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1:35 PM ET, January 7, 2009


 Top Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
I want to play poker with Harry Reid.  Really I do.  —  Rather than call for a special election in Illinois, Reid sends a letter to Blagojevich signed by everyone in the Democratic caucus asking him to step down.  They assert that they will not seat anyone he appoints.  —  Harumph.
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Reid vows to lead till at least 2015  —  Harry Reid vowed Tuesday that he'll lead the Senate until 2015 and beyond, taunting Republicans who'd like to unseat him and dashing the hopes of Democrats who'd like to succeed him.  —  The Nevada Democrat, who is up for reelection in 2010 …
The Huffington Post:
Dem Aide: Obama Team Pushed To Seat Burris  —  The apparent decision to seat Roland Burris came after aides to President-elect Barack Obama contacted senior Senate Democrats and suggested that they reverse course and accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich's controversial appointment, according to a senior Dem congressional aide.
Chicago Breaking News:
Senate leader leaves door ajar for Burris  —  WASHINGTON — A day after the U.S. Senate barred Roland Burris from being seated, Majority Leader Harry Reid left the door open to his admittance.  —  After a 45-minute meeting this morning between Burris, Reid and his lieutenant, Sen.Dick Durbin …
WGN Radio:
Jesse White: “Fall Guy” In Burris Drama {audio}  —  Claims Senate “Playing Games” with Burris  —  (WGN-AM) - U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris is weighing his options, after being turned away by the Secretary of the Senate Tuesday.  —  Burris said his credentials were rejected …
Walter Dellinger / New York Times:
City of Cold Shoulders
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Illinois Secretary of State backs Burris, downplays own role
Discussion: The Fix
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:
Report: Burris Will Get Obama Senate Seat
Discussion: RBO, Mercury News and Wake up America
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:   Burris' Status Still In Flux
Fox News:
Reid, After Meeting With Burris, Keeps Illinois Senate Nominee's Hopes Alive
Discussion: QandO
Mark Brown / Chicago Sun Times:
Obama has to get Burris to give it up
Discussion: The Swamp
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
White House Asked Howard To Stay In Blair House To Give ‘Some Plausible Reason’ For Refusing Obama  —  In December, President-elect Obama asked the White House if he and his family could move into Blair House — the White House's guest house — a week early, so that his daughters Malia and Sasha could start school.
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
The Mideast's Ground Zero  —  The fighting, death and destruction in Gaza is painful to watch.  But it's all too familiar.  It's the latest version of the longest-running play in the modern Middle East, which, if I were to give it a title, would be called: “Who owns this hotel?  Can the Jews have a room?
Marc Ambinder:
Ross, Holbrooke, Haass To Serve As Envoys  —  Transition officials confirm that President-elect Obama has asked Dennis Ross, Richard Haass, and Richard Holbrooke, to serve as his chief emissaries to world hot spots.  —  It's expected that Ross will get the Iran portfolio, that Holbrooke …
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Wall Street Journal:   Iran's Hamas Strategy
New York Times:
Obama Warns of Prospect for Trillion-Dollar Deficits  —  WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the budgetary outlook that he said would force his administration …
Jeff Stein / SpyTalk:
CIA Man: Spies' Reaction to Panetta ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’  —  A retired senior CIA operations officer who quit last summer after 20 years tracking terrorists says the rank-and-file reaction to President-elect Obama's choice of Leon E.Panetta to run the spy agency has been “overwhelmingly negative.”
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Sweet on Caroline  —  Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you.  Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country.  —  After a lifetime of shying away from the public spotlight, Caroline Kennedy asked herself what she could do for her country.
Kevin Vance / Weekly Standard:
Team Sarah Infiltrated  —  Administrators of Team Sarah have uncovered evidence on a left-wing online thread that some Internet trolls sought to discredit the organization by posing as conservative racists on Team Sarah's forums.  —  Team Sarah, an online community supportive of Gov. Sarah Palin …
Discussion: Flopping Aces and Washington Times
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
For Israel, 2006 Lessons but Old Pitfalls  —  JERUSALEM — This time, Israeli military commanders are leading from the front, not trying to direct the infantry from television screens.  This time, the military has clear plans, in stages, drawn up with a year's preparation.
Avi Shlaim / Guardian:
How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe  —  The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context.  Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians.
Discussion: Telegraph and Chris Floyd Online
Juan Cole / Informed Comment:
Al-Fakhoura School Bombed, 42 Killed, Including Children …
Discussion: Sandbox
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
ABC: Anything But Cole  —  Juan Cole is running two campaigns on his blog.  One is against Israel—business as usual for Cole.  The other is promoting his blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards competition (Middle East category), where there are ten finalists (I am one).
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The DOJ pursues the “real criminal” in the NSA spying scandal  —  There are few viewpoints, if there are any, which trigger more fervent agreement across the political and media establishment than the view that George Bush, Dick Cheney and other top officials should not be criminally investigated …
Washington Post:
Obama Is Under Fire Over Panetta Selection  —  Current, Ex-CIA Officials Criticize ‘Opaque’ Process  —  President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday that he has selected a “top-notch intelligence team” that would provide the “unvarnished” information his administration needs, rather than “what they think the president wants to hear.”
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 More Items: 
Turkey holds 30 over ‘coup plot’
Discussion: Runnin' Scared
A Soldier's Mother:
The Images they Show...  There are images that break your heart.
United States Senator Tom Coburn:
Dr. Coburn Calls Omnibus Lands Package a Return to Business As Usual
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
Nat Hentoff / Village Voice:
Nat Hentoff's Last Column: The 50-Year Veteran Says Goodbye
Discussion: City Room, Runnin' Scared and Gothamist
Paul J. Gough / Reuters:
HBO lands rights to inaugural ceremony
Discussion: RedState
Wall Street Journal:
Waiting for Dodd
Discussion: Betsy's Page
‘Hamas has nothing left but rockets’
 Earlier Items: 
Obama to make case for ‘urgent action’ on recovery
The Atlantic Online:
The End of White America?
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Nick Perry / Seattle Times:
11 gay bars get letters threatening ricin attacks
Discussion: Shakesville

From Techmeme:

Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Mandiant links hacktivist group Cyber Army of Russia, which claimed to target utilities in France, the US, and Poland, to Russia-linked hacking group Sandworm

Rob Golum / Bloomberg:
Filing: Take-Two plans to lay off 5% of its workforce, expecting to incur up to $200M in charges as part of the downsizing, including $140M from canceled titles

Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:
Current and former T-Mobile and Verizon employees say they are receiving texts offering up to $300 to perform a SIM swap; T-Mobile says it is investigating

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