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3:40 PM ET, December 19, 2008

memeorandum

 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 …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout  —  WASHINGTON — President Bush announced $13.4 billion in emergency loans on Friday to prevent the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler, and said another $4 billion would be available for the hobbled automakers in February.
Emptywheel:
President Bush: Employees of American Companies Must Get Paid Less …
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.  —  zhollander@adn.com  —  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.
RELATED:
JammieWearingFool:
Bad News for Trig Troofers  —  Crackpot conspiracy theorists and assorted nutcases such as Andrew Sullivan for months have insisted that Trig Palin was not born to his mother, Sarah, but rather to her daughter Bristol.  Sullivan as recently as two weeks ago clung to this insanity.
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?
RELATED:
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:   Taking Yes For An Answer
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 …
RELATED:
Aaron Wiener / The Washington Independent:   Franken Takes First Lead in Senate Race
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?
RELATED:
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The U.S. House Of Lords?
Rasmussen Reports:
Most Voters Like Caroline, But Only 37% Say She Is Fit for Senate
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?
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.
RELATED:
NY Daily News:
Caroline Kennedy's voting record proves spotty
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 …
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 …
PewForum.org:
Faith on the Hill: The Religious Affiliations of Members of Congress  —  Members of Congress are often accused of being out of touch with average citizens, but an examination of the religious affiliations of U.S. senators and representatives shows that, on one very basic level, Congress looks much like the rest of the country.
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 …
Andrea Tantaros / Fox News:
Report: Obama Team Planning Iranian Outreach Post  —  The Washington Times reports that Barack Obama's administration will probably include a newly created post meant to reach out to Iran.  —  FOXNews.com  —  Barack Obama is planning to create a new administration post meant to reach out to Iran …
RELATED:
Joe Conason / Salon:
What's Obama hiding about Blagojevich?  —  Probably nothing.  But by mishandling the scandal, his team has allowed questions to be raised where there were none.  —  Top to bottom: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, President-elect Barack Obama, and Rahm Emanuel.
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.
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
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
No Jews  —  It seems Barack Obama is giving us a cabinet with no Jewish members.  Plenty of Jews in non-cabinet top spots (Axelrod, Summers, Orszag) so I guess we'll have to just run things from behind the scenes.  I think that was also the case at the beginning of the Dubya administration, though now we have Chertoff.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 
 
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 More Items: 
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Taps Blair as Intelligence Chief
Discussion: Wonkette
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Duncan Hunter: Torture Provided 'Enormously Valuable Information …
Neil Macfarquhar / New York Times:
In a First, Gay Rights Are Pressed at the U.N.
Associated Press:
Burger King launches beef-scented body spray
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
New York Post:
THE LEFT BEREFT  —  FOOLISHLY OUTRAGED AT OBAMA
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
 Earlier Items: 
The New Republic:
Every Cloud Has a Double Standard
Alan Sepinwall / New York Times:
Extinction-Level Television Event
Discussion: driftglass
Marc Ambinder:
The Democrats' Card Check Quandary
Chicago Breaking News:
Blagojevich: ‘I have done nothing wrong’
Chris / TVNewser:
Chuck Todd's “No-Cut” Contract with NBC
Charles Homans / Washington Monthly:
Last Secrets of the Bush Administration