Political Web, page A1 … for 4:15 PM ET, December 12, 2005
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Top Items:

Poll: Broad Optimism in Iraq, But Also Deep Divisions Among Groups  —  On the Eve of the Elections, Most Iraqis Want Iraq To Stay Unified  —  Dec. 12, 2005 — Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high.
Will Lester / Associated Press:
Poll: Most Iraqis Oppose Troops' Presence  —  WASHINGTON - Most Iraqis disapprove of the presence of U.S. forces in their country, yet they are optimistic about Iraq's future and their own personal lives, according to a new poll.  —  More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the presence …
Discussion: Yellow Dog Blog and Dohiyi Mir
Pajamas Media / OSM:   Poll finds Iraqis optimistic
Gina Holland / Associated Press:
Court Agrees to Review Texas Redistricting  —  Supreme Court Agrees to Review GOP-Friendly Redistricting in Texas Engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay  —  WASHINGTON Dec 12, 2005 — The Supreme Court said Monday it would consider the constitutionality of a Texas congressional map engineered …
David Stout / New York Times:
Supreme Court to Review Texas Districting Dispute  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - The United States Supreme Court agreed today to review the constitutionality of the Texas redistricting plan that was engineered by Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader until recently …
Discussion: Bark Bark Woof Woof
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court to hear Texas redistricting cases
Discussion: Althouse
Fred Hiatt / Washington Post:   Chinks in the Republican Armor
The voting has begun! (updated)  —  Voting in Iraq's second parliamentary elections has begun this morning; this coincides with the deadline for all campaigning activities by all lists and parties who are required now to enter "electoral silence".  —  The first votes are coming from army bases, detention centers and hospitals.
Gateway Pundit:
As Voting Begins, Bush Talks Freedom, Iraqis Dance  —  THOUSANDS OF IRAQIS HEAD TO THE POLLS TODAY, EARLY VOTING HAS BEGUN,  —  VIDEO HERE  —  300,000 Iraqis voted today, 90,000 from hospitals, 20,000 from prisons  —  President Bush reminds the world that while the path toward Iraqi democracy …
Discussion: The Anchoress and Hugh Hewitt
Bush: Iraqi democracy making progress; estimates 30,000 Iraqis killed
Discussion: Simianbrain
Governor denies clemency for ex-gang leader  —  Appeals court refuses to block Williams' execution  —  SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, who co-founded the Crips street gang.
Discussion: Wizbang
David Kravets / Associated Press:   Williams Waits on Gov.'s Clemency Decision
Scott Shiloh / Arutz Sheva:
Abbas Approves Monthly Grant To Families of Suicide Bombers  —  The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has approved a new law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide bombers.  —  Abbas gave his approval just six days ago, a day before a suicide bomber struck …
Robert Novak / Chicago Sun Times:
No sophomore jinx for Emanuel  —  Rep. Rahm Emanuel, in only his second term as a congressman from Chicago, gets high praise from Democratic activists outside Congress for his performance as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  —  Emanuel's success in recruiting candidates …
David Johnston / New York Times:
Reporter Recounts Talk About C.I.A. Leak  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 - A reporter for Time magazine said Sunday that a lawyer for Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, was surprised when she suggested to him in the first half of 2004 that Mr. Rove had probably been a source …
Discussion: The Stranger and Poynter Online
The State:
Sanford rules out bid for presidency in 2008  —  Governor says he'll serve 4 years if re-elected  —  Gov. Mark Sanford "absolutely" will not run for president in 2008.  —  In a wide-ranging interview with The State newspaper in his State House office last week, Sanford said he would not be a candidate …
Discussion: Decision '08
Chris Wallace: Mike Wallace Has 'Lost It'  —  "Fox News Sunday" anchorman Chris Wallace says father Mike Wallace has "lost it" - after the legendary CBS newsman told the Boston Globe last week that the fact George Bush had been elected president shows America is "[expletive]-up."  —  "He's lost it.
Stuart Elliott / New York Times:
To Promote a Cable Network, a Plan to Inundate the Internet  —  The MSNBC cable network plans to flood the Internet this week with its largest concentrated online pitch, running advertising on hundreds of Web sites and blogs.  The cost of the campaign, to promote three prime-time programs, is estimated at just under $1 million.

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More Items:

Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Text of Bush Speech on Iraq, part two
Discussion: The Mahablog
Will / Attytood:
Why Tookie Williams should live
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Bad News, Too Often Traveling First Class?
Discussion: mediabistro
Ian Mayes / Guardian:
Open door  —  The readers' editor on ... a complaint about a controversial correction
John Fund / Opinion Journal:
Dr. Coburn, I Presume  —  Why does Barbara Boxer want to stop him from delivering babies?
Abortion 'leaves mental legacy'
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
Federal Marijuana Monopoly Challenged
Discussion: The Sideshow and TalkLeft
Ken Auletta / New Yorker:
THE INHERITANCE  —  Can Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., save the Times—and himself?
Discussion: Gawker

Earlier Picks:

Helen / Dr. Helen:
Potato Guns!  —  This weekend, my order for these POTATO GUNS showed up.
Russ Feingold /
TPMCafe Special Guests
Discussion: MyDD
New York Times:
AOL Co-Founder Calls for Split of Time Warner
Guy Dinmore / Financial Times:
Bush plans overhaul of US foreign aid system
Edward Wong / New York Times:
Iraq Prison Raid Finds a New Case of Mistreatment
Countertop / The Countertop Chronicles:
The Rino Rodeo
Discussion: Argghhh!
Pat Toomey / Opinion Journal:
Laffey vs. Chafee
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