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5:25 AM ET, December 27, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
New York Times:
Officials Point to Suspect's Claim of Qaeda Ties in Yemen  —  WASHINGTON — Federal authorities on Saturday charged a 23-year-old Nigerian man with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, and officials said the suspect told them he had obtained explosive chemicals …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Investigators: Terrorist wore suicide underwear made by top AQ bombmaker in Yemen  —  In the war on terror, we've seen suicide vests and suicide belts.  We've even seen suicide rucksacks.  Now, the top Yemeni bombmaker for al-Qaeda has the latest in fashion for radical jihadists looking …
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.
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: Power Line
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 …
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.
Samuel Goldsmith / NY Daily News:
Father of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, Nigerian terror suspect …
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
TSA Making Flying More Miserable
Discussion: Israel Matzav and
Associated Press:
Airline passengers see tighter security
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Fox News:   Official: U.S. Knew for 2 Years Suspect Could Have Terror Ties
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 …
Ezra Klein:
After health-care reform, Senate reform  —  This column appears on the cover of Sunday's Outlook section.  —  On Dec. 8, 1964, Mike Manatos wrote a letter that explains what's wrong with the Senate in 2009.  This wasn't, of course, the subject of his letter.
Discussion: RedState and Alas, a blog
Ezra Klein:
The rise of the filibuster: An interview with Barbara Sinclair
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Rise of the Filibuster
Paul Krugman:
Numerical notes on health care reform  —  A couple of notes to address complaints about the Senate bill from the left and the center.  (There's no use addressing complaints from the right; in general, the safest thing when dealing with crazy people is to avoid eye contact.)
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Ezra Klein:
How the filibuster increases cynicism: An interview with Andy Stern  —  Andy Stern is president of the Service Employees International Union.  —  You've recently begun talking about the problem of the Senate when you talk about the problems facing health-care reform.
James Hamilton / Econbrowser:
Lost decade for stocks  —  Why were the aughts so nasty for stocks?  —  The U.S. ended the decade more or less where it began in terms of total employment.  —  Source: FRED.  —  The owners of capital fared no better, with the nominal S&P500 stock price index down 20% for the decade.
Discussion: Greg Mankiw's Blog
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 …
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
‘He Just Does What He Thinks Is Right’
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
For First Time, Minority Vote Was a Majority
Orville Buddo / The Caucus:
Poli-Books Best-Seller List
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:
The World's District Attorney
Discussion: Emptywheel
 Earlier Items: 
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
White House: Obama will continue to ‘actively monitor’ airline attack probe
Discussion: The Politico and ABCNEWS
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
Obama faces tough fight in Senate to deliver on climate pledges made overseas
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Obama Way  —  Every presidency is the subject of competing caricatures.
Discussion: TPMCafe and marbury
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Obama falls short on pledge to curtail earmarks, fiscal hawks say