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12:55 PM ET, December 12, 2008


 Top Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Blagojevich fundraiser held by Jackson allies Saturday  —  As Gov. Rod Blagojevich was trying to pick Illinois' next U.S. senator, businessmen with ties to both the governor and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. discussed raising at least $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign as a way to encourage …
Eli Saslow / Washington Post:
Obama Worked to Distance Self From Blagojevich Early On  —  Like every other politician in Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich waited for Barack Obama's call this summer.  He told colleagues that he expected a speaking role at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, a nice bit of payback …
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Rendell slams Obama over Blago  —  Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell today criticized Barack Obama for not being more upfront about the Illinois corruption scandal.  —  Now, he said, the story will continue to dominate the media's attention.  —  “They have never been in an executive position before …
The Politico:
Obama damage control  —  He was elected president on a promise of “transparency” but barely five weeks later, Barack Obama is scrambling to meet his first big test on openness.  —  Obama's campaign lawyer Bob Bauer is taking a leading role in conducting what one top aide described as …
Chicago Tribune:
Sam Zell's financial adviser at Tribune Co. was middleman sought by Blagojevich  —  Governor sought to withhold Wrigley Field funds unless Chicago Tribune fired editorial writers critical of him, complaint says  —  As Tribune Co. acknowledged Thursday that it received a federal subpoena …
Illinois Democratic lawmakers begin impeachment effort for gov
New York Times:
What's Plan B?  —  Senate Republicans determined to block the $14 billion rescue package for Chrysler and General Motors have trotted out predictable rhetoric about the dangers of Big Government.  Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, warned on Thursday that …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘THE PARTY OF HERBERT HOOVER’.... On Wednesday, Dick Cheney met with Senate Republicans and emphasized the importance of keeping the American automotive industry afloat.  “If we don't do this, we will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever,” the vice president said.
Pan Pylas / Associated Press:
World markets plunge as US auto bailout fails
Discussion: Hot Air and The Other McCain
Associated Press:
$14B auto bailout dies in Senate
David Rogers / The Politico:
Bailout failure shows leadership vacuum
Discussion: The Caucus and The Crypt's Blogs
White House:
Statement by Press Secretary Dana Perino  —  It is disappointing that while appropriate and effective legislation to assist and restructure troubled automakers received majority support in both houses, Congress nevertheless failed to pass final legislation.  The approach in that legislation provided …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Bush changes mind, may save auto giants  —  Facing the potential bankruptcy of iconic American firms, President Bush on Friday abandoned his longstanding objection to using using the Wall Street bailout fund to help save G.M. and Chrysler.  —  A frustrated Republican congressional official said …
Discussion: Reason, The Swamp, Reuters and Pajamas Media
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Powell lashes out at Palin: I'm from the South Bronx, 'and there's nothing wrong with my value system.'  —  In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that will air this weekend, former Secretary of State Colin Powell sharply criticized the Republican party and its “value system,” taking particular aim at Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK):
Wall Street Journal:
Top Broker Accused of $50 Billion Fraud  —  Sons Turned In Madoff After He Allegedly Told Them His Investment-Advisory Business for the Wealthy Was ‘Giant Ponzi Scheme’  —  Bernard L. Madoff, a former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market and a force in Wall Street trading for nearly 50 years …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The Real Obama  —  Barack Obama has garnered praise from center to right — and has highly irritated the left — with the centrism of his major appointments.  Because Obama's own beliefs remain largely opaque, his appointments have led to the conclusion that he intends to govern from the center.
Discussion: Swampland and Betsy's Page
Todd S. Purdum / New York Times:
Robin Toner, Times Reporter, Is Dead  —  Robin Toner, who was the first woman to be the national political correspondent of The New York Times and who had a significant hand in the coverage of five presidential elections, innumerable Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns …
Chicago Breaking News:
Madigan to court: Declare Blagojevich unfit  —  Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court today aimed at removing Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.  —  A spokesman for the state Supreme Court confirmed that Madigan filed the motion this morning.
Joseph Stiglitz / Financial Times:
Chapter 11 is the right road for US carmakers  —  The debate about whether or not to bail out the Big Three carmakers has been mischaracterised.  It has been described as a package to help the undeserving dinosaurs of Detroit.  In fact, a plan to bail out the carmakers would benefit shareholders …
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Foundry
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 More Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Andrew Levy / Daily Mail:
School choir forced to pull out of Christmas concert as carols were ‘too religious’
Discussion: Right Wing News
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Just One Real Leader, and We Could Have Avoided This Mess
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Friday Line: Ranking Modern Political Scandals
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
WUSA Moves to One-Person News Crews
Scott Horton / Harper's:
Politics and the Federal Prosecutor
Mary Beth Sheridan / Washington Post:
Inaugural Rules Bar Overnight Camping
Jonathan Stempel / Reuters:
Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks “bankrupt”