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11:15 AM ET, December 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Obama Selects Evangelist for Invocation  —  Barack Obama has selected the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor and author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, a role that positions Mr. Warren to succeed Billy Graham as the nation's pre-eminent minister …
The Politico:
Gay activists furious with Obama  —  Barack Obama's choice of a prominent evangelical minister to perform the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WARREN, REDUX.... After having had a chance to sleep on it, does Barack Obama's decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his presidential inauguration look any better?  Actually, no. I'm probably even more annoyed about it now than I was yesterday.
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama's inaugural choice sparks outrage
Discussion: The New Republic and On Deadline
Lynn Sweet:
Emanuel's deeper involvement in pressing for Jarrett Senate appointment  —  My Sun-Times colleagues Natasha Korecki and Fran Spielman in a story in the Thusday paper report Rahm Emanuel's involvement in pushing Gov. Blagojevich to appoint Valerie Jarrett to replace President elect Barack Obama was deeper than previously known.
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Former chiefs of staff meet with Emanuel
Discussion: marbury and Associated Press
Fran Spielman / Chicago Sun Times:
Emanuel likely to stay out of battle for his House seat
Discussion: The Capitol Fax Blog
Rob Bluey / The Foundry:
Conservative Leader Paul Weyrich Dies; First to Lead Heritage  —  Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and first president of The Heritage Foundation, died this morning around 1 a.m. He was 66 years old.  Weyrich was a good friend to many of us at Heritage, a true leader and a man of unbending principle.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Conservative icon Paul Weyrich dies  —  Paul M. Weyrich, 66, who helped found the Heritage Foundation and at one time was one of Washington's most visible conservatives, died this morning.  At his death, he was president and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
New York Times:
The Torture Report  —  Most Americans have long known that the horrors of Abu Ghraib were not the work of a few low-ranking sociopaths.  All but President Bush's most unquestioning supporters recognized the chain of unprincipled decisions that led to the abuse, torture and death in prisons run …
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
Big News in Washington, but Far Fewer Cover It  —  WASHINGTON — A new president arrived from a new party.  The balance of power shifted in Congress.  Legions of fresh new faces showed up in the nation's capital with new ideas, eager to upend the way the country does business.
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Dodd's rating drops after White House run  —  Sen. Chris Dodd's failed presidential campaign appears to have hurt him in Connecticut according to a new survey that showed the Democrat with his lowest poll numbers in 14 years.  —  The poll by Quinnipiac University shows the Senate Banking Committee chairman …
Discussion: Instapundit
New York Times:
Mayor's Aide Pushes Hard for Kennedy  —  When a powerful labor leader picked up the phone this week, he was surprised to hear the voice of a top aide to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.  —  The aide, Kevin Sheekey, a deputy mayor, made it clear: Caroline Kennedy is going to be the next senator …
Robert S. Boyd / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Forget the economy: Killer asteroids could pose real danger  —  WASHINGTON — A blue-ribbon panel of scientists is trying to determine the best way to detect and ward off any wandering space rocks that might be on a collision course with Earth.  —  “We're looking for the killer asteroid,” …
Ashley Fantz / CNN:
Children forced into cell-like school seclusion rooms  —  MURRAYVILLE, Georgia (CNN) — A few weeks before 13-year-old Jonathan King killed himself, he told his parents that his teachers had put him in “time-out.”  —  “We thought that meant go sit in the corner and be quiet for a few minutes …
Discussion: The Reaction
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise  —  A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.  —  Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase …
Scott / Power Line:
MINNESOTA SENATE RECOUNT, UPDATE XIII  —  Yesterday the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral argument in Senator Coleman's petition to review the Board of Canvassers' “recommendation” that the one hundred plus counting locations throughout the state sort and count previously rejected “fifth pile” absentee ballots.
Discussion: MinnPost and GayPatriot
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Denouement of Howard Dean?  —  Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the man regarded by many sharp political operatives as the progenitor of President-elect Barack Obama's successful 2008 campaign, finds himself without an obvious next job as his tenure at the head of the Democratic National Committee comes to an end.
Discussion: Open Left and Political Machine
Eli Saslow / Washington Post:
Obama's Chief Speechwriter, 27, Works on Inaugural Address While Making His Own Transition  —  The job requires him to work unnoticed, even in plain view, so Jon Favreau settles into a wooden chair at a busy Starbucks in the center of Penn Quarter.  Deadline looms, and he needs to write at least half a page by the end of the day.
Los Angeles Times:
California Democrats devise plan to hike taxes  —  By structuring them as fees, they would skirt GOP opponents and raise $9.3 billion.  A court fight looms.  —  Reporting from Sacramento — California's Democratic leaders were planning a vote today on a brazen proposal to raise gas …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
New York Times:
Paulson Takes Lead in Auto Rescue Talks  —  WASHINGTON — The White House and the Treasury are deep into negotiations with General Motors and Chrysler over reorganization plans that could result in freeing up more than $14 billion in emergency loans to keep the companies afloat through …
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Organizing the White House Is Obama's First Test  —  All presidents come to realize how much structure matters.  —  As he organizes his presidency, Barack Obama continues to receive glowing reviews.  Three out of four Americans approve of how he's handling his transition.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and marbury
Associated Press:
Saudis, Indians among Clinton foundation donors  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton's foundation has raised at least $41 million from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments that his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton may end up negotiating with as the next secretary of state.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
The New Legitimacy  —  Solving social problems by redefining our terms.  —  Amid all the gloomy economic news, the New York Times brings us an encouraging report on social trends: … What accounts for the turnaround?  The Times explains: … The problem of illegitimacy and broken families …
Boston Globe:
The year 2008 in photographs (part 1 of 3)  —  2008 has been an eventful year to say the least - it is difficult to sum up the thousands of stories in just a handful of photographs.  That said, I will try to do what I've done with other photo narratives here, and tell a story of 2008 in photographs.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Gay man backed for Navy secretary  —  Foes cite 'Don't ask, don't tell'  —  Some top retired military leaders and some Democrats in Congress are backing William White, chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, to be the next secretary of the Navy - a move that would put …
Discussion: Salon
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 More Items: 
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Madoff Scandal Shaking Real Estate Industry
Anahad O'Connor / New York Times:
Assets Seized at Company Suspected of Funneling Money to Iran
Discussion: Gothamist
Louise Story / New York Times:
On Wall Street, Bonuses, Not Profits, Were Real
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Rep. Stark: No health reform vote in early '09
New York Times:
Generals Propose a Timetable for Iraq
Discussion: Danger Room and Right Wing News
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Pazniokas / Hartford Courant:
Lieberman Panned In Poll, Admonished By State Democrats
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Daily Kos
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Move Over, Christianists  —  The Islamists are even more opposed to reality.