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9:15 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.
Lara Jakes / Associated Press:
Advisers say Obama preparing to close Gitmo
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.
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Dem senators to swear in Burris  —  The Roland Burris saga is over, as Democratic Senate leaders have accepted his credentials and will swear him in as the junior senator from Illinois by the end of this week.  —  The decision ends an embarrassing chapter in Democratic politics and allows …
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Senate Democrats expect to seat Burris
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 …
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 …
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.
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
NYT reporter warns of one-term Obama  —  White House reporters for The New York Times predict that the market collapse will force President-elect Barack Obama to abandon for now many of his campaign promises.  —  If his stimulus plan “doesn't work out, he may very well be a one-term president …
Martina Stewart / CNN:   What will Obama do with his millions of online ‘friends’?
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Obama to Address House Republican Conference
Discussion: and DownWithTyranny!
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.
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.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Blackwell: Gay ‘Compulsion’ Can be ‘Restrained’
Discussion: The Daily Dish and D-Day
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: Macsmind, Spin Cycle and Wonkette
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
On Analogies  —  I did a post the other day that used an anecdote from my real life to illustrate a point about the concept of self-defense.  Since the point was relevant to the debate over the fighting in Gaza, I tried to explicitly say that I didn't want the story to be read as an analogy since …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Michael C. Moynihan / Reason:   Ceci n'est pas une Analogy
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
Mike Scarcella / The BLT:
Process Server on Chief Justice Roberts: ‘Definitely a Gentleman’  —  There was no clandestine surveillance, no hiding behind bushes or in a parked car.  —  Daniel Portnoy says he walked up the driveway and knocked on the front door.  The homeowner opened the door.
Discussion: Althouse
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Huckabee: I'm not ‘pro-gay.’  —  Huckabee: I'm not ‘pro-gay.’»  —  During the presidential campaign, far-right conservative columnist Ann Coulter made a hobby of criticizing former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee as insufficiently conservative, including claiming that the virulently anti-gay Huckabee was “pro-sodomy.”
Discussion: TVNewser and Hot Air
Gaza War Protest  —  and Anti-Israel Rally  —  a large rally and march took place in San Francisco to protest Israel's invasion of Gaza.  The event was one of a series of similar events held in various cities around the country on the same day, and was organized by ANSWER along with several other far-left, Arab and Muslim groups.
Garrett Epps / The Atlantic Online:
The Founders' Great Mistake  —  FOR THE PAST eight years, George W. Bush has treated the White House much as Kenneth Grahame's Mr. Toad treated a new automobile—like a shiny toy to be wrecked by racing the motor, spinning smoke from the tires, and smashing through farmyards until the wheels come off.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and FP Passport
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.
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 …
Bill Roggio / Weekly Standard:
A Media Ban Would Do Average Joes A Disservice  —  There has been no shortage of coverage of Joe the Plumber's foray into reporting on the Israeli military operation in Gaza.  As someone who started reporting on the war as an independent reporter, I could understand PJTV's decision …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Political Machine
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 …
(Nearly) Final 2008 Early Voting Statistics  —  In the presidential election of 2008, approximately 39.7 million or 30% of all votes were cast prior to Election Day, November 4, 2008.  This is a significant increase from 20% in 2004 and part of the upward trend experienced since 1992, when 7% of all votes were cast early.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
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 More Items: 
Gideon Levy / Haaretz:
Things one sees from The Hague
Discussion: Jeffrey Goldberg and Israel Matzav
Jay Rosen / PressThink:
Audience Atomization Overcome: Why the Internet Weakens the Authority of the Press
Discussion: Scripting News and Vox Popoli
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
Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post:
Would Dennis Ross Set the Stage for War with Iran?
Discussion: Firedoglake
Rick Moran / Right Wing Nut House:
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
 Earlier Items: 
Obama's campaign rhetoric runs into reality
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