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11:50 AM ET, December 21, 2010


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
GOP senators concede arms treaty will secure enough votes to pass  —  Republican senators say privately they expect the Senate to ratify the New START treaty this week, which would hand President Obama his third major victory of the lame-duck session.  —  GOP senators — including those who plan …
The Hill:
For Obama, START treaty is ‘personal’  —  President Obama is making a final push to secure the votes for an arms treaty that stands not just as a political goal but a highly personal one.  —  The president needs nine Republican votes to win the two-thirds Senate majority to ratify …
Discussion: CNN, Taylor Marsh and Prairie Weather
Patrick O'Connor / Washington Wire:
Sen. Alexander to Support START  —  U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, will announce his support later today for a new nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, according to an aide.  —  The Tennessee Republican will become the highest-ranking GOP leader to support …
Discussion: National Review and Swampland
Timothy Karr / The Huffington Post:
Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality — Tuesday Betrayal Assured  —  What's Your Reaction:  —  Late Monday, a majority of the FCC has indicated that they're going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.  —  According to all reports, the rule …
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
F.C.C. Is Set to Regulate Net Access  —  The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.  —  The proposed rules of the online road …
George Monbiot / Guardian:
That snow is what global warming looks like  —  Unusually cold winters may make you think scientists have got it all wrong.  But the data reveal a chilling truth  —  There were two silent calls, followed by a message left on my voicemail.  She had a soft, gentle voice and a mid-Wales accent.
Anthony Watts / Watts Up With That?:
Australia's white summer, Monbiot's red fury  —  Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow  —  Snow and ice covering buildings and cars on December 19, 2010 at Mount Hotham,Victoria, as snow fell in Australia.  The usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Coburn may block 9/11 bill  —  New York Democrats hoping for quick action on a bill to give health care compensation to Ground Zero workers are about to run into Tom Coburn.  —  The Oklahoma Republican and physician — known in the Senate as “Dr. No” for his penchant in blocking bills …
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Coburn Will Block 9/11 First Responders Bill, Potentially Killing Its Chance Of Passage  —  Pressure has been mounting on Republicans to relax their opposition to a bill to would provide health benefits to 9/11 first responders after Senate Republicans unanimously filibustered it earlier this month …
Danny Yadron / Washington Wire:
Coburn To Block 9/11 Responders Bill  —  Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will not allow a proposal that would cover health-care costs for Ground Zero workers to go through the Senate before Christmas, a Coburn aide told Washington Wire this morning.  —  Several Republican senators …
Discussion: The Hill
Jason Nark /
Christie frees man in gun case  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the Aitken family all they wanted for Christmas Monday.  —  Christie signed a letter ordering Brian Aitken, a New Jersey man sentenced to seven years in jail for having weapons he legally purchased in Colorado …
Ginger Gibson / New Jersey Online:
Gov. Chris Christie commutes sentence of man convicted of having guns …
Discussion: The Agitator
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Chris Christie commutes gun sentence of Brian Aitken
Discussion: Fox Nation, Pat Dollard and TigerHawk
Shira Toeplitz / The Politico:
Joe Manchin stands by skirting votes  —  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) stands by his decision to miss voting on the repeal of “don't ask, don't tell” and the immigration reform bill, the DREAM Act - two major Democratic-backed pieces of legislation.  —  This weekend the West Virginia Democrat's office released …
Jared Hunt / Charleston Daily Mail:
Union leader sharply critical of Manchin
Discussion: The Hill
Dan Roem / Hotline On Call:
Obama Finds Lame Duck Ally In Murkowski
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Hot Air
New York Times:
U.S. Military Seeks to Expand Raids in Pakistan  —  WASHINGTON — Senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan's tribal areas, a risky strategy reflecting the growing frustration …
Daily Mail:
Harry Potter actress was beaten and branded a prostitute by her brother after dating man ‘who was not a Muslim’  —  A Harry Potter actress fled her home after her father and brother threatened to kill her for going out with a Hindu man, a court heard yesterday.
The Huffington Post:
Haley Barbour's Account Of Civil Rights Era In Mississippi Assailed By NAACP, Historians  —  What's Your Reaction: … WASHINGTON — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has set off a firestorm of controversy over his comments on the civil rights era in his hometown of Yazoo City …
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Haley Barbour Faces an All-Too Familiar, All-Too Exhausted Accusation
Micheal Flaherty / Wall Street Journal:
On Palin's Reading List, C.S. Lewis  —  He wasn't a children's writer, as the governor's critics proclaim—not by a long shot.  —  Since Katie Couric first asked the question a couple of years back, journalists continue to pepper Sarah Palin with that classic ice-breaker: “So, what are you reading?”
Holder's Warning: Domestic Terror Threat  —  AG Eric Holder Says ‘Terrorists Only Have to Be Successful Once’  —  Attorney General Eric Holder has an urgent message for Americans: While he is confident that the United States will continue to thwart attacks, “the terrorists only have to be successful once.”
Mark Joyella / Mediaite:
Janet Napolitano: We're Working “24/7, 364″ To Keep The American People Safe  —  Ya gotta wonder which day America's anti-terror forces are kicking their feet up with a book and maybe a nap, instead of, you know, “keeping the American people safe?”  —  On ABC's World News tonight …
Wall Street Journal:
Funding Deal Snags Health Law  —  WASHINGTON—A Senate deal to fund the federal government until early March doesn't include money to enact the health-care overhaul or stepped up regulation of Wall Street, boosting Republican efforts to curb key elements of President Barack Obama's domestic agenda.
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Dems prepare defense of healthcare law in face of repeal threats  —  Democrats are preparing a spirited defense of the healthcare law in the face of Republican efforts to dismantle it.  —  Statements from lawmakers, advocates and the administration reveal a multi-pronged strategy …
M.P. /
Muslim pupil offended by the word ‘jamón’ in class in Cádiz  —  The boy's family have reported the geography teacher to the police and the courts  —  The parents of a Muslim boy who attends a secondary school in La Línea, Cádiz province, have reported their son's teacher …
Armen Keteyian / CBS News:
Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison Food  —  Exclusive: The Dept. of Homeland Security Uncovered a Plot to Attack Hotels and Restaurants Over a Single Weekend  —  (CBS) In this exclusive story, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports the latest terror attack …
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Apple Removes WikiLeaks App From App Store  —  Looks like an unofficial iPhone and iPad app that let you view WikiLeaks site content and follow the WikiLeaks Twitter account on the go has been removed from the App app store earlier today.  The app used to be available here (here's the Google cache).
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 More Items:
Italy police: Suspected explosive device had no detonator
David Catanese / The Politico:
Tester draws ire of liberals
Discussion: FrumForum and Crooks and Liars
Eric A. Hanushek /
The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Steele: RNC Member Jim Bopp Is An ‘Idiot’ …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog, CNN and Wonkette
Ethirajan Anbarasan / BBC:
Bangladeshi ‘stepson affair’ woman dies after caning
Discussion: AOL News and Jihad Watch
David Espo / Associated Press:
Quiet deal on Obama's judge nominees in the Senate
 Earlier Items: 
David Rogers / The Politico:
Nancy Pelosi: No regrets
Walter Pincus / Washington Post:
Gauging the price tag for Afghanistan's security
Discussion: The Nation and The Page
Elena Moya / Guardian:
Debt crisis threatens 100 US cities
Discussion: Raw Story, RedState and Right Wing News
Olivia Alair / U.S. Department of Transportation:
Toyota Motor Corp will Pay $32.425 Million in Civil Penalties …
Discussion: New York Times and Politics Daily
Ricky Gervais / WSJ Blogs - WSJ:
A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm An Atheist
Vince Cable: I could bring down the Government