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11:15 AM ET, December 31, 2007


 Top Items: 
Jane Perlez / New York Times:
New Questions Arise in Killing of Ex-Premier  —  LAHORE, Pakistan — New details of Benazir Bhutto's final moments, including indications that her doctors felt pressured to conform to government accounts of her death, fueled the arguments over her assassination on Sunday and added to the pressure …
Tariq Ali / The Independent:
My heart bleeds for Pakistan.  It deserves better than this grotesque feudal charade  —  Six hours before she was executed, Mary, Queen of Scots wrote to her brother-in-law, Henry III of France: “...As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him.”
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
What Bhutto Was Worried About
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
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.
Stuart Rothenberg / Real Clear Politics:
In Iowa, Will Edwards Divide and Conquer?  —  While the Democratic race has often, and quite accurately, been described as a choice between change (Barack Obama and John Edwards) and experience (Hillary Rodham Clinton), it has, in the final days before Iowa, become another kind of choice as well.
Washington Post:
Obama Tries New Tactics To Get Out Vote in Iowa
Discussion: MSNBC
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Thunder in the Heartland  —  PERRY, Iowa — In the state …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
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 …
Beth Fouhy / Associated Press:
Chelsea Clinton Guards Her Words  —  VINTON, Iowa (AP) - It's one thing for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign to turn down interview requests for the candidate's daughter, Chelsea.  But can't a 9-year-old reporter catch a break?  —  Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and …
Elizabeth Drew / The Politico:
First what?  —  In all the excitement over the prospect …
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Los Angeles Times:
U.S. lawmakers visit Syria  —  Specter and Kennedy travel to Damascus from Israel on a peacemaking trip.  —  DAMASCUS, Syria — A pair of U.S. lawmakers visited the Syrian capital on Sunday in an attempt to persuade the Arab state to make peace with Israel and woo it from the Iranian sphere of influence.
Discussion: Hot Air
Associated Press:
Sarkozy severs ties with Syria
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Matthew Yglesias:
If You've Got Nothing Nice to Say  —  I just hope The New York Times Book Review is as kind to my book when the time comes as they were to Jonah Goldberg (of course, realistically we're all just desperately hoping to be reviewed at all): “Yet the title of his book aside …
Discussion: TalkLeft
'Liberal Fascism'  —  “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History …
Discussion: The Corner and INSTAPUTZ
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.
Peter Robinson / The Corner:
Re: Thompson Makes His Move
Jackson Diehl / Washington Post:
Make-or-Break Time in Iraq?  —  What the U.S. Decides About Post-Surge Troop Levels Could Prove Decisive  —  For five years Washington-based officials and pundits have repeatedly made the mistake of predicting that the next six or 12 months in Iraq would be decisive.
Discussion: Eschaton and IraqPundit
2007 Deadliest for US Troops in Iraq
Discussion: WTF Is It Now?!? and Telegraph
Washington Post:
Huckabee, Romney Make Sunday Push for Evangelicals  —  Republican rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney took their battle over Christian voters to the pews as both attended services while their campaigns spanned Iowa in a final Sunday pitch to evangelicals.  —  With Christian conservatives expected …
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Romney Claws Back in Iowa Polls
Discussion: USA Today, TIME and All Spin Zone
The Corner:
More on the Klan  —  Lots of readers are sharing stories of the Klan and the like.  One point I'd add to give it a little context.  If watch the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, you'll actually get a pretty good sense of the Klan's role.  Recall it's the modernizing champion of “reform” …
John Fund / Opinion Journal:
What's the Matter With Iowa?  —  The caucuses are anything but a Norman Rockwell exercise in small-town democracy.  —  The trouble with the Iowa caucuses isn't that there's anything wrong with Iowans.  It's the bizarre rules of the process.  Caucuses are touted as authentic neighborhood meetings …
New York Post:
SPITZER-PROBE BOSS IN VACATION UPROAR  —  THE man supposedly leading a key state probe of Gov. Spitzer and the Dirty Tricks Scandal has abruptly taken a 21/2-week vacation in South America - after secretly receiving a $15,000 pay raise, The Post has learned.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
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.
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.
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.
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Individual privacy under threat in Europe and U.S., report says
Andrew Stern / Reuters:
“Perfect storm” of cliches make bad English list
Brent Budowsky / The Huffington Post:
Media Insiders Shaft Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and America
Obama's Jakarta Friends Recall a Would-Be Leader, Tattle-Tale
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
After a Son's Death, a Shared Mission in Politics
Discussion: TIME
Roxanne / Rox Populi:
Explaining Michael Bloomberg and the Six People Who Support …
Discussion: Eschaton and Fact-esque
 Earlier Items: 
Patti Davis / Newsweek:
In the Name of the Father...
Discussion: Political Machine
Washington Post:
McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street
Matthew Yglesias:
What's It All About?  —  As usual with calls for less partisanship …
Mary Jacoby / Wall Street Journal:
Ron Paul's War Chest Swelled in 4th Quarter
Discussion: The Caucus and The Swamp
Elizabeth Kolbert / New Yorker:
OLD HABITS  —  How the Giuliani method may defeat him.
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
Aksa Martyrs Brigades calls for Fayad's assassination