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9:30 PM ET, December 27, 2006


 Top Items: 
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
John Edwards joins presidential race  —  WASHINGTON - Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday a day earlier than he'd planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.
Associated Press:
Edwards' Web site jumps gun on presidential run … WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards is running for president for a second time, his campaign said Wednesday.  —  The former North Carolina senator plans to formally announce his candidacy Thursday …
John Edwards joins presidential race  —  Senator who ran in 2004 bidding for Democratic nomination, campaign says  —  Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards volunteers in New Orleans on Wednesday, a day before his scheduled presidential run announcement.  —  Slide show
Discussion: Centerfield
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Islamist Forces in Somalia Are in Retreat  —  Ethiopian-backed forces continued to beat back Islamist fighters in Somalia today, advancing to within 15 miles of Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, as diplomatic pressure increased for the Ethiopians to pull out.  —  The African Union …
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 and Amygdala
Somalia: We Will Attack Mogadishu Tomorrow From Balad And Afgoye, Says Mohammed Dheere  —  Aweys Osman Yusuf  —  Mogadishu  —  Mohammed Dheere, former chairman of Jawhar, accompanied by Somali and Ethiopian forces have regained the Middle Shabelle main town of Jawhar.
Discussion: The Corner and Redstate
Jonathan Stevenson / Opinion Journal:
What's Going On in Somalia?  —  A guide to the latest terror-war front.  —  Though 98% Muslim and long without a functioning government, southern Somalia has not, so far, ripened into the fully fledged terrorist threat that many have feared it would.  This week, however …
Discussion: A Blog For All and MSNBC
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.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup Poll:
Gerald Ford Retrospective  —  Approval ratings low by historical standards  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The late Gerald Ford had one of the lowest average job approval ratings among all presidents since World War II, according to a review of historical Gallup Polls.  Ford assumed the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.
Kristin Roberts / Reuters:
U.S. ready to send 3,500 troops: sources  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon is expected to send 3,500 troops into Kuwait to stand ready for use in Iraq, senior defense officials said on Tuesday as the Bush administration weighs adjusting force levels in the war.
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Daily Kos
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.
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:
Editor and Publisher:
White House to Joe Biden: Hold Your Horses on Rejecting Iraq Troop Surge  —  NEW YORK At today's press gaggle in Crawford, Texas, Scott Stanzel, pinch-hitting for White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, described the president's reaction to the death of Gerald R. Ford and his upcoming meetings to discuss his next moves in Iraq.
Scott Hennen /
A picture tells a 1000 words.....  A friend of mine serving in Iraq sent me this photo and note.  I received it before Christmas, but was out of the office.  Priceless story it tells....  Again I say..."GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!"  —  UPDATE: My blog-friend Scott Johnson at the famous Powerline Blog …
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 …
Steve Benen / Political Animal:   TAKING THE HIGH ROAD.... In a Republican-led Congress …
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.
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 …
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
Obama Shapes an Agenda Beyond Iraq War  —  Senator Obama's early opposition to the war in Iraq is the best known of his views, but voters taking his measure as a potential president will discover that he is a leader in securing stray weapons from the former Soviet Union …
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
So The Message Got Delivered, Then  —  Iran has acknowledged that its oil industry has fallen on hard times, and guess who they blame for their troubles?  The Great Satan, this time, might not mind: … Thanks for confirming the receipt of our messsage, Vaziri!
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.
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 More Items: 
James Taranto / Opinion Journal:
Best of the Web
Discussion: In the Bullpen
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Huff Post blogger on THIS WEEK and George Will is a complete Ass
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Commentary: Gerald Ford's impact on the Court
Ford: Pardoning Nixon Was 'Absolutely Essential'
Laura Wides-Munoz / Associated Press:
Plane carrying Blair overshoots runway
Ilya Somin / The Volokh Conspiracy:
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
A Fellow Mammal Leaves the Planet
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Palestinians preparing for war in Gaza
Washington Post:
Clone on the Range  —  The FDA is about to make another controversial decision.
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
FBI Says Files In Leak Cases Are 'Missing'
Discussion: Flopping Aces
Kirsty Walker / The Mail on Sunday:
Hunters defy the ban with record turnout
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened

From Techmeme:

Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

Kamila Wojciechowska / Android Authority:
Source: Google's new Pixel 9 series, next-gen Pixel Fold, and 5G tablet that is under development will feature a new modem that supports satellite connectivity

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