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2:38 AM ET, December 20, 2010


 Top Items: 
David Leppard / TheAustralian:
Lawyers cry foul over leak of Julian Assange sex-case papers  —  LAWYERS for Julian Assange have expressed anger about an alleged smear campaign against the Australian WikiLeaks founder.  —  Incriminating police files were published in the British newspaper that has used him as its source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.
The Huffington Post:
Rove Suspected In Swedish-U.S. Political Prosecution of WikiLeaks  —  What's Your Reaction: … Karl Rove's help for Sweden as it assists the Obama administration's prosecution against WikiLeaks could be the latest example of the adage, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”
Ewen MacAskill / Guardian:
Biden: Assange like ‘hi-tech terrorist’
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Dems getting closer on START  —  Senate Democrats appear to have enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster on the new START arms-control treaty, though it's unclear if they will have the 67 votes needed for ratification.  —  At least four Republicans have committed to supporting …
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Reid cites Gaga's ‘meat dress,’ Lindsay Lohan's rehab in START treaty push  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is pulling out the pop culture references as he tries to push ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty through the Senate.  —  Reid is attacking GOP claims …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers, Hot Air and Advocate
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Democrats Scramble to Save Votes to Ratify Nuclear Pact  —  WASHINGTON — The top two Senate Republicans declared Sunday that they would vote against President Obama's nuclear treaty with Russia as the bipartisan spirit of last week's tax-cut deal devolved into a sharp battle over national security in the waning days of the session.
Discussion: The Page, ATTACKERMAN and Balkinization
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
McConnell says he ‘cannot support’ nuclear arms treaty
Tom Cohen / CNN:
McConnell leads anti-START effort
START struggling to get to finish line
The Hill:   Republicans dig in their heels on nuclear treaty as Democrats push for vote
Devan Sipher / New York Times:
Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla  —  WHAT happens when love comes at the wrong time?  —  Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla met in 2006 in a pre-kindergarten classroom.  They both had children attending the same Upper West Side school.  They also both had spouses.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate unanimously passes food safety bill  —  The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.  —  The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25.
Discussion: Firedoglake and Weasel Zippers
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY MUST HE BE SUCH AN ANGRY OLD MAN.... Most good stories have heroes, and when it comes to the story of repealing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the list of heroes is wonderfully long.  —  And then there are the villains. … Watching McCain rail endlessly yesterday was a genuinely painful experience.
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Proposed Amendment Would Enable States to Repeal Federal Law  —  The same people driving the lawsuits that seek to dismantle the Obama administration's health care overhaul have set their sights on an even bigger target: a constitutional amendment that would allow a vote of the states to overturn any act of Congress.
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
One Battle Won, Activists Shift Sights  —  WASHINGTON — As gay people around the country reveled on Sunday in the historic Senate vote to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” a liberal media watchdog group said it planned to announce on Monday that it was setting up a “communications war room for gay equality” …
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Health-care overhaul's individual mandate makes all the difference  —  Unless someone can drop into Anthony Kennedy's dreamspace and, “Inception"-style, either figure out what he thinks of the individual mandate or simply tell him what to think of the individual mandate …
Discussion: Swampland and The Daily Dish
Daily Mail:
Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C bringing travel chaos across Britain  — Millions begin the big Christmas and New Year getaway early as the AA urged motorists to beware of the ‘worst driving conditions imaginable’  — Experts warn of a backlog …
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
New population count may complicate Obama 2012 bid  —  WASHINGTON - The 2010 census report coming out Tuesday will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to re-elect President Barack Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections.
Gili Cohen / Haaretz:
Body of U.S. tourist found near Jerusalem; police suspect terror attack  —  Christine Logan disappeared on Saturday, when she and a Jerusalem-area friend were stabbed by assailants while hiking at an archaeological site; her friend, Susan Kaye Wilson, was hospitalized in moderate condition.
Sky News:
US Tourist Dead Stabbed To Death In Israel
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 More Items: 
Motoko Rich / New York Times:
Weighing Costs, Companies Favor Temporary Help
Discussion: naked capitalism
Washington Post:
Senate panel ban on stock for appointees but not itself seen as double standard
Discussion: Raw Story
Israeli air force sonic booms ignite crocodiles' sex drives
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Rick Klein / ABCNEWS:
Obama 2.0?  —  Victories Provide Roadmap for Obama's Political Adjustment
New York Times:
Politics in Iraq Casts Doubt on a U.S. Presence After 2011
Biden Says US to Be out of Afghanistan by 2014
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Timothy Karr / The Huffington Post:
The Little Bill That Could  —  What's Your Reaction:
Discussion: Reclaim the Media
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
GOP budget leader: 'We're heading to Greece, we're heading to Ireland'
John Johnson / Newser:
Sicko Was Not Banned in Cuba
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Hullabaloo