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7:00 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 …
Tony Romm / The Hill:
DCCC: Obama ‘more aggressive in fighting al Qaeda’ than predecessor  —  Democratic strategists on Wednesday asserted President Barack Obama “has been far more aggressive in fighting al Qaeda” than the previous administration.  —  In an e-mail this afternoon to supporters …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Unfair attack from the Right on Obama's lack of response?
Discussion: YID With LID
Jordan Fabian / Twitter Room:
Hoekstra: Obama 'concedes I'm right' on failed airplane bombing
Discussion: The Politico, The Hill and The Hill
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Obama takes the heat Bush did not
Susan Davis / Washington Wire:
A Guide to the Blame Game Following Failed Terror Attack
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
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.
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
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.
Tony Romm / The Hill:
DNC commission recommends end to superdelegate system
Discussion: The Politico
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 …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
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
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.
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 …
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.
Conn Carroll / The Foundry:
Senate Health Care Timeline  —  Obamacare is not yet law, but the battle over which elements of it should be repealed has already begun with both sides believing they will have the upper hand.  Key to this debate will be which elements of Obamacare phase in when.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
White House To Lieberman And GOP: Sorry, We're Still Closing Gitmo  —  The White House is pushing back hard on Joe Lieberman and select Republicans, who are seizing on the thwarted terror plot to renew calls for Guantanamo to be kept open, saying in no uncertain terms that the facility …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Monthly
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 More Items: 
Victorino Matus / Weekly Standard:
Germany to the Rescue?  —  For a few Bundestag members …
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
The Public Option is Not Symbolic; It is Foundational
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
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
 Earlier Items: 
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
Shelby Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem
Discussion: The Other McCain