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11:00 PM ET, January 5, 2009


 Top Items: 
The Caucus:
Panetta to Be Named C.I.A. Director  —  President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods …
Lauren Kornreich / CNN:
Feinstein slams Obama CIA head pick  —  (CNN) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate's incoming Intelligence committee chair, slammed President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Leon Panetta as director of the CIA Monday.  —  “I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director.
Discussion: GayPatriot and Hullabaloo
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's impressive new OLC chief  —  The Office of Legal Counsel, inside the Justice Department, is probably the most consequential federal government office that remains relatively obscure.  The legal opinions which it issues become, more or less automatically, the official legal position of the Executive Branch.
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Not Even the Clintons Would Have Tried This  —  President-elect Obama has made his first completely incomprehensible appointment: Leon Panetta for CIA Director.  No, I'm serious.  Clinton OMB Director and Chief of Staff to head a key intelligence agency.  One can refer to him as an …
Marc Ambinder:
Panetta On Torture  —  Here's Central Intelligence Agency director-designate Leon E. Panetta, writing about torture, in the Washington Monthly.  Actually, no — he's writing in the Washington Monthly about torture:
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blogs:
Reid: Coleman will “never ever serve”  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered the toughest language he has ever used in arguing that Norm Coleman's career in the Senate is finished.  —  “Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the Senate,” Reid told Politico's Manu Raju.  “He lost the election.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Senate recount: Franken's on top; Coleman to sue  —  The state Canvassing Board certified final results this afternoon in Minnesota's marathon U.S. Senate race, but that won't end the battle between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman, whose Senate term ended on Saturday.
Wall Street Journal:
Funny Business in Minnesota
Chris Steller / Minnesota Independent:
Supreme Court denies Coleman's suit to stop certification of election
Discussion: The Fix and Buck Naked Politics
Drudge Report:
NBC BANS COULTER FOR LIFE; CUT FROM ‘TODAY’ SHOW OVER BOOK'S CLAIMS, NO MORE CABLE  —  The nation's top selling conservative author has been banned from appearing on NBC, insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT.  —  Banned for life!  —  “We are just not going to have her on any more, it's over,” a top network source explains.
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blogs:
Coulter's ‘Today’ show interview canceled  —  Ann Coulter was scheduled to appear on the “Today” show Tuesday morning to promote her new book, “Guilty.”  But it's now been canceled, according to her website.  —  Coulter wrote: “TODAY SHOW AND TODAY SHOW FOURTH HOUR: CANCELLED!”
SteveK / TVNewser:   Drudge: Coulter “Banned” From NBC; NBC Denies It
Secretary of the Senate rejects Burris appointment  —  (CNN) — An aide to Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson tells CNN that this morning she rejected Roland Burris' certificate of appointment to the Senate.  —  Robert Baxter says Erickson rejected Burris' appointment because it does …
Connie Hair / Human Events:
Pelosi Erases Gingrich's Long-Standing Fairness Rules  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to re-write House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation.  Pelosi's proposals are so draconian, and will so polarize the Capitol …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and AmSpecBlog
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:   GOP protests term limit change
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
REMEMBER LINCOLN?  —  Dave Weigel, now happily ensconced at the Washington Independent, is liveblogging the RNC chairman debate: … It's really weird that Republican candidates for high office almost never named Abraham Lincoln as their favorite Republican president.  He was, after all, a Republican.
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
RNC candidate Ken Blackwell compares Bush to Hoover.»
Discussion: Political Machine
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Transition donors give less  —  Barack Obama's transition fundraising has fallen off its earlier pace and may just squeak by in reaching its target before he's sworn in as president Jan. 20.  —  According to figures released Monday, the Obama-Biden Transition Project brought in $2.6 million …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:   The Cuteness Stimulus  —  Obama transition team acts …
Judy Lin / Associated Press:
Ex eBay CEO prepares run for Calif. governor  —  Former eBay Inc. chief executive Meg Whitman has edged closer to a run for California governor, with a spokesman confirming on Monday that she has resigned from three corporate boards.  —  Whitman's spokesman, Henry Gomez …
Discussion: TechCrunch
Associated Press:   Ex-eBay CEO to run for Calif. governor
Washington Wire:
Ron Paul-Finally-Gets His Due  —  Susan Davis reports on politics.  —  For much of the 2008 campaign, Texas lawmaker and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and his supporters served as a thorn in the side—or a punching bag—for the mainstream GOP establishment.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
RNC Chair: Iraq conduct Bush's biggest failure
Discussion: CNN and The Politico
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?  —  Since my earlier post was more arch and cryptic, I wanted to expand on what seems to be the problem with the Obama stimulus plan, as revealed in the current round of leaks.  I would point to three key issues.  And I'm going to base these three on the premise …
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Why I'm Not Blogging More About Gaza  —  Andrew Sullivan just asked me (live, not on e-mail; bloggers at the Atlantic actually talk to each other) why I haven't been posting more on Gaza.  The simple answer is that I'm busy reporting, and I hope to head to the Middle East soon …
Discussion: Michael J. Totten
Bob Barr / Los Angeles Times:
No defending the Defense of Marriage Act  —  The author of the federal Defense of Marriage Act now thinks it's time for his law to get the boot — but for political reasons, not in support of gays.  —  In 1996, as a freshman member of the House of Representatives, I wrote the Defense of Marriage Act …
Jeff Poor / The Business & Media Institute:
EPA ‘Cow Tax’ Could Charge $175 per Dairy Cow to Curb Greenhouse Gases  —  Farm Bureau warns just this one rule may increase milk production costs up to 8 cents a gallon.  —  Business & Media Institute  —  Call this one of the newest and innovative ways your government has come up with to battle greenhouse gas emissions.
Discussion: Don Surber and Macsmind
New York Times:
Restore the Senate's Treaty Power  —  THE Constitution's Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments.  The clause will likely be tested by Barack Obama's administration …
Ben McGrath / New Yorker:
CORRECTING CAROLINE  —  In 2001, shortly after being sworn into the Senate, Hillary Clinton gave a press conference to address questions related to her husband's Presidential pardons.  The Times observed that she used the word “disappointed” ten times, in reference to her brother, Hugh Rodham …
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 More Items: 
Jerusalem Post:
Three IDF soldiers killed by errant tank shell in Strip
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Biden Schedules Fact-Finding Journey to Asia
Discussion: The Politico
Foreign Policy:
Counterinsurgency Field Manual: Afghanistan Edition
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
Alex Berenson / New York Times:
Prosecutors Want Madoff's Bail Revoked
Discussion: TalkLeft
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
So Glad It's a New Political Era
Discussion: American Spectator
Andrew Breitbart / Washington Times:
A million stories to tell
Discussion: PoliGazette and Weekly Standard
Jodie T. Allen /
States of the Union Before and After Bush
Discussion: Washington Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SNAKES  —  We're watching the Republican leadership's press conference …
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
The End of the Line  —  Lunch with President George W. Bush.
Discussion: Think Progress
Janice Lloyd / USA Today:
Home schooling grows
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Poll: Caroline Kennedy's Support Collapses
Discussion: Firedoglake