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10:00 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.
Ethiopians Blitz Their Way Across the Country  —  Ethiopian troops have stood aside so that Somali gunmen representing the Transitional Government can enter Mogadishu.  The surviving Islamic Courts fighters have fled south, from whence they came.  This does not solve the basic problem …
Discussion: Pajamas Media and TigerHawk
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Opponents of Islamists Seize Somali Capital
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic forces abandon Somalia's capital
Discussion: Secular Blasphemy
Reuters:   Mogadishu falls to Ethiopian-backed government troops
David Crossland / Spiegel Online:
Ethiopia's Invasion Seen Worsening Somali Chaos
Mohamed Olad Hassan / Associated Press:
Ethiopian, Somali troops near Mogadishu
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard and Power Line
Stephanie McCrummen / Washington Post:   Ethiopian Forces Take Control of Somali City
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:
President Bush on Former President Ford
Discussion: Don Surber
Washington Post:
Excerpts From Bob Woodward's Interview With President Ford
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: Wizbang
Rick Moran / Right Wing Nut House:   THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Reid On Ford Funeral: I'm Busy
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and Redstate
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
New York Times:
Gerald R. Ford  —  Gerald R. Ford was an accidental president, his tenure brief, his legacy limited.  Yet he was the right man summoned at the right time to begin the necessary process of healing a country exhausted by war abroad and scandal at home.  Elevated to the nation's top job …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
A Ford/Nixon Conspiracy? [VIDEO]
Associated Press:
Ford's state funeral to begin on Friday
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
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
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  —  WASHINGTON - Thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees whose federal housing funding was cut off this summer may be eligible for renewed payments, but face a tight deadline to seek them.  —  Under a court order, the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent letters …
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: 
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Iran 'facing disaster' over collapsing fuel exports
Discussion: In the Bullpen
Hilzoy / Obsidian Wings:
Not Waving But Drowning
Brent Budowsky / The Huffington Post:
Future of Democratic Leadership and the Progressive Movement.
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:
Agence France Presse:
US holding two Iranians in Iraq
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Bush and Security Advisers to Meet Today on Iraq Strategy
Discussion: TPMCafe blogs
Pam Belluck / New York Times:
As Minds Age, What's Next? Brain Calisthenics
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Huff Post blogger on THIS WEEK and George Will is a complete Ass
John Edwards joins presidential race