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7:45 AM ET, December 21, 2010


 Top Items: 
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Haley Barbour's Affection for the White Supremacist Citizens' Council  —  Andrew Ferguson's profile of Haley Barbour reveals that the guy is dangerously ignorant about the history of race in his state: … Fortunately, it's actually possible to look at the archives of the Citizens Council newspaper published right in Mississippi.
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Barbour Spokesman: Mississippi Gov. Is Not Racist  —  I just spoke with Dan Turner, the official spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), who responded in strong terms to criticism of Barbour's recent praise for the segregationist Citizens Council groups of the Civil Rights era.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Now All Racists Are Violent?  —  Oh, brother - Matt Yglesias takes it upon himself to teach a bit of Mississipi history to Gov. Haley Barbour, whose family has been in Mississipi for a mere five generations.  —  In a Weekly Standard profile Gov. Barbour credited the local Citizens Council …
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:   Discussing Civil Rights Era, a Governor Is Criticized
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Barbour Praises Civil Rights-Era White Supremacist Citizens Councils
David Halberstam / Commentary:
Respectable Means for Unrespectable Ends
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 …
Jason Tuohey / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown to support New START treaty
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 / Media Decoder:
F.C.C. Poised to Pass Net Neutrality Order
Ginger Gibson / New Jersey Online:
Gov. Chris Christie commutes sentence of man convicted of having guns in N.J. illegally  —  TRENTON — Brian Aitken, who was convicted of illegally possessing two handguns that he had legally purchased in Colorado, will be spending Christmas out of prison.  —  Gov. Chris Christie commuted …
Discussion: The Agitator
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 …
Discussion: This ain't Hell … and Don Surber
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Chris Christie commutes gun sentence of Brian Aitken  —  We haven't covered Aitken's case (except for a lone Headline item a few weeks ago), but he's a cause celebre among libertarians and Second Amendment fans — for good reason.  In a nutshell: He bought three guns, entirely legally …
Discussion: TigerHawk
Olivia Alair / U.S. Department of Transportation:
Toyota Motor Corp will Pay $32.425 Million in Civil Penalties as the Result of Two Department of Transportation Investigations  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed to pay an additional $32.425 million …
Discussion: New York Times and Politics Daily
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 …
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 …
Ezra Klein:
Chris Christie's Pepsi problem  —  In 1975, Pepsi unleashed “the Pepsi Challenge,” a blind taste test where subjects threw back an ounce of each beverage and reported back on their favorite.  Their favorite was Pepsi.  —  You already know what happened next: Coca-Cola developed a more Pepsi-like product called “New Coke.”
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Das Krapital
Myglesias / Yglesias:
My Token Moment of Outreach to the Religious Right  —  Ross Douthat: … I don't spend a lot of time agreeing with the Christian right about things, but the whining about the secularization of Christmas is a point I sympathize with.  If Christmas were more properly religious …
Walter Pincus / Washington Post:
Gauging the price tag for Afghanistan's security  —  As the United States begins to look closely at reducing future spending, it may be time to put a dollar figure on President Obama's commitment, restated last week, to the long-term security of Afghanistan.
Discussion: The Page
Vince Cable: I could bring down the Government  —  Vince Cable has privately threatened to “bring the Government down” if he is “pushed too far” during fractious discussions with his Conservative colleagues, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.  —  The Business Secretary also claims …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Poll: Obama rebounding  —  President Barack Obama may be staging a comeback in the eyes of the American people, a new poll suggests.  —  In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 48 percent of Americans say they approve of how Obama is handling his job, while 48 percent disapprove.
George Monbiot / Guardian:
That snow outside 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.
The Cleveland Fed:
The Effect of Falling Home Prices on Small Business Borrowing  —  Small businesses continue to report problems obtaining the financing they need.  Because small business owners may rely heavily on the value of their homes to finance their businesses (through mortgages or home equity lines) …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Conservatives growing uncomfortable with GOP blockade of 9/11 health bill  —  With Senate Democrats upping the pressure for passage of the bill giving health benefits to sickened 9/11 responders, it's going to get increasingly hard for GOP Senators to maintain their opposition.
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 More Items: 
Elena Moya / Guardian:
Debt crisis threatens 100 US cities
Discussion: RedState
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Harry Reid earns his place in history
Ricky Gervais / WSJ Blogs - WSJ:
A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm An Atheist
Discussion: Vox Popoli and Pharyngula
Howie / The Jawa Report:
Visions of Pork Barrels Dance in Their Heads
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
F.E.C. Rejected Counsel With Its Vote on Senator
Andy Bloxham / Telegraph:
Christmas trees ‘make non-Christians feel excluded’
The Politico:
No endgame on Hill as holidays near
Discussion: The Hill and Truthdig
 Earlier Items: 
Manu Raju / The Politico:
McConnell plans to make Dems sweat
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Census data likely to bring more bad news for Democrats on Tuesday
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
David Weigel / Weigel:
Republicans Start Teaching Members How to Obey the Constitution
Terry / CNSNews:
67 Percent of Marine Combat Forces Say Putting Homosexuals …
Tom Moran:
Christie sabotages medical marijuana program