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2:00 PM ET, March 20, 2006


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
GOP Struggles To Define Its Message for 2006 Elections  —  Republican efforts to craft a policy and political agenda to carry the party into the midterm elections have stumbled repeatedly as GOP leaders face widespread disaffection and disagreement within the ranks.
Kathy Kiely / USA Today:
Lawmakers get out of the House  —  WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives is on track this year to be in session for fewer days than the Congress Harry Truman labeled as "do-nothing" during his 1948 re-election campaign.  —  Members of Congress are taking an entire week off for St. Patrick's Day.
The Prowler / American Spectator:
Defiantly Shaky  —  Sen. Harry Reid told reporters last week that it might be true that American voters don't know where Democrats stand, but that they will know by November.  —  That may be a little too late for undecided voters, which is why both House and Senate Democrats …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The Strata-Sphere
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
More on "Civil War" in Iraq  —  The meaning of civil war, and political and military developments in Iraq  —  With the advent of the three year 'anniversary' of the liberation of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the common headline has switched from an indomitable insurgency to impending civil war, if not an existing civil war.
New York Times:
On Anniversary, Bush and Cheney See Iraq Success  —  WASHINGTON, March 19 — On the third anniversary of a war that they once expected to be over by now, President Bush and senior officials argued Sunday that their strategy was working despite escalating violence in Iraq …
Christopher Swann / MSNBC:
Quiet disapproval in US marks war's anniversary  —  On the third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the US capital's historic protest venues were surprisingly serene on Sunday.  Outside the White House tourists had their pictures taken next to a cardboard cut-out of the president …
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Bush Still Upbeat on Outcome In Iraq
Contractor tiers swell Katrina costs  —  Normalcy eludes city as bodies are still being found  —  NEW ORLEANS — How many contractors does it take to haul a pile of tree branches?  If it's government work, at least four: a contractor, his subcontractor, the subcontractor's subcontractor …
Washington Post:
A Contractor's Purchase on Power
Kurt Kleiner / Toronto Star:
How to spot a baby conservative  —  Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints?  Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.  —  At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids …
Discussion: Best of the Blogs
CBS News:
Rewriting The Science  —  (CBS) As a government scientist, James Hansen is taking a risk.  He says there are things the White House doesn't want you to hear but he's going to say them anyway.  —  Hansen is arguably the world's leading researcher on global warming.  He's the head of NASA's top institute studying the climate.
Mary / The Left Coaster:
Global Warming is a Terrible Danger for Humanity
Discussion: Pacific Views
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn  —  BALTIMORE — Black men in the United States face a far more dire situation than is portrayed by common employment and education statistics, a flurry of new scholarly studies warn, and it has worsened in recent years even as an economic boom …
Eli Lake / New York Sun:
David Duke Claims to Be Vindicated By a Harvard Dean  —  A paper recently co-authored by the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an "Israel lobby" is winning praise from white supremacist David Duke.
Anti-war protesters in SLC, elsewhere lament apathy  —  By the time the war protesters began their march Saturday morning in Salt Lake City, only about 50 people had gathered.  Their numbers had swelled to about 200 by noon - and that was with a little high-tech help from a marcher who text-messaged friends to join him.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Bush Approval Steady at 37%  —  Bush has averaged 38% over last four Gallup Polls  —  PRINCETON, NJ — There has been little change in George W. Bush's job approval rating in the last week.  The March 13-16 Gallup Poll pegs his approval at 37%.  This rating is virtually unchanged …
'Iraq was awash in cash.  We played football with bricks of $100 bills'  —  At the beginning of the Iraq war, the UN entrusted $23bn of Iraqi money to the US-led coalition to redevelop the country.  With the infrastructure of the country still in ruins, where has all that money gone?
USA Today:
Deaths fall for U.S., rise for Iraqis  —  BAGHDAD — U.S. military deaths during the past month have dropped to an average of about one a day, approaching the lowest level since the insurgency began two years ago, according to a USA TODAY analysis of U.S. military data.
John Fund / Opinion Journal:
Sayed and de Man at Yale  —  The campus that ran off a Nazi propagandist today welcomes one from the Taliban.  —  Three weeks after the New York Times revealed that former Taliban official Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi is attending classes at Yale, many at the university still have little to say about the controversy.
Discussion: Dinocrat, Roger L. Simon and Solomonia
OBL Sought 'Joint Operations' with Saddam  —  An Iraqi intelligence document released last week indicates that Osama bin Laden sought to conduct "joint operations" with Saddam Hussein's regime six years before the 9/11 attacks - and was given the green light by the Iraqi dictator.
Doug / Below The Beltway:
RINO Sightings March 20th Edition  —  Good morning and welcome to the March 20, 2006 edition of RINO Sightings.  This is my first time hosting the sightings and I've got to say thank you go everyone who contributed and for the opportunity to host this week's carnival.  Now, let's get started.
Discussion: Classical Values
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 More Items: 
Greg Harkin / Independent:
Congress probes 'IoS' revelations on IRA link to Iraq
I'm a Leftist  —  A reader writes: … So let's recap …
W. Thomas Smith, Jr /
Spinning Operation Swarmer
Defining protectionism down
Andrew Pollack / New York Times:
Justices Reach Out to Consider Patent Case
Discussion: SCOTUSblog, ACSBlog and Hit and Run
Shaila Dewan / New York Times:
Behind Louisiana Aid Package, a Change of Heart by One Man
Discussion: Norwegianity
Jimmy's Corner:
He thought it was stylish!  —  Wherever you walk in Cairo …
Dean / Dean's World:
Iraq Update  —  The Iraq operation follows a sadly predictable pattern.
 Earlier Items: 
Laurie J. Flynn / New York Times:
Amazon Says Technology, Not Ideology, Skewed Results
William Saletan / Washington Post:
Curse of the Young Old
Discussion: EconLog
Brian E. Crowley / Palm Beach Post:
Harris tells Christian group she believes God wants her in public service
Oliver Kamm:
Chomsky, The Guardian and Bosnia
Angela Charlton / Associated Press:
French Police Subdue Riots Over Jobs Law
Discussion: Big Lizards and Power Line
Matthew Schofield / Knight Ridder:
Iraqi police report details civilians' deaths at hands of U.S. troops
Discussion: TalkLeft and Needlenose
Times of London:
Women at war with the mullahs