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12:10 PM ET, December 19, 2008


 Top Items: 
John D. McKinnon / Wall Street Journal:
Auto Makers to Get $17.4 Billion  —  The White House announced a $17.4 billion rescue package for the troubled Detroit auto makers that allows them to avoid bankruptcy and leaves many of the big decisions for the incoming Obama administration.  —  Speaking from the White House …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
To the Rescue: Bush to Give Low-Interest Loans to Carmakers  —  Obama Team Agrees to Bush's Strategy  —  The White House has decided to come to the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler by providing them with $17.4 billion in low-interest loans to keep them afloat, ABC News has learned.
The Politico:
Bush announces $17.4 billion auto bailout  —  President Bush stepped in Friday to keep America's auto industry afloat, announcing a $17.4 billion bailout for GM and Chrysler, with the terms of the loans requiring that the firms radically restructure and show they can become profitable soon.
New York Times:
Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout  —  WASHINGTON — President Bush on Friday announced $13.4 billion in emergency loans to prevent the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler, and another $4 billion available for the hobbled automakers in February with the entire bailout conditioned …
Andrea Tantaros / Fox News:
Transcript: President Bush on Auto-Industry Bailout
Roger Runningen / Bloomberg:
GM and Chrysler Will Get $13.4 Billion in U.S. Loans
Joe Solmonese / Washington Post:
Obama's Inaugural Mistake  —  It is difficult to comprehend how our president-elect, who has been so spot on in nearly every political move and gesture, could fail to grasp the symbolism of inviting an anti-gay theologian to deliver his inaugural invocation.  And the Obama campaign's response to the anger about this decision?
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
How new is Obama's New Politics?  —  The disparity is stark between the actual importance of the Inaugural invocation and the anger triggered by Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver it.  Obviously, the controversy is a proxy for numerous pre-existing conflicts and agendas that have nothing to do with Rick Warren.
Zaz Hollander / Anchorage Daily News:
Levi Johnston's mother hit with drug charges  —  Arrested: her son was in the spotlight as father of bristol palin's baby.  —  —  WASILLA — A 42-year-old Wasilla woman was arrested Thursday at her home by Alaska State Troopers with a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Madoff Economy  —  The revelation that Bernard Madoff — brilliant investor (or so almost everyone thought), philanthropist, pillar of the community — was a phony has shocked the world, and understandably so.  The scale of his alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme is hard to comprehend.
Jeff Poor / The Business & Media Institute:
CNN Meteorologist: Manmade Global Warming Theory ‘Arrogant’  —  Network's second meteorologist to challenge notion man can alter climate.  —  Business & Media Institute  —  Unprecedented snow in Las Vegas has some scratching their heads - how can there be global warming with this unusual cold and snowy weather?
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.
Washington Post:
Advocates for Action on Global Warming Chosen as Obama's Top Science Advisers  —  President-elect Barack Obama has selected two of the nation's most prominent scientific advocates for a vigorous response to climate change to serve in his administration's top ranks, according to sources …
Richard A. Epstein / Wall Street Journal:
The Employee Free Choice Act Is Unconstitutional  —  Free speech and the takings clause are at stake.  —  A top priority of the incoming Democratic Congress and Obama administration is the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act.  The EFCA, as is well known, introduces a card-check procedure …
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Coleman leads Franken by just 2 votes  —  Two votes is all that stands between Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, according to the Associated Press tally in the state's still-unresolved Senate race.  —  Coleman's shrinking lead, combined with a state Supreme Court decision handed …
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Minnesota Supreme Court: Count rejected absentee ballots
Kathleen Parker / Washington Post:
Caroline Kennedy Is No Sarah Palin  —  WASHINGTON — It is a legitimate question: Why is the resume-thin Caroline Kennedy being treated seriously as a prospective appointee to the U.S. Senate when the comparatively more-qualified Gov. Sarah Palin received such a harsh review?
Wall Street Journal:
Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits  —  After years of suing thousands of people for allegedly stealing music via the Internet, the recording industry is set to drop its legal assault as it searches for more effective ways to combat online music piracy.  —  The decision represents …
Charles Homans / Washington Monthly:
Last Secrets of the Bush Administration  —  How to find out what we still don't know.  —  In March 2001, U.S. Archivist John W. Carlin received a letter from Alberto Gonzales, then counsel to the newly inaugurated president George W. Bush.  It concerned an important deadline that was looming—one that Bush owed to Richard Nixon.
Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Are the New Ethics Story  —  Blagojevich is just the tip of the iceberg.  —  A note to all those visitors who will soon flood Washington for the inauguration: Be careful of the “swamp.”  —  That would be the swamp Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain when she led her party to victory in 2006.
Peter Finn / Washington Post:
Plans Being Drawn to Close Guantanamo Prison  —  The Pentagon is drawing up plans to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be prepared for any order from President-elect Barack Obama, who has promised to close the controversial facility after he assumes office Jan. 20, a defense official said yesterday.
NY Daily News:
Caroline Kennedy's voting record proves spotty  —  Caroline Kennedy wants to be the next senator from New York, but her voting record is already spotty, the Daily News has found.  —  City Board of Elections records show Kennedy has failed to vote in many elections since she registered in the city in 1988 …
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 More Items: 
Marc Ambinder:
The Democrats' Card Check Quandary
Michelle Malkin:
Anyone want to sue over the illegal UAW bailout?
Discussion: Riehl World View
Chicago Breaking News:
Blagojevich to hold 2 p.m. news conference
Chris / TVNewser:
Chuck Todd's “No-Cut” Contract with NBC
Carol J. Williams / Los Angeles Times:
California Supreme Court allows good Samaritans to be sued for nonmedical care
Discussion: Moonbattery
Real Clear Politics:
Interview with President George W. Bush - Part Two
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Weekly Standard:
Our Pakistan Problem  —  Could its holy warriors be the most dangerous?
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Friday Senate Line: Appointments A-Plenty
Discussion: USA Today and Hot Air
Aaron Naparstek / Streetsblog: A Transportation Secretary Who's Hard to Believe In
Chris Vogel / Houston Press:
Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl
Discussion: The Agitator and Boing Boing
Alex Rodriguez / Chicago Tribune:
Russia rewriting Josef Stalin's legacy
Discussion: American Power and RedState