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1:45 PM ET, December 22, 2009


 Top Items: 
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Exclusive: Rep. Parker Griffith switches to GOP  —  POLITICO has learned that Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he's switching parties to become a Republican.  —  According to two senior GOP aides familiar with the decision …
The Hill:   Alabama Blue Dog Griffith to switch parties, become a Republican
Erick Erickson / RedState:
BREAKING: Rep. Parker Griffith switches to GOP
Club for Growth:
Democrat Rep. Parker Griffith (AL-05) Switches Parties
Discussion: The Caucus
Michelle Malkin:   Early Christmas gift: Alabama Democrat announces switch to GOP
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Reid Bill Says Future Congresses Cannot Repeal Parts of Reid Bill  —  Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight.  First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill …
Erick Erickson / RedState:
We Are No Longer a Nation of Laws.  Senate Sets Up Requirement for Super-Majority to Ever Repeal Obamacare  —  If ever the people of the United States rise up and fight over passage of Obamacare, Harry Reid must be remembered as the man who sacrificed the dignity of his office for a few pieces of silver.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
It Could Still Go Down  —  I've assumed for the last couple of days that the Democrats would succeed in passing the health care bill, and that our job was to make sure it turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory.  Now I'm not so sure the legislation can't still be derailed.  —  Two reasons:
Discussion: Washington Post
Megan McArdle:   The Process of Passing Health Care
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Reid asks Senate to remain civil as chamber edges toward final vote  —  The Senate early Tuesday morning edged closer to approving a massive healthcare bill.  —  Senators approved a series of procedural votes Tuesday morning that brings them closer to a Christmas Eve vote on healthcare reform.
Discussion: The Note and The Page
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Reid: Senate needs to have a ‘Rodney King’ moment
Discussion: TPM LiveWire
Quinnipiac University:
U.S. Voters Oppose Health Care Plan By Wide Margin, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Voters Say 3-1, Plan Should Not Pay For Abortions  —  As the Senate prepares to vote on health care reform, American voters “mostly disapprove” of the plan 53 - 36 percent and disapprove 56 …
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-RNC chiefs rip Steele speaking fees  —  Party chairman charging $8,000 to $20,000  —  Michael S. Steele, Republican National Committee chairman, is using his title to market himself for paid appearances nationwide, personally profiting from speeches with fees of up to $20,000 at colleges …
Natalie Angier / New York Times:
Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too  —  I stopped eating pork about eight years ago, after a scientist happened to mention that the animal whose teeth most closely resemble our own is the pig.  Unable to shake the image of a perky little pig flashing me a brilliant George Clooney smile …
Discussion: Shot in the Dark and The Awl
Lesley Clark / Naked Politics:
The Diaz-Balarts withdraw Charlie Crist endorsement  —  Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart have pulled their endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate.  —  Lincoln offered few details as to why, just that Crist had “left us no alternative and he knows why.”
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Diaz-Balarts withdraw support of Crist in Florida Senate race
Discussion: GOP 12
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Protocol Society  —  In the 19th and 20th centuries we made stuff: corn and steel and trucks.  Now, we make protocols: sets of instructions.  A software program is a protocol for organizing information.  A new drug is a protocol for organizing chemicals.  Wal-Mart produces protocols for moving and marketing consumer goods.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:   Go, Arnold!  —  The Other Arnold, The Economator Arnold Kling …
Peter Whoriskey / Washington Post:
States' jobless funds are being drained in recession  —  The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Paul leads big  —  If there was any doubt Rand Paul is a serious candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky it can be cast away.  Our first poll of the race finds him leading Trey Grayson 44-25.  —  Paul is, as the conventional wisdom suggests, drawing his strongest support …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Top House Liberal Suggests He Could Accept Deal On Senate Bill  —  In a sign that House liberals may be bracing to swallow much of the Senate bill with minimal changes, a key House progressive suggested in an interview with me that he might be able to support a bill without a public component …
Todd Woody / New York Times:
Desert Vistas vs. Solar Power  —  AMBOY, Calif. — Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
POTUS's outlook on black America  —  President Barack Obama is seen in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.  AP  —  President Barack Obama deflected criticism Monday that he has not been attentive enough to the African-American community, telling American Urban Radio Networks …
Discussion: Politics Daily
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 More Items: 
Anthony Faiola / Washington Post:
In Ireland's deep budget cuts, an omen for a heavily indebted United States?
Discussion: Beat the Press
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Q3 Growth Rate Revised Downward to 2.2 Percent
Discussion: Reuters and Prairie Weather
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Frates / The Politico:
'Twas the Night Before Christmas — Republican style
Discussion: The Note
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Trial tarnishes Whitman's CEO glow
Discussion: GOP 12
David Aaronovitch / Times of London:
Copenhagen: well that made us think, didn't it?
Discussion: marbury, Guardian and normblog
David Saltonstall / NY Daily News:
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani expected to announce Tuesday he will …