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1:25 PM ET, December 15, 2006

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
Charles Krauthammer / Townhall.com:
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
Real Cities:
Bush weighing deeper commitment in Iraq, officials say
Discussion: TPMmuckraker
Independent:
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.
RELATED:
Independent:
The full transcript of evidence given to the Butler inquiry
Discussion: The Liberal Avenger
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 …
RELATED:
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Of Johnson and the Senate  —  News coverage of Senator Tim …
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.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
White House Upset by Senator's Trip to Syria  —  The White House said Thursday that a Democratic senator's meeting with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was inappropriate and undermined democracy in the region, while three more senators, including a Republican, made plans to visit Damascus in defiance of President Bush.
Discussion: Think Progress and AMERICAblog
RELATED:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
What Syria Would Say  —  DAMASCUS, Syria — What positions …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Commentary:
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.
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
Spencer Ackerman / American Prospect:
Final Fantasy  —  Fred Kagan's disastrous plan for "victory" in Iraq.  —  There's a line from one of Johnny Cash's final songs that adequately sums up the new Iraq strategy proposal released yesterday by Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute.  Go tell that long tongue liar …
Discussion: Eschaton and Middle Earth Journal
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 and Latina Lista
Nadezhda / American Footprints:
Facts on the Ground  —  Reality keeps racing ahead of any of the options the Bush Administration might consider for Iraq.  Though both the ISG Report and the Adminstration throw cold water on a de jure partition strategy, even the soft Gelb-Biden version, the sectarian laundry that's …
Guardian:
'National interest' halts arms corruption inquiry  —  A major criminal investigation into alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and its executives was stopped in its tracks yesterday when the prime minister claimed it would endanger Britain's security if the inquiry was allowed to continue.
Discussion: The Next Hurrah and AMERICAblog
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
Raf Casert / Associated Press:
Belgium splits up?  TV hoax is decried  —  BRUSSELS — Suddenly and shockingly, Belgium came to an end.  —  State television broke into regular programming late Wednesday with an urgent bulletin: The Dutch-speaking half of the country had declared independence and the king and queen had fled.
Reuters:
Smart children "more likely to become vegetarians"  —  LONDON (Reuters) - Children with high IQs are more likely to be vegetarians when they grow up, according to research reported on Friday.  —  A British study of more them 8,000 men and women aged 30 whose IQs had been measured when they were 10 …
Discussion: Ezra Klein
Daniel Henninger / Opinion Journal:
Comedy Goes Clean  —  The F-word finally falls from favor.  —  The most positive trend of 2006 (surely there had to be one) was described in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month by Jeff Zaslow in a piece titled, "Comedy Comes Clean."  Notwithstanding the fact that the movie "Borat" …
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
A War Bush Wouldn't Pay For
Discussion: The Mahablog
Sonny Bunch / Weekly Standard:
Brutally Honest  —  The multicultural set doesn't like Mel Gibson's …
Discussion: OxBlog
Alister Doyle / Reuters:
Oceans may rise over 4 1/2 feet by 2100
Sam Rosenfeld / TAPPED:
MYTHS ABOUT HILLARY.  The new Washington Post-ABC News poll …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and TIME
MSNBC:
Poll: Arab attitudes toward U.S. more negative
Discussion: Neocon Express
Atrios / Eschaton:
Simple Answers to Simple Questions
Scott Macleod / Time:
Ahmadinejad's Ambitions
Ali Waked / Ynetnews:
Hamas: Abbas declared war on Allah
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Weiner / New York Times:
Ahmet Ertegun, Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies
Discussion: Reason Magazine and Blinq
Len Lazarick / Examiner:
Ehrlich sees public speaking, campaigns in future
Discussion: Reason Magazine and The Caucus
Michelle Malkin:
Reuters pictures of the year; Plus: lessons for AP
New York Times:
U.S. Is Dropping Effort to Track if Visitors Leave
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and The Swamp
Jonathan E. Kaplan / The Hill:
C-SPAN presses Pelosi on transparency
Discussion: CNN and Don Surber
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Death Sentences Decline, and Experts Offer Reasons
onejerusalem.org:
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE :: Bring Ahmadinejad to Justice!!
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Run Now, Obama  —  New Hampshire was recently brightened …