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12:40 PM ET, December 31, 2010


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The New Voodoo  —  Hypocrisy never goes out of style, but, even so, 2010 was something special.  For it was the year of budget doubletalk — the year of arsonists posing as firemen, of people railing against deficits while doing everything they could to make those deficits bigger.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
RYAN'S RADICAL RULE?.... House Republicans quietly advanced procedural budget rules last week, which would be funny if they weren't so ridiculous.  But there's a second part of this that shouldn't go overlooked.  —  We talked the other day about Republicans' “Cutgo” rules.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Dems rip proposed rule giving new power to GOP Budget chairman
Discussion: Moe Lane and Raw Story
Jason Millman / The Hill:
Dem regrets language in memo on ‘death panels’ that reignited debate  —  Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is distancing himself from a memo sent by his office that urged health reform advocates not to advertise new end-of-life counseling regulations to avoid reviving talk of “death panels.”
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHEN A SIDESHOW IS EVIDENCE OF SOMETHING LARGER.... As 2010 comes to an end, there are plenty of retrospectives on the year in politics.  The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney, a conservative, has a worthwhile suggestion this morning for anyone still writing their year-end list.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Jessica Hopper / ABCNEWS:
Gov. Bill Richardson: 'I've Decided Not To Pardon Billy the Kid'  —  Billy the Kid Was Promised a Pardon in 1879  —  It's been a year of pardons from two Mississippi sisters paroled in exchange for one donating a kidney to another to rock singer Jim Morrison to even a presidential turkey.
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
Outgoing GOP congressman: ‘Credible conservatives’ not about Obama ‘hatred’  —  Outgoing Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said Thursday that a “credible conservative” movement that doesn't focus on “hatred” of President Obama is needed.  —  Inglis was defeated in a landslide by Trey Gowdy in the June primary runoff.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
The Huffington Post:
Alter's ‘The Promise’ Epilogue: Obama Team's Dysfunction Prompted Lack Of Focus On Jobs; Bill Clinton Annoyed At White House  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … Some revelations about the Obama administration detailed in the new epilogue to the upcoming paperback release of Jonathan Alter's bestseller …
Discussion: Lynn Sweet
Ezra Klein:
Yes, the Constitution is binding  —  This morning, I gave a quick interview to MSNBC where I made, I thought, some fairly banal points on the GOP's plan to honor the Constitution by having it read aloud on the House floor.  Asked if it was a gimmick, I replied that it was, because, well, it is.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Indiana Court Case: Servicer Contractually Bound to Federal Servicing Guidelines  —  Even though the Treasury Department isn't sanctioning servicers for their failure to comply with HAMP guidelines, it looks like in some cases, the courts could.  In a case in the Indiana Court of Appeals …
Discussion: Credit Slips and Eschaton
New York Post:
Topics  —  Do the residents of NYS and NYC realize what has occurred?  —  The Public and Private sector Unions control NYS and NYC - they control almost the entire Democrat Party and even a few Republicans!  Both NYS and NYC!  —  Those politicians no longer represent the taxpayer, they represent the Union!
Derek Kravitz / Washington Post:
As frustration grows, airports consider ditching TSA  —  Every spring, private security officers at San Francisco International Airport compete in a workplace “March Madness"-style tournament for cash prizes, some as high as $1,500.  —  The games: finding illegal items and explosives in carry-on bags …
Darren Samuelsohn / The Politico:
Climate PR effort heats up  —  Hey America!  Are you ready to get wonky on global warming?  —  After a year that started with fallout from the “Climategate” e-mail release, saw the cap-and-trade bill die in Congress, and ended with a gang of Republican climate skeptics winning House and Senate seats …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Maxim Lott / Fox News:
Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts  —  The Statue of Liberty, depicted frozen solid in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow.”  Many weather forecasters and scientists wonder whether a coming period of “global cooling” may be on the way.  —  A new year is around the corner …
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Napolitano visits Afghanistan  —  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano touched down in Afghanistan on Thursday morning and planned to spend New Year's Eve visiting troops.  —  Six Department of Homeland Security customs and border security officials will accompany Napolitano on the weeklong trip …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Obamacare mess is legacy of Dems' moment of power  —  As Republicans prepare to take power in the House and play a more influential role in the Senate, it's good to think back a year.  At the end of 2009, it was not at all clear that big Republican victories were on the way …
Sewell Chan / New York Times:
Academic Economists to Consider Ethics Code  —  WASHINGTON — When the Stanford business professor Darrell Duffie co-wrote a book on how to overhaul Wall Street regulations, he did not mention that he sits on the board of Moody's, the credit rating agency.  —  As a commentator on the economy …
Discussion: The Confluence and The Ticker
Scott Horton / Harper's:
Justice Department Refuses Cooperation With Polish Prosecutors Investigating Torture at CIA Black Site  —  Polish prosecutors looking into the torture (including waterboarding) of prisoners held at the former CIA black site in northeastern Poland near Szymany air base turned to the U.S. Department …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Prairie Weather
CNN Poll: Optimism for world outlook in 2011 up from a year ago  —  Washington (CNN) - Americans are looking forward to the new year with much more optimism about the state of the world than they did a year ago, according to a new national poll.  But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday …
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
No good guys in the fight over for-profit colleges  —  For a case study in the tawdry and twisted world of Washington policymaking and lobbying, you can't do much better than the current fight over the subsidies and regulations for for-profit colleges.  Behind every argument is an ulterior motive …
Agence France Presse:
‘Taliban shadow governor killed in Afghanistan’  —  KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — A top Taliban commander and his bodyguard were killed during an overnight operation by Afghan and NATO forces in northern Afghanistan, police said on Friday.  —  Mawlawi Bahadur was killed Thursday night in Chahar Dara …
Discussion: Commentary
Andrew Harmon / Advocate:
Govt. Seeks to Suspend DADT Lawsuit Appeal  —  In light of congressional repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” signed into law by President Barack Obama last week, the Justice Department is now seeking to suspend its appeal in the Log Cabin Republicans' longstanding federal lawsuit against the policy.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Firedoglake
Alex Pareene / Salon:
Judith Miller: From the Times to the nuts  —  Judith Miller used to be a superstar.  She was a major reporter at the New York Times for decades — at the DC bureau, in Cairo, in Paris, special correspondent to the Persian Gulf, embedded with a special unit in Iraq.  She had the best sources.
Jessica Silver-Greenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Dead Soul Is a Debt Collector  —  Deceased Woman's Name Was Robo-Signed on Thousands of Affidavits  —  Martha Kunkle has come back to life.  —  She died in 1995.  Yet her signature later appeared on thousands of affidavits submitted by one of the nation's largest debt collectors …
John / Power Line:
Time to Rethink Public Employee Unions  —  In New York, sanitation workers have reported that their union ordered them to sabotage the city's blizzard cleanup efforts.  If that claim is true, the union may be responsible for at least one death.  Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to investigate.
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Abortion Takes Flight  —  Irish law prohibits all abortions except those necessary to save a woman's life, and as a practical matter it imposes daunting obstacles to terminating life-threatening pregnancies as well.  In a secularized Europe, Ireland is noticeably out of step.
Discussion: Washington Post
New York Times:
Christians Are Casualties of 10 Baghdad Attacks  —  BAGHDAD — One week after an Islamic extremist group vowed to kill Christians in Iraq, a cluster of 10 bomb attacks rattled Baghdad on Thursday night and sent additional tremors of fear through the country's already shaken Christian minority.
Valerie Strauss / The Answer Sheet:
University of Virginia reforms speech code  —  The University of Virginia has eliminated four controversial policies that restricted the free speech of students and faculty, becoming one of a minority of schools across the country to do so.  —  The recent decision to change the policies …
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 More Items: 
April Bethea / The Charlotte Observer:
Bill James rips Sen. Burr's vote as ‘endorsing immorality’
Discussion: TPMDC and Outside the Beltway
Peter Whoriskey / Washington Post:
SUVs lead U.S. auto sales growth despite efforts to improve fuel efficiency
Floyd Norris / New York Times:
Major Banks Need Midsize Ones
Delen Goldberg / Las Vegas Sun:
GOP presidential hopefuls paying attention to Nevada
Malcolm Moore / Telegraph:
China makes Skype illegal
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
I, I, Me, Me, My, My — for Pacifism!
 Earlier Items: 
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Big Second Amendment Opinion from the Fourth Circuit, Related …
Steve Hughes / Daily Star:
The Huffington Post:
Last Kodachrome Developer Stops Developing
Philip Haldiman / Arizona Republic:
Phoenix-area residents report snow falling across Valley
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Good Grief... Leading RNC Candidate's Law Firm Supports Obamacare …