Political Web, page A1 … for 11:40 AM ET, January 4, 2006
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Top Items:

Grief, anger as all but one miner found dead  —  Initial reports indicated 12 had survived  —  TALLMANSVILLE, West Virginia (CNN) — Grief and anger replaced jubilation early Wednesday as mine officials announced that, despite earlier reports, only one of 13 trapped miners had survived a West Virginia mining accident.
Jennifer C. Yates / Associated Press:
11 of 12 Miners Reported Alive Are Dead  —  TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, family members were told early Wednesday that 11 of 12 trapped coal miners found were dead - three hours after they began celebrating news that they were alive.
Discussion: Thespis Journal, PunditGuy and Wizbang
Associated Press:
Eleven of Twelve Missing Coal Miners Believed to Be Alive Found Dead  —  TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. — Family members learned early Wednesday that 11 of the 12 coal miners who were initially thought to have survived an explosion in a coal mine have died.  —  Families learned of the deaths …
Greg Mitchell / Editor and Publisher:
Media Reports Miracle Mine Rescue — Then Carries the Tragic Truth  —  NEW YORK In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners …
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Safety Violations Have Piled Up at Coal Mine
Jennifer C. Yates / Associated Press:
Jubilation Turns to Anger, Outrage
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
Washington Post:
Case Bringing New Scrutiny To a System and a Profession  —  The biggest corruption scandal to infect Congress in a generation took down one of the best-connected lobbyists in Washington yesterday.  The questions echoing around the capital were what other careers — and what other familiar ways of doing business — are endangered.
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
GOP Leaders Seek Distance From Abramoff  —  Hastert to Donate Money Given by Lobbyist's Clients  —  With a House Republican committee chairman implicated in the criminal case and the highest echelons of the Republican Party increasingly vulnerable to charges, GOP leaders moved yesterday …
New York Times:
Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Will Aid Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - As a high-flying Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff has long been known as a mover and shaker in Washington.  But when he cut a deal with federal prosecutors on Tuesday, he shook up this town as never before.
Sam Rosenfeld / TAPPED:
COLLATERAL DAMAGE.  This passage caught my eye in Sheryl Gay …
Discussion: Democratic Veteran
Los Angeles Times:
Lobbying Plan Was Central to GOP's Political Strategy
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times:
Lobbyist Accepts Plea Deal
Discussion: Power Line
New York Times:
Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - The National Security Agency acted on its own authority, without a formal directive from President Bush, to expand its domestic surveillance operations in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to declassified documents released Tuesday.
New York Times:
On the Subject of Leaks  —  Given the Bush administration's appetite for leak investigations (three are under way), this seems a good moment to try to clear away the fog around this issue.  —  A democratic society cannot long survive if whistle-blowers are criminally punished for revealing …
Dafna Linzer / Washington Post:   Secret Surveillance May Have Occurred Before Authorization
Charlie Savage / Boston Globe:
Bush could bypass new torture ban  —  Waiver right is reserved  —  WASHINGTON — When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.  —  After approving the bill last Friday …
Jim VandeHei / Washington Post:
Bush Assails Democrats Over Patriot Act  —  Opponents Are Blocking Law's Full Renewal for Political Reasons, President Says  —  President Bush accused Democrats yesterday of blocking a full reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act for political reasons, as the White House stepped …
Secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile  —  Document seen by Guardian details web of front companies and middlemen  —  The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb …
Peter Carlson / Washington Post:
Quote Cuisine  —  Everybody wants some of Marshall Wittmann's wisdom.  People keep calling, asking him to explain the mysteries of Washington.  —  USA Today wants to know the state of Dick Cheney's status.  The Albany Times Union wants to know if the administration is getting serious about the deficit.
Discussion: Bull Moose and Pandagon
Washington Post:
U.S. Raid Kills Family North of Baghdad  —  Iraqis Say 12 Slain in Airstrike; Americans Believed Targeted Farm Was Shelter for Insurgents  —  BAGHDAD, Jan. 3 — U.S. pilots targeting a house where they believed insurgents had taken shelter killed a family of 12, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.
Washington Post:
Wonkette's Sex Change  —  Wonkette is dead — long live Wonkette.  —  Ana Marie Cox, the writer who made Washington politics irresistibly naughty, is giving up her job as a full-time, pajama-clad blogger to become a full-time, pajama-clad author.  Cox, who just signed a contract for her second book …
'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Dec. 16th  —  Read the transcript to the Friday show  —  Guests: Roger Cressey, Tom Brokaw, Anne Kornblut, Howard Fineman, Saxby Chambliss, Frank Lautenberg  —  CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight triumph and trouble on the day after the huge Iraq vote.

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