Political Web, page A1 … for 10:15 AM ET, January 3, 2006
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Top Items:

Michael Hedges / Houston Chronicle:
Abramoff plea bargain announcement expected  —  Deal may give prosecutors a view into possible favors  —  WASHINGTON - A plea agreement between prominent lobbyist Jack Abramoff and federal prosecutors is expected this week, bringing a wide-ranging corruption probe to the doors of Congress …
Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times:
G.O.P. Lobbyist to Plead Guilty in Deal With Prosecutors  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - Jack Abramoff will plead guilty to three felony counts in Washington on Wednesday as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors, ending an intense, months-long negotiation over whether the Republican lobbyist …
Abramoff May Plead Guilty This Week, Snaring Lawmakers in Probe  —  Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) — Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is under criminal investigation, may agree this week to cooperate with federal officials in a move that former prosecutors say would put U.S. lawmakers in legal jeopardy.
Paul E. Schroeder / Washington Post:
A Life, Wasted  —  Let's Stop This War Before More Heroes Are Killed  —  Early on Aug. 3, 2005, we heard that 14 Marines had been killed in Haditha, Iraq.  Our son, Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder II, was stationed there.  At 10:45 a.m. two Marines showed up at our door.
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
For Bush, a Test in the Midterms  —  Elections at midterm can be low-interest affairs or immensely important.  This fall's congressional elections will be a big show with large consequences, because 2006 is looking a lot like the political years 1958, 1966 and 1978, all of which heralded major political transformations.
US Rep. Murtha says he wouldn't join military now  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.  —  A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired …
Discussion: Donklephant, QandO and Macsmind
Franklin Foer / The New Republic:
OY, THE MSB:  —  Last month, I wrote a column against the Mainstream Blogosphere.  I argued that the MSB has made a grave mistake in relentlessly attacking the credibility of the New York Times and Washington Post.  For decades, conservatives have been trying to shred these institutions.
Jennifer C. Yates / Associated Press:
Mining Exec 'Discouraged' by Air Quality  —  Rescuers trying to reach 13 trapped miners punched a hole into the mine early Tuesday, but a company executive said he was "very discouraged" by air quality tests.  —  Carbon monoxide levels measured 1,300 parts per million …
Washington Post:
W.Va. Mine Explosion Traps 13
Discussion: Don Surber
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
New Rules Set for Giving Out Antiterror Aid  —  Facing cuts in antiterrorism financing, the Department of Homeland Security plans to announce today that it will evaluate new requests for money from an $800 million aid program for cities based less on politics and more on assessments …
Discussion: Rising Hegemon and Catch
R.G. Ratcliffe / Houston Chronicle:
Strayhorn enters governor's race as independent  —  AUSTIN — Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn ended speculation today by announcing she will run for governor against Gov. Rick Perry as an independent.  —  "It's time to shake Austin up," Strayhorn, who is now serving as a Republican officeholder …
Houston Chronicle:
Discussion: First Draft and Greg's Opinion
Michael J. Totten / Opinion Journal:
Lebanon the Model  —  Iraq isn't the Arab world's first democracy.  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon—Of all the rationales for demolishing Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the most compelling was the Middle East's desperate need for at least one free Arab democracy to act as a model and an inspiration …
Discussion: sisu and
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
Sunni Group Near Deal With Kurds on Iraqi Government  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 2 - The largest Sunni Arab political group in Iraq unexpectedly moved toward agreement with Kurdish leaders Monday on a broad framework for a coalition government.  The group, the Iraqi Consensus Front …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press:
Iraq's main Sunni Arabs group agrees on outlines of coalition government
Griff Witte / Washington Post:
U.S. Cedes Duties in Rebuilding Afghanistan  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — Four years into a mammoth reconstruction effort here that has been largely led, funded and secured by Americans, the United States is showing a growing willingness to cede those jobs to others.
Peter Lattman / Law Blog:
Article III Groupie Expected to Become Wonkette  —  Here's the latest buzz: Queen of the blogosphere Ana Marie Cox is said to be handing over the reins at her spicy political blog Wonkette.  David Lat, the federal prosecutor who revealed himself to the New Yorker magazine in November …
Associated Press:
New Book Reveals Secret War Operations  —  WASHINGTON - A new book on the government's secret anti-terrorism operations describes how the CIA recruited an Iraqi-American anesthesiologist in 2002 to obtain information from her brother, who was a figure in Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.
Romesh Ratnesar / Time:
The Book Behind the Bombshell
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Political Splits on Immigration Reflect Voters' Ambivalence  —  Americans Favor Tighter Borders but Divide on Entrants' Fate  —  When Congress returns to the unfinished business of immigration early in the new year, lawmakers will be trying to reconcile sometimes conflicting public attitudes …
Discussion: Hugh Hewitt and Hit and Run
Victor Davis Hanson / Opinion Journal:   Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Byron York / The Corner on National Review Online:
"WHY ARE CONSERVATIVES SO AFRAID?"  —  In a stunning new statement, the enormously influential left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas attacks the very basis for the war on terror, attributing American efforts to prevent future terrorist attacks not to national security concerns but to...conservative cowardice.
Discussion: Rising Hegemon
Kos /
Why are conservatives so afraid?
Discussion: Captain's Quarters and firedoglake
Thomas Sowell /
Serious or suicidal?  —  When you are boating on the Niagara River, there are signs marking the point at which you must go ashore or else you will be sucked over the falls.  With Iran moving toward the development of nuclear weapons, we are getting dangerously close to that fatal point of no return on the world stage.
Janet Maslin / New York Times:
A Blogger Creates a Blogger for a Trip Back to 2004  —  A love affair runs through Ana Marie Cox's "Dog Days," and it ends with a moment of high drama.  Figuratively speaking, the book's heroine, Melanie Thornton, might as well be throwing her beloved off a high cliff into stormy seas.
Discussion: Althouse
Margot Dudkevitch / Jerusalem Post:
2,990 attacks during 2005 'truce'  —  As Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades announced an end to their self-declared truce of January 2005, under which they pledged to refrain from attacking Israeli targets, an annual summary of terror activities …

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More Items:

Natalie Angier / New York Times:
The Cute Factor  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 - If the mere sight …
Discussion: Norwegianity and Althouse
Charles Hurt / Washington Times:
Democrats to hit White House, Republicans on privacy issues
A Failed Offensive  —  New Year's Day bombings a bust; operations continue up north
Charles Fried / New York Times:
Samuel Alito, in Context
Discussion: Althouse
Evan Schaeffer / Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground:
Blawg Review #38  —  Not that you're going to feel any real sympathy …
Discussion: Althouse
Rich Lowry / Salt Lake Tribune:
Lowry: The most underappreciated story of the year
Discussion: Fausta's Blog
Washington Post:
Independence To End Flights On Thursday
Discussion: Hugh Hewitt
Toddler's Talking Elmo Book Asks 'Who Wants To Die?'
Discussion: Running Scared

Earlier Picks:

Paul Martin / Washington Times:
Saddam prefers death by shooting
Discussion: The American Mind
Jackson Diehl / Washington Post:
Our Latin Conundrum  —  Here's a sad but safe new year's prediction …
Discussion: Booman Tribune and MaxSpeak
Palestinian police storm offices in Gaza Strip
Russia vows to end gas shortage
Fausta / Fausta's Blog:
I used to be a liberal  —  Politically, until recently, I used to be a liberal.
Editor and Publisher:
'Military Times' Poll Finds Fading Support for President, War
Discussion: King of Zembla and AMERICAblog
Gail Russell Chaddock / Christian Science Monitor:
Coming to the Hill: lots of hearing-room drama
Atrios / Eschaton:
2005 was the year that the president of the United States declared …
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