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12:10 PM ET, December 29, 2010


 Top Items: 
Gary Bauer / Human Events:
If Christians Were Treated Like Muslims  —  Few Americans would deny that Judeo-Christian beliefs and values informed the Founding of this country and that they continue to shape much of American life today.  Nor would many of us deny that Americans who embrace Islamic values are a distinct minority here.
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
The Huffington Post:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai Longs For ‘Golden Age’ Of The Bush Years  —  What's Your Reaction: … BUFFALO, N.Y. — Longing for the early years of the Bush administration, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been consumed by anti-U.S. conspiracy theories, convinced American officials …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Firedoglake
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Honing our plan for Afghanistan
Discussion: Rising Hegemon
Floyd Abrams / Wall Street Journal:
Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers  —  Everyone knows that Daniel Ellsberg leaked top-secret government documents about the Vietnam War.  How many remember the ones he kept secret, or why?  —  In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg decided to make available to the New York Times …
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Terrain Shifts in Challenges to the Health Care Law
Discussion: Law Blog and The Volokh Conspiracy
Felicia Sonmez / The Fix:
Scott Brown to kick off book tour during President's Day recess  —  Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown's upset win in January's special election for the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) instantly propelled him onto the national stage.  It seems only fitting that as he gears …
George Washington / naked capitalism:
Guest Post: Underneath the Happy Talk, Is This As Bad as the Great Depression?  —  The following experts have - at some point during the last 2 years - said that the economic crisis could be worse than the Great Depression: … How could that possibly be, when the stock market has largely recovered?
Daniel Golden / Bloomberg:
Plunge of For-Profit College Stock Makes Sperling Rail at Obama  —  As a humanities professor at San Jose State University from 1961 to 1973, John Sperling pioneered remedial reading classes for Mexican Americans and courses in social problems for police officers.
Daniel Tencer / Raw Story:
Study: Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain  —  Political opinions are considered choices, and in Western democracies the right to choose one's opinions — freedom of conscience — is considered sacrosanct.  —  But recent studies suggest that our brains and genes may be a major determining factor in the views we hold.
Richard Alleyne / Telegraph:
Political views ‘hard-wired’ into your brain
Discussion: Gawker and The Political Carnival
David Freedlander / New York Observer:
Soon To-Be Ex-Congressman John Hall Warns Against Creeping Fascism  —  In a wide-ranging interview before he prepares to leave the House of Representatives, Hudson Valley Congressman John Hall warned that the nation could quickly descend into Fascism if more is not done to curb the influence of corporate money in politics.
Lunchbox mix-up leads to charges for Sanford teen  —  SANFORD, N.C. — An athletic and academic standout in Lee County said a lunchbox mix-up has cut short her senior year of high school and might hurt her college opportunities.  —  Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended …
Discussion: Moonbattery
Phil Gast / CNN:
Decision on possible Billy the Kid pardon expected by end of week  —  (CNN) — The governor of New Mexico has until Friday to decide whether to pardon outlaw Billy the Kid in the killing of a sheriff.  —  As of last week, Gov. Bill Richardson had received about 400 responses …
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Impossible Foreclosure: Never Late on a Payment  —  The excuses given for rampant, systemic, illegal foreclosure activity by banks is the overwhelming volume the local offices have to deal with.  —  In housing disaster regions like South Florida or Vegas, that nonsense excuse at least has a basis in fact.
Jessica Yellin's response to last night's Assange discussion  —  Last night's discussion about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's book deal and his philosophy triggered an online debate and prompted a blog post by one of the guests.  Some thoughts:  —  1) Glenn Greewald suggests that I am among those …
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Top NRSC official: Several Senate Dems up in '12 in ‘serious trouble’  —  Washington (CNN) - The number two man at the National Republican Senatorial Committee says he thinks several Democratic senators facing re-elections in 2012 are in “serious trouble.”  —  But NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer …
Discussion: The Hill
Threat Level:
Putting the Record Straight on the Lamo-Manning Chat Logs  —  Editor's note: This is a two-part article, in which editor-in-chief Evan Hansen and senior editor Kevin Poulsen respond separately to criticisms of the site's Wikileaks coverage.  —  The Case for Privacy
Jason Millman / The Hill:
Key healthcare provisions take effect Jan. 1, just as GOP moves into House  —  Key parts of the new healthcare law will go into effect on Jan. 1, just before a Republican-controlled House returns to Washington.  —  The massive overhaul of healthcare approved by Congress earlier this year …
Discussion: TPMDC
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
CNN Poll: Plurality say Obama's policies will likely fail  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama enters the new year with a growing number of Americans pessimistic about his policies and a growing number rooting for him to fail, according to a new national poll.  —  Full poll results [pdf]
Discussion: Mediaite
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
A truce in culture wars as voters focus on economy  —  Back in June, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, whom many think would be an attractive 2012 presidential candidate, was quoted by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard for saying the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues.”
Discussion: GayPatriot
NY Daily News:
Chastened Bloomberg fights to save reputation after string of snow-removal snafus  —  A testy Mayor Bloomberg fended off criticism of the city's failure to clear hundreds of snow-choked streets Tuesday as an avalanche of critics attacked his reputation as a supermanager.
NY Daily News:
Transit complaints about MTA, Bloomberg keep piling up in aftermath of Christmas Day blizzard  —  Bus and subway riders were stranded or delayed again Tuesday as significant parts of the transit system remained bogged down by snow and ice.  —  More than two dozen bus routes in Brooklyn …
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
In the Rearview, a Year That Fizzled  —  It was the year that the economy started to recover and then slid back into a slump — only to offer reason for renewed hope in the final weeks.  —  When 2010 began, hiring and consumer spending were finally picking up.
Walter Shapiro / Politics Daily:
The Worst Clichés of Politics From ‘Tax-and-Spend’ to ‘Maverick’ … According to my rough calculations, our political tongue — the language of campaigns, elections and, yes, governing — is sustained by an army of maybe 10,000 professional babblers.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
The Politico:
Courting begins in 2012 early states  —  “We've never spoken, but she left me a nice message, and I believe she's done more for the Republican Party than anyone since Ronald Reagan,” he said.  —  South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator, has often found himself at odds …
Discussion: Wonkette and Conservatives4Palin
Jillian Rayfield / TPMMuckraker:
Latest Right-Wing Freak-Out: Obama Wants To Give Manhattan Back To Native Americans  —  The good news is that the right-wing isn't talking about President Obama being a secret Muslim right now.  The bad news is that they're now concerned that he's going to use his honorary status …
NY Daily News:
Death of newborn baby among several blizzard tragedies as city is accused of ‘dropping the ball’  —  A blizzard baby delivered inside the lobby of a snowbound Brooklyn building died after an emergency call of a woman in labor brought no help for nine excruciating hours.
Discussion: New York Times and National Review
Los Angeles Times:
The cost of doing business in California;  —  A broken California?  —  Re “California isn't broken,” Opinion, Dec. 20  —  The comments of California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Stephen Levy regarding California's business climate are absurd.  —  As an employer operating in 12 Southwest states …
Discussion: NewsReal Blog
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 More Items: 
Robert D. Hershey Jr / New York Times:
Alfred E. Kahn Dies at 93; Prime Mover of Airline Deregulation
Discussion: Shakesville and AOL News
Jennifer Macey / ABC News:
Floods, freeze not the end of global warming: CSIRO
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
Behind the Population Shift
Discussion: Greg's Opinion and EconLog
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Senate Approval Ratings
 Earlier Items: 
Nicolesandler / Crooks and Liars:
Help the 99ers  —  (Ed. note: We invited Nicole Sandler to blog …