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2:40 PM ET, January 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
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.
Cathy Yan / Speakeasy:
Did Pianist Lang Lang Dis the White House?
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.
HAWAII GROUND REPORT: Could Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie not be as incompetent and foolish as he appears, but orchestrating a deliberate birth certificate recovery dead end to cover his own papakole?  UPDATED: Mystery solved!  Reason Obama will not release birth certificate is because his name …
Carol Rosenberg / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
How Congress helped thwart Obama's plan to close Guantanamo  —  Two years after the newly minted Obama administration moved to undo what had become one of the most controversial legacies of the George W. Bush presidency by ordering the closure of the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba …
Andrew Cohen / Politics Daily:
United States v. Loughner: The Decision About the Death Penalty
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mwarren / Weekly Standard:
The Decline of the Justice Department
Discussion: Salon, Power Line and Pajamas Media
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Olbermann-MSNBC split had been brewing for a while  —  A swirl of questions Saturday surrounded political provocateur Keith Olbermann's abrupt departure from MSNBC, the network he helped transform - by dint of his fiery eloquence and on-air presence - into the left's answer to Fox News.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and FrumForum
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
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.
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 …
Wavpeac / Firedoglake:
The Blue Collar Life  —  A construction worker in Chicago, three days before Christmas, 2005.  (photo: gnevets88 via Flickr)  —  My husband got up at 5:00 a.m. to work outside in 7 degree F temperatures.  He sat on the end of the couch, head in his hands sipping his coffee telling me how much he hates his job.
Kim Geiger / Los Angeles Times:
Clarence Thomas failed to report wife's income, watchdog says  —  Virginia Thomas earned over $680,000 from conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation over 5 years, a group says.  But the Supreme Court justice did not include it on financial disclosure forms.  —  Reporting from Washington —
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.
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
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
As State of the Union Nears, Congress Plays Musical Chairs
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and FrumForum
Jerusalem Post:
‘IHH activists violently opposed IDF boarding boat’
Discussion: Commentary
Annie Groer / Politics Daily:
State of the Union Bipartisan Seating: Comity Central for Lawmakers
Discussion: Denver Post
 Earlier Items: 
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
Joan Rivers Calls Michelle Obama ‘Blackie O’
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
Tea Party Activist Takes Over New Hampshire G.O.P.
Tim Hoover / Denver Post:
Secretary of State plans to moonlight with old firm