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12:30 PM ET, December 20, 2006

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time  —  President Plans to Expand Army, Marine Corps to Cope With Strain of Multiple Deployments  —  President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand …
RELATED:
Peter Spiegel / Los Angeles Times:
Top general in Mideast to retire  —  Abizaid opposed calls for more troops in Iraq.  His departure could clear way for a more aggressive strategy.  —  WASHINGTON — Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, has submitted plans to retire and will leave his post in March …
New York Times:
President Wants to Increase Size of Armed Forces  —  President Bush said Tuesday that the United States should expand the size of its armed forces, acknowledging that the military had been strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and would need to grow to cope with what he suggested would be a long battle against Islamic extremism.
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.
Joseph Rago / Opinion Journal:
The Blog Mob  —  "Written by fools to be read by imbeciles."  —  Blogs are very important these days.  Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has one.  The invention of the Web log, we are told, is as transformative as Gutenberg's press, and has shoved journalism into a reformation, perhaps a revolution.
RELATED:
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
A Limit To Media Bashing
Discussion: jules crittenden
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.
RELATED:
Spencer Ackerman / TAPPED:
SISTANI GETS HIS HANDS DIRTY.  Abdul Aziz al-Hakim has evolved …
Discussion: Demagogue and The Huffington Post
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.
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.
RELATED:
Jim Henley / Unqualified Offerings:   An Embarrassment of Twitches  —  Anne Applebaum packs more stupid …
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.
Adam Zagorin / Time:
Syria in Bush's Crosshairs  —  Exclusive: A classified document suggests the Administration is considering a plan to fund political opposition to the Damascus government.  Some critics say it would be an unwarranted covert action  —  The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals …
R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
Abramoff's Holiday Cheer  —  His 2001 Shopping List Included Lavish Gifts for Congressmen  —  These days he makes no more than 40 cents an hour for his labors at the federal prison camp at Cumberland, Md. But Christmas 2001 was a far more high-flying holiday for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff …
Discussion: TPMmuckraker
David Johnston / New York Times:
Cheney to Be Defense Witness in C.I.A. Leak Case  —  Vice President Dick Cheney will be summoned as a defense witness in the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of his former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., which is scheduled to begin next month, a defense lawyer said today.
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.
Discussion: jules crittenden
Noah Shachtman / Popular Mechanics:
Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon  —  The mission: Attack anywhere in the world in less than an hour.  But is the Pentagon's bold program a critical new weapon for hitting elusive targets, or a good way to set off a nuclear war?  —  Diagrams by Kakofonia
Renae Merle / Washington Post:
Anthrax Vaccine Contract Voided, Thwarting Administration  —  Federal health officials yesterday scuttled the largest piece of the Bush administration's two-year program to counter bioterrorism, canceling an $877.5 million contract with VaxGen to develop an anthrax vaccine after the company missed a deadline to begin human testing.
Discussion: Obsidian Wings
United States Central Command:
Al-Zawahiri Criticizes Elections in PA Areas  —  Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of Al-Qa'ida organization, said that plots are being hatched to abort the concept of jihad in the Palestinian territories.  In a new videotape, he stressed that the elections in the Palestinian areas will not lead to the liberation of these areas.
David Lerman / Hampton Roads Daily Press:
Webb slams Bush's actions in Iraq war  —  WASHINGTON — Virginia Sen.-elect Jim Webb said President Bush is a "failed president" who should use his last two years in office to repair America's image abroad by ending the Iraq war through intensive diplomacy.  —  In an interview Tuesday …
Joan Biskupic / USA Today:
Bush appointees signal court's new direction  —  Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito appear ready to steer bench to the right; affirmative action, abortion  —  WASHINGTON — They are President Bush's appointees to the Supreme Court, the products of the administration's efforts to make the court more conservative.
Discussion: Daily Pundit
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Norfolk / Times of London:
Police killer suspect fled Britain in a veil
Discussion: Debbie Schlussel
Zogby:
Zogby Poll: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" …
Claudia Parsons / Reuters:
Holy city of Najaf handed over to Iraqis
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Ann E. Marimow / Washington Post:
Van Hollen To Oversee Recruiting, Fundraising
Discussion: DonkeyRising
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
General Opposes Adding to U.S. Forces in Iraq, Emphasizing …
Richard Macey / Sydney Morning Herald:
The dawn of time - after 13 billion years in the darkroom
USA Today:
Budget chief: 2007's war costs will exceed projected $110 billion
Mary Eberstadt / Real Clear Politics:
The Scapegoats Among Us
Discussion: Peaktalk and Austin Bay Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
Swamped by Muslims  —  By Glenn Greenwald — The following …
Dan Froomkin / Washington Post:
The Robert Gates Riddle
Daphna Berman / Haaretz:
Woman beaten on Jerusalem bus for refusing to move to rear seat
Discussion: CorrenteWire and Donklephant
baldilocks:
A Warning To The Right
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Bush Sees 'Opportunities' on Social Security, Immigration
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
Gilmore, Courting Conservatives, Explores 2008 Bid
Atrios / Eschaton:
They Control The Country  —  While I appreciate Ezra's observations …