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12:05 PM ET, January 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Obama to Press Centrist Agenda in His Address  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama will outline an agenda for “winning the future” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, striking a theme of national unity and renewal, as he stresses the need for both government spending in key areas and an attack on the budget deficit.
Bill Carter / Media Decoder:
Olbermann's MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making  —  On Thursday, NBC's news division staged an elaborate presentation for advertisers, seeking to sell commercial time in NBC's news programs over the next year.  All the members of MSNBC's prime-time lineup spoke at the lunch with one exception …
Keith Olbermann's Exit — Secret Deal
Don Terry / New York Times:
Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send You to Prison  —  Christopher Drew is a 60-year-old artist and teacher who wears a gray ponytail and lives on the North Side.  Tiawanda Moore, 20, a former stripper, lives on the South Side and dreams of going back to school and starting a new life.
Discussion: Hit & Run
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A.  —  WASHINGTON — Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.  —  Over the past two years …
Annie Groer / Politics Daily:
State of the Union Bipartisan Seating: Comity Central for Lawmakers … Get ready for Comity Central, or something approaching a massive Congressional date night as pairs and groups of Republicans and Democrats cozy up in adjoining seats for President Obama's State of the Union speech.
Discussion: Denver Post
John / Power Line:
The Left's Tucson Strategy: Stage Two  —  The Left's attempt to link the Tucson shootings to angry rhetoric (not theirs, of course) was stage one of a broader strategy—what both military men and political strategists refer to as preparing the battlefield.  The movement to feign nonpartisanship …
Van Helsing / Moonbattery:
Bwahahahahaha!  —  Moonbats are not taking the demise of Queef Olbermann well.  DC Trawler has collected some tweets sure to brighten your afternoon.  A few examples:  —  What a smile libs can bring to your face when they histrionically fling themselves on the floor in despair.
The Note:
Romney Wins New Hampshire Republican Party Committee Straw Poll  —  ABC News Political Director Amy Walter reports:  —  In the first ever “straw poll” of New Hampshire Republican party committee members sponsored by ABC News and WMUR and sanctioned by the state Republican party …
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
Tea Party Activist Takes Over New Hampshire G.O.P.
Andrew Cohen / Politics Daily:
United States v. Loughner: The Decision About the Death Penalty … In United States v. Jared Lee Loughner, the federal case against the Tucson shooting suspect, the action now shifts from public disclosures about what happened at the Safeway supermarket on Jan. 8 to private conversations …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mwarren / Weekly Standard:
The Decline of the Justice Department
Discussion: Power Line and Pajamas Media
Matthew Robertson / Epoch Times:
Chinese Pianist Plays Propaganda Tune at White House  —  US humiliated in eyes of Chinese by song used to inspire anti-Americanism  —  Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it.  Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it.  Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
McConnell: I'll sit ‘where I usually sit’  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not have a Democrat colleague to sit with during Tuesday's State of the Union.  —  Asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether he will sit at the Republican leadership table during President Obama's speech …
Discussion: CNN
Ashley Southall / The Caucus:
Obama Marks Anniversary of Roe v. Wade  —  President Obama reaffirmed his support for abortion rights on Saturday, the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a woman's right to an abortion.  —  “I am committed to protecting this constitutional right,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
Tom Diemer / Politics Daily:
Obama on Abortion Ruling Anniversary: Government ‘Should Not Intrude’
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and theblogprof
Agence France Presse:
US drone strike ‘kills four militants in Pakistan’  —  MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone attack killed at least four militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal district on Sunday, officials said.  —  “The US drone hit a car immediately after it parked outside a house.
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Trying to Break Logjam, Scholar Floats an Idea for a Palestinian Map  —  WASHINGTON — It speaks to the paralysis in the Middle East peace process that the most noteworthy development of the past week came when a mild-mannered analyst at a pro-Israel think tank unfurled three color-coded maps.
Discussion: Yglesias and The Washington Note
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 More Items: 
Carol Rosenberg / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
How Congress helped thwart Obama's plan to close Guantanamo
Discussion: CNN and Prairie Weather
Stable Hand / The Jawa Report:
Good News!!  “Islams Useful Idiots” Planned Rally/March In NY & SF April 9th, 2011
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Gardiner Harris / New York Times:
Federal Research Center Will Help Develop Medicines
Discussion: TigerHawk and Sky Dancing
 Earlier Items: 
Joan Rivers Calls Michelle Obama ‘Blackie O’
Tim Hoover / Denver Post:
Secretary of State plans to moonlight with old firm
Mike Stopa / Boston Globe:
The reality of death panels
Discussion: Don Surber and Conservatives4Palin