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More oh-eight: Left out

For the upcoming New Hampshire debates, the New York Times reports that "Fox has invited five of the Republican candidates to a televised forum in Manchester on Sunday, but not Representative Ron Paul of Texas, right, who has placed fourth in some recent New Hampshire polls, or Representative Duncan Hunter of California." And ABC "will include only candidates who finish in the top four in the Iowa caucuses or receive at least 5 percent in New Hampshire or national polls. The criteria could potentially sideline several of the Democrats, including" Dodd and Biden.

The AP looks at the potential impact of absentee voting, and that in 11 states it's already under way. "Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses are Thursday. But residents of 11 states -- Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina and Utah -- have been able to vote for their favorite candidates since December. The first was Michigan, where absentee ballots were made available Dec. 1 for the Jan. 15 primary."

More: "Absentee voting expands to a majority of the country in January. Sixteen other states make ballots available to their voters before the end of the month, including delegate-rich California on Jan. 7. Nearly 4 million voters in California are signed up as "permanent absentee voters," meaning early ballots for the primaries will automatically pop up in their mailboxes. In 2004, about a third of the state's primary ballots were cast early. In 2006, the figure was 47 percent."

NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli reports that on last night's Carson Daly New Years Eve Show, a woman asked Mike Bloomberg if he had any announcements to make about 2008. For the record, he said he'd be right there again in one year doing the same thing in Times Square. Not that that rules anything out.