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8:35 PM ET, January 22, 2008

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Marc Ambinder:
Thompson Decides To Drop Out  —  Ex-Sen. Fred Thompson has told several Republicans that he has decided to drop out of the presidential race and will make public his intentions by close of business.  —  Thompson does not plan to endorse any rivals for now, even though one of his best friends is Sen. John McCain.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
With Thompson Out, Who Benefits Most?  —  The decision by former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson to end his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination removes a conservative voice from the field even as the remaining Republican candidates crisscross Florida in search of votes in advance of the state's Jan. 29 primary.
Discussion: Eunomia and Time
The Campaign Spot:
Fred Out of Thursday's Debate; Doesn't Plan on Endorsing  —  I spoke to one of my Thompson sources.  —  He's still with his ailing mother.  “He's just being a good son."  —  He has not spoken to any other campaign or any other candidates, nor does he intend to at this time.
Carl Cameron / Cameron's Corner:
Now it can be told- The Thompson story
Discussion: Hot Air and Riehl World View
Bill Sammon / Examiner:
Fred Thompson quits; may position himself for VP bid
Discussion: The Campaign Spot and Wizbang
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
D'AMATO DUMPS FRED FOR MCCAIN
Sewell Chan / City Room:
Heath Ledger, Actor, Is Found Dead at 28  —  The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan, according to the New York City police.  Signs pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose, police sources said.  Mr. Ledger was 28.
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CNN:
Actor Heath Ledger dies at 28  —  NEW YORK (CNN) — Actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday of a possible drug overdose in a Lower Manhattan apartment, the New York Police Department said.  —  The Academy Award nominated actor was 28.  —  “Pills were found in the vicinity of the bed,” police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN.
Discussion: The World Wide Rant
The Prowler / American Spectator:
Huckabee Broke  —  Less than a month after a huge upset victory, and promises that fundraising would be ramped up, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is asking his senior staff to keep working for him without pay, while lower level campaign staff are seeing their salaries cut dramatically or eliminated altogether.
RELATED:
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
Huckaproblems  —  As Fred Thompson departs and frees up a share …
Discussion: race42008.com
Ron Word / Associated Press:
Some Huckabee Aides Forgoing Paychecks
Discussion: protein wisdom and The Page
The State:
Obama most likely Democrat to unify America  —  THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY in South Carolina this year offers voters an unusual choice.  Earlier votes have winnowed out the most experienced candidates, leaving a field with fewer accomplishments and differences on policy, but including two candidates …
John Edwards / CNN:
Clinton, Edwards hold private post-debate meeting  —  MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) — What were they talking about?  —  Hillary Clinton and John Edwards met privately backstage following a very contentious Democratic presidential debate in this coastal city, sources with both campaigns confirm to CNN.
RELATED:
CNN:
Bill Schneider's take on last night's Democratic debate:
Discussion: The Swamp, The Trail and MyDD
Jo Mannies / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Gov. Blunt won't seek second term  —  Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, just announced that he's not running for re-election this fall.  —  In a statement that shocked political leaders, in both parties, Blunt released a TV address “announcing that having achieved virtually everything …
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
OBAMA vs. CLINTON....AGAIN....It's possible — likely, even — that everyone is tired of conversations about whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be more effective if they win the presidency.  That's doubly true since it's essentially unknowable at this point.
Michelle Malkin:
Mystery in Brooklyn: Bomb factory at Columbia University professor's home  —  The NY Daily News reports today on a disturbing discovery at a Columbia University instructor's home: … Clatts cannot be located.  Who is he? … The NYTimes reports on a bizarre twist in the case …
Byron York / National Review:
Why Republicans Fear Obama  —  Columbia, South Carolina — I went to Barack Obama's rally here, on Sunday night, with a Republican friend who had never seen the Illinois senator in action before.  Watching the crowd of more than 3,000 fill up the convention center, watching the people send …
Badgers Forward:
Setting the Record Staright Regarding Soldiers Deaths while Riding in MRAPs  —  Today the New York Times has this article, Hopes for Vehicle Questioned After Blast.  —  The basic thesis is that because some Soldiers were killed while riding in the vehicle.
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Fred Exits  —  He's a good and talented man, but I'm still mystified at why he got into the race in the first place.  For the most part, he was a very unhappy warrior out on the campaign trail and seemed to have little appetite for the normal give and take and indignities of campaigning.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kirk Semple / New York Times:
Padilla Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison
Discussion: Gawker and Reason Magazine
Jeffrey Ressner / The Politico:
Rock and politics at the Sundance Film Festival
Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative:
Found in Translation  —  FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.
Scott Horton / Harper's:
The Emails that Dick Cheney Deleted
Amanda / Think Progress:
Petraeus: I Need Another Six Months To Determine Whether 'We've …
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Bond wants intelligence bill
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Bush's Stimulus Flop
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The Huffington Post:
Abdul-Jabbar To Magic: Obama's No “Rookie”
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Roni Caryn Rabin / New York Times:
In the Fatosphere, Big Is in, or at Least Accepted
Discussion: Megan McArdle
Megan McArdle:
Hell is other investors  —  Well, the Dow is of by hundreds of points …
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Hillary Hater is DIY Robo Caller?
The Smoking Gun:
Hey Kids, Shoot Your Favorite Candidate!
Discussion: Gawker, Pat Dollard and Hot Air
Fareed Zakaria / Newsweek:
We're Fighting the Wrong War
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
What's Gotten Into Bill?