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9:00 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 …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
White House To Lieberman And GOP: Sorry, We're Still Closing Gitmo
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Monthly
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Unfair attack from the Right on Obama's lack of response?
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.
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
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
U.S. to take majority stake in GMAC
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
White House releases 25,000 more visitor names  —  The White House today released the names of an additionl 25,000 individuals who have visited the White House this year.  —  The new names include those who came to the White House between September 16th and September 30th.
Discussion: The Politico and TPMDC
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
Associated Press:
Somali held last month with chemicals, syringe
Discussion: Weekly Standard
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
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
Exclusive: Controversial Obama U.N. nominee withdraws for “personal reasons,” official says  —  Jide Zeitlin, the Obama administration's nominee to be America's point man for financial reform at the United Nations, has withdrawn himself from consideration for the job, an administration official tells The Cable.
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.
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 …
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Madden defends GOP's hypocritical attacks: Obama's in Hawaii, which ‘seems like a foreign place.’  —  On CNN this morning, host John Roberts asked former Romney spokesman Kevin Madden about the hypocritical “heat for this president from the Republicans” regarding the Obama administration's response …
Discussion: CNN, TPM LiveWire and Hullabaloo
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.
Booman Tribune:
Why We Blog  —  Blogging is an activity.  It's something you do either in your spare time or the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  If you are doing full-time political blogging, something is motivating you.  For most of us, that motivation was originally outrage …
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: Hot Air, Riehl World View and Daily Kos
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 …
James Dao / New York Times:
Army History 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 …
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 …
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.
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 More Items: 
Shannyn Moore / The Huffington Post:
Palibanned Per Todd Palin
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Raw Story
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 …
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
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
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
TurboTax, Geithner Edition
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