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1:10 AM ET, December 28, 2006


 Top Items: 
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 …
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.
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
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 …
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 …
Matthew Yglesias:
The Pardon  —  Because you're all dying to hear what I have to say about Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon:  —  Here's the thing.  Promoting "healing" and a sense of "moving on" was, in fact, arguably more important than seeing Richard Nixon spend years in a jail cell.
Discussion: Eschaton
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.
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: Wizbang
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:   Reid On Ford Funeral: I'm Busy
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.
Discussion: Sister Toldjah
Associated Press:
Hussein Urges Iraqis Not to Hate U.S.-Led Forces
Discussion: TalkLeft and Wonkette
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:
Max / MaxSpeak:
WHO LET THE (BLUE) DOGS OUT?  —  The answer of course is the electorate, God bless them.  The November results empowered the avatars of fiscal constipation, as James Carville used to say before his own passageways became impassable.  —  Combine the following political ingredients …
Discussion: Angry Bear and Economist's View
Steve Benen / Political Animal:
TAKING THE HIGH ROAD.... In a Republican-led Congress …
Discussion: Daily Kos
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Huff Post blogger on THIS WEEK and George Will is a complete Ass  —  On "This Week,' with George Stephanopoulos, HuffPo's new political editor, Melinda Henneberger, joined ABC National Security Correspondent Jonathan Karl and columnist George Will to discuss the politics of the surge and the very despicable Virgil Goode.
Discussion: Firedoglake
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.
New York Times:
A Fellow Mammal Leaves the Planet  —  Robert L. Pitman has spent 30 years studying the world's whales, dolphins and other aquatic mammals.  He returned to San Deigo, Calif., last week after a fruitless six-week expedition in which teams of five observers on two vessels scoured the Yangtze River …
Discussion: The Peking Duck and Don Surber
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.
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 More Items: 
Robert Parry /
The GOP's $3 Billion Propaganda Organ
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
White House Pushes for Troop Surge, Best Advice of Generals Be Damned
Discussion: Washington Post and TalkLeft
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
A Glorious War Plan for Iran
James Taranto / Opinion Journal:
Best of the Web
Discussion: In the Bullpen
Associated Press:
Specter visits Syria, says it wants peace talks with Israel
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Commentary: Gerald Ford's impact on the Court
Spencerackerman / toohotfortnr:
 Earlier Items: 
Palestinians preparing for war in Gaza
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.
Opinion Journal:
A Dirty Game  —  The Duke "rape" case unravels.
Josh Gerstein / New York Sun:
Obama Shapes an Agenda Beyond Iraq War
Taliban confirm top commander killed in U.S. strike