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12:15 PM ET, December 28, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
Explosive on Flight 253 Is Among Most Powerful  —  Sewn into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a powerful plastic explosive, the authorities say.  —  Had Mr. Abdulmutallab, sitting in seat 19A of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Friday from Amsterdam to Detroit …
RELATED:
Washington Wire:
Napolitano Reverses Course, Says Air Security Did NOT Work  —  A day after saying “the system worked” — and being pressed by CNN's Candy Crowley about how exactly that was the case — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano changed tack Monday and said that the U.S. air-travel security net …
Washington Post:
Uninvestigated terrorism warning about Detroit suspect called not unusual  —  When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father in Nigeria reported concern over his son's “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue.
Eileen Sullivan / Associated Press:
Napolitano concedes airline security system failed  —  WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded Monday that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watchlist with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
New York Times:
Security System Failed, Napolitano Acknowledges  —  WASHINGTON — Backtracking from a widely criticized assertion over the weekend, the secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said in a televised interview on Monday that the thwarted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner …
Discussion: Megan McArdle, Swampland and Hit & Run
Jon Gambrell / Associated Press:
Terror suspect's family sought, got no help
Discussion: Power Line and Atlas Shrugs
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
GOP accuses White House of ‘stonewalling’ terror attempt inquiries
Discussion: Raw Story and The Hill
Nick Allen / Telegraph:
Detroit terror attack: second Nigerian arrested on Amsterdam flight
New York Times:
U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion  —  WASHINGTON — In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.  —  A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
The Terror This Time  —  Janet Napolitano says the system worked.  No, we were brave and lucky.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  A U.S. government that has barred the phrase “war on terror” has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt.
ABCNEWS:
Abdulmutallab: More Like Me In Yemen  —  Accused Northwest Bomber Says More Bombers On the Way; Al Qaeda Promises to Hit Americans  —  American officials have cause to worry there may be more al Qaeda-trained young men in Yemen planning to bring down American jets.
Martin Fletcher / Times of London:
At least eight dead in Tehran street battles  —  At least eight anti-government protesters, including a nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iran's opposition leader, were shot dead yesterday as the smouldering confrontation between the regime and the so-called Green Movement finally erupted.
RELATED:
Art Beast / The Daily Beast:
Could the Mullahs Fall This Time?  — Home - Cheat sheet …
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty
Times of London:
Is this Iran's Berlin Wall moment?
BBC:
Iran protesters in fresh clashes
Discussion: Informed Comment and Gawker
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
“Political Winners” Circle Filled by Figures Close to Obama  —  Americans divided in labeling Sarah Palin as a political winner or loser  —  PRINCETON, NJ — In Americans' estimation, the top three political winners of 2009 are all women closely linked with the Obama administration …
RELATED:
Mark Whitaker / Washington Post:
Lessons from Obama's first year  —  Seeking to make sense of Barack Obama's first year as president — and why he has come across as competent but less magical than many Americans hoped — I've been rereading his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father.”  —  To revisit that memoir is to be reminded …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Winners and Losers: Political toll of 2009
Discussion: D.C. Now and The Politico
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Big Zero  —  Maybe we knew, at some unconscious, instinctive level, that it would be an era best forgotten.  Whatever the reason, we got through the first decade of the new millennium without ever agreeing on what to call it.  The aughts?  The naughties?  Whatever.
RELATED:
E.S. Browning / Wall Street Journal:
Adjusted for Inflation, Dow's Gains Are Puny
Discussion: Freakonomics and Beat the Press
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
MAX BAUCUS'S SPEECH UNDER CONSERVATIVE FIRE  —  “DRUNK WITH POWER?  TOP DEM SLURS ON SENATE FLOOR...” reads the Drudge Report headline.  —  Newsbusters.org writes: “How can one explain this incredibly bizarre performance by Max Baucus on the Senate floor?
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Mary Matalin claims President Bush ‘inherited’ the September 11th terror attacks.  —  On CNN today, GOP strategist and former Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin argued that President Obama is speaking too much about the severe debt, deficits, and economic recession he inherited from the previous administration.
RELATED:
TMZ.com:
The JFK Photo That Could Have Changed History  —  TMZ has obtained a never-before published photograph which appears to show John F. Kennedy on a boat filled with naked women — it's a photo that could have altered world events.  —  We believe the photo was taken in the mid-1950s.
Discussion: Vanity Fair, Gawker and Mediaite
Jeffrey Goldberg:
The Maddening Stupidity of the TSA Security Burlesque  —  Sometimes the stupidity is too much to bear.  From the new guidelines for international air travel: … Thanks for letting us know, TSA, that the search should be focused on the upper legs and torso.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Adam Raff / New York Times:
Search, but You May Not Find  —  AS we become increasingly dependent …
Discussion: TPMCafe
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Right Wing Renews Calls For Profiling: 'There Should Be A Separate …
Discussion: TPM LiveWire
Jonathan Gruber / Washington Post:
‘Cadillac’ tax isn't a tax — it's a plan to finance real health reform
Discussion: Pajamas Media
 Earlier Items: 
Bernard-Henri Lévy / The Huffington Post:
A Letter From Roman Polanski
Steve Campbell / Washington Post:
Cowboy hats, secret files and more headed to Bush library
Discussion: The Page
Frida Ghitis / MiamiHerald.com:
They still don't love us
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Amy Merrick / Wall Street Journal:
Pawlenty Pushes Spending Caps
Discussion: MyDD and The Page