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12:00 PM ET, January 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Confederate Flag Takes Center Stage Once Again  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Republican presidential candidates on Thursday moved to appeal to different types of conservative voters before the South Carolina primary, with Mike Huckabee using colorful language to declare the Confederate flag …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
The martyrdom of John McCain
Discussion: New York Post and MSNBC
Serafin Gomez / FOX Embeds:
Huckabee on SC Flag: In Ark, We'd Tell'em Where to Put the Pole
Discussion: Hot Air and Confederate Yankee
Atwater's ‘Understudies’ Carry On Bare-Knuckle Political Legacy
Discussion: Facing South
Kevin Hechtkopf / CBS News:
McCain Defends Stance On Confederate Flag In S.C.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
South Carolina And The Flag
Molly Ball / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
THE NEVADA CAUCUS: Poll: Nevada going to Clinton, Romney  —  Obama picks up no ground; Giuliani fades  —  Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mitt Romney have comfortable leads in Nevada going into Saturday's presidential campaign caucuses, according to a new Review-Journal poll.
Reuters/Zogby Polls: McCain Retains South Carolina Lead; Clinton Leads Obama in Nevada  —  South Carolina  —  Arizona Sen. John McCain is holding on to his lead in South Carolina as the Republican primary election there approaches, a new Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby three-day telephone tracking poll shows.
Discussion: Open Left, MyDD and Boston Globe
Andy Borowitz / The Huffington Post:   Gay Tiger Attacks Huckabee
Rich Lowry / Real Clear Politics:
Huck Hoax: Why He Won't Break Out
Discussion: Ross Douthat
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
Campaigning for His Wife, Shadowed by Past Battles  —  The question was about a campaign polling memo in 2008, but somehow the answer drifted back to the political wars of 1998.  Bill Clinton was holding forth to a group of college students in New Hampshire too young to remember …
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
USA Today:
Military: 75% of Baghdad areas now secure  —  About 75% of Baghdad's neighborhoods are now secure, a dramatic increase from 8% a year ago when President Bush ordered more troops to the capital, U.S. military figures show.  —  The military classifies 356 of Baghdad's 474 neighborhoods in the …
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:   Iraq May Need Military Help for Years, Officials Say
Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch Releases Records Re: Hillary's Health Care Reform Plan  —  Internal Memos Detail Creation of Government “Interest Group Database” to Collect Personal Data on Health Care Debate Activists  —  (Washington, DC) - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates …
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   The First Look At Hillary Documents (Update & Bump)
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Chris Matthews Backs Off ‘Nasty’ Remark on Clinton  —  Under pressure from feminist groups and his own bosses at MSNBC, Chris Matthews apologized yesterday for remarks about Hillary Clinton that he now admits sounded “nasty."  —  For 10 days, the “Hardball” host had doggedly insisted …
David Brooks / New York Times:
How Voters Think  —  People in my line of work try to answer certain questions.  Why did Hillary surge after misting up in New Hampshire?  Why have primary victories produced no momentum for the victors?  Why did John McCain win among Republicans who oppose the Iraq war in both New Hampshire and Michigan …
New York Post:
THE NEW ‘LEPERS’  —  THE TIMES' TROUBLE WITH VETS  —  I'VE had a huge response to Tuesday's column about The New York Times' obscene bid to smear veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as mad killers.  Countless readers seem to be wondering: Why did the paper do it?
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Callous Conservative  —  After watching Fred Thompson debate his Republican rivals, I have often wondered why he is not in the top tier of candidates.  He seems to have John McCain's honesty, without his razor-sharp edges, and Mitt Romney's conservatism, without his jaw-dropping inconsistencies.
Discussion: The Corner, The Opinionator and Eunomia
Matthew Yglesias:
Are We In a Recession?  —  Brad DeLong tries to assess the situation.  One thing that doesn't get talked about enough is that people in Washington are pretty out of touch with the basic economic picture in the United States.  Not in the usual, pat, pseudo-populist “oh you're out of touch” …
Discussion: Eschaton
Brad DeLong / Grasping Reality with Both Hands:
Are We in a Recession? What Will It Look Like If We Have One?
Discussion: Firedoglake
Jackie Kucinich / The Hill:
McCain hit by Hammer on the Hill  —  Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) lambasted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday for “betraying” the conservative movement.  —  During a private luncheon with Republican chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill, DeLay — who has criticized McCain for years …
Los Angeles Times:
Clinton plays gaming card against Obama  —  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has embraced the gambling industry and its executives.  Here, gamblers try their luck at the Desert Inn Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.  —  Democrats' gambling stances may be an issue beyond Nevada.
Washington Post:
Judge Allows Casino Sites for Nevada Caucuses
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Obama Debuts New Act in Vegas  —  LAS VEGAS (AP) - The White House campaign has brought a new act to Vegas.  Barack Obama has stepped up his campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he's trying to use humor to bring her down before this weekend's Democratic presidential caucus.
Jerry Markon / Washington Post:
Lawmaker Tells Court FBI Agents Bullied Him  —  Jefferson Testifies About 2005 Raid On His La. Home  —  Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) testified yesterday that an FBI agent cursed at him and told him that “this is going to be the worst day of your life,” just before agents searched …
Discussion: The Hill and Captain's Quarters
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Reagan Advisers See A Bit Of Their Former Boss In Obama  —  Barack Obama found himself under fire on Thursday for having compared his candidacy to Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential run.  —  “I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure,” he told the Reno Journal Gazette editorial board earlier this week.
Washington Post:
White House Study Found 473 Days of E-Mail Gone  —  The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary …
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Iraqi Mirages  —  A new law may not bring real reconciliation much closer.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Arshad Mohammed / Reuters:
U.S. diplomat Nicholas Burns to step down - official
Discussion: TIME: Swampland
Freddiemac / Matthew Yglesias:
More Flag  —  Here's a [pro-racism] pro-heritage outfit lauding …
David Bernstein / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
CIA Places Blame for Bhutto Assassination
Discussion: The Swamp
New York Post:
HE'S A NEW JEW  —  CNN's chief national correspondent …
 Earlier Items: 
Christopher Hitchens / Wall Street Journal:
The Perils of Identity Politics
Gudjon Helgason / Associated Press:
Chess master Bobby Fischer dies at 64
MBIA, Ambac Bond Default Risk Exceeds 70%, Swaps Show
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Will / Attytood:
Thank God the AP is ready for the biggest story of our lifetime