Morning Must Reads: Tell

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Senator Joe Lieberman gives a thumbs up while arriving with Majority Leader Harry Reid for a press conference on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal on  December 18. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

–The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will face a test vote on Tuesday, but the path to 67 votes and final ratification is steep now that the Senate Republican leadership has come out firmly against lame-duck action.

–Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand hope a scaled-back version of the 9/11 first responders health bill can squeeze by before Congress lets out.

–Joseph Smith, Obama’s pick to head up the Federal Housing Finance Agency that oversees government backed mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie, looks to be stalled in the full Senate. He may need to begin the confirmation hoopla all over again next year.

–Both worth reading: Matthew Cooper and Walter Shapiro on why the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is a cultural watershed moment.

–What you might have missed Sunday: Joe Biden raising expectations on the left with promises to “target” tax cuts for the rich in 2012 and to get out of Afghanistan “come hell or high water” by 2014.

–The Weekly Standard profiles Haley Barbour, diving into the Yazoo City years (surely not for the first time).

–Florida Rep.-elect David Rivera in under investigation for allegedly receiving $500,000 in under-the-table payments from a dog track.

–Rep. Peter King plans to hold hearings on the “radicalization of the American Muslim community.” CAIR cries McCarthyism.

–Neato: Block-by-block census data on a pretty nytimes.com map.

–Julian Assange does not approve of these leaked document things one bit.

–And Evan Bayh zings himself but good:

Less clear is what he’ll do next. He jokes that he’s waiting for a call from “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I may be rhythmically challenged,” Bayh said, “but I can embarrass myself in front of the American people with the best of them.”

Programming note: Things will be a bit slower around here this week as everyone takes some holiday time.

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