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1:30 PM ET, January 7, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   The Leiter They Are, The Quicker They Fall?
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.
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Steele's side pursuits drive away big donors  —  Book tour, speeches seen as distractions  —  Some wealthy contributors are shunning the Republican National Committee and donating instead to the other GOP campaign committees or directly to candidates - in many cases because of discontent …
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 …
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Oh, Byron, We Hardly Knew Ye  —  Senator Byron Dorgan is retiring!  I know this comes as a shock to you, people.  Also Senator Chris Dodd!  We are only one week into the new year, and the political world is in turmoil.  It's a wonder we can continue on with our regular duties.
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.
New York Post:
Obama's budget boss jilts baby mama  —  By RICHARD JOHNSON and JEANE MacINTOSH in NY and GEOFF EARLE in DC  —  President Obama's geeky budget guru has a secret love child — with the Greek shipping heiress he jilted before hooking up with his hot new ABC News fiancée, The Post has learned.
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
Dan / Riehl World View:
Palin $100k To Speak At Tea Party Event?
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.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
White House: We will NOT discuss broken C-Span promise
Daniel Trotta / Reuters:
Goodbye kiss provoked Newark airport scare: report  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - The security scare that shut Newark airport for hours and delayed thousands of passengers was caused by a man who slipped into a secure area to give a woman one last goodbye kiss, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Discussion: Althouse
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Colorado Governor  —  With Ritter Stepping Down, Democratic Prospects Improve in Colorado  —  Now that Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has said he will step down rather than run for reelection, Democrats may be more competitive in this year's gubernatorial race.
Bob Barr / The Barr Code:
Critics of Obama way off base on this one  —  Yes — the not-so-bright, would-be terrorist from Nigeria got though international and domestic security mechanisms supposed to have stopped him long before the jerk lit his underwear afire before landing in Detroit.
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 …
Jodi Kantor / New York Times:
Democrat Wears Scorn as Medal in Abortion Fight  —  MENOMINEE, Mich. — Representative Bart Stupak often endures things others find unbearable.  He crisscrosses a Congressional district so vast that some constituents live eight hours apart and so cold that the beer at his beloved football games sometimes freezes.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Emptywheel
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama and Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in Support of Strong Affordability and Coverage Provisions in Final Health Reform Legislation  —  Dear President Obama and Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:
Sestak puts blame on Democratic leaders for slipping support  —  TRIBUNE-REVIEW  —  Rep. Joe Sestak blames Democratic leaders for the plunge in public support for overhauling the health care system, saying Wednesday they failed to defend proposals that helped carry the party to victories in 2008.
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:
Prop. 8 trial will be shown on YouTube  —  (01-06) 16:17 PST SAN FRANCISCO — Next week's trial in San Francisco of a lawsuit challenging the initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California won't be televised live, but it will be videotaped for delayed Internet release on YouTube, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The Center for Public Integrity:
Abortion Rights PAC Provides Little for Campaigns  —  Wharton Professor Yoram “Jerry” Wind calls himself a liberal Republican.  Unhappy with what he considers far-right positions taken by his party, he searched for a way to change the GOP.  Unsolicited, in July of 2000, Wind donated $250 to an Alexandria …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Ellen Malcolm Flees Emily's List  —  For a lot of reasons, I believe that electoral support with no lobbying arm is a flawed advocacy model.  But there's no denying that Ellen Malcolm was a superb fundraiser who built Emily's List into a powerful support network for pro-choice female candidates.
Matt Frei / BBC:
Matt Frei's diary  —  The Virginia Five, currently imprisoned in Pakistan, the Nigerian “underpants bomber” whose name everyone - including President Obama - is stumbling over; the Jordanian doctor who turned out to be a double agent with a suicide vest in a CIA compound in Afghanistan …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and Biased BBC
The Crisis of Juvenile Prison Rape: A New Report  —  David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow  —  When Troy Erik was first imprisoned in California, his cellmate made the introductions for both of them.  “He said to me, 'Your name is gonna be Baby Romeo, and I'm Big Romeo.' He was saying he would be my man.”
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 More Items: 
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
How interest groups behind health-care legislation are financed is often unclear
Discussion: The New Republic
Lynne O'Donnell / Agence France Presse:
Afghan war kills three children a day: report
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Clintons, Oval Office: Obama one on one
Discussion: D.C. Now
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Please don't mess with Buffy
Discussion: Hullabaloo
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Despite Risks, Internet Creeps Onto Car Dashboards
Political Punch:
9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton: Obama, Other Leaders …
Discussion: Guardian and Hot Air