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1:15 PM ET, December 17, 2010


 Top Items: 
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The new comeback kid  —  If Barack Obama wins reelection in 2012, as is now more likely than not, historians will mark his comeback as beginning on Dec. 6, the day of the Great Tax Cut Deal of 2010.  —  Obama had a bad November.  Self-confessedly shellacked in the midterm election …
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Congress Sends $801 Billion Tax Cut Bill to Obama  —  WASHINGTON — Congress at midnight Thursday approved an $801 billion package of tax cuts and $57 billion for extended unemployment insurance.  The vote sealed the first major deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans …
David Rogers / The Politico:
Democrats concede budget fight to Republicans  —  Senate Democrats abruptly abandoned an omnibus budget bill for the coming year, pushing major spending decisions into the next Congress and giving Republicans immense new leverage to confront President Barack Obama priorities.
Ezra Klein:
An incoherent Congress  —  The tax deal passed last night, and without changes.
Discussion: Mother Jones
The Hill:
House passes temporary extension of Bush-era tax cuts, 277-148
Discussion: protein wisdom, The Hill and The Nation
PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: ‘A government takeover of health care’  —  In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to overhaul America's health insurance system.
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Judge Hints He May Rule Against Health Law  —  PENSACOLA, Fla. — A federal judge asserted on Thursday that it would be “a giant leap” for the Supreme Court to accept the Obama administration's defense of a central provision of the new health care law, suggesting he may become the second judge to strike it down as unconstitutional.
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
The Revolution Next Time?  —  It has been 15 years since the Rehnquist court began applying the constitutional brakes to assertions of federal power that had seemed unassailable since the New Deal.  Its first target was modest, a five-year-old federal statute called the Gun-Free School Zones Act …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
$1.1 trillion spending bill collapses as GOP senators yank support  —  Senate Democrats have given up on their plan to pass a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill in the face of unified Republican opposition.  —  The bill's collapse will take with it more than 6,000 earmarks …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Dems are earmark junkies but GOP goes straight  —  Press coverage of the budget frenzy on Capitol Hill has suggested that pork-barrel earmark spending is still a bipartisan problem, that after months of self-righteous rhetoric about fiscal discipline, Republicans and Democrats remain equal-opportunity earmarkers.
Discussion: Hot Air and The Gateway Pundit
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
GOP Gets Chance to Cut Spending in February After Omnibus Collapses
Discussion: Weigel, TPMDC, The Caucus and TalkLeft
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
The GOP's Secret Senate Plan
Discussion: Balkinization and The Hill
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: Sarah Palin on 2012 Plans, Double Standards for Women  —  Palin Says Thinking About Presidential Run Is a ‘Prayerful Consideration’  —  Sarah Palin is surveying the lay of the land to consider whether to make a presidential run in 2012, she told “Good Morning America” …
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
Sarah Palin: Tax Cut Deal is ‘Lousy,’ New Congress Should Take up Issue
Discussion: CNN, Online NewsHour and The Page
ABC News Poll: Palin for President? No Way
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Fay Schlesinger / Daily Mail:
Snub for Obamas as Royal sources reveal they will not be invited to Prince William's wedding  —  President Obama and his wife Michelle will not be invited to Prince William's wedding next year.  —  Because Prince William is not yet heir to the throne, his wedding to Kate Middleton is not classed …
Discussion: Fox Nation, Gothamist and Gawker
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Royal snub for the Obamas: No wedding invite from Prince William and Kate Middleton  —  Oh, the humiliation.  Once not so long ago one of the world's top celebrities in his own right, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle did not make the cut for invitations to the royal wedding in London next spring.
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and Sky Dancing
Peggy O'Hare / Houston Chronicle:
Retailer praised after killing 3 robbers in Houston  —  In the back room of a humble jewelry store and pawn shop in Houston's East End Thursday afternoon, a gunman tied Eva Castillo's wrists tightly — too tightly.  She complained of the pain, so he loosened the bindings.
David Frum / FrumForum:
How Would President Romney Govern?  —  “Sincerity is everything - once you can fake that, you've got it made.”  —  There's Mitt Romney's problem in 1 sentence.  He cannot fake sincerity.  His insincerity is blatant, inescapable, clumsy and off-putting.  Ross Douthat phrased the indictment …
Ezra Klein:
Can you count on Mitt Romney's never-ending pasta bowl?
Discussion: The New Republic and Ross Douthat
KOCO Oklahoma City's Channel 5:
Feds Force Okla. Bank To Remove Crosses, Bible Verse  —  Federal Examiners Say Religious Decoration Inappropriate  —  PERKINS, Okla. — A small-town bank in Oklahoma said the Federal Reserve won't let it keep religious signs and symbols on display.  —  Federal Reserve examiners come every four years …
Jillian Rayfield / TPM LiveWire:
Breaking?  Study Finds Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed  —  To perhaps nobody's surprise, a study released this week finds that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of any news consumers.  —  The University of Maryland study, called “Misinformation and the 2010 Election,” …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and TPMDC
The Huffington Post:
Ron Wyden Undergoing Prostate Cancer Surgery, May Miss Votes  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … WASHINGTON — Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced Thursday afternoon that after having delayed the procedure as long as he could he would be undergoing surgery next week for early-stage prostate cancer.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Angus Johnston / Student Activism:
DREAM Act Vote Coming Saturday
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture  —  With little fanfare, Google has made a mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches, opening a new landscape of possibilities for research and education in the humanities.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Wall Street Whitewash  —  When the financial crisis struck, many people — myself included — considered it a teachable moment.  Above all, we expected the crisis to remind everyone why banks need to be effectively regulated.  —  How naïve we were.  We should have realized …
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
The Limits of the Taxing Power  —  An interesting question emerges from one of my comment threads on whether or not congress should be able to use the taxing power to get over limits on its enumerated powers.  —  1) Can Congress enact a $50,000 tax on second term abortions?
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:
NOW goes after Hooters for catering to kids  —  (12-16) 17:51 PST SAN FRANCISCO — The National Organization for Women filed complaints against local Hooters restaurants Thursday, but not for exploiting its scantily clad waitresses by subjecting them to leering and groping customers.
Sam Graham-Felsen / Washington Post:
Why is Obama leaving the grass roots on the sidelines?  —  In the wake of President Obama's deal to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, pundits have focused on how Obama has alienated the left.  But the issue isn't the left - it's the list.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Sen. Corker: No talk of Tea Party challenge back home  —  Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was derided as “Bailout Bob” by one Tea Party group earlier this year, says he sees no sign of a Tea Party-backed primary challenge to him in 2012.  —  “Much of that talk emanates from Washington …
Discussion: CNN
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Japan defence review warns of China's military might
Larry Flynt / The Huffington Post:
Why I Am Donating $50,000 to WikiLeaks' Defense Fund
Discussion: Mediaite
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Tax and Spend  —  I'm a tax enthusiast, in part thanks to the work of Lane Kenworthy.
Ellen Barry / New York Times:
Putin Speaks His Mind, and Then Some, on Television
Discussion: Truthdig and FP Passport
Jack Healy / New York Times:
In Seconds Before Blast, the Making of a Hero
Discussion: FrumForum
 Earlier Items: 
Rich Lowry / National Review:
The Appropriators Buckle  —  Tonight may indeed may be a “seminal moment,” as McCain said.
Discussion: Power Line and GayPatriot
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / New York Post:
Columbia U. vs. the little guy
Discussion: Hit & Run
Abdon Pallasch / Chicago Sun Times:
Boxes found — and mystery solved at Emanuel's home
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Lynn Sweet
Ben Steverman / Business Week:
It's a Great Time to Be Rich
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
Flirty Models Were Hired in Bid to Find Bone Marrow
Discussion: Raw Story and Gawker
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
With a star-studded guest list, ‘Larry King Live’ signs off for the last time
Discussion: The Page
Kimberly Schwandt / Fox News:
Hollywood's Growing Chorus of Obama Criticism