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10:40 AM ET, January 18, 2010


 Top Items: 
Felicia Sonmez / Hotline On Call:
After Obama Rally, Dems Pin Blame On Bush  —  As audience members streamed out of Pres. Obama's rally on behalf of AG Martha Coakley (D) here tonight, the consensus was that the fault for Coakley's now-floundering MA SEN bid lies with one person — George W. Bush.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Massachusetts Senate Poll  —  Scott Brown leads Martha Coakley 51-46 in our final Massachusetts Senate poll, an advantage that is within the margin of error for the poll.  —  Over the last week Brown has continued his dominance with independents and increased his ability to win over Obama voters …
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Mass. Senate race's lesson for Obama  —  In June 2008, a few months before the financial implosions began, I asked two smart financiers who happened to be Republican about the future of the seemingly shaky American economy.  —  Defying the moment's conventional predictions …
Brown Has 9.6% Lead in New Poll  —  Brown supporters focused most on pocketbook issues, Coakley supporters on healthcare reform, undecided voters split  —  A poll conducted by the Merriman River Group (MRG) and indicates that Scott Brown leads Martha Coakley 50.8% …
John Garvey / Boston Herald:
Disdains Scott Brown's conscience  —  Reading James Madison's “Memorial and Remonstrance” last week, I was struck by how timely it is after 225 years.  —  Madison wrote it as a protest against a bill to provide tax support for teachers of the Christian religion.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
538 Still Rates Massachusetts as Toss-up  —  Please don't be too enthralled with/scared by the specific numbers below.  They're based a number of assumptions which may not be valid.  However, I agree with the characterization that the model comes to, which is that the Massachusetts special election …
Political Punch:
Martha Coakley: A Democratic Canary in a Coalmine?  —  Political operatives say the Senate race in Massachusetts between Democratic state attorney general Martha Coakley and Republican state senator Scott Brown is too close to call.  But the fact that President Obama felt the need to fly …
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Hot Air
Boston Globe:
Pulling out all the stops  —  Obama, in Hub, says he needs Coakley …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Sources: Obama advisers believe Coakley will lose
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
National Democrats scramble to save Coakley in Mass. special election
Discussion: Politics Daily
Roger L Simon / Pajamas Media:
Sunday PJM/CrossTarget Poll: Brown up 9.6% among likely voters
Discussion: Hot Air, TPMDC and The Strata-Sphere
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Democrats Push to Salvage a Flailing Candidacy
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
Glenn Reynolds / Instapundit:
Susan Milligan / Boston Globe:
Obama here for Coakley, trailing a diminished aura
Discussion: RedState and Pundit & Pundette
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
What Didn't Happen  —  Lately many people have been second-guessing the Obama administration's political strategy.  The conventional wisdom seems to be that President Obama tried to do too much — in particular, that he should have put health care on one side and focused on the economy.  —  I disagree.
Taliban attack in downtown Kabul  —  Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — An attack in which the Taliban claimed to have infiltrated key government sites in central Kabul killed five people on Monday morning, hospital officials said.  —  Thirty-eight other people were injured, said Dr. Kabir Amiri, head of Kabul hospitals.
BBC:   Militants attack Afghan capital
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
Professor Is a Label That Leans to the Left  —  The overwhelmingly liberal tilt of university professors has been explained by everything from outright bias to higher I.Q. scores.  Now new research suggests that critics may have been asking the wrong question.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Brown smiles at ‘curling iron’ jibe  —  Democrats made hay earlier today of the report of an ugly comment at a Scott Brown event: “Shove a curling iron up her butt” a crowd member shouted of Coakley in West Springfield.  —  The video above appears to show Brown smiling at the line and nodding …
Scott Horton / Harper's:
The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle  —  1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”  —  When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.”
Eric Dash / New York Times:
Wall St. Weighs a Challenge to a Proposed Tax  —  Wall Street's main lobbying arm has hired a top Supreme Court litigator to study a possible legal battle against a bank tax proposed by the Obama administration, on the theory that it would be unconstitutional, according to three industry officials briefed on the matter.
Washington Post:
Fewer Americans think Obama has advanced race relations, poll shows  —  Soaring expectations about the effect of the first black president on U.S. race relations have collided with a more mundane reality, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  —  On the eve of President Obama's inauguration …
Discussion: The Page
New York Times:
Review of Jet Bomb Plot Shows More Missed Clues  —  WASHINGTON — Worried about possible terrorist attacks over the Christmas holiday, President Obama met on Dec. 22 with top officials of the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security, who ticked off a list of possible plots …
Discussion: Laura Rozen's Blog and The Page
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 More Items: 
David Sessions / Politics Daily:
Norm Coleman Says He Won't Run for Minnesota Governor
The Politico:
Napolitano grants Haitians refuge
Discussion: Politics Daily
The Politico:
Mass. pols vie to channel voters' anger
Discussion: Power Line
Tuesday's Senate election: The forecast is for Republican weather in Massachusettes*
 Earlier Items: 
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Harold Ford Jr.: It Was Good to Hear President Bush's Voice
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“My Vote For Brown Isn't A Vote Against Obama” Ctd
Discussion: Dennis the Peasant
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Gay marriage supporters fear Supreme Court's ruling was an omen
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay and Truthdig