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5:40 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.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
The Two Words That Strike Fear Into The GOP  —  They aren't Hillary Clinton, nor are they Ron Paul.  The two words that will haunt the early primary states are "brokered convention", and we may be heading towards it.  At Heading Right, I review the McClatchy analysis of what looks to be a Rudy Giuliani slide.
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 …
Discussion: My Left Wing and MSNBC
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   The Fred Phenomenon?  —  Mike Huckabee's surge may not be the …
Ross Douthat:
Advice For the GOP Field
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:
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Discussion: Cliff Schecter
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:   NOT JUST GORDON SMITH  —  Here's Orrin Hatch (R-UT) …
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
The Envelope Please . . .  So I have taken my time in deciding …
Discussion: TownHall Blog and
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 …
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 …
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
F.C.C. Eases Media Ownership Rule  —  WASHINGTON — By the narrowest of margins, the Federal Communications Commission adopted proposals by its chairman to tighten the reins on the cable television industry while loosening 32-year-old restrictions that have prevented a company from owning …
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 …
Washington Post:
FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect  —  Agencies Also Disagree On Interrogation Methods  —  Al-Qaeda captive Abu Zubaida, whose interrogation videotapes were destroyed by the CIA, remains the subject of a dispute between FBI and CIA officials over his significance as a terrorism suspect …
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."
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."
Matthew Yglesias:
Stay Classy, Bob Kerrey  —  It's hard to express how odious I find Bob Kerrey.  His behavior as a Senator was entirely discreditable, and it's hard to see that he's done anything good in his life in non-Senator roles.  Keeping it up, he's now following up on his "Barack Hussein Obama" …
Tim Arango / New York Times:
Case Lays Bare the Media's Reliance on Iraqi Journalists  —  Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi photographer who had a hand in The Associated Press's 2005 Pulitzer Prize for photography before being jailed without charges by the United States military, finally had a day in court last week.
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 and IMAO.US
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.
MBA Announcement / Media Bloggers Association:
Charles Paul Freund / American Spectator:
A Brutalist Bargain  —  How many dollars does it take to change a light bulb?  Well, if the defunct bulb you're replacing has been illuminating the Third Church of Christ, Scientist in downtown Washington, you could be looking at a bill of up to $8,000.  That's because unscrewing a blown bulb …
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 More Items: 
David Schraub / The Moderate Voice:
This Election Is About Torture
Cernig / The Newshoggers:
A "Blog-Tank": Thinking About Nuclear Policy
Shaun Mullen / The Moderate Voice:
Hillary, Politics & The Beast of Beauty
Discussion: Wake up America
Jill Zuckman / The Swamp:
Once neutral, filmmaker Ken Burns picks Obama
Discussion: Obama HQ
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Coburn Pushes for Investigation of Young's Secret Earmark Edit
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Pox This  —  One of the kings of the FoxDemocrats …
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
BBC's censorship of The Pogues: Reader fury
 Earlier Items: 
Winnie Hu / New York Times:
Princeton Student Admits Faking Attack
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
Walter Shapiro / Salon:
America's next top Democrat
Lorelei Kelly /
How High is Up? The Defense Budget gets even crazier
Michelle Malkin:
House guts border fence
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Obama-Clinton Issue