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12:15 PM ET, December 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
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.
The Politico:
Gay activists furious with Obama
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.
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 …
CNN:   Cheney to Emanuel: Control your VP
Nate Silver /
Hold Your Horses, Minnesota  —  The State of Minnesota's Canvassing Board has finished adjudicating challenges brought to the Board by Al Franken.  They will begin evaluating challenges brought by Norm Coleman's campaign tomorrow.  —  The Star Tribune has logged 391 challenges made by the Franken campaign.
Scott / Power Line:
Discussion: MinnPost
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
State Canvassing Board faces big challenge today
Discussion: Commentary and Hot Air
Associated Press:
Saudis, Indians among Clinton foundation donors  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Former President Bill Clinton's foundation has raised at least $46 million from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments that his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton …
Brian Sharp / Democrat And Chronicle:
Kennedy visits Rochester as part of effort to learn about upstate New York  —  In her first visit to Rochester, U.S. Senate hopeful Caroline Kennedy met Wednesday with Mayor Robert Duffy and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, asking questions about upstate but not asking for an endorsement.
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 …
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.
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.
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: MSNBC, Don Surber, The Note and Salon
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Questions That Are Too Hard for Me  —  Kevin Drum raises the specter of the trade deficit: … This goes back to the fraught issue of global savings imbalances.  For reasons that I don't think people understand very well, we not only have a number of high-savings perpetual-surplus countries …
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,” …
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
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
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 …
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 More Items: 
Arthur B. Laffer / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Should Forget About Energy Independence
Discussion: Sadly, No!
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Feds will try to freeze Blagojevich campaign cash
Discussion: The Capitol Fax Blog
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
Report Finds Some Federal Judges Put Off Swearing-in New Citizens
Jack Shafer / Slate:
The Digital Slay-Ride  —  What's killing newspapers is the same thing …
Discussion: Reason
Obama to Name Tarullo to Open Fed Seat, Democrat Says
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Madoff Scandal Shaking Real Estate Industry
Louise Story / New York Times:
On Wall Street, Bonuses, Not Profits, Were Real
Boston Globe:
The year 2008 in photographs (part 1 of 3)
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Generals Propose a Timetable for Iraq
Discussion: Danger Room and Right Wing News
Mark Pazniokas / Hartford Courant:
Lieberman Panned In Poll, Admonished By State Democrats
Discussion: Washington Monthly and TBogg
Los Angeles Times:
California Democrats devise plan to hike taxes
Discussion: Kevin Drum