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10:30 PM ET, December 29, 2006


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Official: Saddam to be executed tonight  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq - The official witnesses to Saddam Hussein's impending execution gathered Friday in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone in final preparation for his hanging, as state television broadcast footage of his regime's atrocities.
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Iraq Prepares to Execute Hussein  —  The close of the final chapter on the brutal reign of Saddam Hussein drew ever closer today, as Iraqi officials prepared the last legal notice necessary before his execution, a red card that will be presented to the former dictator to inform him that his end is near, Iraqi officials said.
Mohammed / IRAQ THE MODEL:
Year 2007 will definitely be without Saddam walking on the ground....  It's very imminent now and might become a fact at any minute.  —  The situation in Baghdad is tense now and US and Iraqi forces are heavily deployed on the streets.  —  We're hearing and reading more confirmations …
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Saddam Asks U.S. to Block Execution  —  Lawyers for Saddam Hussein on Friday made a last-minute appeal to an American court to avert execution in Iraq, asking a judge to block his transfer from U.S. custody to the hands of Iraqi officials.  —  Hussein's lawyers filed documents Friday afternoon asking …
Associated Press:
Lawyers Work to Stop Saddam's Execution  —  Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, said an Iraqi judge authorized to attend his hanging.  American and Iraqi officials met to set the hour of his death.  —  Lawyers for Saddam Hussein asked a U.S. judge to block his transfer …
Discussion: Don Surber and
Martin Lewis / The Huffington Post:
WELL HUNG!  Saddam Hung To Prove Bush is BETTER Hung...  (Than His Dad)  —  (Photo of well-hung leader by  —  We Got Him!!!!  Only $354 Billion & 3,000 US Military!  —  (I'd call that a Bargain.  The best we've ever had...)  —  Some thanks are in order:  —  1) To George W. Bush.
See-Dubya / Hot Air:
Report: Saddam hanged  —  Word just in from al-Arabiya that Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti is dead.  —  Sic Semper Tyrannis.  Watch this space for more details.  —  Update (AP): Al-Hurra is reporting it too.  I'm monitoring Al Jazeera in the expectation that they'll have the video before American media does.
Discussion: Reuters and Captain's Quarters
Steve Bainbridge / Professor Bainbridge's Journal:
Hanging Saddam  —  The NYT opines: … That's certainly true, but hanging Saddam is still the right thing to do.  —  I agree with - or, to put it more precisely, I give religious assent to - Pope John Paul II's teaching in Evangelium vitae that society:
Washington Post:
A Death Sentence Affirmed  —  Saddam Hussein's trial was imperfect.  But a perfect trial would have yielded the same result.  —  WITH TUESDAY'S decision by an Iraqi appeals body to affirm the death sentence of Saddam Hussein, the execution of the former tyrant could take place within weeks.
Edmund Sanders / Los Angeles Times:
Ethiopians are split over their foreign invasion  —  The military strike on Somalia's Islamists may backfire, some worry.  —  ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — The headline in an Ethiopian newspaper drew familiar, if unflattering, comparisons to another nation's faster-thanexpected victory in a war abroad.
Michael J. Totten:
Hezbollah's Christian Allies  —  This is the second installment in a series.  You can read Part One here if you missed it.  —  BEIRUT - While Hezbollah staged a mass protest and sit-in downtown Beirut with the hopes of ousting the elected anti-Syrian "March 14" government, I watched from the patio of a café across the street.
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Radley Balko / Reason Magazine:
Ann Althouse responds to Ron Bailey here .  —  It is a bizarre response.  Apparently what so offended Althouse is that anyone could possibly believe that a private business owner should be permitted to privately discriminate on the basis of race.  This, to her, isn't a position that's compatible with civil discourse.
Discussion: Daily Pundit
CAIR Play?  —  Sen. Barbara Boxer recalled an award she recently gave to an Islamic activist because of his ties to a major American Muslim organization—that critics say has ties to terrorist activities.  —  Dangerous Group?  President Bush met with Muslim-American representatives on Sept. 17, 2001.
Steve Benen / Political Animal:
BUCKING RUBINOMICS.... Last week, Paul Krugman offered the incoming Democratic majority some advice: do not place deficit reduction at the top of the priority list.  —  As Krugman explained, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin helped convince the party in the 1990s that deficit reduction was key to fiscal and budgetary policy.
Housework cuts breast cancer risk  —  Women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer, a study suggests.  —  The research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found doing household chores was far more cancer protective than playing sport.
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Washington Wire:
Democrats to Push Ethics Reforms
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Jack Weatherford / Los Angeles Times:
Genghis Khan: Law and order
Jonathan Tasini / The Huffington Post:
Ford Prolonged Our Nightmare, Impeaching Bush Will Heal Our Nation
 Earlier Items: 
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Middle School Girls Gone Wild
Anne Flaherty / Associated Press:
Bush detainee rules likely to be revisited
Michael Luo / New York Times:
Crisis in Housing Adds to Miseries of Iraq Mayhem
Tkarr / Save the Internet Blog:
AT&T Yields to Neutrality, Paves Path to Congress
Bill / INDCJournal:
Kay la Nansa - Kuwait's "Not to Forget Museum"
Diana West / Washington Times:
A question for 2007  —  Taking a whack at prognostication …
Discussion: Power Line
THE SITUATION ROOM  —  Saddam Hussein's Final Hours …