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12:30 PM ET, December 26, 2006


 Top Items: 
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic forces on the retreat in Somalia  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia - Islamic fighters were in a tactical retreat Tuesday, a senior Islamic leader said, as government and Ethiopian troops advanced on three fronts in a decisive turn around in the battle for control of Somalia.
Michael van der Galien / The Moderate Voice:
Brave Islamists Withdrawing  —  The brave and strong Islamist forces who took over in Somalia are, a few days after Ethiopia joined the fight, on the run. … Obviously, the war isn't over yet.  Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed (I wonder how his friends call him... 'triple s'?) refuses to give up:
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic Fighters Quitting Somalia Front  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamic fighters attempting to wrest power from Somalia's internationally recognized government retreated from the main front line early Tuesday, witnesses said, a day after Ethiopian fighter jets bombed the country's two main international airports.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Islamist Forces Retreating In Somalia
Stephanie McCrummen / Washington Post:
Ethiopia Steps Up Attacks on Somalia
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:   'A Measure Of Law To A Lawless Country'?
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Abuse Seen at Iraqi Jail Puts New Focus on Rogue Police  —  Hundreds of British and Iraqi soldiers assaulted a police station in the southern city of Basra on Monday, killing seven gunmen, rescuing 127 prisoners from what the British said was almost certain execution and ultimately reducing the facility to rubble.
U.S. arrest of Iranians reportedly upsets Iraqi president
Ezra Klein / Los Angeles Times:
Going universal  —  The American healthcare system is, simply put, a mess, but we may finally be ready to fix it.  —  THE STATISTICS, by now, are well known.  Forty-seven million uninsured Americans.  Premium increases of 81% since 2000.  Small businesses failing, big businesses foundering …
Saddam loses death sentence appeal: govt official  —  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that Saddam Hussein should hang for crimes against humanity, Iraq's national security adviser told Reuters.  —  Under the statute governing the Iraqi High Tribunal …
Discussion: Bill's Bites
Nancy Trejos / Washington Post:   Court Upholds Saddam's Death Sentence
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The 20 Biggest Stories Of 2006  —  Honorable Mention) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Suffered A Stroke And Cerebral Hemorrhage: Israel's Prime Minister is laid low by health problems after he formed a new party.  Would Hezbollah have been picking fights and Iran talking so tough if the old soldier were still running the show?
Alan Sipress / Washington Post:
Where Real Money Meets Virtual Reality, The Jury Is Still Out  —  Veronica Brown is a hot fashion designer, making a living off the virtual lingerie and formalwear she sells inside the online fantasy world Second Life.  She expects to have earned about $60,000 this year from people who buy …
Rachel L. Swarns / New York Times:
Bipartisan Effort to Draft Immigration Bill  —  Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that could place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill that the Senate passed in the spring.
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Jeff Sessions / Washington Post:
A Bipartisan Fix for Retirees  —  In the aftermath of their November election victory, Democratic leaders have pledged to work on a bipartisan basis to solve the problems facing our nation.  In that spirit, I suggest that Democrats and Republicans can successfully work together …
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Flash!  President Bush Says He Reads Papers  —  Is there hope for newspapers after all?  Readers may be abandoning the printed versions, but over the last couple of years, at least one person seems to have started reading them, at least sometimes.  He lives in the White House.
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
"One DOJ" : Another Wall Crumbles  —  This just scares the bejeebies out of me because how do we know just who has access to all this or soon will have?  Everyday it seems another database has been stolen or somehow compromised.  —  The other thing that occurs to me is soon many people …
Annie Huang / Associated Press:
Tsunami Aims at Philippines After Quake  —  TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - A powerful quake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, triggering a potentially destructive tsunami that was headed toward the Philippines on the second anniversary of the deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia.
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Michael B. Oren / Opinion Journal:
A Religious Problem  —  Jimmy Carter's book: An Israeli view.  —  Several prominent scholars have taken issue with Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," cataloguing its historical inaccuracies and lamenting its lack of balance.  The journalist Jeffrey Goldberg also critiqued …
Discussion: Power Line and TigerHawk
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Democrats Pledge to Restrain Spending  —  Critics Say Party's Goals Are Too Lofty  —  Determined to banish their old tax-and-spend image, Democrats want to shrink the federal deficit, preserve tax cuts for the middle class and challenge the president to raise money for the Iraq war when they take control of Congress next week.
Robert Patrick / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
St. Louis judge's outspoken book causing controversy  —  A liberal-bashing book by a veteran St. Louis judge is to become available publicly this week, but it is already causing a stir in political and legal circles — and prompting some to say it could cost him his job.
Discussion: Political Animal
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 More Items: 
Juan / Informed Comment:
Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2006
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
War Critics See New Resistance by Bush
Discussion: Firedoglake and Daily Pundit
Associated Press:
Iran Oil Revenue Quickly Drying Up, Analysis Says
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
AFP recycles Iraq "quagmire" story three weeks later
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
The Year in Politics  —  It was a year of great power shifts.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Washington Post:
Senate Committee Staff Directors Set Session Agenda
Discussion: Firedoglake
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Consultant Helps Democrats Embrace Faith, and Some in Party Are Not Pleased
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Forget Polls, Long Shots Say It's About the Message
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Barone /
Christmastime decisionmaking
Discussion: Daily Pundit
Caroline Glick / Jerusalem Post:
Our World: Glad tidings of peace processes
Discussion: The Belmont Club
Jon Pareles / New York Times:
James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul,' Dies at 73
Associated Press:
Longtime President of CBS Dies at 98
Barbara O'Brien / Crooks and Liars:
Next: Bread and Circuses
Joseph Goldstein / New York Sun:
Courts Side With NSA On Wiretaps
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
A Delusional System of Justice
Daily Mail:
Veil liberates me, says alternative Christmas message woman