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6:35 PM ET, January 12, 2009


 Top Items: 
Lara Jakes / Associated Press:
Obama preparing order to close Gitmo  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Advisers to President-elect Barack Obama say one of his first duties in office will be to order the closing of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.  —  That executive order is expected during Obama's first week on the job …
Ed Henry / CNN:
Obama to close Guantanamo Bay prison quickly  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay as early as his first week in office to show a break from the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror, according to two officials close to the transition.
Discussion: Democracy in America
Martina Stewart / CNN:
What will Obama do with his millions of online ‘friends’?  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Has President-elect Barack Obama found the person to entrust with his predominantly online network of millions of supporters?  —  Obama's announcement of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to lead the Democratic National …
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Obama to Address House Republican Conference
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and
CNN:   Obama's campaign rhetoric runs into reality
John Cushman / The Caucus:
A Money Request, and a Swan Song  —  Obama Requests Money |  11:28 a.m. President-elect Barack Obama asked President Bush to request the $350 billion remaining in the financial rescue package, the White House said Monday, shortly after Mr. Bush finished a news conference.
White House:
Press Conference by the President  —  James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  —  THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.  Tapper.  We have been through a lot together.  As I look through the room, I see Jake, Mike, Herman, Ann Compton.  Just seemed like yesterday that — that I was on the campaign trail …
New York Times:
In Final News Conference, Bush Strikes Elegiac Tone  —  WASHINGTON — A sentimental and occasionally defiant President Bush held his final news conference on Monday, conceding that the past eight years have dealt him some disappointments but declaring that, contrary to some critics of his policies …
Discussion: The Swamp, The Politico and
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
At Obama's Urging, Bush to Seek Rest of Bailout Funds
Discussion: Democracy in America
Bush admits mistakes in his final news conference
Discussion: The Swamp and The Impolitic
Signorile / The Gist:
RNC Chair Candidate: “Homosexuality is a compulsion that can be contained, repressed or changed.”  —  Yes, that's what Ken Blackwell, the sketchy former Ohio Secretary of State who now has a good shot at running the Republican National Committee, told me a few months back, among some other very interesting and kooky things.
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Burris Cleared to Take Senate Seat  —  Senate Democratic leaders today cleared the way for Roland Burris to be seated as a senator from Illinois, after more than a weeklong spectacle surrounding the state's corruption scandal and the questioning of Mr. Burris's credentials.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hotline On Call
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Senate Democrats to swear in Burris this week
Discussion: Reuters and Open Left
Associated Press:
Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections  —  The Central Elections Committee on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections, drawing accusations of racism by an Arab lawmaker who said he would challenge the decision in the country's Supreme Court.
Agence France Presse:
Rice shame-faced by Bush over UN Gaza vote: Olmert  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  JERUSALEM (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was left shame-faced after President George W. Bush ordered her to abstain in a key UN vote on the Gaza war, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday.
Lauren Kornreich / CNN:
Joe the Plumber: Ban media from war  —  Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, is in Israel.  (Getty Images/Israeli GPO)  —  (CNN) - ‘Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher told a group of journalists covering the conflict in Israel and Gaza that he didn't think the media should be allowed to report on war.
Discussion: The New Republic and Sadly, No!
Student auctions off virginity for offers of more than £2.5 million  —  A student who is auctioning her virginity to pay for a masters degree in Family and Marriage therapy has seen bidding hit £2.5million ($3.7m).  —  Natalie Dylan, 22, claims her offer of a one-night stand …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Voinovich Announces Retirement, GOP Problems Mount  —  Ohio Sen. George Voinovich is retiring in 2010, the fourth Republican to announce he is stepping aside at the end of his term.  —  Voinovich announced his retirement this morning after a weekend filled with speculation that he was planning to step aside.
Mariana Cook / New Yorker:
A COUPLE IN CHICAGO … MICHELLE OBAMA: There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it's unclear.  There is a little tension with that.  I'm very wary of politics.  I think he's too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.
Discussion: Spin Cycle and Wonkette
THE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008  —  50. Barack Obama  —  Charges: Beyond a few token acts of bipartisan marketing, Barry's major duty in the Senate was to avoid legislating, so he could pretend Washington-outsider status and nullify attacks on his non-existent policy positions.
Discussion: My Left Wing
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Obama climate czar has socialist ties  —  Group sees ‘global governance’ as solution  —  Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society …
Brian Bakst / Associated Press:
Officials turn down Franken's request for an election certificate  —  ST. PAUL, Minn. - Democrat Al Franken was quickly turned down Monday when he asked Minnesota's governor and secretary of state to issue an election certificate that would let him take office in the Senate.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Coleman is casting wider net for votes
Discussion: CBS News and TalkLeft
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Scarborough: 'That's the silliest thing I've ever heard' that torture doesn't work.»  —  Today on MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough waged an ardent, six-minute defense of torture, arguing with the Financial Times' Krystia Freeland that torture is always effective …
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 More Items: 
Isabel Gorst / Financial Times:
Medvedev takes apparent swipe at Putin
Discussion: Don Surber
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Sources: Rep. Meek to enter Senate race
Discussion: Swing State Project
Michael C. Moynihan / Reason:
Ceci n'est pas une Analogy
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post:
Would Dennis Ross Set the Stage for War with Iran?
Discussion: Mondoweiss
Agence France Presse:
Israel's Gaza onslaught boosts Islamists' popularity: analysts
Rick Moran / Right Wing Nut House:
(Nearly) Final 2008 Early Voting Statistics
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
 Earlier Items: 
Susanne M. Schafer / Associated Press:
Top Army recruiter weighs fat camp for recruits
Elana Schor / TPM Election Central:
Sanders Stands Up For Logic in Bushworld
The Sunday Leader Online:
And Then They Came For Me  —  No other profession calls …
Discussion: Guardian and Media Blog
Adam Cohen / New York Times:
Republicans' Latest Talking Point: The New Deal Failed
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Open Left
James Fallows:
Refining the point about GW Bush's final press conference