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2:15 PM ET, December 15, 2006


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
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
Discussion: The Liberal Avenger
Scott Macleod / Time:
Ahmadinejad's Ambitions  —  In an exclusive interview, the Iranian President — and Person of the Year candidate — discusses his conference questioning the Holocaust, his letter to the American people and the state of his nuclear plans  —  On Wednesday evening I sat down with Iranian …
Discussion: Tom DeLay Blog and Sound Politics
Poll: Arab attitudes toward U.S. more negative
Discussion: Neocon Express
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.
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 …
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: Hullabaloo and Talking Points Memo
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.
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
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 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
Political Radar:
Bush's First Comments on Cheney Grandchild  —  ABC News' Karen Travers Reports: The President and First Lady sat down last week for their annual interview with People featured in their end-of-year issue now on newsstands.  (Note: The Bush's did not get the cover; that honor went …
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.
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
Ali Waked / Ynetnews:
Hamas: Abbas declared war on Allah  —  Chairman of Hamas faction in parliament slams Palestinian president during mass Gaza rally, warns his movement will strike 'with an iron fist' those who hurt its members.  Meanwhile, escalating tensions in Palestinian Authority deteriorate into gunbattles in streets - 20 people reported wounded
Discussion: Hot Air, Pajamas Media and Soccer Dad
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 More Items: 
John Dickerson / Slate:
John F. Burns / New York Times:
Military Considers Sending as Many as 35,000 More U.S. Troops to Iraq, McCain Says
Discussion: The Horse's Mouth
Brian C. Ledbetter / snapped shot:
The Religion of Peace (and child abuse)
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
Atrios / Eschaton:
Simple Answers to Simple Questions
Daniel Henninger / Opinion Journal:
Comedy Goes Clean
Tim Weiner / New York Times:
Ahmet Ertegun, Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies
Discussion: Reason Magazine and Blinq
 Earlier Items: 
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
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
General Says Army Will Need To Grow
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Death Sentences Decline, and Experts Offer Reasons
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE :: Bring Ahmadinejad to Justice!!
'National interest' halts arms corruption inquiry
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Run Now, Obama  —  New Hampshire was recently brightened …