Political Web, page A1 … for 12:10 PM ET, December 15, 2005
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Top Items:

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.
Dexter Filkins / New York Times:
Large Turnout Reported as Iraqis Vote Under Tight Security  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 15 - In a day remarkable for the absence of large-scale violence, millions of Iraqi voters, many of them dressed in their best and traveling with other family members, streamed to the polls today to cast ballots …
Discussion: Air America Radio
Juan / Informed Comment:
High Turnout Expected as Iraqis go to Polls
Discussion: The Mahablog and TigerHawk
Los Angeles Times:   One step at a time in Iraq  —  TODAY'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS …
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.
Washington Post:
House Supports Ban on Torture  —  Measure Would Limit Interrogation Tactics  —  The House gave strong support yesterday to a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, agreeing with senators that Congress needs to set uniform guidelines …
Douglas Jehl / New York Times:
Senate Is Set to Require Details on Secret Prisons
Discussion: Nitpicker and Air America Radio
Jim VandeHei / Washington Post:
President Says DeLay Is Not Guilty of Money Laundering  —  President Bush said yesterday he is confident that former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) is innocent of money-laundering charges, as he offered strong support for several top Republicans who have been battered by investigations …
Adam Entous / Reuters:
Bush backs Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove
Discussion: firedoglake and Crooks and Liars
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.
Sholnn Freeman / Washington Post:
Ford to Advertise In Gay Press
Discussion: The Carpetbagger Report and MyDD
Michael J. Totten / LA Weekly:
Guess Who's Coming to Iftar  —  A meal to remember with Hezbollah  —  BEIRUT — Syrian occupation troops have withdrawn from Lebanon, but the country has not yet regained its full sovereignty.  The radical Shiite Hezbollah militia still controls its own territory in the suburbs south of Beirut and along the border with Israel.
Ira Stoll / New York Sun:
Saddam's WMD Moved to Syria, An Israeli Says  —  Saddam Hussein moved his chemical weapons to Syria six weeks before the war started, Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom says.  —  The assertion comes as President Bush said yesterday that much of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was incorrect.
Discussion: Unclaimed Territory and TigerHawk
Times of London:
Bush: we went to war on faulty intelligence
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
In Four Speeches, Two Answers on War's End  —  As Bush Tries to Recast Debate, Definitions of Victory and Iraqi Security Diverge  —  As President Bush wrapped up a series of speeches on the war yesterday, he once again gave a clear answer to when U.S. troops would come home from Iraq …
Boston Globe:
It's 1 term for Romney; he says 'future is open'  —  Decision sets stage for run at presidency  —  Saying that he had ''accomplished a great deal," Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he will not seek a second term, setting the stage for an expected campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
W. Thomas Smith Jr / National Review:
It's Electric  —  As Iraqis queue up at polling stations, some of the scenes look more like a series of regional block parties than what most Westerners would associate with an election day.  Children can be seen waving flags or playing soccer.  Adults are cheering, clapping hands …
Miami Herald:
New tests fuel doubts about vote machines  —  A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee.  —
Voting in Barwana  —  BARWANA, IRAQ: The polls have been open for six hours in the town of Barwana, one of the three Triad cities which include Haqlaniyah and Haditha.  The poll site sits right beneath the now-destroyed Barwana bridge, where Zarqawi terrorists routinely executed residents …
Fox News:
Transcript: Bush Talks With Brit  —  This is a partial transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from Dec. 14, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.  —  BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Mr. President, thank you for doing this.  —  GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, thanks.
Chuck Lindell / Austin American-Statesman:
Abramoff charity's claims disputed  —  Groups listed as beneficiaries of more than $330,000 in gifts say they never got them  —  Capital Athletic Foundation, a charity run by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff now at the center of an influence-peddling investigation on Capitol Hill …
Discussion: The Stakeholder

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