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12:05 PM ET, January 4, 2010


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
EXCLUSIVE: Dems ‘Almost Certain’ to Bypass Conference  —  Now that both the House and Senate have passed health care reform bills, all Democrats have to do is work out a compromise between the two versions.  And it appears they're not about to let the Republicans gum up the works again.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
House-Senate Health Care “Conference” Begins; PhRMA Deal Targeted  —  Rep. Waxman not yet willing to swallow the bitter ones? (photo: nvinacco)  —  Henry Waxman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced at a constituent meeting Sunday that he was headed to Washington today …
Discussion: The Politico
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Inside Obama's War on Terrorism  —  The evening before he was sworn into office, Barack Obama stepped out of Blair House, the government residence where he was staying across from the White House, and climbed into an armored limousine for the ride to a bipartisan dinner.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
White House: No matter what, we're sending Gitmo prisoners back to Yemen  —  As Susan notes below, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Obama White House not to go forward with plans to send a number of Yemeni terrorists now being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility back to their home country.
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
Yemeni leadership feared in al Qaeda's sights
Discussion: BBC, PrairiePundit and ATTACKERMAN
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
That 1937 Feeling  —  Here's what's coming in economic news: The next employment report could show the economy adding jobs for the first time in two years.  The next G.D.P. report is likely to show solid growth in late 2009.  There will be lots of bullish commentary …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
BRIT HUME SAID WHAT?.... As regular readers know, I've made no mention of Tiger Woods on this blog.  I don't care about golf; I don't care about golfers' private lives; I don't care about any aspect of this “story” at any level.  —  But I was taken aback when I saw that Fox News' Brit Hume …
David Gibson / Politics Daily:
Brit Hume: Jesus Can Tame You, Tiger  —  For Americans who are both political junkies and faithful churchgoers (guilty as charged), Sunday mornings can mean a painful choice between watching the Sunday talk shows for scoops (or gaffes) from newsmakers, or attending services to meditate on the wisdom of ancient scripture and tradition.
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
U.S. Intensifies Screening for Travelers From 14 Nations  —  WASHINGTON — Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that was imposed after the Christmas …
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
U.S. Tightens Airport Screening for Foreigners
Adam Fogle / The Palmetto Scoop:
Brown will not seek re-election  —  CONGRESSMAN TO RETIRE AFTER 5TH TERM IN OFFICE  —  Republican Congressman Henry Brown, who has served South Carolina in the U.S. House since 2001, will retire at the end of his term, sources tell The Palmetto Scoop.  —  Brown will announce his intention …
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Rep. Brown to retire  —  South Carolina Republican Rep. Henry Brown Jr …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Photo-Smearing Obama  —  Glenn Reynolds finds a photo in the White House Flickr basket and publishes it to, er, point out how bad the White House's p.r. is, or how blind they are to perceptions of Obama or some such thing.  I tried to puzzle this one out and can just about see how an elusive photo …
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
“Damn, Obama looks like James Bond in this picture.”
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
U.S. Evangelicals' Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push  —  KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda's capital to give a series of talks.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Anti-Griffith camp recalls segregationist figures  —  In an unusual press release announcing the resignation of his legislative staff, former aides to party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith, who is now a Republican, wrote that he had “abandoned the legacy of conservative leadership” provided by …
Discussion: Raw Story and
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Staff walks out on party-switcher Griffith
Fox News:
Man Skirts Newark Airport Security; Flights Delayed  —  NEWARK, N.J. — A man walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of a terminal at one of the nation's busiest airports on Sunday night, and flights were grounded for hours and passengers had to be re-screened while air safety officials searched for him.
Jim Scarantino / New Mexico Watchdog:
Stimulus Funds Went to Nonexistent Zip Code Areas [Updated]  —  First it was phantom Congressional districts.  Now it's phantom zip codes.  —  Last month, we reported on federal stimulus money credited with creating jobs in nonexistent New Mexico Congressional districts.
Micah L. Sifry / techPresident:
The Obama Disconnect: What Could Have Been?  —  One question that a number of people have raised in response to my post on The Obama Disconnect is essentially, “What's your alternative?  What should the Obama team have done to keep the new political movement it had spawned going as a force for change?
Peru's mountain people face fight for survival in a bitter winter  —  For alpaca farmer Ignacio Beneto Huamani and his young family, life in the Peruvian Andes, at almost 4,700m above sea level, has always been a struggle against the elements.  His village of Pichccahuasi, in Peru's Huancavelica region …
Daily Mail:
Choudary compares British troops to Nazi stormtroopers as 200,000 sign Facebook bid to stop his Islamic extremist march  —  The hate preacher organising a march of Islamic extremists through the streets of Wootton Bassett sparked outrage today by comparing British troops fighting in Afghanistan to Nazi stormtroopers.
Discussion: Guardian and Gateway Pundit
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Jordan emerges as key CIA counterterrorism ally  —  Hours after last week's deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan, a revision was made in official accounts of the number of intelligence operatives killed in the suicide bombing.  Instead of eight deaths, as initially reported, the CIA acknowledged only seven.
Discussion: PrairiePundit and The Page
Former Sen. Chafee to announce gubernatorial bid  —  (CNN) - Lincoln Chafee Monday will formally announce his bid for Rhode Island governor Monday.  —  The former Republican senator-turned-independent will officially jump into the race at an event in Warwick, where he once served as mayor.
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Ten campaign themes to watch  —  Important themes are emerging as party leaders move into full “campaign mode” ten months ahead of the 2010 midterms.  —  The Hill looks at 10 to keep an eye on as we say goodbye to 2009.  —  1. How real is the tea party effect?
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished as Banks Seek Profits From Bailout  —  Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — To understand the meaning of no good deed goes unpunished, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner can look no further than Wall Street where the banks that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts are seeking …
Discussion: Wonk Room
Bob Brigham / MyDD:
Barack Obama Poll Numbers and the Midterm Elections  —  Over at Pollster, President Barack Obama is starting the new year with a collective average job approval that is a net negative (48.1% disapprove to 48.0% approve).  If you filter out Rassmussen and internet polls, Obama climbes to 50.4% approval …
Discussion: Corrente
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 More Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Townsend: Time to Start Being Polite, and Start Getting Vague and Hawkish
Jeez / Watts Up With That?:
Climate change: proposed personal briefing
Darrell M. West / Brookings Institute:
Assessing the Obama Administration: Lead With Confidence
Discussion: The Swamp
Robert Pear / New York Times:
In Health Bill for Everyone, Provisions for a Few
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Daily Mail:
As Britain told to expect snow for ‘next 10 days’, how is the rest …
Neil Frank / Houston Chronicle:
Climategate: You should be steamed
 Earlier Items:
Ex-spy chief says Iran government about to collapse
Emily Goodin / The Hill:
Reids, Bidens and Pauls to attempt to follow the Bushes and Kennedys
Discussion: The Page
Charles Scanlon / BBC:
US lifts HIV/Aids immigration ban
Discussion: Politics Daily and Truthdig
Marc Lacey / New York Times:
A Black Market Finds a Home in the Web's Back Alleys
Campbell Robertson / New York Times:
Alabama Democrat Toes the G.O.P. Line
Siun / Firedoglake:
Gaza March Blocked But Message Delivered
Discussion: Israel Matzav

From Techmeme:

David Pierce / The Verge:
Microsoft unveils the 14.4" Surface Laptop Studio 2, offering Intel's 13th Gen i7 H chips, Nvidia's RTX 4050 or RTX 4060, and up to 2TB of storage, for $1,999+

Nathan Edwards / The Verge:
Microsoft announces a unified Copilot built into Windows 11, launching on September 26 across all its apps and services, including Microsoft 365, Edge, and Bing

Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:
Apple releases emergency updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS to patch three new zero-day vulnerabilities, for a total of 16 zero-days fixed in 2023

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