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6:40 PM ET, January 6, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.”
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
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Ford Jr. weighs longshot bid for NY-Senate
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Blumenthal heavily favored
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Senator Dodd Will Not Seek Re-election, Democrats Say
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 …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“Sick” Of The Israelis And The Palestinians  —  Ben Rhodes has denied that Rahm said this to the Israelis.  Well, it sure sounds like Rahm.  —  More to the point, who wouldn't be sick of the Israelis and the Palestinians at this point?  —  I too am sick of the Israelis for their contempt …
Natasha Mozgovaya / Haaretz:
Emanuel: U.S. fed up with Israel, Palestinians  —  White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently told the Israeli consul in Los Angeles that the Obama administration is fed up with both Israel and the Palestinians, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.  —  Emanuel met with Jacob Dayan …
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:   Rahm in the mayor's race would be quite a fish tale
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...”
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Dems agree that House will take up, tweak Senate healthcare bill
Clemente Lisi / New York Post:   Obama promised 8 times during campaign to televise health care debate
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
The First Senator From the Tea Party?  —  Charlie Crist's perma-tanned face bears none of the strain you would expect from the archetype of the embattled Republican.  Politicians are supposed to keep up appearances, but Crist is especially convincing, one of the more earnest politicians you will see, whether or not he means it.
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Paul Ryan Endorses Rubio
Kyle Trygstad / Politics Nation:
Pomeroy Will Not Run For Senate  —  North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy will not run for Senate, a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee source tells RealClearPolitics.  —  Pomeroy, the state's lone congressman, had been considered Democrats' strongest candidate to replace Sen. Byron Dorgan …
Mark Preston / CNN:   House Democrat passes on Senate bid
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
An opening for Arnold?  —  Here's the best rumor I've heard today, inspired in part by the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger has, of late, been saying nice things about the president at every turn and by the announcement that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is retiring.
Michael Riley / Denver Post:
Salazar gets White House OK for run
Discussion: Hotline On Call
Andrew Breitbart / Big Journalism:
‘You Are a Bad, Bad, Bad Journalist’  —  I couldn't believe I was having this conversation.  It felt like a scene from a movie that conveniently ties plot points together when two critical characters in the storyline share a moment of implausible significance - where the intrepid reporter finally runs his target to ground.
Discussion: Nice Deb
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Arnold blasts health care bill: ‘Trough of bribes, deals and loopholes’  —  So scratch that thing about cozying up to the White House.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in California's perpetual budget hell, blasted the elements of health care legislation that impose new burdens on the states in his State of the State speech today:
Discussion: The Page
Mike Allen / The Politico:   Arnold: ‘Bribes’ infect health reform
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.
Brian McGrory / Boston Globe:
Where's Martha Coakley?  —  If you're a registered voter in Massachusetts, your friendly Democratic Senate candidate, Martha Coakley, is sticking her thumb in your eye.  —  Coakley, in exquisitely diva-like form, is refusing all invitations to debate her Republican opponent in the race …
Discussion: Eye on 2010 and Riehl World View
Obama ‘Frustrated’ By ‘Slow’ Confirmation For Nominees, Expected To Re-Nominate  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  President Obama is increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of confirmation for his judicial and executive appointees, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Discussion: Main Justice
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
RE-NOMINATIONS.... Conservative obstructionism has blocked votes …
Discussion: ACS Blog
New York Times:
Another Iranian Revolution?  Not Likely  —  THE Islamic Republic of Iran is not about to implode.  Nevertheless, the misguided idea that it may do so is becoming enshrined as conventional wisdom in Washington.  —  For President Obama, this misconception provides a bit of cover …
Robin Wright / Los Angeles Times:
An opposition manifesto in Iran
Discussion: RealClearWorld and The Majlis
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 …
Jeff Richardson / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
‘Frozen Gore’ sculpture returns in Fairbanks to fuel climate change debate  —  FAIRBANKS - In what might become an annual tradition, an ice sculpture of former Vice President Al Gore has taken its place in front of Thrifty Liquor along Airport Way.  —  The two-ton “Frozen Gore” sculpture isn't exactly a tribute.
More Ex-Detainees Resort to Terror, Officials Say  —  Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — As many as one in five former Guantanamo Bay detainees are suspected of or confirmed to have engaged in terrorist activity after their release, U.S. officials said, citing the latest government statistics.
Discussion: The Jawa Report, Stinque and QandO
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Arkansas Senate Race  —  2010 Arkansas Senate Race Still A Referendum on Lincoln  —  As 2010 begins, the numbers for Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln are pretty much the same as last year's while she prepares to face Arkansas voters in November.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Top 20 Democrats Who Could Lose Their Seats over Health Care Vote  —  Embattled Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder (AR-02)  —  I've been going over the list of Republican challengers, to try and figure out which present the most serious threats to those who voted “yes” on the health care bill the first time it went through the House.
14 terror suspects mistakenly kill themselves  —  Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Fourteen suspected terrorists died Tuesday night when the bus they rigged with explosives blew up prematurely, police said.  —  The explosion occurred as the suspects were riding the bus in the province of Kunduz, said police chief Abdul Raziq Yaqobi.
Discussion: Mudville Gazette and JustOneMinute
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 More Items: 
New York Post:
White House budget director ditched pregnant girlfriend for ABC News gal
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Gunfire at Gaza Protest Near Egypt
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Ann Coulter Is Worried About “Foreskin” And “Anus” Bombing
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
President of advocacy group EMILY's List is retiring
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Tom Troy / Toledo Blade:
Sen. Brown says Obama deserves B or B+ grade
Discussion: The Politico and The Hill
SusanAnne Hiller / Big Government:
Congress Tinkers with Withholding Tax Tables for 2010
 Earlier Items: 
Bmaz / Firedoglake:
FDL Welcomes Drew Westen: Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010
The Note:
DCCC Chief: ‘Couple More’ Retirements Possible — But No More Party Switchers
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Mark McDonald / New York Times:
Survivor of 2 Atomic Bombs Dies at 93
David Ariosto / CNN:
Obama-Cuba honeymoon may be over  —  Havana, Cuba (CNN) — The cake has been cut.