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8:20 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 …
Dan Pfeiffer / White Blog Feed:
The Same Old Washington Blame Game  —  There has been a lot of discussion online and in the mainstream media about our response to various critics of the President, specifically former Vice President Cheney, who have been coming out of the woodwork since the incident on Christmas Day.
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 …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
White House To Lieberman And GOP: Sorry, We're Still Closing Gitmo
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Monthly
Tony Romm / The Hill:
DCCC: Obama ‘more aggressive in fighting al Qaeda’ than predecessor
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Unfair attack from the Right on Obama's lack of response?
Newt Gingrich / Human Events:
On Terrorism it's Time to Know, to Profile, and to Discriminate  —  After the Christmas Day near disaster in Detroit, it is time for Americans to demand effective anti-terrorist actions.  —  Over eight years after 9/11 and 30 years after the Iranian illegal seizure of the United States embassy …
Jordan Fabian / Twitter Room:
Hoekstra: Obama 'concedes I'm right' on failed airplane bombing
Discussion: The Politico, The Hill and The Hill
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 …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
And Better Still  —  Wow, this is getting pretty bad for the National Review and Marc Thiessen.  Thiessen of course said that we tried Richard Reid in a regular American court since that was “long before we figured out that we had other options than handing him over” to law enforcement.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Obama Can Still Designate Abdulmutallab An Enemy Combatant
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
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.
Norm Eisen / White Blog Feed:
More than 25,000 Additional White House Visitor Records Posted Online  —  President Obama ordered earlier this year that in December the White House would — for the first time in history — begin posting White House visitor records as provided in our new voluntary disclosure policy.
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
White House releases 25,000 more visitor names
Discussion: TPMDC
Ezra Klein:
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Health-care bill could spark “a revolution in primary health care”  —  Tell me a bit about the provisions to expand community health centers that you added into the Senate bill.  —  In most areas of Vermont right now, you can drive to a community health center near …
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.
Binyamin Appelbaum / Washington Post:
U.S. taking majority ownership of GMAC  —  The federal government said Wednesday it will take a majority ownership stake in the troubled auto lender GMAC, providing another $3.8 billion in aid to the company, which has been unable to raise from private investors the money it needs to stanch its losses.
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 …
Rasmussen Reports:
Voter Attitudes Towards Health Care Plan Harden - 58% Opposed  —  Many have questioned whether those who favor or oppose the health care plan in Congress really know what's in it.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey suggests that they have a decent understanding of the bill …
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.
Steven Brill / New York Times:
What's a Bailed-Out Banker Really Worth?  —  Last August, as midnight approached on a Friday, two Treasury Department staff members sat in a cramped basement office in the Treasury Building next to the White House and watched as their e-mail in-boxes filled up.
Discussion: Felix Salmon
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 …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Democratic commission recommends elimination of superdelegates  —  Eighteen months removed from a protracted presidential primary fight, a Democratic group convened to examine the nominating process has recommended that so-called superdelegates be eliminated.
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.
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: Shakesville and Ezra Klein
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
The Public Option is Not Symbolic; It is Foundational  —  There is a myth that the public option was only a tiny idea blown out of proportion for symbolic reasons.  The public option was never going to be truly tiny, it was only going to be small at its inception.  It is not because it was “weak,” it was just strongly caged in.
James Dao / New York Times:
Internal Army Report Finds Early Missteps in Afghanistan  —  In the fall of 2003, the new commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, decided on a new strategy.  Known as counterinsurgency, the approach required coalition forces to work closely with Afghan leaders …
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 More Items: 
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
Exclusive: Controversial Obama U.N. nominee withdraws for …
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
NRSC Cites Detroit Incident In Fundraising Pitch
Discussion: Daily Kos
Conn Carroll / The Foundry:
Senate Health Care Timeline
Victorino Matus / Weekly Standard:
Germany to the Rescue?  —  For a few Bundestag members …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Grassley: Dems will get their way during healthcare conference
DeMint: Senate could've voted on TSA chief ‘months ago’
Discussion: Weekly Standard
 Earlier Items: 
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
Discussion: RedState
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
Associated Press:
Somali held last month with chemicals, syringe
Discussion: Weekly Standard