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3:04 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.
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 …
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 …
Aretha Franklin /
Pro-Life Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration  —  Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration.  It makes a whole lot of sense.  Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues.
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Top Liberal Group Hammers Decision For Rick Warren To Deliver Obama's Inaugural Invocation  —  This isn't going to help dispel the “Obama stiff-arming liberals” narrative.  The news today that bigoted pastor Rick Warren is going to give the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration is sparking …
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
Gateway Pundit:
IRAQI AMBASSADOR TELLS OFF CODE PINK WHACKOS (Video)  —  CODE PINK AMBUSHES IRAQI AMBASSADOR- AMBASSADOR FIRES BACK  —  “He's lucky he didn't try something like this under Saddam Hussein.”  —  Ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie: … The anti-American Marxist front group Code Pink ambushed Iraq Ambassador …
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.
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 …
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Between Obama and the Press
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.
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
Regulator Schapiro to Run SEC for Obama  —  President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Mary Schapiro, chief executive of a securities-industry regulator for securities firms, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two Democratic officials.
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 …
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
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 …
Patrick / FishBowlDC:
WaPo: Only Positive Obama Ads, Please  —  Hoping to make a little cash off of Barack Obama's inauguration (that's certainly nothing new...), Washington Post.Newsweek Interactive and the Washington Post's classifieds departments have launched “Welcome to the White House”, a classfieds …
Wall Street Journal:
Quick Ouster of Blagojevich Unlikely  —  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Chances that Illinois would swiftly oust its governor faded Wednesday.  —  The combative new lawyer for Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrived at the state capitol with a host of objections to the impeachment process just getting under way.
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.
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 More Items: 
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
Washington Wire:
Bush to Host Lunch for Obama, Previous Presidents
Washington Wire:
Shaiken Emerges as Top Candidate for Labor Secretary
Discussion: Fox News and The New Republic
Matthew Kaminski / Forbes:
You Like Us!  But Not For Long  —  America's euphoria over global goodwill is misplaced.
Discussion: INSTAPUTZ
 Earlier Items: 
Nate Silver /
Coleman v. Minnesota Canvassing Board
Discussion: Braublog and The RBC
John Koblin / New York Observer:
At Magazines, It's 2.0 Steps Forward, 1.0 Step Back
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Michael Caronna / Time:
Zhang Yimou
Discussion: Achenblog and The Moderate Voice
Associated Press:
Justice Kennedy rejects 2 more challenges to Obama
Discussion: Hot Air
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
First Read: Obama appeared on half of TIME's covers