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6:00 PM ET, December 27, 2006


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Gerald R. Ford, 38th U.S. President, Dies  —  Former President Gerald R. Ford, who was thrust into the presidency in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal but who lost his own bid for election after pardoning President Richard M. Nixon, has died, according to a statement issued late last night by his wife, Betty Ford.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup Poll:
Gerald Ford Retrospective
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Juan / Informed Comment:
Ford and Foreign Policy: Snapshots from the 1970s
Discussion: Wampum
Associated Press:
Saddam Hussein's Baath party threatens to retaliate if their leader is executed  —  AMMAN, Jordan: Saddam Hussein's Baath Party threatened Wednesday to retaliate if the ousted Iraqi leader is executed, warning in an Internet posting it would target U.S. interests anywhere.
Brian Whitaker / Guardian:
Saddam to hang within 30 days  —  Saddam Hussein could be hanged within days after the rejection of his appeal by Iraq's highest court yesterday.  —  The former Iraqi dictator was sentenced to death in November over the killing of 148 Shia Muslims from the town of Dujail in 1982.
Discussion: jules crittenden and Lear Center
Los Angeles Times:   Iraqi court upholds death for Hussein
Marty Kaplan / The Huffington Post:   And Now, The Saddam Snuff Show
Washington Post:
The Right Type of 'Surge'  —  Any Troop Increase Must Be Large and Lasting  —  Reports on the Bush administration's efforts to craft a new strategy in Iraq often use the term "surge" but rarely define it.  Estimates of the number of troops to be added in Baghdad range from fewer than 10,000 to more than 30,000.
Matthew Yglesias:
More Troops, More Longer
Discussion: toohotfortnr and Eschaton
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
U.S. Signals Backing for Ethiopian Incursion Into Somalia  —  The United States on Tuesday signaled its support for the Ethiopian offensive in Somalia, calling it a response to "aggression" by Islamists who have since the summer been consolidating power in the country.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Biden Opposes a Troop Increase in Iraq, Foreshadowing a Fight With the Bush Administration  —  Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday rejected a troop increase for Iraq, foreshadowing what could be a contentious fight between …
Hassan Abdel Zahra / Agence France Presse:
Tension after US soldier shoots Sadr supporter  —  NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) - Tension was mounting in the Iraqi city of Najaf after an American soldier killed a senior ally of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr during a raid on his house.  —  Sadr supporters and local police told AFP Wednesday …
Opinion Journal:
A Dirty Game  —  The Duke "rape" case unravels.  —  It's no secret that hugely disproportionate numbers of the innocent people oppressed by abusive prosecutors and police in this country are African-Americans.  Now one of the most outrageous cases of law-enforcement abuse is unfolding in Durham, N.C., home of the Duke lacrosse case.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
With Promises of a Better-Run Congress, Democrats Take on Political Risks  —  Republican rule on Capitol Hill drew to an exhausted end just before dawn on Dec. 9 after lawmakers dispatched a pile of bills that few had read and even fewer had helped write.  Democrats say the era of such chaotic …
Taliban confirm top commander killed in U.S. strike  —  CHAMAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Taliban commander confirmed on Wednesday that the rebels' military chief in southern Afghanistan had been killed in a U.S. air strike on December 19, adding his death was a blow for the Islamist movement.
Justin Rood / TPMmuckraker:
At The Corner, Iraq News That Isn't  —  Reader SB points us to an entry today at The Corner, a blog belonging to National Review magazine, entitled "FROM IRAQ: A MARINE'S NOTES."  —  Among other things, the unnamed Marine tells the National Review that:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Bush's New Look on Iraq: Weary  —  Watching President Bush in recent weeks has become a grim kind of reality TV show.  In almost every news conference, speech and photo opportunity, the topic is the same: what to do about the grinding war in Iraq.  Bush has let the facade crack open …
Michelle Malkin:
Lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely  —  I linked to this photo of lonely John Kerry spurned by the troops in Iraq last night via Power Line, but the photo is going viral and it's worth re-posting as a stand-alone.  —  Thank radio talk show host Scott Hennen for sharing the image.
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened  —  The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
FBI Says Files In Leak Cases Are 'Missing'  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The FBI is missing nearly a quarter of its files relating to investigations of recent leaks of classified information, according to a court filing the bureau made last week.  —  In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit …
Discussion: Flopping Aces
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Strategy, Not Drama, in 'I Intend to Run in '08'  —  On Thursday, John Edwards is planning to announce what has been clear to much of the world since the end of the last presidential election: He is running for president in 2008.  A similar declaration is expected shortly from Gov. Mitt Romney …
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 More Items: 
See-Dubya / Hot Air:
Hugh Hewitt slow-grills anti-blogger (updated)
Washington Post:
Clone on the Range  —  The FDA is about to make another controversial decision.
Kirsty Walker / The Mail on Sunday:
Hunters defy the ban with record turnout
Bradford Plumer / The New Republic:
MCCAIN RELOADED:  —  Earlier this year, John McCain started prepping …
Discussion: Political Animal
 Earlier Items: 
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
So The Message Got Delivered, Then
Jodi Kantor / New York Times:
Nanny Hunt Can Be a 'Slap in the Face' for Blacks
Ben Feller / Associated Press:
Bush's Iraq plan gets big build-up
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Converting The Heathens
Virginia Wheeler / The Sun:
Chelsy: My Harry is off to Iraq