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4:05 PM ET, December 24, 2008


 Top Items: 
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Time to Reboot America  —  I had a bad day last Friday, but it was an all-too-typical day for America.  —  It actually started well, on Kau Sai Chau, an island off Hong Kong, where I stood on a rocky hilltop overlooking the South China Sea and talked to my wife back in Maryland, static-free, using a friend's Chinese cellphone.
The Politico:
Obama's five rules of scandal response  —  Tuesday's report from the transition, detailing contacts between members of Obama's inner circle and embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and concluding that “nothing at all inappropriate” was discussed, won't be the final word on the subject …
Natasha Korecki / Chicago Sun Times:
Emanuel wanted to keep his seat ‘warm’  —  In addition to talking with Gov. Blagojevich about who would fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, Obama's newly minted chief of staff had something else on his mind: his own congressional seat.  —  Just after accepting the top post with Obama …
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Resistance to Kennedy Grows Among Democrats  —  ALBANY — Resistance is emerging among Democratic officials against Caroline Kennedy as she pursues Hillary Rodham Clinton's seat in the United States Senate, with Gov. David A. Paterson bristling over suggestions that her selection is inevitable …
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to give alternative Christmas Day message  —  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran will give a message of seasonal goodwill on Christmas Day as an alternative to the Queen's traditional broadcast, it has been announced.
Damian Thompson / Damian Thompson's blog listings:
Channel 4 dishes up a raving anti-Semite for Christmas
Discussion: Jihad Watch and five feet of fury
Michael Mello / Orange County Register:
Pastor says ‘God will punish Rick Warren’  —  Wiley Drake criticizes Warren, calls Obama ‘evil illegal alien.’  —  Recommend  —  BUENA PARK — Southern Baptist Pastor Wiley Drake bashed Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren this week, saying “God will punish” Warren for agreeing to give …
Washington Post:
For Stimulus Plan, Obama Team Weighing ‘Green’ Jobs vs. Traditional Projects  —  Obama Weighs Them Vs. Traditional Projects  —  In one of the first internal struggles of the incoming Obama administration, environmentalists and smart-growth advocates are trying to shift the priorities …
Capital Commerce:
Obama's Totally Political Economic Stimulus
Martin Feldstein / Wall Street Journal:
Defense Spending Would Be Great Stimulus  —  All three service branches are in need of upgrade and repair.  —  The Department of Defense is preparing budget cuts in response to the decline in national income.  The DOD budgeteers and their counterparts in the White House Office of Management …
Discussion: Commentary and At-Largely
Ken Fireman / Bloomberg:
Obama's Afghan Troop-Surge Plan May Prove Too Much, Too Late  —  Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) — Sending more U.S. forces to Afghanistan is an idea whose time has come.  The question is whether the time when it could work has already gone.  —  President-elect Barack Obama, departing President George W. Bush …
Discussion: New York Times
New York Post:
RAID ON PLAX HOME  —  WEAPONS FOUND IN LATEST WOE FOR FALLEN STAR  —  Police yesterday seized a small cache of weapons and ammo from the Totowa, NJ, home of troubled Giants star Plaxico Burress, possibly setting up the suspended grid star for more legal trouble, law-enforcement sources said.
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blogs:
Brit signs off  —  Last night, Brit Hume finished his tenure as “Special Report” anchor, and will now become a senior political analyst at the network (with stops on “Fox News Sunday").  —  A few weeks ago, I asked Sam Donaldson, a former colleague at ABC, about Hume's decision.
Graham Readfearn /
Scientists warn Christmas lights harm the planet  —  SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.  —  CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name …
Roxanne Roberts / Washington Post:
The Only Facts So Far: 10 Balls, 5 Locations  —  News flash!  Rumors are true!  —  The Presidential Inaugural Committee — trumpets, please! — is hosting 10 official balls on the night of Jan. 20.  —  These, ladies and gentlemen, are the only parties where Barack Obama …
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Scientists eager for stem cell policy change  —  Although President-elect Obama's pledge to change federal policy on stem cell research is not likely to lead to new cures by the end of his first year — or even first term — the scientific community is eager to get moving.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Business Wire:
The New York Times Company Reports November Revenues  —  NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—The New York Times Company announced today that in November total Company revenues from continuing operations decreased 13.9% compared with the same month a year ago.  Advertising revenues decreased 20.9% and circulation revenues increased 4.2%.
CNN Poll: Obama transition draws approval of 4 in 5 Americans  —  (CNN) - Hawaii's always been a great spot for honeymoons — and Barack Obama, who's spending the holiday season there on the beach at Kailua, is unquestionably having one of the best in modern presidential history.
NY Daily News:
President Bush pardons Brooklyn home scammer  —  BY JOHN MARZULLI IN NEW YORK AND JAMES GORDON MEEK IN WASHINGTON  —  President Bush pardoned a Brooklyn real estate developer accused of scamming hundreds of poor, minority homebuyers - and whose father donated $28,500 to the Republican Party this year.
Washington Post:
UAW Vows to Fight Salary Concessions  —  Labor Leaders Seek to Renegotiate White House Terms on Auto Bailout  —  The nation's automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefits concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin, QandO and At-Largely
No winner in Senate race until 2009  —  Minnesotans will not know whether Democrat Al Franken or Republican Norm Coleman won the Senate race until next year.  Election officials, along with the two campaigns, have agreed on a framework for adding wrongly-rejected absentee ballots to the recount.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
OBAMA'S PENTAGON.... When word first leaked that Robert Gates was likely to stay on as Barack Obama's Defense Secretary, one of the principal concerns on the left was over Gates' deputies — Gates may be sensible, but deputies will have considerable influence on Pentagon decision-making …
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 More Items: 
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
2nd Troop Accord Passes In Iraq
Ivan Moreno / Associated Press:
Military center tracking Santa's sleigh ride
Jane Black / Washington Post:
Obama Administration May Tie Improved Nutrition to Food Assistance Programs
Discussion: D-Day and
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Livni boy!  —  Bibi Netanyahu isn't the only one knocking off elements …
Discussion: The Washington Note
Jobless Claims Surge By 30,000 to 26-Week High
Discussion: Gothamist
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Bush Forgives Man Convicted for 1948 Aid to Israel
Agence France Presse:
Kosovo names street after US President Bush
Discussion: RedState
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
SEC Chair Defends His Restraint During Financial Crisis
Discussion: Think Progress
CNN Poll: Blagojevich named naughtiest pol of 2008
Discussion: Washington Wire
Jeff Bater / Wall Street Journal:
Consumers Slash Spending
Discussion: and Portfolio
Michael Slackman / New York Times:
Jordanian Students Rebel, Embracing Conservative Islam
Discussion: The Sideshow
Dave McKinney / Chicago Sun Times:
‘5-alarm fire’
Michelle Roberts / Associated Press:
Texas report: Abuse widespread in polygamist sect
Discussion: The Other McCain