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10:35 AM ET, December 28, 2006


 Top Items: 
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Islamists Seem to Give Up Grip on Somali City  —  The Islamist forces who have controlled much of Somalia in recent months suddenly vanished from the streets of the capital, Mogadishu, residents said Wednesday night, just as thousands of rival troops massed 15 miles away.
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic forces abandon Somalia's capital  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia - Clan militiamen poured into the streets of Somalia's capital Thursday after the Islamic movement that has controlled Mogadishu for months abandoned the city and government forces advanced to within striking distance.
Mohamed Olad Hassan / Associated Press:
Ethiopian, Somali troops near Mogadishu
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard and Power Line
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Opponents of Islamists Seize Somali Capital
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Reuters:   Mogadishu falls to Ethiopian-backed government troops
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq  —  Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified.  "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush had launched the invasion advocated …
Washington Post:
Excerpts From Bob Woodward's Interview With President Ford  —  On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward.  The interview was conducted at Ford's Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death.
Washington Post:
President Bush on Former President Ford
Discussion: Don Surber
Washington Post:
Close Adviser to Sadr Dies in U.S.-Iraqi Raid  —  A top deputy of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was killed Wednesday during a raid by U.S. and Iraqi troops in the southern holy city of Najaf, sparking protests from Sadr's followers and complicating an already tense relationship with the powerful anti-American leader.
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Sectarian Ties Weaken Duty's Call for Iraq Forces  —  The car parked outside was almost certainly a tool of the Sunni insurgency.  It was pocked with bullet holes and bore fake license plates.  The trunk had cases of unused sniper bullets and a notice to a Shiite family telling them to abandon their home.
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Message Delivered  —  The US has delivered a message to Moqtada al-Sadr in the ongoing struggle to contain the violence in Baghdad and end the sectarian militias.  A raid by US and Iraqi Army forces killed a high-ranking aide to Sadr who had supplied IEDs used in attacks against Iraqi forces:
Discussion: jules crittenden and Hyscience
Dennis Conrad / Associated Press:
Reid to miss Ford funeral  —  WASHINGTON - Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will miss the state funeral for former President Gerald Ford at the Capitol Rotunda on Saturday night, opting instead to lead a delegation to South America with an expected stop at the Machu Picchu Inca ruins.
Discussion: PoliBlog (TM) and Wizbang
Associated Press:
Ford's state funeral to begin on Friday  —  WASHINGTON - In a state funeral for the president who only wanted to be speaker of the House, Gerald R. Ford's casket will return to the Congress he served on his historic journey to an unelected presidency.  —  Ford will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda …
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Reid On Ford Funeral: I'm Busy
Discussion: Redstate
Rick Moran / Right Wing Nut House:   THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:   Reid to Miss Ford Funeral for Andean Junket
Jackie Calmes / Wall Street Journal:
Edwards's Theme: U.S. Poverty  —  Amid Iraq Talk, White House Hopeful Sticks to '04 Issue in '08 Run  —  For the roughly two dozen candidates considering a run for the White House, it is perhaps the jackpot question: What might be the winning message in a contest whose first nominating vote is still more than a year away?
Discussion: Washington Post
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:   Katrina evacuees on the clock to appeal
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Edwards shoots for White House again
Discussion: All Spin Zone
Jerusalem Post:
Exclusive: Hizbullah paying terrorists for Kassam attacks  —  Hizbullah is paying Palestinian splinter groups "thousands of dollars" for each Kassam rocket fired at the western Negev, The Jerusalem Post has learned.  —  According to Israeli intelligence information, Hizbullah is smuggling cash …
Blair on Islam: Standard-Bearer of Tolerance  —  A quote from Tony Blair in Foreign Affairs, January/February 2007  —  To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is.  I write with great humility as a member of another faith.  As an outsider, the Koran strikes …
Discussion: and Atlas Shrugs
Tony Blair / Foreign Affairs:
A Battle for Global Values  —  Summary: The war on terrorism is not just about security or military tactics.  It is a battle of values, and one that can only be won by the triumph of tolerance and liberty.  Afghanistan and Iraq have been the necessary starting points of this battle.
Discussion: Euphoric Reality
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Belarus Doubles Down  —  Belarus has decided to call Vladimir Putin's bluff on the standoff over energy prices and transit rights.  Instead of acquiescing to Putin's demand for half of Belarus' revenues from its pipeline service to Europe and a doubling of their own energy prices …
Discussion: Spiegel Online
Yuras Karmanau / Associated Press:
Belarus Braces for Russia to Turn Off the Natural Gas Spigot
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
State Dept Confirms Arafat Masterminded Murder Of American Diplomats  —  A newly declassified report from 1973 shows that Yasser Arafat personally commanded the terrorist attack that resulted in the murders of Ambassador Cleo Noel and his deputy George Moore, as well as a Belgian diplomat.
James Risen / New York Times:
G.O.P. Senator in Spotlight After a Critical Iraq Speech  —  At the close of the Senate's lame-duck session, in between formulaic tributes to senators departing voluntarily or otherwise, a Republican backbencher suddenly rose to give one of the most passionate and surprising speeches about the war in Iraq yet delivered in Congress.
Discussion: the talking dog
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 More Items: 
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
Universal 401(k) Accounts Would Bring the Poor Into the Ownership Society
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Iran 'facing disaster' over collapsing fuel exports
Discussion: In the Bullpen
A Ford/Nixon Conspiracy? [VIDEO]
Brent Budowsky / The Huffington Post:
Future of Democratic Leadership and the Progressive Movement.
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:
 Earlier Items: 
Agence France Presse:
US holding two Iranians in Iraq
Washington Post:
Bush and Security Advisers to Meet Today on Iraq Strategy
New York Times:
Gerald R. Ford
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Discussion: TPMCafe blogs
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Huff Post blogger on THIS WEEK and George Will is a complete Ass