Political Web, page A1 … for 5:00 PM ET, January 5, 2006
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Media Matters for America:
Robertson blamed Sharon stroke on policy of "dividing God's land" … On the January 5 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent stroke was the result of Sharon's policy, which he claimed is "dividing God's land."
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
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.
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 …
Los Angeles Times:
GOP Tries to Outrun Scandal
Discussion: New York Times and Think Progress
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 …
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.
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.
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
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.
Jennifer Loven / Associated Press:
Bush Listens to Suggestions on Iraq  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush promised to "take to heart" suggestions on Iraq he heard Thursday from former secretaries of defense and state who have disagreed — sometimes sharply in the past but apparently only mildly in person — with his approach there.
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.
Pascal Riche /
Foreign Affairs  —  The Cost of The War  —  Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion.  This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.  —  Here is their statement:
Martin Crutsinger / Associated Press:
Jobless Claims Plunge to Five-Year Low  —  The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than five years last week, providing strong evidence that the labor market is shaking off the effects of a string of devastating hurricanes.

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More Items:

Rebecca MacKinnon / RConversation:
Why Microsoft censorship in China matters to everybody
Hotline On Call:
Ed Gillespie Joins Team Allen
Discussion: Daily Kos
Andrew G. Bostom / Front Page Magazine:
Meet Candidate "Martyr Mom"
Discussion: Solomonia
USA Today:
Media forced to explain inaccurate reports on tragedy
Bill Berkowitz /
Paying to play  —  Revelations that Republican lobbyist Jack …
Discussion: Seeing the Forest
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Abramoff Scandal's Many Tentacles
Robin Burk / Winds of Change.NET:
James Moore / The Huffington Post:
Branded  —  There are times in which it is easy to be suspicious.

Earlier Picks:

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
Washington Post:
Iraq Blasts Kill 80 in Two Cities
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
Career of General in Charge During Abu Ghraib May End
Adam Nossiter / New York Times:
A Big Government Fix-It Plan for New Orleans
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
A Clinton Fund-Raising Group Is Fined for Understating Gifts
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Liberal Groups to Release Ads Attacking Court Pick
Tulsa Pastor Arrested In OKC On Lewdness Charge
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