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4:25 PM ET, December 29, 2010


 Top Items: 
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  —  The legal challenge to the Obama health care act has invigorated a dispute as old as the Constitution about the framers' most nettlesome grant of power, which gives Congress treacherously broad authority to pass laws “necessary and proper” …
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 …
Associated Press:
Feds investigate Christine O'Donnell spending  —  BALTIMORE — A person with knowledge of the investigation says federal authorities have opened a criminal probe of Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell to determine if the former Senate candidate broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses.
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
AP: Feds Investigating Christine O'Donnell  —  O'Donnell Spokesman Unaware of Criminal Probe, Confident Financial Charges Resolved  —  Defeated Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell, who ran for vice president Joe Biden's former Senate seat, is reportedly under federal investigation …
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.
Michael David Smith / ProFootballTalk:
Tucker Carlson: Michael Vick should have been executed  —  In the two days since Peter King first reported on Football Night in America that President Obama had applauded the Eagles for giving Michael Vick a second chance, the story has moved from the sports world into cable news …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Response to Wired's accusations  —  As noted above, the principal tactic of Editor-in-Chief Evan Hansen and Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen in responding to my criticisms is to hurl a variety of accusations at me as a means of distracting attention from the issue that matters.
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Republican campaign committee names top 2012 Senate targets  —  The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has its eye on five key races it hopes will pave the way for the GOP to take the majority in the upper chamber in 2012.  —  NRSC Executive Director Ron Jesmer said in an interview …
Alexander Mooney / CNN:   Top NRSC official: Several Senate Dems up in '12 in ‘serious trouble’
Charlotte Hays / National Review:
Mother Nature vs. Nanny  —  The blizzard is definitely a force for conservatism, and not only because it has had the global-warming crowd scrambling for explanations.  The blizzard reveals something basic: Liberals in government want to tell us what to eat, counsel us about how and when to die …
Discussion: Power Line and Firedoglake
NY Daily News:
Death of newborn baby among several blizzard tragedies as city …
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.
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]
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
Patrick Doyle / Rolling Stone:
Exclusive: Merle Haggard on His Kennedy Center Honor, Meeting Obama and Oprah and More  —  The singer, who received a lifetime achievement award, takes us behind the scenes of Tuesday's broadcast  —  Merle Haggard is no stranger to the White House: He was a guest of both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan …
Alan Zibel / Wall Street Journal:
GOP Shifts on Fannie, Freddie Overhaul  —  Republicans Say Quickly Privatizing Mortgage Giants Would Squeeze Access to Home Loans and Depress Sales, Prices  —  Earlier this year, leading House Republicans proposed to privatize mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or place them in receivership starting in two years.
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 …
Discussion: The Hill, Ben Smith's Blog and The Page
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:   With health-care overhaul plan, Wyden and Brown become Senate's odd couple
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE AYN RAND DISCIPLE LEADING THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE.... In my circle of friends growing up, I can think of quite a few folks who, between the ages of 16 and 22, briefly fell under the spell of Ayn Rand.  Someone loaned them a copy of Atlas Shrugged; they were convinced it was brilliant …
Discussion: Sky Dancing and Suburban Guerrilla
David Weigel / Weigel:
House Republicans Could End Lame Duck Sessions  —  Little-noticed over the holiday week: Rep. Lynn Jenkins tweeting this promise. … Jenkins linked to a story by David Farenthold explaining that the 20th amendment was supposed to end lame duck sessions by truncating the life of expired Congresses …
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?
Discussion: The Glittering Eye and Corrente
Ezra Klein:
Monetary policy in fiction  —  “It's too bad, ” writes Matthew Yglesias, that “'You Shall Know Our Velocity' isn't a novel about monetary policy.”  —  That got me wondering about whether there are any novels about monetary policy.  Some believe ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ is an allegory …
Richard Mauer / Anchorage Daily News:
14th official state delay keeps Palin e-mail requests in limbo  —  HUGE VOLUME: State now projects May 31 as compliance goal.  —  —  The governor has come and gone, another has assumed the office and then has been elected in his own right, and activist Andree McLeod …
Discussion: CNN, USA Today and Wonkette
Cathy Young / Boston Globe:
No Labels, but still sworn enemies  —  JUST IN time for the holidays, a new movement has arrived seeking to promote goodwill toward men (and women) across the political spectrum and to counter the nastiness and polarization that pervade our public discourse.
Discussion: National Review
Lynn Sweet:
Carol Moseley Braun also warns Bill Clinton to stay out of Chicago mayoral race  —  Chicago Mayoral hopeful former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) added her voice to a warning issued by mayoral rival Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.): Don't come to Chicago to campaign for Rahm Emanuel or risk his relationship with African Americans.
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 More Items: 
Laura Litvan / Bloomberg:
More States Seeking to Follow Arizona's Push for Tougher Immigration Rules
Discussion: USA Today
Kevin Sieff / Washington Post:
Some Va. history texts filled with errors, review finds
Discussion: AOL News
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Army edits its history of the deadly battle of Wanat
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Palin Faces Gloomy New Poll Numbers
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Long-term unemployment measure extended to five years
Discussion: Moe Lane
William Booth / Washington Post:
In Mexico, only one gun store but no dearth of violence
Discussion: Don Surber
Los Angeles Times:
The cost of doing business in California;
Discussion: NewsReal Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Impossible Foreclosure: Never Late on a Payment
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Consumerist
Walter Shapiro / Politics Daily:
The Worst Clichés of Politics From ‘Tax-and-Spend’ to ‘Maverick’
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Moderate Voice
Daniel Golden / Bloomberg:
Plunge of For-Profit College Stock Makes Sperling Rail at Obama
The Huffington Post:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai Longs For ‘Golden Age’ Of The Bush Years
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Firedoglake