Political Web, page A1 … for 11:40 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 …
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Bush Authorized Domestic Spying  —  President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.
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 …
Josh White / Washington Post:
President Relents, Backs Torture Ban  —  President Bush reversed position yesterday and endorsed a torture ban crafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after months of White House attempts to weaken the measure, which would prohibit the "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" treatment of any detainee in U.S. custody anywhere in the world.
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.
Dafna Linzer / Washington Post:
Report: Bush Had More Prewar Intelligence Than Congress  —  A congressional report made public yesterday concluded that President Bush and his inner circle had access to more intelligence and reviewed more sensitive material than what was shared with Congress when it gave Bush the authority to wage war against Iraq.
Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
Senator stalls intelligence spending bill
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Pelosi Hails Democrats' Diverse War Stances  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.
Peter Savodnik / The Hill:
Dean still gives Dems heartburn
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
Democrats Criticize Bush For Saying DeLay's Innocent
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.
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
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: StoutDemBlog and The Reaction
National Review:
Lancing the Boil  —  For some time, a large number of Americans have lived in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell.  If you get up in the morning to read the New York Times or Washington Post, watch John Murtha or Howard Dean on the morning talk shows …
White House:
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan and Senior Officials on Levee Reconstruction  —  MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon, everyone.  Happy holidays.  I look forward to seeing everybody this evening at the White House holiday party for the press.  We just concluded a meeting in the Oval Office with the President.
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and The Heretik
New York Times:
N.Y. Transit Union Rejects Offer and Will Begin Limited Strike  —  After five hours of intense negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the transit workers' union decided this morning to delay for four days a decision on whether to strike the New York City subway and bus system …
Discussion: THE NEWS BLOG
Murray Waas /
Why Novak Called Rove  —  On July 9, 2003, senior presidential adviser Karl Rove was well prepared as he returned a telephone call from columnist Robert Novak.  On his desk were talking points and other briefing materials that then-White House Political Director Matt Schlapp and other staffers …
Rachel L. Swarns / New York Times:
House Votes for 698 Miles of Fences on Mexico Border  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - House Republicans voted on Thursday night to toughen a border security bill by requiring the Department of Homeland Security to build five fences along 698 miles of the United States border with Mexico to block …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Wal-Mart Throws an Undercut at Target  —  Chain-Store Strategy Changes for the Christmas Blitz  —  Sales tags touting deep price cuts were flying like battle flags this week in the electronics department of Wal-Mart in Manassas.  Twice each week, about a dozen employees sneak into enemy territory …
Discussion: ScrappleFace

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More Items:

Tony Snow /
The cut-and-run crowd  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — It would be easy …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Jerry Bowyer / National Review:
The Laffer Curve in Action
Discussion: Angry Bear
Greg Gutfeld / The Huffington Post:
Glenn Reynolds /
MORE ON TORTURE: They're still wrangling over the McCain bill …
Discussion: INDC Journal
Pankaj Mishra / New York Times:
Secular Democracy Goes on Trial
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

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CBS News:
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Burt Prelutsky /
The Christmas Grinch revisited
Mark / Decision '08:
Top Ten Kos Kidz Reactions to Today's Elections In Iraq
Laurie Kellman / Associated Press:
Feingold Now Has Numbers on His Side
Discussion: Daily Kos, MyDD and Wampum
Kevin / SoCalPundit:
Liberal Blogs Choose Silence On Iraq Elections
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