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11:15 AM ET, December 27, 2009


 Top Items: 
Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight  —  Screening Machines May Need to Be Replaced; Al Qaeda Aware of ‘Achilles heel’  —  Officials now say tragedy was only averted on Northwest flight 253 because a makeshift detonator failed to work properly.
Jenni Russell / Times of London:
Airline bomber was barred from Britain  —  David Leppard, Chris Gourlay and Times Online  —  The son of a prominent Nigerian banker, who allegedly attempted to blow up a transatlantic flight over America, was barred from returning to Britain earlier this year.
Investigators: Northwest Bomb Plot Planned by al Qaeda in Yemen  —  Officials Say Bomb Materials Sewn Into Suspect's Underwear by Top Terror Bomb Maker  —  The plot to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit was organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen who apparently sewed bomb materials …
Associated Press:
Airline passengers see tighter security
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Four ‘shot dead’ in Iran protests  —  Elderly man among dead, claims reformist website, as security forces clamp down on holy day marches across Iran  —  At least four people were reported dead today after Iranian security forces opened fire on opposition protesters who took to the streets in Tehran for a religious ceremony.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and NPR Blogs
Associated Press:
Witnesses Report Fierce Clashes at Tehran Protest  —  TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital Sunday, killing at least four people in the fiercest clashes in months, opposition Web sites and witnesses said.
Iran News Now:
Live-blog: Ashura in Iran - December 27, 2009  —  This is a live-blog report on clashes occurring in Iran on December 27, during the Shia mourning day of Ashura.  As reports come in, they will be placed at the top of this page.  To read this in chronological order it must be read from the bottom up.
Howie / The Jawa Report:
This Will Be a Day Long Remembered
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Why The President Went Golfing Today  —  In his Farenheit 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore juxtaposes images and words of a terrorist attack in Israel with President Bush's first words about the incident, spoken to a press pool on a golf course, with him leaning casually against a tree.
Steve Marmel / The Huffington Post:
Vacation's Over, Mr. President.  —  What is wrong with this picture?  —  It's December 23rd - I lug my tired butt to the airport, ready to leave for vacation.  Carrying a bottle of very nice wine, I have to leave my place in the security line as I can't bring it as a carry-on, check it in a bag …
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Xmas bomb bid complicates Gitmo plan  —  “I'd expect Yemen's handling of returned Guantanamo detainees to come under intense U.S. scrutiny,” said Matthew Waxman, a Columbia law professor who was an assistant Defense secretary for detainee affairs under President George W. Bush.
Discussion: Commentary and Outside The Beltway
New York Times:
Officials Point to Suspect's Claim of Qaeda Ties in Yemen
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
White House: Obama will continue to ‘actively monitor’ airline attack probe
Discussion: Power Line, The Politico and ABCNEWS
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Dems to W.H.: Drop cap-and-trade  —  Bruised by the health care debate and worried about what 2010 will bring, moderate Senate Democrats are urging the White House to give up now on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill next year.  —  “I am communicating that in every way I know how,” …
Discussion: Hot Air and Scared Monkeys
Gordon Ginsberg / Firedoglake:
Why The President's Inability to Lead Highlights the Value of FDL's Reachout to “Strange Bedfellows”  —  The times call for a leader of Churchillian or Rooseveltian magnitude; what we have instead is a cautious risk-averse manager.  Bold progressives must fill the leadership vacuum in order …
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama scores well for first year on ethics, say watchdog groups  —  President Barack Obama scores well among ethics watchdog groups in his first year in office, though they'd still like to see more from the president.  —  Obama has wielded the power of the White House to craft an executive order …
Ezra Klein:
End the filibuster!  An interview with Sen. Tom Harkin  —  Sen. Tom Harkin has served in the Senate since 1984, and currently chairs the influential Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  Before coming to the Senate, he served in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1984.
Discussion: The Hill, MyDD and Alas, a blog
Ezra Klein:
How the filibuster increases cynicism: An interview with Andy Stern
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
TSA Making Flying More Miserable  —  Not surprisingly, TSA is going to make flying even more aggravating in a stupid overreaction to the Detroit terror plot. … This is mind-numbingly stupid.  As Radley Balko notes, these measures “wouldn't even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend.
Discussion: Israel Matzav and
New York Times:
Restrictions Rise After Terrorism Attempt
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 More Items: 
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan
James Hamilton / Econbrowser:
Lost decade for stocks
Discussion: Greg Mankiw's Blog
Paul Krugman:
Numerical notes on health care reform
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
‘He Just Does What He Thinks Is Right’
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:
The World's District Attorney
Discussion: Commentary and Emptywheel