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1:30 AM ET, September 20, 2007


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Longer Leaves for Troops Blocked  —  Senate Republicans yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to lengthen the home leaves of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, derailing a measure that war opponents viewed as one of the best chances to force President Bush to accelerate a redeployment of forces.
Think Progress:
Breaking: Webb amendment fails.  —  The Senate just voted 56 to 44 on Sen. Jim Webb's (D-VA) amendment "requiring that active-duty troops and units have at least equal time at home as the length of their previous tour overseas."  The bill failed to garner the 60 votes needed to move forward.
Susan Cornwell / Reuters:
Senate Republicans block Iraq bill
Discussion: Firedoglake and Redstate
Faiz / Think Progress:
BREAKING: Warner, McCain To Propose Toothless, Watered-Down Version …
Sarah Garland / New York Sun:
U.S. May Escort Ahmadinejad to Ground Zero  —  Talks Underway After Iranian Requests a Visit  —  In a move that has stunned New York, the Bloomberg administration is in discussions to escort the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to ground zero during his visit to New York next week, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said today.
Thomas J. Lueck / New York Times:
Iranian Leader Was Denied Ground Zero Visit  —  An advance team for the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asked earlier this month that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly next week, but the request was denied …
NYPD Rejects Iran President's Viewing Request  —  NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — UPDATE: NYPD is rejecting the request from the President of Iran to visit Ground Zero.  —  NYPD is citing security reasons for the reason of rejecting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's request to visit the old World Trade Center.
Jacques Steinberg / New York Times:
Rather Files $70 Million Lawsuit Against CBS  —  Dan Rather, whose career at CBS News ground to an inglorious end 15 months ago over his role in an unsubstantiated report questioning President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service, filed a $70 million lawsuit this afternoon against the network …
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
I read the news today, oh boy...
Discussion: Associated Press
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
The President Goes to War Over "Betray Us"  —  Kate O'Beirne and I just got back from a meeting with the president in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for a small group of conservative journalists.  —  There was a lot of ground covered, and the president was in a serious but confident mood …
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:   War Council  —  Previous war-presidents have gathered opponents …
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:   Unforgiven  —  My intemperate language earlier today is informed …
Kristen McQueary / The Daily Southtown:
Weller's next challenge  —  If U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller runs for re-election, he may face two feisty gals: Debbie and Emily.  —  Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) is considering running for the 11th District congressional seat, in part because of hot pursuit from Emily's List …
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Report: GOP Congressman Jerry Weller Will Retire
Discussion: Swing State Project
Jim Tankersley / Chicago Tribune:
Sources: Weller to retire
Discussion: MyDD
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:   Signs suggest GOP's Weller may bow out
Richard Miniter / Pajamas Media:
CIA SHUT DOWN IN IRAQ  —  According to exclusive information obtained by Pajamas Media's Washington editor Richard Miniter, the movement of key CIA station personnel in Baghdad has been all but shut down.  Are we witnessing Iran's counter-strike to the surge?  —  Support Pajamas Media; Visit Our Advertisers
Discussion: MSNBC and The Belmont Club
Lurxst / Daily Kos:
I Don't Support the Troops..oops, there, I said it  —  This has been digging at me for, oh, about 4 years now.  I have been hesitant to express this thought, in comments sections and in discussion with other people about the Iraq quagmire for fear of, I don't know, being called mean.  Or, un-American.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
Little Green Footballs:
Daily Kos: 'I Don't Support the Troops..oops, There, I Said It'
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and The American Pundit
Karl-Thomas Musselman / Burnt Orange Report:
BREAKING: Kirk England HD-106 (R) to Switch Parties  —  It has come to the attention of Burnt Orange Report that Republican Kirk England of HD-106 will announce he's switching parties tomorrow in Grand Prairie.  England won by only a couple hundred votes in 2006 against Democrat Katy Hubener …
Discussion: Daily Kos, McBlogger and Texas Kaos
Gromer Jeffers Jr / Dallas Morning News:
Grand Prairie state lawmaker switches sides to Democrat
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Darth Cheney  —  "You can always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President's motorcade pulls into the Capitol, and Darth Vader emerges," Clinton said just now at Town Hall in New York.  —  "I'm not invited to their meetings and I don't know what he says or does," she said.
Roddie A. Burris / The State:
Jackson criticizes Obama  —  Presidential candidate's response to Jena, La., case called too weak  —  The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Tuesday on Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination for president to give S.C. voters "something to vote for" when they go to the polls in January.
CNN Political Ticker:
Jesse Jackson: Obama's 'acting like he's white'
The Hill:
Johanns to resign, run for Senate, sources say  —  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns (R) will resign his Cabinet post and run for the Senate seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), according to local GOP sources.  —  The sources said Johanns plans to resign early next week …
Peter Wehner / Commentary:
Ugly Alliance  —  Democrats are said to be keen about "connecting the dots"—so let's see if we can connect a few for them.  —  Dot Number One: Last week, published a full-page ad in the New York Times directed at David Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq …
UPDATE: Gunmen Blow Up Iraq's North Export Pipeline -Official  —  AMMAN -(Dow Jones)- Unknown attackers have blown up part of an Iraqi pipeline that pumps crude oil from Kirkuk oil fields to the Turkish export terminal, Ceyhan, a senior Iraqi oil official and a shipping agent said Wednesday.
Sam Stein / Huffington Post:
GOP Cornyn To Introduce Senate Resolution Criticizing MoveOn Ad  —  As Congress considers a series of legislation that would drastically alter the course and direction of the Iraq War, one prominent Republican Senator will be focusing his efforts on condemning the newspaper advertisement of an anti-war group.
Daniel W. Reilly / The Politico:
DNC condemns King 'mosque' remark  —  New York Rep. Peter King, a prominent House Republican, said there are "too many mosques in this country" in a recent interview with Politico.  —  "There are too many people sympathetic to radical Islam," King said.  "We should be looking at them more carefully …
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright  —  Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve for the first time, signalling that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is preparing to break the dollar currency peg in a move that risks setting off a stampede out of the dollar across the Middle East.
Discussion: Calculated Risk
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Mexican lesson plans crossing the border
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Senate Blocks Detainees' Rights Bill
Santa Cruz Sentinel:
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 Earlier Items: 
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Dan Gerstein / The Politico:
Who bears blame for anti-war failures?