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8:30 PM ET, February 3, 2010


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Republicans find loophole in budget ploy to push through healthcare legislation  —  As it turns out, Senate Democrats may not be able to force healthcare legislation through the chamber on a simple majority vote.  —  Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Brown Surprise: Seat Me Now!  —  Now that his election as Senator from Massachusetts has been certified, Scott Brown wants to get to work — and much more quickly than his colleagues in the Senate had prepared for.  Brown's campaign counsel asked Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to sign …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY THE SWEARING-IN DATE MATTERS.... When Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) won his special election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19, it started a routine certification process.  Brown personally suggested to the Senate that he could be sworn in on Thursday, Feb. 11, and the leadership agreed.
Felix Gillette / New York Observer:
D-Day at CBS News  —  On the evening of Monday, Feb. 1, Katie Couric, anchor of the CBS Evening News, was wearing red.  For the next half-hour, she tore through the headlines.  There were allegations of bigotry among the federal air marshals in the U.S., an American church group accused …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Palin, Emanuel.  Pot, Kettle  —  Did she really just call for Rahm Emanuel to be fired because he allegedly used the term “f**king retarded” to refer to fellow Democrats in a private meeting?  Last summer?  Did she really?  —  I don't like the term myself.  I think it is offensive.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Special Olympics: Apology not accepted [UPDATED]  —  The Special Olympics is disputing the White House claim that its chairman, Tim Shriver, accepted Rahm Emanuel's apology for calling liberals “retarded.”  —  Seeking to damp down the controversy over Rahm Emanuel's reported …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Emanuel ‘sincerely apologizes,’ again
Discussion: Jezebel and Political Punch
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Lincoln presses Obama on party ‘extremes’ at Q and A  —  Centrist Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) on Wednesday asked arguably the most contentious question during a discussion between Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama, hitting at conservatives and liberals.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Countdown begins for end of Keith Olbermann's ‘Countdown’?  —  Remember Keith Olbermann?  —  He was the one-time must-see anti-Bush ranter who helped rescue MSNBC (yes, it's still on at night) from even worse oblivion years ago.  —  Well, quietly last month while no one was looking …
Peter Baker / The Caucus:
Powell Favors Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'  —  Gen. Colin L. Powell, who as the nation's top military officer in the 1990s opposed allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, switched gears today and threw his support behind efforts to end the “don't ask, don't tell” law he helped shepherd in.
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Senators Warned of Terror Attack on U.S. by July  —  WASHINGTON — America's top intelligence official told lawmakers on Tuesday that Al Qaeda and its affiliates had made it a high priority to attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months.
New York Post:
Muslim chaplain ‘smuggled’ box cutters into jail  —  A Muslim chaplain for the city Department of Correction was arrested this morning for allegedly trying to smuggle in three box-cutters to a lower Manhattan jail.  —  The imam, Imam Zul-Qarnain Shahid, has worked as a DOC jail chaplain for three years …
Daniel Foster / The Corner on National Review Online:
Holder: ‘I made the Decision’ on Abdulmutallab — By: Daniel Foster  —  Attorney General Eric Holder has taken ownership of the decision to treat Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a civilian criminal.  —  “I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab with federal crimes …
Discussion: Power Line and Gateway Pundit
Max Blumenthal / Salon:
James O'Keefe's race problem  —  A photo of the righty stuntman at a white-nationalist confab illustrates a career marked by racial resentment  —  Many of the conservatives who gleefully promoted James O'Keefe's past political stunts are feigning shock at his arrest on charges …
Ezra Klein:
The primacy of process  —  “Yesterday,” Josh Marshall writes, “I did a handful of posts about how Hill Democrats seem much less adept at mixing politics and policy together than their Republican counterparts.”  —  This crystallized something I've been struggling to put into words.
Ezra Klein:
A good message is not nearly as important as a fast process
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Las Vegas mayor: Obama is “a real slow learner”; Update: Reid questioning Obama's patriotism?  —  Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman lambasted Barack Obama yesterday after Obama made a reference to his city in a speech demanding better fiscal discipline earlier in the day.
Jeane MacIntosh / New York Post:
Edwards hit wife during heated fight: report  —  Disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards reportedly beat his cancer-stricken wife during a horrific marriage-ending fight.  —  “John lost his temper big time,” a close friend of Elizabeth's revealed to the National Enquirer.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Is the Senate majority now in play?  —  The victories in Illinois by Rep. Mark Kirk (R) and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) coupled with former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats' (R) decision to challenge Evan Bayh (D) in the fall is likely to stir chatter about the possibility that Republicans …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
White House Privately Signaling Support For House Passing Senate Bill With Fix, Aides Say  —  White House aides have privately told Dem Congressional aides that the White House supports the House passing the Senate health reform bill with a reconciliation fix, something that could give a bit …
Jim Newell / Wonkette:
Official Carly Fiorina Video Wins Current Hour Of Internet  —  OH MY GOD “Carlyfornia” Senate candidate Carly Fiorina has struck again on the Internet and the results are monstrous.  It's best at the beginning and end, especially the end, picking up steam at exactly 2:26.
Michael Scherer / Swampland:
Carly Fiorina Releases Rare Psychedelic Attack Ad
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Warning sign in Illinois  —  I think last night's Illinois primary results indicate some difficulties ahead in the state for Democrats that have nothing to do with who the winners and losers were.  —  Based on the current numbers 885,268 voters were cast in the Democratic primary for Senate compared to 736,137 on the Republican side.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Rush Limbaugh: 'I love the women's movement — especially when walking behind it.'  —  Last week, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh judged the Miss America pageant.  Today he went on Fox and Friends and spoke to host — and former Miss America winner — Gretchen Carlson to respond to the criticism he has been receiving.
U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis  —  Feb. 3 (Bloomberg Multimedia) — The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.
Discussion: Wizbang
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Four Legs Good, Taxes Baaaad  —  Carley Fiorina, running for the GOP Senate nomination in California, attacks Tom Campbell:  —  The funny thing about this ad, aside from the clumsy over-the-top quality, is the metaphor.  The message of the ad is that Campbell is an ideological deviant.
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Ben Smith's Blog
EU summit off after Obama ‘snub’  —  The European Union has scrapped a summit with the US, after President Barack Obama decided not to attend.  —  The event in Madrid in May was to have been the highlight of Spain's six-month EU presidency, and the cancellation is seen as a humiliating blow.
Discussion: The Hill
Robert Wright / Opinionator:
The Internet vs. Obama  —  Could we give Barack Obama a break?  —  Even among his supporters, opinions about his handling of health care reform range from the view that he messed up to the view that he really, really messed up.  —  True, the more charitable critics grant …
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 More Items: 
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker:
‘We Might As Well Be Able To Vote For Disney’: Tea Partiers Slam …
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs and
Aaron Deslatte / Orlando Sentinel:
GOP donors say they didn't know of fundraiser's lucrative contract
Discussion: The Buzz
Daniel Larison / THE WEEK News & Opinion:
The U.S. should stay in Haiti
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Ssumner / TheMoneyIllusion:
DeLong and the Republicans are both wrong
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Erin McPike / Hotline On Call:
Romney To Fundraise For Thune
 Earlier Items: 
RIA Novosti:
Russian police kill al-Qaeda's ‘sword of Islam’
Discussion: The Long War Journal
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
Iraqi Court Overturns Ban on Hundreds of Candidates
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Commentary
San Diego News Online:
Feds: Phony U.S. Marshal made it into S.D. airport with ‘prisoner’
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Abu Muqawama:
I promise this is the last thing I post on DADT
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
RNC Picks 4 Finalists For Convention