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12:35 AM ET, December 23, 2009

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 Top Items: 
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
House Democrat blames Pelosi, leaders for switch  —  Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith announced Tuesday that he's switching parties - saying he can no longer align himself “with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy and drives us further and further into debt.”
RELATED:
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
BREAKING: Rep. Parker Griffith switches to GOP  —  Rep. Parker Griffith, an Alabama Democrat is switching to the GOP today.  —  That is a huge blow to Barack Obama.  Griffith was an extremely endangered Democrat.  —  We should now hope him be an extremely endangered Republican in a primary.
Media Matters Action Network:
Rep. Griffith Was Already A Republican
Discussion: The Hill
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Republicans embrace Griffith
Discussion: Daily Kos
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Obama lists financial rescue as ‘most important thing’ of his first year  —  President Obama outlined Tuesday a first-year legislative record that he said rescued the economy and placed it on a path of long-term growth, even as he acknowledged that some unfinished items would probably …
RELATED:
Alex Koppelman / Salon:
Obama: “I didn't campaign on the public option”  —  Responding to criticism from the left, the president makes a dubious claim about his record  —  In an interview with the Washington Post that hit the Internet Tuesday afternoon, President Obama sought to defend himself from the criticism he's faced …
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
POTUS's outlook on black America
Charles Dharapak / Truthdig:
Michele Bachmann: Welfare Queen  —  Michele Bachmann has become well known for her anti-government tea-bagger antics, protesting health care reform and every other government “handout” as socialism.  What her followers probably don't know is that Rep. Bachmann is, to use that anti-government slur, something of a welfare queen.
RELATED:
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Poll: Bachmann Popular In Her District …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies
WTOP.com:
Obama makes ‘surprise’ call to Gov. Kaine  —  WASHINGTON - Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine received an unusual phone call while taking calls on WTOP's Ask the Governor program Tuesday.  —  It was President Barack Obama.  —  Kaine, unaware that caller “Barry from D.C.” would be Obama, reacted with surprise when the president said who he was.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
RELATED:
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
‘BARRY FROM D.C.’ DIALS KAINE ON AIR
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Capitol Confidential / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE: Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree  —  Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements?  The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House.
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
BREAKING: Mitch McConnell Surrenders  —  An ice storm is coming.  Some of the Republicans don't want to get stuck in D.C. for Christmas fighting for freedom.  —  So Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid have agreed not just to vote on the health care package on Thursday morning, but also to lift the debt ceiling.
RELATED:
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Final Senate healthcare vote set for 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Why I Went on Fox and Friends  —  I notice there is a diary up on Daily Kos attacking me for going on Fox & Friends.  Unsurprisingly, it doesn't say what I actually said:  —  In 2000, the Republicans passed Medicare Part D, and it had no negotiation for prescription drug prices.
Mark Lynas / Guardian:
How do I know China wrecked the climate deal?  I was in the room  —  As recriminations fly post-Copenhagen, one writer offers a fly-on-the-wall account of how talks failed  —  Copenhagen was a disaster.  That much is agreed.  But the truth about what actually happened is in danger …
Discussion: James Fallows and Pajamas Media
RELATED:
Gary Bauer / Weekly Standard:
The Myth of the Anti-Muslim Backlash  —  Hysteria hasn't swept the country since the Ft. Hood terrorist attack.  —  Backlash: a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change.  —  It has been more than a month since U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly murdered 14 people …
Mary Grabar / Pajamas Media:
Libertarians Need to Rethink Support for Drug Legalization  —  Does a man's death from swallowing a bag of pot during an arrest illustrate the evil of outlawing drugs?  No, just the opposite.  —  A truly sad story about a 23-year-old Panama City man dying while being subdued …
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 …
RELATED:
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Kristol: It Could Still Go Down  —  I've assumed for the last couple …
Erik Wemple / City Desk:
WaPo Sits on Eyewitness Account on Snowball Gun Incident  —  Washington Post editorial aide Stephen Lowman was at 14th and U on Saturday when the controversial snowball-fight-cum-police-indiscretion went down.  He wasn't there on assignment—he was just taking it all in.  —  And take it all in he did.
Maura Flynn / Big Government:
Build-A-Climate-Scare: Why You Should Boycott Build-A-Bear  —  Attention Santas:  —  This missive is directed at the guardians of, and donors to, tiny humans.  If you fall into that category you likely are already familiar with Build-A-Bear, a world-wide corporation that provides the most innocent of services.
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 …
National Nurses United / calnurses.org:
Nation's Largest RN Organization Says Healthcare Bill Cedes Too Much to Insurance Industry  —  The 150,000 member National Nurses United, the nation's largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S., today criticized the healthcare bill now advancing …
Fox News:
Nelson Says More Senators Seeking Special Treatment in Light of Nebraska Deal  —  Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who has faced a heap of criticism for appearing to trade his vote on health care for millions in federal Medicaid money, said he's considering asking that the Nebraska deal be stripped from the bill.
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Dems Lose Key Recruit  —  Businessman Jack McDonald (D) will drop out of the race against Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) today, robbing Dems of a wealthy recruit in the race against what could be a vulnerable GOPer.  —  McDonald, the former CEO of information technology firm Perficient Inc., will cite business reasons in a statement.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
After Coburn Asked Americans To Pray ‘Somebody’ Misses Health Care Vote, Inhofe Skips Today's Roll Call  —  Just before the Senate vote on the first of three procedural motions to move its health care reform bill toward final passage, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to urge Americans to pray …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Thoma / Economist's View:
Conducting Monetary Policy when Interest Rates Are Near Zero: Will it Work?
Discussion: TheMoneyIllusion
New York Times:
High School's Last Test
Discussion: The Quick and the Ed
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund
B. Daniel Blatt / GayPatriot:
2010 Grande Conservative Blogress Diva Official Ballot
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Bergen / The New Republic:
The Battle for Tora Bora
Lesley Clark / Naked Politics:
The Diaz-Balarts withdraw Charlie Crist endorsement
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Paul leads big
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Real Clear Politics