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3:25 AM ET, December 19, 2008


 Top Items: 
Gregg Levine / Firedoglake:
The Warren Problem: Jane on CNN  —  Jane addresses the problems with having Pastor Rick Warren give the invocation at Barack Obama's inaugural on CNN at this hour.  —  Update: Jane spoke with Rick Sanchez who repeatedly asked why “the left” would have a problem with inviting Warren to speak at the presidential inaugural.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama to gay protesters: Rick Warren's my inauguration pastor pick  —  No backing down whatsoever today from President-elect Barack Obama in the face of some strong criticism from gay and lesbian interests over his choice of Saddleback's Rick Warren for the invocation speaker at the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Discussion: Riehl World View and Truthdig
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Obama On Rick Warren Pick: We Have To Be Able To Agree To Disagree
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Warren insists he's not homophobic: I served 'water and donuts …
Discussion: Political Machine and Shakesville
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ACCOUNTABILITY WATCH.... It's not my intention to belabor …
Discussion: The Impolitic
Thom Hartmann / The Huffington Post:
Three Cups of Tea for Rick Warren
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Franken The Likely Winner As Minnesota Recount Heads To Finish Line  —  Late Update: Norm Coleman's apparent lead has been cut to a mere five votes at the close of business today, according to the running vote count from the Star Tribune, down from a 358-vote lead last night.
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Minnesota Supreme Court: Count rejected absentee ballots  —  In a ruling crucial to the disputed U.S. Senate election, the Minnesota Supreme Court Thursday rejected an attempt by incumbent Norm Coleman to block the state Canvassing Board from counting improperly rejected absentee ballots.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Minn. High Court Ruling Could Help Coleman  —  A state Supreme Court ruling, which will likely exclude hundreds of ballots that Al Franken (D) had sought to include in the recount, could help Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in Minnesota's contested Senate race.  —  The court in part overturned …
Discussion: and Daily Kos
Nate Silver /
Brett Favre Beats Lizard People
Discussion: Wonkette
Marcia Kramer / WCBS-TV:
Kennedy Takes A Beating From Upstate Media  —  Reporters Jump All Over Mostly Silent Princess Of Camelot; Mayor Of Syracuse Doesn't Offer Endorsement  —  Who Should Get Senate Gig?  Siena Poll: Cuomo 26, Kennedy 23  —  Reporting  —  Caroline Kennedy took a page from Hillary Clinton's playbook …
David M. Halbfinger / City Room:
A Kennedy-Sharpton Meet-Up at Sylvia's
Discussion: Gothamist and Hotline On Call
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
New Rule Protects Health-Care Workers' ‘Right of Conscience’  —  The Bush administration today issued a sweeping new regulation that protects a broad range of health-care workers — from doctors to janitors — who refuse to participate in providing services that they believe violate their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
David Stout / New York Times:
Medical ‘Conscience Rule’ Is Issued  —  WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, as expected, announced new protections on Thursday for health care providers who oppose abortion and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.  —  “Doctors and other health care providers …
Jesse J. Holland / Associated Press:
AP source: Rep. Hilda Solis is Obama's labor pick  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — A labor official says Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be nominated as labor secretary by President-elect Barack Obama.  —  The Democratic congresswoman was just elected to her fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions …
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Joe Weisenthal /
Brilliant: Credit Suisse To Pay Top Execs With Illiquid Mortgage Securities  —  We're shocked that nobody has suggested this before, but on its face this looks like a great idea... Credit Suisse announced today that bonuses for its top executives would be made in illiquid, mortgage-backed securities.
Discussion: Megan McArdle
Tim Weiner / New York Times:
W. Mark Felt, Watergate Deep Throat, Dies at 95  —  W. Mark Felt, who was the No. 2 official at the F.B.I. when he helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up and becoming Deep Throat, the most famous anonymous source in American history, died Thursday.
Discussion: Gawker
Alex Rodriguez / Chicago Tribune:
Russia rewriting Josef Stalin's legacy  —  Archives on dictator seized from human-rights group Memorial  —  A rally this month celebrating the 1936 adoption of Josef Stalin's Soviet Constitution illustrates his rising stock among some Russians.  (Dmitry Kostyukov / Getty-AFP / December 17, 2008)
Discussion: RedState
Scott Horton / Harper's:
“The American Public has a Right to Know That They Do Not Have to Choose Between Torture and Terror": Six questions for Matthew Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist  —  At 5:15 p.m. on June 7, 2006, two American F-16 fighters dropped 500-pound bombs on a farmhouse about five miles north of the Iraqi town of Baqubah.
Pamela Hess / Associated Press:
Report raps ex-White House pair on Iraq claims  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales misled Congress when he claimed the CIA in 2002 approved information that ended up in the 2003 State of the Union speech …
White House:
President Bush Addresses the American Enterprise Institute  —  Washington, D.C.  —  In Focus: Health Care  —  In Focus: Economy  —  MR. DeMUTH: Mr. President, what's on your mind this morning?  —  THE PRESIDENT: First, thanking you for being the leader that you've been, and thanking AEI for generating good thought.
Michael Lind / Salon:
The economic Civil War  —  The South's attempt to kill the North's auto industry is the latest battle in an ongoing conflict.  It's time for a Third Reconstruction to put an end to it.  —  It is just as well that Barack Obama is emulating Abraham Lincoln by traveling to his inauguration in Washington by train.
Colin Moynihan / City Room:
Protest at the New School Turns Unruly  —  Dozens of students at the New School collided with security guards and police officers Thursday morning in a shouting and shoving confrontation after an overnight sit-in at a university cafeteria organized to protest the leadership of Bob Kerrey, the university's president, among other issues.
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Fiscal policy and the burden of proof  —  I'd like to drive home the point that the case for fiscal policy has not yet been made by its advocates (the rest is under the fold)...  I believe that most current advocates of a huge fiscal stimulus have two major arguments in mind.
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 More Items: 
Ian Welsh / Firedoglake:
Lies, Damn Lies, and Bank Assets and Liabilities
Discussion: Jay Currie
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Miracle Tax Diet
Scott Payne / The Moderate Voice:
Meditations on Torture  —  I wrote a post earlier this week …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
A.C. Thompson / The Nation:
Katrina's Hidden Race War
Discussion: Brave New Films blog
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Another Change You Won't See From Obama
Discussion: and Liberal Values
Todd J. Gillman / Dallas Morning News:
Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk emerges as front-runner for Obama Cabinet post
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
Stimulus Package Heads to $850 Billion
Discussion: Commentary and Calculated Risk
 Earlier Items: 
Catrin Einhorn / New York Times:
Illinois Inquiry Goes Beyond Criminal Complaint
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
First Read: Obama names intel czar
Discussion: Hot Air
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Pan Am Dies, America Lives
Discussion: Gawker and Commentary