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7:25 PM ET, January 16, 2009


 Top Items: 
Blogs and Stories:
Why Two Bush Appointees Are Refusing to Leave  —  The Mess Condi Left for Hillary by Mort Zuckerman  —  Blogs and Stories  —  Two U.S. attorneys appointed by Dubya are refusing to leave the Justice Department when Obama takes office.  Their explanation: they've got too many corrupt Democrats to prosecute!
Freeh: Holder was ‘used’ in Rich pardon  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former FBI Director Louis Freeh said Friday that Attorney General-designate Eric Holder allowed himself “to be used” by the Clinton White House in the pardon process for then-fugitive financier Marc Rich in January 2001.
Discussion: Spin Cycle and Salon
Joe Conason / Salon:
The real reason Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich  —  Eric Holder is sworn in at his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill.  —  From beginning to end, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Eric Holder's nomination as attorney general observed …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Schumer aide on inside track for U.S. Attorney in Manhattan
Discussion: Spin Cycle
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Exit Bush, Shoes Flying  —  Except for Richard Nixon, no president since Harry Truman has left office more unloved than George W. Bush.  Truman's rehabilitation took decades.  Bush's will come sooner.  Indeed, it has already begun.  The chief revisionist?  Barack Obama.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Forgive and Forget?  —  Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration.  “I don't believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”
Marc Ambinder:
Obama On The Employee Free Choice Act  —  Here's a transcribed portion of President-elect Barack Obama's interview yesterday with the Washington Post:
Washington Post:
Pragmatist-in-Chief  —  PRESIDENT-ELECT Barack Obama came …
Discussion: Commentary, AmSpecBlog and The Corner
Amanda Carpenter /
Dem Infighting  —  A reputable source tells Big Labor is …
Discussion: RedState
Marc Ambinder:
Provocation of The Day: Coleman Could Still Win  —  In some ways, Al Franken's 225 vote lead the Minnesota Senate race is an illusory number.  That's his margin after the state canvassing board completed its recount.  Why isn't he in the Senate?  —  Thank Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
New York Post:
NO DANCING!  —  SEN. John McCain might regret choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, but an even worse decision will deprive his fellow Americans of what would have been the best season of “Dancing With the Stars” ever.  Our impeccably placed source says, “Just before Thanksgiving …
Ernie Singer / Arutz Sheva:
“Iranian Unit” Destroyed, Hamas was Suprised  —  ( The so-called “Iranian Unit” of Hamas has been destroyed, according to Gaza sources cited Thursday by the Haaretz daily.  The sources said most of the unit's 100 members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood of Gaza City.
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Rescue of Banks Hints at Nationalization  —  WASHINGTON — Last fall, as Federal Reserve and Treasury Department officials rode to the rescue of one financial institution after another, they took great pains to avoid doing anything that smacked of nationalizing banks.  —  They may no longer have that luxury.
Afy_joe / AFY_Joe's Amplify Diary:
Federal tax dollars are going to clowns... literally.  CLOWNS.  —  Yes, literally clowns.  And not just just any clowns.  Clowns who teach middle schoolers sex education!  —  The good folks at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland were kind enough to send this info to me touting the work …
Jeff Coen / Chicago Breaking News:
Governor's lawyers quit impeachment trial  —  The legal team that has represented embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich in impeachment proceedings in Springfield has stepped down in protest before the governor's trial in the Illinois Senate, the Tribune has learned.
Discussion: Law Blog, Clout St and Emptywheel
Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times:
California controller to suspend tax refunds, welfare checks  —  John Chiang announces that his office will suspend $3.7 billion in payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, as a result of the state's cash crisis.  Student grants are also affected.  —  Reporting from Sacramento …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hot Air
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Report Finds Major U.S. Companies Have Offshore Tax Havens  —  A majority of America's largest publicly traded companies and the U.S. government's largest federal contractors — including some receiving millions in federal bailout money — use multiple subsidiaries in offshore tax havens …
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Obama Pledges Reform of Social Security, Medicare Programs  —  President-Elect Says He'll Reshape Social Security, Medicare Programs  —  President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare “bargain” with the American people, saying …
Hollie McKay / Fox News:
Tom Hanks Says Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 ‘Un-American’  —  LOS ANGELES —  Tom Hanks Says Mormon Supporters of Prop-8 “Un-American”  —  Tom Hanks, Executive Producer for HBO's controversial polygamist series “Big Love,” made his feelings toward the Mormon Church's involvement …
Daniel Libit / The Politico:
It's over: Bush staffers make exits  —  The president will be the president until 12 noon Tuesday, but most of his employees will be gone by the close of business Friday.  —  They'll turn in their BlackBerrys, laptops, building passes and gym keys.  —  And by the time the weekend is out …
Associated Press:
Sources: Obama ready to ban harsh interrogations  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to prohibit the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques by ordering the CIA to follow military rules …
This Miracle Brought to You by America's Unions  —  They're calling it a miracle—the successful landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson and subsequent rescue of all 155 passengers.  They're detailing the heroism of all involved, starting with the pilot and including cabin crew, ferry crews, and first responders.
James Fallows:
In case you were wondering, about that airplane in the Hudson  —  Yes, it is right to view the pilot, CB Sullenberger, as a hero for the mental composure and technical skill he showed after he (reportedly) lost power in both engines.  * Plus to celebrate the combination of luck and teamwork …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Jules Crittenden
Associated Press:
Circuit City to close 567 remaining US stores  —  Bankrupt Circuit City Stores Inc., unable to work out a sale of the company, said Friday it will go out of business — closing its 567 U.S. stores and cutting 30,000 jobs.  —  The nation's second-biggest consumer electronics retailer …
Discussion: Donklephant
Richard Norton-Taylor / Guardian:
Video shows proof of phosphorus bombs in Gaza  —  Video showing injuries consistent with the use of white phosphorus shells has been filmed inside hospitals treating Palestinian wounded in Gaza City.  —  Contact with the shell remnants causes severe burns, sometimes burning the skin to the bone …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Dawson pledges to becomes Obama's and Democrats' ‘worst nightmare’  —  For all the talk of a new era of cooperation in Washington, candidates for chairman of the RNC — the ultimate partisan job, after all — are having none of it.  —  In this new video, South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson …
Discussion: Salon and Comedy Central
David Brooks / New York Times:
An Economy of Faith and Trust  —  Once there was just Newtonian physics and the world seemed neat and mechanical.  Then quantum physics came along and revealed that deep down things are much weirder than they seem.  Something similar is now happening with public policy.
Discussion: The Other McCain and Commentary
Daniel Libit / The Politico:
King: Obama ‘bizarre’ to use ‘Hussein’  —  Apologize?  Not so much.  —  But Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who last March predicted Al Qaida would be “dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama were elected president, now concedes that the dynamic has merely “shifted” on the terrorist front.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Did Cheney nod off during Bush's farewell address?  »  —  Last night during PBS's coverage of President Bush's farewell address to the nation, for a brief moment, the camera panned to Vice President Cheney, who appeared to momentarily doze off.  But it seems that he quickly caught himself and then sat upright in his chair.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Perception of Time  —  Interesting stuff from Tom Vanderbilt: … Among other things, this is important because I think improving the level of objective and subjective service people get from the bus is important to our transportation future.  Ultimately, I think rail is essential …
Center for American Progress:
Re-energizing the Economy  —  The U.S. economy has gone from bad to worse to worst over the past year.  The current unemployment rate of 7.2 percent is the highest in 15 years, with more layoffs likely.  Major companies have declared bankruptcy, while others teeter on the brink.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Pepsi chief guest at Obama foreign policy dinner  —  Indian-born and educated Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi was a guest at a small dinner last Thursday with Barack Obama and a handful of foreign policy experts and top aides, a source said.  —  Laura Rozen reported last night on the dinner with experts specializing in Iran and South Asia.
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 More Items: 
Marcus Chown / New Scientist:
Our world may be a giant hologram
Stuart Elliott / New York Times:
‘Open Here’ to Peek at Esquire's Articles and Ad
Discussion: Gawker
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
Microsoft CEO, Yahoo Chairman Meet in New York
Discussion: DealBook and Silicon Alley Insider
Sarah Lovenheim / Capitol Briefing:
Kaufman Replaces Biden in the Senate
Real Clear Politics:
Stimulating Our Way to Rock Bottom
 Earlier Items: 
Cliff Mason / Millennial Money with Cliff Mason:
Is Now The Time To Legalize Drugs?
Mary Jordan / Washington Post:
Americans, Feeling the Love
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Axelrod Gives Up Ownership Stake in Consulting Firm
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and
Joel Kurtzman / Wall Street Journal:
Mexico's Instability Is a Real Problem
Megan McArdle:
Stimulate us!  —  A few days ago, Obama was promising that 95% …
Discussion: Commentary and AmSpecBlog