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9:30 AM ET, January 7, 2010


 Top Items: 
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Press corps grills Gibbs: Um, didn't Obama totally shamelessly lie about C-SPAN?  —  Reminds me of the time Tapper coolly yet cruelly pressed Gibbs to defend Biden's sub-moronic advice to New Yorkers about avoiding city subways during swine-flu season.  There is, and can be, no defense here, and everyone in the room knows it.
Discussion: Commentary and Pajamas Media
New York Times:
Democrats Wary as Two Senators Decide to Retire  —  WASHINGTON — The sudden decision by two senior Democratic senators to retire shook the party's leaders on Wednesday and signaled that President Obama is facing a perilous political environment that could hold major implications for this year's midterm elections and his own agenda.
Room for Debate:
What's the Outlook for Democrats?
Discussion: The Caucus and
Mark Preston / CNN:
House Democrat passes on Senate bid
Discussion: The Politico
yyAMCopy / D.C. Now:
Sen. Christopher Dodd says it was time to step down
Discussion: Truthdig
Patrik Jonsson / Christian Science Monitor:
Sarah Palin will headline first-ever Tea Party Convention  —  Sarah Palin's appearance is a coup for a movement now getting grudging respect from mainstream commentators.  But will the feisty Tea Party movement coalesce with the GOP's old guard?  —  Atlanta
New York Post:
White House budget director ditched pregnant girlfriend for ABC News gal  —  President Obama's budget guru has a secret love child — with the woman he jilted for his hot new fiance, The Post has learned.  —  White House budget director Peter Orszag's ex, shipping heiress Claire Milonas …
Susan Page / USA Today:
National security adviser: Airline bomber report to ‘shock’  —  WASHINGTON — White House national security adviser James Jones says Americans will feel “a certain shock” when they read an account being released Thursday of the missed clues that could have prevented the alleged Christmas Day bomber from ever boarding the plane.
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Lincoln's “Retirement” May Be Involuntary  —  Sen. Blanche Lincoln is in trouble, still: … The White House and the Democratic leadership have been telling their colleagues that health care is their political salvation, the only way of heading off the coming tidal wave election.
Sebastian Rotella / Los Angeles Times:
U.S. learned intelligence on airline attack suspect while he was en route  —  U.S. border enforcement officials discovered alleged extremist links in a database while the suspect was headed to Detroit on Christmas Day, new disclosures show.  —  Reporting from Washington …
Jessica Taylor / The Politico:
Health bill at issue in Mass. special  —  With the Massachusetts Senate special election less than two weeks away, Scott Brown is framing himself as the GOP's last hope to stop Democratic health care legislation, an approach that could provide both parties with an early glimpse at the political resonance of the issue.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden and The Page
Hugh Son / Bloomberg:
Geithner's New York Fed Told AIG to Limit Swaps Disclosure  —  Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer's payments to banks during the depths …
Michael Riley / Denver Post:
Salazar gets White House OK for run  —  The White House would not object if Interior Secretary Ken Salazar chose to resign his cabinet post and run for Colorado governor, sources tell The Denver Post.  —  The White House's stance on whether Salazar can leave the cabinet on good terms …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Exclusive: Koppel may return to ABC  —  ABC News is negotiating with “Nightline” founder Ted Koppel, a 42-year veteran of the network, for a potential return to anchor “This Week” three Sundays a month, broadcast industry sources said.  —  ABC News executives said no offers have been made.
Discussion: The Page
Chris Zavadil / Fremont Tribune:
Nelson: We should have waited on health care  —  Sen. Ben Nelson said Tuesday it was a mistake for the Obama Administration to take on massive health care reforms in 2009, and suggested efforts would have been better spent addressing the economy.  —  Nelson, who provided the crucial 60th vote …
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
Many Ex-Detainees Said to Be Engaged in Terror  —  WASHINGTON — Administration officials said Wednesday that a classified Pentagon report concludes that of some 560 detainees transferred abroad from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, about one in five has engaged in …
New York Times:
Paterson Says Legislators Put State in Danger  —  ALBANY — In a strikingly blunt State of the State address, Gov. David A. Paterson chastised the lawmakers seated before him on Wednesday, saying they had spent the state into near-ruin and stood by as a plague of political corruption destroyed New Yorkers' trust in their government.
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Health-care reform bill's proposed tax on high-cost plans raises questions  —  With Congress on the verge of imposing a new tax on high-cost health insurance plans, skeptics continue to raise questions about who would be hit hardest and whether health-care spending would be limited as much as proponents say.
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
After attempted airline bombing, effectiveness of intelligence reforms questioned  —  The failure of U.S. authorities to detect a plot to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day has reignited long-simmering concerns that intelligence reforms implemented five years ago remain inadequate to prevent terrorist attacks.
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Democratic Support Dips Below Majority Level in 2009  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The year 2009 marked the end of a three-year run of majority Democratic support among U.S. adults.  Last year, an average of 49.0% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they leaned Democratic, the party's first yearly average below 50% since 2005.
Egypt church attack kills Copts  —  At least six Coptic Christians and a security official have been killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southern Egypt, officials say.  —  The shooting came as worshippers left the church in Naj Hammadi after a midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve.
Discussion: The Majlis and THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS
Exclusive: Air Marshal Surge in ‘Race Against Time’  —  U.S. Fears More Airplane Bombers Are in the Terrorist Pipeline.  —  President Barack Obama has ordered a “surge” of federal air marshals to be in place by Feb.1 in what officials said was a “race against time,” with other suicide bombers believed …
Charles Lane / PostPartisan:
Dick Morris sees two parties.  I see four.  —  I can't remember a more breathtaking 48 hours in politics since Barack Obama's election in November 2008.  Byron Dorgan is out; Chris Dodd is out; Bill Ritter is out.  Who would have thought that just one year into Obama's promising presidency …
Discussion: Commentary
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 More Items: 
Robert O'Harrow Jr / Washington Post:
Republicans put new hold on TSA nominee Erroll Southers
Discussion: Think Progress and RedState
Political Punch:
9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton: Obama, Other Leaders …
Discussion: Guardian and Hot Air
Ari Savitzky /
Rhode Island Legislature Overrides Electoral Reform Vetoes
Luisita Lopez Torregrosa / Politics Daily:
Ellen Malcolm: A Political Powerhouse is Moving on
Discussion: EMILY's List News and The Caucus
 Earlier Items: 
David Lazarus / Los Angeles Times:
Banks take revenge for new consumer rules
Discussion: Politics Daily
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Top 20 Democrats Who Could Lose Their Seats over Health Care Vote
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“Sick” Of The Israelis And The Palestinians