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Daniel Pipes /
[After Sharon:] Israeli Politics Will Revert to Its Past  —  Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has suffered a massive brain hemorrhage; at the very least, his long political career appears to be over.  What does that mean for Israeli politics and for Arab-Israeli relations?
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
Sharon in Critical Condition After Suffering 'Extensive' Stroke
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.
Peggy Noonan / Opinion Journal:
The Steamroller  —  The road to big government reaches a dead end at Jack Abramoff.  —  The problem with government is that it is run by people, and people are flawed.  They are not virtue machines.  We are all of us, even the best of us, vulnerable to the call of the low: to greed …
Discussion: PSoTD and
Ana Marie Cox / New York Times:
Political Theater of the Absurd
Discussion: Althouse
David Carr / New York Times:
Once Washington's Wonkette in Chief, Now With a Novel to Sell
Discussion: mediabistro
Glenn Greenwald / Hullabaloo:
Attacking Bush's only weapon: Fear  —  Among those who now recognize that the Bush Administration has not just deliberately and repeatedly broken the law, but is literally claiming that George Bush has the "wartime" power to continue to break the law, there is a growing impatience to move to the next step …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Catch
White House:
Remarks by the Vice President on Iraq and the War on Terror  —  Washington, D.C.  —  THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you all very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Well, thank you very much and thank you for the warm welcome.  It's great to be back at Heritage.
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.
Mike Kalil / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Reid says Chertoff should resign  —  Senator echoes sheriff after city falls off list  —  U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for the resignation of Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday, one day after the government dropped Las Vegas from a list …
Discussion: TigerHawk, PunditGuy and ScrappleFace
New York Times:
The Sago Mine Disaster  —  In the long history of coal mine tragedies in Appalachia, few have borne the compound misery suffered in Sago, W.Va., where a dozen families were plunged from exultation to furious grief by a false report that their loved ones had survived a deadly mine explosion on Monday.
Washington Post:
Iraq Blasts Kill 80 in Two Cities  —  Five U.S. Troops Killed in Separate Attack  —  KARBALA, Jan. 5 — Separate acts of violence across Iraq Thursday claimed at least 80 Iraqi lives and killed five U.S. soldiers, according to officials and eyewitnesses.  The deaths brought the brutal two day toll of fatalities to at least 139.
New York Times:
At Least 80 Iraqis Killed in 2nd Straight Day of Big Attacks
Discussion: Decision '08
Sameer N. Yacoub / Associated Press:
Attacks on Shiites, Police Kill 79 in Iraq
Discussion: and Booman Tribune
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
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 …
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
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.
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.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
When a Firebrand Burns His Bridges  —  The fiery phrases and righteous anger were straight out of 1994.  But this time, Newt Gingrich was turning his famous indignation on fellow Republicans:  —  "Cronies behaving as cronies!"  —  "Indifference to right and wrong!"  —  "A system of corruption!"
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.

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Meet Candidate "Martyr Mom"
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Pascal Riche /
Foreign Affairs  —  The Cost of The War  —  Nobel Laureate …
USA Today:
Media forced to explain inaccurate reports on tragedy
Bill Berkowitz /
Paying to play  —  Revelations that Republican lobbyist Jack …
Discussion: Seeing the Forest and GOTV

Earlier Picks:

Bradley Burston / Haaretz:
A prayer for the prime minister
Jennifer Loven / Associated Press:
Bush Listens to Suggestions on Iraq
Robin Burk / Winds of Change.NET:
James Moore / The Huffington Post:
Branded  —  There are times in which it is easy to be suspicious.
Discussion: Attytood
Jerry Bowyer / National Review:
Debt Be Not Proud?  —  Would you judge the status of someone's …
The Slow Rot of Hosni Mubarak
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
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