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6:50 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.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
One Day, When The Times Has An Economist As A Columnist...  Paul Krugman closes the year with misdirection and deception.  His topic is tax cuts (bad!) and Evil Republicans (what else?).  My emphasis:  —  How did Republican leaders reconcile their purported deep concern about budget deficits with their advocacy of large tax cuts?
Discussion: Sky Dancing
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: Doug Ross and Moe Lane
Ginger Gibson / New Jersey Online:
Gov. Christie praises his administration for work done after blizzard, chastises mayors for local efforts  —  TRENTON — At his first public event since a blizzard slammed the state, Gov. Chris Christie praised state workers and his administration for their response to the storm and said he wouldn't have done anything differently.
Discussion: Washington Wire and Metropolis
David Seifman / New York Post:
David Seifman / New York Post:
Mayor Bloomberg admits that failing to tackle blizzard was ‘character building’
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.
Marc Lacey / New York Times:   No Pardon for Billy the Kid
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.
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 …
Jeff Poor / The Daily Caller:
Not a fan: Krauthammer calls Palin ‘rather weak’ and gives her ‘no chance of winning’ in 2012  —  Is the idea that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could be America's next president laughable?  Not only to many on the left, but also to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer.
Wall Street Journal:
The Liberal Reckoning of 2010  —  The year voters saw the left's unvarnished agenda and said no.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent out a press release last week headlined “111th Congress Accomplishments.”  It quoted a couple of Democratic Party cheerleaders calling …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Fox News Stokes the Climate Change Denial Machine  —  Fox News continues promoting anti-science rubbish to the rubes, with an article about Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts.  —  What do you notice about these “botched forecasts?”  The most recent one they could find dates back to 2000, and all the others are much older.
N.C. Aizenman / Washington Post:
Maine seeks exemption from provision of health-care law  —  Days before a key and controversial provision of the health-care law is set to take effect, Maine is the only state to have asked the Obama administration for an exemption, despite concerns expressed by at least a dozen states.
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
Byron Tau / Ben Smith's Blog:
Connecticut RNCer links Priebus and Steele  —  In a long missive endorsing Gentry Collins, Connecticut RNC chairman Chris Healy, who flirted with the RNC race himself, accuses Reince Priebus of being Steele's “wingman” for much of the last two years: … Full email after the jump.
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: Don Surber and Weasel Zippers
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
The Senate's Long, Twisted, Bumpy Road To Filibuster Reform  —  At some point on January 5, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) will take the Senate floor and begin a process that he hopes will end in the successful use of the “Constitutional option” — the prerogative of a majority of the Senate's members …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Government by regulation.  Shhh.  —  Most people don't remember Obamacare's notorious Section 1233, mandating government payments for end-of-life counseling.  It aroused so much anxiety as a possible first slippery step on the road to state-mandated late-life rationing that the Senate never included it in the final health-care law.
Houston Chronicle:
Five hostages released in Pearland bank standoff  —  An armed robber continued to hold one person hostage in a Pearland bank Friday afternoon, four hours after two gunmen in ski masks burst into the bank and held multiple hostages.  —  Five hostages were released shortly after 2 p.m. from the Chase Bank.
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Hugh Hewitt /
The Key New Year's Resolution: Stop the EPA  —  Rolling back Obamacare will be at the top of many to-do lists for 2011, but a far more significant power grab is underway at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and blocking it should be the first priority of incoming chairman …
Discussion: Firedoglake
Dr. David Gratzer / Washington Examiner:
Manhattan Moment: Banned brownies not the only problem in school lunches  —  Two weeks ago, President Obama signed the “Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act” into law.  Although this legislation makes both legislators and parents feel good about the government taking charge and providing …
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
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 …
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!
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 More Items: 
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Cuomo Uses Phone Calls as a Political Tool
Gary Farber / Amygdala:
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Daily Mail:
Swede told he had cancer and forced to have penis amputated following …
Discussion: Moonbattery and
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Napolitano visits Afghanistan
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Scared Monkeys
Agence France Presse:
‘Taliban shadow governor killed in Afghanistan’
Discussion: Commentary
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Indiana Court Case: Servicer Contractually Bound to Federal Servicing Guidelines
Discussion: Credit Slips and Eschaton
Jessica Silver-Greenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Dead Soul Is a Debt Collector
CNN Poll: Optimism for world outlook in 2011 up from a year ago
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Harmon / Advocate:
Govt. Seeks to Suspend DADT Lawsuit Appeal
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Firedoglake
Scott Horton / Harper's:
Justice Department Refuses Cooperation With Polish Prosecutors …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Prairie Weather
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
No good guys in the fight over for-profit colleges
Darren Samuelsohn / The Politico:
Climate PR effort heats up
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
John / Power Line:
Time to Rethink Public Employee Unions
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Abortion Takes Flight
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Althouse