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3:55 PM ET, December 28, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Runnin' Scared:
Crotch-Bomber Fails to Blow Up Plane, in Yet Another Disaster for Obama  —  There are a few ways to look at the case of the thwarted holiday crotch-bomber.  On the one hand, we have a deluded fellow who, allegedly assured of eternal glory by jihadists who bade him sew explosive chemicals into his underwear …
RELATED:
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 …
Lovegetspeace / CBS News:
U.S. Failed to Catch Suspect's Active Visa  —  Exclusive: 2 State Dept. Checks Before Alleged Terror Attack Didn't Discover Abdulmutallab had Active Visa Allowing Entry  —  (CBS) By CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.  —  CBS News has learned the State Department system designed …
John F. Burns / New York Times:   Britain Rejected Visa Renewal for Terrorism Suspect
Mark Hosenball / Newsweek Blogs:
What U.S. Intelligence Knew About the Underpants Bomber
Anne E. Kornblut / Washington Post:
Obama addresses airline security in low-key fashion
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:
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 …
CNN:
Al Qaeda group claims responsibility for Christmas Day attack
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
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.
RELATED:
The Smoking Gun:
TMZ Falls For JFK Photo Hoax
Discussion: Runnin' Scared, Vanity Fair and Gawker
TMZ.com:
Kennedy Picture — A Fake
Discussion: Gawker
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE MOST POPULAR ‘MTP’ GUEST OF THE YEAR.... In the previous post, I mentioned what disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on “Meet the Press” yesterday.  I neglected to ask a relevant question: why on earth was Newt Gingrich on “Meet the Press” yesterday?
Discussion: The Plum Line
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
GOP blame at TSA?  —  As Republicans seek to put the blame for the widespread perception of ineptness at the Transportation Security Administration on the Obama administration, Democrats are arguing that Republican legislators bear part of the blame and that they're politically vulnerable on the subject.
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 …
Laura Northrup / The Consumerist:
AT&T Customer Service: “New York City Is Not Ready For The iPhone”  —  AT&T has apparently found a workable solution to the reported data congestion in New York City.  They've quietly stopped selling the iPhone from their web site to customers in the New York metropolitan area.
RELATED:
The Huffington Post:
Andy Martin, GOP Senate Candidate, Accuses Opponent Mark Kirk Of Homosexuality  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  If there was any question whether or not the 2010 election season was heating up, it was dispelled on Monday morning when a Republican Senate candidate from Illinois released …
Discussion: Raw Story and WBBM-TV
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.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Where Have They Taken Him?  —  There are two critical lines that were crossed yesterday.  The first was widespread savagery and violence by the junta on the day of Ashura.  This breaks a profound taboo, violates the integrity and core meaning of the religious festival, and places the regime symbolically as the enemy of Shia Islam.
Jonathan Gruber / Washington Post:
‘Cadillac’ tax isn't a tax — it's a plan to finance real health reform  —  As we prepare for the final round of debate over health reform, perhaps the most contentious issue will be financing.  Both the Senate and House agree that most of the financing for reform should come from scaling …
Discussion: Open Congress and Pajamas Media
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner on National Review Online:
Ashcroft v. Napolitano — By: Jonah Goldberg
Discussion: Firedoglake
Haaretz:
Netanyahu, Livni trade barbs over Kadima coalition offer
Discussion: MyDD and Reuters
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
What are the odds that the best chess player in the world has never played chess?
Michelle Malkin:
Corruptocrat Chris Dodd gets his comeuppance
Scott / Power Line:
In which the Strib arrives late to the case
 Earlier Items: 
William Glaberson / New York Times:
The Recession Begins Flooding Into the Courts
Discussion: Gawker and The BLT
Adam Raff / New York Times:
Search, but You May Not Find  —  AS we become increasingly dependent …
Discussion: TPMCafe
Times of London:
Is this Iran's Berlin Wall moment?
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Right Wing Renews Calls For Profiling: 'There Should Be A Separate …
Discussion: TPM LiveWire