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12:30 PM ET, January 6, 2010


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Chris Dodd to step aside  —  Embattled Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) has scheduled a press conference at his home in Connecticut Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek re-election, according to sources familiar with his plans.  —  Dodd's retirement comes after months …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘DROPPING LIKE FLIES’?.... Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) is retiring.  So is Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).  And before anyone could catch their breath, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) announced he's not seeking re-election, either.  —  It led ABC News to report that “Democrats are dropping like flies.”
Discussion: The Plum Line and TPMDC
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Harold Ford Jr. Weighs a Challenge to Gillibrand  —  Encouraged by a group of influential New York Democrats, Harold Ford Jr., the former congressman from Tennessee, is weighing a bid to unseat Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand in this fall's Democratic primary, according to three people who have spoken with him.
The Politico:
Top Democrats head for the exits  —  The grim outlook for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections just got a little worse.  —  Four top Democrats—including veteran Sens. Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan—all prepared to pull the plug on their campaigns in a 24-hour period that began Tuesday …
The Note:
Democrats are Dropping Like Flies  —  ABC News' David Chalian Reports: Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado, who was in for a tough reelection fight this year, canceled a scheduled fundraiser this evening and has decided not to seek reelection, according to Democratic sources familiar with the governor's plans.
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Senator Dodd Will Not Seek Re-election, Democrats Say  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the embattled Connecticut Democrat who was facing an increasingly tough bid for a sixth term in the Senate, has decided to step aside and not seek re-election, Democrats familiar with his plans said Wednesday.
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd won't seek reelection, will retire at end of term  —  Embattled Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek reelection, sources familiar with his plans said Tuesday night.
Daniela Altimari / Hartford Courant:
Sen. Christopher Dodd Will Not Seek Reelection
Justin Kitsch / Byron L. Dorgan:
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Dems agree that House will take up, tweak Senate healthcare bill  —  House and Senate leaders have formally agreed to bypass a bicameral conference committee to merge two healthcare bills, and have opted to instead “ping-pong” the Senate bill over to the House and back again, according to House leadership aides.
The C-SPAN Lie?  See Eight Clips of Obama Promising Televised Healthcare Negotiations  —  “One of my jobs as President will be to guide this process...”
Wall Street Journal:
The Tom DeLay Democrats
Michelle Malkin:
Darkness reigns: Obama and the Vampire Congress
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Ping Pong Confirmed (Again); Obama Seeks Affordability Improvements
Discussion: The Huffington Post and TalkLeft
Ron Christie / Pundits Blog:
Amateur hour is over  —  Enough is enough.  There was a time when the amateur hour that has characterized the behavior of the staff in the Obama White Hour over the past year could be chalked up to innocent inexperience.  Now that behavior is nothing short of dangerous and President Barack Obama …
Discussion: The Swamp, and Wake up America
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
King: Use word ‘terrorism’ more
Discussion: The New Republic
Publius / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Military Blogger Michael Yon Detained, Handcuffed by TSA in Seattle Airport  —  Award winning war correspondent Michael Yon was detained and handcuffed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Yesterday by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: Michael Yon arrested at Seattle airport
Jules Crittenden:
It's Pretty Bad ...  When the local lefty broadsheet goes on jihad against the Liberal Lion's annointed successor, Martha Coakley, in the midst of said Lion's legacy health-care fight, the day after a leading pollster shows her opposition to be within pistol-shot in the race.
Michael Rezendes / Boston Globe:
Some saw Coakley as lax on '05 rape case
Blumenthal to run for Dodd's Senate seat  —  AP-CT — Dodd Retirement-Blumenthal,0127  —  Eds: APNewsNow.  —  HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he will seek to succeed fellow Democrat Christopher Dodd in the U.S. Senate.
Sarah Wheaton / New York Times:
Connecticut's Attorney General Will Seek Dodd's Senate Seat
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Boy, now he's in real trouble; Obama administration revokes U.S. visa of accused Nigerian bomber  —  Under the category of looks-like-about-12-days-too- late, the State Department has announced it is revoking the U.S. visa for suspected Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
CHART OF THE DAY: How The Government Payroll Replaced Goods-Producing Jobs  —  In the just-so story of the evolution of our economy, our old manufacturing based economy has been replaced by an innovative knowledge economy.  That's not quite true.  —  In fact, the decline of the jobs …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Obama Starts 2010 With 50% Approval  —  More than 8 in 10 Democrats but less than half of independents approve  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama begins his second year as president with 50% of Americans approving and 44% disapproving of his overall job performance.
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama opens year with 50 percent approval rating
Discussion: The Politico
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Worst RNC cash flow in a decade  —  A 2009 spending spree has left the Republican National Committee (RNC) with its worst election-year cash flow this decade.  —  A 2009 spending spree has left the Republican National Committee (RNC) with its worst election-year cash flow this decade.
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
Without a movement, progressives can't aid Obama's agenda  —  Every Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — has raised the hope that he would bring with him a new era of progressive reform.  The legislative torrents of the New Deal and the Great Society …
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Ritter Dropping Out in Colorado  —  A source tells Political Wire that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) is ending his re-election campaign.  A fundraiser scheduled for tonight was canceled and all campaign staff was sent home in the middle of the day.  —  The decision does not appear …
Blanche Lincoln Rips Nebraska Health Care Deal  —  LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln on Tuesday said a political deal that benefits Nebraska and may have clinched a lawmaker's support for health care legislation should be removed from the bill.  —  The Democratic senator from Arkansas …
Discussion: The Hill and Weekly Standard
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 More Items: 
Alyssa Katz / American Prospect:
Gentrification Hangover  —  How New York could create affordable …
Whalers ‘ram’ activist boat
Discussion: Dot Earth
14 terror suspects mistakenly kill themselves
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
A Bad Time For The Empire  —  Lot of doom-saying out there about election year 2010.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Republicans see courts as last line of defense vs. Democrats' agenda
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
Baker's funding shatters records
Discussion: Moonbattery and
Financial Times:
A 10-year plan to close the budget deficit
 Earlier Items: 
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
How America Can Rise Again
Richard A. Epstein / Forbes:
Deregulation Now  —  A New Year's resolution for failing state governments.
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Glittering Eye
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Paul takes aim at Cheney
Sudarsan Raghavan / Washington Post:
Former bin Laden bodyguard is among ex-guerrillas in Yemen
Discussion: Associated Press and PrairiePundit
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
For Cape Cod Wind Farm, New Hurdle Is Spiritual
Pressure on Barack Obama to reveal what Britain said about Detroit bomber
Discussion: New York Times