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4:30 PM ET, December 18, 2006


 Top Items: 
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Ahmadinejad in electoral setback  —  The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of Iran faced electoral embarrassment today after the apparent failure of his supporters to win control of key local councils and block the political comeback of his most powerful opponent.
John Fund / Opinion Journal:
Not So Fast  —  Why Barack Obama may not run.  —  Just about everybody seems convinced that Sen. Barack Obama is going to run for president.  The Chicago Sun-Times, his hometown paper, is writing as if his candidacy is an established fact.  Newsweek magazine cites sources close to him who claim that he's …
Jonathan Alter / Newsweek:
Is America Ready?  —  Hillary's hair and hemline won't be issues; her tough national-security approach and famous husband will.  —  It felt like the twilight zone in New Hampshire.  The calendar still read 2006, but everything about the surging crowd of 1,500 pumped-up Democrats and 160 ravenous political reporters screamed 2008.
Greg Gutfeld / The Huffington Post:
The March to Mecca  —  HELLO EVERYONE.  I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but I've been very busy working on my book and television and web projects.  However, after receiving this press release from the Huffington Post, I had no choice but to return.
White House:
Press Briefing by Tony Snow  —  White House Conference Center Briefing Room  —  MR. SNOW: Hello, welcome.  I'm ready for questions.  —  Q Now that you've had a chance to hear more about the NSC meeting today, is there anything you can share with us?  —  MR. SNOW: It's just a situational briefing.
Discussion: Bring it On!
Tina Kelley / New York Times:
Talk in Class Turns to God, Setting Off Public Debate on Rights  —  KEARNY, N.J. — Before David Paszkiewicz got to teach his accelerated 11th-grade history class about the United States Constitution this fall, he was accused of violating it.  —  Shortly after school began in September …
Silvia Spring / Newsweek:
Blood and Money  —  In what might be called the mother of all surprises, Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places.  —  Newsweek International  —  It may sound unreal, given the daily images of carnage and chaos.  But for a certain plucky breed of businessmen, there's good money to be made in Iraq.
John Curran / Associated Press:
Vt. Woman Is an Unlikely Peace Activist … BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Meet the anti-war movement's newest folk hero: 69-year-old Rosemarie Jackowski, whose arrest during an anti-war protest has made her a cause celebre.  —  A prosecutor's plan to retry her for blocking traffic while protesting …
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Judith Regan's Attorney Vows 'War' As Sparks Fly Over Publisher's Firing  —  Even though Judith Regan made a book publishing mistake of epic proportions when she commissioned O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It," few in the book industry thought she would lose her job over the incident.
Michael Gerson / Newsweek:
The Republican Identity Crisis  —  It was a year of turmoil, of ferment and of hope, as the Iraq war dragged on, the Democrats seized Capitol Hill and the 2008 presidential race began in earnest.  NEWSWEEK's columnists look back—and peer forward at where the country is heading.
Eric Bailey / Los Angeles Times:
Pot is called biggest cash crop  —  The $35-billion market value of U.S.-grown cannabis tops that of such heartland staples as corn and hay, a marijuana activist says.  —  SACRAMENTO — For years, activists in the marijuana legalization movement have claimed that cannabis is America's biggest cash crop.
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
TEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR 17-YEAR-OLD WHO HAD CONSENSUAL ORAL SEX WITH 15-YEAR-OLD: The Georgia Supreme Court just upheld this.  The sentence strikes me as unduly harsh even on its own terms, but it seems especially unjustifiable given that:  —  The age of consent in Georgia is 16.
Washington Post:
Conservatives' Grip on Key Virginia Court Is at Risk  —  A growing list of vacancies on the federal appeals court in Richmond is heightening concern among Republicans that one of the nation's most conservative and influential courts could soon come under moderate or even liberal control, Republicans and legal scholars say.
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post: > Live Discussions  —  Howard Kurtz has been The Washington Post's media reporter since 1990.  He is also the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and the author of "Media Circus," "Hot Air," "Spin Cycle" and "The Fortune Tellers: Inside Wall Street's Game of Money, Media and Manipulation."
Discussion: FishBowlDC
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 More Items: 
Foreign Policy:
The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006
Discussion: Washington Wire
J. Max Robins / Broadcasting & Cable:
MSNBC's Olbermann Seeks Big Raise
Discussion: Romenesko
Armed Liberal / Winds of Change.NET:
These Are Not The Droids You Are Looking For...
Booman Tribune:
The Iraq Catch-22  —  Regardless of your feelings or beliefs …
Discussion: CorrenteWire
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Bush Admin: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us
jules crittenden:
If You Stand Up to Them, They Will Cave  —  George Bush has not yet engaged.
Andrew Bounds / Financial Times:
EU trade chief to reject 'green' tax plan
Discussion: Redstate and Reason Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Disney tells Santa clone ho-ho no
Sharon Behn / Washington Times:
Saudis report Shi'ite 'state' inside of Iraq
Damien Cave / New York Times:
For Congress: Telling Sunni From Shiite
Sarah El Deeb / Associated Press:
Gaza weapons smuggling flourishes
John Londregan / Weekly Standard:
Don't Cry for Pinochet  —  Chile succeeded despite him.
Mark Steyn / Chicago Sun Times:
And merry Xmas to you all  —  I passed through Shannon Airport in Ireland the other day.
New York Times:
After Bankruptcy Filing, Recriminations Fly at Air America