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7:05 PM ET, January 24, 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.
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 …
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 …
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
2008: Kerry Not Running  —  In these days when everyone and their brother seems to be running for president, someone today decided that he was not: Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who lost to President Bush in 2004.  —  After spending much of the past two years trying …
Discussion: Blinq and Wonkette
David Espo / Associated Press:
Kerry Will Not Seek White House in 2008
Discussion: Power Line
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.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
The Knee-Jerk Opposition  —  If George W. Bush proposes something, it must be bad.  Such is the knee-jerk state of partisan suspiciousness that when the president actually endorses a tax increase — a tax increase that would primarily hit the well-off, no less — Democrats still howl.
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 …
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.
Discussion: Angry Bear and Suburban Guerrilla
Anne Flaherty / Associated Press:
Senators eye rejection of Bush war plan  —  WASHINGTON - Democrats took the first step toward a wartime repudiation of President Bush on Wednesday, convening a Senate committee to endorse legislation declaring that the deployment of additional troops to Iraq is "not in the national interest."
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
President's Portrayal of 'The Enemy' Often Flawed  —  In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush presented an arguably misleading and often flawed description of "the enemy" that the United States faces overseas, lumping together disparate groups with opposing ideologies …
Jim Kuhnhenn / Associated Press:
Tax breaks sidetrack minimum wage bill  —  WASHINGTON - Democrats' promise of a quick increase in the minimum wage ran aground Wednesday in the Senate, where lawmakers are insisting it include new tax breaks for restaurants and other businesses that rely on low-pay workers.
Bob Geiger:
Senate Republicans Block Minimum Wage Increase
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.
Michael J. Gerson / Newsweek:
Exceeding Expectations  —  Bush's former speechwriter on what the president did right—and on Jim Webb's wobbly wordcraft.  —  All the commentary leading up to the State of the Union noted the president's historically low poll ratings and unpopular Iraq strategy.
Discussion: The RBC, Chicago Boyz and TIME
MN congresswoman can't keep her hand off President  —  Newly-elected Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann got quite a bit of face time with President Bush after his State of the Union Speech Tuesday night.  —  While the President was signing autographs for members of Congress after the speech …
Joel Topcik / Broadcasting & Cable:
Watching the SOTU Speech on ABC  —  Did they really need to drag World News anchor Charles Gibson all the way down from New York just to do a stand-up intro with the Capitol dome over his shoulder?  George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz were in separate locations, so it wasn't as though he was joining them in the studio.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
The David Shuster Follies (Act Five)  —  So often I find myself asking - is it true, or is that a report from David Shuster?  In the brutally competitive world of television news David Shuster of NBC has hit upon a winning formula - make stuff up that appeals to his left wing audience.
Hardball / Hardblogger:
SOTU: MCCAIN — LACK OF SELF-CONTROL?  AN EXPRESSION OF CONTEMPT?  EMBARRASSING IN ANY CASE.  —  By Tucker Carlson  —  "We advance our own interests by helping reformers and advocates for democracy"?  That was Bush's position on the Middle East immediately after 9-11 and, remarkably, it remains his position.
Discussion: Hot Air and Right Wing News
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 More Items: 
They all suck.  Let's just admit it.  Every one of the thus …
Gregg Easterbrook / ESPN:
Enough talk about parity, please
Discussion: The Corner
The Politico:
Ex-Rep. Sherwood Challenging Settlement to Ex-Mistress
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
The State of The President: Beleaguered
Discussion: New York Times and The Caucus
Poll: Viewers have positive reaction to Bush speech
Discussion: neo-neocon and TVNewser
The Smoking Gun:
New Ethics Charges For Nifong
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
Inside the MTTs in Anbar
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and The Belmont Club
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
4 Americans in Iraq crash shot in head
 Earlier Items: 
Emptywheel / Firedoglake:
Libby Liveblog: Robert Grenier Testimony, One
Rick Perlstein / Salon:
Why Democrats can stop the war
Discussion: MyDD
The new Newt thing
Bill Carter / New York Times:
Rivals CNN and Fox News Spar Over Obama Report
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
Getting a Read On the Speech Makes for Quite A Snapshot
Doug Gross / Associated Press:
White Atlanta suburbs push for secession
Damien Cave / New York Times:
Iraq Parliament Finds a Quorum Hard to Come By