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8:35 PM ET, December 11, 2008


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Blagojevich's Legal Bills Topped $500,000  —  CHICAGO — The criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich repeatedly refers to his family's financial troubles.  Those problems include more than $500,000 in unpaid legal bills, according to people familiar with the matter.
Discussion: Law Blog
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Obama Says He Never Spoke to Governor on Senate Seat  —  President-elect Barack Obama sought on Thursday to separate himself from the political scandal swirling around Governor Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, saying he never talked to the governor about who would replace Mr. Obama in the United States Senate.
Rev. Jackson: I Played No Role in Blagojevich Scandal, Not an ‘Emissary’  —  Congressman's Father Says He's ‘Not Targeted’ in Probe of Senate-For-Sale Scheme  —  Rev. Jesse Jackson says he played no role and was not “an emissary” in alleged efforts to make a deal with Governor Rod Blagojevich …
Jason Rosenbaum / The Seminal:
BREAKING: Schakowsky Will Run For Senate In Illinois  —  Last night at the Midwest Academy Awards and 35th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown introduced Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky by saying, “We may have a special election in Illinois, and if Jan Schakowsky runs, I'll support her.”
Rasmussen Reports:
Madigan Is Illinois Democrats' Favorite Now for Senate, Jackson's Support Plummets
Discussion: TPM Election Central
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Depends on how you define “contact”; Update: Blago newsletter photo included
New York Times:
Republicans Float Auto Bailout Alternative  —  WASHINGTON — In a last-ditch effort to revive a government rescue for the American auto industry, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, was trying late Thursday to persuade Senate Democrats to back an alternate plan that would require steep concessions …
Michelle Malkin:
Late-night shenanigans on the Hill: UAW bailout watch
Discussion: Reuters and Trust, But Verify
Aluf Benn / Haaretz:
Obama's atomic umbrella: U.S. nuclear strike if Iran nukes Israel  —  U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's administration will offer Israel a “nuclear umbrella” against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American source said earlier this week.
Richard Fernandez / Pajamas Media:
Thinking the no longer unthinkable
Discussion: Commentary and The Corner
Rep. Barney Frank / The Huffington Post:
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Does It Again  —  Recently, the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal repeated unsupported and flat out wrong conservative talking points about me and the root causes of the subprime mortgage crisis.  I sought to counter their accusations in a letter to the editor …
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Wall Street Journal:
Whitewashing Fannie Mae
Charles Lane / Washington Post:
The Unreal Bill Ayers  —  Three Decades After the Weather Underground's End, He's Still Justifying Its Means  —  I never thought Barack Obama's acquaintance with former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers disqualified him for the White House.  And now that Obama has been elected …
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Bipartisan Report: Rumsfeld Responsible for Detainee Abuse  —  Senate Committee Finds Officials Made Decisions That Led to Offenses Against Prisoners  —  A bipartisan Senate report released today says that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials …
Discussion: RedState and
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Senior officials authorized ‘aggressive’ interrogation
Discussion: Obsidian Wings
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Malkin: Democrats Will ‘Turn On A Dime’ Against Patrick Fitzgerald  —  This morning on Fox and Friends, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin took up the conservative mantra of linking President-elect Obama to disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL).  (In fact, Obama may have “indirectly contributed to the downfall” of Blagojevich.)
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: NO ORDINARY HONEYMOON  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Carrie Dann  —  *** No ordinary honeymoon: While the political world continues to focus on the Blagojevich scandal, which at this point has been only a headache for the incoming Obama administration …
Robert Block / The Write Stuff:
NASA has become a transition problem for Obama  —  CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA administrator Mike Griffin is not cooperating with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, is obstructing its efforts to get information and has told its leader that she is “not qualified” to judge his rocket program, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.
Paul Krugman:
Nosedive  —  Another day, another terrifying economic report, this time on unemployment claims.  —  So are we now losing jobs at the rate of 600,000 a month?  700,000?  If fiscal expansion takes, say, 8 months to kick in (and that's optimistic), where will that leave us?
Discussion: Calculated Risk and Open Left
Killer Chic  —  Gisele Bundchen wears him on the runway, Johnny Depp wears him around his neck, and Benicio Del Toro becomes him in the new, highly acclaimed, two-part epic film from Steven Soderbergh, Che.  Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the revolutionary who helped found communist Cuba, is the celebrity that celebrities adore.
Discussion: Reason
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
DEMINT WARNS OF BAILOUT ‘RIOTS’.... In general, those who warn of dire consequences for the automotive industry tend to support a rescue package.  As the argument goes, the auto manufacturers are the backbone of U.S. manufacturing, and the collapse of the industry could have devastating ripple effects in the midst of a financial crisis.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
A box unchecked  —  An Ambinder reader notices a gap in the diversity of the otherwise extraordinarily, thoroughly diverse Obama cabinet: Southerners.  —  John Edwards probably would have filled that slot, had he not fallen from grace.  Sam Nunn and Max Cleland have been mentioned, but faded.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Asking questions, and flagging them  —  A couple of analysts whose opinions I respect, including John Cole, criticized my item yesterday on what I see as an abuse of the “flagging” function on Obama's “Open for Questions” site.  —  I wrote about the ability of some readers to take a highly rated …
John Fritze / USA Today:
North Dakota tops analysis of corruption  —  WASHINGTON — Its largest city is legendary for machine-style politics and its elected leaders have been under investigation for years, but by one measure, Illinois is not even close to the nation's most-corrupt state.  —  North Dakota, it turns out, may hold that distinction instead.
Kate Pickert / Time:
Glenn Beck  —  Glenn Beck is not known for his compassion.  As host of the third highest rated radio talk show and a new program soon to debut on Fox News, Beck courts controversy regularly.  His caustic and often conservative commentary has offended Mexicans, Jews and Muslims …
New York Times:
Obama's Health Care Briefing  —  The following is a transcript of Barack Obama's press conference about his health care team and the Blagojevich scandal, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions.  —  Speakers:  —  President-elect Barack Obama  —  Former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota
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 More Items: 
Gareth Porter / IPS Inter Press Service:
SPECIAL SERIES: Iranian Leaders Debate Obama's Policy Freedom
SteveK / TVNewser:
Breaking: “Hannity” To Premiere January 12
Michelle Malkin:
Dingy Harry Reid defends stink bomb
Discussion: Trust, But Verify
Jad Mouawad / New York Times:
Oil Demand Down; 1st Time Since '83
Discussion: and On Deadline
Jack Turner / Jack & Jill Politics:
NPR Cancels Only Black-Issues Program, News & Notes
Andrea James / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Starbucks won't slug it out in ad wars
John Milton Cooper Jr / New York Times:
The Pause That Depresses
Discussion: Balkinization and Media Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Union Linked to Corruption Scandal
David Plouffe  —  If he were less shy and had a funny accent …
Discussion: The New Republic and
Karen Brooks / Dallas Morning News:
Web mistake costly for George W. Bush Library
Discussion: Think Progress and The Raw Story
The Daily Beast:
Could Detroit Trigger a New Global Meltdown?
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hullabaloo
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
A Spy CEO for Obama
Discussion: ATTACKERMAN and Matthew Yglesias

From Mediagazer:

Chris Welch / The Verge:
Daniel Ek says Spotify is working on a deluxe Spotify tier, costing around $17 to $18, that has “a lot more control, a lot higher quality across the board”

Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
YouTube Q2 ad revenue grew 13% YoY to $8.66B, vs. $8.93B est.; Google's subscriptions, platforms, and devices unit that includes YouTube TV had revenue of $9.3B

The Information:
Internal messages: Meta staff complained about Threads' algorithm limiting political posts, after the For You page was slow to show news of Biden dropping out

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