington Wire:
Napolitano Reverses Course, Says Air Security Did NOT Work  —  A day after saying “the system worked” — and being pressed by CNN's Candy Crowley about how exactly that was the case — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano changed tack Monday and said that the U.S. air-travel security net …
Wall Street Journal:
The Terror This Time  —  Janet Napolitano says the system worked.  No, we were brave and lucky.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  A U.S. government that has barred the phrase “war on terror” has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt.
Washington Post:
Uninvestigated terrorism warning about Detroit suspect called not unusual  —  When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father in Nigeria reported concern over his son's “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue.
ABCNEWS:
Abdulmutallab: More Like Me In Yemen  —  Accused Northwest Bomber Says More Bombers On the Way; Al Qaeda Promises to Hit Americans  —  American officials have cause to worry there may be more al Qaeda-trained young men in Yemen planning to bring down American jets.
Nick Allen / Telegraph:
Detroit terror attack: second Nigerian arrested on Amsterdam flight
Martin Fletcher / Times of London:
At least eight dead in Tehran street battles  —  At least eight anti-government protesters, including a nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iran's opposition leader, were shot dead yesterday as the smouldering confrontation between the regime and the so-called Green Movement finally erupted.
RELATED:
FRONTLINE:
The start of an Iranian intifada  —  [ analysis ]  —  An Iranian-style intifada seems to be in the making.  —  At the beginning of the current period of opposition, which started soon after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial reelection, quiet periods of seeming normalcy occurred between what were less frequent demonstrations.
Nile Gardiner / blogs.telegraph.co.uk:
Iranian protesters are dying for freedom - where is Barack Obama?
BBC:
Iran protesters in fresh clashes
Discussion: Informed Comment and Gawker
New York Times:
U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion  —  WASHINGTON — In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.  —  A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives …
RELATED:
Marc Lynch:
Whether it's AQ or not, nobody in Arab media cares
Discussion: sify.com, TalkLeft and RADAMISTO
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
“Political Winners” Circle Filled by Figures Close to Obama  —  Americans divided in labeling Sarah Palin as a political winner or loser  —  PRINCETON, NJ — In Americans' estimation, the top three political winners of 2009 are all women closely linked with the Obama administration …
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Mark Whitaker / Washington Post:
Lessons from Obama's first year  —  Seeking to make sense of Barack Obama's first year as president — and why he has come across as competent but less magical than many Americans hoped — I've been rereading his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father.”  —  To revisit that memoir is to be reminded …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Winners and Losers: Political toll of 2009
Discussion: The Politico
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Big Zero  —  Maybe we knew, at some unconscious, instinctive level, that it would be an era best forgotten.  Whatever the reason, we got through the first decade of the new millennium without ever agreeing on what to call it.  The aughts?  The naughties?  Whatever.
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Mary Matalin claims President Bush ‘inherited’ the September 11th terror attacks.  —  On CNN today, GOP strategist and former Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin argued that President Obama is speaking too much about the severe debt, deficits, and economic recession he inherited from the previous administration.
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 More Items: 
TMZ.com:
The JFK Photo That Could Have Changed History
Bernard-Henri Lévy / The Huffington Post:
A Letter From Roman Polanski
E.S. Browning / Wall Street Journal:
Adjusted for Inflation, Dow's Gains Are Puny
Discussion: Freakonomics and Beat the Press
MiamiHerald.com:
Feds probe banker Allen Stanford's ties to Congress
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The Odds of Airborne Terror
Discussion: QandO and Stop The ACLU
Steve Campbell / Washington Post:
Cowboy hats, secret files and more headed to Bush library
Discussion: The Page
 Earlier Items: 
Frida Ghitis / MiamiHerald.com:
They still don't love us
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Amy Merrick / Wall Street Journal:
Pawlenty Pushes Spending Caps
Discussion: MyDD and The Page
Political Punch:
Obama “Likely” to Speak About Flight 253
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Hot Air
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Clyburn will support bill without public option
Discussion: The Politico, The Page and MyDD
Mark Steyn / National Review:
Cross the River, Burn the Bridge