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11:55 PM ET, December 18, 2008

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Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Obama On Rick Warren Pick: We Have To Be Able To Agree To Disagree  —  Obama, at his presser today, defends the decision to choose Rick Warren to deliver the invocation as his inauguration with a restatement of his commitment to gay rights and, more broadly, to the principles of unity that have been a hallmark of his rise to power:
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: Truthdig and Riehl World View
Gregg Levine / Firedoglake:
The Warren Problem: Jane on CNN
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
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
OBAMA ON 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.
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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.
Discussion: Power Line and Hot Air
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: Daily Kos
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight.com:
Brett Favre Beats Lizard People  —  Yesterday, the Franken campaign challenged this ballot, claiming that “Brett Favre” was an identifying mark:  —  The Canvassing Board rejected the challenge and awarded the vote to Coleman.  —  Today, just moments ago, the infamous Lizard People ballot came up for the Canvassing Board's review!
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 …
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Rod Watson / Buffalo News:
Kennedy is listening to wrong folks  —  Who says Camelot kid Caroline Kennedy isn't ready to be a big-time politician representing New York in the U. S. Senate?  —  She doesn't even have the job yet, and she's already acting like a seasoned insider.  —  In her first visit to Buffalo …
Discussion: MyDD and Taylor Marsh
David M. Halbfinger / City Room:
A Kennedy-Sharpton Meet-Up at Sylvia's
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.
RELATED:
David Stout / New York Times:   Medical ‘Conscience Rule’ Is Issued
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 …
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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.
Discussion: The Corner
RELATED:
David Stout / New York Times:
Bush Shares Bittersweet Memories
Discussion: Amygdala and Althouse
ScienceInsider:
Sources: John Holdren to be Nominated as Obama's Science Adviser  —  Strong indications are that President-elect Barack Obama has picked physicist John Holdren to be the president's science adviser.  —  A top adviser to the Obama campaign and international expert on energy and climate …
Joe Weisenthal / clusterstock.alleyinsider.com:
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.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Demands for war crimes prosecutions are now growing in the mainstream  —  For obvious reasons, the most blindly loyal Bush followers of the last eight years are desperate to claim that nobody cares any longer about what happened during the Bush administration, that everyone other than the most fringe …
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A.C. Thompson / The Nation:
Katrina's Hidden Race War … The way Donnell Herrington tells it, there was no warning.  One second he was trudging through the heat.  The next he was lying prostrate on the pavement, his life spilling out of a hole in his throat, his body racked with pain, his vision blurred and distorted.
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Another Change You Won't See From Obama  —  From the time Sen. Barack Obama announced his candidacy, I wrote and wrote about his record on criminal justice issues, particularly with respect to our drug laws.  I didn't like what I learned and said so repeatedly.
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.
BBC:
Iraqi shoe-thrower ‘apologises’  —  The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has apologised to Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki, the prime minister's office says.  —  Local TV reporter Muntader al-Zaidi wrote a letter to Mr Maliki asking for forgiveness over his “ugly act” …
Discussion: Don Surber and On Deadline
 
 
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 More Items: 
Pamela Hess / Associated Press:
Report raps ex-White House pair on Iraq claims
Scott Payne / The Moderate Voice:
Meditations on Torture  —  I wrote a post earlier this week …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
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
Catrin Einhorn / New York Times:
Illinois Inquiry Goes Beyond Criminal Complaint
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
First Read: Obama names intel czar
Discussion: Hot Air
Michael Lind / Salon:
The economic Civil War
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and The Corner
 Earlier Items: 
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Pan Am Dies, America Lives
Discussion: Gawker and Commentary
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THE MEANING OF “OPEN AND INCLUSIVE.”
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise
Discussion: The Impolitic and Hot Air