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2:35 PM ET, January 1, 2007


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Rush to Hang Hussein Was Questioned  —  BAGHDAD, Dec. 31 — With his plain pine coffin strapped into an American military helicopter for a predawn journey across the desert, Saddam Hussein, the executed dictator who built a legend with his defiance of America, completed a turbulent passage into history on Sunday.
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
For Sunnis, Dictator's Degrading End Signals Ominous Dawn for the New Iraq  —  BAGHDAD, Dec. 31 — For Sunni Arabs here, the ugly reality of the new Iraq seemed to crystallize in a two-minute segment of Saddam Hussein's hanging, filmed surreptitiously on a cellphone.
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
Iraqis learn the art of legal "workarounds"  —  This depressing New York Times article by John Burns and Marc Santora details the frantic, reckless manner in which Saddam Hussein was shoved into the noose in clear violation of Iraqi law.  We can't even get a hanging right.
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Impolitic
Reuters:   Saddam Hanged but No Let - Up in Iraq Violence
Sahra Abdi / Reuters:
Somali Islamists flee stronghold  —  KISMAYU, Somalia (Reuters) - Defeated Somali Islamists fled their last stronghold and headed toward the Kenyan border on Monday in what looked like the end of nearly two weeks of war with the Ethiopian-backed government.  —  Several thousand Islamist troops …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Nasteex Dahir Farah / Associated Press:
Somali troops capture Islamic stronghold  —  KISMAYO, Somalia - Somali government troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and fighter jets captured the last major stronghold of a militant Islamic movement Monday, while hundreds of Islamic fighters — many of them Arabs and South Asians — fled the town.
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Nasteex Dahir Farah / Associated Press:
Islamists quit last bastion in Somalia  —  KISMAYU, Somalia - Islamist fighters abandoned the last major town they held early today and were seen heading south toward the Kenyan border while government forces approached slowly because of land mines, residents and a government spokesman said.
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Islamists Abandon Final Stronghold in Somalia
Discussion: Hot Air
Associated Press:
Discussion: Op For
Hindrocket / Power Line:   MORE GOOD NEWS FROM SOMALIA
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:
GOP Lawmakers Divided About 'Surge' in Troops  —  Republican lawmakers appear uneasy about — and in some cases outright dismissive of — the idea of sending many more troops to Iraq, as President Bush contemplates such a "surge" as part of his new strategy for stabilizing the country.
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
A 'Surge' Faces Trouble In the Senate  —  Sen. John McCain, leading a blue-ribbon congressional delegation to Baghdad before Christmas, collected evidence that a "surge" of more U.S. troops is needed in Iraq.  But not all his colleagues who accompanied him were convinced.
Gregory / The Belgravia Dispatch:
"SURGE" QUERY  —  The Keane/Kagan duo write in the Weekly Standard that a meaningful "surge" has to consist of at least 30,000 men and for at least 18 months.  OK, nothing surprising there, this has been a Fred Kagan type outlook for many moons now.  What caught my eye, however, was this snippet at the concluding graf:
Ezra Klein:
Reds Everywhere  —  Ankush points me towards an article in the Business section of The New York Times arguing for single-payer health care.  That's not exactly a common pairing, so seeing such an unexpected marriage of section and socialism does my heart good.
Linda Greenhouse / New York Times:
Chief Justice Advocates Higher Pay for Judiciary  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made judicial pay the sole topic of his second annual report, issued on Sunday, declaring that the failure by Congress to raise federal judges' salaries in recent years has become a …
Discussion: Angry Bear
David Millward / Telegraph:
US 'licence to snoop' on British air travellers  —  Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington.  —  By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having …
Nancy Trejos / Washington Post:
U.S. Toll In Iraq Reaches 3,000  —  The number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003 reached 3,000 on Sunday, a symbolic milestone at a time when the Bush administration is rethinking its strategy for the increasingly violent conflict.
MTP Transcript for Dec. 31  —  MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: This is the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, where the remains of the 38th president of the United States lie in state.  What is Gerald Ford's legacy?  What is the story behind the story of his pardon of Richard Nixon?
Discussion: Political Animal and SOTUblog
Nancy Benac / Associated Press:
AP poll: Americans optimistic for 2007  —  WASHINGTON - The news from Iraq and other national headlines may be grim, but in Greenville, N.C., John Given has a new baby and his first home, and life is good.  —  So, too, for Sandra Trowbridge in tiny Magnet Cove, Ark. The situation in Iraq makes …
Darlene Superville / Associated Press:   Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007
jules crittenden:
Past, Future, Whatever  —  The Boston Glob's odious James Carroll, surrender enthusiast extraordinaire and Kumbayah choir leader, sheds light on the world view that informs his positions:  —  "The future and the past exist only in your mind."  —  Apparently he's never attended family day at a Balkan or a Middle Eastern mass grave.
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 More Items: 
Jim Henley / Unqualified Offerings:
Unqualified Successes 2006  —  Our sixth annual orders of merit and scorn.
Jon Henke / QandO:
Jon Henke  —  January 1st, 2007 seems like a good day to announce …
Discussion: The Right Angle and Scobleizer
The Hill:
Conyers accepts responsibility for possible ethics violations
Discussion: Flopping Aces
Mark Steyn / Chicago Sun Times:
What we need in New Year is some resolution
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Matthew Yglesias:
Resolutions  —  I agree with Nick Kristof — George W. Bush …
American Thinker:
The New York Times' own Rathergate
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
The State of the Jihad  —  A look at the state of the major theaters …
 Earlier Items: 
Souhail Karam / Reuters:
Muslim haj pilgrims perform devil-stoning ritual
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Associated Press:
New year rings in multitude of new laws in states
Discussion: Right Voices
Tracie Rozhon / New York Times:
Homes Sell, and History Goes Private
Hindrocket / Power Line:
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
River / Baghdad Burning:
A Lynching...  It's official.  Maliki and his people are psychopaths.
Discussion: Wampum and CorrenteWire
New York Times:
3,000 Deaths in Iraq, Countless Tears at Home