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9:35 PM ET, December 23, 2008


 Top Items:
Transition Team Releases Review of Contacts  —  Today the Obama Transition Team released the review of Obama Transition staff contacts with Governor Blagojevich and his office.  Download a PDF of the memo.
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
No Improper Contact With Governor, Says Obama Report  —  HONOLULU — An internal report issued on Tuesday by lawyers for President-elect Barack Obama found that his top advisers had numerous contacts with the office of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and attempted to guide his choice to fill …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Breaking: Obama finally releases report on staff's contacts with Blagojevich; Update: No quid pro quo  —  4:30 p.m. on December 23rd, when both he and Emanuel are literally thousands of miles away.  Well played, Messiah.  —  Here's the five-page PDF.  Updates coming.
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Obama's 4:30 p.m., December 23rd Blago News Drop  —  The time and date dictated by Patrick Fitzgerald for releasing Team Obama's internal investigation just happen to fall at the most convenient time of the year for burying bad news.  Does that mean there necessarily is bad news?
The Huffington Post:
Emanuel Heads To Africa As Blagojevich Report Drops  —  With the Obama transition team set to release an internal report regarding the extent of its interactions with embattled governor Rod Blagojevich, one of the key figures in the mix is heading out of the country.
The Smoking Gun:
Obama Interviewed In Blagojevich Probe
Discussion: Don Surber and Dean's World
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Obama Team Releases Report on Contacts with Blagojevich
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:   The Blago report  —  Greg Craig's report (.pdf) on the Obama …
Murrayw / Murray Waas:
Exclusive: Cheney's admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI  —  Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role …
Wall Street Journal:
Bush and Scooter Libby  —  The former White House aide deserves a full pardon.  —  Rarely can Presidents improve their legacy in an Administration's twilight days.  But President Bush now has that opportunity, by undoing a measure of the injustice inflicted on I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Dennis Prager /
When a Woman Isnt in the Mood: Part I  —  Given our preoccupation with politics and economics, it is easy to forget that for most of us micro issues still play a greater role in our lives.  So here are some thoughts that, as heretical as they might sound, have been found extremely helpful …
Susan Kelleher / Seattle Times:
Seattle refuses to use salt; roads “snow packed” by design  —  To hear the city's spin, Seattle's road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.  —  But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there's snow and ice left on major arterials by design.
John H. Richardson / Esquire:
Why Obama Really Might Decriminalize Marijuana  —  The stoner community is clamoring to say it: “Yes we cannabis!”  Turns out, with several drug-war veterans close to the president-elect's ear, insiders think reform could come in Obama's second term — or sooner.
Rick Warren — Out of the Closet!  —  Rick Warren, the pastor who will deliver the invocation next month for Barack Obama, apparently is doing a little image-adjusting in West Hollywood.  —  We got this pic, taken yesterday at Out of the Closet thrift store.
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Bush pardons man who helped Israel during wartime  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - In a gesture of forgiveness for a decades-old offense, President George W. Bush on Tuesday granted a pardon posthumously to a man who broke the law to supply aircraft …
Discussion: and Israel Matzav
Associated Press:   Bush pardons 19, commutes 1 prison term
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT.  —  Over at BoingBoing, Clay Shirky engages in a bit of self-congratulatory schadenfreude for predicting the collapse of the newspaper business model back in 1993.  And no doubt: He was prescient.  But like a lot of folks (many of them named Jeff Jarvis) …
Discussion: Don Surber
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
More on What Might Have Been  —  I promised more thoughts …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Tim Graham /
Joe the Plumber Laughs at CNN Anchor Who Insists He's Fair, He's Not Pro-Obama  —  Just before 8 am Eastern time on the Tuesday edition of CNN's American Morning, anchor John Roberts interview Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, and something unusual happened.  After a battery of questions …
Discussion: Cold Fury and Hot Air
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Wolfson to Bloomberg  —  Hillary Clinton's former chief strategist, Howard Wolfson, is heading halfway across the aisle to work for the reelection campaign of New York's formerly Republican, now independent, Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  —  “As a New Yorker, I am very excited at the prospect …
Discussion: and City Room
Top Clinton Advisor Wolfson Joining Team Bloomberg
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Lone Star State to pick up 3 seats  —  Texas will lose some influence in Washington when President George W. Bush leaves the White House, but a new study finds that the Lone Star state will be the big winner in the upcoming congressional reapportionment.  —  The study, from the firm Election …
Discussion: Associated Press
Child porn investigation catches California lawyer  —  (CNN) — A lawyer who served in the Clinton administration and more recently was an adviser to California's lieutenant governor pleaded guilty to a child porn charge in a San Diego federal court Monday.  —  Wade Rowland Sanders admitted …
Discussion: Tabloid Edition
James H. Burnett III /
Quirky Festivus holiday gains followers  —  Those who celebrate Festivus display a pole instead of a tree and air grievances instead of exchanging gifts.  —  JBURNETT@MIAMIHERALD.COM  —  Alexandra Casuso was only 11 years old when Festivus made its TV debut on Seinfeld in 1997 …
Washington Wire:
Obama Transition Names More National Security Staff  —  Today, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of key members of their national security team, including James B. Steinberg for Deputy Secretary of State, and Jacob Lew for Deputy Secretary of State …
Rush Transcript / Democracy Now:
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Calls for Independent Counsel to Investigate Cheney and Rumsfeld for Violating Torture Laws  —  Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York has urged Attorney General Michael Mukasey to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Vice President Dick Cheney …
John Lippert / Bloomberg:
Friedman Would Be Roiled as Chicago Disciples Rue Repudiation  —  A A A  —  Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) — John Cochrane was steaming as word of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to buy $700 billion in troubled mortgage assets rippled across the University of Chicago in September.
Discussion: Firedoglake, The Big Picture and D-Day
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 More Items: 
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Rev. Pat Robertson: 'I am remarkably pleased with Obama …
Felicity Barringer / New York Times:
Court Reinstates Clean-Air Rule
Discussion: On Deadline
Siun / Firedoglake:
36 Hours of Torture - Thanks to Our Allies in Iraq
Suzanne Sataline / Wall Street Journal:
In Hard Times, Houses of God Turn to Chapter 11 in Book of Bankruptcy
Discussion: and Political Machine
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
A housing scammer, pardoned
Discussion: The Raw Story, Salon and The RBC
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Obama to Attend Memorial for Grandmother
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Discussion: Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias
Little Green Footballs:
NPR Rewrites Rathergate History to Cover Up Fraud
Discussion: NPR
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Shuster Pushes Inhofe On Global Warming Skepticism: 'If There Is …
Discussion: Washington Monthly