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11:40 AM ET, December 14, 2008


 Top Items: 
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama team's ‘unanswered questions’  —  The “unanswered questions” — as the Republican National Committee and others are calling them — will continue to haunt President-elect Obama and staff in the sordid case of the Illinois governor accused of attempting to sell Obama's Senate seat.
Discussion: RedState
Mike Allen / The Politico:
McCain scolds GOP for whacking Obama  —  In a surprising rebuke to the warriors who fought for him through tough times, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday sided with President-elect Barack Obama and scolded the Republican National Committee for fanning the Illinois corruption scandal.
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.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Pressure builds on Obama to release his Blagojevich contacts  —  In case you're wondering about that list President-elect Obama promised a few days ago to release in “a few days” detailing all of his office's contacts with accused Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the vacant U.S. Senate seat …
Discussion: RedState, Doug Ross and CANNONFIRE
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
Bush Arrives in Iraq for a Final Visit  —  BAGHDAD — President Bush flew to Iraq on Sunday, a final trip to highlight the recently completed security agreement between Iraq and the United States.  —  Air Force One arrived in Baghdad at 4 p.m. after a 10-and-a-half-hour overnight flight from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.
Matt Spetalnick / Reuters:
Bush makes farewell visit to Iraq  —  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President George W. Bush made an unannounced farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday, just weeks before he leaves office and bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President-elect Barack Obama.  —  Slipping out of the White House over the weekend …
Jennifer Loven / Associated Press:
Bush: Work in Iraq has been hard; needed for peace  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  BAGHDAD - On a farewell trip to Iraq, President George W. Bush said Sunday the war has been hard, but was necessary to protect the U.S. and give Iraqis hope for a peaceful future.
New York Times:
Official History 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 …
Ali Frick / Think Progress:   Rumsfeld on eve of Iraq war: 'If you think we're going to spend …
Associated Press:
Palin's church damaged in suspicious fire  —  ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Gov. Sarah Palin's home church has been badly damaged in an arson fire.  —  Damages to the Wasilla Bible Church were estimated at $1 million, authorities said today.  No one was injured in the fire, which was intentionally set while people …
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: Power Line, Macsmind and Pacific Views
New York Times:
A Champion of Wall Street Reaps Benefits  —  “We are not going to rest until we change the rules, change the laws and make sure New York remains No. 1 for decades on into the future.”  —  WASHINGTON — As the financial crisis jolted the nation in September, Senator Charles E. Schumer was consumed.
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,” …
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 More Items: 
Megan McArdle:
Just desserts  —  I'm hearing the truly bizarre argument …
Discussion: Commentary
Steve Hendrix / Washington Post:
For Some on Obama Team, Capital Is Close to Home
Discussion: The Caucus and
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing
Michael Yon / Pajamas Media:
On the Front Lines in Afghanistan, Part Two
Discussion: Michael Yon and The Jawa Report
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SO DIFFERENT?  —  Since the story broke a few days ago …
Discussion: The RBC and Gothamist
Bob Geiger:
The Saturday Cartoons
Discussion: Firedoglake
New York Times:
Lawyer Seen as Bold Enough to Cheat the Best Investors
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider