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12:00 PM ET, January 30, 2007


 Top Items: 
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: The Heretik and Needlenose
Terence Hunt / Associated Press:
Bush warns Iran against action in Iraq
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 …
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
The Ba-Da-Boom Crew  —  If you've been following the Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury trial, I can understand how you might confuse Dick Cheney with Tony Soprano.  Cheney's office is beginning to sound a lot like the Bada Bing, minus the dancers.  —  Court has been in session for only a week …
Discussion: TAPPED and The News Blog
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Libby reportedly said 'I didn't do it'  —  WASHINGTON - Amid the furor over the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, bluntly told a White House lawyer, "I didn't do it," the lawyer testified Tuesday.
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.
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 …
Ibrahim Barzak / Associated Press:   Cease-fire starts taking hold in Gaza
Steven R. Weisman / New York Times:
Europe Resists U.S. Push to Curb Iran Ties  —  European governments are resisting Bush administration demands that they curtail support for exports to Iran and that they block transactions and freeze assets of some Iranian companies, officials on both sides say.
Peter S. Canellos / Boston Globe:
Romney's business skills face a political test  —  Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with his wife, Anne, is billing himself as a turnaround artist in his bid for the presidency.  In his book "Turnaround," he writes of how he applied his business approach to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Discussion: The Corner and The Caucus
Associated Press:
Edwards says he may have been too inexperienced for 2004 run  —  WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards acknowledged that he may have been too inexperienced in national politics for his White House run in 2004.  —  The former North Carolina senator …
Discussion: Hotline On Call and PoliBlog (TM)
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
Discussion: Liberal Values
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.
USA Today:
As Iraqi refugees flee, let's not forget Vietnam  —  At a hearing on Capitol Hill two weeks ago, a young Iraqi gave gripping testimony of the price paid by his countrymen who have risked their lives serving the U.S. occupation.  The 27-year-old former military translator …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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
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.).
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 More Items: 
Is Nick Cohen right about the left? His critics reply
Zeyad / Healing Iraq:
So What Happened in Najaf?  —  The Sadrist account: Nahrain Net …
Mike Dorning / Chicago Tribune:
Obama rips U.S. effort after Katrina
Discussion: Think Progress
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
Washington Post:
Soldier's Death Strengthens Senators' Antiwar Resolve
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Republicans Block House Pay Raise
Discussion: Redstate and Don Surber
Shaun Mullen / The Moderate Voice:
A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come
Mickey Kaus / Slate:
Dean Barnett / Hugh Hewitt's TownHall Blog:
Boehner Mania!!!  —  Minority House Leader John Boehner was just on Hugh's show.
Discussion: BizzyBlog and Ed
Associated Press:
Priest who served in Congress dies at 86
Discussion: Blogs for Bush
Gregg Easterbrook / Slate:
What the President Got Right
Ali Ansari / Guardian:
Only the US hawks can save the Iranian president now
Jack Langer / Human Events:
All the Old Dudes  —  "A man could make a fortune selling Geritol to these people."