Political Web, page A1 … for 7:25 AM ET, December 15, 2005
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Top Items:

Associated Press:
Ford will again advertise in gay publications  —  Ads resume after criticism from gay rights groups  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Advertisements featuring Ford Motor Co.'s eight vehicle brands will run in gay publications, the automaker said Wednesday, acting after gay rights groups complained when Jaguar and Land Rover pulled their spots.
John / AMERICAblog:
We Won  —  UPDATE: You can thank Ford via this online form.  —  FURTHER UPDATE: Great AP story on our victory.  —  Regarding that Ford thing?  We just won.  —  The Ford Motor Company today released the following letter (below) clarifying that whatever did or did not happen behind closed doors …
Sholnn Freeman / Washington Post:
Ford to Advertise In Gay Press
Discussion: MyDD
John / AMERICAblog:   AP story on Ford: We won
Dexter Filkins / New York Times:
Split Between Secular and Islamist Parties Is Seen in Election  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq, Thursday, Dec. 15 - Iraqi voters began streaming to the polls Thursday morning in nationwide elections as Iraqi leaders predicted that the vote would split almost evenly between secular and Islamist parties and usher in lengthy political maneuvering.
Sectarian Tensions Put Aside, Hopeful Iraqis Vote  —  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gulf War veteran Hadi Mishaal leant on a crutch and struggled across an unusually quiet Baghdad to vote, hoping Iraq's polls will provide what Saddam Hussein never did — help with his spinal injury and a pension.
Discussion: Winds of Change.NET
Gideon Long / Reuters:   Iraqis vote for first full parliament since Saddam
Baghdad falls quiet as Zarqawi threatens poll
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Washington Post:   Election Stakes Are Highest Yet in Iraq
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
House Defies Bush and Backs McCain on Detainee Torture  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - In an unusual bipartisan rebuke to the Bush administration, the House on Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed Senator John McCain's measure to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world.
Mark Leon Goldberg / American Prospect:
The Arsonist  —  From our January issue: In his first six months at the UN, John Bolton has offended allies, blocked crucial negotiations, undermined the Secretary of State — and harmed U.S. interests.  We expected bad; we didn't expect this bad.  —  There is an excellent coffee shop …
Financial Times:
Bush puts Rice in charge of reconstruction  —  President George W. Bush on Wednesday announced that the State Department would lead all US post-conflict reconstruction, a move that supersedes the controversial decision to give that task to the Pentagon in Iraq following the 2003 invasion.
Jon / Reporting from Iraq:
The view from on the ground  —  Think about everything you've heard about the conditions in Iraq, the role of U.S. forces, the multi-layered complexities of the war.  —  Then think again.  —  I'm a journalist.  I read the news everyday, from several sources.
Discussion: Vodkapundit
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Columnist Says Bush Knows Who Leaked Name  —  Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who has repeatedly declined to discuss his role in disclosing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, said in a speech this week that he is certain President Bush knows who his mystery administration source is.
Adam Entous / Reuters:
Bush backs Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush offered strong endorsements on Wednesday to two architects of the Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and said he was as close as ever to top political adviser Karl Rove despite his role in the CIA leak case.
Discussion: firedoglake and Crooks and Liars
Times of London:
Bush: we went to war on faulty intelligence  —  President Bush has admitted for the first time that his decision to go to war in Iraq was based on faulty intelligence.  But he still said that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein had been "the right one".  —  Mr Bush said that tomorrow's …
Allan Dowd / Reuters:
Don't dictate to me, Canada's Martin tells US  —  RICHMOND, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin escalated a war of words with the United States on Wednesday, telling Washington not to dictate to him what topics he can raise in the run-up to Canada's January 23 election.
Fatah splits before key election  —  A dispute within the ruling Palestinian party, Fatah, has led to a rival faction submitting its own list of candidates for a parliamentary poll.  —  The rebel list is headed by a jailed activist, Marwan Barghouti, under the new name al-Mustaqbal (the Future).
Discussion: Biased BBC
Mohammed / IRAQ THE MODEL:
It's only a matter of hours now!  —  Now it's 6 pm in Baghdad and the curfew has officially started.  Actually streets in Baghdad were technically empty all day except for people carrying badges or emergencies.  —  We are hearing sporadic gunfire from time to time and sometimes we hear …

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More Items:

Lebanon's Largest Government University Hosts …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Solomonia
Mary Dalrymple / Associated Press:
Congress Runs Out of Time on Minimum Tax
Discussion: Lean Left and MyDD
Sheera Claire Frenkel / Jerusalem Post:
Exclusive: Sweden to cut Iran ties
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Poll suggests Bush's free-fall appears to be over
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
Romney to announce he won't seek re-election
Zogby Year-End Poll: Democratic Prospects Brighten Heading Into 2006 - GOP lags
The Australian:
Now churches are targeted  —  FOUR churches in Sydney's southwest …
Agence France Presse:
Four dead in Gaza air strike

Earlier Picks:
Religious McDonald's Sign Draws Attention In Raleigh
Hugh V. L.A. Times' Michael Hiltzik
Michael Ledeen / The Corner on National Review Online:
Betsy / Betsy's Page:
For years I've subscribed to Newsweek Magazine and found …
Washington Post:
DNA Exonerates Va. Convicts in 2 Rape Cases
Discussion: TalkLeft
Sebastian Holsclaw / Obsidian Wings:
Maye and the problem with Agressive Search Warrants
Discussion: QandO and Balloon Juice
Jeff Greenfield / Slate:
The President, the War, and the Military Base
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