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10:20 AM ET, May 23, 2007


 Top Items: 
The Blotter:
Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran  —  Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:  —  The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Well, This Takes All The Fun Out Of It  —  ABC News has revealed …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
ABC exposes Bush's secret order to CIA to destabilize Iranian regime
Discussion: Wizbang
The Age:
Iran planning strike on Europe: analyst
Discussion: New York Times
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill  —  Congressional Democrats relented Tuesday on their insistence that a war spending measure set a date for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq.  Instead, they moved toward a deal with President Bush that would impose new conditions on the Iraqi government.
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Democrats Relent On Pullout Timetable  —  Democrats gave up their demand for troop-withdrawal deadlines in an Iraq war spending package yesterday, abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home and handing President Bush a victory in a debate that has roiled Congress for months.
Justice aide who took the Fifth to testify in attorney firings … (CNN) — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former link to the White House will testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday, speaking out for the first time on her role in the controversial U.S. Attorney firings.
Discussion: PoliBlog (TM) and TalkLeft
Former Gonzales Aide / Washington Post:
Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide  —  When Jeffrey A. Taylor, interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wanted to hire a new career prosecutor last fall, he had to run the idea past Monica M. Goodling, then a 33-year-old aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
Discussion: Law Blog and Think Progress
Michael Brady / Keeping the Majority Accountable …:
Freshmen fail first ethics test  —  Despite last week's media blitz promoting tougher ethics enforcement, a group of freshmen Congressmen failed their first practical test Tuesday night, when they refused to reprimand one of their colleagues for an apparent ethics violation.
U.S. checking if body found in river is missing soldier … BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi police found the body of what they said was a Western-looking man, apparently dressed in U.S. military uniform, floating in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Wednesday, an official said.
Discussion: Hot Air
Ravi Nessman / Associated Press:
Iraqi police: Body found in U.S. uniform
Discussion: CBS News and On Deadline
Elana Schor / The Hill:
Guest-worker program dodges its first bullet  —  The guest-worker program in the new immigration bill survived its first test late yesterday but remains under siege.  —  The debate pits resurgent Democratic populists against negotiators determined to hold together the tenuous immigration reform deal.
New York Times:
Senate Votes to Keep Temporary Worker Program  —  A comprehensive immigration bill survived a significant test on Tuesday as the Senate voted to keep a provision that would let hundreds of thousands of temporary foreign workers enter the country each year.  —  If the guest worker program …
Discussion: Washington Post and Hot Air
Alan Cooperman / Washington Post:
Survey: U.S. Muslims Assimilated, Opposed to Extremism  —  Unlike Muslim minorities in many European countries, U.S. Muslims are highly assimilated, close to parity with other Americans in income and overwhelmingly opposed to Islamic extremism, according to the first major, nationwide random survey of Muslims.
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Bush: Bin Laden ordered non-Iraq attacks  —  WASHINGTON - Seeking to rally support for the war, President Bush released intelligence asserting that Osama bin Laden in 2005 ordered creation of a terrorist unit to hit targets outside Iraq, including the United States.
Washington Post:
McCain Turns Focus To His Fundraising  —  As the Senate debate over immigration raged yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had breakfast, brunch and lunch fundraisers in Houston before heading north to gather money at a supporter's home in Dallas and, later, from young professionals at a gourmet Mexican restaurant.
Discussion: The Caucus
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Political Memo: Giuliani Above the Fray as McCain and Romney Skirmish
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Many Signs Point to Thompson Candidacy  —  WASHINGTON — There was a time when Fred Thompson suggested that he couldn't see himself running for office again.  "For me, the George Washington example of serving eight years and riding out of town on a horse and never returning has great appeal …
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
New Strategy for War Stresses Iraqi Politics  —  U.S. Aims to Oust Sectarians From Key Roles  —  Top U.S. commanders and diplomats in Iraq are completing a far-reaching campaign plan for a new U.S. strategy, laying out military and political goals and endorsing the selective removal …
Thomas Harding / Telegraph:
Taliban 'stalled by lack of commanders'  —  The Taliban's much-vaunted spring offensive has stalled apparently due to lack of organisation after dozens of middle-ranking commanders were killed by British troops in the past year, according to military sources.
Wendy Kaminer / Opinion Journal:
The American Liberal Liberties Union  —  The ACLU is becoming very selective about what it considers "free" speech.  —  "ACLU Defends Nazi's Right to Burn Down ACLU Headquarters," the humor magazine The Onion announced in 1999.  Those of us who loved the ACLU, and celebrated its willingness …
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Damien Cave / New York Times:
As Comrades Search, Fatal Bomb Wreaks Havoc  —  The ground exploded under an ashen sky at dawn.  Dust, dirt, blood and military equipment filled the air, clearing after several seconds to reveal a frenzied scene of horror.  —  Where Sgt. Justin D. Wisniewski, 22, had just been standing …
Discussion: On Deadline and The Agonist
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 More Items: 
Joe Strupp / Editor and Publisher:
McClatchy's D.C. Bureau Claims It's Barred From Defense Secretary Plane
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
Birth Control Pill That Stops Periods Wins FDA Approval
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Sen. Metzen is arrested on suspicion of DWI
Shaun Mullen / The Moderate Voice:
Iraq War Funding: The Democrats Capitulate
Discussion: The Impolitic
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Silicon Valley Could Use A Downturn Right About Now
Simon Tisdall / Guardian:
Bush may turn to UN in search for Iraq solution
 Earlier Items: 
Russia angered by Litvinenko extradition call
Video: George Allen Weighs in on 2008 Race
Discussion: MSNBC and Salon
Kevin G. Hall / Real Cities:
Swiss authorities question U.S. counterfeiting charges against North Korea
The Independent:
Robert Fisk: The road to Jerusalem (via Lebanon)
Daniel Friedman / Federal Times:
GSA chief violated Hatch Act, OSC report finds
Discussion: Tech Insider, MyDD and The Gavel