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10:10 AM 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 …
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.
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.
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.
Justin Kitsch / Byron L. Dorgan:
STATEMENT BY U.S. SENATOR BYRON DORGAN  —  “Representing North Dakota in the U.S. Congress for nearly 30 years has been one of the great privileges of my life.  —  “The work I have been able to do to expand our economy, create new opportunities in energy and water development …
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.
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 …
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
In shocker, Dorgan announces retirement  —  Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced this evening that he's retiring at the end of his term, a shocking development that threatens Democratic control of his Senate seat next year.  —  Dorgan was up for re-election in 2010, but the third-term senator …
Daniela Altimari / Hartford Courant:
Sen. Christopher Dodd Will Not Seek Reelection  —  Connecticut Senator Dodd Bows Out Of Race  —  Democratic U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, a 30-year incumbent who has been struggling in public opinion polls for more than a year, plans to announce today he will not seek reelection.
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
Hoeven planning to run for the Senate
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 Politico:
Pelosi swipes at Obama's promises  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, piqued with White House pressure to accept the Senate health reform bill, threw a rare rhetorical elbow at President Barack Obama Tuesday, questioning his commitment to his 2008 campaign promises.  —  A leadership aide said it was no accident.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
OH SNAP!  Pelosi On Obama: 'There Were A Number Of Things …
Chris Frates / The Politico:
‘Forceful’ POTUS message: He wants a final bill that includes …
Wall Street Journal:
The Tom DeLay Democrats
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 …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Colorado Governor Ritter to retire  —  Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will not seek a second term this fall, according to Democratic sources briefed on his decision.  —  Ritter, elected in a landslide in 2006, had seen his political fate dip considerably in the intervening years …
Discussion: Eye on 2010 and TPMDC
Lynn Bartels / Denver Post:
Ritter to withdraw from Colorado governor's race
Discussion: The Hill
Hotline On Call:
Ritter Won't Seek 2nd Term
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.
Pressure on Barack Obama to reveal what Britain said about Detroit bomber
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: Michael Yon arrested at Seattle airport
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Cold Fury
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 …
Richard A. Epstein / Forbes:
Deregulation Now  —  A New Year's resolution for failing state governments.  —  As we enter a new decade, the political mood of the country can be captured in one word: glum.  In particular, there is widespread recognition at the state level that conditions have reached near crisis proportions.
Discussion: The Glittering Eye and Hit & Run
William J. Broad / New York Times:
Iran Shielding Its Nuclear Efforts in Maze of Tunnels  —  Last September, when Iran's uranium enrichment plant buried inside a mountain near the holy city of Qum was revealed, the episode cast light on a wider pattern: Over the past decade, Iran has quietly hidden an increasingly large part …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Republicans see courts as last line of defense vs. Democrats' agenda  —  Republicans and allied groups say they will spend millions to oppose healthcare reform and other Democratic initiatives in the courts, which they see as a last line of defense against President Barack Obama's agenda.
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
Palin: It's War, not a Crime Spree  —  A strong statement from the People's Governor:
Financial Times:
A 10-year plan to close the budget deficit  —  The most gripping rescue story of 2009 was the tale of how Captain Chesley Sullenberger glided his Airbus A320 safely into the freezing waters of New York's Hudson river.  His calmness, which probably saved the 155 people on board …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama opens year with 50 percent approval rating  —  President Barack Obama starts 2010 with a 50 percent approval rating according to Gallup's newest polling data released Wednesday.  —  The number matches Obama's December approval average but is a significant drop from the 68 percent approval ratings …
Discussion: Gallup and The Politico
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Paul takes aim at Cheney  —  (CNN) - Dick Cheney is taking criticism from at least one member of his own party over the former vice president's recent and persistent criticisms of the Obama administration's handling of national security issues.  —  Ron Paul, the Texas congressman …
Discussion: Blog
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
Baker's funding shatters records  —  Patrick foe raises $2.3m in months  —  In one of the most aggressive political fund-raising pushes in recent memory, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charles D. Baker has amassed a $1.85 million war chest over roughly five months of campaigning …
Discussion: and Real Clear Politics
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 More Items: 
Quinnipiac University:
Bysiewicz Trails Connecticut's Rell By Just 6 Points, Quinnipiac …
Discussion: Eye on 2010
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
How America Can Rise Again
Discussion: Paul Kedrosky's …
Wall Street Journal:
Google's Nexus One Is Bold New Face in Super-Smart Phones
Discussion: Truthdig
Iceland Blocks Bank Compensation for Foreigners
Walter Pincus / Washington Post:
Coalition urged to revamp intelligence gathering, distribution in Afghanistan
Discussion: The Majlis
Sarah Wheaton / New York Times:
Decision Sets Stage for Pitched Battle
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Lawyer Says Third White House ‘Crasher’ Was Invited
Discussion: NPR Blogs and The Page
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
For Cape Cod Wind Farm, New Hurdle Is Spiritual
 Earlier Items:
Granite Status: Newt set for NH return; Kuster raises big bucks
Discussion: Hotline On Call and GOP 12
Wall Street Journal:
Toyota, Ford Show Year-End Sales Gain
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
U.S. Saw a Path to Qaeda Chiefs Before Bombing
Discussion: Washington Post
Peter Allen / Daily Mail:
France to introduce new law banning ‘psychological violence’ in marriages
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Vox Popoli