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10:10 AM ET, December 23, 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 …
Ezra Klein:
Senate Democrats support filibuster reform  —  They say elections have consequences.  So too, it turns out, does obstruction.  In a move that's as overdue as it is unexpected, every returning Senate Democrat has signed a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid calling for filibuster reform.
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Barack Obama's plan to close Gitmo ‘in shambles’  —  Nestled among a string of improbable victories President Barack Obama racked up in the lame-duck Congressional session is legislation containing the most debilitating setback to date to his plan to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay …
Discussion: New York Magazine and FrumForum
Peter Landers / Wall Street Journal:
Congress Bars Gitmo Transfers  —  Congress on Wednesday passed legislation that would effectively bar the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. for trial, rejecting pleas from Obama administration officials who called the move unwise.  —  A defense authorization bill passed by the House …
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 and Prairie Weather
Chicago Sun Times:
Hearing officer: Let Rahm Emanuel run for mayor  —  Former White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel early Thursday survived the pivotal first round of a residency challenge that will determine whether his name remains on the ballot for mayor of Chicago.  —  “The name of Rahm Emanuel shall appear …
Erika Niedowski / The Hill:
Official: Emanuel can be on Chicago's mayoral ballot
Discussion: CNN and Associated Press
Raymond Hernandez / New York Times:
Senate Passes 9/11 Health Bill as Republicans Back Down  —  WASHINGTON — After years of fierce lobbying and debate, Congress approved a bill on Wednesday to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers and others who became sick from toxic fumes, dust and smoke after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
Bloomberg:   Senate Passes $4.3 Billion Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First Responders
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
111th Congress comes to a close; new session begins on Jan. 5  —  The House on Wednesday evening passed a motion to adjourn the 111th Congress “Sine Die”, bringing to a close Democrats four-year reign in the lower chamber.  —  It also ended what has been the most productive lame-duck session in recent memory.
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
A lame-duck session with unexpected victories
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
‘We Are Not Doomed to Endless Gridlock’
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
For Obama vacation, comfort is key  —  HONOLULU - For Ronald Reagan it was riding horses on his California ranch.  For George W. Bush it was clearing brush and biking around his Crawford, Texas, estate.  For Barack Obama, the signature image of his presidential vacationing, so far …
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 …
PARADE Magazine:
Oprah Winfrey on Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin, and Starring in Her Own Reality Show  —  PARADE's December 26 cover story is a one-on-one sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.  The queen of talk discusses everything from her new venture to supporting Obama, and, maybe, becoming an ambassador.
The Politico:
GOP unveils strict House rules  —  Some of the committee rules — and at least one for the full House — address concerns that legislators don't spend enough time reading bills and members of the public have trouble accessing them.  —  “[I]t shall not be in order to consider a bill …
Discussion: Mother Jones
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Republican House Rules Makes It Harder to Increase Debt Limit, Raise Taxes
New York Times:
Alabama Town's Failed Pension Is a Warning  —  PRICHARD, Ala. — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009.  Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.  —  Then Prichard did something …
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.
Robert Kagan / Washington Post:
The Senate passed New START. What's next?
Amanda Marcotte / Slate:
The women accusing Julian Assange of sexual assault deserve to be taken seriously. … Like This Story … - The Most Productive Lame-Duck Session Since World War II- Why Do People Kiss Under Mistletoe?  - How Architects Can Use Video Screens Without Making Their Buildings Look …
Sady / Tiger Beatdown:
MooreandMe: And Then He Came Down
Justin Gillis / Green:
Climate Change and ‘Balanced’ Coverage  —  In an article this week on the relentless rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, I outlined one of the canonical projections of climate science: if the amount of carbon dioxide doubles, the average surface temperature of the earth is likely …
Robin Bravender / The Politico:
W.H.: Polar bears not ‘endangered’  —  The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status.  —  In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration's decision to give the polar bear …
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.
Muscle Car Roars Onto Lawn of Bush's Dallas Home  —  Driver says his gas pedal became stuck  —  Authorities have detained someone whose car apparently ran off the road and onto former President George W. Bush's lawn Wednesday night.  —  The Secret Service and Dallas police questioned …
Discussion: The Hill, and AOL News
David House / Firedoglake:
Bradley Manning Speaks About His Conditions … Sign the letter to the Commanding Officer of Bradley Manning's brig urging for Bradley's unnecessary POI order to be lifted  —  Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old Marine private accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks …
Two embassies hit by blasts in Rome  —  Rome (CNN) — Bombs exploded at two embassies in Rome Thursday, police said.  —  The first explosion, a package bomb at the Swiss Embassy, seriously wounded the person who opened it, police said.  —  A second bomb exploded at the Chilean Embassy shortly afterwards …
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Washington Post:
Rush to foreclose by Fannie, Freddie helped feed problems with legal paperwork  —  As the housing market came crashing down in 2008, the giant mortgage company Fannie Mae took an unprecedented step to help tackle the rising tide of foreclosures.  It named an exclusive group of law firms …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Newsalert
North Korea ‘ready for sacred war’ with the South  —  Invited dignitaries watched the live exercises along with the South Korean president  —  North Korea is ready for a “sacred war of justice” using a nuclear deterrent, its armed forces minister has said.
Discussion: AOL News and Truthdig
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
After Bruising Session, Congress Faces New Battles
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Glenn Reynolds / Instapundit:
- Recommended
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Hawaii-bound, Obama signals his opposition to gay marriage ‘evolving’
Discussion: RedState
Daarel Burnette II / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
In St. Paul schools, the not-so-sweet life
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Nice. Muslim Group Launches “Christmas Is Evil” Poster Campaign
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Doug Ross
 Earlier Items: 
National Review:
The Would-be GOP Kings
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Power Line
Paula Span / The New Old Age:
Toil and Trouble  —  When economists and policy types and members …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
RNC candidates make social pledges
Discussion: and Liberal Values
The ‘Subsidy’: How a Handful of Merrill Lynch Bankers Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Felix Salmon
WikiLeaks Joins Forces With Lebedev's Moscow-Based Newspaper Novaya Gazeta

From Techmeme:

Gaby Del Valle / The Verge:
The US Senate reauthorizes FISA's Section 702; some communication service providers had threatened to stop cooperating with the US government in case of a lapse

Daniel Wiessner / Reuters:
Google scraps a 2019 policy requiring US suppliers and staffing firms to pay their employees $15 an hour and provide health insurance and other benefits

Isabelle Bousquette / Wall Street Journal:
PCs that can run large AI models may drive an enterprise PC replacement cycle, but some CIOs say they'll wait for the category to mature and prices to come down

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