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10:30 AM ET, December 16, 2011


 Top Items: 
Juli Weiner / Vanity Fair:
In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011  —  Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62.  Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir …
William Grimes / New York Times:
Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011: Christopher Hitchens Is Dead at 62 — Obituary  —  Christopher Hitchens, a slashing polemicist in the tradition of Thomas Paine and George Orwell who trained his sights on targets as various as Henry Kissinger, the British monarchy and Mother Teresa …
Christopher Hitchens dies at 62 after suffering cancer  —  Vanity Fair's editor said those who read him felt they knew him  —  British-born author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62.  —  He died from pneumonia, a complication of the oesophageal cancer he had, at a Texas hospital.
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Writer Christopher Hitchens Dies At 62  —  This graphic requires version 9 or higher of the Adobe Flash Player.Get the latest Flash Player.  —  Writer Christopher Hitchens was a critic of personalities, politicians and religious figures.  —  The influential writer and cultural critic …
Matt Schudel / Washington Post:
Christopher Hitchens dies; Vanity Fair writer was a religious skeptic, master of the contrarian essay  —  Christopher Hitchens, a sharp-witted provocateur who used his formidable learning, biting wit and muscular prose style to skewer what he considered high-placed hypocrites …
Discussion: CNN and Michael Totten
Christopher Buckley / News Desk:
Postscript: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011
Anthony Boadle / Reuters:
Atheist intellectual Christopher Hitchens dead at 62
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
New York Times:
Gingrich Duels With Challengers at Iowa Debate  —  SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The leading Republican presidential candidates largely shelved their contentious attacks on one another to deliver their closing arguments on Thursday night at the final debate before the nominating contests begin …
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
GOP debate: Gingrich's electability at issue
Jonathan Garthwaite /
Gingrich wins Townhall/HotAir Primary; Conservatives still not completely sold that Gingrich is the last man standing
Discussion: Hot Air
Washington Post:
Gingrich and Romney on the defensive in GOP debate
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest
Darren Samuelsohn / The Politico:
GOP wins light bulb fight  —  The shutdown-averting budget bill will block federal light bulb efficiency standards, giving a win to House Republicans fighting the so-called ban on incandescent light bulbs.  —  GOP and Democratic sources tell POLITICO the final omnibus bill includes …
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Shutdown averted: Deal reached on $1T omnibus package
Discussion: Hot Air
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Omnibus spending deal blocks funding for light bulb efficiency standards
Sarah Maslin Nir / New York Times:
Tea Party Group Leader Is Arrested at La Guardia  —  An influential Tea Party leader was arrested at La Guardia Airport early Thursday after he tried to board a flight with a semi-automatic handgun and its ammunition in his luggage, the authorities said.  —  Mark J. Meckler, 49 …
Discussion: The Politico, ThinkProgress and Gawker
Associated Press:   Tea party's Mark Meckler arrested on gun charge
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Tea Party leader arrested with gun at NY airport
Discussion: Alan Colmes' Liberaland and CNN
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Nikki Haley to endorse Romney  —  South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the most sought-after remaining Republican endorsements, will come out for Mitt Romney Friday morning, POLITICO has learned.  —  Haley will offer her formal endorsement on Fox and Friends, giving Romney an important boost ahead …
Kasie Hunt / Associated Press:   SC governor Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Air Force Vet Ron Paul Drops Bombs On Newt Gingrich for War Deferments  —  Air Force veteran and presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul.  R-Texas, has opened up a new line of attack against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.  —  Interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News Channel …
Steven Jiang / CNN:
‘Batman’ star Bale punched, stopped from visiting blind Chinese activist  —  DONGSHIGU VILLAGE, China (CNN) — As Christian Bale approached an impromptu checkpoint leading to this tiny village in eastern China, four men blocking the narrow path started marching toward him in menacing unison.
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
Fewer Americans See U.S. Divided Into “Haves,” “Have Nots”  —  The majority would put themselves in the “haves” category if they had to choose  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are now less likely to see U.S. society as divided into the “haves” and “have nots” than they were in 2008, returning to their views prior to that point.
Wayne Besen / Truth Wins Out:
Marcus Bachmann Backs Down and Caves on Bogus $150 ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy Bill  —  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  —  Contact: John Becker, Director of Communications  —  BURLINGTON, Vt. - The heated standoff between Truth Wins Out and Marcus Bachmann abruptly ended today after the therapist agreed …
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Scott Peterson / Christian Science Monitor:
Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer  —  In an exclusive interview, an engineer working to unlock the secrets of the captured RQ-170 Sentinel says they exploited a known vulnerability and tricked the US drone into landing in Iran.  —  ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Darren Samuelsohn / The Politico:
Allen West: Goebbels would be proud of Democrats  —  Tea party favorite Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Thursday that Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would be “very proud” of Democrats for shifting public sentiment against Republicans, and he blamed the press for helping spread their message.
Jennie Rothenberg Gritz / The Atlantic Online:
Hitchens: ‘People Need Ritual, and Probably Particularly Funerals’  —  A never-before-published excerpt from a 2007 interview.  Read the rest of the interview here.  —  Reuters  —  You say that there's a harmony and beauty inherent in the laws of physics.  Can you say more about that?
David Weigel / Slate:
The Mysterious Jeb Bush Poll  —  It started when the mayor of Merrifield, New Hampshire, tweeted that he'd gotten a robo-poll asking about a possible Jeb Bush presidential campaign.  It's continued, with random granite state citizens getting the same calls.  One of them sent over the gist of questions received last night.
Libby A. Nelson / Inside Higher Ed:
Search form  —  By  —  WASHINGTON — Although final details were still elusive late Thursday, members of Congress appear to have reached a compromise on a federal budget for 2012 that would preserve the maximum Pell Grant while changing the program's eligibility criteria.
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 More Items: 
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama runs risk of overexposure with his most recent media blitz
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Kevin Zieber / Media Matters for America:
Cartoon Regularly Featured On Big Journalism Connected To Nazi-Era Magazine
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Gingrich Push on Health Care Appears at Odds With G.O.P.
Larry Kudlow / National Review:
Keystone Blue-Collar Blues
PR Newswire:
Family of Slain Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out on One Year Anniversary of Brian Terry's Murder
The Future of Capitalism:
Janet Robinson Consulting Pay
Rebecca Evans / Daily Mail:
Saviour of 2,000 Afghans who saved a baby's life executed by the Taliban
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Professor Blasts Bill O'Reilly, Says Need For Voter ID Bills Is The Same For Bills To Protect People From Lightning
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
GOP Rep. Davis won't seek another term
Discussion: CNN and The Politico
Byron Tau / The Politico:
POTUS on the GOP: 'Anything that Obama's for, we're against'
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Weasel Zippers
Ronald Brownstein / 2012 Decoded:
Where Obama Has Slipped  —  There's an ominous trend …
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
New-style scandal fixer helps Rick Perry, Herman Cain
Discussion: Gawker and Burnt Orange Report
Jobless claims drop to 3.5 year low
Christina Ng / Nation:
Exclusive: ‘White Only’ Pool Sign Owner Explains