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10:35 AM ET, January 30, 2007


 Top Items: 
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Bush Directive Increases Sway on Regulation  —  President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.
Dispatches From the Scooter Libby Trial  —  I wanted to raise my hand and ask, "Your Honor, may I approach the bench?"  —  I was at the Scooter Libby trial to cover it, and all of a sudden, I found myself in the middle of the case.  In his testimony today, former White House press secretary …
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Missteps by Iraqi Forces in Battle Raise Questions  —  Iraqi forces were surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the ferocity of an obscure renegade militia in a weekend battle near the holy city of Najaf and needed far more help from American forces than previously disclosed, American and Iraqi officials said Monday.
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:
Iraqi Forces Showing Initiative, Bush Says
Discussion: Needlenose
Terence Hunt / Associated Press:
Bush warns Iran against action in Iraq
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
We're very proud, bomber's family declares  —  The mother of Muhammad Faisal Saksak, the 21-year-old suicide bomber who carried out Monday's attack in Eilat, said she was aware of her son's plan to blow himself up and that she had wished him "good luck."  —  Dozens of Palestinians …
Greg Myre / New York Times:
Suicide Attack Is First in Israel in 9 Months  —  After nine months without a suicide bombing in Israel, a Palestinian walked from Egypt across the open desert border, hitched a ride from a wary Israeli motorist and then blew himself up on Monday inside a bakery in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, Israeli officials said.
Ibrahim Barzak / Associated Press:   Cease-fire starts taking hold in Gaza
Anthony Shadid / Washington Post:
With Iran Ascendant, U.S. Is Seen at Fault  —  DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait rarely rebuffs its ally, the United States, partly out of gratitude for the 1991 Persian Gulf War.  But in October it reneged on a pledge to send three military observers to an American-led naval exercise in the Gulf …
Ali Ansari / Guardian:
Only the US hawks can save the Iranian president now  —  Ahmadinejad is failing to deliver for the poor and losing support, but he could yet survive because of the international threat  —  The honeymoon is over.  Iran's controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has finally come unstuck.
Jules Crittenden:
The Large Pistachio Nuts of Iranian Foreign Policy
Maura Reynolds / Los Angeles Times:
The 'Democrat majority' is still the talk of the capital  —  WASHINGTON — Will President Bush put the "-ic" back in "Democratic"?  —  That was the hot topic around Washington on Monday after the president was asked why, during his State of the Union address last week, he referred to Congress' new "Democrat majority."
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:   Bush Says Missing '-ic' Was an Oversight
Richard Marosi / Los Angeles Times:
Unfilled tunnels a weak link at border  —  Key points are plugged in U.S. and Mexico, but smugglers may still try to reuse the passages  —  SAN DIEGO — Seven of the largest tunnels discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years have yet to be filled in, authorities said …
Andrea Shalal-Esa / Reuters:
U.S. missile defense maturing, latest test a success  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Within a year, the U.S. missile defense system should be able to guard against enemy attacks, while testing new technologies, the deputy director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Monday.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Baker agrees reluctantly to testify on Iraq  —  James A. Baker III, the co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, has ended weeks of resistance and today will testify before Congress on the war, avoiding a split with his fellow co-chairman, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.).
Matt Browner Hamlin / The Right's Field:
Romney's New Approach?  Honesty  —  Via Soren Dayton, we learn that Mitt Romney has finally admitted that he used to be pro-choice. … Dayton is right to note that Romney is trying to defuse his past support for abortion.  But if you look closely at what Romney is saying …
Discussion: Hotline On Call and Cliff Schecter
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
A Global Balancing Act  —  Dani Rodrik, a trade economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, received his introduction to the idiosyncrasies of globalization while growing up in Turkey.  —  His father made ballpoint pens, protected by high tariffs from less expensive imports.
Discussion: Beat the Press
Washington Post:
Soldier's Death Strengthens Senators' Antiwar Resolve  —  Kerry, Dodd Demand Stronger Challenge to Bush  —  Just before Christmas, an Army captain named Brian Freeman cornered Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) at a Baghdad helicopter landing zone.
Mike Dorning / Chicago Tribune:
Obama rips U.S. effort after Katrina  —  Not a White House priority, senator says  —  NEW ORLEANS — Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama blasted the Bush administration Monday for the slow pace of Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, saying reconstruction no longer seems to be a White House priority.
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
GOP Right Sees Lemons in White House Race
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Equipment For Added Troops Is Lacking
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
We'll Just Settle For A Little Extortion
Discussion: Scotsman and Jules Crittenden
Jennifer Harper / Washington Times:
Franken to leave Air America after network sale
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Republicans Block House Pay Raise
Discussion: Redstate and Don Surber
Press Association:
Cartoon protester was 'cheerleader'
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
Shaun Mullen / The Moderate Voice:
A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come
Mickey Kaus / Slate:
 Earlier Items: 
Dean Barnett / Hugh Hewitt's TownHall Blog:
Boehner Mania!!!  —  Minority House Leader John Boehner was just on Hugh's show.
Discussion: BizzyBlog and Ed
Sharon Theimer / Associated Press:
Senator targets surplus sales to Iran
Associated Press:
Priest who served in Congress dies at 86
Discussion: Blogs for Bush
Ron Brynaert / The Raw Story:
Web video 'exposes' the 'Real McCain'
Gregg Easterbrook / Slate:
What the President Got Right
Full Transcript: NPR Interview with President Bush
Hindrocket / Power Line:
Jack Langer / Human Events:
All the Old Dudes  —  "A man could make a fortune selling Geritol to these people."