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10:15 PM ET, December 16, 2008


 Top Items: 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to establish a target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent.  —  Since the Committee's last meeting, labor market conditions have deteriorated, and the available data indicate that consumer spending …
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Fed Cuts Benchmark Rate to Near Zero  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve entered a new era on Tuesday, setting its benchmark interest rate so low that it will have to reach for new and untested tools in fighting both the recession and downward pressure on consumer prices.
Fed Cuts Rate to as Low as Zero, Shifts Policy Focus  —  A A A  —  Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve cut the main U.S. interest rate to as low as zero for the first time and shifted its focus to the amount and type of debt it buys, seeking to revive credit and end the longest slump in a quarter- century.
The Huffington Post:
Hale “Bonddad” Stewart: The Fed's Kitchen Sink Interest Rate Policy
Discussion: The Big Picture
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Blagojevich Impeachment Inquiry Stalls  —  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A committee of the Illinois House considering evidence and testimony in an impeachment inquiry against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich adjourned its first day of hearings after about an hour on Tuesday, after the governor's lawyer …
Bob Cusack / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:   Rove Blasts Obama On Senate Seat Scandal
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Newt denounces Blago attacks  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is denouncing Republican attempts to link President-elect Barack Obama and disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  —  Senator John McCain Sunday distanced himself from Republican National Committee attacks on Obama …
The Huffington Post:
Gingrich Rips RNC For Its Blagojevich Attacks  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a rather scathing letter to Mike Duncan on Tuesday, accusing the RNC chairman of engaging in “a destructive distraction” by attempting to tie Barack Obama to Rod Blagojevich.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Clinton chides supporters on Kennedy  —  Hillary Clinton has told her supporters not to involve her in their efforts to stop Caroline Kennedy's path to the U.S. Senate, a person familiar with replacement discussions said.  —  The move clears a major obstacle between Kennedy and the seat.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Reid Urged Paterson To Pick Kennedy  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) urged New York Gov. David Paterson to appoint Caroline Kennedy to the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a Democratic strategist familiar with Reid's thinking.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Reid pushes Caroline
Discussion: Spin Cycle
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
GOP probes Holder's role in Elian Gonzales case  —  Senate Republicans have requested information about Attorney General nominee Eric Holder's role in the Elian Gonzales controversy as part of a broad probe into his tenure with the Clinton administration and potential ties to presidential scandals during that era.
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Balloon Juice
Marc Ambinder:
Where Republicans Can Pick A Fight
Discussion: Spin Cycle
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blogs:
NBC's Whitaker on press corps: 'We're going to have to get tougher'  —  During today's press conference, President-elect Obama brushed off a question from Tribune reporter John McCormick about the Blagojevich scandal, and what interaction any advisers had with the Illinois Governor.
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Rahm's calls on tape  —  The Blago scandal . . .  Sneed hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds — dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!  —  A lot of chit-chat?  —  Hot air?  —  Or trouble?
Discussion: Emptywheel, NO QUARTER and The Hill
Charles Thomas / WLS-TV:
Jackson, Jr. may have been working with feds to investigate gov.  —  Jackson has been fighting for his reputation since the federal complaint revealed his supporters were willing to raise money for the governor, if Jackson was appointed to the Senate.  —  The new information appears …
Washington Post:
Vilsack and Salazar Nominations Expected Weds.  —  President-elect Barack Obama has tapped former Iowa governor Thomas J. Vilsack to be his secretary of agriculture and will introduce Vilsack tomorrow at a news conference in Chicago, where he will also name Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: Cheney Says He's Changed  —  Vice President Reflects on Time in Office, Assesses Obama's Team  —  In an exclusive interview with ABC News, a reflective Vice President Dick Cheney praised President-elect Barack Obama's national security team and admitted he's changed during his time in office.
James Pethokoukis / Capital Commerce:
The 10 Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008  —  ¡Ay, caramba!  In a year when Wall Street imploded, the Big Three automakers neared collapse, and the economy plunged into its worst downturn in at least a generation, finding business and economy “leaders” who messed up badly isn't too hard.
Discussion: Don Surber
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Joe Scarborough rips the Tanning Bed Media  —  Via the Newsbusters, Joe Scarborough belatedly discovers the vast difference in how the media treated Barack Obama and Sarah Palin in this election.  As I mentioned a number of times, the national media rushed to Wasilla to cover …
George Packer In / New Yorker:
SEAN PENN FOR SENATOR!  —  The cover of the December 15th Nation magazine features an article by the veteran foreign correspondent Sean Penn on his recent trip to Venezuela and Cuba.  Travelling in the company of Douglas Brinkley, the noted actor, and Christopher Hitchens …
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
MEET ARNE DUNCAN, OBAMA'S EDUCATION PICK.  —  With the Democratic Party embroiled in internal debate over public school reform, it is very much like Barack Obama to tap Chicago public schools CEO Arne Duncan as education secretary.  Duncan is one of the only prominent education leaders …
Mike Lillis / The Washington Independent:
Foreign Auto Makers Won Billions in Government Subsidies  —  General Motors production line.  (Flickr: steelcityhobbies)  —  To hear Southern Republicans tell the story, the financial burdens facing Detroit's automakers are self-made troubles to be settled by the laws of Adam-Smith capitalism.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Southern Way  —  Nice piece from Mike Lillis at The …
Discussion: The Bellows
Timothy Williams / New York Times:
Iraqi Shoe-Thrower to Appear in Court  —  BAGHDAD — The Iraqi television reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush during a news conference is scheduled to appear before a judge on Wednesday, the first step in a potential criminal prosecution against him, a senior lawyer and the reporter' s brother said on Tuesday.
James Salzer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Electoral College could be weakened  —  Two Atlanta lawmakers want measure to let popular vote decide presidential elections.  Other states have voted on similar bills.  —  Atlanta area lawmakers plan to push legislation next year calling for the popular vote —  rather than the Electoral College —
John Gapper / John Gapper's Business Blog:
Eliot Spitzer shows his face in Chinatown  —  If Eliot Spitzer had had to choose a venue at which to make his re-entry into society, he would presumably not have selected a former massage parlour in Chinatown on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  —  But Mr Spitzer, who resigned as governor …
George Bush / Guardian:
Bush's presidential library prompts discussion on legacy  —  The present hasn't worked out so well for President George Bush, but fundraisers hope library will boost his image  —  His approval ratings are among the lowest for any president in modern US history.
Gary Andres / Weekly Standard:
Do You Tattoo?  —  According to Pew Research, nearly one out of four Americans under 40 has a tattoo.  The new poll finds 36% in the 18-25 age group and 40% of folks age 26-40 sport this form of “self expression.”  Pew writes this: … So maybe the new litmus test for Republican presidential hopefuls …
Discussion: and Reason
World Public Opinion:
Poll Finds Widespread International Opposition to US Bases in Persian Gulf  —  US Approach to Muslim World Given Poor Grades by Many Nations  —  A poll of 21 nations around the world finds widespread opposition to the United States having naval forces based in the Persian Gulf.
Bonnie Malkin / Telegraph:
Australian couple served with legal documents via Facebook  —  An Australian couple who defaulted on their mortgage have been served legally binding court documents via social networking site Facebook.  —  In what may be a world first, lawyers from Canberra law firm Meyer Vandenberg persuaded …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider and TalkLeft
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 More Items: 
Christine Harper / Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs's Tax Rate Drops to 1%, or $14 Million
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Discussion: Newsalert
Craig Silverman / Regret the Error:
Crunks 2008: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Anna Mulrine / US News:
U.S. Military to Launch Pilot Program to Recruit New Local Afghan Militias
Jeremy Korzeniewski / AutoblogGreen:
US Prius assembly in Mississippi officially on hold
Pajamas Media:
The Banana Republic of New York
 Earlier Items: 
Jill Drew / Washington Post:
Frenzy  —  It was Wall Street's version of an inside joke …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Reynolds Keeps Flailing
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Juan Williams: Iraqi Protesters Are ‘Ingrate[s]’ Who Should Appreciate U.S. Invasion
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Serious security flaw found in IE

From Mediagazer:

Matilda Battersby / The Bookseller:
Academics say publisher Taylor & Francis hadn't told them about selling access to authors' research as part of a $10M+ Microsoft AI deal, nor let them opt out

Sam Buckingham-Jones / Australian Financial Review:
Google has quietly renewed deals with Australian outlets, sources say as year-long deals, worth tens of millions of dollars under the News Media Bargaining Code

Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple's Eddy Cue has pushed TV+ studio chiefs to exert more control over budgets, hoping to change Apple's reputation as the biggest spender in town

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