Political Web, page A1 … for 12:50 PM ET, December 17, 2005
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Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
Bush Approved Eavesdropping, Official Says  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.  —  The disclosure follows angry demands …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A single, fiercely debated legal principle lies behind nearly every major initiative in the Bush administration's war on terror, scholars say: the sweeping assertion of the powers of the presidency.
Washington Post:
On Hill, Anger and Calls for Hearings Greet News of Stateside Surveillance  —  Congressional leaders of both parties called for hearings and issued condemnations yesterday in the wake of reports that President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency to spy …
Rudolph W. Giuliani / New York Times:
Taking Liberties With the Nation's Security  —  YESTERDAY the Senate failed to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, as a Democratic-led filibuster prevented a vote.  This action - which leaves the act, key elements of which are due to expire on Dec. 31, in limbo - represents a grave potential threat to the nation's security.
Discussion: Decision '08 and Prometheus 6
Jennifer Loven / Associated Press:
Bush Acknowledges Approving Eavesdropping  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush said Saturday he has no intention of stopping his personal authorizations of a post-Sept. 11 secret eavesdropping program in the U.S., lashing out at those involved in revealing it while defending it as crucial to preventing future attacks.
David Stout / New York Times:
Supporters of Patriot Act Suffer a Stinging Defeat in Senate
Discussion: Liberty Street
Anti-terror Patriot Act renewal blocked in Senate
New York Times:
Lawmakers Back Use of Evidence Coerced From Detainees  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - House and Senate negotiators agreed Friday to a measure that would enable the government to keep prisoners at Guantánamo Bay indefinitely on the basis of evidence obtained by coercive interrogations.
Discussion: Balkinization and The Left Coaster
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Stepping Back From Torture  —  It's not about who our enemies are, it's about who we are.
Evan Vucci / Newsweek:   Torture or Coercion?  —  Sen. John McCain scored a victory …
Washington Post:   A Blow Against Torture  —  THANKS TO a belated White House retreat …
New York Times:
Ban Torture. Period.
Discussion: The Mahablog
Reflections in the Evening Land  —  The celebrated critic Harold Bloom, despairing of contemporary America, turns to his bookshelves to understand the trajectory of his country  —  Huey Long, known as "the Kingfish," dominated the state of Louisiana from 1928 until his assassination in 1935, at the age of 42.
White House:
Personnel Announcement  —  President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate four individuals to serve in his Administration:  —  The President intends to nominate Robert D. Lenhard, of Maryland, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission, for the remainder of a six-year term expiring April 30, 2011.
Bill Roggio / ThreatsWatch.Org:
Election Reflections  —  A look back on Election Day in Iraq, and a tragic attack in Barwana  —  AL ASAD AIR BASE, IRAQ: My impressions from Election Day in Barwana are available at The Weekly Standard - Election Day on the Eurphrates - Democracy vs. Zarqawi.
Discussion: Free Thoughts
Howard W. French / New York Times:
Chinese Pressing to Keep Village Silent on Clash  —  SHANGHAI, Dec. 16 - Ten days ago, the sleepy fishing village of Dongzhou was the scene of a deadly face-off, with protesters hurling homemade bombs and the police gunning them down in the streets.  —  Now, a stilted calm prevails …
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Calculated Risk:
Fiscal Challenges, Social Security and Changing the Debate  —  From Professor Samwick at Vox Baby: … My response was blunt: … Ranking the Challenges  —  Any good manager would 1) measure the problem and then 2) solve the largest problems first.  With that approach …
Arnold Kling / EconLog:
Unpersuasive Argument Against Reforming Social Security
Discussion: Calculated Risk
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
At the Times, a Scoop Deferred  —  The New York Times' revelation yesterday that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to conduct domestic eavesdropping raised eyebrows in political and media circles, for both its stunning disclosures and the circumstances of its publication.
New York Times:
Columnist Resigns His Post, Admitting Lobbyist Paid Him  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A senior scholar at the Cato Institute, the respected libertarian research organization, has resigned after revelations that he took payments from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing columns favorable to his clients.
Discussion: Spot-On
Associated Press:
Bush to address nation on Iraq  —  President will speak from the Oval Office on Sunday evening … WASHINGTON - President Bush will address the nation about Iraq on Sunday evening, his first speech from the Oval Office since he announced the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
Bush says wrestled with decision to invade Iraq  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush said on Friday that he wrestled for months over the decision to go to war in Iraq but that he remains convinced it was the right decision.  —  In the latest in a series of comments …

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More Items:

Jim Galloway / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Reed admits misstep in work
Martin Garbus / The Huffington Post:
An Incredible Day in America  —  Today, for two separate reasons …
Defeat the Defeatists!
Discussion: Power Line
Steve Clemons:
Make the List Public: Who Did the White House Spy On?
Washington Times:
House approves border fence
Iraq insurgents say election truce won't last
Robert H. Reid / Associated Press:
Sunni Leader Open to Coalition Government
Juan / Informed Comment:
What the Sunni Arab Vote Really Means

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Rick Weiss / Washington Post:
Scientists Find A DNA Change That Accounts For White Skin
Discussion: INDC Journal and Prometheus 6
Sam Rosenfeld / TAPPED:
FAULT LINES.  Mike Crowley points to this (subscription-only) …
Discussion: Left in the West
Associated Press:
Actor John Spencer has died
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Robert Novak Leaving CNN for Fox News
Constant Brand / Associated Press:
Iran Could Be Sanctioned for Riling Israel
Deacon / Power Line:
Digby / Hullabaloo:
If The President Does It It's Not Illegal
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