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5:05 AM ET, December 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Rick Warren to give inaugural invocation  —  (CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony will feature big names like minister Rick Warren and legendary singer Aretha Franklin, the Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced Wednesday.
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 …
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog News:
Obama picks homophobe pro-'Prop 8' evangelical preacher to give the invocation at inaugural  —  5:22PM UPDATE: Warren compared abortion to the “Jewish Holocaust,” and said that making abortion “rare” wasn't enough, he's for outlawing abortion, period.  So that would make pro-choice people …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Ugh  —  Rick Warren will give the invocation at Obama's inauguration.  Warren is a man who believes my marriage removes his freedom of speech and cannot say that authorizing torture is a moral failing.  Shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality …
Aretha Franklin /
Frank James / The Swamp:
Obama's Rick Warren pick irks liberals
Discussion: Hot Air and Wilshire & Washington
Kenneth Chan /
Rick Warren Not Satisfied with Making Abortions ‘Rare’
Discussion: The Huffington Post
New York Times:
Kennedy, Touring Upstate, Gets Less and Less Low-Key  —  BUFFALO — The first day of Caroline Kennedy's tour through upstate New York on Wednesday was meant to be a low-key, decorous excursion, mindful of the skepticism surrounding her bid to be appointed the state's next United States senator.
Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Misled SEC in '06, Got Off  —  Securities and Exchange Commission investigators discovered in 2006 that Bernard Madoff had misled the agency about how he managed customer money, according to documents, yet the SEC missed an opportunity to uncover an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Wall Street Journal:   Regulator Schapiro to Run SEC for Obama
New York Times:
Tumult in Iraqi Parliament Over Shoe Hurling
Discussion: and Matthew Yglesias
Media Matters for America:
Sean Hannity: Media Matters ' 2008 Misinformer of the Year  —  As Media Matters for America has demonstrated time and again, Fox News' Sean Hannity has been a prolific and influential purveyor of conservative misinformation.  But never has he so enthusiastically applied his talents …
Discussion: Liberal Values
Jennifer McLogan / WCBS-TV:
Nassau Cops: PTA Mom, Boy Found Half Naked In Car  —  Police Come Across Fogged Up SUV On Elementary School Grounds In Baldwin; Residents Shocked, Horrified  —  A prominent PTA official is facing some serious allegations involving a teenage boy.  —  Police arrested Joan Tuckruskye …
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Associated Press:
Cake request for 3-year-old Hitler namesake denied  —  EASTON, Pa. - The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance.  Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah …
Mike Dorning / The Swamp:
LaHood to be Transportation Sec  —  Peoria Republican congressman Ray LaHood will be nominated Transportation Secretary for the Obama Administration, Republican and Democratic sources said today.  —  A spokesman for the Obama transition team declined to comment and LaHood's office did not immediately return phone calls.
Mark Preston / CNN:
Second GOP senator to announce retirement  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Sam Brownback will announce Thursday he is retiring from the Senate when his term ends in 2010, allowing the Kansas Republican to explore a run for governor.  —  He will be the second GOP senator this year to publicly state …
Washington Wire:
Shaiken Emerges as Top Candidate for Labor Secretary  —  Jonathan Weisman reports on the transition.  —  Harley Shaiken, a prominent expert on unions, Detroit and the U.S.-Mexican border, has emerged as a top candidate for the post of secretary of labor, officials familiar with the vetting process say.
Discussion: Fox News, Gawker and The New Republic
Chuck Goudie / WLS-TV:
Blagojevich was bookie, says federal informant  —  The ABC7 I-Team has learned that an attorney who went undercover for the FBI in the late 1980's says he told federal authorities years ago about wrongdoing by Blagojevich.  —  His name is Robert Cooley.  —  Cooley was a criminal defense lawyer …
White House:
President Bush Discusses National Security, Homeland Security and the Freedom Agenda at U.S. Army War College  —  Fact Sheet: President Bush Has Kept America Safe  —  THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.  Please be seated.  (Applause.)  Thank you for the warm welcome.  I'm sorry I'm late.
Natasha Korecki / Chicago Sun Times:
Feds seek to freeze Blago campaign fund, sources say  —  Federal authorities plan to freeze Gov. Blagojevich's campaign fund, crippling the governor's ability to use the money for his legal bills.  —  In a letter this week, they put the Blagojevich camp on notice they intend to freeze the money, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
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 …
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Report: Obama Campaign Manager Disdained Mark Halperin, Politico  —  The Huffington Post got an advance look at the forthcoming New York Times magazine profile of Robert Gibbs, the campaign spokesperson who will be White House press secretary.  —  Check out the disdain that Obama campaign …
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 More Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
California Democrats devise plan to hike taxes
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Marc Ambinder:
A Shakeup In The RNC Chairman's Race
Discussion: TRAIL BLAZERS and
Jane Sutton / Reuters:
U.S. sends three Guantanamo men home to Bosnia
Russia Plans to Test Obama, U.S. Diplomat Says
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
Shawn Langlois / MarketWatch:
Chrysler to shut assembly lines for at least a month
Discussion: American Street and Wizbang
John O'Sullivan / National Review:
The Politics of Everyman  —  George W. Bush, American …
Discussion: Firedoglake, The Corner and AmSpecBlog
Kyle Hopkins / Anchorage Daily News:
Panel recommends officials get pay raises
Discussion: Think Progress and Redhot
Washington Wire:
Bush to Host Lunch for Obama, Previous Presidents
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Kaminski / Forbes:
You Like Us!  But Not For Long  —  America's euphoria over global goodwill is misplaced.
Discussion: INSTAPUTZ
Nate Silver /
Coleman v. Minnesota Canvassing Board
Discussion: Alas, a blog, Braublog and The RBC
John Koblin / New York Observer:
At Magazines, It's 2.0 Steps Forward, 1.0 Step Back
Discussion: AmSpecBlog