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5:40 PM ET, February 4, 2010


 Top Items: 
Brown to take Kennedy's office  —  Sen.-elect Scott Brown will be sworn in Thursday in Washington.  —  Washington - After Scott Brown gets sworn in Thursday afternoon, he won't just be taking Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, he will also be taking over his plush office space in the Senate Russell building.
Discussion: The Politico and The Hill
Brown to get Kennedy's office space  —  Washington (CNN) — The election victory of Massachusetts GOP Sen.-elect Scott Brown was certified Thursday, which will allow him to be sworn in Thursday afternoon to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.  —  “It's time to do my job,” Brown told reporters shortly after arriving on Capitol Hill.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Charlie Baker: Scott Brown, part deux?
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Washington Post
Jules Crittenden:
Enough With The Idol-Worship Sopfest Already
Discussion: Boston Globe and
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Flashback: In 2009, Scott Brown Said The Senate Health Bill 'Mirrors …
Discussion: The New Republic
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
National Prayer Breakfast Draws Controversy  —  For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has served as a prime networking event in Washington, bringing together the president, members of Congress, foreign diplomats and thousands of religious, business and military leaders for scrambled eggs and supplication.
Ben Frumin / TPM LiveWire:
Obama Makes Birther Joke At Prayer Breakfast (VIDEO)  —  At this morning's national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C., President Obama made a birther joke.  —  Calling once again for a return to civility in politics, the president declared that civility is “not a sign of weakness” …
Discussion: The Caucus, Raw Story and Newsalert
The White House:
Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast  —  Washington, D.C.  —  THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Please be seated.  —  Thank you so much.  Heads of state, Cabinet members, my outstanding Vice President, members of Congress, religious leaders …
Chicago Sun Times:
Details surface of Scott Lee Cohen's 2005 domestric violence arrest  —  Scott Lee Cohen — a pawnbroker who shocked state Democratic leaders Tuesday night by winning the party's nomination for lieutenant governor — was arrested about four-and-a-half years ago and accused of holding a knife …
Chicago Sun Times:
Lt. gov. nominee: I won't drop out of race over abuse history
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Jim Treacher / The DC Trawler:
Last night I got hit by a car and broke my knee  —  Sometime between 7 and 7:30, not long after I got home from work, I walked to the CVS on 22nd and M to get some bread, milk, and a SmartTrip card.  I was right across the street from the CVS, and I waited for the crosswalk light to tell me to go before I crossed.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Prayers for Jim Treacher; Update: State Dept, not Secret Service  —  Jim's a great friend to Hot Air and conservatives everywhere, and in his new gig at the Daily Caller, has a good stage for his biting humor and political insight.  We may have to wait a while for Jim to regale us …
Kristi Keck / CNN:
Fractures emerge as Tea Party convenes  —  (CNN) — As the Tea Party's first national convention gets under way, members are united in their anger but divided over the future of the movement.  —  The convention is marketed as an opportunity to bring Tea Party leaders from across …
Philip Terzian / Weekly Standard:
Clarence Thomas on Why He Skips the State of the Union  —  I don't go because it has become so partisan.  —  One final contribution to the post-mortem on the State of the Union address.  —  In a question-and-answer session at Stetson University College of Law in Florida this week …
The Huffington Post:
Obama's Engagement On Health Care Has ‘Dried Up’: Dem Senator  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Despite urging Democratic senators on Wednesday to forge ahead on health care reform, President Obama and his aides have been largely hands-off in guiding the legislative process, Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Tough talk comes after Obama exits
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Off-message, Biden recasts the Obama agenda  —  Vice President Biden is tired of seeing the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan demeaned, derided and dismissed, and he wanted to talk about it.  —  But a funny thing happened in the course of an interview at Biden's White House office on Tuesday afternoon.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
AMERICAN GREATNESS LIBERALISM.... One of the more robust applause lines …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Poll: Republicans Prefer Having A Deficit With Tax Cuts, Over A Balanced Budget And Higher Taxes  —  A new Rasmussen poll supplies a very interesting data point in the ongoing debate about the budget deficit: As it turns out, Republican voters would prefer having a deficit if it meant …
Rasmussen Reports:
41% Fine With Budget Deficit If Taxes Are Cut
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and YID With LID
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
On the claimed “war exception” to the Constitution  —  Last week, I wrote about a revelation buried in a Washington Post article by Dana Priest which described how the Obama administration has adopted the Bush policy of targeting selected American citizens for assassination if they are deemed (by the Executive Branch) to be Terrorists.
The Note:
Landrieu says Republicans should ‘shut their mouth’  —  ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: Don't mess with Mary Landrieu.  —  The Democratic Senator from Louisiana has had about enough of people criticizing the clause she helped put into the Senate version of health care reform and she took …
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:   Landrieu offers a defiant defense of deal
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Asian-Americans Lean Left Politically  —  Asian-Americans more liberal than other racial/ethnic groups  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup Daily tracking data reveal that Asian-Americans tend to be more Democratic and much less conservative than the general population in their political views.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Are African-Americans Conservative, or Is Ideological Self …
Discussion: Eunomia and Gallup
Wall Street Journal:
GOP Chases Wall Street Donors  —  Data Show Fund-Raisers Begin Capitalizing on Bankers' Regret Over Backing Obama  —  Republicans are stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street, trying to capitalize on an increasing sense of regret among executives at big financial institutions for backing Democrats in 2008.
Ariane De Vogue / ABCNEWS:
Obama Prepares for 2, Supreme Vacancies  —  SCOTUS Watchers Believe Justices Stevens and Ginsburg Could Decide to Step Aside  —  Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring.
Joan E. Darrah / CNN:
My secret life under 'don't ask, don't tell'  —  Editor's note: Retired Navy Capt. Joan E. Darrah served 29½ years as a naval intelligence officer and was chief of staff and deputy commander at the Office of Naval Intelligence.  She has received several awards: three Legion of Merits …
Megan McArdle:
How Unions Work  —  In a valiant attempt to defuse the ideological conflicts between the reformist and traditionalist wings of the liberal education wonketariat, Matthew Yglesias argues that this disagreement is not not ideological at all.  Rather, it is an artifact of past decisions about educational structure:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
The U.S. Department of Labor:
Dick Brass / New York Times:
Microsoft's Creative Destruction  —  AS they marvel at Apple's new iPad tablet computer, the technorati seem to be focusing on where this leaves Amazon's popular e-book business.  But the much more important question is why Microsoft, America's most famous and prosperous technology company …
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
U.S. General Offers Upbeat Views on Afghan War  —  ISTANBUL — The senior commander of American and allied forces in Afghanistan offered a guarded but unexpectedly upbeat assessment of the war effort on Thursday, saying that while the situation remained dangerous it was no longer deteriorating …
Corey Pein / Santa Fe Reporter:
BORN POOR?  —  SANTA FE ECONOMIST SAMUEL BOWLES SAYS YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT  —  Consider these two numbers.  Don't worry, there won't be a quiz.  —  The first number is 3,500.  —  The second is 32.  —  The first is how many jobs Santa Fe County lost in 2009, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
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 More Items: 
Daniel Stone / Newsweek Blogs:
The Revolution Kicks Off—In Style
Discussion: Nashville Scene
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Conyers wants Haiti relief official demoted over diversity deficit
Richard PéRez-PeñA / Media Decoder:
New York Observer to Help Create Las Vegas Weekly
Discussion: The Awl
Laura Rozen / Laura Rozen's Blog:
Bipartisan Senate resolution condemns Uganda anti-gay legislation
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama nominee's fate in flux as labor lawyer loses GOP support
Discussion: Commentary
Kbh /
Ten years ago? Seriously?
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Kate Hoit / The Huffington Post:
The Hurt Locker Doesn't Get This Vet's Vote
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Medicare vouchers  —  Ross Douthat surveys and evaluates …
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Jon Stewart to O'Reilly: Fox foments 'full-fledged panic attack …
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and Don Surber
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Florida, We Have a Problem