Elena Becatoros / Associated Press:
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass — BAGHDAD (AP) - Thousands of Iraqi Christians made their way to church through checkpoints and streets lined with blast walls, many drawing hope from a lull in violence to celebrate Christmas Mass in numbers unthinkable a year ago.
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, Tammy Bruce, Say Anything, The Sundries Shack and New York Times
Ian Fisher / New York Times: Pope Makes Appeal on the Environment
Rsinderbrand / CNN Political Ticker:
Bush gives purse, gets biking gear for Christmas — WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's hard to imagine a tough guy from Texas shopping for a pocketbook, but President Bush gave his wife a new purse and a silver tray for Christmas, according to an aide to First Lady Laura Bush.
Discussion: Shakespeare's Sister
Sebastian Junger / Vanity Fair:
Into the Valley of Death — A strategic passage wanted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda, Afghanistan's Korengal Valley is among the deadliest pieces of terrain in the world for U.S. forces. One platoon is considered the tip of the American spear. Its men spend their days in a surreal combination …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Weekly Standard
Aaron MacLean / Weekly Standard: Army Strong — The current issue of Vanity Fair carries …
John Steele Gordon / Opinion Journal:
A Brief History of Christmas — The Elizabethans partied hard. The Puritans banned it. Now comes the ACLU. — Christmas famously “comes but once a year." In fact, however, it comes twice. The Christmas of the Nativity, the manger and Christ child, the wise men and the star of Bethlehem …
Discussion: PoliBlog (TM) and Outside The Beltway
Dr. Steven Taylor / PoliBlog (TM): Some Thoughts on the “War on Christmas”
Steven Taylor / Outside The Beltway: A Little Politics with Christmas...
Julie Bosman / New York Times:
Edwards Gets Demerits for Tardiness on the Trail — MANCHESTER, Iowa — It seemed as if everybody in this northeast Iowa town had squeezed into the Cedar Lodge Steakhouse one night this month for a John Edwards event. — Everyone, that is, except Mr. Edwards.
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Disappointing Sales During Holiday Season — Spending during the Christmas season rose just 3.6 percent over last year, the weakest rate in at least four years, a report by a credit card company said.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard, Patterico's Pontifications, Say Anything, Washington Monthly and JammieWearingFool
Christopher Drew / New York Times:
Democrats Try to Rein In Fees on Consulting — It was the spring of 2004, and Senator John Kerry had just secured the Democratic presidential nomination. But as huge sums of money began pouring into his campaign, his top strategists had more on their minds than just getting ready for a tough race against President Bush.
Discussion: Firedoglake, MyDD, The Carpetbagger Report, ThatPoliticalBlog, Brilliant at Breakfast and Multi Medium
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake: Democratic Consultants: Paid to Lose
Jonathan Singer / MyDD: Stop Letting Consultants Siphon Off Millions
Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report: Breaking up the consultancy racket
Rico J. Halo / ThatPoliticalBlog: DEMOCRATS FOLLOW REPUBLICANS LEAD IN FISCAL STRATEGY FOR THEIR CAMPAIGNS
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Questions and Answers About Americans' Religion — More than 8 out of 10 Americans identify with a Christian faith — Christmas is obviously a Christian holiday. But what percentage of Americans today identify with a Christian religion? — About 82% of Americans in 2007 told Gallup interviewers …
Discussion: David Seaton's News Links and Macsmind
David Seaton's Newslinks / David Seaton's News Links: The soft Republican underbelly: caught between Rand and the Rapture
Macranger / Macsmind: The Decline of God in America
Daniel McGinn / Wired News:
Home Sweet Gadget: How Our Technolust Helped Bring Down the Housing Market — Wander the floor of the International Builders' Show in Orlando in February and you'll see little evidence that the US housing market is experiencing its sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.
Discussion: The Newshoggers
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Partisan Fissures Over Voter ID — The Supreme Court will open the new year with its most politically divisive case since Bush v. Gore decided the 2000 presidential election, and its decision could force a major reinterpretation of the rules of the 2008 contest.
Discussion: PERRspectives Blog, ThatPoliticalBlog, Obsidian Wings and The Heretik