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2:10 PM ET, July 31, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
GOP's celeb-Obama message gains traction  —  Barack Obama's critics laid down the foundations of the strategy months ago: The Republican National Committee started the “Audacity Watch” back in April, and Karl Rove later fueled the attack by describing the first-term Illinois senator as “coolly arrogant.”
RELATED:
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Where did Barack Obama's mojo go?  —  Something's going on.  Or some things.  —  A new CNN/Opinion Research poll out Wednesday shows that despite nine solid days of blanket media coverage from overseas with Barack Obama cheered by adoring throngs of Germans and parlez-vousing with the French …
Washington Post:
As Aides Map Aggressive Race, McCain Often Steers Off Course  —  Sen. John McCain last week delivered one of his sharpest critiques yet of Sen. Barack Obama's Iraq policies, carefully reading a prepared speech that accused his Democratic rival of failing the commander-in-chief test …
Todd Purdum / Vanity Fair:
The McCain Behind the Curtain  —  The saddest sight on “Straight Talk Air,” the sleek flying successor to John McCain's one-time rolling caravan of candor, is the couch.  It's a soft, tan leather shelf, custom-fitted for high altitude truth-telling when McCain, a former Navy pilot, took his act from the road to the skies this summer.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and TIME.com
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
FL, OH, PA Polls  —  The new Quinnipiac polls for Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are mostly encouraging for John McCain.  How can that be? you might ask.  McCain trails in all 3 states according to Q. Here's why - Barack Obama has lost ground in these 3 states.  —  First of all, I do not believe Obama is leading in Florida.
Marc Ambinder:
Hit Me, Davis, One More Time  —  A night's sleep a few thoughts on celebrity, John McCain;'s ad, celebrity, and what voters will make of all of this.  —  1. John McCain is the Republican least associated with the Bush brand of politics.  His appeal is based on his independence …
Mike Glover / Associated Press:
Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters … SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama “doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
Zzaki / Political Punch:
Did Obama Accuse McCain of Running a Racist, Xenophobic Campaign?  —  “John McCain right now, he's spending an awful lot of time talking about me,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said today in Rolla, Mo. “You notice that?  I haven't seen an ad yet where he talks about what he's gonna do.
Wall Street Journal:
Roles Are Set, as Are the Perils  —  Obama at Risk Of Arrogant Tag, McCain, Negative  —  AURORA, Colo. — Presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain both appear to be seizing the roles in which they have been cast: Sen. Obama as front-runner and Sen. McCain as underdog.
John Riley / Spin Cycle:
Sex celebs: Why Britney and Paris?
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:   Suggesting the race card and then denying it
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Is John McCain Stupid?
The Huffington Post:
Bill Press: John McCain Plays the Race Card
Discussion: Right Wing News
Rich Lowry / The Corner:   More on the “Celeb” Ad
CNN:   The Paris Hilton comparisons
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
US judge: White House aides can be subpoenaed  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush's top advisers are not immune from congressional subpoenas, a federal judge ruled Thursday in an unprecedented dispute between the two political branches.  —  House Democrats called the ruling a ringing endorsement …
RELATED:
Jennifer Parker / Political Radar:
Clinton Supporter Angered By ‘Other Women’ Obama VP Talk  —  ABC News' Jennifer Parker reports: A longtime friend of Sen. Hillary Clinton said it's “incomprehensible” that Sen. Barack Obama would choose another woman to be his vice-presidential candidate over Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Discussion: PSoTD
RELATED:
Steve Hargreaves / CNNMoney.com:
Exxon posts record $11.68 billion profit  —  World's largest publicly traded oil firm makes $1,485.55 a second in the quarter, but misses forecasts.  —  NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Exxon Mobil once again reported the largest quarterly profit in U.S. history Thursday, posting net income …
Discussion: Associated Press and Raising Kaine
RELATED:
Marty Kaplan / The Huffington Post:
On Having Your (Political) Heart Broken  —  The e-mail came when I was in Mexico, at a fitness resort that — in pursuit of wellness — confines BlackBerry use to guests' rooms.  —  “Need to chat briefly with you regarding John Edwards and the effects of this scandal on his future political career.”
RELATED:
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
A Baby Daddy For Both Americas
Discussion: Don Surber
Dan Schnur / Campaign Stops:
Bad V.P. Picks  —  As the short lists of potential running mates for John McCain and Barack Obama grow shorter, an intriguing but somewhat unexpected question has emerged: Who would be the worse selection?  Mitt Romney or Tim Kaine?  —  Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice, TPMCafe and Time
RELATED:
St. Petersburg Times:
From ‘straight talk’ to smear campaign  —  The Straight Talk Express has taken a nasty turn into the gutter.  Sen. John McCain has resorted to lies and distortions in what sounds like an increasingly desperate attempt to slow down Sen. Barack Obama by raising questions about his patriotism.
RELATED:
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: BRITNEY-PARIS DAY AFTER  —  From Chuck Todd …
Henry A. Kissinger / Washington Post:
New Premises in Iraq  —  Prospects for Withdrawal Have to Be Viewed Through the Lens of Progress  —  The U.S. presidential campaign has been so long and so intense that it seems to operate in a cocoon, oblivious to changes that should alter its premises.  A striking example is the debate over withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Discussion: Wonk Room and Wall Street Journal
RELATED:
Gallup:
Gallup Daily: Obama 45%, McCain 44%  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The race for the presidency has moved back into a statistical tie in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update of national registered voters, with Barack Obama now ahead of John McCain by just one percentage point, 45% to 44%.
Aaron C. Davis / Washington Post:
Police Raid Berwyn Heights Mayor's Home, Kill His 2 Dogs  —  A police SWAT team raided the home of the mayor in the Prince George's County town of Berwyn Heights on Tuesday, shooting and killing his two dogs, after he brought in a 32-pound package of marijuana that had been delivered to his doorstep, police said.
Discussion: Reason Magazine
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
PFC LaVena Johnson Was Raped, Beaten, Set On Fire And Worse - Army Calls It Suicide  —  Nicole and I have both written posts about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of PFC LaVena Johnson, and Democracy Now! had a heartbreaking interview with her family last week.
Discussion: The Gavel and Pam's House Blend
 
 
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Jane Kay / San Francisco Chronicle:
51% of Californians back offshore drilling
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Decision 2008: In Depth: “Swing State”
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Fight between Hamas-Fatah spreads to upper lips in mustache war
 Earlier Items: 
Joel Achenbach / Washington Post:
A ‘Dead Zone’ in The Gulf of Mexico
Jay Nordlinger / The Corner:
Here We Go Again  —  Couple of things about Obama's reaction …
Discussion: Nitpicker
Rob Christensen / Raleigh News & Observer:
Edwards ending college program
Gomonkeygo / The New Disease:
What's the Word, John?