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11:30 AM ET, December 30, 2009


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Cheney: Obama ‘trying to pretend’  —  Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama on Tuesday of “trying to pretend we are not at war” with terrorists, pointing to the White House response to the attempted sky bombing as reflecting a pattern that includes banishing the term …
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Feinstein: Halt transfers to Yemen  —  The senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee wants no more Guantanamo Bay detainees released to Yemen in the wake of a Christmas day terrorist attack hatched in that country.  —  “Guantanamo detainees should not be released to Yemen at this time …
Spencer Ackerman / The Washington Independent:
Obama Aide: Failed Underpants Bomber Won't Stop Us From Closing Gitmo
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
As the Nation's Pulse Races, Obama Can't Seem to Find His  —  I was walking through a deserted downtown on Christmas Eve with a friend, past the lonely, gray Treasury Building, past the snowy White House with no president inside.  —  “I hope the terrorists don't think this is a good time to attack …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Cites ‘Systemic Failure’ in U.S. Security  —  HONOLULU - President Obama on Tuesday blamed a “systemic failure” in the nation's security apparatus for the attempted bombing of a passenger jet on Christmas Day and vowed to identify the problems and “deal with them immediately.”
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Americans most admire Obama, Clinton, Palin  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama is the man Americans admired most in 2009, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are virtually tied as the most-admired woman.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Clinton Edges Out Palin as Most Admired Woman  —  Obama easily wins Most Admired Man title  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her reign as the Most Admired Woman in the eyes of Americans, but barely edges out former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this year, 16% to 15%.
Discussion: The Swamp and HotAirPundit
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Clinton edges Palin for most admired
Discussion: Mediaite
Times of London:
Al-Qaeda ‘groomed Abdulmutallab in London’  —  Sean O'Neill, Crime and Security Editor and Giles Whittell in Washington  —  The Christmas Day airline bomb plot suspect organised a conference under the banner “War on Terror Week” as he immersed himself in radical politics while a student in London, The Times has learnt.
Anne E. Kornblut / Washington Post:
Administration sees ‘some linkage’ between Detroit suspect, al-Qaeda
Discussion: Commentary and CNN
Source: CIA failed to circulate report about bombing suspect
Discussion: Boston Globe and Cold Fury
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS GOOD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS.... If facts, history, evidence, and reality have no meaning whatsoever — and they may not — then this makes sense. … By all appearances, it doesn't matter if the Republican attacks are baseless and ridiculous.  It doesn't matter if Republican national security policies failed.
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Republicans see political opportunity in Obama response to failed airplane bomb
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Laura Saunders / Wall Street Journal:
Rich Cling to Life to Beat Tax Man  —  Nothing's certain except death and taxes — but a temporary lapse in the estate tax is causing a few wealthy Americans to try to bend those rules.  —  Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax — which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person's estate — goes away for a year.
Michelle Cottle / The New Republic:
Bunker Mentality  —  Barack Obama's dangerous obsession with golf.  —  It's been a tough first year for President Obama, as critics throughout the body politic bemoan that Mr. Change-We-Can-Believe-In is looking more and more like Mr. Politics-As-Usual.  With the coming new year, however …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution  —  Last week, over a pre-Christmas dinner, the two of us, along with political strategist Alexis McGill, filmmaker/author Eugene Jarecki, and Nick Penniman of the HuffPost Investigative Fund, began talking about the huge, growing chasm between …
Shelby Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem  —  The president always knew that his greatest appeal was not as a leader but as a cultural symbol.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  America still has a race problem, though not the one that conventional wisdom would suggest: the racism of whites toward blacks.
UK hostage released alive in Iraq  —  British hostage Peter Moore has been released alive from captivity in Iraq, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said.  —  He said Mr Moore, an IT consultant from Lincoln who was seized in Baghdad in May 2007, was in good health and “absolutely delighted at his release”.
Discussion: The Jawa Report and NPR Blogs
Dutch to use full body scans for U.S. flights  —  (CNN) — Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport will begin using body scanners on all passengers taking flights to the United States following the attempted terrorist attack on a U.S.-bound flight on Christmas Day, the Dutch interior minister said Wednesday.
Discussion: Politics Daily and Queerty
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Debate Over Full-Body Scans vs. Invasion of Privacy Flares Anew After Incident  —  The technology exists to reveal objects hidden under clothes at airport checkpoints, and many experts say it would have detected the explosive packet carried aboard the Detroit-bound flight last week.
The Politico:
SIGHTINGS AND MOMENTS FROM THE DAY  —  Matt Cooper, the former Time reporter involved in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation, has found a new gig — and it's not in journalism.  —  Cooper, who was working at The Atlantic and Talking Points Memo, has signed onto the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission as a senior adviser.
Discussion: Ezra Klein
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 More Items: 
New English Review:
by Amil Imani with Jerry Gordon
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Israpundit
Dakin Campbell / Bloomberg:
GMAC Said to Discuss U.S. Aid Package of $3 Billion or More
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
It's a wonderful life working for the government
Discussion: Hit & Run
Fox News:
Officials: Somali Tried to Board Flight With Explosives Last Month
Houston Chronicle:
Houston school checking possible link to terror suspect
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
As standoff with Iran continues, U.S. prepares targeted sanctions
Brady Dennis / Washington Post:
E-mails inside AIG reveal executives struggling with growing crisis
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Truthdig
 Earlier Items: 
The Hill:
Reid to try to break hold on TSA nominee
Discussion: The Other McCain
Associated Press:
Obama Moves to Curb Federal Secrets
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
Medicare vs. Medicaid: A Stark Warning About Having States Execute Reform
Discussion: American Power