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10:55 AM ET, January 5, 2011


 Top Items: 
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Republicans Lower Goal for Cuts to Budget  —  WASHINGTON — Many people knowledgeable about the federal budget said House Republicans could not keep their campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending in a single year.  Now it appears that Republicans agree.
Robert Pear / New York Times:
U.S. Alters Rule on Paying for End-of-Life Planning  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health care law, administration officials said Tuesday.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
As Boehner Ascends, His Power Comes With Caveats  —  WASHINGTON — Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio is set to complete a remarkable political revival Wednesday when he becomes the 61st speaker of the House, placing him squarely at the crossroads between the desires of conservative activists …
Kathleen Hennessey / Los Angeles Times:
‘Tea party’ freshmen embrace status quo  —  After campaigning against D.C.'s ways, new Republican lawmakers quickly turn to lobbyists and fundraisers.  —  Reporting from Washington — ‪The new class of Republican lawmakers who charged into office promising to shun the ways …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Happy 112th Congress — Speaker Boehner: 'This is the people's House' — Cincinnati chili, Graeter's ice cream in Cannon Caucus - Pelosi promise to be ‘willing partner’ — Fallon rises  —  BULLETIN - FROM INCOMING SPEAKER BOEHNER'S PREPARED REMARKS — swearing-in about 2:30 p.m. …
Discussion: Washington Post, The Page and News Desk
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
House Republicans back away from pledge to cut $100 billion from budget  —  House Republicans are backing away from their pledge to cut $100 billion from the federal budget.  —  GOP aides say Republicans will still look to make significant cuts to spending, but the whole idea of cutting $100 billion …
Discussion: Yglesias
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Boehner, congressional leaders change Twitter titles in web change-of-power  —  In twin moves reflecting their new roles in the next Congress, Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) modified their official handles on Twitter.  —  Pelosi, the outgoing Speaker of the House …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Report: House GOP backing away from promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year?  —  Their excuse will be that the fiscal year, which began on October 1, will already be almost half over by the time the budgetary resolution that was passed during the lame duck runs out in March.
Jon Ward / The Daily Caller:   Democratic staff passed out a press release to reporters …
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
In House, new Republican majority plans to act fast to undo Obama's agenda
Discussion: Hot Air, The BLT and The Other McCain
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Wily old Dems take on whippersnapper Republicans
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Republicans Set to Wield New Power in Washington
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Pirate's Cove
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Gibbs to Leave as White House Press Secretary  —  Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary and close confidante to President Obama, said Wednesday that he will step down and become an outside political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign.
John R. Parkinson / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: President Michele Bachmann?  —  Sources: Tea Party Favorite Is Mulling a Presidential Bid in 2012  —  Forget the fervent chatter speculating that Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann is considering launching a campaign to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bachmann to Iowa as she considers presidential bid  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is planning a trip to Iowa, perhaps to explore the possibility of a run for president in 2012.  —  Bachmann's office confirmed on Wednesday that the Tea Party lawmaker planned to hold a fundraiser …
Brobinson / Fox Nation:
Speaker Pelosi Leaves With a Whopper  —  At her final press conference as House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us.  It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go.”  —  The numbers tell a different story.  —  When the Pelosi Democrats took control …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
‘Speaker’ Pelosi finally gives up title on Twitter
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Warren P. Strobel / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
WikiLeaks: ‘Voluptuous’ nurse cable costs diplomat his job  —  WASHINGTON — In what appears to be the first diplomatic casualty from the latest WikiLeaks revelations, the U.S. ambassador to Libya has returned to Washington and is likely to leave his post, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
The Constitution is dead.  Long live the Constitution.  —  Every patriotic fiber of my body tells me that reading the Constitution aloud at the commencement of congressional sessions is a good idea.  Heck, a pop quiz might even be in order.  It is vital that members of Congress fully immerse themselves …
Discussion: Cold Fury
Tea Party leaders not swayed by Lugar meeting  —  Washington (CNN) - Hoping to head off a primary challenge from the right, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, sat down with Tea Party leaders last month but did little to persuade them of his conservative credentials.
Chris Christie / Zogby:
New Jersey Governor Leads Obama, 43%-40%  —  UTICA, New York - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leads a hypothetical field of contenders for the Presidential nomination among Republican voters, and is the only Republican tested who leads President Barack Obama among all voters …
Discussion: Scared Monkeys, Fox Nation and Hot Air
Nathan Frandino / CBS New York:
Poll: Christie Ahead Of Obama Among GOP Hopefuls
Discussion: Paul Mulshine and Weigel
Ezra Klein:
Repealing health-care reform would cost hundreds of billions of dollars — and Eric Cantor knows it  —  House Republicans are in a pickle: One of their new rules says that new legislation must be paid for.  But the health-care bill reduces the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years.
David Leonhardt / Economix:
Q.&A. With Gov. Mitch Daniels  —  Following are excerpts of my recent interview with Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana:  —  Q. ...  what is it that government essentially does too much of now?  What's the common theme here of things that you can get government to stop doing without adversely affecting people's lives?
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Norquist Triumphant  —  Digby: … The problem is not the deficit sez the Beltway.  The problem is government spending.  This is what Obama's Deal has wrought.  Grover Norquist has won.  As Digby says: … This victory for Norquist was achieved by the “most progressive President of ALL TIME!!!!!!!!”
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Chavez floats Stone, Penn, Clinton for U.S. envoy  —  (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sought to end a diplomatic stand-off with the United States on Tuesday by suggesting it name Bill Clinton, actor Sean Penn or director Oliver Stone as its envoy to Caracas.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Michael Theodoulou / Daily Mail:
Vulture tagged by Israeli scientists flies into Saudi Arabia ... and is arrested for being a spy  —  A vulture tagged by scientists at Tel Aviv University has strayed into Saudi Arabian territory, where it was promptly arrested on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, Israeli and Saudi media reported Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Deal Spurs Inquiry  —  SEC Launches Review of 1960s-Era Disclosure Regulations for Private Firms  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun examining whether disclosure rules for privately held firms need to be rewritten as a result of recent deals allowing investors …
Discussion: Paul Kedrosky's …
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Theater Audience Boos Tea Party Billionaire David Koch  —  David Koch masks his role as one of the top financiers of the Tea Party movement and pro-polluter front groups by loudly tacking his name to more laudable charities, like the New York city ballet.  Koch, who has professed his devotion to …
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 More Items: 
USA Today:
‘Earmarks’ to nowhere: States losing billions
Discussion: Bankrupting America and
Hindustan Times:
Taliban cut off man's hand for theft
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
111th Congress Averaged 25% Approval, Among Recent Lowest
Discussion: Politics Daily and National Review
Chrystia Freeland / The Atlantic Online:
The Rise of the New Global Elite
Discussion: Felix Salmon and Balloon Juice
 Earlier Items: 
Man charged with killing 2
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Rep. King blasts critics, defends hearing on homegrown terror
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
Keep Your Laws Off My Body
Discussion: alicublog
David Hinckley / NY Daily News:
Glenn Beck dropped by New York's WOR radio station over poor ratings …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Boehner fires back at Dem senators with vow to push forward with repeal