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9:10 PM ET, December 29, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.
Associated Press:
Feds probe Christine O'Donnell's campaign spending  —  BALTIMORE - Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell to determine if the former Senate candidate broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.
David Catanese / The Politico:
O'Donnell faces federal investigation
Discussion: USA Today and AmSpecBlog
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
AP: Feds Investigating Christine O'Donnell
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 …
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]
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Poll: Fewer Americans hope Obama's policies succeed
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Weasel Zippers
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Palin Faces Gloomy New Poll Numbers
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 …
Glenn Davis / Mediaite:
Tucker Carlson: “I Think Personally [Michael Vick] Should Have Been Executed”  —  Tucker Carlson again filled in for Sean Hannity on Hannity tonight, and couldn't resist, as others already had, delving into the issue of President Obama praising Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie …
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
David S. Bernstein /
The Road to 2012: The New New Hampshire  —  Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP field are about to find a whole new set of players standing between them and first-in-the-nation primary victory  —  For Mitt Romney and other likely presidential contenders, 2011 will be a busy year of campaigning …
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Kucinich worries his district will be eliminated  —  (CNN) - The state of Ohio will lose two congressional seats thanks to the latest U.S. Census figures, and liberal stalwart Dennis Kucinich is worried his seat is on the chopping block.  —  In an e-mail to supporters Wednesday …
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.
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 …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Republican campaign committee names top 2012 Senate targets
Discussion: CNN
Dylan Stableford / The Wrap:
Fox Utterly Destroys Cable News Ratings Competition in 2010  —  The Nielsen numbers are in for 2010, and in the battle for cable news ratings supremacy, Fox News took the title for the ninth year in a row — bludgeoning the competition for another year.  —  The blowout comes on the heels …
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 …
The Business Insider:
GARY SHILLING: And Now House Prices Will Now Drop Another 20%  —  In October, Gary Shilling of A. Gary Shilling & Co., predicted that house prices would fall another 20%.  —  In the two months since, house prices have resumed their decline.  Below, Gary outlines why he thinks the recent drops are just the beginning.
Ryan J. Reilly / TPMMuckraker:
Megyn Kelly: Calling Aliens ‘Undocumented’ Like Calling Rape ‘Non-Consensual Sex’ (VIDEO)  —  Plenty of conservatives are pretty upset over a campaign by the Society of Professional Journalists to convince reporters to stop using the terms “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants” in favor of “undocumented immigrant.”
Discussion: Washington Monthly
US Foreclosures Jump in Third Quarter: Regulators  —  U.S. home foreclosures jumped in the third quarter and banks' efforts to keep borrowers in their homes dropped as the housing market continues to struggle, U.S. bank regulators said on Wednesday.  —  The regulators said one reason …
Discussion: TalkLeft, The Confluence and Eschaton
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama uses recess appointment to seat Justice Dept. official  —  President Obama used a recess appointment Wednesday to name James Cole as deputy attorney general.  —  The president also recess appointed five other officials, including four ambassadors.  —  Cole's nomination …
Discussion: CNN and ABCNEWS
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.
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: Suburban Guerrilla and Sky Dancing
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Crist's Future  —  There hasn't been a lot of good news for Charlie Crist this year but as he prepares to leave office here's a little piece of it: he's actually finishing up with the best approval numbers PPP has found for him all year.  50% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 39% who disapprove.
Discussion: The Hill and Riptide 2.0
Judy Battista / New York Times:
Favre Is Fined $50,000 but Not Suspended  —  Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback whose 20-year career is likely to end after this weekend, was fined $50,000 by the National Football League Wednesday for failing to cooperate with the league's investigation into graphic photos …
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 More Items: 
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:
The #1 Game-Changer of 2010: Wikileaks By a Landslide
Discussion: American Power
Elspeth Reeve / The Atlantic Wire:
Social Conservatives Boycotting CPAC Over Gays
Discussion: Hot Air and The Huffington Post
George Packer / News Desk:
Snow Story  —  The trouble began Sunday night.
Robert F. Worth / New York Times:
Rarity in Region, Lebanese Paper Dares to Provoke
Discussion: National Review
J. Bradford DeLong / Project Syndicate:
A Time to Spend  —  print recommend Send link clip secure rights
Cathy Young / Boston Globe:
No Labels, but still sworn enemies
Discussion: National Review
Richard Mauer / Anchorage Daily News:
14th official state delay keeps Palin e-mail requests in limbo
Discussion: USA Today, CNN and Wonkette
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Sieff / Washington Post:
Some Va. history texts filled with errors, review finds
Discussion: AOL News
Lynn Sweet:
Carol Moseley Braun also warns Bill Clinton to stay out of Chicago mayoral race.
Alan Zibel / Wall Street Journal:
GOP Shifts on Fannie, Freddie Overhaul
Felicia Sonmez / The Fix:
Scott Brown to kick off book tour during President's Day recess
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Impossible Foreclosure: Never Late on a Payment
George Washington / naked capitalism:
Guest Post: Underneath the Happy Talk, Is This As Bad as the Great Depression?
Discussion: Corrente and The Glittering Eye