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12:25 PM ET, January 5, 2011


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 and National Review
Jon Ward / The Daily Caller:   Democratic staff passed out a press release to reporters …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Happy 112th Congress — Speaker Boehner: 'This is the people's …
Discussion: Washington Post, The Page and News Desk
Kathleen Hennessey / Los Angeles Times:
‘Tea party’ freshmen embrace status quo
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: Salon, CNN and AOL News
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Wily old Dems take on whippersnapper Republicans
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Rasmussen Reports:
More Voters Expect To Be Unhappy With the New Congress
Discussion: The Daily Caller, TPMDC and Ballot Box
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Gibbs to Leave as White House Press Secretary  —  Updated 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.
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Howard Dean endorses Daley for chief of staff, rips White House  —  Former DNC chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Wednesday that William Daley would be a “huge plus” for the Obama administration if he is tapped to be the president's new chief of staff.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and TPMDC
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Robert Gibbs will leave job as White House press secretary  —  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will leave his position early next month, according to a senior administration official.  —  Gibbs, the top public voice for the Obama administration, will pursue opportunities outside …
Discussion: The Nation and TPMDC
Steve Holland / Reuters:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to resign
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
Morning Bits  —  In other words, he drives the left batty.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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?
Discussion: The Fix and Ben Smith's Blog
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Budget Hawk Eyes Deficit
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: Raw Story and Paul Kedrosky's …
New York Times:
There He Goes Again  —  Justice Antonin Scalia has a knack for drawing unflattering light to himself and the Supreme Court.  Recall, for example, when he refused to recuse himself from a case involving the energy task force run by Dick Cheney, his friend and duck-hunting companion, when Mr. Cheney was vice president.
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
Ezra Klein:
The incumbent's advantage  —  In theory, I'm the perfect customer for the Nissan Leaf.  I don't drive frequently.  I don't need a car with much space.  I never need to go farther than 100 miles at a time.  —  But the Nissan Leaf wouldn't work for me at all, as I don't own a garage …
Discussion: Slate
USA Today:
‘Earmarks’ to nowhere: States losing billions  —  WASHINGTON — Almost 13 years ago, Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., directed $375,000 in federal funding “to improve State Road 31” in Columbus, Ind., a city at the edge of his district.  —  The McIntosh “earmark” seemed routine at the time …
Discussion: The Politico and
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 More Items: 
William D. Cohan / Vanity Fair:
Huffing and Puffing  —  Reminiscent of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
The Huffington Post:
Fed Moves To Gut Predatory Lending Regulation
Discussion: Firedoglake and Ezra Klein
New Huckleberry Finn edition censors ‘n-word’
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Firedoglake
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
McCain favors comprehensive immigration reform after borders secured
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Don Surber:
David Corn goes Ezra Klein
Discussion: Politics Daily and AOL News
City Journal:
The Benefits Storm  —  Why New York can't afford enough …
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Navy fires Capt. Owen Honors over raunchy videos
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Norquist Triumphant  —  Digby: … The problem is not the deficit sez the Beltway.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
111th Congress Averaged 25% Approval, Among Recent Lowest
Discussion: Politics Daily and National Review
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Rep. King blasts critics, defends hearing on homegrown terror