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1:50 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 …
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
General Opposes Adding to U.S. Forces in Iraq, Emphasizing International Solutions for Region  —  As the new secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, takes stock of the war in Iraq this week, he will find Gen. John P. Abizaid, the senior commander in the Middle East, resistant to increasing the American fighting force there.
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:
Matthew Yglesias:
Lowry Sells Out  —  National Review editor Rich Lowry must …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
A Limit To Media Bashing
Discussion: jules crittenden
Michelle Malkin:
2006: The year of perpetual outrage  —  ***update and bumped to the top: Zawahiri rings in the new year with a call to jihad for the Religion of Perpetual Outrage***  —  It began with the Danish cartoons.  It ended with the flying imams.  2006 was a banner year for the Religion of Perpetual Outrage.
RELATED:
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.
Associated Press:   AL-ZAWAHIRI: U.S. TALKING TO WRONG PEOPLE IN IRAQ, URGES 'HOLY WAR' AGAINST ISRAEL
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
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
Discussion: One Hand Clapping
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.
Andrew Norfolk / Times of London:
Police killer suspect fled Britain in a veil  —  A man who was being hunted for the murder of a policewoman is understood to have escaped from Britain by disguising himself as a veiled Muslim woman.  —  Mustaf Jama, a prime suspect in the fatal shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky …
Discussion: Debbie Schlussel
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
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 …
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
Kevin Drum / Political Animal:
OFF CENTER?....Last year, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wrote an influential and widely-read book called Off Center.  It argued that the Republican Party had moved dramatically to the right of the American public, something that would normally spell electoral doom, but was getting away …
Discussion: Pacific Views, TAPPED and unfutz
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Brian Lockhart / Stamford Advocate:
Lamont camp cleared in hacking of Lieberman Web site
Discussion: MyDD
Mayrav Saar / Los Angeles Times:
Reporting's mass appeal
Washington Post:
The Army We Need  —  ONE IMMEDIATE benefit of Donald H. Rumsfeld's …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
David Crary / Associated Press:
Most Americans have had premarital sex
New York Times:
China Tightens Adoption Rules for Foreigners
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Bush Dodges Question on Overruling Military Brass
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Eschaton
Terence Hunt / Associated Press:
Bush: Iraq insurgents hurt U.S. efforts
Claudia Parsons / Reuters:
Holy city of Najaf handed over to Iraqis
 Earlier Items: 
David Lerman / Hampton Roads Daily Press:
Webb slams Bush's actions in Iraq war
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
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
Swamped by Muslims  —  By Glenn Greenwald — The following …
Katherine Baldwin / Reuters:
Blair to urge Middle East states to rein in Iran
Discussion: jules crittenden
New York Times:
President Wants to Increase Size of Armed Forces
Dan Froomkin / Washington Post:
The Robert Gates Riddle
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
Gilmore, Courting Conservatives, Explores 2008 Bid