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5:35 AM ET, December 20, 2008


 Top Items: 
Lisa Leff / Associated Press:
Jerry Brown urges court to void Prop.  8  —  SAN FRANCISCO — California Attorney General Jerry Brown changed course on the state's new same-sex marriage ban Friday and urged the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.  —  In a dramatic reversal, Brown filed a legal brief saying the measure …
Shelby Grad / L.A. Now:
Jerry Brown: Gay-marriage ban should be invalidated  —  In a surprise move, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate Proposition 8.  He said the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage “deprives people of the right to marry …
Discussion: Firedoglake and On Deadline
Shelby Grad / L.A. Now:
Kenneth Starr to defend gay marriage ban before state Supreme Court  —  Kenneth W. Starr, the former U.S. Solicitor General who led the inquiry into President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica L. Lewinsky, will argue the case in favor of upholding a ban on gay marriage before the California Supreme Court.
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:   Brown asks state high court to overturn Prop. 8
Associated Press:
Calif. AG urges court to void gay marriage ban
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Linda Hirshman / The Huffington Post:
We Call on You Lord: Leaked Rick Warren Invocation  —  (NOTE: Copies of what seemed to be a draft of an inaugural invocation by Pastor Rick Warren arrived in the fax machines of several prominent journalists this morning.  This site does not vouch for the authenticity of the draft …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Taking Yes For An Answer  —  Dish readers will know my own conflicted feelings about the selection of Rick Warren for the Inaugural Invocation.  But feelings must at some point cede to reason.  And I sense an understandable but, the more I think about it, misjudged response on the part of my fellow gays and lesbians.
Byron York / National Review:   Obama and the Rick Warren Flap
Looseheadprop / Firedoglake:
Somebody Needs to Serve a Subpoena on Ole Fourth Branch, in a Hurry  —  Welcome back to another day in [CrazyWorld] CheneyWorld, or as we like to call it, the “Fourth Branch”.  The NYTimes via AP is reporting that Darth Cheney has declared that he, and he alone, has the power to decide which …
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and
Associated Press:
Cheney Claims Power to Decide His Public Records  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Dick Cheney's lawyers are asserting that the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January.
Associated Press:
Blagojevich: ‘I have done nothing wrong’  —  Governor's attorney challenging lawfulness of court-ordered wiretaps  —  CHICAGO - In an unwavering statement of innocence, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday he will be vindicated of criminal corruption charges and has no intention of letting what he called a …
Discussion: Spin Cycle
Joe Conason / Salon:   What's Obama hiding about Blagojevich?
Blagojevich Says He'll Fight Until ‘Last Breath’
Discussion: GINA COBB, Don Surber and Wizbang
Joel Mowbray / Fox News:
Jihadist Group Trying to ‘Invade’ Facebook Gets Shut Down  —  A quickly growing jihadist group that used Facebook to spread its radical message has been shut down by the popular Web networking site after alerted the company to the group's activities.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and The Jawa Report
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Americans Take Parting Shots at Bush  —  It was bad enough for President Bush to have shoes tossed at his head during his farewell journey to Baghdad.  Now comes a new poll in which Americans call Bush all sorts of names — some of them a lot worse than “dog.”
Dana Priest / Washington Post:
Blair Is Steeped in the Ways Intelligence Works  —  After Dennis Blair's assignment as military liaison to the CIA 13 years ago, he groused about all the cloak-and-dagger politics at Langley headquarters.  “You'd go to a meeting and think everyone had agreed” to a particular course of action …
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Taps Blair as Intelligence Chief
Discussion: Wonkette
Martin Kady II / The Politico:
GOP slams Bush over bailout  —  Republican leaders across the board have let loose on President Bush's auto industry bailout in what may be some of the toughest GOP criticism of the Bush presidency.  —  John McCain is leading the way, saying it is “unacceptable that we would leave …
Discussion: Emptywheel, Wonkette and Dean's World
James Fallows:
Tech followups on blockage in China (updated)  —  On December 19, the site was apparently blocked all across China.  For the sake of completeness, these followups.  —  1) Could the problem be related to a recent physical break in three of the four main internet cables connecting Asia to North America?
Discussion: New York Times and The Peking Duck
Azam Ahmed / Chicago Tribune:
Sequel to Sarah Palin ‘nude painting’: A Rod Blagojevich ‘nude painting’?  —  Bruce Elliott works on a new painting of Governor Rod Blagojevich in his Chicago studio on Thursday, December 18, 2008.  Elliott's wife owns the Old Town Ale House where the painting will hang next to an earlier painting of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
William Grimes / New York Times:
Conor Cruise O'Brien, Irish Diplomat, Is Dead at 91  —  Conor Cruise O'Brien, an Irish diplomat, politician, man of letters and public intellectual who staked out an independent position for Ireland in the United Nations and, despite his Roman Catholic origins, championed the rights of Protestants in Northern Ireland, died Thursday.
Discussion: The New Republic
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Biden: U.S. Economy in Danger of ‘Absolutely Tanking’  —  Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of “absolutely tanking” and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range.  —  “The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in …
Discussion: Hot Air and Wizbang
Nate Silver /
Franken Appears Likely to Lead After Challenge Phase  —  UPDATE (1 PM CST): As of 1 PM, I'm now projecting a Franken lead of more like 70 votes, which would bring my numbers closely in line with the Star Tribune's estimate.  —  This is fuzzy, fuzzy math, but with Norm Coleman again converting …
Paul Walsh / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Franken pushes his lead over Coleman past 150
Discussion: The Next Right
Mom of Palin daughter's boyfriend arrested  —  He's the father of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's future grandson  —  Sherry Johnston, mother of the boyfriend of Alaska Gov. Sara Palin's 18-year-old daughter.  The 42-year-old Johnston has been charged with six felony drug counts.
Discussion: Perez Hilton
Bad News for Trig Troofers
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 More Items: 
Martin Fackler / New York Times:
Japan Offers a Possible Road Map for U.S. Economy
Discussion: naked capitalism
Kos / Daily Kos:
Alaska 2010 poll cornucopia
Discussion: Hot Air and The Other McCain
Nour Akkad / The Huffington Post:
Iraqis Respond To House Of Saddam
Discussion: Guardian
Catrina Stewart / Associated Press:
World Bank: Russia may need help if oil falls more
 Earlier Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
California posts 8.4% jobless rate, third highest in U.S.
Discussion: Calitics
Associated Press:
Portrait shows Bush relaxed and smiling
Discussion: Firedoglake
Jonathan P. Hicks / City Room:
With Little Fanfare, Kennedy Meets Weingarten
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Symbolic Politics  —  People who are upset about a politician …
Discussion: Obsidian Wings