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1:55 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.
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
In N.H., the Swing Voter Is Vanishing  —  More Partisanship Seen Among 'Independents'  —  CONCORD, N.H. — As Sen. John McCain, a Republican running for president, touted the endorsement Monday of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a maverick Democrat-turned-independent, it seemed designed to capture …
Kevin Landrigan /
McCain launches direct mail attack  —  CONCORD - Republican hopeful Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, launched an attack - a direct mail campaign labeling New Hampshire primary front-runner Mitt Romney as a serial flip-flopper that "voters can't trust."  —  The mailing is believed to be the first …
David Yepsen / Des Moines Register:
Don't rule out surges by Edwards, Thompson
Discussion: The Caucus and Pajamas Media
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 …
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Obama-Clinton Issue  —  Hillary Clinton has been a much better senator than Barack Obama.  She has been a serious, substantive lawmaker who has worked effectively across party lines.  Obama has some accomplishments under his belt, but many of his colleagues believe that he has not bothered …
Ron Fournier / Associated Press:
ON DEADLINE: Clinton '92 Vs. Obama '08
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Hillary leads in the 'anti-' vote
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 …
Michelle Malkin:
House guts border fence  —  Update 1:20pm Eastern.  Omnibusting links the section of the bill containing the border-gutting.  —  Update 10:20am Eastern.  The fence gets robbed, but the spending bill gives $10 million in "emergency" funding for attorneys of illegal immigrants?!!?!
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
A Beauty Contest?  Have You Seen These Beauties?  —  Could one bad picture derail a presidential campaign?  Have political campaigns become the equivalent of beauty contests for both men and women, and if so, can women get a fair shake at an age where candidates have the requisite experience?
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Hotline On Call:
With Magic, HRC Thinks She's Got Her Groove Back  —  DES MOINES, Dec 18 — NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, joined Hillary and Bill Clinton at a Hy-Vee grocery store Tuesday morning, chatting up a mostly Black crowd of about 40 people, many of whom were high school and junior high school basketball players …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
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 …
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
Opinion Journal:
McCain's Surge  —  Why he's making a primary comeback.
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Marni Soupcoff / National Post:
Ezra Levant: Censorship in the name of 'human rights'  —  'Drug dealers get the benefit of the Charter, but not pastors accused of homophobia'  —  The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is taking Maclean's magazine to a human rights commission.  Their crime?
Discussion: Wise Law Blog
Stanley Kurtz / The Corner:
Canada's Human Rights Nightmare
Discussion: Wise Law Blog and National Post
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" …
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.
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
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.
Lorelei Kelly /
How High is Up?  The Defense Budget gets even crazier  —  For those of you concerned about the state of US security—levees that don't collapse, for example, or bridges that don't fall into the Mississippi river, sit down before you see these numbers.  —  Last week, both houses …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Why Did Reid Pull the Telecom Bill?  —  I'd like to believe that Harry Reid pulled the telecom bill yesterday because members of the Senate actually did realize how shameless and horrifying their soliloquies on behalf of the poor beleaguered telecos made them sound, but I'm skeptical.
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 More Items: 
Terry L. Garlock / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Media glow on Fonda ignores her treason
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
GOP Senator Smith Defends Lott's Segregationist Comments …
USA Today:
Americans' approval of Congress sinks to new low
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Hoyer says Congress may not be able to patch AMT
Discussion: The Corner
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
"She Could Do Things a Republican President Couldn't"
Daily Mail:
British children targeted with sing-along DVD for would-be suicide bombers
 Earlier Items: 
The Volokh Conspiracy:
Discussion: Op For
Eye /
Romney is doing better in Iowa than you think
Brit Hume / Fox News:
Little Outrage Over Student Beating at Princeton University
Media Matters for America:
Matthews asked about Clinton endorsers' "willingness" …
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:

From Techmeme:

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
AT&T says it will begin notifying consumers about a data breach where cybercriminals stole phone records of “nearly all” of its cellular and landline customers

Javier Espinoza / Financial Times:
Preliminary findings: the European Commission says X's paid blue checkmark deceives users and breaches the DSA; X could be fined up to 6% of its global revenue

Aditya Kalra / Reuters:
In a June 24 report, Indian antitrust body CCI found that Apple exploited its dominant App Store position on iOS and engaged “in abusive conduct and practices”

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