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6:40 PM ET, December 23, 2008

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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.
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Obama Team Releases Report on Contacts with Blagojevich  —  White House Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emanuel talked twice with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and four times with the governor's chief of staff but did not engage in any inappropriate discussions about Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat …
TMZ.com:
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.
RELATED:
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Warren On?  Party Off.  —  Not that he was planning to attend, but Barack Obama should know that my sister's inauguration night party — the one for which she was preparing Obama Punch — has been canceled.  The notice went out over the weekend, by e-mail and word of mouth …
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
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
What Might Have Been  —  Ezra Klein makes the case that the decline …
Discussion: Eschaton
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
More on What Might Have Been  —  I promised more thoughts …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Tim Lee / The Technology Liberation Front:   The News Innovator's Dilemma
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 an American considered a hero in Israel, President George W. Bush on Tuesday granted a pardon posthumously to a man who broke …
Discussion: Townhall.com and Israel Matzav
RELATED:
Associated Press:   Bush pardons 19, commutes 1 prison term
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.
Tim Graham / NewsBusters.org:
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
John O'Sullivan / Wall Street Journal:
Conservative Snobs Are Wrong About Palin  —  I know Maggie Thatcher.  The two women have a lot in common.  —  Being listed in fourth place for Time magazine's “Person of the Year,” as Sarah Palin was for 2008, sounds a little like being awarded the Order of Purity (Fourth Class).
Tennessean.com:
Flood of sludge breaks TVA dike  —  Collapse poses risk of toxic ash  —  HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Millions of yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at TVA's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday, covering hundreds of acres, knocking one home off its foundation and putting environmentalists on edge …
RELATED:
Brian Angliss / Scholars and Rogues:
“Clean” coal ash flood may make new Superfund site (Update #3)
Discussion: Wonk Room
NY1:
Top Clinton Advisor Wolfson Joining Team Bloomberg  —  In an exclusive interview with NY1, top Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson announced today that he will be joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg's re-election campaign as a senior communications advisor.  —  “Around the time of the term limits extension …
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Wolfson to Bloomberg  —  Hillary Clinton's former chief strategist …
Discussion: TIME.com and City Room
Dennis Prager / Townhall.com:
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 …
Discussion: Firedoglake, ATTACKERMAN and The RBC
CNN:
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 / MiamiHerald.com:
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 …
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: The Big Picture and D-Day
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:
O, MY BOD!  IT'S BEACH BARACK  —  NEXT PREZ HEATS UP HAWAII  —  Just call him “Ab"-bama.  —  Buff-bodied President-elect Barack Obama put his chiseled frame on full display - as seen on Page 1 - during a stroll in Hawaii while on vacation with his family.
Little Green Footballs:
NPR Rewrites Rathergate History to Cover Up Fraud  —  National Public Radio does their best to rewrite history in this shockingly disingenuous piece on the Rathergate affair, told from Dan Rather's perspective as he openly states (and NPR doesn't challenge) that the memos in his infamous 60 Minutes II piece …
Discussion: NPR
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 …
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
APPLY ECONOMICS TO ECONOMISTS.  —  Over e-mail, Dean Baker offers an explanation why so few economists accurately saw the trembling instability beneath the economy, much less sounded the alarm.  “They didn't know” is not an operative explanation.  The analysis was public …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Kevin Drum
 
 
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 More Items: 
Murrayw / Murray Waas:
Exclusive: Cheney's admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI
Washington Wire:
Obama Transition Names More National Security Staff
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
The Blago report  —  Greg Craig's report (.pdf) on the Obama …
Discussion: The New Republic
Suzanne Sataline / Wall Street Journal:
In Hard Times, Houses of God Turn to Chapter 11 in Book of Bankruptcy
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
A housing scammer, pardoned
Discussion: The Raw Story, Salon and The RBC
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Obama to Attend Memorial for Grandmother
Discussion: TIME.com
 Earlier Items: 
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Shuster Pushes Inhofe On Global Warming Skepticism: 'If There Is …
Discussion: Washington Monthly