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3:25 PM ET, December 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Senate-for-sale case threatens new chief of staff  —  CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Rod Blagojevich is legendary in Illinois political circles for not picking up the phone or returning calls, even from important figures like the state's senior senator, Dick Durbin.  —  But there was always …
Willie Brown / San Francisco Chronicle:
Illinois governor seems to be growing stronger  —  Igot a call from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich the other day.  The first thing I said to him was, “You know, this call is probably being taped.”  —  Blagojevich said he had read my column in The Chronicle last week, in which I raised questions about the …
Discussion: Don Surber
Bill Sammon / Fox News:
Cheney Mocks Biden, Defends Rumsfeld in ‘FOX News Sunday’ Interview  —  In one of his last interviews before leaving Washington, D.C., Vice President Cheney, a 40-year veteran of Washington politics, tried to straighten out a few misconceptions about his tenure and the way the executive and legislative branches are supposed to work.
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Cheney: I told Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself because ‘I thought he merited it.’  —  This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Vice President Cheney about his now infamous June 2004 exchange with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), when he told Leahy to “f*ck yourself.”
Chris Wallace / Fox News:
Transcript: Vice President Cheney on ‘FOX News Sunday’  —  WASHINGTON — “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” HOST CHRIS WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.  In exactly 30 days, President Bush and Vice President Cheney leave office.  —  Their eight years in the White House have been marked …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Cheney and Biden trade shots  —  Vice President Dick Cheney took some of the toughest political shots yet in the post-election period, using an interview to belittle Vice President-elect Joe Biden's constitutional law acumen and pointedly declined to offer his successor any advice.
Jen Dimascio / The Politico:   Cheney takes a shot at Biden
Frank James / The Swamp:
Bush poured fuel on housing fire: NYT  —  The Bush Administration once again comes off looking poorly in the latest installment of the New York Times series called “The Reckoning” for pouring fuel on the raging fire that was the housing bubble, then waiting to long to mount a serious and effective effort to put the fire out.
Lori Monsewicz / Repository:
Pilot in plane crash had connections to White House
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Birth Of The Professional Obama Haters  —  Every President has had his contingent of seemingly professional haters, sometimes stemming from policy but sometimes stemming from the need to market an opposition persona, increase readership or an audience, or rally partisan followers to do battle to halt specific polices.
Juan Cole / Informed Comment:
Rick Warren: “I love Muslims . . . I happen to love Gays and Straights”  —  I was in Long Beach,Ca. on Saturday for the annual conference of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where Pastor Rick Warren and I were both headliners.  —  Also appearing on the stage Saturday evening were Melissa Etheridge …
Steve Young / The Huffington Post:
Pastor Rick Warren Likens Gays To Pizza
Kevin Freking / Associated Press:
Biden to oversee efforts aimed at middle class  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - As vice president, Joe Biden will oversee an Obama administration effort to find ways of building up the ranks of the middle class, that ambiguously defined segment of society most Americans identify with.
Discussion: Reuters and The Politico
Jennifer Parker / ABCNEWS:   Biden to Chair White House Task Force on Middle Class
Caroline H. Dworin / New York Times:
Inside a Gritty Brooklyn Factory, Potomac Fever  —  ON Thursday, Dec. 11, Jim Donnelly got the call at his office on Jay Street in Dumbo for the biggest job he had ever had.  Emmett Beliveau, the executive director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, told him that Precise Continental …
Discussion: Kevin Drum and TalkLeft
Colin McEnroe / To Wit:
Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre  —  So my phone rings today; and after that 1.5-second delay that tells you it"s not a beloved friend, a guy comes on the line and says his name is Chris White from the NRA.  Do I want to listen to a message from Wayne LaPierre about “Obama's scheme to ban guns?
Times of London:
Bush attacker ‘incensed by bullet-riddled Koran’  —  THE young Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W Bush had been incensed by a story he covered about an American soldier who used a copy of the Koran for target practice, according to his family.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
30 days to Inauguration — Obama report absolves Emanuel on Illinois gov contacts  —  Breaking: BIDEN'S FIRST TASK: WILL CHAIR TASK FORCE ON THE MIDDLE CLASS.  —  Exclusive: Backus, Palmieri, Wolfson being considered for top administration jobs.  —  Exclusive: The White House responds …
Associated Press:
AP study finds $1.6B went to bailed-out bank execs  —  Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals.  —  The rewards came even at banks where poor results …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
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 More Items: 
Cernig / Crooks and Liars:
Afghanistan: “The opposite of everything we consider to be democracy”
Discussion: The Seminal
Thomas A. Schweich / Washington Post:
The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere.  It's time to stop the mission creep.
Parisa Hafezi / Yahoo! News:
Police raid Iran Nobel Laureate's office
Laura Olson / Los Angeles Times:
For Palin fans, a team of their own
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Don Surber
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Bleeding Heart Tightwads
Discussion: Don Surber
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Hoagland / Washington Post:
The Madoff Generation
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Fausta Wertz / RealClearWorld - Blog:
Latin America: Summits and Crisis
Discussion: Babalu Blog and Fausta's Blog
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Making Congress Moot
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
China to the Rescue? Not!
Discussion: James Fallows and Commentary
Howie / The Jawa Report:
Cyber Jihad of Frustrated Losers Issue Fatwas Against Facebook