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4:30 PM ET, December 18, 2007


 Top Items: 
USA Today:
Poll: Electability key among Democrats  —  WASHINGTON — Democratic voters increasingly are focused on nominating the most electable presidential candidate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama fares better than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton against prospective Republican rivals.
David Yepsen / Des Moines Register:
Don't rule out surges by Edwards, Thompson  —  There's a lot of buzz about the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for Democratic caucus votes in Iowa.  And there's also a lot of talk about the fight between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee on the Republican side.
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Chris Matthews dismisses Carol Hunter of the Des Moines Register because of Hillary Clinton endorsement  —  Chris Matthews' obsession with Hillary Clinton in recent weeks got even more bizarre after he attacked Carol Hunter for endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party because she's a woman.
Discussion: My Left Wing and MSNBC
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   The Fred Phenomenon?  —  Mike Huckabee's surge may not be the …
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
The Two Words That Strike Fear Into The GOP
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Hoyer says Congress may not be able to patch AMT  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) hinted Tuesday that Congress may not be able to stop a big tax increase from hitting 23 million Americans.  —  Hoyer, pressed on whether Congress would resolve disputes over the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), said, "Maybe."
Washington Post:
Telecom Immunity Issue Derails Spy Law Overhaul
Jennifer Parker / Political Radar:
Romney Attended Planned Parenthood Fundraiser in 1994  —  ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Mitt Romney attended a fund-raising reception for Planned Parenthood in 1994 in conjunction with a $150 donation his wife made to the organization — notwithstanding Romney's contention that he had …
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
New Fred Thompson Video: Kill.  Protect.  Punch.  —  If Fred wants to win the election, all he has to do is put this in constant rotation in Iowa and his victory would be guaranteed...or he would actually drop into last place.  One or the other.
Discussion: Wizbang, Redstate, Macsmind and Hot Air
Redstate:   The Envelope Please . . .  So I have taken my time in deciding …
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Dems consider ousting Byrd as appropriations chair  —  A group of Senate Democrats has begun quietly exploring ways to replace the venerable Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, believing he's no longer physically up to the job …
New York Times in Iraq: "Blackwater shot our dog"  —  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Iraq is investigating another deadly shooting incident involving its Blackwater bodyguards — this time of the New York Times's dog.  —  Staff at the newspaper's Baghdad bureau …
Rsinderbrand / CNN Political Ticker:
Elder Bush nixes Clinton trip idea  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former President George H.W. Bush has shot down his successor Bill Clinton's idea of a diplomatic mission under a Hillary Clinton presidency that would send him and other notables abroad to assure other nations that "America is open for business and cooperation again."
Free Press:
Free Press Blasts FCC Media Ownership Vote  —  WASHINGTON — Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to remove the longstanding "newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership" ban that prohibits a local newspaper from owning a broadcast station in the same market.
Mary Katharine Ham / TownHall Blog:
The Worst Debate in Western History, Remixed  —  After Fred Barnes called last week's moderator Nurse Ratched, I threw this together for fun, putting Carolyn Washburn's words in the good nurse's mouth.  Creepy isn't she?
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
Walter Shapiro / Salon:
America's next top Democrat  —  COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — In the headlong rush to the Jan. 3 caucuses, the Democratic presidential race has become — bizarrely enough — a virtually issue-free zone.  Vanished from view are the public battles over Iraq and the skirmishing over whose healthcare plans provide universal coverage.
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
A Stanton For the Saudis  —  "A court in country X sentenced a black man who had been severely beaten by white men to six months in jail and 200 lashes."  —  How would you react if you read that in a newspaper?  Shock, horror, anger at the regime in country X, no doubt.
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
GOP Senator Smith Defends Lott's Segregationist Comments — But He Condemned Them At The Time  —  This is kind of fun.  The Huffington Post reported today that GOP Senator Gordon Smith defended Trent Lott's 2002 segregationist comments on the floor of the Senate during a send-off for the retiring Lott this morning:
MBA Announcement / Media Bloggers Association:
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 More Items: 
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Coburn Pushes for Investigation of Young's Secret Earmark Edit
Martin Kady II / The Crypt's Blogs:
Reid rejects notion that GOP is winning Hill battles
David Nason /
'Are we ready to see Hillary age?'
Charles Paul Freund / American Spectator:
A Brutalist Bargain  —  How many dollars does it take to change a light bulb?
Discussion: Chicago Boyz and Moonbattery
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
BBC's censorship of The Pogues: Reader fury
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Discussion: Cliff Schecter
Winnie Hu / New York Times:
Princeton Student Admits Faking Attack
Discussion: Cliff Schecter
Joe Kaufman / Front Page Magazine:
Islamist in the Army  —  In April of 2000, the Islamic Circle …
 Earlier Items: 
Elizabeth Holmes / Wall Street Journal:
Mormons Back Romney — in Iowa
Terry L. Garlock / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Media glow on Fonda ignores her treason
Daily Mail:
British children targeted with sing-along DVD for would-be suicide bombers
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
A Beauty Contest? Have You Seen These Beauties?
Lorelei Kelly /
How High is Up? The Defense Budget gets even crazier
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
In N.H., the Swing Voter Is Vanishing
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Obama-Clinton Issue
Washington Post:
FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect