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12:15 PM ET, December 19, 2006


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
White House, Joint Chiefs At Odds on Adding Troops  —  The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.
Julian E. Barnes / Los Angeles Times:
Sadr Army is called top threat in Iraq  —  A Pentagon report cites the danger of the Shiite cleric's militia.  —  WASHINGTON — Armed militiamen affiliated with radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr pose the gravest danger to the security and stability of Iraq, surpassing Sunni Arab insurgents …
New York Times:
Attacks in Iraq at Record High, Pentagon Says  —  A Pentagon assessment of security conditions in Iraq concluded Monday that attacks against American and Iraqi targets had surged this summer and autumn to their highest level, and called violence by Shiite militants the most significant threat in Baghdad.
Pentagon: Militia more dangerous than al Qaeda in Iraq … WASHINGTON (CNN) — Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army has replaced al Qaeda in Iraq as "the most dangerous accelerant" of the sectarian violence plaguing Iraq for nearly a year, according to a Pentagon report.
Discussion: Centerfield
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Pentagon Cites Success Of Anti-U.S. Forces in Iraq
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Conservatives fear tax-increase deal  —  The Bush administration has sent signals since last month's elections that the president is prepared to accept some tax increases on upper-income families, worrying congressional Republicans and fiscal conservative watchdogs who say he will compromise …
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Ex-NSC Official Says White House Is Stifling His Criticism of Iran Policy
Discussion: Media Nation and War and Piece
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Senator Removes His Block on Federal Court Nominee  —  Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who blocked the confirmation of a woman to the federal bench because she attended a same-sex commitment ceremony for the daughter of her long-time neighbors, says he will now allow a vote on the nomination.
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Early Setback For Brownback
Discussion: Althouse
James Glanz / New York Times:
Iraq Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity  —  Over the past six months, Baghdad has been all but isolated electrically, Iraqi officials say, as insurgents have effectively won their battle to bring down critical high-voltage lines and cut off the capital from the major power plants to the north, south and west.
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
'The Real America,' Redefined  —  When a nation alters its philosophical direction and changes its assumptions, there is no press release to announce the shift, no news conference where The People declare that they have decided to move down a different path.
Discussion: TAPPED and
Dollar dropped in Iran asset move  —  Iran is to shift its foreign currency reserves from dollars to euros and use the euro for oil deals in response to US-led pressure on its economy.  —  In a widely expected move, Tehran said it would use the euro for all future commercial transactions overseas.
Discussion: NewsHog and The Agonist
David Axe / Popular Science:
Semper Fly: Marines in Space  —  A proposed suborbital space transport will put boots on the ground anywhere in the world in two hours or less.  But can it overcome huge technological—and political—hurdles?  —  As any battlefield commander will tell you, getting troops to the fight can be as difficult as winning it.
Discussion: Defense Tech
Zachary Coile / San Francisco Chronicle:
Pelosi seeks input from diverse array of confidants  —  (12-19) 04:00 PST Washington — All eyes in the capital are fixed on Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco as she prepares to be sworn in Jan. 4 as the nation's first female House speaker.  But less notice has been paid to the lawmakers …
Discussion: TIME
Associated Press:
'Islamophobia' on the rise in Europe, report says  —  Report cites attacks and discrimination  —  VIENNA: "Islamophobia" is on the rise across Europe, where many Muslims are menaced and misunderstood — some on a daily basis — the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia said Monday in a new report.
Libya sentences medics to death  —  A Libyan court has sentenced five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death for knowingly infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV.  —  The medics have been in detention since 1999, during which time 52 of the 426 infected children have died of Aids.
Discussion: Pharyngula and Polimom Says
Mark Tapscott / Examiner:
Pelosi preparing new shackles for free speech  —  WASHINGTON - Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cooked up with Public Citizen's Joan Claybrook a "lobbying reform" that actually protects rich special interests and activists millionaires while clamping new shackles on citizens …
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
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 More Items: 
Barry Arrested, Claims He Was Targeted
Shaila Dewan / New York Times:
Georgia Man Fights Conviction as Molester
Glenn Thrush / Newsday:
Poll: Hillary tops McCain, ties Rudy
USA Today:
Late filings 'chronic problem' in Congress
Washington Post:
Giuliani's Primary Hurdle
Salena Zito /
Unabashed, Santorum soldiers on
New York Times:
New Dispute Over Firing of Publisher
Susan Estrich / Fox News:
 Earlier Items: 
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Iraqi Ex-Minister Escapes Jail in Green Zone
Sandeep Nakai / Associated Press:
Runner Fails Gender Test, Loses Medal
Kate / FishBowlLA:
Joy Behar Likens Rumsfeld to Hitler, No One Asks Her How She Knows
Discussion: Redstate
Steve LeBlanc / Associated Press:
Romney against bias to gays despite opposition to gay marriage
Discussion: Lean Left and The Corner
David Johnston / New York Times:
U.S. Inquiry Falters on Civilians Accused of Abusing Detainees
Julie Wheldon / Daily Mail:
Jungle secrets: 52 new species found in Borneo's 'Lost World'
Corey Kilgannon / New York Times:
Please Let It Be Whale Vomit, Not Just Sea Junk
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Democrats leave Bono disappointed

From Mediagazer:

Matthew Keys / The Desk:
Federal prosecutors charge Marco Gaudino with one count of conspiracy for allegedly giving Tim Burke credentials to access systems used by Fox News and others

Aaron Fritschner / @fritschner:
[Thread] Uri Berliner's essay on NPR bias has significant problems, including verifiable falsehoods, flawed arguments, and questionable voter registration data

Dylan Byers / @dylanbyers:
Sources: former Disney TV chief Ben Sherwood and former Hearst Magazines exec Joanna Coles will buy a 49% stake in The Daily Beast; Barry Diller will retain 51%

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