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1:20 PM ET, December 18, 2010


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
DREAM Act dies in Senate  —  The weeks of rallies, hunger strikes and sit-ins and the thousands of phone calls placed to Senate offices didn't pay off for immigration activists.  —  The decade-old DREAM Act once again failed to break a filibuster in the Senate on Saturday morning …
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Senate Blocks Bill for Illegal Immigrant Students  —  The Senate on Saturday blocked a bill that would create a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrant students who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements including passing a criminal background check.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
DREAM Act blocked in Senate  —  Carrie Dann writes: A measure that would have offered provisional legal status to some adults who came to America illegally as children failed to advance in a Senate vote Saturday.  —  Democratic backers of the legislation fell short of the 60 votes to move the DREAM Act legislation forward.
Andrea Nill / ThinkProgress:
As DREAM Act Fails, Graham Tells Undocumented Youth They Wasted Their Time  —  Today, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.  Fourty-one mostly Republican senators voted against a bill which would have provided young undocumented immigrants …
Discussion: The Hill and Left Coast Rebel
Senate votes to advance 'don't ask, don't tell,' DREAM Act fails
Discussion: Federal Eye and Washington Post
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
DADT Breaks Filibuster  —  The Senate just voted 63-33 to break the filibuster on the DADT repeal bill.  —  Late Update: Just so we're clear.  This is not the passage of the actual DADT repeal bill.  This is the vote that allows a straight majority vote, which will likely come tomorrow.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and TPMDC
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Advances  —  WASHINGTON — After a 17-year struggle, the Senate on Saturday cleared the way for repealing the Pentagon's ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.  —  By a bipartisan vote of 63 to 33, the Senate acted to cut off debate …
The Hill:
Senate breaks GOP filibuster, advances 'Don't ask' repeal  —  A proposal to repeal the military's “Don't ask, don't tell” policy cleared a major hurdle in Congress on Saturday when the Senate voted to end a GOP-led filibuster.  —  The Senate voted 63 to 33 to advance a stand-alone bill …
Discussion: The Politico and Weasel Zippers
Patricia Murphy / Politics Daily:
Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Clears Major Senate Hurdle … After months of fits and starts, a bill repealing “don't ask, don't tell,” the ban against gays serving openly in the military, cleared its last major hurdle to passage Saturday when the Senate voted 63 to 33 to end debate on the bill.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Advances In Senate — Final Vote Likely This Weekend  —  The Senate took a big step toward ending the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers today.  By a vote of 63 to 33, the Senate voted to end debate on a bill repealing the military's Don't Ask …
Amelia Hill / Guardian:
WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting ‘mythical’ healthcare system  —  Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash  —  Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” …
Michael Moore / The Huffington Post:
¡Viva WikiLeaks!  Sicko Was Not Banned in Cuba  —  What's Your Reaction:  —  Yesterday WikiLeaks did an amazing thing and released a classified State Department cable that dealt, in part, with me and my film, Sicko.  —  It is a stunning look at the Orwellian nature of how bureaucrats …
Discussion: Hot Air, Guardian and Harry's Place
US embassy cables: US castigates much-vaunted Cuban health system
Discussion: NO QUARTER and Hit & Run
New York Times:
Newly Built Ghost Towns Haunt Banks in Spain  —  YEBES, Spain — It is a measure of Spain's giddy construction excesses that 250 row houses carpet a hill near this tiny rural village about an hour by car outside of Madrid.  —  Most of these units have never sold, and though they were finished …
Nick Davies / Guardian:
10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange  —  Unseen police documents provide the first complete account of the allegations against the WikiLeaks founder  —  Documents seen by the Guardian reveal for the first time the full details of the allegations of rape and sexual assault …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  DREAM Act causes ugly breakup on left  —  Markos Moulitsas, the influential founder of the lefty website DailyKos, used to love Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.  Starting back in December 2004, when Moulitsas first praised Tester, then a farmer-turned-state-legislator …
Joe Nocera / New York Times:
Explaining the Crisis With Dogma  —  What was that about?  —  I'm talking about that odd 13-page “report” issued on Wednesday by the four Republican members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.  The F.C.I.C., of course, is the 10-member, supposedly bipartisan panel that was created …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘MCWEASEL’ BLASTS 9/11 HEALTH BILL.... It's not enough for Senate Republicans to block a vote on the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.  Now, members like John McCain (R-Ariz.) are condemning Democratic efforts to even try to pass the bill. … Let's unpack this a bit, because I think it's important.
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
Lame-duck sessions supposed to be a thing of the past, historians say  —  Here's the funny thing about this month's lame-duck session of Congress, in which frantic lawmakers have pinballed from tax cuts to “don't ask, don't tell” to a nuclear weapons treaty:  —  It's not supposed to exist.
The Huffington Post:
House Republicans Block Child Marriage Prevention Act  —  What's Your Reaction: … WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the House took up the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010.  The bill would ensure that child marriage is recognized as a human rights violation …
Richardson presents proposals to North Korea aimed at easing crisis  —  Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson provided North Korea with a series of proposals Saturday in what he described as a “good meeting” with the country's chief nuclear negotiator …
Discussion: The Hill
US envoy Bill Richardson warns of Korea tinderbox
Discussion: FrumForum
Molly Ball / The Politico:
John Bolton eyes 2012 presidential run  —  No, it's not just an attention-getting stunt.  John Bolton is seriously considering running for president.  —  Bolton, the fiery, archconservative former United Nations ambassador, sees an opening in the 2012 Republican field.
Discussion: Gawker, FrumForum and Balloon Juice
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Make Julian Assange irrelevant  —  Julian Assange was insufferable as he left a London courthouse Thursday.  —  “During my time in solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison, I had time to reflect on the conditions of those people around the world also in solitary confinement …
Discussion: Salon, Prairie Weather and Firedoglake
Pwinn / CNSNews:
Napolitano Says DHS to Begin Battling Climate Change as Homeland Security Issue  —  ( — At an all-day White House conference on “environmental justice,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that her department is creating a new task force to battle the effects …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Conservatives Continue to Outnumber Moderates in 2010  —  Long term, Republicans growing more conservative, Democrats more liberal  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The political composition of U.S. adults held fairly steady in 2010 compared with 2009.  Conservatives remained the largest group, followed by moderates and then liberals.
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 More Items: 
Wilfred M. McClay / Wall Street Journal:
Rebuilding Noah's Ark, Tax-Free
Discussion: Power Line and Pharyngula
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Lieberman says he would likely pursue reelection as an Independent
What The Tax Cut Extension Means for You
Discussion: Right Wing News
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Obama aims for second lame-duck victory with START treaty push
Discussion: The Politico
Danna Harman / Haaretz:
Bloggers claim WikiLeaks struck deal with Israel over diplomatic cables leaks
Discussion: FrumForum
Dan Gillmor / Salon:
Another big Web company erodes user trust
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Biden surprises birthday boy Chris Matthews
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Alan S. Blinder / Wall Street Journal:
Our Dickensian Economy
Discussion: Yglesias
Richard E. Cohen / The Politico:
House GOP: Bills will have to cite Constitution
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Doug Ross
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
When it comes to politics, Obama's ego keeps getting in the way