Political Web, page A1 … for 12:35 PM ET, February 20, 2006
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Top Items:

Charles Babington / Washington Post:
White House Working to Avoid Wiretap Probe  —  But Some Republicans Say Bush Must Be More Open About Eavesdropping Program  —  At two key moments in recent days, White House officials contacted congressional leaders just ahead of intelligence committee meetings that could have stirred demands …
Wichita Eagle:
EDITORIAL: ROBERTS' CREDIBILITY ON LINE  —  Many Kansans, including members of The Eagle editorial board, have long admired Sen. Pat Roberts for his plainspokenness and reputation for fair brokering of issues.  —  So it's troubling that Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee …
New York Times:
Facing Pressure, White House Seeks Approval for Spying  —  After two months of insisting that President Bush did not need court approval to authorize the wiretapping of calls between the United States and suspected terrorists abroad, the administration is trying to resist pressure for judicial review …
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
The dying scandal that keeps growing
Discussion: Decision '08 and State of the Day
Jimmy Carter / Washington Post:
Don't Punish the Palestinians  —  As the results of the recent Palestinian elections are implemented, it's important to understand how the transition process works and also how important to it are actions by Israel and the United States.  —  Although Hamas won 74 of the 132 parliamentary seats …
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:   Israel Suspends Tax Money Flow to Palestinians
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Russert Watch: The Mary Matalin Horror Show  —  Meet the Press has been jumping all over the schedule.  Sure, they're using the excuse of some sporting event in Italy, but we know the real reason is they're trying to elude Russert Watch.  But there we were — if a little foggy — at 6 a.m. …
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
Troubleshooting the Tale of a Hunt Gone Sour  —  WASHINGTON — Mary Matalin, Vice President Dick Cheney's longtime troubleshooter, was sleeping in last Sunday when the phone jangled her awake at 8 a.m. She groggily picked it up to hear, 'The vice president shot somebody, and he's O.K.' "
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
THE MEMO  —  How an internal effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees was thwarted.  —  One night this January, in a ceremony at the Officers' Club at Fort Myer, in Arlington, Virginia, which sits on a hill with a commanding view across the Potomac River to the Washington Monument …
Associated Press:
Navy Counsel Issued Warning On Torture
Tim Golden / New York Times:
Senior Lawyer at Pentagon Broke Ranks on Detainees
Discussion: QandO and Norwegianity
Francis Fukuyama / New York Times:
After Neoconservatism  —  As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly.  By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy …
Robert Mayer / Publius Pundit:
RUSSIA SHUTS DOWN NEWSPAPER WITH CARTOON DEPICTING MOHAMMED  —  The municipal government in Volgograd has decided to close down a local newspaper for printing a cartoon showing Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and Moses watching a crowd of clashing people while saying, "We never taught them to do that …
Michelle Malkin:
Richard B. Schmitt / Los Angeles Times:
Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger  — A year after its creation, the White House civil liberties board has yet to do a single day of work.  —  WASHINGTON — For Americans troubled by the prospect of federal agents eavesdropping on their phone conversations or combing through their Internet records …
Denying anti-semitic motives to avoid riots?  —  A truly brutal murder of a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, kidnapped and tortured over many weeks in the suburbs of Paris. … The French public prosecutor thinks that anti-semitism had nothing to do with the murder.  The official Jewish community is keen to calm down fears.
Michael J. Totten:
"Our Jerusalem"  —  ERBIL, IRAQ - Iraq may not survive in one piece.  The overwhelming majority of Iraqi Kurds are packing their bags.  Most have already said goodbye.  Erbil (Hawler in Kurdish) is the capital of the de-facto sovereign Kurdistan Regional Government.
Edward Rothstein / New York Times:
History Illuminates the Rage of Muslims  —  An ant climbs a blade of grass, over and over, seemingly without purpose, seeking neither nourishment nor home.  It persists in its futile climb, explains Daniel C. Dennett at the opening of his new book, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" …
An instinct for the capillary  —  Luckily for the Bush administration, its media opponents can't shoot straight, writes Glenn Reynolds  —  "Vice-president has hunting accident."  Not long ago, that would have been a page-seven story, at best.  But this time it was the top story of the week in America.
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
Elite Iraqi Unit Seeks Footing as It Fills U.S. Boots  —  AREA IV, Iraq — The three helicopters took off after midnight from this Special Operations base outside Baghdad, bound for a rural community where a man suspected of being a ringleader of the insurgency was hiding in a compound marked on military maps as Objective Hades.
Discussion: Rantingprofs

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More Items:

MB Williams / Wampum:
Thirty six hour emergency Koufax fundraiser...
Jim Tankersley /
Hackett's research targeted Brown
Discussion: Sirotablog, Ohio 2nd and Daily Kos
Hindrocket / Power Line:
Discussion: A Blog For All
Paul Harris / Observer:
37 million poor hidden in the land of plenty
PZ Myers / Pharyngula:
Give me creaturely over preacherly any day
Jane Smiley / The Huffington Post:
"Tolerance" or Social Control?
Sydney Morning Herald:
PM's Muslim comments 'offensive'
Discussion: The RCP Blog and lgf
Kevin Drum / The Washington Monthly:
BARTLETT ON BUSH....Bruce Bartlett is not a happy camper these days.

Earlier Picks:

Dennis The Peasant:
Playing The Muslim Card: Dubai Ports World
Robert F. Worth / New York Times:
At Least 17 People Killed in Insurgent Attacks in Iraq
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
A Bomb-Builder, 'Out of the Shadows'
Discussion: Rantingprofs
Associated Press:
Recruiting Hispanics for Kentucky Coal Mines Raises Debate
Discussion: Right Wing News
Alhamedi / The Religious Policeman:
Emergency Meeting!  —  The motorcades screech to a halt …
Cornelia Dean / New York Times:
At a Scientific Gathering, U.S. Policies Are Lamented
Discussion: Bad Attitudes
Wersha Bharadwa / Independent:
Fanatics tell Muslim singer: We'll kill you
Discussion: Clarity & Resolve
Agence France Presse:
Hugo Chavez to Condi Rice: 'Don't mess with me, girl'
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