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1:55 PM ET, December 2, 2006


 Top Items: 
Diana West / Washington Times:
Saudi-Iranian rift?  —  Did anybody really need a leaked memo from the National Security Agency to figure out that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is incapable of stopping the carnage in Iraq?  Given that his political power depends on factions allied with Shi'ite militias behind much of the carnage …
"Realism" and the containment of Iran  —  Paul Mirengoff has a rather good short post this morning about the prospects for the containment of Iran via regional proxies. … West's column, which bears the silly headline "Saudi-Iranian rift?" (as if there has ever not been one) …
Deacon / Power Line:
A GRAND BARGAIN WITH IRAN OR A MINI-BARGAIN WITH THE SAUDIS?  —  Even with all of the recent talk about foreign policy "realism," one of the major tenets of leading realists (George F. Kennan and Hans Morgenthau come to mind) has gone largely ignored.  Most realists subscribe to the view …
Patrick Condon / Associated Press:
Muslims Seek Prayer Room at Airport  —  Airport officials said Friday they will consider setting aside a private area for prayer and meditation at the request of imams concerned about the removal of six Muslim clerics from a US Airways flight last week.  —  Steve Wareham, director …
Discussion: Hyscience
Pajamas Media:
THE FAKING IMAMS — Pajamas Media Exclusive: Police Report, Passenger Reveals That Flying Imams Were Up to No Good  —  THE FAKING IMAMS — PAJAMAS MEDIA EXCLUSIVE: POLICE REPORT, PASSENGER REVEALS THAT FLYING IMAMS WERE UP TO NO GOOD  —  The Now Notorious Flying Imams Claim Their Only Crime Was …
Weekly Standard:
A Perfect Failure  —  The Iraq Study Group has reached a consensus.  —  In the frenzied final week of the Iraq Study Group's deliberations, co-chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton took time out to pose for a photo spread for a fashion magazine, Men's Vogue.
Discussion: Andrew Sullivan and The Corner
Marc Sandalow / San Francisco Chronicle:
Best not to take Bush too literally
Eric Foner / Washington Post:
He's The Worst Ever  —  Ever since 1948, when Harvard professor Arthur Schlesinger Sr. asked 55 historians to rank U.S. presidents on a scale from "great" to "failure," such polls have been a favorite pastime for those of us who study the American past.  —  Changes in presidential rankings reflect shifts in how we view history.
Washington Post:
GSA Chief Seeks to Cut Budget For Audits  —  The new chief of the U.S. General Services Administration is trying to limit the ability of the agency's inspector general to audit contracts for fraud or waste and has said oversight efforts are intimidating the workforce, according to government documents and interviews.
Michael J. Sniffen / ABCNEWS:
U.S. Gov't Terror Ratings Draw Outrage  —  Lawmakers and Businessmen Object to Terrorist Screening of American, International Travelers  —  A leader of the new Democratic Congress, business travelers and privacy advocates expressed outrage Friday over the unannounced assignment …
Kevin Drum / Political Animal:
YOU ARE BEING WATCHED....You swat down one data mining project …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Times of London:
Poison plotters claim their second victim  —  Police fear that the murder of a former Kremlin spy may have been part of a double killing plot after a second man was taken to hospital last night with radiation poisoning.  —  The Anti-Terror Group is examining whether the killers …
TRex / Firedoglake:
"Weaponized" Polonium-210 and What It May Mean
Discussion: Larisa Alexandrovna's … and NPR
AJStrata / The Strata-Sphere:   AJStrata's Litvinenko Theory
Patricia Leigh Brown / New York Times:
Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn't Clear  —  Until recently, many children who did not conform to gender norms in their clothing or behavior and identified intensely with the opposite sex were steered to psychoanalysis or behavior modification.  —  But as advocates gain ground …
Discussion: Big Brass Blog and Unfogged
Boston Globe:
Romney's lawn firm draws new scrutiny  —  Massport, Chelsea eye workers' legal status  —  Two public agencies said yesterday they are reconsidering their relationship with a landscaping company following a Globe story yesterday reporting that illegal immigrants were employed by the company …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters and AMERICAblog
Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report:
Forcing broadcasters to check for accuracy  —  There's no doubt that Harold Ford was the victim of some pretty scurrilous ads this year during his Senate campaign in Tennessee.  And I really don't blame him for wanting to do something to improve the system/process that allows dishonest ads to intentionally mislead the public.
Discussion: Washington Wire and Angry Bear
Julian Borger / Guardian:
Corruption: the 'second insurgency' costing $4bn a year  —  One third of rebuilding contracts under criminal investigation  —  The Iraqi government is in danger of being brought down by the wholesale smuggling of the nation's oil and other forms of corruption that together represent a …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Lyndsey Layton / Washington Post:
Out Go the Congressmen, Down Come the Plaques  —  Most of the Capitol was quieted by the lull of recess this week, but there was a certain frenzy in Room 2466 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  Inside, seven staff members employed for 34 more days by outgoing Rep. Curt Weldon were filling …
Nayla Razzouk / The Australian:
Anti-government protest swamps Beirut  —  A SEA of protesters swamped Beirut overnight in a mass outpouring led by the Shiite group Hezbollah which then set up camp around the premier's office to call for his Western-backed government to resign.  —  Brandishing Lebanese flags and white banners reading …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
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 More Items: 
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Afghanistan Opium Crop Sets Record
Discussion: Inactivist
Robert Fisk: Like Hitler and Brezhnev, Bush is in denial
Media Matters for America:
Hannity suggested use of Quran in representative's swearing-in same …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Kimsch / The Anchoress:
Trading a Baby for a Sony PS3?
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
Opinion Journal:
Sore Winners  —  Democrats try to steal an election in Florida.
Tim Lynch / Cato-at-liberty:
Double Standards and Police Shootings
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Mary Katharine Ham / Blog's TownHall Blog:
Friday Night HamNation: Celebrating Leftivus!
Tristero / Hullabaloo:
On Not Leaving Well Enough Alone
 Earlier Items: 
Deepak Chopra / The Huffington Post:
The God Delusion? Part 6
Discussion: Pharyngula
David Selbourne / Spectator:
Apocalypse on the US blogosphere
Discussion: Jihad Watch and snapped shot
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Movie Review: The Nativity Story
Christine Clarridge / Seattle Times:
Well-known GOP activist held in sex-predator sting
David Morgan / Reuters:
W.House will defy Democrats on security: Republican
Associated Press:
Phoenix Airport to Test X-Ray Screening
Discussion: Althouse
Arnold Kling / TCS Daily:
Education and Entrepreneurship
Walter Olson / Times of London:
US markets must 'learn from London'
Discussion: TigerHawk and PointOfLaw Forum

From Techmeme:

Wall Street Journal:
Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads, Signal, and Telegram from its App Store in China, after orders from the country's regulators citing national security concerns

Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Sources: EU may accept Apple's proposal to open its NFC payments tech to rivals, and may close its antitrust probe in May, letting Apple avoid hefty fines

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Hacking group GhostR claims it stole 5.3M records from World-Check screening database, used for KYC checks for sanctions and financial crime links, in March

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