Political Web, page A1 … for 11:15 AM ET, December 31, 2005
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Top Items:

R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail  —  Nonprofit Group Linked to Lawmaker Was Funded Mostly by Clients of Lobbyist  —  The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization …
Jane Hamsher / firedoglake:   Raging Bulls**t  —  FADE IN:  —  INT.  OFFICE — SOMEWHERE ON THE PARAMOUNT LOT
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Criminal Inquiry Opens Into Spying Leak  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 - The Justice Department said on Friday that it had opened a criminal investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a secret National Security Agency program under which President Bush authorized eavesdropping …
Pajamas Media:
U.S. Justice Department opens probe into leak of Bush's domestic spying  —  Categories: politics / crime, law and justice / United States / government / law enforcement / crime / man-made disaster / terrorist attack / anti-terror / disaster and accident / law and the judiciary (system of justice) …
Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times:
Lobbyist Is Given Deadline to Take Deal or Go to Trial  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 - The indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff must decide by Tuesday whether he will accept a plea or stand trial on fraud charges in a Florida case, a judge in Federal District Court told Mr. Abramoff's lawyers and prosecutors in a court hearing on Friday.
Discussion: firedoglake and Patridiot Watch
Toni Locy / Associated Press:
Lobbyist, Prosecutors Said Close to Deal  —  WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff consulted briefly Friday with a federal judge in Miami as they put the finishing touches on a plea deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Discussion: MyDD and The Democratic Party
Roy Temple / Fired Up! America:   Abramoff May Reach Deal This Weekend
James Taranto / Opinion Journal:
Latter-day President?  —  A Mitt Romney candidacy would test the religious right.  —  BOSTON—Mitt Romney insists he has hardly thought about running for president: "That's a decision you make way down the road."  With the 2008 election 1,039 days away, that's fair enough.  But I'm guessing he'll run.
Raphael Lewis / Boston Globe:   Democrats seek data on Romney
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
So, Guy Walks Up to the Bar, and Scalia Says...  Justice Antonin Scalia's wit is widely admired, and now it has been quantified.  He is, a new study concludes, 19 times as funny as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  —  Transcripts of oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court have long featured …
Washington Post:
Chalabi Named Iraq Oil Minister  —  Fuel Crisis Spurs Mandatory Leave For Incumbent  —  BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 — As a fuel crisis deepened in Iraq, the government replaced its oil minister with controversial Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi, whose poor performance in the Dec. 15 elections …
Mohammed / IRAQ THE MODEL:   International observers to come to Iraq, the oil minister ousted!
USA Today:
College football fumbles minority hiring  —  Equal opportunity?  For black coaches, those words ring hollow.  —  On this New Year's Day, an occasion traditionally reserved for a college bowl smorgasbord, the sidelines of nationally televised football games will be positively teeming with successful …
Discussion: Discriminations
Charlotte Westerhaus / USA Today:
We're working on it  —  But NCAA can't improve diversity hiring without its members' help.  —  Let's be clear.  —  No one in higher education or intercollegiate athletics can believe that diversity hiring of head football coaches in NCAA Division I-A is anything but a dismal failure.
Petra Pasternak /
Judge Delivers Order to FedEx: Pay Misclassified Drivers  —  In a decision expected to spur wage-and-hour suits in the courier industry, a judge earlier this month ordered FedEx to pay $5.3 million to a group of drivers he found had been improperly classified as independent contractors.
Christine Hurt / Conglomerate Blog:
The Courier Wars: Employees or Independent Contractors?
Is Washington Planning a Military Strike?  —  It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions.  But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing …
New York Times:
U.S. Women Accuse a Coach of Harassment  —  SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 30 - Some members of the United States women's skeleton team, including the 2002 Olympic gold medalist Tristan Gale, have accused Coach Tim Nardiello of a pattern of sexual harassment dating to 2002.
Associated Press:
Report: Trump Weighs Run for N.Y. Governor  —  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Donald Trump is considering running for governor, a leading Republican said Friday.  —  Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno on Thursday suggested that a big-name candidate could be flirting with entering the 2006 contest.
Discussion: Running Scared and AMERICAblog
Jim Yardley / New York Times:
In Worker's Death, View of China's Harsh Justice  —  YUJIAGOU, China - From the prison cell where he contemplated an executioner's bullet, a migrant worker named Wang Binyu gave an anguished account of his wasted life.  Unexpectedly, it rippled across China like a primal scream.
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Ann Coulter / Yahoo! News:
KWANZAA: A HOLIDAY FROM THE FBI  —  President Bush's 2005 Kwanzaa message began with the patently absurd statement: "African-Americans and people around the world reflect on African heritage during Kwanzaa."  —  I believe more African-Americans spent this season reflecting on the birth …
Thespis Journal:
Thespis Journal Awards Blogs of the Year  —  It is time for us, the staff writers at Thespis Journal, to honor the top blogs to be found around the internet and in the blogosphere.  Each of these bloggers have inspired us to do better work, and to continue to write and express those ideas …
Discussion: Dr. Sanity
New York Times:
Conspiring Against the Voters  —  President Bush has announced four nominees for the Federal Election Commission, moving to keep the policing of campaign abuses firmly in the hands of party wheel horses.  The timing of the announcement - the president waited until the Senate had gone home …
Discussion: The Mahablog and Loaded Mouth

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More Items:

Deborah Leavy / Philadelphia Daily News:
Flavia Monteiro Colgan | IMPEACH BUSH? WHY BOTHER?
Discussion: Attytood
Steve Soto / The Left Coaster:
Hillary Chills A Key Supporter With Her "Centrism"
Dan / Riehl World View:
2005: The Year In Military Heroism
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and TigerHawk
Greg Mitchell / Editor and Publisher:
Horse Sex Story Tops 'Seattle Times' Most Popular List for 2005 — But Here's Why
Discussion: TPRS
John Gideon / THE BRAD BLOG:
ACTION ALERT: Say No to Prohibited Software in Voting Machines!
Brian /
Controversial Conservative Bill Bennett Becoming CNN Political Analyst In '06
John W. Dean / FindLaw's Writ:
George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon …
Discussion: Bad Attitudes
James Wolcott:

Earlier Picks:

Charlotte Hays / Opinion Journal:
Dialoguing for Dollars  —  The Ford Foundation offers college a blather subsidy.
To speak or not to speak: coming out as a neocon
Discussion: Dr. Sanity and Roger L. Simon
Garance Franke-Ruta / TAPPED:
AGAINST WHINING.  The Associated Press has a very long trend story …
Discussion: Daily Kos
USA Today:
Bush grants pardons less than predecessors
Discussion: Sister Toldjah
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Prayers Needed For FM
Discussion: Hugh Hewitt and SCSUScholars
Associated Press:
Florida teen skips school, sneaks to Iraq
Discussion: IRAQ THE MODEL
Associated Press:
Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer
Discussion: Argghhh!
Abdurrahman Wahid / Opinion Journal:
Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam
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