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11:40 AM ET, December 15, 2006


 Top Items: 
Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war  —  The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
The full transcript of evidence given to the Butler inquiry  —  Supplementary evidence submitted by Mr Carne Ross, Director, Independent Diplomat  —  I am in the Senior Management Structure of the FCO, currently seconded to the UN in Kosovo.  I was First Secretary in the UK Mission …
Discussion: The Liberal Avenger
David Corn:   More Evidence of a Cooked-Up Case for War
Cernig / NewsHog:   British Intelligence Knew There Were No WMD's In Iraq
Washington Post:
Rice Rejects Overture To Iran And Syria  —  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday rejected a bipartisan panel's recommendation that the United States seek the help of Syria and Iran in Iraq, saying the "compensation" required by any deal might be too high.
Charles Krauthammer /
What did the Iraq Study Group tell us?  —  As a result of the Iraq Study Group, President Bush has been given one last chance to alter course on Iraq.  This did not, however, come about the way James Baker intended.  It came about because the long-anticipated report turned out to be such a widely agreed-upon farce.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Ill Senator Is Called Responsive; Capital Is Riveted  —  Senator Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, was said to be in critical condition but "responsive" Thursday after an operation to stop bleeding in his brain, and Democrats declared that his condition would not imperil the narrow majority …
Wall Street Journal:   What the Fate of Johnson's Seat May Portend
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Senate Democrat Called 'Responsive' After Surgery
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Castro Near Death, U.S. Intelligence Chief Says  —  Cuban President Fidel Castro is very ill and close to death, Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte said yesterday.  —  "Everything we see indicates it will not be much longer . . . months, not years," Negroponte told a meeting of Washington Post editors and reporters.
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
General Says Army Will Need To Grow  —  Iraq and Afghanistan Are Straining the Force, Chief of Staff Warns  —  Warning that the active-duty Army "will break" under the strain of today's war-zone rotations, the nation's top Army general yesterday called for expanding the force by 7,000 …
Discussion: toohotfortnr and Political Animal
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:
Army moves to reduce strain on troops
Jonathan E. Kaplan / The Hill:
C-SPAN presses Pelosi on transparency  —  Noting that Democrats have pledged to increase transparency and accountability in government, C-SPAN Thursday called on House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to give television viewers the same real-time access to views of the House floor as anyone sitting in the gallery would have.
Discussion: CNN
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
House Democrats Planning New Intelligence Oversight
Discussion: Washington Post
Peggy Noonan / Opinion Journal:
'The Man From Nowhere'  —  What does Barack Obama believe in?  —  We are getting very excited.  Barack Obama is brilliant, eloquent and fresh.  He is "exciting" (David Brooks), "charming" (Bob Schieffer), "my favorite guy" (Oprah Winfrey), has "charisma" (Donna Brazile), and should run now for president (George Will).
Discussion: The Heretik, Hyscience, TIME and Althouse
Judith Kohler / Casper Star Tribune:
Is Denver ready to turn blue?  —  DENVER — This one-time cow town at the foot of the Rockies is two time zones and 1,500 miles away from the power centers of New York and Washington, but city and state officials say it can handle the demands of 35,000 visitors and the intense spotlight …
Discussion: The Corner and Matthew Yglesias
Getting Serious About Iran: A Military Option  —  By Arthur Herman From issue: November 2006  —  As the impasse over Iran's nuclear-weapons program grows inexorably into a crisis, a kind of consensus has taken root in the minds of America's foreign-policy elite.
Discussion: The Corner
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:
Today's Rationale?  —  Nine days until Christmas...and Mommy just got dragged away in handcuffs for a bunch of show arrests.  Nice.  —  The shifting rationale for the ICE raids on the Swift Meatpacking plants is making me very peeved.  What began as a "raid on illegal immigrants" …
Discussion: Denver Post
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Run Now, Obama  —  New Hampshire was recently brightened by the presence of Barack Obama, 45, who, calling the fuss about him "baffling," made his first trip in 45 years to that state, and not under duress.  Because he is young, is just two years distant from a brief career as a state legislator …
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Death Sentences Decline, and Experts Offer Reasons  —  The number of death sentences in the United States has dropped to its lowest level in decades, according to recent studies, including one released Thursday that predicts the trend will continue because of publicity about cases in which people are wrongly accused of crimes.
Hindrocket / Power Line:
MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY BE SO BOLD...  Most of our readers know the story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain at Gettysburg.  Ordered to hold Little Round Top at all costs, Chamberlain's 20th Maine fended off one attack after another.  Finally, Chamberlain's men were nearly out of ammunition …
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Team EJ, Baghdad
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Laura Mansnerus / New York Times:
New Jersey Legislature Votes to Allow Civil Unions
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Tim Weiner / New York Times:
Ahmet Ertegun, Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies
Discussion: Reason Magazine and Blinq
Michelle Malkin:
Reuters pictures of the year; Plus: lessons for AP
Scott Helman / Boston Globe:
Romney masters the slip
Discussion: The Caucus
Marilynn Marchione / Associated Press:
U.S. Breast Cancer Rate Falls
Discussion: TigerHawk
Warren Hoge / New York Times:
New U.N. Leader Is Sworn in and Promises to Rebuild Trust
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Obama: Not 'the un-Hillary'  —  On the cusp of a historic decision …
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
U.S. Is Dropping Effort to Track if Visitors Leave
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and The Swamp
James Rainey / Los Angeles Times:
Geffen's offer for The Times: $2 billion
Discussion: and Gawker
MoDo and Barack Hussein Odumbo
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE :: Bring Ahmadinejad to Justice!!
'National interest' halts arms corruption inquiry
Yeas and Nays: Thursday, Dec. 14
Discussion: Attytood and Extreme Mortman
Alex Hutchinson / Popular Mechanics:
10 Tech Concepts You Need to Know for 2007
Political Radar:
Bush's First Comments on Cheney Grandchild