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9:15 AM ET, December 14, 2008


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Report Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders  —  BAGHDAD — An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded …
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Rumsfeld on eve of Iraq war: 'If you think we're going to spend' $1 billion in Iraq, 'you're sadly mistaken.'  —  Rumsfeld on eve of Iraq war: 'If you think we're going to spend' $1 billion in Iraq, 'you're sadly mistaken.'»  —  A scathing new report by the Special Inspector General …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SO DIFFERENT?  —  Since the story broke a few days ago, I've been extremely interested in the arrest of Bernard Madoff, former Nasdaq chief, whose investment business has been revealed as a massive scam with loses of as much as $50 billion.  Since I'm in the news business a lurid story …
Discussion: The RBC, Gothamist and Bloomberg
Wall Street Journal:
Fund Fraud Hits Big Names
Discussion: Commentary
Michael Isikoff / Newsweek:
The Fed Who Blew the Whistle  —  Is he a hero or a criminal?  —  Nigel Parry / CPI for Newsweek  —  From the magazine issue dated Dec 22, 2008  —  Thomas M. Tamm was entrusted with some of the government's most important secrets.  He had a Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, a level above Top Secret.
Discussion: Pacific Views
Jacob Weisberg / Slate:
Which state is the most crooked—Illinois or Louisiana?  —  With the unmasking of Gov. Rod Blagojevich as a kleptocrat of Paraguayan proportion, Illinois now has a real chance—its first in more than a generation—to defeat Louisiana in the NCAA finals of American political corruption.
Frank Rich / New York Times:
Two Cheers for Rod Blagojevich  —  ROD BLAGOJEVICH is the perfect holiday treat for a country fighting off depression.  He gift-wraps the ugliness of corruption in the mirthful garb of farce.  From a safe distance outside Illinois, it's hard not to laugh at the “culture of Chicago,” …
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Our Sen. Kennedy?  Tipsville . . .  Is Chris Kennedy, the son of the late, great U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, a possible entrant on the list to fill Presidentelect Barack Obama's Senate seat?  —  •  • To wit: Sneed hears Kennedy's name has been wafted into the inner circle of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn …
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
Anchorage Daily News:
Arson suspected in fire at Palin's church  —  WASILLA - An overnight fire at Gov. Sarah Palin's Alaska church caused an estimated $1 million in damage, and investigators say it could be the work of an arsonist.Firefighters were called to Wasilla Bible Church about 9:40 p.m. Friday and found flames …
Discussion: Power Line and The Other McCain
David Airey / Logo Design Love:
Obama logo ideas that weren't chosen  —  Sol Sender, who led a design team for the Obama 08 logo, was recently interviewed about the project.  —  Here's a walk through the various logo options, with some of Sol's thoughts.  The full interview videos can be watched on the website of VSA Partners (where Sol is now a strategist).
New York Times:
Lawyer Seen as Bold Enough to Cheat the Best of Investors  —  Marc S. Dreier knew the 45th-floor conference room of Solow Realty well.  He had been in it many times as a trusted lawyer for the company's founder.  —  So nothing seemed amiss when he showed up one afternoon in October and told …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
AG Lisa Madigan's argument to the Illinois Supreme Court about ousting Governor Blagojevich.  —  Here's the transcript.  [ADDED NOTE: This is only the press conference, not the argument before the court.]  —  As described here and here, Madigan is relying on Article V …
Paul Pringle / Los Angeles Times:
Union-founded nonprofit spent zero on its charitable purpose in two years  —  The charity was founded by a scandal-ridden Los Angeles chapter of the Service Employees International Union.  Its stated aim was to provide housing to low-income workers.  —  A nonprofit organization founded …
Discussion: Commentary
Bob Geiger:
The Saturday Cartoons  —  Before we get to the 'toons, I'm pleased to share the news that our friend Jeff Danziger of the New York Times and the Rutland Herald (Vermont) has received the 2008 Thomas Nast Award, for editorial cartoons.  Jeff calls Nast “the grandfather of all American cartoonists” …
Discussion: Firedoglake
Meet the GOP's wrecking crew  —  Why did a small group of Southern Republicans turn the auto bailout into a demolition derby?  Introducing the senators who hate unions and love foreign cars.  —  WASHINGTON — On July 15, Bob Corker was a happy man.  —  “I cannot think of a more exciting day …
Jim Puzzanghera / Los Angeles Times:
Auto bailout's death seen as a Republican blow at unions
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 Earlier Items: 
Ecuador defaults on foreign debt
Discussion: FP Passport and PoliBlog