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12:45 AM ET, January 8, 2010


 Top Items: 
Hotline On Call:
GOP Insiders Sour On Palin  —  A poll of GOP insiders suggests that ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has little support among the party's professional class — and maybe that's just how she wants it.  —  In a survey of 109 party leaders, political professionals and pundits, Palin finished 5th …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Palin rebuffs CPAC, Keene  —  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pain is turning down an invitation to speak at one high-profile conservative gathering while accepting another.  —  Palin is declining an invitation to address the Conservative Political Action Conference next month because, a source said …
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Is Palin Getting $100,000 to Speak at the Tea Party National Convention?  —  This morning, I asked whether Sarah Palin's decision to speak at the Tea Party National Convention — while (so far) eschewing the much higher-profile Conservative Political Action Conference — had anything to with money.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Poll: McCain is leader of GOP
The White House:
Remarks by the President on Strengthening Intelligence and Aviation Security State Dining Room  —  THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody.  The immediate reviews that I ordered after the failed Christmas terrorist attack are now complete.  I was just briefed on the findings and recommendations …
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Janet Napolitano Says She's Most Surprised By “Al-Qaeda's Determination” (Video)
Discussion: Founding Bloggers
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
GOP Furious At Steele; RNC Admits Little Control  —  House and Senate leadership aides are furious with RNC chair Michael Steele and have angrily confronted the RNC's press shop over their inability to keep the chair on message.  —  In the course of a regular daily conference call between …
The Note:
Steele Lashes Out: Critics Should ‘Get a Life,’ ‘Shut Up,’ ‘Fire Me ... or Get out of the Way’  —  ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Rick Klein report: RNC Chairman Michael Steele is lashing out his critics, with a series of blunt messages for prominent Republicans who have blasted him over his leadership for the Republican Party.
Yahoo! News:
GOP Aides Tell RNC: Keep Steele Quiet
Discussion: and Hot Air
The Star-Ledger Continuous / New Jersey Online:
N.J. Senate rejects bill legalizing gay marriage … TRENTON — The state Senate rejected a same-sex marriage bill today, a major victory for opponents who contend the measure would infringe on religious freedom and is not needed because the state already permits civil unions.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin aide warned of ‘epic debacle’  —  Sarah Palin's charming opening debate line for now-Vice President Joe Biden — “Hey, can I call you Joe?”  — was scripted after she repeatedly referred to him as “O'Biden” in preparation sessions, former McCain campaign senior adviser Steve Schmidt told “60 Minutes.”
James Gordon Meek / NY Daily News:
NCTC director Michael Leiter remained on ski slopes after Christmas Day airline bombing attempt  —  WASHINGTON - The top official in charge of analyzing terror threats did not cut short his ski vacation after the underwear bomber nearly blew up an airliner on Christmas Day, the Daily News has learned.
Michael Crowley / The New Republic:
The Butt Bomb  —  Al Qaeda's hidden weapon.  —  In the wake …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
The Leiter They Are, The Quicker They Fall?
Rachel Slajda / TPM LiveWire:
Former Bush Attorney Charged With Trying To Kill His Wife
Seema Mehta / L.A. NOW:
Reagan grandson arrested in Van Nuys [Updated]  —  Former President Reagan's grandson is in jail this morning after police arrested him at his parents' house in Van Nuys, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.  —  Cameron Reagan, 31, was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest …
Golnaz Esfandiari / Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Iran State TV Suggests Neda's Iconic Death Was ‘Faked’  —  Iranian state television has made a documentary about the death of Neda Agha Soltan, a young Iranian woman who was shot dead during the June postelection protests in Tehran, suggesting she was an agent of the United States and Britain who staged her own death.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Beck: 'African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term.  I mean, that's not a race.'  —  Today on his radio show, Glenn Beck wanted to discuss the census.  “Apparently the census has come out,” he said.  Beck's co-host then chimed in, “Yeah and there's a little confusion because there's three boxes …
Roger Lowenstein / New York Times:
Walk Away From Your Mortgage!  —  John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently told The Wall Street Journal that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the “message” they will send to “their family and their kids and their friends.”
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Carlson Launches Right's Answer to HuffPost  —  The offices of The Daily Caller evoke a long-ago era of journalism, circa 2005 or 2006, before the Los Angeles Times closed its big-city bureaus, The Washington Times fired 60 percent of its staff, and magazines from Gourmet to Portfolio shuttered for lack of revenue.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Attention Conspiracy Theorists: Read This Post  —  I tend to be skeptical of those who believe that the Federal Reserve is engaged in a massive conspiracy, for reasons known and unknown, to protect its turf and turn us all into serfs, but then I'll read a quotation like this, and I'll scratch my head.
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Moving From “Solid” to “Leans”  —  Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report says that something is happening in Massachusetts: … She notes that there are two more debates “which always present candidates with an opportunity to put in make-or-break performances.”  One has to remember: this is Massachusetts.
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Conservatives Finish 2009 as No. 1 Ideological Group  —  Uptick owing largely to more independents calling themselves conservative  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The increased conservatism that Gallup first identified among Americans last June persisted throughout the year, so that the final year-end …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
A defense of Obama  —  I get a lot of unsolicited e-mail and should probably publish more of it; this defense of Obama, sent in by someone named Ellie Light, seemed to crystallize a point his supporters have been trying to make for a while:  —  A year ago, if we had read in the paper …
Discussion: The New Republic
Stephen Adams / Telegraph:
Snow covers Britain from head to toe  —  As if dusted with icing sugar, this satellite image of Britain shows the full extent of the snow coverage affecting the country.  —  From head to toe there is barely a patch of land not blanketed by the heaviest snowfall in 50 years.
Discussion: The Reaction and Tim Blair
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Nelson in “serious discussions” to extend deal  —  Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has begun negotiations with Senate Democratic leaders to expand his special Medicaid funding deal to all states or to allow states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in 2017, his spokesman told POLITICO Thursday.
Gregg Levine / Firedoglake:
Cadillac Flip Flop: Obama Was Against Health Plan Tax Before He Was For It  —  In a video that rings so true it hurts, Lee Stranahan-a former Obama supporter-gives us the aspiring president's own speech.  Only a month before the 2008 election, Obama makes it plain just how bad an idea the …
Joe Klein / Swampland:
Zeitgeist Patrol  —  Alone in our nation's capital last night, I decided to keep in touch with the culture by going to see Avatar in 3D.  I hadn't read much of the commentary about the movie, but the word of mouth was that it was visually spectacular—and yes, spectacular it was, especially in 3D …
Discussion: JustOneMinute and
Karen Schuberg / CNSNews:
Brit Hume: ‘Jesus Christ’ the ‘Most Controversial Two Words You Can Ever Utter in the Public Square’ Today  —  ( - Brit Hume said he was “not surprised” by the media backlash over his remarks to Tiger Woods on “Fox News Sunday” this week.  There is a “double-standard” …
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 More Items: 
Catherine Rampell / Economix:
What Does It Mean to Be a Deficit Hawk?
Joseph Abrams / Fox News:
Thousands From Terror-Sponsoring Nations Entering U.S. on ‘Diversity Visas’
Discussion: Riehl World View and Hot Air
Michael J. Totten:
An Interview with Christopher Hitchens, Part I
Discussion: Cold Fury and The Daily Dish
Quin Hillyer / American Spectator:
Thermopylae for Health Care
 Earlier Items: 
Claudia Schur / Health Affairs Blog:
Health Care Reform: State Winners And Losers
Discussion: Wonk Room and Hullabaloo
Ezra Klein:
Supermajority retention  —  Nate Silver thinks Democrats …
Bob Barr / The Barr Code:
Critics of Obama way off base on this one
Discussion: VetVoice