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4:00 AM ET, February 7, 2007


 Top Items: 
Operation Baghdad Has Started!  —  Minutes after nighttime curfew began in Baghdad at 9 pm we saw breaking news on al-Hurra and al-Jazeera saying that Baghdad's security operation has just started.  —  The news says the first operation is currently underway in Azamiyah in the northeastern part of the city.
Pajamas Media:
FLASH: OPERATION BAGHDAD HAS STARTED!  —  US Army soldiers from the 5-20 Infantry Division take up positions to provide cover for fellow soldiers as part of the launch of Operation Arrowhead Strike Six in the Shaab neighbourhood of northern Baghdad.  —  EXCLUSIVE From PJM Baghdad Editor Omar @ Iraq the Model @ 11:00 AM, PST
Agence France Presse:
Iraqi and US forces launch Baghdad security crackdown  —  BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi and US forces swept through a notorious Sunni district of Baghdad, searching houses and seizing weapons in a blitz by around 2,000 US troops and an Iraqi army brigade, a US officer said.
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
RUDY'S RIGHT STUFF  —  IT'S semi-pseudo-almost-nearly kind-of official: Rudy's running for president.  Basically.  In essence.  He could change his mind.  But he probably won't.  Almost certainly.  —  Which makes sense.  Rudy Giuliani is leading the Republican field by five points …
Discussion: The Corner and
John McIntyre / TIME:
Giuliani Is In and Becomes the Immediate Favorite
The Politico:
GOP Views Clinton As Virtually Unbeatable  —  What many conservatives regard as the nightmare scenario — President Hillary Rodham Clinton — is increasingly seen by veteran Republican politicians and strategists as virtual inevitability.  —  In GOP circles, the Democratic front-runner is seen as so strong …
Matt Stoller / MyDD:
Scapegoating Immigrants in 2008  —  Racism is a real problem in this country.  I know a lot of people want to think that we've moved beyond race, but what does it say when Hillary Clinton's campaign Chair, Terry McAuliffe, has the following exchange on NPR about immigration.
New York Times:
Military Wants More Civilians to Help in Iraq  —  Senior military officers, including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have told President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the new Iraq strategy could fail unless more civilian agencies step forward quickly to carry out plans …
Discussion: Eschaton and The Democratic Daily
John Holusha / New York Times:   Under Pressure, Gates Details Iraq Expectations
Exclusive: Duke Lacrosse Grand Jurors Speak Out  —  Grand Juror Says "Would Have Made a Different Decision" If he Knew What he Knows Now  —  In the spring, a grand jury in Durham, N.C., indicted three Duke University lacrosse players on charges of rape, sexual offense and kidnapping of an exotic dancer.
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:   Libby Speaks on Tape, but May Not in Court
Washington Post:
Libby Says Cheney 'Disturbed' by Wilson's Claims
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
My Six-Point Reaction to Joe Klein's Seven-Point Response  —  I agree with Joe Klein's assessment that there are "far more important things going on in the world" than a clarification of his position on the war in Iraq.  But I can't resist reacting to his seven-point response to my post on him:
Kevin Drum / Political Animal:
JOHN EDWARDS' HEALTHCARE PLAN....John Edwards' new healthcare proposal is, basically, an individual mandate (everyone is required to get health insurance coverage somehow) combined with community rating (private insurers have to take all comers, regardless of medical condition) and government subsidies …
Lawmaker: U.S. sent giant pallets of cash into Iraq … WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said Tuesday.
Jay Newton-Small / Bloomberg:
Waxman Probes Iraq Contracting, Missing $12 Billion (Update1)
Discussion: David Phinney
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Astronaut Charged With Attempted Kidnapping  —  A NASA astronaut who drove hundreds of miles to confront a romantic rival, wearing diapers on the journey so that she would not have to stop to use the restroom, appeared in court today after being arrested on attempted kidnapping and other charges.
Eric Gorski / Denver Post:
Haggard says he's not gay  —  The Rev. Ted Haggard emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling convinced he is "completely heterosexual" and told an oversight board that his sexual contact with men was limited to his accuser.  —  That is according to one of the disgraced pastor's overseers …
Mary Katharine Ham /
McCain Campaign Staff and Bloggers: The Lovers' Quarrel Conference Call  —  All right, so some would argue that McCain and the bloggers have never had enough of a relationship to qualify the current disagreements as "lovers' quarrels," but the call and the conversation the campaign staff is starting to have is a bit, "baby, come back.
Tula Connell / Firedoglake:
Employee Free Choice Act is in the House — Take Action!  —  First, I want to thank everyone who welcomed me in the Firedoglake family last week as I assume the spot so ably and passionately filled by Jordan Barab.  It will be tough to match Jordan's wit or his knowledge of the union movement …
Alex Johnson / MSNBC:
Exasperated House bypasses Senate on Iraq  —  Representatives schedule their own vote to oppose Bush's troop 'surge'  —  WASHINGTON - House leaders got fed up with waiting around for the Senate to act and decided Tuesday to go ahead with their own vote on a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to add 21,500 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Discussion: Redstate and Decision '08
Cenk Uygur / The Huffington Post:
Democrats Should Force the Republicans to Physically Filibuster  —  Remember Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?  When Jimmy Stewart had to stand and keep talking until he passed out.  Ah, the good old days of filibustering.  Well, I think the Democrats should bring that back.
Amanda / Think Progress:
Popular Teen TV Show To Claim Morning-After Pill Can Cause A Miscarriage  —  Tonight, the CW network will air an episode of Veronica Mars that is based on misleading right-wing claims about contraception.  The show is about a young woman named Veronica Mars, who is both a college student and a part-time private investigator.
Ted Bridis / Associated Press:
Hackers Attack Key Net Traffic Computers  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers briefly overwhelmed at least three of the 13 computers that help manage global computer traffic Tuesday in one of the most significant attacks against the Internet since 2002.  —  Experts said the unusually powerful attacks lasted …
George Monbiot / Guardian:
A 9/11 conspiracy virus is sweeping the world, but it has no basis in fact  —  Loose Change is a sharp, slick film with an authoritative voiceover, but it drowns the truth in an ocean of nonsense  —  There is a virus sweeping the world.  It infects opponents of the Bush government …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup Poll:
Bush Approval Dips to 32%  —  Lowest approval rating since last May  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds George W. Bush with a 32% approval rating.  That is down slightly from his readings in January, and is within one point of the low rating of his entire administration.
Discussion: Middle Earth Journal
Vince Patton / KGW-TV:
Global warming debate spurs Ore. title tiff  —  In the face of evidence agreed upon by hundreds of climate scientists, George Taylor holds firm.  He does not believe human activities are the main cause of global climate change.  —  Taylor also holds a unique title: State Climatologist.
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 More Items: 
Ariana Eunjung Cha / Washington Post:
Sold on a Stereotype  —  In China, a genre of self-help books purports …
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Leslie Morgan Steiner / On Balance:
9/11 Dad  —  Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog.
Associated Press:
Water Deal Exposes Secret Iraq Contracts
Discussion: TPMmuckraker
William J. Broad / New York Times:
Orbiting Junk, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat
 Earlier Items: 
USA Today:
Evacuee camp kids worry schools chief
Chris Bowers / MyDD:
On Increased Entry Costs In The Progressive Blogosphere
Edward N. Luttwak / New York Times:
To Help Iraq, Let It Fend for Itself