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5:30 AM ET, January 6, 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.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
REALLY A MYSTERY  —  From an observer up on the Hill ...  And from a career intel professional ...  I used to do a lot of intelligence reporting.  But I haven't really done any to speak of in a few years.  So I'm coming at this cold.  But I feel instinctively suspicious of the congressional reaction to this appointment.
Discussion: Firedoglake
Los Angeles Times:
Panetta a surprise pick to run the CIA  —  Leon Panetta, a former congressman and Clinton chief of staff, would give Obama a political ally at the helm of the troubled spy agency.  —  Reporting from Washington — In choosing Leon E. Panetta to be the next CIA director …
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 …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's impressive new OLC chief
Marc Ambinder:
Panetta On Torture  —  Here's Central Intelligence Agency …
Discussion: ATTACKERMAN and The Daily Dish
New York Times:   Panetta Chosen as C.I.A. Chief in Surprise Step
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.
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 and TPM Election Central
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.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Early Hurdle in Senate Confronts Illinois Pick  —  WASHINGTON — Senate officials on Monday rejected credentials offered on behalf of Roland W. Burris, who nonetheless planned to arrive at the Capitol on Tuesday to be sworn in as the new junior senator from Illinois.
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.
Discussion: Kevin Drum and
Washington Wire:   Ron Paul-Finally-Gets His Due
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
RNC Debate: Round II
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Biden on economy: 'We're at war'  —  Vice-president-elect Joe Biden likened the country's economic crisis to the attacks of 9/11 Monday in a private meeting on Capitol Hill.  —  “We're at war,” Biden told congressional leaders of both parties during their sit-down with Barack Obama in the Capitol …
Discussion: Fox News and THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS
Peter Baker / New York Times:   Biden Schedules Fact-Finding Journey to Asia
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blogs:
NRSC chair encourages King candidacy  —  National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn met today with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), and intends on supporting him as the congressman strongly considers a run for the Senate in New York.  —  “Senator Cornyn believes Peter King would be a very formidable candidate.
Discussion: and Swing State Project
Associated Press:
Ex-eBay CEO to run for Calif. governor  —  Meg Whitman plans to seek seat in 2010; Schwarzenegger is term-limited  —  SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Former eBay Inc. chief executive Meg Whitman plans to run for governor of California, a person with knowledge of her political aspirations said Monday.
Discussion: Associated Press
Robert D. Kaplan / The Atlantic Online:
Iran's Postmodern Beast in Gaza  —  Israel has just embarked on a land invasion of the Gaza Strip after a week of aerial bombing.  Gaza is bordered by Egypt, and was under Egyptian military control from 1949 through 1967.  And yet in a startling rebuke to geography and recent history …
New York Times:
Ex-Detainee of U.S. Describes a 6-Year Ordeal  —  LAHORE, Pakistan — When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected …
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The RBC
Maayana Miskin / Arutz Sheva:
Zahar Claims Victory, Calls to Kill Jewish Children  —  ( Hamas spokesman Mahmoud Az-Zahar claimed victory for Hamas on Monday, saying Hamas had succeeded in “destroying Israel's sense of security” with its rocket attacks.  Zahar made his proclamation in video footage sent from a secret hideout …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Laura Bush to write her life story  —  Laura Bush has signed with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to write her memoirs for publication in the spring of 2010.  —  The first lady plans to write about her experiences in the White House and Texas governor's mansion …
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
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 …
Jonathan Adams / Christian Science Monitor:
In an increasingly wired China, rehab for Internet addicts  —  A Beijing treatment center for Web-addicted youths includes counseling, group games like laser tag, and physical exercise.  —  BEIJING -  —  A 6 a.m. wake-up call.  Afternoon drills in military bearing and formations.
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 More Items: 
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Suing Cold Medication Manufacturers Because Drug Dealers Make Drugs …
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
William Lynn to Deputy Secretary of Defense?
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Transition donors give less
Discussion: The Politico
Foreign Policy:
Counterinsurgency Field Manual: Afghanistan Edition
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
 Earlier Items: 
Alex Berenson / New York Times:
Bid to Revoke Madoff's Bail Cites His Gifts
Discussion: On Deadline and TalkLeft
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Why I'm Not Blogging More About Gaza
Discussion: L'Hôte and Michael J. Totten
Andrew Breitbart / Washington Times:
A million stories to tell
Jodie T. Allen /
States of the Union Before and After Bush
Discussion: Washington Wire and Think Progress
Ben McGrath / New Yorker:
Discussion: Gothamist and Commentary
Connie Hair / Human Events:
Pelosi Erases Gingrich's Long-Standing Fairness Rules