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3:45 PM ET, December 22, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.  —  2:46 p.m. |  Updated The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers and others …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Senate to hold make or break vote on 9/11 first responders health bill  —  Senate Democrats have scheduled a key vote Wednesday on legislation helping rescue workers who responded to the 9/11 attacks.  —  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the Senate will hold a cloture vote at around noon …
The Washington / NY Daily News:
Mouth of the Potomac
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Deal reached on 9/11 bill, clearing way for passage
Discussion: Crooks and Liars, Salon and Daily Kos
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
How Did Republicans End Up Against 9/11 Responders Bill?
Discussion: Wonkette and The Maddow Blog
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Deal struck to pass 9/11 workers' healthcare bill
Discussion: AFL-CIO NOW BLOG and FrumForum
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Last-Ditch Move to Block Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Fails  —  12:18 a.m. |  Updated Just hours before President Obama planned to sign on Wednesday the repeal of the military's 17-year ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, Republicans tried one last legislative maneuver to block the change.
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.
Kerry Eleveld / Advocate:
Obama: “Prepared to Implement”  —  ADVOCATE EXCLUSIVE OBAMA INTERVIEW: President Obama tells The Advocate the Pentagon is “prepared to implement” repeal of “don't ask, don't tell” and it will take months not years.  He also says he's “wrestling” with the issue of marriage equality.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
With Obama's Signature, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Repealed  —  WASHINGTON — The military's longstanding ban on service by gays and lesbians came to a historic and symbolic end on Wednesday, as President Obama signed legislation repealing “don't ask, don't tell,” the contentious 17-year old Clinton-era law …
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 …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans See U.S. as Exceptional; 37% Doubt Obama Does  —  Majority believe U.S. at risk of losing status as greatest country in the world  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans widely agree that the United States has a unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Democrats take victory lap, claiming a ‘do-something Congress’
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.
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
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
Doug Mataconis / Outside the Beltway:
Fox News Chyron Identifies Elie Wiesel As “Holocaust Winner”
Discussion: Wonkette and Gawker
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The rise of the Petulant Party  —  The lame-duck session of Congress has introduced Americans to the three-party system of government: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the Petulant Party.  —  Eight founding fathers of the Petulants took the stage Tuesday morning in the Senate TV studio …
The Politico:
GOP unveils strict new House rules  —  The new House Republican majority will force lawmakers to vote when they want to raise the nation's debt ceiling, publish committee attendance records, ban former members from lobbying in the House gym and require new mandatory spending to be offset by cuts to other programs.
Jackie Kucinich / Roll Call:
GOP Wants Constitution Read on House Floor
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks  —  The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.  —  Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force.
Adam Gabbatt / Guardian:
WTF? CIA names WikiLeaks inquiry
Discussion: The Wire, The Jawa Report and AOL News
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 …
The Huffington Post:
At Kaplan University, ‘Guerilla Registration’ Leaves Students Deep In Debt  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … Arlen Castillo had just begun an online associate's degree program at Kaplan University when a family emergency forced a change of plans.  Her mother in Florida learned she needed extensive surgery …
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Bopp for Priebus  —  Jim Bopp, an RNC member from Indiana …
Discussion: CNN
Matt Lewis / Politics Daily:
When 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Meets Religious Liberty
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Justin Gillis / New York Times:
A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning
Discussion: The Big Picture and JustOneMinute
Bob Owens / Pajamas Media:
What Do the ‘Holiday Terror Warning’ Targets Have in Common?
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and Grim's Hall
D-Lo / Weasel Zippers:
UK Muslims Start “The Evils of Christmas” Campaign
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Nice Deb
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Democratic redistricting fight looms in Mass.
Discussion: Boston Globe
 Earlier Items: 
National Review:
The Would-be GOP Kings
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Power Line
Today's Lesson from the White House: Take Hostages
Discussion: Balloon Juice
No Congress Since 1960s Makes Most Laws for Americans as 111th
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and ThinkProgress
From Specter, a blunt goodbye to the Senate
Discussion: The Reaction