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1:25 AM ET, January 25, 2007


 Top Items: 
Rick Klein / Boston Globe:
Kerry won't run for president in '08  —  WASHINGTON —Senator John F. Kerry plans to announce today that he will not run in the 2008 presidential race, and will instead remain in Congress and seek reelection to his Senate seat next year, according to senior Democratic officials.
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Kerry Bows Out of 2008 Race  —  Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who narrowly lost the presidency to George Bush in 2004, stepped away today from what he had described as an almost all-but-certain second bid for the White House, bowing to a Democratic Party that was clearly unreceptive …
Source: Kerry decides against 2008 presidential run … WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, won't make a second bid for the White House, sources familiar with Kerry's thinking said Wednesday.  —  A source close to Kerry …
David Espo / Associated Press:
Kerry bows out of '08 presidential race  —  WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democrats' losing presidential candidate in 2004, said Wednesday that he won't run for the White House again in 2008.  —  "I've concluded this isn't the time for me to mount a presidential campaign," Kerry said.
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
2008: Kerry Not Running
Discussion: Blinq and Wonkette
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Transcript: CNN Interview with Cheney  —  We've just received the transcript for Vice President Cheney's interview with Wolf Blitzer this morning.  It's posted in full below the fold.  —  Q And joining us now, the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney.  Mr. Vice President, thanks very much for doing this.
Drudge Report:
CHENEY CALLS BLITZER QUESTION ON DAUGHTER'S PREGNANCY 'OUT OF LINE'  —  In an interview taped to air for today's 'Situation Room' on CNN, Vice President Cheney responded sharply to anchor Woilf Blitzer's line of questioning regarding the pregancy of Cheney's lesbian daughter:
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Cheney Spars with Blitzer Over Criticism of Iraq, Mary's Pregnancy
Discussion: Attytood, The Agonist and Hullabaloo
Faiz / Think Progress:   VIDEO: Cheney Dismisses Questions Of His Credibility As 'Hogwash'
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Hagel: "There Is No Plan"  —  Here's Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) barnburner of a speech this morning during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on the resolution against the president's troop increase in Iraq.  —  An excerpt: … Update: We've added a complete transcript of this portion of his remarks below.
Washington Post:
Senate Panel Votes Against Bush on Iraq  —  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today passed a nonbinding resolution opposing a troop surge in Iraq, rebuffing the key element of President Bush's new strategy to end the 46-month-old war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. service members.
Bill Carter / New York Times:
Rivals CNN and Fox News Spar Over Obama Report  —  A disputed report on the Web site of a conservative magazine about Senator Barack Obama's childhood schooling kicked off a pointed exchange this week between the rival cable news networks CNN and Fox News, when CNN seemed to make an overt effort …
Nico / Think Progress:
Fox's Gibson: CNN Reporter Who Debunked Obama Smear Probably Went To The Same Madrassa  —  Last week, Fox News highlighted a right-wing report alleging that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attended an Islamic "madrassa" school as a 6-year-old child.  In a memo released today, Obama's office specifically called …
David Stout / New York Times:
Minimum Wage Bill Suffers Setback in Senate  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 — Prospects for an increase in the minimum wage suffered a setback today in the Senate, where a move fell short, at least for now, to raise the minimum by $2.10 an hour without tax breaks for small businesses
Discussion: The RBC and Shakespeare's Sister
Jim Kuhnhenn / Associated Press:
Tax break talks slow minimum wage hike
Discussion: AMERICAblog
Hugh Hewitt / Hugh Hewitt's TownHall Blog:
Take The Pledge  —  Take the pledge.  This is the temporary site.  The full-service site will be up soon.  —  If you are a blogger who has taken the pledge and linked to the site, please send me a note so I can add your support here.  —  I interviewed Tony Snow at the top of the program today …
Nifong Faces More Serious Ethics Charges  —  RALEIGH — The North Carolina State Bar Wednesday filed new and more serious ethics charges against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence and misrepresenting the truth to the judge in the Duke lacrosse case.
Kevin Drum / Political Animal:
IT'S THE POLICY, STUPID....Ruth Marcus on the Bush health plan: … Now, Marcus concedes that Bush has no one but himself to blame for this state of affairs.  But at the same time, she also seems flatly unwilling to believe that opposition to Bush's plan might actually be based …
China's Hu vows to "purify" Internet  —  BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has vowed to "purify" the Internet, state media reported on Wednesday, describing a top-level meeting that discussed ways to master the country's sprawling, unruly online population.
Discussion: The Belmont Club
They all suck.  Let's just admit it.  Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks.  From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we've never heard …
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE NEW YORK MONEY PEOPLE:  —  I've admired Wes Clark for a long time.  But his comments to Ariana Huffington about wealthy Jews pushing the country toward war with Iran strike me as nutty and disturbing.  Either I seriously misjudged the man, or his comments were misquoted or taken wildly out of context.
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 More Items: 
USA Today:
Media outlets battle it out over free-speech rights
David Corn:
Libby Trial Continues with Memory Attacks
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Nation
Anne Gearan / Houston Chronicle:
Rice: U.S. to pledge $770M to Lebanon
PJM / Pajamas Media:
Operation Baghdad — A Special Report from the Streets of the City
Discussion: Don Surber
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Critics See Too Little Significant Change
The Politico:
Ex-Rep. Sherwood Challenging Settlement to Ex-Mistress
Poll: Viewers have positive reaction to Bush speech
Discussion: Pollster, neo-neocon and TVNewser
 Earlier Items: 
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
Inside the MTTs in Anbar
Discussion: The Belmont Club and BLACKFIVE
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
4 Americans in Iraq crash shot in head
Rick Perlstein / Salon:
Why Democrats can stop the war
Discussion: Daily Kos, Taylor Marsh and MyDD
Michael J. Gerson / Newsweek:
Exceeding Expectations  —  Bush's former speechwriter …
Discussion: The Reaction, TIME and The RBC
MN congresswoman can't keep her hand off President
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
Getting a Read On the Speech Makes for Quite A Snapshot