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1:55 PM ET, December 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Exclusive: Obama's Blago Report: Only One Rahm Call to Governor  —  Sources tell me that the Obama team's review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will show that Rahm Emanuel had only one phone conversation with Blagojevich.  —  The contact, described as a “pro-forma” …
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 …
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 …
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.”
Jen Dimascio / The Politico:
Cheney takes a shot at Biden  —  Outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney poked at Vice President-elect Joe Biden for muffing his constitutional facts on the campaign trail during a wide-ranging interview on “Fox News Sunday.”  —  Biden, who criticized Cheney for being the “most dangerous vice president” …
Discussion: Political Machine
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.
Discussion: Redhot
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.
Discussion: Agence France Presse and
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
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.
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: The Strata-Sphere and Don Surber
Parisa Hafezi / Yahoo! News:
Police raid Iran Nobel Laureate's office  —  Iranian police Sunday raided and closed the office of a watchdog group led by Iran's Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi ahead of a celebration to mark International Human Rights Day.  —  Iran's judiciary confirmed the closure …
R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
Bush E-Mails May Be Secret a Bit Longer  —  Legal Battles, Technical Difficulties Delay Required Transfer to Archives  —  The required transfer in four weeks of all of the Bush White House's electronic mail messages and documents to the National Archives has been imperiled by a combination …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Making Congress Moot  —  A new Capitol Visitor Center recently opened, just in time for the transformation of the Capitol building into a tomb for the antiquated idea that the legislative branch matters.  The center is supposed to enhance the experience of visitors to Congress, although why there are visitors is a mystery.
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: 
Thomas A. Schweich / Washington Post:
The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere.  It's time to stop the mission creep.
Colin McEnroe / To Wit:
Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre
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
Steve Young / The Huffington Post:
Pastor Rick Warren Likens Gays To Pizza
Jim Hoagland / Washington Post:
The Madoff Generation
Discussion: The Huffington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Lori Monsewicz / Repository:
Pilot in plane crash had connections to White House
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Fausta Wertz / RealClearWorld - Blog:
Latin America: Summits and Crisis
Discussion: Babalu Blog and Fausta's Blog
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
Leonard Downie Jr / Washington Post:
Could We Uncover Watergate Today?
Discussion: The Mahablog and Open Left