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2:25 PM ET, March 9, 2006


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
G.O.P. Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants  —  WASHINGTON, March 8 — The plan by Senate Republicans to step up oversight of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program would also give legislative sanction for the first time to long-term eavesdropping on Americans without …
Washington Post:
Dubai Port Company to Divest Itself of American Holdings  —  The United Arab Emirates company that was attempting to take over management operations at six U.S. ports announced today that it will divest itself of all American interests.  —  The announcement appears to head off a major confrontation …
Discussion: Decision '08
Ports deal opens rift between Bush, House GOP  —  Committee votes 62-2 to block approval of UAE takeover  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House faced a major rupture with House Republicans on Thursday after a House committee overwhelmingly voted to block a deal that would allow …
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Report Cites F.B.I. Violations  —  WASHINGTON, March 8 — The Federal Bureau of Investigation found apparent violations of its own wiretapping and other intelligence-gathering procedures more than 100 times in the last two years, and problems appear to have grown more frequent …
New York Times:
The Death of the Intelligence Panel  —  The wrenching debate in the 1970's over the abuse of presidential power produced two groundbreaking reforms aimed at preventing a president from using war or broader claims of national security to trample Americans' rights.
Discussion: WTF Is It Now??
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
Congress Prepares for Port Showdown  —  Lawmakers Take First Steps Toward Ending Bush Deal  —  The shot of the gritty Baltimore waterfront pulls back to reveal a youthful, serious Senate candidate intoning: "President Bush wants to sell this port — and five others — to the United Arab Emirates …
Associated Press:
GOP Leaders Tell Bush Ports Deal Is Doomed  — Republican congressional leaders told President Bush Thursday the House and Senate both appear ready to block a Dubai-owned company from taking over operations at several U.S. ports, GOP officials said.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
A Rebellion in the G.O.P. on Security, a Signature Issue  —  WASHINGTON, March 8 — After more than five years of allowing President Bush relatively free rein to set their course, Republicans in Congress are suddenly, if selectively, in rebellion, a mutiny all the more surprising since …
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
Sen. Rockefeller praises the GOP's actions on the Intelligence Committee  —  (updated below - updated again with response from Sen. Rockefeller's spokeswoman)  —  (updated again re: Portgate)  —  No matter how strong of an immunity one thinks one has constructed against being shocked …
An Iran Strategy  —  In January, Liberal Oasis criticized Sen. Hilllary Clinton's approach on Iran's nuclear program.  —  Clinton was seeking to outhawk the Bushies, accusing them of "outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines".  —  That was dumb from the get-go.
Alexandra von Maltzan / All Things Beautiful:
Iran Is Building A Nuclear Weapon
Peggy Noonan / Opinion Journal:
Boy in a Bubble  —  What George Clooney doesn't know about life.  —  Memo to: The Academy  —  From: Just another viewer  —  Re: Advice, as if you wanted more  —  I cannot remember a time when, in the days after the Academy Awards show, it was not criticized, and even blasted.
Ezra Klein:
Against CanadaCare  —  As Matt alludes to here, international comparisons are a little tricky.  But he's wrong to defend Canada's health care system.  Now, it is true that Americans spend way more on health care, per capita, than other countries do.  Taking the Canada example, our neighbors up north spend $2,535 per citizen.
Matthew / The Health Care Blog:
BLOGS: Health Wonk Review
Discussion: Healthy Policy
Washington Post:
Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing  —  Poll Numbers in U.S. Higher Than in 2001  —  As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence …
Jacob Weisberg / Slate:
The Three Stooges  —  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean.  —  According to the latest CBS News poll, George W. Bush's approval rating hit a personal worst of 34 percent in February, making him the most unpopular president since Nixon during Watergate.
Washington Post:
Bush: Congress 'Shortchanged' New Orleans  —  Touring Gulf Coast, President Calls for Restoration of $1.5 Billion for Levee Repairs  —  NEW ORLEANS, March 8 — President Bush, on a Gulf Coast inspection tour that included his first visit to this city's storm-shattered Lower Ninth Ward …
Suspect: Church fires started as 'joke'  —  Three Birmingham college students arrested, charged  —  BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) — Three Birmingham college students were arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with a string of Alabama church fires that is described in court papers as a joke that "got out of hand," authorities said.
National Review:
Costly Gestures  —  South Dakota has enacted a ban on abortion except to save a woman's life.  Pro-choice forces in the state have not decided whether to try to repeal the law by referendum or to file a lawsuit in federal court.  If the latter, the court will surely strike the law …
Editor and Publisher:
Gallup: More Than Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Back Bible  —  NEW YORK A Gallup report released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution theory and scientific evidence, agree with the statement, "God created man exactly how Bible describes it."
Wall Street Journal:
Minding the Gap  —  Who's getting ahead, who's falling behind, and why?  —  They are questions that grip us in fits and starts.  Author Douglas Coupland worried in his 1991 novel "Generation X" about "Brazilification," or the widening gulf between rich and poor and the disappearance of the middle class …
California Conservative:
PortGate: Republicans Turn on President Bush — And What Will It Cost Us?  —  We make a prediction.  —  The AP's Liz Zidoti is eager to report: "In an election-year repudiation of President Bush, a House panel dominated by Republicans voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned firm …
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 More Items: 
Kevin Drum / The Washington Monthly:
KOS AND THE "IDEOLOGY OF WINNERISM"....Look, this slam from Jason Zengerle is just unfair.
Gene Johnson / Associated Press:
Carter Urges Troop Withdrawal From Iraq
Discussion: Air America Radio
Hassan M. Fattah / New York Times:
Lawyers Assail Yemeni Editor on Cartoons
TimChapman /
HR 1606 - Hearing Markup
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Culture of Intellectual Corruption
Faith Hill, Tim McGraw Blast 'Humiliating' Katrina Cleanup
New York Times:
Abramoff Says Top Republicans Were Allies
Niles Lathem / New York Post:
Discussion: Jihad Watch
 Earlier Items: 
Tbogg / ...a somewhat popular blogger:
Naked came the blogger
Discussion: Norwegianity and archy
Janny Scott / New York Times:
New York Asks Help From Poor in Housing Crisis
Thomas Joscelyn / Weekly Standard:
Unholy Alliance  —  Iran secretly agreed to assist the Taliban …
Associated Press:
Vanity Fair: Bush Had Ties to Abramoff
Devlin Barrett / Associated Press:
Sen. Clinton slams GOP immigration bill
TBlumer /
Financial Transparency for Thee, But Not For Me at The New York Times
David Crary / Associated Press:
Men's Rights Group Eyes Child Support Stay
Ellen Knickmeyer / Washington Post:
Official Says Shiite Party Suppressed Body Count