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1:50 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 …
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 …
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.
Roosevelt Room / White House:
President Bush Discusses Administration's Plan to Assist Automakers
Fox News:
Federal Government to Loan Automakers $17.4B
Discussion: Hot Air and Sister Toldjah
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?
New York Post:
CAROLINE'S POLL FAULT  —  SHE SKIPPED KEY ELECTIONS, CITY FILES SHOW  —  Caroline Kennedy, who's making her case to succeed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, didn't vote in several elections - including the 2005 mayoral primary and the 2002 general election, The Post has learned.
NY Daily News:
Caroline Kennedy's voting record proves spotty
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The U.S. House Of Lords?
Paul Walsh / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Franken pushes his lead over Coleman past 150  —  The state Canvassing Board's first rush of ballot rulings in the U.S. Senate race has unofficially put challenger Al Franken in the lead by more than 150.  —  The intense scrutiny of “voter intent” resumed this morning by the five-member board charged …
Aaron Wiener / The Washington Independent:
Franken Takes First Lead in Senate Race
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Coleman leads Franken by just 2 votes
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Minnesota Supreme Court: Count rejected absentee ballots
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 …
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 …
Mark Helprin / Wall Street Journal:
Bush Has Made Us Vulnerable  —  Two incompetently prosecuted wars have undermined our deterrent power.  —  In his great Civil War history, “Decision in the West,” Albert Castel describes the last Confederate hope of victory.  If in 1864 the Confederate armies continue to exact a steep cost from the North …
President Bush: Employees of American Companies Must Get Paid Less than Employees of Foreign Companies!  —  The President of the United States just dictated that American corporations pay their employees significantly less than the employees of foreign owned manufacturers.
Discussion: CBS News and AFL-CIO NOW BLOG
Auto Industry Tracker:
Autos Bailout Fact Sheet
Discussion: The Politico and
Chris / TVNewser:
Chuck Todd's “No-Cut” Contract with NBC  —  Chuck Todd never saw it coming.  —  NBC's fast-rising political director — named today as chief White House correspondent — was “shocked” when he was offered the plum late last week.  —  “It came out of left field,” says Todd, 36, who joined NBC in March 2007.
Michelle Malkin:
Anyone want to sue over the illegal UAW bailout?  —  John Boehner just issued a statement expressing dismay at President Bush's UAW bailout.  He called the use of TARP funds for the bailout “regrettable:” … It's not just “regrettable.”  As the Heritage Foundation reported, it's illegal.
Discussion: Riehl World View
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
A Way Out For Obama?  —  Here's an idea.  A reader notes that one of the other Americans honored at Obama's inaugural will be Itzhak Perlman, the great musician and violinist.  Rick Warren compared one of Perlman's daughters to someone practicing incest or pedophilia, and argued forcefully that her marriage be nullified.
Discussion: The New Republic and marbury
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 More Items: 
New York Post:
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Alan Sepinwall / New York Times:
Extinction-Level Television Event
Discussion: driftglass and
City Room:
Queens Councilman Is Charged With Assault
Marc Ambinder:
The Democrats' Card Check Quandary
Chicago Breaking News:
Blagojevich to hold 2 p.m. news conference
 Earlier Items: 
Real Clear Politics:
Interview with President George W. Bush - Part Two
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Weekly Standard:
Our Pakistan Problem  —  Could its holy warriors be the most dangerous?
The Politico:
Labor ties drive Solis pick
Discussion: New York Times and The Caucus
Chris Vogel / Houston Press:
Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl
Discussion: The Agitator
Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Are the New Ethics Story
Discussion: Commentary and Moe_Lane's blog

From Mediagazer:

Chloe Meley / Bloomberg:
Informa agrees to buy Ascential, the owner of the Cannes Lions and Money20/20 conferences, for ~£1.2B in cash, or £5.68/share, a 53% premium on Monday's close

Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
The NBA declines WBD's effort to join the set of rights packages built for Amazon, Disney, and NBCUniversal, saying WBD's proposal did not match Amazon's offer

Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
YouTube Q2 ad revenue grew 13% YoY to $8.66B, vs. $8.93B est.; Google's subscriptions, platforms, and devices unit that includes YouTube TV had revenue of $9.3B

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