Political Web, page A1 … for 12:10 PM ET, January 5, 2006
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Top Items:

Bill Gertz / Washington Times:
NSA whistleblower asks to testify  —  A former National Security Agency official wants to tell Congress about electronic intelligence programs that he asserts were carried out illegally by the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.  —  Russ Tice, a whistleblower who was dismissed from the NSA last year …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Key Democrat Says Spying Violated Law  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 - The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday that the limited Congressional briefings the Bush administration has provided on a National Security Agency eavesdropping program violated the law.
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Surveillance Court Is Seeking Answers  —  The members of a secret federal court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases are scheduled to receive a classified briefing Monday from top Justice Department and intelligence officials about a controversial warrantless …
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's Condition Remains Grave  —  JERUSALEM, Jan. 5 — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon emerged from emergency brain surgery Thursday morning after suffering a massive stroke as the national vigil over his life continued.  Doctors said his vital signs appeared normal …
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
Sharon in Critical Condition After Suffering 'Extensive' Stroke
Andrea Mitchell / MSNBC:
Reporter defends release of NSA spy program  —  James Risen says his sources are 'patriots,' CIA calls them 'unreliable'  —  New York Times reporter James Risen first broke the story two weeks ago that the National Security Agency began spying on domestic communications soon after 9/11.
John / AMERICAblog:
NBC confirms it's investigating whether Bush spied on CNN's Christiane Amanpour  —  That is the only way to read NBC's just-issued statement on why they deleted key portions of Andrea Mitchell's interview after we reported on it here earlier today.  —  [Background: We reported earlier today …
New York Times:
At Least 80 Iraqis Killed in 2nd Straight Day of Big Attacks  —  BAGHDAD, Jan. 5 - Two new suicide bombings rocked Iraq today, killing at least 80 in an attack at a shrine in the Shiite city of Karbala and a police recruiting station in the Sunni city of Ramadi.
Washington Post:
Iraq Blasts Kill 80 in Two Cities
Sameer N. Yacoub / Associated Press:
Attacks on Shiites, Police Kill 79 in Iraq
Ana Marie Cox / New York Times:
Political Theater of the Absurd  —  THE bad guy with a fondness for quoting the most extortionary lines of "The Godfather" walks out of the courtroom dressed like a film noir villain.  He was there because his pretty-boy partner had already dropped a dime on him.  Lying, cheating, stealing, gambling ... and Indians.
Discussion: Althouse
David Carr / New York Times:
Once Washington's Wonkette in Chief, Now With a Novel to Sell
Discussion: mediabistro
Thomas B. Edsall / Washington Post:
Bush Appointments Avert Senate Battles  —  President Bush yesterday made a raft of controversial recess appointments, including Julie L. Myers to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau at the Department of Homeland Security, in a maneuver circumventing the need for approval by the Senate.
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Liberal Groups to Release Ads Attacking Court Pick  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 - The battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. turned personal Wednesday with the announcement of new commercials that sharply escalated liberal attacks on him, moving beyond his legal views …
Kristen Mack / Houston Chronicle:
Former Rep. Stockman joins field eyeing DeLay  —  Elected in 1994 as a Republican, he will now run as an independent  —  Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who served a single term in Congress after being elected in the Republican sweep of 1994, now wants a shot at Republican Rep. Tom DeLay.
New York Times:
Lobbyist's Guilty Plea Seen as Threat to DeLay Return
Discussion: Angry Bear
TBlumer /
The New York Times' Disgraceful (and Wrong) Opportunism in the West Virginia Coal Mine Deaths  —  First, the obvious — The 12 deaths are an unspeakable tragedy, the families of the victims should be in everyone's prayers, and any employer negligence that is found deserves swift and harsh punishment.
Discussion: The Anchoress and Sister Toldjah
New York Times:
The Sago Mine Disaster
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Court Clears Way for Criminal Trial in Padilla Case  —  WASHINGTON — In a small victory for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for erstwhile "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla to be released from a military brig and moved to a jail in Miami where he faces a criminal trial.
Jerry Markon / Washington Post:
Justices Order Padilla Terror Case Moved to Civilian Court
Discussion: The Heretik and SCOTUSblog
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
Bush to Give Up $6,000 In Abramoff Contributions  —  Republican Party officials said yesterday that President Bush will give up $6,000 in campaign contributions connected to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, joining an expansive list of politicians who have shed more than half a million dollars in tainted campaign cash.
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
A Clinton Fund-Raising Group Is Fined for Understating Gifts  —  A fund-raising committee for Senator Clinton's 2000 campaign has agreed to pay a $35,000 civil penalty and to concede that reports it made to the federal government understated by more than $700,000 donations to a California celebrity gala held to benefit her Senate bid.
Tulsa Pastor Arrested In OKC On Lewdness Charge  —  OKLAHOMA CITY — An executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention was arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said.  —  Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church …
Adam Nossiter / New York Times:
A Big Government Fix-It Plan for New Orleans  —  BATON ROUGE, La. - Into the void of the post-Katrina policy landscape, littered with half-ruined proposals, crumbling prescriptions and washed-out initiatives, an obscure and very conservative congressman has stepped in with the ultimate big government solution.

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More Items:

Glenn Greenwald / Hullabaloo:
Attacking Bush's only weapon: Fear
James Moore / The Huffington Post:
Branded  —  There are times in which it is easy to be suspicious.
Discussion: Attytood
White House:
Remarks by the Vice President on Iraq and the War on Terror
Jerry Bowyer / National Review:
Debt Be Not Proud?  —  Would you judge the status of someone's …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
When a Firebrand Burns His Bridges
Discussion: Sirotablog
Charlie Savage / Boston Globe:
3 GOP senators blast Bush bid to bypass torture ban
The Slow Rot of Hosni Mubarak
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
Career of General in Charge During Abu Ghraib May End

Earlier Picks:

Study toasts free drinks for homeless alcoholics
Discussion: Dr. Sanity
Neal Lawson / Guardian:
Labour has run into the sand and can't depend on Brown to dig it out
Discussion: Harry's Place
Glenn Greenwald / Hullabaloo:
What happened to conservative legal theories?
Robert Kuttner / American Prospect:
Agreeing to Disagree  —  Robert Kuttner speaks with Milton Friedman
Discussion: EconLog
Marc Burleigh / Agence France Presse:
Gang terrorizes train in France
Discussion: Blogs for Bush
Toying With Genocide  —  Something's gotta give, something's gotta give,
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner on National Review Online:
ABRAMOFF  —  Lots of email from readers, friendly and hostile …
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