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10:00 AM ET, December 31, 2007

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Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
What Bhutto Was Worried About  —  The assassination of Benazir Bhutto followed two months of urgent pleas to the State Department by her representatives for better protection.  The U.S. reaction was that she was worried over nothing, expressing assurance that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would not let anything happen to her.
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Philip Sherwell / Telegraph:
Bhutto ‘blocked from hiring US bodyguards’  —  Benazir Bhutto was so fearful for her life that she tried to hire British and American security experts to protect her, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.  —  But the plans collapsed because President Pervez Musharraf refused to allow …
Tariq Ali / The Independent:
My heart bleeds for Pakistan. …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
In Iowa, Bubba is back  —  CHEROKEE, IA — Before he was a silver-haired elder statesman, ex-president, and globe-trotting do-gooder, Bill Clinton was Bubba.  —  And out in rural Western Iowa, Bubba is back.  —  The ex-president, in a nice gray suit, spoke to packed rooms in three …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
RELATED:
Washington Post:   Obama Tries New Tactics To Get Out Vote in Iowa
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Democrats Try Various Styles, and Pronouns
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Thunder in the Heartland  —  PERRY, Iowa — In the state …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
New York Times:
With New Poll Results, Candidates Scramble for Edge in Caucuses
Discussion: truthout
Roger Simon / The Politico:
Huckabee says Romney owes him apology
New York Times:
Candidates Step Up Attacks in Iowa
Discussion: The Swamp
Peter Robinson / The Corner:
Thompson Makes His Move  —  On the Internet as of sometime this afternoon, Fred Thompson's closing argument to the people of Iowa.  —  Whereas Romney is saturating the airwaves with attack ads, Thompson pays the voters the courtesy of speaking calmly, and in detail—the video runs to just over 15 minutes.
RELATED:
Peter Robinson / The Corner:
Re: Thompson Makes His Move
Discussion: Instapundit.com
New York Times:
Looking at America  —  There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country.  Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Great Divide  —  Yesterday The Times published a highly informative chart laying out the positions of the presidential candidates on major issues.  It was, I'd argue, a useful reality check for those who believe that the next president can somehow usher in a new era of bipartisan cooperation.
Don Surber:
France stands up to Syria  —  No scarf for Sarkozy as he suspends diplomatic relations — over the Lebanese elections.  —  Nicolas Sarkozy — L'Americain — continues to show more courage in his little pinky than the Democratic Party combined when it comes to the War on Terrorism.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Sarkozy severs ties with Syria
Mary Jacoby / Wall Street Journal:
Ron Paul's War Chest Swelled in 4th Quarter  —  Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul may lag behind in public-opinion polls.  But after raising about $19 million for the final three months of the year, he is now among his party's front-runners in the race for campaign cash.
Discussion: The Caucus and The Swamp
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President  —  Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of making an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.
Joe Mathews / Los Angeles Times:
Huckabee's double-edged faith  —  Religion helped him as governor, he says.  Some saw it as a hindrance.  —  ARKADELPHIA, ARK. — Five days after the tornado tore through the state, this city of 10,000 lay in ruins.  The cyclone destroyed an office building, a bank, a pharmacy and 70 other businesses.
RELATED:
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
“What one's sin is, means it's missing the mark. …
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
Aksa Martyrs Brigades calls for Fayad's assassination  —  Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for “collaboration” with Israel and the US.  —  This was the first time the group has openly called for Fayad's assassination.
Discussion: A Blog For All and Israel Matzav
Glenn R. Simpson / Wall Street Journal:
Lender Lobbying Blitz Abetted Mortgage Mess  —  Ameriquest Pressed  —  For Changes in Laws; A Battle in New Jersey  —  During the housing boom, the subprime industry succeeded at more than just writing mortgages.  It also shot down efforts by some states to curtail risky lending to borrowers with spotty credit.
Matthew Yglesias:
What's It All About?  —  As usual with calls for less partisanship and more moderation, the striking thing about this new initiative is its vacuousness.  There are two kinds of thing a centrist movement might reasonably stand for.  One would be a middle-ground approach to issues …
Discussion: Eschaton, USA Today and PoliPundit.com
Washington Post:
McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took a break from the presidential campaign trail in March to fly to a posh Utah ski resort, where he mingled with hundreds of top corporate executives assembled by J.P. Morgan Chase for its annual leadership conference.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Roxanne / Rox Populi:
Explaining Michael Bloomberg and the Six People Who Support …
Discussion: Eschaton and Fact-esque
Patti Davis / Newsweek:
In the Name of the Father...
Discussion: Political Machine
Edward Cody / Washington Post:
For China's Journalism Students, Censorship Is a Core Concept
Elizabeth Kolbert / New Yorker:
OLD HABITS  —  How the Giuliani method may defeat him.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Iowa Here We Come  —  In the airport on my way to Des Moines …
Discussion: TalkLeft
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel W. Drezner / Los Angeles Times:
Should celebrities set the global agenda?
Nashuatelegraph.com:
McCain our choice for GOP nomination
Reason.tv:
Roger Stone  —  On November 28, reason sat down for a discussion …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
The Muslim smear, version 2.0