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9:35 PM ET, December 22, 2010


 Top Items: 
Dan Friedman /
Senate's Returning Democrats Unanimously Favor Filibuster Reform  —  All except Dodd sign a letter urging Majority Leader Harry Reid to change the rules.  —  All Democratic senators returning next year have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging him to consider action …
EXCLUSIVE: Senate Strikes Deal on 9/11 First Responders Bill  —  Oklahoma Senator Will Allow a Vote on Bill to Care for 9/11 First Responders; Bill Cut to $4.2B  —  Senate Democrats and Republicans have struck a deal to secure passage of a bill to provide health benefits and compensation …
Raymond Hernandez / The Caucus:
Senate Passes 9/11 Health Bill  —  Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency  —  Senator Charles E. Schumer outside the Senate chamber on Wednesday.  —  5:42 p.m. |  Updated The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers and others …
The Huffington Post:
9/11 First Responders Storm Tom Coburn's Office To Protest Block On Their Health Care Bill (VIDEO)  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … UPDATE: The Senate has reached a deal that is expected to allow for the passage of a scaled-down health care package.  —  Senator Coburn responded in a statement:
Ezra Klein:
Senate Democrats support filibuster reform
Discussion: RedState
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
How Did Republicans End Up Against 9/11 Responders Bill?
Discussion: Wonkette and The Maddow Blog
Ezra Klein:
Why has the lame-duck session been so productive?  —  So far, the lame-duck session has managed to pass an $850 billion tax-cuts-and-stimulus deal, the repeal of DADT, the Defense Authorization bill, a continuing resolution to keep funding the federal government, the START treaty …
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
A lame-duck session with unexpected victories  —  When the lame-duck session of Congress started more than a month ago, President Obama looked defeated and deflated, publicly acknowledging the “shellacking” his party had taken in the November midterm elections.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
‘We Are Not Doomed to Endless Gridlock’
Congress Finds its Mojo
Discussion: The Note and The Atlantic Online
Brian Moylan / Gawker:
Barney Frank Makes a Fool Out of Conservative Reporter Over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'  —  A conservative reporter from right-leaning CNS News thought he would play gotcha journalist and ask gay Congressman Barney Frank about gay and straight soldiers showering together.  Big mistake.  Huge.
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Barney Frank completely pwns hapless CNS reporter attempting ‘gotcha’ DADT question  —  You can tell that all these reporters for right-wing propaganda organs like the Media Research Center spend waaaay too much time watching Fox News and their army of would-be ambush journalists.
Terry Krepel / Media Matters for America:
Gotcha Fail: Rep. Frank Turns Tables on CNS
Discussion: Advocate
Sean Cockerham / Anchorage Daily News:
Supreme Court rules against Miller  —  The Alaska Supreme Court today ruled against Joe Miller on all counts, a decision that leaves his challenge of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's victory on life support.  —  “There are no remaining issues raised by Miller that prevent this election from being certified …
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Alaska Supreme Court rules against Miller
Discussion: The Note
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Senate Passes Arms Control Treaty With Russia, 71-26  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to a new arms control treaty with Russia, scaling back leftover cold war nuclear arsenals and capping a surprisingly successful lame-duck session for President Obama just weeks after his party's electoral debacle.
Discussion: Commentary, FrumForum, Gawker and Truthdig
Patricia Murphy / Politics Daily:   Senate Ratifies START Treaty, 71 to 26; a Win for Obama, a Loss for Jon Kyl
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Sen. Wyden returns from surgery to vote on arms treaty
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Obama signs DADT repeal before big, emotional crowd  —  President Obama signed the landmark repeal of the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy Wednesday morning, handing a major victory to advocates of gay rights and fulfilling a campaign promise to do away with a practice that he has called discriminatory.
USA Today:
Obama's day: From gay rights to arms control
Discussion: Truthdig
Jon Bershad / Mediaite:
Oops!  Fox & Friends Accidentally Identifies Elie Wiesel As “Holocaust Winner”  —  Wow.  We all make mistakes and typos.  There will probably be at least one in this post alone.  However, some typos are worse than others.  This is one of those typos.  Last week, Fox & Friends …
Discussion: PopEater and The Wire
Doug Mataconis / Outside the Beltway:
Fox News Chyron Identifies Elie Wiesel As “Holocaust Winner”
Discussion: Wonkette and Gawker
Stephen C. Webster / Raw Story:
Shock: Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson favors marijuana legalization  —  Robertson a welcome addition to drug reform circles, former narc tells Raw Story  —  Count this among the 10 things nobody ever expected to see in their lifetimes: 700 Club founder Pat Robertson …
Discussion: Mediaite and Hot Air
John Fund / Wall Street Journal:
The Net Neutrality Coup  —  The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who's who of left-liberal foundations.  —  The Federal Communications Commission's new “net neutrality” rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations.
Rachel Slajda / TPMDC:
Obama: DOMA Should Be Repealed, Lawyers Looking At ‘Range Of Options’  —  President Obama, although he still supports civil unions over same-sex marriage, said yesterday that he believes the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed.  —  “Repealing DOMA, getting ENDA [a bill to protect LGBT people …
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Republican House Rules Makes It Harder to Increase Debt Limit, Raise Taxes  —  The new Republican House rules proposal is out, and people are rightly guffawing about the vow to read the Constitution on the House floor at the beginning of the session.  But if silliness like this is the worst …
Jackie Kucinich / Roll Call:
GOP Wants Constitution Read on House Floor
Webstock words:
The Blast Shack  —  We asked Bruce Sterling (who spoke at Webstock '09) for his take on Wikileaks.  —  The Wikileaks Cablegate scandal is the most exciting and interesting hacker scandal ever.  I rather commonly write about such things, and I'm surrounded by online acquaintances …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Huck: Palin wrong, FLOTUS right  —  Potential GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says Sarah Palin's wrong and Michelle Obama's right, at least when it comes to the first lady's push to combat childhood obesity.  —  “With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin …
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Vote Hurts Obama's Push to Empty Cuba Prison  —  WASHINGTON — Congress voted Wednesday to impose strict new limits on transferring detainees out of the Guantánamo Bay prison, dealing a major blow to President Obama's vows to shut down the center and give federal court trials to many of the prisoners.
Matt Lewis / Politics Daily:
When 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Meets Religious Liberty … I've recently authored several posts discussing how social conservatives seem to have lost the gay issue but have won on the life issue.  There are many reasons for this, but one, I think, has to do with who the perceived “victim” is.
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Oprah Winfrey on Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin, and Starring in Her Own Reality Show
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Robin Bravender / The Politico:
W.H.: Polar bears not ‘endangered’
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National Review:
The Would-be GOP Kings
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The New Old Age: Over 75 and Still Working
Discussion: Calculated Risk
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The WikiLeaks strategy: Bank of America buys up abusive domain names
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Andy Barr / The Politico:
RNC candidates make social pledges
The ‘Subsidy’: How Merrill Lynch Traders Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm
Discussion: Felix Salmon
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The Huffington Post:
At Kaplan University, ‘Guerilla Registration’ Leaves Students Deep In Debt