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9:20 PM ET, January 2, 2008


 Top Items: 
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Criminal probe opened over CIA tapes  —  WASHINGTON - The Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation Wednesday into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, putting the politically charged probe in the hands of a mob-busting public corruption prosecutor with a reputation for being independent.
New York Times:
Stonewalled by the C.I.A.  —  MORE than five years ago …
Peter Robinson / The Corner:
Late-Breaking Surge for Thompson  —  The latest news from Iowa?  According to Zogby's latest—and I quote: “Sen. Fred Thompson...has seen a late-breaking surge."  (Rich notes the same poll below.)  —  What's going on here?  My guess is that there are whole lot of Iowa Republicans …
Discussion: Hot Air and James Wolcott's Blog
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Rush: Huck ‘not a conservative’  —  Rush Limbaugh devoted a large portion of his first show since the holidays to criticizing Mike Huckabee's candidacy and offering a disapproving bottom-line assessment of the former governor.  —  “Ladies and gentlemen, Gov. Huckabee, mighty fine man …
Rick Klein / ABCNEWS:
Clinton Camp Pre-Spinning Possible Bad News in Iowa  —  Campaign Insists Even a Third-Place Finish Would Not Be Disappointing  —  As the presidential candidates engage in furious pre-caucus spin, one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's most prominent Iowa supporters said Wednesday that she's already accomplished …
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Kristol in Iowa: “Snarky and Contemptuous”  —  Cardinal Richelieu asks, if Romney wins in Iowa, “will the snarky and contemptuous tone of most Romney coverage continue?"  —  I don't know if that was intended to be a rhetorical question (do Cardinals ask rhetorical questions? and how do you say “rhetorical question” in French?).
Marc Ambinder:
Afternoon Update: The Republicans
Simon / Bloggasm:
Readership of major liberal blogs declined in 2007 while conservative blog readership increased  —  It has long been understood that the largest liberal blogs have generally produced more web traffic than the largest conservative blogs.  But I have noticed a general trend over the past few months …
Michael Joseph Gross / Vanity Fair:
A Vast Right-Wing Hypocrisy  —  Richard Mellon Scaife, billionaire bankroller of conservative crusades, spent heavily to expose Bill Clinton's “Troopergate” misbehavior.  Now Scaife's divorce from his second wife, Ritchie, is providing another unsavory saga—adultery! addiction! assault! dognapping!?!—as both parties let loose to V.F.
Discussion: Cliff Schecter
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Clinton to appear on Letterman  —  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) made a last-minute decision to appear on “Late Night with David Letterman” on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, campaign sources said.  —  Wednesday is Letterman's first night back since the writer's strike began.
Discussion: TalkLeft, PunditGuy and
Nick Langewis / Latest:
High-ranking DNC officials subpoenaed in discrimination lawsuit  —  According to documents obtained by PageOneQ, a series of senior Democratic National Committee officials has been subpoenaed in an ongoing discrimination lawsuit by former LGBT outreach director Donald Hitchcock.
Christopher Hayes / The Nation:
Return of the Swift Boaters  —  More than three years after John Kerry's bitter defeat, at the dawn of what looks like a far more promising campaign cycle for the Democrats, the party is still haunted by the specter of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  Once upon a time, “Swift boat” …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Wonkette
Deacon / Power Line:
THE ARLEN SPECTER OF THE SOUTH WEIGHS IN ON BEHALF OF JOHN MCCAIN  —  Lindsey Graham takes to Red State to remind us that foreign policy experience matters.  The Senator is correct, and it's fair to count McCain's experience, which consists of lots of official foreign travel but no actual responsibility …
Discussion: Redstate
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 More Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Clinton, Obama and the Caucus Factor
Discussion: Tom Watson
Mary Ann Akers / The Sleuth:
Hastert, the Untold Story
Proteus / Eject! Eject!:
Discussion: Classical Values
Zachary Coile / San Francisco Chronicle:
Lantos, stricken with cancer, to retire at the end of the year
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
New Rudy Ad Features Bhutto Footage, Warns Of Death At Hands Of Radical Muslims
Eve Fairbanks / The New Republic:
Young and in Love  —  The congressman from Texas has the race's …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Hillary also “fired up,” “ready to go”
Discussion: Spin Cycle
Mark Halperin / The Page:
More on Letters to Pro-Huckabee Pastors
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Stoller / Open Left:
A Slimey Hallmark Card Named Mitt Romney
William Beutler / Blog P.I.:
Josh Marshall's Readers Are... Not So Bright
Discussion: CNSNews, WFAA-TV and Hot Air
Marc Ambinder:
An Obama Ad Appears On Drudge, Mistakenly (Updated)
Matthew Yglesias:
Juno's Politics  —  [This post contains spoilers] …
Joe Biden / CNN:
Biden highlights Clinton Pakistan gaffe
Discussion: Hot Air
New York Times:
Interview with John Edwards
Clifford Krauss / New York Times:
Oil Hits $100 a Barrel for the First Time
Michael J. Totten:
A Plan to Kill Everyone