Political Web, page A1 … for 8:40 AM ET, December 16, 2005
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Top Items:

New York Times:
Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 ­- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence …
Iraqi polls extend hours as turnout high  —  'It's the beginning of our new life' … BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqis turned out in droves Thursday to elect their first full-term parliament since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.  —  Turnout was so heavy across the country that the Independent …
John F. Burns / New York Times:
Freedom From Fear Lifts Sunnis  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 15 - Ali is only 9 years old.  But when he and his buddies broke away from a street soccer game to drop into a polling station in Baghdad's Adhamiya district at noon on Thursday, Ali, a chirpy, tousle-haired youngster …
Discussion: Bull Moose and TigerHawk
Big turnout in Iraq election as Sunnis vote  —  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Undeterred by scattered violence, Iraqis voted in overwhelming numbers in an election on Thursday, with minority Sunni Arabs who boycotted the last poll determined not to miss out on power again.
Hugh Sykes / BBC:
'This is stability, at last'  —  There was a traffic jam inside …
Discussion: JunkYardBlog
Washington Post:
White House, McCain Agree on Torture Ban  —  Measure Proposed Would Limit Interrogation Tactics  —  The White House and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reached agreement today on a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, a provision …
Matt Pottinger / Opinion Journal:
Mightier Than the Pen  —  Why I gave up journalism to join the Marines.  —  When people ask why I recently left The Wall Street Journal to join the Marines, I usually have a short answer.  It felt like the time had come to stop reporting events and get more directly involved.
Breaking News: GOP House Top Priority?  Christmas Vote!  —  War in Iraq, war against terrorism, war in Afghanistan, move over — today, House GOP leaders have decided there is a more pressing war to attend to: the fictional war against Christmas, which apparently requires protection for Christmas symbols.
Zoe Kentucky / Demagogue:
Political Poetry  —  Last night Congressman John Dingell …
Discussion: The Reaction
Laurie Kellman / Associated Press:
Feingold Now Has Numbers on His Side  —  WASHINGTON - In Congress, where numbers are everything, the math on the Patriot Act suddenly seems to be moving in favor of Sen. Russell Feingold.  —  He was a minority of one four years ago, when the Wisconsin Democrat cast the lone Senate vote …
Discussion: MyDD
Daily Kos:   Feingold Has the Votes to Stop PATRIOT Act
Jonathan S. Landay / Knight Ridder:
Congress doesn't see same intelligence as president, report finds  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush and top administration officials have access to a much broader ranger of intelligence reports than members of Congress do, a nonpartisan congressional research agency said in a report Thursday …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
In Iran, Arming for Armageddon  —  Lest you get carried away with today's good news from Iraq, consider what's happening next door in Iran.  The wild pronouncements of the new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have gotten sporadic press ever since he called for Israel to be wiped off the map.
Discussion: Mark in Mexico
Official: Al-Zarqawi caught, released  —  Authorities didn't realize prisoner was terrorist mastermind  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi security forces caught the most wanted man in the country last year, but released him because they didn't know who he was, the Iraqi deputy minister of interior said Thursday.
John Harwood / Wall Street Journal:
Republicans Risk Losing Key Voting Bloc  —  Senior Citizens' Unhappiness With Issues  —  Has Implications for Midterm Elections  —  WASHINGTON - While President Bush has high hopes for today's elections in Iraq, his Republican Party faces a different challenge at home …
Discussion: MyDD and The Sideshow
Peter Savodnik / The Hill:
Dean still gives Dems heartburn  —  Democrats are voicing concern that Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean is compromising his party's political prospects by straying on to controversial policy turf such as the Iraq war and Social Security reform.
Kevin / SoCalPundit:
Liberal Blogs Choose Silence On Iraq Elections  —  I guess the liberal blogs have taken grandmother's advice and, having nothing nice to say have said nothing at all.  The Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo have stories about all kinds of alleged Republican malfeasance but nary a single post on the historic elections in Iraq.
CBS News:
Morgan Freeman Defies Labels  —  (CBS) Television often celebrates Black History Month with showings of his films, but Morgan Freeman thinks the whole idea of a month for black history is "ridiculous."  —  The actor tells Mike Wallace he opposes designating a special month …

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More Items:

Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Gray Lady's Editorial Page: What Elections?
Diana West / Washington Times:
Muslims and media  —  There's one good thing about the news …
Discussion: Power Line and Betsy's Page
Joyce Howard Price / Washington Times:
Students sue for tuition parity with California illegals
Wal-Mart viewed favorably in Pew survey
Radio Blogger:
Walking the walk and talking the talk with Mark Steyn
Steve Clemons:
Torture Deal? …
FCC Member Urges Bill to Curtail Cable Indecency

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The Christmas Grinch revisited
Mark / Decision '08:
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Wikipedia survives research test
Peggy Noonan / Opinion Journal:
It's Not About Bush  —  Has America turned a corner on Iraq?
Nathan Burchfiel / CNSNews:
Statistics Suggest Race Not a Factor in Katrina Deaths
Richard W. Stevenson / New York Times:
Bush Expresses a Belief in DeLay's Innocence
Hotline On Call:
Kerry Links Retaking House To Bush Impeachment
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