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10:35 PM ET, December 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
Blagojevich's pick has résumé chiseled in stone  —  (CNN) — Anyone who doubts Roland Burris' qualifications to serve as the next senator from Illinois may want to head to Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery.  —  There, Burris, whom embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed …
Chicago Breaking News:
Burris goes to court for Senate seat  —  Democrat Roland Burris went to the Illinois Supreme Court today to fight to be seated in the U.S. Senate.  —  Burris, appointed by disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday to the seat once held by President-elect Barack Obama, asked the justices …
Discussion: and Progress Illinois
Chicago Sun Times:   Another bad choice by ethically bankrupt gov
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times:
Davis said thanks, but no thanks
William Sieghart / Times of London:
We must adjust our distorted image of Hamas  —  Gaza is a secular society where people listen to pop music, watch TV and many women walk the streets unveiled  —  Last week I was in Gaza.  While I was there I met a group of 20 or so police officers who were undergoing a course in conflict management.
IDF bombs ‘terror mosque’
Evan Perez / Wall Street Journal:
Gonzales Defends Role in Antiterror Policies  —  WASHINGTON — Alberto Gonzales, who has kept a low profile since resigning as attorney general nearly 16 months ago, said he is writing a book to set the record straight about his controversial tenure as a senior official in the Bush administration.
Jonathan Stein / MoJoBlog:   Alberto Gonzales Is Going to Write an Awfully Short Tell-All
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama dismisses Bush Pentagon appointees  —  Despite keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the Pentagon, President-elect Obama's transition team informed 90 Bush appointees their services will not be needed after Inauguration Day.  —  Scott Gration, a senior official on Obama's transition team …
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Katharine Webb Joyner  —  My wife Kimberly woke me a little before 2 yesterday morning to inform me that her water had broken and that it was time to drive her to the hospital.  After 12 hours of trying naturally, another 14 of trying with the aid of an inducing drug, and two hours of hard labor …
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:
Atheists Sue Over Inaugural Prayer  —  Michael A. Newdow, who led the failed charge to get the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance, is now heading an effort to keep religion out of President-elect Barack Obama's swearing in.  —  Newdow's group, consisting of 18 individuals …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Arab youths open fire on Israelis working at mall in Denmark  —  A group of Arab youths opened fire Wednesday evening on a number of Israelis working at a mall in the Danish city of Odenza, some 200 kilometers north of Copenhagen.  —  The Israelis, who were operating a stall in the shopping center, were lightly wounded in their legs.
Discussion: Mere Rhetoric and Hot Air
Hana Levi Julian / Arutz Sheva:
PA Arab Terrorists Attack Israelis in Denmark, Two Wounded
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Atlas Shrugs
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Torture prosecutions finally begin in the U.S.  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  While fiercely loyal establishment spokespeople such as The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus continue to insist that prosecutions are only appropriate for common criminals ("someone breaking into your house") …
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Poll: Obama viewed as a strong leader  —  CNN Deputy Political Director  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades.
Discussion: The Swamp
Robert MacMillan / Reuters:
Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty.  But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
O'Reilly questions whether ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ song is ‘mean-spirited.’  —  O'Reilly questions whether ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ song is ‘mean-spirited.’»  —  Yesterday, Bill O'Reilly discussed the controversy surrounding RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman's Christmas greeting …
Nate Silver /
Franken May Be Ceding Ground on Absentee Ballots  —  In St. Louis County, one of the bluest areas in Minnesota, the Coleman campaign succeeded in blocking more than a third of absentee ballots set aside by the state for potentially being wrongfully rejected from being counted — including one ballot from an elections judge.
Larry Oakes / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Election judge is dumbfounded her ballot was rejected
Discussion: TPM Election Central
Seth Borenstein / Associated Press:
NASA chief's wife to Obama: Don't fire my husband  —  WASHINGTON - Late on Christmas Eve, one last wish was sent, by e-mail: Please let NASA Administrator Michael Griffin keep his job.  It was from his wife.  —  Rebecca Griffin, who works in marketing, sent her message with the subject line “Campaign for Mike” to friends and family.
Megan McArdle:
The problem with Israel-Palestine blogging  —  Everyone engaged in it is interested in proving that one side is righter than the other.  Since no action in the region has occurred without plausible provocation for 4,000 years or so, this requires constantly shifting the metrics by which you measure whichever side you happen to favor.
Michael Gormley / Associated Press:
NY Democratic advisers talk up ‘caretaker’ senator  —  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Bill Clinton?  Sen. Mario Cuomo?  Don't completely rule it out.  The former president and the former New York governor are among several boldface names being touted as possible “caretakers” for New York's Senate seat …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
No end in sight  —  More evidence?  A weak case?  Behind-the-scenes negotiations?  —  Anyway, it goes on:
Yael Barnovsky / Ynetnews:
IDF: Rocket that hit Beersheba school made in China  —  Home Front Command's deputy chief says rocket fired at Negev city can cause much greater damage than the Qassam; adds that all events with 100 or more guests will be cancelled due to attacks  —  “We are witnessing the expansion …
Richard Owen / Times of London:
Naples women go on sex strike over firework injuries  —  Women in Naples are staging a sex strike in an attempt to stop their menfolk from setting off dangerous New Year fireworks which cause injury and even death.  —  Carolina Staiano, 44, who is leading the campaign …
Discussion: The Other McCain and Power Line
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
U.S. Troops' Deadliest Year In Afghanistan
Andrew E. Kramer / New York Times:
Gazprom Set to Halt Gas Shipments to Ukraine
Discussion: On Deadline
Adam Horowitz / The Huffington Post:
Jews are Soul-Searching About Madoff — What About Gaza?
 Earlier Items: 
José M. Guardia / Barcepundit:
MORE ON Spain's property bust, in The Economist:
Discussion: PoliGazette and The Moderate Voice
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Bobby Rush on CNN
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Nobody Goes There Anymore, It's Too Crowded