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12:50 PM ET, December 5, 2010

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 Top Items: 
Frank Rich / New York Times:
All the President's Captors  —  THOSE desperate to decipher the baffling Obama presidency could do worse than consult an article titled “Understanding Stockholm Syndrome” in the online archive of The F.B.I. Law Enforcement Bulletin.  It explains that hostage takers are most successful …
Danny Ayalon / Jerusalem Post:
Expressing gratitude  —  This is Israel's hour of need and nations across the world did not disappoint.  —  Talkbacks (9)  — Facebook  — Twitter  —  Over these last few painful, shocking days, there has been a shining light through the dark, ashfilled skies elicited by the rampant fires …
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Reuters:
Netanyahu, Abbas hold rare phone chat over Carmel fire  —  The Palestinian President expressed condolences and offered help; Netanyahu committed to establishing a pan-Middle Eastern firefighting fleet.  —  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed condolences in a rare telephone call …
Discussion: The Washington Note
The Huffington Post:
State Department To Columbia University Students: DO NOT Discuss WikiLeaks On Facebook, Twitter  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects, a State Department official warned students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs this week.
New York Times:
Mounting State Debts Stoke Fears of a Looming Crisis  —  The State of Illinois is still paying off billions in bills that it got from schools and social service providers last year.  Arizona recently stopped paying for certain organ transplants for people in its Medicaid program.
Discussion: nga.org and Stop The ACLU
Arthur S. Brisbane / New York Times:
What if the Secrets Stayed Secret?  —  I READ the Monday New York Times with what can only be described as a sinking feeling.  —  Here on display, based on yet another WikiLeaks release, was the breathtaking disclosure of American diplomats' highly sensitive internal communications about friends and enemies.
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
McConnell says deal likely over tax cuts and jobless benefits  —  Washington (CNN) - The top Republican in the U.S. Senate said Sunday that a deal is likely on extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone, along with unemployment benefits that have expired.  —  However, Senate Minority Leader …
Michael M. Gleeson / The Hill:
Dem: We could have let economy fall and been in majority for 40 years  —  Retiring Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) said that Democrats wisely passed the 2008 financial rescue bill, but it cost them politically.  —  Addressing the economic collapse of 2008 and the subsequent passage …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Christina D. Romer / New York Times:
It's the Big Questions That Slow Growth  —  UNCERTAINTY is frequently blamed for the sorry state of the economy — for why businesses are not investing strongly in new equipment or hiring more workers, and for why consumers are not spending freely.  On Wall Street, it's even said that government meddling …
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
What Else Would $60 Billion Buy?  —  $60 Billion: The approximate amount that extending the Bush tax cuts on income above $250,000 a year — which Congress seems on the verge of doing — will cost a year, in inflation-adjusted terms.  On average, the affluent households that benefit from these cuts will save $25,000 annually.
Abby Rapoport / texasobserver.org:
SREC Member: “I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office.”  —  When emails first appeared calling for dumping current Speaker Joe Straus in favor of “Christian conservative” leadership, Straus' more visible opponents initially dismissed accusations of anti-Jewish/pro-Christian bias.
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Once a goalie, Tim Pawlenty plays offense  —  ST. PAUL, Minn.—Tim Pawlenty waved a red pen in the air at the 2008 Republican state convention, saying he had just used his “friend” to veto a record-setting 34th bill in one legislative session.  —  “I have strapped on the political goalie equipment,” he declared to delegates.
Discussion: Power Line
The Politico:
Now it's all or nothing on tax cuts  —  Senate Republicans blocked two Democratic measures Saturday that would have eliminated the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, forcing both parties back to the negotiating table if they want to avert a tax hike next year for all Americans.
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 More Items: 
Floyd Norris:
Fiscal Patriotism  —  Pete Peterson, the former cabinet secretary …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Hullabaloo
Calculated Risk:
Participation Rate of 25 to 54 Age Men at Record Low
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Townhall.com:
Chris Christie  —  national security jobs economy finance MSM …
Discussion: Power Line
 Earlier Items: 
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
Merkley Lays Out A Course For Reforming The Filibuster In The …