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2:40 PM ET, December 26, 2009


 Top Items: 
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Hoekstra Quickly Politicizes Attempted Terrorist Attack, Suggests Obama's Clueless On National Security  —  Yesterday, the White House announced that there had been “an attempted act of terrorism” aboard a trans-Atlantic Northwest Airlines flight arriving from Amsterdam as it was preparing to land in Detroit.
Samuel Goldsmith / NY Daily News:
Father of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, Nigerian terror suspect in Flight 253 attack, warned U.S.  —  The terror suspect who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane is the son of a Nigerian banker who alerted U.S. authorities to his “extreme religious views” months ago, it was reported Saturday.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
PETE HOEKSTRA, SHAMELESS BUFFOON.... Speculation about terrorist plots based on limited information is a fool's game.  We know very little about Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempts on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 yesterday, though there are some pretty obvious questions about how he got materials on board …
Tom Liddy / New York Post:
Terror hero: I didn't hesitate  —  A Dutch airline passenger told The Post how he leapt into action when an alleged Muslim terrorist tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner packed with 300 people just moments before landing.  —  Chaos erupted as alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab …
Discussion: Power Line and Associated Press
New York Times:
Passengers Took Plane's Survival Into Own Hands  —  Despite extensive spending since 2001 on intelligence and counterterrorism programs, sophisticated airport scanners and elaborate watch lists, it was something simpler that averted disaster on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit: alert and courageous passengers and crew members.
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty and The Daily Dish
New York Times:
Terror Attempt Seen as Man Tries to Ignite Device on Jet  —  A Nigerian man tried to ignite an explosive device aboard a transatlantic Northwest Airlines flight as the plane prepared to land in Detroit on Friday, in an incident the United States believes was “an attempted act of terrorism,” …
New York Times:
Restrictions Rise After Terrorism Attempt  —  Transportation authorities began imposing tighter security measures at airports on Saturday and ordered new restrictions governing the activities of passengers during flights as investigators conducted searches to learn more about the Nigerian …
Discussion: The Agitator
Soraya Roberts / NY Daily News:
Jasper Schuringa subdued alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Northwest Airlines 253  —  The passenger who tackled a suspected terrorist on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 said Saturday that he's “happy” to be alive.  —  Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam …
Man Attempts to Set Off Explosives on Plane, Law Enforcement Officials Say
Sebastian Rotella / Los Angeles Times:
Plane incident called an act of terrorism
Explosive device ignited aboard U.S.-bound airliner
Michelle Malkin:
Incident on NWA Flight 253? …
Discussion: The Hill and Riehl World View
BBC:   ‘Bomb attack bid’ on US airliner
Ezra Klein:
The rise of the filibuster: An interview with Barbara Sinclair  —  Barbara Sinclair is a political scientist at UCLA who specializes in Congress.  She's also one of relatively few scholars to have quantified the rise in the filibuster over the previous few decades.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Rise of the Filibuster
Ezra Klein:
After health-care reform, Senate reform
Discussion: Alas, a blog
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Obama Way  —  Every presidency is the subject of competing caricatures.  But almost a year into his first term, there's something particularly elusive about Barack Obama's political identity.  He's a bipartisan bridge-builder — unless he's a polarizing ideologue.
Discussion: TPMCafe and marbury
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Obama falls short on pledge to curtail earmarks, fiscal hawks say  —  Fiscal hawks in Congress say President Barack Obama hasn't followed through on a pledge to lower federal spending on local projects.  —  Earmarks are expected to total nearly $12 billion in fiscal 2010, according to fiscal watchdog groups.
Discussion: Hot Air and Riehl World View
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Catholic Group Supports Senate on Abortion Aid  —  WASHINGTON — In an apparent split with Roman Catholic bishops over the abortion-financing provisions of the proposed health care overhaul, the nation's Catholic hospitals have signaled that they back the Senate's compromise on the issue …
Alissa J. Rubin / New York Times:
Taliban Shows Video of Captured G.I.  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban released a video of a captured American soldier on Friday, the second to surface since he was seized in southern Afghanistan about six months ago.  —  Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Idaho, was captured in late June in Paktika Province …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
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 More Items: 
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Kucinich: Generals who spoke publicly on Afghan strategy should lose jobs
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
Earth-Friendly Elements, Mined Destructively