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9:15 AM ET, December 17, 2008


 Top Items: 
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Bush Prepares Crisis Briefings to Aid Obama  —  WASHINGTON — The White House has prepared more than a dozen contingency plans to help guide President-elect Barack Obama if an international crisis erupts in the opening days of his administration, part of an elaborate operation devised to smooth …
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Obama's e-mails raise cash, concerns  —  Want a sleek Obama '08 coffee mug, a four-year calendar with pictures of Barack Obama on the campaign trail, or a blue T-shirt with “Change Can Happen” emblazoned under stylized photos of the incoming president and vice president?  —  You'll have to hurry.
Jackson, Jr. an informant to Blago investigations  —  SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CNN) — Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. — who was cited in a criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich — has been an informant for at least a decade with the U.S. Attorney's office, and has informed on the embattled governor of Illinois …
Charles Mahtesian / The Politico:
Nepotism Nation: Dems embrace dynasty politics  —  Barack Obama's path to the presidency included beating what had been one of the nation's most powerful families.  But, in an unusual twist, his election last month is helping accelerate the trend toward dynasty politics.
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
MEDIAN WAGES....So let's assume that we manage to stabilize the economy sometime soon via whatever combination of stimulus spending, tax cuts, and bailouts you think is best.  What's next?  Where will demand come from to get the economy moving normally again?  Paul Krugman comments:
Who Will Bail Out Uncle Sam?  —  By EXAMINER EDITORIAL HOT ZONE  —  The United States of America is bankrupt.  Don't believe it?  Consider this: Federal obligations now exceed the collective net worth of all Americans, according to the New York-based Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
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.
Wall Street Journal:
SEC to Probe Its Ties to Madoffs  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission will examine the relationship between a former official at the agency and a niece of financier Bernard L. Madoff, after the SEC's chief admitted “apparent multiple failures” to oversee the firm at the center of an alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
Jim Lindgren / The Volokh Conspiracy:
What the Duncan Appointment Suggests About Obama.  Tom Maguire has a great roundup of reactions to the Arne Duncan appointment.  Included are these: … Maguire points out that Vallas and Duncan were on one side of the education wars and Obama and Ayers were on the other (along with …
Discussion: The Corner, Freakonomics and Redhot
Person of the Year 2008  —  INSIDE:
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Obama charm offensive sways Republicans  —  President-elect Obama is waging a charm offensive on congressional Republicans.  In recent days he has personally called at least a dozen ranking GOP members of committees he will need to work with next year.  —  The highly personal …
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Note
Jeffrey Goldberg:
George Tenet, Drunk in Bandar's Pool, Screaming about Jews  —  I just picked up Patrick Tyler's forthcoming book, A World of Trouble, about America's tortured relations with the Middle East, and the prologue contains this whopper of a scene, one that is quite devastating, if true …
Discussion: Marc Ambinder
Jello Biafra / Firedoglake:
Jello Biafra Writes An Open Letter To Barack Obama  —  (Jello Biafra's 1979 mayoral campaign against Diane Feinstein was the first I ever worked on, which probably says a lot.  We're proud to publish his open letter to Barack Obama — jh)  —  My Friends (couldn't resist, I had to say it),
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Bush Abortion Rules Face Possible Reversal  —  Obama Team Looks at Regulation Set to Be Finalized This Week Letting Medical Staff Refuse to Take Part in Practices They Oppose  —  WASHINGTON — The outgoing Bush administration this week will finalize a regulation establishing a “right of conscience” …
Adam / pomomusings:
The Bible & Homosexuality: Enough with the Bible Already  —  If your comment does not appear immediately, please don't think I'm censoring the comments.  I have it set so that you have to have a previously approved comment on pomomusings.  So, if this is your first comment, I'll have to approve it.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
NY Daily News:
State budget unveiled, full of new taxes and cuts  —  ALBANY - Gov. Paterson's proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods - and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too.  —  Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes …
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
HOW WE KILLED ZARQAWI.  —  Reuel Marc Gerecht still thinks life is an episode of 24.  “If you had been confronted on 7 September 2001 with a captured Khalid Shaykh Muhammad or Abu Zubaydah,” he says in response to Andrew Sullivan, “and you knew that a major, mass-casualty terrorist strike …
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.
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Gingrich Echoes McCain: Denounces RNC Obama Blagojevich Linkage Campaign
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 More Items: 
UK troops to leave Iraq ‘by July’
Washington Post:
New Poll Shows 63% Are Already Hurt by Downturn
Discussion: The Sideshow and
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Trips to Caribbean appear to have broken House rules
Watching romantic comedies ‘can spoil your love life’
Discussion: The Corner and Dr. Helen
Scott Payne / The Moderate Voice:
The Ineffable Likability of Bush
 Earlier Items: 
Christine Harper / Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs's Tax Rate Drops to 1%, or $14 Million
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Joe Scarborough rips the Tanning Bed Media
George Packer In / New Yorker:
Discussion: Gawker and AmSpecBlog

From Techmeme:

Natasha Singer / New York Times:
Court filings show how Zuckerberg and other Meta execs played down risks to young users, while rejecting staff pleas to bolster guardrails and hire more staff

Christopher Mims / Wall Street Journal:
Research: the number of freelance jobs on platforms like Upwork, in areas where generative AI excels, have dropped by as much as 21% since ChatGPT's debut

Ashley Belanger / Ars Technica:
How the Internet Archive plans to defend its digital lending practices as it appeals a US court's 2023 ruling; IA says it was forced to remove over 500K books

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