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5:50 AM ET, December 20, 2006

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
Bush to Expand Size of Military  —  President Bush said today that he plans to expand the size of the U.S. military to meet the challenges of a long-term global war against terrorists, a response to warnings that sustained deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the armed forces to near the breaking point.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
President Bush on Iraq, Elections and Immigration  —  This 25-minute interview was conducted yesterday in the Oval Office by Washington Post staff writers Peter Baker, Michael A. Fletcher and Michael Abramowitz.  —  President Bush: Listen, a couple of things before we get going.
Dan Froomkin / Washington Post:
The Robert Gates Riddle  —  Will Defense Secretary Robert Gates be a voice of realism within the Bush administration?  Or will he bend his knee to the ideologues?  —  Gates offered hints to support both possibilities yesterday at his swearing-in ceremony.  But his true allegiance will soon be put to a very public test.
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Bush Sees 'Opportunities' on Social Security, Immigration  —  President Bush said yesterday that he intends to work with the new Democratic majority in Congress on a broad range of domestic issues, declaring that despite the impending power shift there are "some wonderful opportunities" …
Associated Press:
Bush plans to increase size of military
Discussion: konagod
Sen. Harry Reid / The Huffington Post:
The Clock is Ticking, Mr. President  —  Frankly, I don't believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq.  It's a civil war and America should not be policing a Sunni-Shia conflict.  In addition, we don't have the additional forces to put in there.  We obviously want to support what commanders …
RELATED:
Chris Bowers / MyDD:
Reid on the Surge  —  I assume there will be endless spleen about this post online:
Discussion: Eschaton
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Cheney to be defense witness in CIA case  —  WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney will be called to testify on behalf of his former chief of staff in the CIA leak case, defense attorneys said Tuesday, ending months of speculation over what would be historic testimony.
RELATED:
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:   BREAKING: Cheney On Libby Witness List
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case
Discussion: The Next Hurrah and Wonkette
baldilocks:
A Warning To The Right  —  I'm tired of it all.  —  I'm tired of the insinuations about Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) because his dead father was a Muslim.  I'm tired of the insinuations about his middle name—Hussein—and the racist/bigoted insinuations that I've seen on the Right that flow from there.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Reality check: 95 percent of Americans had premarital sex  —  NEW YORK (AP) — More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study.  The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.
Discussion: protein wisdom and TBogg
Salamander Davoudi / Financial Times:
UK report says robots will have rights  —  The next time you beat your keyboard in frustration, think of a day where it may be able to sue you for assault.  Within 50 years we might even find ourselves standing next to the next generation of vacuum cleaners in the voting booth.
Discussion: State of the Day
White House:
Press Briefing by Tony Snow  —  White House Conference Center Briefing Room  —  MR. SNOW: Before we begin the questions, just a couple of comments on bill signings today, and then I'll be happy to take any questions you have.  —  Today, the President, accompanied by the First Lady, Mrs. Bush, signed the following bills into law.
Daphna Berman / Haaretz:
Woman beaten on Jerusalem bus for refusing to move to rear seat  —  A woman who reported a vicious attack by an ad-hoc "modesty patrol" on a Jerusalem bus last month is now lining up support for her case and may be included in a petition to the High Court of Justice over the legality of sex-segregated buses.
Discussion: CorrenteWire and Donklephant
Katherine Baldwin / Reuters:
Blair to urge Middle East states to rein in Iran  —  DUBAI (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair will call on Wednesday for Middle East states to rein in what he calls the threat from Iran and to help advance peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians.
New York Times:
Top Iraqi Shiite Cleric Is Inching Toward a Coalition  —  Iraq's most venerated Shiite cleric has tentatively approved an American-backed coalition of Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties that aims to isolate extremists, particularly the powerful Shiite militia leader Moktada al-Sadr, Iraqi and Western officials say.
Discussion: Informed Comment
USA Today:
Ex-Fannie execs face civil charges  —  Federal regulators Monday filed civil charges against former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines and two other former executives, accusing them of manipulating Fannie Mae's earnings to jack up their bonuses.  —  In a complaint with an administrative law judge …
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
'Old Europe' Can Gloat, but Then What?  —  BERLIN — On the day James Baker's Iraq report was published, I gritted my teeth and waited for the well-earned, long-awaited, Franco-German "Old Europe" gloat to begin.  I didn't wait long.  "America Faces Up to the Iraq Disaster" read a headline in Der Spiegel.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Josh Manchester / TCS Daily:
Al Qaeda for the Good Guys: The Road to Anti-Qaeda
Discussion: Reason Magazine
New York Times:
President Wants to Increase Size of Armed Forces
Discussion: LiberalOasis
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
Gilmore, Courting Conservatives, Explores 2008 Bid
Discussion: SOTUblog
Atrios / Eschaton:
They Control The Country  —  While I appreciate Ezra's observations …
Pachacutec / Firedoglake:
Blue America Welcomes Chris Van Hollen As DCCC Chair
Discussion: MyDD
Pundit Review Radio / BLACKFIVE:
JAWN CARRY - LOOKS LIKE 3RD BCT, 1ST CAV, DREW THE SHORT STRAW
CNN:
Poll: Approval for Iraq handling drops to new low
American Thinker:
Baker's ISG: Shilling for the Saudis
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
In Letter, GOP Rep Fears Influx of Muslims
New York Times:
Overhaul Moves White House Data Center Into Modern Era
David Weigel / Los Angeles Times:
Science fiction goes political
CNN:
House impeaches Clinton
Discussion: Polimom Says
Pauline Jelinek / Associated Press:
U.S. Weighs Military Buildup to Warn Iran
Doug B. / Sentencing Law and Policy:
Provocative questions about Georgia sentencing injustice
Greg Tinti / The Political Pit Bull:
Afghanistan Nabs Pakistani Intelligence Agent with AQ Ties
Discussion: BBC, NewsHog and Hot Air
New York Times:
News Corp. Describes Fired Editor's Remarks