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12:10 PM ET, January 5, 2010


 Top Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Massachusetts Special Senate Election  —  2010 Massachusetts Senate: Coakley 50%, Brown 41%  —  State Attorney General Martha Coakley holds a nine-point lead over her Republican rival, state Senator Scott Brown, in Massachusetts' special U.S. Senate election to fill the seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy.
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Earthquake Rumblings In MA - Rasmussen Shows Brown Within 9% / Update: Brown within 2% With Definite Voters and Leads By 44% With Independents  —  Rasmussen is the first major polling organization to poll the Massachusetts Senate special election, and the “pre-released” poll numbers show Martha Coakley …
Jules Crittenden:
Republican Heir To The Liberal Lion?
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
Glenn Reynolds / Instapundit:
MASSACHUSETTS SENATE RACE HEATS UP: Rasmussen Shows Brown Within 9 Percent.
Discussion: sisu
Tea Party groups plan ‘strike’  —  Washington (CNN) - Some Tea Party activists from across the country are planning a ‘national strike’ on January 20, the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's inauguration.  —  The idea of holding an economic protest sprung up during the holidays …
Christina Bellantoni / TPMDC:
Democrats Considering Health Care-Immigration Deal To Overcome Key Sticking Point  —  Lawmakers who want to extend health coverage to illegal immigrants will not block the passage of the final health care reform bill so long as the White House offers a substantive promise to start pushing comprehensive immigration legislation this year.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
White House: Health-care 95 pct finished
Discussion: D.C. Now
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
Health talks resume with W.H. meet
Discussion: Hit & Run and Big Government
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Swing states may be on the move
Discussion: The Politico, PoliBlog and The Note
Andrew Martin / New York Times:
How Visa, Using Card Fees, Dominates a Market  —  Every day, millions of Americans stand at store checkout counters and make a seemingly random decision: after swiping their debit card, they choose whether to punch in a code, or to sign their name.  —  It is a pointless distinction to most consumers …
Steve Bousquet / The Buzz:
Sources: Greer to quit, Thrasher to head GOP  —  Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer will resign his post Tuesday, according to two sources who have closely followed the party boss' stunning fall from grace.  The sources say Greer will step down and will be replaced by state Sen. John Thrasher …
Discussion: The Hill and Ben Smith's Blog
Josh Hafenbrack / Juice:
Embattled Jim Greer to resign as party chairman  —  Embattled state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer will resign his post effective in February, a Republican insider said Tuesday.  His replacement will be Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, a veteran Republican and former House speaker …
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
Brit Hume's off message: Have faith, Tiger Woods, as long is it's Christianity  —  In “North by Northwest,” cold and heartless bureaucrats in Washington realize they may have inadvertently sent a frivolous but innocent advertising man to his death, and one of them says, “It's so horribly sad — why do I feel like laughing?”
MI5 told US about Detroit bomber's terror links ‘a year ago’  —  Britain told American intelligence agents more than a year ago that the Detroit bomber had links to extremists, according to Downing Street.  —  The prime minister's spokesman indicated that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was named …
Wall Street Journal:
Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rising Fast  —  The number of Americans filing for personal bankruptcy rose by nearly a third in 2009, a surge largely driven by foreclosures and job losses.  —  And more people are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which liquidates assets to pay off some debts and absolves the filers of others.
CHERRY WILL DROP OUT OF GOV'S RACE  —  UPDATE: 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick reports that Lt. Governor John Cherry, once the presumed front-runner for the Democratic nomination, will drop out of the race for Governor.  —  Several sources have confirmed the story 6 News first broke Monday night at 11pm.
Alan Travis / Guardian:
New scanners break child porn laws  —  The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.  —  Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines …
Washington Post:
Secret Service confirms third crasher at White House state dinner  —  Another uninvited guest made it into the White House state dinner made famous by gate-crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the Secret Service announced Monday — exposing more holes in the security perimeter around President Obama.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Matthews Bites The Politico That Feeds Him Cheney  —  It's delightful to see someone in the media go after Politico for their stenography.  J-Mart looked like the cat who ate the canary having to dodge the question about how Dick Cheney was using Politico as his conduit.  And there's simply no excuse for it.
Heather Mac Donald / Wall Street Journal:
A Crime Theory Demolished  —  If poverty is the root cause of lawlessness, why did crime rates fall when joblessness increased?  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The recession of 2008-09 has undercut one of the most destructive social theories that came out of the 1960s …
Discussion: Sister Toldjah and PrairiePundit
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
For Obama, terrorism is a four-letter word: Bush  —  The attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was more than just al Qaeda's latest attempt to bring death and destruction to American shores.  It was also, in its still-unfolding political aftermath, a head-on collision between …
Mark Blumenthal / National Journal Online:
What Liberal Revolt?  —  Claims That Obama's Base Have Turned On Him Are Based On Scant Evidence  —  Does President Obama have a problem with his political base?  That conclusion seems inescapable in recent weeks, as prominent liberal voices have expressed their unhappiness with the president …
Nancy Dillon / NY Daily News:
Joan Rivers bumped off flight in Costa Rica when Continental gate agent finds passport suspicious  —  Above, Rivers celebrates the New Year with family and friends in Costa Rica last week.  On her return, though, she had a tough time leaving the country because of her ‘suspicious’ passport.
Russell Goldman / ABCNEWS:
First Transgender Appointee Fears Being Labeled ‘Token’  —  Amanda Simpson Says It Was Her Merits, Not Gender Identity, That Got Her Commerce Job  —  For Amanda Simpson, believed to be America's first openly transgender presidential appointee, the job she starts Tuesday in the U.S. Commerce Department …
Wall Street Journal:
Apple to Ship Tablet Device in March  —  Looking to build on the momentum of its iPhone and iPod, Apple Inc. will unveil a new multimedia tablet device later this month, but isn't planning to ship the product until March, say people briefed by the company.  —  While the device's ship date …
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
C-SPAN asks Dems to televise health negotiations  —  C-SPAN is asking Democrats to open their healthcare negotiations to television cameras.  —  Democratic leaders have reportedly decided to skip a formal conference and instead talk behind closed doors to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills.
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Press Pool, C-SPAN Join Criticism of Conference Process on Health-Care  —  Yesterday, several outlets reported that the Democrats would “almost certainly” forgo the official conference process to get a health-care bill passed, opting instead to negotiate largely behind closed doors.
Drew Zahn / WorldNetDaily:
Glenn Beck on birther issue: 'Dumbest thing I've ever heard'  —  Claims controversy is political ‘dream come true’ for Obama  —  On the air today, popular radio host Glenn Beck mocked “birthers” and claimed there is a concerted campaign to get those questioning Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility onto …
Art Beast / The Daily Beast:
Hollywood's Liberal Heartbreak  — Home - Cheat sheet - Buzz board - Big Fat Story - Blogs & stories - Videos - Galleries - Crossword  —  Blogs and Stories  —  I hope and trust that Robbins has since calmed down.  —  When it came to politics, Robbins and Sarandon tended to espouse and admonish rather than try to persuade.
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Steele Doesn't Know If GOP Ready To Lead  —  RNC chair Michael Steele doesn't think his party can take back the House in '10, and even if they do, he doesn't know if the GOP is ready.  —  Appearing on Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated show the same day his new book, “Right Now,” …
FIXING INTEL: A BLUEPRINT FOR MAKING INTELLIGENCE RELEVANT IN AFGHANISTAN  —  Author(s): Major General Michael T. Flynn, Captain Matt Pottinger, Paul D. Batchelor  —  This report critically examines the relevance of the U.S. intelligence community to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
New York Times:
This Year's Housing Crisis  —  The financial crisis and Great Recession have their roots in the housing bust.  When it comes, a lasting recovery will be evident in a housing rebound.  Unfortunately, housing appears to be weakening anew.  —  Figures released last week show that after four months of gains …
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 More Items: 
Greg Miller / Los Angeles Times:
CIA bomber was a Jordanian double agent, ex-spy official says
Discussion: Politics Daily and New York Times
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Good Kind of Failure  —  Mark Halperin's report card …
Peter Hamby / CNN:
First on the Ticker: Graham censured again by county party in S.C.
Discussion: Think Progress and TPM LiveWire
David Sirota / The Huffington Post:
Why It's Bad News That the Health Care Conference Committee Will Be Held In Secret
Discussion: Commentary, QandO and The Plum Line
Andy McCarthy / The Corner on National Review Online:
Moussaoui Conviction Upheld — By: Andy McCarthy
Discussion: Power Line, Hot Air and Washington Post
Matt Taibbi / Taibblog:
Fannie, Freddie, and the New Red and Blue
Robert Gehrke / Salt Lake Tribune:
Bennett gets new challenger
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Walter Shapiro / Politics Daily:
What Spitzer, Sanford, Ensign and Edwards Could Learn From John Profumo
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Associated Press:
GOP Chief: Republicans ‘Screwed Up’ After Reagan
Discussion: The Hill and The Politico
William J. Broad / New York Times:
C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists
Discussion: Politics Daily and Hot Air