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11:25 PM ET, December 2, 2009


 Top Items: 
The Caucus:
White House Blocks Testimony on Party Crashers  —  Updated |  10:22 p.m. The White House on Wednesday invoked the separation of powers to keep Desiree Rogers, President Obama's social secretary, from testifying on Capitol Hill about how a couple of aspiring reality television show celebrities crashed …
Josh Rogin / The Cable:
Exclusive: White House aides insisted F-22 be removed from Obama speech venue  —  When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter plane in the hanger.  But according to multiple sources …
Robin Givhan / Washington Post:
Rogers's unwanted new guest: Scrutiny  —  Social secretary's managerial style faces criticism in wake of her first state dinner  —  On the night of the Obamas' first state dinner, White House social secretary Desirée Rogers glided past the rope line of press and photographers at 6:53 p.m. …
CBS News:
White House: July 2011 Is Locked In for Afghanistan Withdrawal  —  Posted by Chip Reid During the Senate Armed Services hearing today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. on whether the July 2011 date for beginning to withdrawal troops is “locked in.”
Glynnis MacNicol / Mediaite:
Will Desiree Rogers Be The White House's Next Van Jones?
Discussion: Time, Swampland and The New Republic
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
E-MAILS: Read Salahis' Exchange Over White House ‘Invitation’
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Boxer: Hackers should face criminal probe over ‘Climategate’  —  Leaked e-mails allegedly undermining climate change science should be treated as a criminal matter, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday afternoon.  —  Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee …
Katherine Goldstein / The Huffington Post:
ClimateGate: The 7 Biggest Lies About The Supposed “Global Warming Hoax”  —  A few weeks ago, hackers broke into the emails of one of the Climate Research Unit of The University of East Anglia, and climate skeptics have been having a field day making mountains out of molehills about what the emails contain.
Suzanne Goldenberg / Guardian:
Climate change talks must fail, says top scientist
Discussion: EU Referendum and NewsReal Blog
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
A reason to be skeptical
Discussion: The Foundry
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
New York State Senate Votes Down Gay Marriage Bill  —  ALBANY — The State Senate defeated a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage, after an emotional debate that touched on civil rights, family and history.  The vote means that the bill, pushed by Gov. David A. Paterson …
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
Gay Marriage Fails, 24-38
Rick Karlin / Capitol Confidential:
This just in: Gay marriage on tap in Senate
CNN:   As N.Y. lawmakers nix legal gay marriage, poll indicates voters support it
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Senator Moves to Hold Up Bernanke Confirmation  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont said on Wednesday that he would try to block the Senate from confirming Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.  —  The move is unlikely to derail Mr. Bernanke's reappointment …
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders:
Discussion: Firedoglake and Open Left
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Sanders places hold on Bernanke nomination
Tiger Woods:
Tiger comments on current events  —  I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.  I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.  I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.  I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family.
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Franken fallout has GOP fuming  —  Republican senators feel burned by Al Franken — and not by his old jokes.  —  The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn't doing much to stop them.
Michael Crowley / The New Republic:
The Day After: A Hollow Withdrawal Pledge Comes Into Focus  —  Barack Obama's aides can pat themselves on the back today; they have succeeded in spinning the president's new troop surge as a simultaneous plan for leaving Afghanistan.  And I can see honest logic there: By delivering a hard punch …
Tom Hayden / The Nation:
Obama Announces Afghanistan Escalation
Discussion: MyDD
Ezra Klein:
If you give away the public option, what do you get?  —  Most of the energy in the Senate right now is being directed into a mad rush for compromise proposals on the public option.  This reflects the sense that the right compromise on the public option is a compromised public option.
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
Changing the goalposts on healthcare reform
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and TalkLeft
Spencer Morgan / New York Observer:
Rrrowl!  Beware Cougar's Young Niece, the Cheetah  —  The cheetah is most often a just-one-of-the-guys girl.  That's her cover.  In nature, a cheetah will lurk in the high grass and use her spots as camouflage.  —  I called up an accomplished and self-described cougar named Angela …
Erin Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Anderson Cooper's Ratings Plummet  —  Anderson Cooper is fading in the ratings.  —  The respected CNN anchor has seen his numbers slip significantly through the past year.  His 10 p.m. show, “Anderson Cooper 360,” has declined 62% in total viewers and 70% in adults 25-54 from November 2008, according to Nielsen figures.
Vidya Rao /
‘Family Ties’ mom: ‘I am a lesbian’  —  Meredith Baxter says she has been dating women for the past seven years  —  For seven years, actress Meredith Baxter has been hiding a secret.  —  Now Baxter, who played the devoted hippie mom constantly butting heads with her conservative kids on “Family Ties,” is making a public admission.
Kos / Daily Kos:
Sens. Feinstein and Durbins attack on citizen journalism  —  The Senate is currently considering a media shield law, pushed by media outfits that want federal protection for their journalists.  —  The legislation originally had a broad definition of “journalist”, but that was curtailed thanks …
Scott McLemee / Inside Higher Ed:
Decline of the West  —  Ten years ago, in the final pages of a collection of his selected writings, Cornel West gave readers a look at the work he had in progress, or at least in mind, for the years ahead.  One would be “a major treatment of African-American literature and modern Greek literature.”
Discussion: First Thoughts and Guardian
Michelle Malkin:
Unbelievable update: The crappiest NYTimes column on Obamacare just got crappier  —  Today, I did something that Pulitzer Prize-winning NYTimes columnist Nick Kristof apparently didn't do: I talked to a spokesman at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.
Adam Ciralsky / Vanity Fair:
Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy  —  Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial …
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 More Items: 
Elizabeth Weil / New York Times:
A More Perfect Union
Discussion: Politics Daily and The Awl
Bree Palin:
Sarah Palin's Fee Schedule - Found!
Gordonskene / Crooks and Liars:
And Thirty Years Ago This Month Somebody Else Had A Great Idea About Afghanistan
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Ken Whitehouse / Nashville Post:
Tanner talks about retirement decision
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
WashTimes cutting staff up to 40 percent
David Frum / FrumForum:
Obama Passed His Test, Now Republicans Face Ours
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Morning After  —  I think this strategy is doomed.
Nicole Albano / Market Wire:
Sarah Palin Strikes New Ground as Keynote Speaker at International Bowl Expo 2010
Discussion: Bree Palin
Gabor Steingart / Spiegel Online:
Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic