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9:05 AM ET, December 29, 2008


 Top Items: 
Michael B. Oren / The New Republic:
A Crisis And An Opportunity  —  The fighting in Gaza finally provides Israel with a chance to embark on a lucid and realizable policy there.  —  CNN International's coverage of yesterday's fighting in Gaza concluded at midnight with a rush of images: mangled civilians writhing in the rubble …
Discussion: Winds of Change.NET
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
With Strikes, Israel Reminds Foes It Has Teeth  —  JERUSALEM — Israel's military operation in Gaza is aimed primarily at forcing Hamas to end its rocket barrages and military buildup.  But it has another goal as well: to expunge the ghost of its flawed 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and re-establish Israeli deterrence.
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza enter third day  —  GAZA CITY (CNN) — The death toll from a weekend of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza has topped 300, Palestinian medical sources said Monday as a third day of air raids hit the Hamas-ruled territory.  —  Another 650-plus people have been wounded in the strikes, the sources said.
New York Times:
Obama Defers to Bush, for Now, on Gaza Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — When President-elect Barack Obama went to Israel in July — to the very town, in fact, whose repeated shelling culminated in this weekend's new fighting in Gaza — he all but endorsed the punishing Israeli attacks now unfolding.
Ian Black / Guardian:
Six months of secret planning - then Israel moves against Hamas  —  Even as Israel's F16s were aiming their first deadly salvoes at Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, questions were being asked at home and abroad, about what this “shock and awe” campaign was intended to achieve - and what Israel's exit strategy would be.
Peter Yarrow / The Huffington Post:
My Response to the Mean-Spirited “Barack the Magic Negro”  —  The sending of a Christmas greeting by Chip Saltsman to the members of the Republican National Committee that includes a recording of the so-called parody, “Barack the Magic Negro” is not only offensive, it is shocking and saddening in the extreme.
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
Study: Teenage ‘virginity pledges’ are ineffective  —  Youths who promise abstinence are also less likely to use protection  —  Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Fifty Herbert Hoovers  —  No modern American president would repeat the fiscal mistake of 1932, in which the federal government tried to balance its budget in the face of a severe recession.  The Obama administration will put deficit concerns on hold while it fights the economic crisis.
William Kristol / New York Times:
George, Abe, Rick & Barack  —  I'm leaving the country the day of Barack Obama's inauguration.  —  It's nothing personal.  Nor, I hasten to add — lest some people get too excited — is it anything permanent.  It's just that I happen to have a speech to give in Canada.
Associated Press:
Robert Graham, a Sculptor of Monuments in Bronze, Dies at 70  —  SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The sculptor Robert Graham, whose massive bronze works are seen on civic monuments across the United States, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington and the Duke Ellington Memorial in New York, died here on Saturday.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
George W Bush's $300m library in danger of becoming white elephant  —  His critics see it as a monument to a failed presidency that may not even hold all his key documents  —  As President George W Bush eyes his legacy, his presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, threatens to be a white elephant.
Discussion: Think Progress and Booman Tribune
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Lebanon Enjoys a Respite  —  BEIRUT — It's Christmastime in Lebanon.  The piano player in the lounge at the Phoenicia Hotel is pounding out carols for an audience that includes many Muslims, judging by the headscarves.  Along Hamra Street in the heart of Muslim West Beirut …
Tim Craig / Washington Post:
McAuliffe's Prowess As Fundraiser Grabs Spotlight in Va. Race  —  RICHMOND — With his booming voice, quick wit and gregarious nature, Terry McAuliffe established a reputation as one of the world's best political fundraisers, soaking up hundreds of millions of dollars for Democratic causes and candidates.
Discussion: Commentary
Deborah Howell / Washington Post:
A Farewell Hope for The Post's Future  —  My term as ombudsman ends with this column.  My hope for the future is that readers, our lifeblood, will find in The Post, in print and online, journalism they can believe in and that the paper will both engage and enrich the many communities in this region.
Discussion: Power Line
Amira Hass / Haaretz:
‘Little Baghdad’ in Gaza - bombs, fear and rage  —  There are many corpses and wounded, every moment another casualty is added to the list of the dead, and there is no more room in the morgue.  —  Relatives search among the bodies and the wounded in order to bring the dead quickly to burial.
Discussion: Mondoweiss
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 More Items: 
Christopher Goodwin / Guardian:
CBS newsman's $70m lawsuit likely to deal Bush legacy a new blow
Discussion: Pam's House Blend and Macsmind
Cracks in U.S.-China Relations Are Widening Again in Crisis
Afghan car bomb kills 14 children
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
The banality of vacation  —  Just got my fifth pool report of the day …
The Raw Story:
Laura Bush: Shoe-throwing ‘was an assault’
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
John / Power Line:
 Earlier Items: 
Hillel Italie / Associated Press:
Anger, sadness over fabricated Holocaust story
Discussion: The Other McCain and Vox Popoli
Susan Edelman / New York Post:
Discussion: A Blog For All
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Win, Win, Win, Win, Win ...  How many times do we have to see this play …
Discussion: The Agonist and EconLog
Dave Kopel / Rocky Mountain News:
Opinion pays its own way
Dave Barry / Washington Post:
The Year in Review  —  How weird a year was it?  Here's how weird:
Discussion: Extreme Mortman
NY Daily News:
Bernie's funda-mental defense
Damian Thompson / Damian Thompson's blog listings:
MPAC launches a witchhunt against ‘Zio-Con’ Muslims
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Niall Ferguson / Financial Times:
An imaginary retrospective of 2009
Discussion: TigerHawk