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5:50 PM ET, December 14, 2006

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Sen. Johnson in Critical Condition After Surgery  —  Control of Chamber Could Be in Question if He Cannot Serve  —  Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight after falling ill at the Capitol and was in critical condition early this morning, introducing a note …
RELATED:
Judd / Think Progress:
Fox News Speculates How Officials Could 'Declare' Sen. Johnson 'Incapacitated'  —  Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is at George Washington University hospital, recovering from brain surgery.  —  Meanwhile, Fox News is speculating how the balance of power could shift in the Senate, even if Sen. Johnson survived.
CBS News:
Should Johnson be unable to continue to serve, it could halt the scheduled Democratic takeover of the Senate.  Democrats won a 51-49 majority in the November election.  —  (CBS/AP) Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was hospitalized and underwent surgery late Wednesday …
Associated Press:
Minus Johnson, Senate would split 50-50
Discussion: MyDD and Daily Kos
Richard Esposito Reports / The Blotter:
Terror Fears as Blind Sheikh Faces 'Medical Emergency'  —  Richard Esposito Reports:  —  The imprisoned al Qaeda spiritual leader known as the "Blind Sheikh" suffered a "medical emergency" at the Springfield federal prison last week, and the FBI is warning his death could lead al Qaeda …
RELATED:
Kelli Arena / CNN:
FBI: Jailed cleric's illness triggers al Qaeda attack fears … WASHINGTON (CNN) — The imprisoned blind cleric who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center bombing has been hospitalized, raising fears of new attacks if he dies in U.S. custody, the FBI said in a bulletin.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Shakespeare's Sister
Michelle Malkin:
Looking for Jamil Hussein: Accepting Eason Jordan's invitation  —  My new travel partner?  —  Eason Jordan reports on his new website, Iraqslogger, that his team is in Baghdad looking for Jamil Hussein.  They have not found him yet—which is newsworthy in itself—and get this …
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Jonah Goldberg / Los Angeles Times:
Iraq needs a Pinochet  —  The general was no saint, but he's a better model to follow than Castro.  —  I THINK ALL intelligent, patriotic and informed people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto Pinochet.  In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi Castro.
RELATED:
Kevin Drum / Political Animal:
The idea that evil is permissible as long as it is used to advance the greater good will always be with us.  Without it, war, religion, and the nation-state would cease to exist.  Most of the philosophy underpinning human civilization would likely cease to exist as well.
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Hamdan's case dismissed, but new Act may be partly invalid  —  U.S. District Judge James Robertson, in a mixed ruling on constitutional and statutory law, ruled on Wednesday that Congress had not validly suspended the historic "writ of habeas corpus" in the new Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Discussion: ACSBlog and TAPPED
RELATED:
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Judge Rejects Detention Challenge of Bin Laden's Driver
Discussion: Captain's Quarters and GINA COBB
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
A judicial victory for the Leader
Discussion: TalkLeft and SCOTUSblog
John Harwood / Wall Street Journal:
War-Weary Public Wants Congress to Lead  —  Poll Shows Desire for Lawmakers to Set Policy  —  Amid Growing Dismay Over Iraq, President Bush  —  WASHINGTON — Falling public support for the war in Iraq has weakened President Bush's political hand across the board, bolstering the clout …
RELATED:
Judd / Think Progress:
Laura Bush Slams Media For Ignoring Good News In Iraq
Des Moines Register:
Edwards leads in poll of likely caucusgoers  —  Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is in fourth place; Sen. Hillary Clinton is second.  —  Washington, D.C. - John Edwards came out far ahead of the rest of the pack of possible Democratic presidential candidates in a poll of Iowa Democrats conducted …
RELATED:
John Distaso / New Hampshire Union Leader:
Granite Status: More than one Dem eyeing 2008 Senate primary
Examiner:
Jeralyn Merrit: Homeland Security's immigration raids ran amok  —  WASHINGTON - Tuesday's immmigration raids made me recoil in horror.  —  A thousand federal agents swooped down on six meat-packing plants across the country and detained more than 1,200 people.
Discussion: TalkLeft
RELATED:
Thomas Wagner / Associated Press:
McCain: Deploy More Troops to Iraq  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq — Sen. John McCain said Thursday that America should to deploy 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to Iraq to control its sectarian violence, and give moderate Iraqi politicians the stability they need to take the country in the right direction.
Discussion: Firedoglake and Eschaton
RELATED:
Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press:
Police: Gunmen kidnap dozens in Baghdad
Discussion: AMERICAblog
Eli Lake / New York Sun:
Chalabi Emerges In Damascus On Peace Quest  —  WASHINGTON — A little-noticed visit by Ahmad Chalabi to Syria is igniting speculation that the former Iraqi exile leader is emerging as a key channel between Damascus and Washington.  —  After a weekend meeting with the Syrian foreign minister …
Salah Nasrawi / Associated Press:
Saudi Royal Family, Gov't Split on Iraq  —  AP Photo NY118  —  CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Saudi Arabia's royal family and government leaders are deeply divided over how to handle the growing crisis in Iraq and other looming Mideast problems like Iran, with some favoring strong aid to fellow Sunnis and others more cautious.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Romney Recants  —  Everything he said in the 1990s is now to be dismissed.  He was once for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; now he's against it.  He was once for domestic partnerships for gays; now he's against them.  He was once for ending the ban on gays in the military; now he's for keeping it.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Plan to Take Control of Iraq Spending  —  Frustrated by the Bush administration's piecemeal financing of the Iraq war, Democrats are planning to assert more control over the billions of dollars a month being spent on the conflict when they take charge of Congress in January.
BBC:
Blogging 'set to peak next year'  —  The blogging phenomenon is set to peak in 2007, according to technology predictions by analysts Gartner.  —  The analysts said that during the middle of next year the number of blogs will level out at about 100 million.
Discussion: FP Passport
democraticunderground.com:
A message from the DU admins: Please stop posting baseless conspiracy stuff about Senator Johnson.  —  Skinner ADMIN (1000+ posts)  —  A message from the DU admins: Please stop posting baseless conspiracy stuff about Senator Johnson.  —  I have instructed the mods to lock or delete …
Discussion: NewsBusters.org and Daimnation!
William Beutler / Blog P.I.:
Oppo Knocks?  —  Anybody who watched the Virginia Senate race this year knows that Senator-elect Jim Webb ran a savvy Internet campaign.  He hired bloggers, leveraged YouTube, played bloggers and the press off each other and off soon-to-be former Sen. George Allen.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Strib columnist: Flying imams stunt a ploy to get anti-profiling bill passed  —  Really?  Piece this out for me: CAIR allegedly wants to engineer an incident it can sell to the public as evidence of discrimination and get the End Racial Profiling Act pushed through — and for the task …
Justin Logan / Cato-at-liberty:
Neocons Want a Mulligan on Iraq  —  And, it appears, President Bush may give it to them.  The LA Times reports: … This strategy faces a few obstacles, though.  First: … Indeed.  This echoes this recent USA Today/Gallup poll which revealed that 57% of Americans want U.S. troops out of Iraq within one year.
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
John McCain's War On Blogs?  —  Amanda Terkel has a scary post detailing what she terms "John McCain's War On Blogs." … That certainly sounds intrusive and unnecessary.  —  Looking into the matter-using links Amanda provided-I'm a bit puzzled.  The legislation is entitled …
 
 
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 More Items: 
White House:
Press Briefing by Tony Snow
Discussion: The Caucus
The Hill:
Transcript of The Hill's interview with former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)
Michael Kunzelman / Associated Press:
Dinner with La. gov. goes $1 at auction
Felicia R. Lee / New York Times:
Columnist Accuses Crichton of 'Literary Hit-and-Run'
Joe Stephens / Washington Post:
520 Breaks for Select Companies Added to Tax Bill
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel J. Solove / Concurring Opinions:
A Guide to Grading Exams
BBC:
World's tallest man saves dolphin
Discussion: Althouse
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
U.S. Gets Subpoena to Force ACLU to Return Leaked Memo
Washington Post:
Joint Chiefs Advise Change In War Strategy