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1:10 AM ET, February 4, 2010

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 Top Items: 
The Hill:
Scott Brown to be sworn in as Massachusetts senator Thursday  —  Sen.-elect Scott Brown, the successor to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), will be sworn in to office Thursday afternoon, giving Republicans 41 seats in the upper chamber.  —  “Once we get his certificate we expect to swear …
RELATED:
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.
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 …
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.
RELATED:
Baltimore Sun:
Vulnerable Dems seek distance from Obama
Discussion: Don Surber
Larry O'Connor / Big Journalism:
James O'Keefe vs. Max Blumenthal: How the Left Distorts, Invents and Lies  —  It started with a blog post at something called One People's Project, in which someone named Daryle Jenkins claimed: … The photograph that One People's Project shows as its proof (above) is cropped and just shows O'Keefe from the shoulders up.
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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 …
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker:
‘We Might As Well Be Able To Vote For Disney’: Tea Partiers Slam Citizens United Ruling  —  Some Tea Partiers are expressing vocal opposition to the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down the ban on corporate political spending — a stance that puts them at odds with the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement.
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Timothy Egan / Opinionator:   Grifters' Tale  —  Judson Phillips is a Tennessee lawyer …
Matea Gold / Los Angeles Times:
Comedian Jon Stewart takes the hot seat with Bill O'Reilly  —  In a vigorous, policy-laden debate, ‘The Daily Show’ host blasts Fox's ‘panic attack’ coverage of Obama and the economy.  O'Reilly says ‘the narrative of a couple of guys’ doesn't represent the whole network.
Discussion: The Swamp, TVNewser, Mediaite and The Wire
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.
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Michael Scherer / Swampland:
Carly Fiorina Releases Rare Psychedelic Attack Ad
Michael Shain / New York Post:
Stand off  —  Couric, CBS reach crossroads  —  With a little more than a year to go on her contract, Katie Couric is dressing up her resumé.  —  The CBS anchor, now 53, is facing a huge pay cut in her unprecedented $15 million-a-year salary.  —  More importantly …
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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.
RELATED:
Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal:
Russian police kill al Qaeda's co-founder in the Caucasus  —  A wanted Egyptian al Qaeda operative who helped establish the terror group in the Caucasus has been killed by Russian security forces during a clash in Dagestan.  —  Russia's Federal Security Service killed Mokhmad Mohamad Shabban …
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
RELATED:
RIA Novosti:   Russian police kill al-Qaeda's ‘sword of Islam’
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Christopher Weber / Politics Daily:
CIA Accused of Cover Up in Deaths of U.S. Civilians in Peru  —  The CIA was accused Wednesday of lying to Congress and covering up its role in the downing of a plane carrying Christian missionaries nine years ago over Peru, killing an American mother and her infant daughter, ABC News reported.
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Veterans Today
Bloomberg:
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.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Tough talk comes after Obama exits  —  Senate Democrats held back from asking President Barack Obama about healthcare reform during a carefully scripted question-and-answer session in front of television cameras.  —  With the cameras rolling, a group of senators selected in advance …
Agence France Presse:
US debt to hit proposed ceiling by end-February: Treasury  —  WASHINGTON — The US debt is on track to hit a congressionally proposed debt ceiling of 14.3 trillion dollars by the end of February, the Treasury said Wednesday, a day ahead of a key vote to raise it to that level.
Felicia Fonseca / Associated Press:
Motivational speaker charged in sweat lodge deaths  —  FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray was arrested Wednesday afternoon on three counts of manslaughter for deaths that happened after a sweat lodge ceremony he led in northern Arizona last year.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Newsdesk / Clout St:
New questions in 2005 arrest of Democratic lieutenant governor nominee  —  UPDATED at 8:24 p.m. with additional Quinn comment; originally posted by David Heinzmann and Ray Long at 7:55 p.m.  —  The newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor said Wednesday he doesn't think a …
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justice Defends Ruling on Finance
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Currency Dispute Likely to Further Fray U.S.-China Ties
Discussion: The Economic Populist
The White House:
Remarks by the President at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee …
CNN:
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Four Legs Good, Taxes Baaaad
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Ben Smith's Blog
Aaron Deslatte / Orlando Sentinel:
GOP donors say they didn't know of fundraiser's lucrative contract
Discussion: Naked Politics
 Earlier Items: 
Erin McPike / Hotline On Call:
Romney To Fundraise For Thune
BBC:
EU summit off after Obama ‘snub’
Discussion: The Hill
Stephen F. Hayes / Weekly Standard:
What We Lost While Abdulmutallab Clammed Up
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Is the Senate majority now in play?