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5:40 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?
Michael Whitney / Firedoglake:
BREAKING: Military Harassing David House, Jane Hamsher for Visiting Bradley Manning  —  Jane Hamsher is with David House who is trying to visit Pvt. Bradley Manning at Quantico today while carrying a petition with 42,000 signatures requesting humane treatment for Manning.
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: Washington Post and CNN
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Date night for Congress?
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Annie Groer / Politics Daily:
State of the Union Bipartisan Seating: Comity Central for Lawmakers
Discussion: Denver Post
New York Times:
As State of the Union Nears, Congress Plays Musical Chairs
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and FrumForum
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.
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 —
Ashley Southall / The Caucus:
Obama Marks Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Discussion: Washington Monthly and FrumForum
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 …
The Auditor:
Gov. Chris Christie declines to counter State of the Union speech  —  In 1995, Christie Whitman, a New Jersey governor who was a rising Republican Party star, delivered the GOP's response to President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address in front of a cheering crowd in the Assembly chamber.
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.
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.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Union Power  —  Kevin Drum says: … That's definitely true.  But in large part that's because if you allowed more unionization in exchange for some tax cuts, the stronger unions would just turn around in the future and create a political dynamic that's friendly to tax hikes.  Which if you ask me would be great.
Discussion: Mother Jones
Joseph Berger / New York Times:
Senate Republicans to Oppose Obama's Spending Plans  —  The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said on Sunday that his party will vigorously oppose the spending initiatives President Obama plans to include in his State of the Union address on Tuesday because …
Discussion: CNN and Booman Tribune
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
Jerusalem Post:
‘IHH activists violently opposed IDF boarding boat’  —  The commission concluded that on board the Mavi Marmara and the other flotilla vessels was a group of IHH and affiliated activists (the IHH activists) that violently opposed the Israelis boarding.  The IHH activists who participated …
Discussion: Commentary
‘This Week’ Transcript: Sens Lieberman, Conrad and Hutchison  —  SCHILLING: Yeah, you know, I think the — the one thing that's been missing the last couple years is the — there's been really no true debate.  It's been, you know, one side kind of pushes through whatever they want.
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 More Items: 
The Bobblespeak Translations:
This Week with Christiane Amanpour
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
America's treatment of detainees
Discussion: CNN and Power Line
Al Baker / New York Times:
Man Accidentally Shot in Bronx Raid
Discussion: Hit & Run
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Olbermann-MSNBC split had been brewing for a while
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and FrumForum
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Trying to Break Logjam, Scholar Floats an Idea for a Palestinian Map
 Earlier Items: 
Stable Hand / The Jawa Report:
Good News!!  “Islams Useful Idiots” Planned Rally/March In NY & SF April 9th, 2011
Discussion: Weasel Zippers