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2:00 PM ET, June 23, 2006


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Bank Data Sifted in Secret by U.S. to Block Terror  —  WASHINGTON, June 22 — Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking …
Indictment: Suspects wanted to 'kill all the devils we can'  —  Terror plot targeted Chicago's Sears Tower  —  MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — A federal indictment against seven men revealed Friday details of what the government said was a plan intended to "kill all the devils we can."
Justin Bachman / Associated Press:
Media Refuses to Hold Surveillance Story  —  The Bush administration and The New York Times are again at odds over national security, this time with new reports of a broad government effort to track global financial transfers.  —  The newspaper, which in December broke news of an effort …
Washington Post:
Bank Records Secretly Tapped  —  Administration Began Using Global Database Shortly After 2001 Attacks  —  The Bush administration, relying on a presidential declaration of emergency, has secretly been tapping into a vast global database of confidential financial transactions for nearly five years …
Los Angeles Times:
U.S. Mining Bank Transfer Data in Anti-Terror Effort  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. government, without the knowledge of many banks and their customers, has engaged for years in a secret effort to track terrorist financing by reviewing confidential information on transfers of money between banks worldwide.
Associated Press:   U.S. Gets Access to Worldwide Banking Data
Times of London:
Peace deal offers Iraq insurgents an amnesty  —  From Ned Parker in Baghdad and Tom Baldwin  —  THE Iraqi Government will announce a sweeping peace plan as early as Sunday in a last-ditch effort to end the Sunni insurgency that has taken the country to the brink of civil war.
Philip Shenon / New York Times:
Senate Report Lists Lobbyist's Payments to Ex-Leader of Christian Coalition  —  WASHINGTON, June 22 — A bipartisan Senate report released on Thursday documented more than $5.3 million in payments to Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition and a leading Republican Party strategist …
Discussion: Washington Post and AMERICAblog
Jim Galloway / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Report wraps up over Reed, tribes
Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press:
State of emergency declared in Baghdad  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Friday after insurgents set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and fired on U.S. and Iraqi troops outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.
Discussion: The Left Coaster and Media Needle
CNN:   Bombing at Iraq mosque kills 9
Julian Borger / Guardian:
Poll shows Muslims in Britain are the most anti-western in Europe  —  Public opinion in Britain is mostly favourable towards Muslims, but the feeling is not requited by British Muslims, who are among the most embittered in the western world, according to a global poll published yesterday.
Richard Morin / Washington Post:
Jon Stewart, Enemy of Democracy?  —  This is not funny: Jon Stewart and his hit Comedy Central cable show may be poisoning democracy.  —  Two political scientists found that young people who watch Stewart's faux news program, "The Daily Show," develop cynical views about politics and politicians …
Lee Siegel / The New Republic:
BLOG THIS:  —  In response to Jason Zengerle's most recent post on The Plank—"Hope you're not tired of this Kos stuff"—no, I for one am definitely not tired of Zengerle's artful and honest exposure of someone who, more and more, seems to represent the purest, most classical strain of hypocrisy.
Hotline On Call:
From Wake Up Call: St. Pete Times's Rove/Satan Story  — According to this St. Petersburg Times story, saved here for posterity, "Karl Rove said that he would be plotting the Republican Party's fall election strategy with his longtime comrade-in-arms, Satan."
White House:
President's Remarks to the People of Hungary  —  THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.  Yo napote kivanok.  (Applause.)  Thank you for your warm welcome.  I first want to thank the President for his gracious hospitality and the chance to visit Sandor Palace.  It's a beautiful site, and I know you're proud of it.
David Boaz / Cato-at-liberty:
Hillary and the Candlemakers: Not a Parody  —  One of the most famous documents in the history of free-trade literature is Bastiat's famous "Candlemakers' Petition."  In that parody, the French economist and parliamentarian imagined the makers of candles and street lamps petitioning …
Discussion: The RCP Blog
Thomas E. Ricks / Washington Post:
General Reports Spike in Iranian Activity in Iraq  —  Iranian support for extremists inside Iraq has shown a "noticeable increase" this year, with Tehran's special forces providing weapons and bomb training to anti-U.S. groups, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said yesterday.
Scott Shane / New York Times:
For Diehards, Search for Iraq's W.M.D. Isn't Over  —  WASHINGTON, June 22 — The United States government abandoned the search for unconventional weapons in Iraq long ago.  But Dave Gaubatz has never given up.  —  Mr. Gaubatz, an earnest, Arabic-speaking investigator who spent the first months …
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 More Items: 
William M. Arkin / Early Warning:
Defining WMD
Charles Krauthammer / Real Clear Politics:
Why I Love Australia  —  WASHINGTON — In the Australian House …
John O'Neil / New York Times:
Seven Are Charged With Plot to Blow Up Sears Tower
Discussion: The Heretik and AGITPROP
Jack Kelly / Real Clear Politics:
Iraq, Vietnam, the MSM & Dan Rather
Discussion: Dr. Sanity and PrairiePundit
Bill Gertz / Washington Times:
Ex-DIA analyst admits passing secrets to China
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Donald Lambro / Washington Times:
Push to leave Iraq hurts Democrats?
Gateway Pundit:
What if You Held a Gitmo Protest & Nobody Came?
 Earlier Items: 
Dan / Riehl World View:
Why The Netroots Movement Will Fail
Discussion: RedState and Baseball Crank
Don Wycliff / Chicago Tribune:
The impenetrable fog of Bill O'Reilly
Austan Goolsbee / New York Times:
Legislate Learning English? If Only It Were So Easy
Jonah Goldberg / Los Angeles Times:
The Web's yellow DNA
Amir Taheri / Jerusalem Post:
Eye of the Storm: Kuwait makes history
Stephen Brook / Guardian:
Huffington Post blogger blocked
Discussion: Dr. Peter Rost and BuzzMachine