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4:10 PM 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 …
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 …
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Obama takes the heat Bush did not  —  Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber's attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of Sept. 11.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Unfair attack from the Right on Obama's lack of response?  —  Gary Gross notes this completely unfair attack on Barack Obama's response to the Eunuch Bomber on Christmas Day: … Man, that Bill Kristol can get nasty when Obama makes a mistake, can't he?  Oh, wait — that wasn't Kristol?
Discussion: YID With LID
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
DICK THE COWARD.... It was only a matter of time before Dick Cheney decided to trash the president again. … Let's review a few pesky details.  First, it was Cheney's administration that released some of the alleged terrorists who plotted the attack into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” …
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.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Clinton edges Palin for most admired
Discussion: Mediaite
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.
8 U.S. deaths at military base in Afghanistan  —  Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Eight Americans were killed in a suicide bombing Wednesday at a military base in eastern Afghanistan, according to a U.S. military official and a U.S. Embassy official.  —  A suicide bomber wearing …
Discussion: American Power and The Page
Don Walton / Lincoln Journal Star:
Beleaguered Nelson to air TV ad tonight  —  As a fresh poll measured the political cost of Sen. Ben Nelson's health reform vote, he prepared Tuesday to take his case directly to Nebraskans during Wednesday night's Holiday Bowl game.  —  Nelson will air a new TV ad in which he attempts …
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.
Associated Press:
Somali held last month with chemicals, syringe  —  ‘We caught him red-handed,’ official says after arrest in Mogadishu airport  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia - A man tried to board a commercial airliner in Mogadishu last month carrying powdered chemicals, liquid and a syringe that could have caused …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Sausage is Delicious, Mediocre Legislation is Problematic  —  Various analogies between the legislative process and sausage-making are always in the air.  A hardy perennial of the American political discourse.  But when considering the prospects for legislative reform, it's worth considering some serious differences between the two.
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs and Ezra Klein
Ezra Klein:
Sausagemaking: not as awesome as some would have you believe
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Obama Can Still Designate Abdulmutallab An Enemy Combatant  —  Unable to defend themselves on the merits, the administration and Democratic leaders are trying to change the topic to blaming Bush and Republicans.  This is pathetic.  —  First of all, Obama is president.  He has been for almost a year.
Discussion: Political Byline
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.
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
TurboTax, Geithner Edition  —  Following up on my January post, Geithner Blames Turbo Tax For His Tax Troubles: … Mary O'Keeffe (Union College) provides screenshots showing that TurboTax has changed its tax preparation software for 2009 to prompt those working for an international organization …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Exclusive: Details from Obama's probe  —  Information that would have kept a bomb off Northwest's Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was “vague but available” to intelligence agencies, according to officials involved in reviews ordered by President Barack Obama.
Discussion: Riehl World View and Daily Kos
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Dems Blame Bush Admin For Terror Attempt  —  As GOPers begin increasingly using the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner to score political points, 2 Dems are blaming the Bush admin for events that led directly to the failed attack.  —  While many Dems stay silent and let the WH lead the way …
Tony Judt / New York Review of Books:
Night  —  I suffer from a motor neuron disorder, in my case a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Lou Gehrig's disease.  Motor neuron disorders are far from rare: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and a variety of lesser diseases all come under that heading.
Discussion: Ezra Klein
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.
Dan O'Brien / The Business Journal Serving …:
Traficant Declares: 'I'm Going to Run'  —  YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. revved himself up in typical fashion (WATCH VIDEO), then eased off as he spoke for 30 minutes before quietly telling a new business networking group last night that he will indeed make a bid for Congress in 2010.
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 More Items: 
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Grassley: Dems will get their way during healthcare conference
Jonah Goldberg / Los Angeles Times:
‘Avatar’ and the faith instinct
Discussion: Vanity Fair
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
White House To Lieberman And GOP: Sorry, We're Still Closing Gitmo
Discussion: Washington Monthly
DeMint: Senate could've voted on TSA chief ‘months ago’
Discussion: Weekly Standard
James Pethokoukis:
Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010
Discussion: Hot Air
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
Progressives pressure Sanders, Feingold on public option reform
 Earlier Items: 
Joe Klein / Time:
Bloggers Left and Right Agree to Hate Health Care Reform
Discussion: TalkLeft
Natasha Chart / Open Left:
I Don't Know How Many More Progressive Victories I Can Take
Discussion: The Confluence
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
It's a wonderful life working for the government
Discussion: Hit & Run
Shelby Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem
Discussion: The Other McCain