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11:45 AM ET, December 18, 2007


 Top Items: 
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 …
William Douglas / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Giuliani's once-leading campaign is slipping in key early states  —  WASHINGTON — These are tough times for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  —  He's still the leading Republican presidential candidate in national polls, but only by two percentage points over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee …
Opinion Journal:
McCain's Surge  —  Why he's making a primary comeback.
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
In N.H., the Swing Voter Is Vanishing
Discussion: TIME, The Caucus, AMERICAblog and USA Today
Mark Murray / MSNBC:   First Read: Giuliani's momentum problem?
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 …
Peterhamby / CNN Political Ticker:
Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary  —  ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush …
Ron Fournier / Associated Press:
ON DEADLINE: Clinton '92 Vs. Obama '08  —  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Bill Clinton says Sen. Barack Obama is a callow, highly ambitious political prodigy who is asking voters to "roll the dice" and elect him president.  —  He should know — that's a fair description of Clinton when he sought the presidency in 1992.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Hillary leads in the 'anti-' vote
Discussion: Power Line and Real Clear Politics
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 …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Dodd's Filibuster Threat Stalls Wiretap Bill
Does Our Looks-Obsessed Culture Want to Stare at an Aging Woman?  —  BEGIN TRANSCRIPT  —  RUSH: Now, this theory of mine based on this Drudge picture of Mrs. Clinton, with the headline: "The Toll of a Campaign."  Now, it could well be that that's a sympathy photo, too, to make people feel sorry for how tough the campaign trail is.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
A Beauty Contest? Have You Seen These Beauties?
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Associated Press:
Border Patrol fights back  —  After hundreds of attacks in a year, agency responds with tear gas  —  SAN DIEGO - The Border Patrol says its agents were attacked nearly 1,000 times during a one-year period along the Mexican border, typically by assailants hurling rocks, bottles and bricks.
Michelle Malkin:
House guts border fence  —  Update 10:20am Eastern.  The fence gets robbed, but the spending bill gives $10 million in "emergency" funding for attorneys of illegal immigrants?!!?! … Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  I've warned several times that the border fence expansion was gesture politics.
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 …
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 …
Bill Mears / CNN:
Judge: White House visitor logs are public  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House must release its visitor logs and cannot hide behind a shield of privilege, a federal judge ruled Monday.  The Bush administration has resisted public disclosure while it fights a lawsuit over alleged political influence …
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:
Secret Service Logs of White House Visitors Are Public Records, Judge Rules
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" …
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy  —  A jet of highly charged radiation from a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy is blasting another galaxy nearby — an act of galactic violence that astronomers said yesterday they have never seen before.
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:
MIKE EYES '08 TEAM  —  AIDES SOUND OUT ADVISERS FOR RUN  —  Mayor Bloomberg's aides have been reaching out to consultants from his past campaigns about whether they are free for a possible 2008 White House bid - including one who helped make his slick mayoral TV spots, The Post has learned.
Discussion: The Caucus
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 More Items: 
Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post:
Gov't official: No 'smoking gun' on Iran
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
An earmark Christmas  —  Congressional negotiators have added scores …
The Fact Hub:
Sen. Obama Goes Negative in the Mail, Misleads NH Voters on Health Care
Washington Post:
U.S. Helps Turkey Hit Rebel Kurds In Iraq
Julie Bosman / New York Times:
More Hiring and Advertising Ahead for Paul Campaign as the Donations Pour In
White House:
President Bush Discusses Economy in Fredericksburg, Virginia
Brit Hume / Fox News:
Little Outrage Over Student Beating at Princeton University
Cate Doty / The Caucus:
Thompson Starts His Bus Tour in Iowa
 Earlier Items: 
Stanley Kurtz / The Corner:
Canada's Human Rights Nightmare
Discussion: Wise Law Blog
Media Matters for America:
Matthews asked about Clinton endorsers' "willingness" …
Jerome R. Corsi / WorldNetDaily:
Minuteman reconsiders Huckabee endorsement
Discussion: Hot Air
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
For Romney, a Course Set Long Ago
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and Gawker
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
A Stanton For the Saudis  —  "A court in country X sentenced …
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
The Scribe Who Gets The Candidates' Vote
Donald Sensing / Sense of Events:
Clarity  —  "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing."