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11:05 AM ET, February 21, 2007


 Top Items: 
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The Defense Rests, and Not a Minute Too Soon  —  For a brief moment yesterday, Scooter Libby was not a former White House aide on trial for perjury.  He was an orphan in need of a loving home.  —  "He's been under my protection for the last month; now I'm entrusting him to you," defense lawyer Ted Wells told the puzzled jurors.
Discussion: The RBC and CorrenteWire
Washington Post:
Libby 'Told a Dumb Lie,' Prosecutor Says in Closing Argument
Discussion: JustOneMinute and All Spin Zone
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Libby Trial: Missing the Forest From the Trees
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Macsmind
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
EXCLUSIVE: Cheney Says British Troop Withdrawal Is Positive Sign  —  Vice President Tells Soldiers in Tokyo the U.S. Will Not Withdraw Until the Job Is Done  —  British Prime Minister Tony Blair's announcement that British troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq would appear to be bad news for the Bush administration.
David Stringer / Associated Press:
Blair announces Iraq withdrawal plan  —  LONDON - Britain will withdraw around 1,600 troops from Iraq in the coming months and aims to further cut its 7,100-strong contingent by late summer if Iraqi forces can secure the country's south, Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard and TAPPED
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Rape Accusation Reinforces Fears in a Divided Iraq  —  The most wicked acts are spoken of openly and without reserve in Iraq.  Torture, stabbings and bodies ripped to pieces in bombings are all part of the daily conversation.  —  Rape is different.  —  Rape is not mentioned by the victims, and rarely by the authorities.
Associated Press:
Top Sunni Official Fired Over Rape Case
Discussion: Mia Culpa
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Today's Must Read
Discussion: Washington Post
R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
Berger Case Still Roils Archives, Justice Dept.  —  In a chandeliered room at the Justice Department, the longtime head of the counterespionage section, the chief of the public integrity unit, a deputy assistant attorney general, some trial lawyers and a few FBI agents all looked down at their pant legs and socks.
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Statistics On Terrorism Faulted  —  Most of the Justice Department's major statistics on terrorism cases are highly inaccurate, and federal prosecutors routinely count cases involving drug trafficking, marriage fraud and other unrelated crimes as part of anti-terrorism efforts, according to an audit released yesterday.
Discussion: Counterterrorism Blog
Washington Post:
Swift Action Promised at Walter Reed  —  Investigations Urged as Army Moves to Make Repairs, Improve Staffing  —  The White House and congressional leaders called yesterday for swift investigation and repair of the problems plaguing outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center …
Discussion: CNN, Hot Air, The RBC and Debsweb
Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report:
A tale of two reactions  —  The Washington Post's two-part series on the living and rehabilitation conditions for veteran outpatients at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center shocked everyone who read it.  There's a national assumption that those seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan …
Andy Soltis / New York Post:
AMERICA SAYS LET'S WIN WAR  —  POLL SUPPORTS KEEPING U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ  —  In a dramatic finding, a new poll shows a solid majority of Americans still wants to win the war in Iraq - and keep U.S. troops there until the Baghdad government can take over.  —  Strong majorities also say victory …
Discussion: PrairiePundit
Gary Kamiya / Salon:
Is there life after Bush?  —  We've been hating him forever, but he's leaving.  Now we have to decide what to do with the rest of our lives.  —  Hating George W. Bush sometimes feels like a full-time job.  I get up in the morning, open the paper, and it's Bush World.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Mitt Romney's Extreme Makeover  —  Precisely two years ago, Mitt Romney, then the governor of Massachusetts but already eyeing a 2008 presidential bid, sat in the coffee shop of a Washington hotel, doing his best not to explain his views on abortion.  —  Romney was speaking to a few of us from The Post …
Christopher Drew / New York Times:
Lower Voter Turnout Is Seen in States That Require ID  —  States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests.
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Josh White / Washington Post:
Guantanamo Detainees Lose Appeal  —  Habeas Corpus Case May Go to High Court  —  A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that hundreds of detainees in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal courts, a victory for the Bush administration …
Matthew Yglesias / American Prospect:
Fitting the Bill  —  Why isn't Bill Richardson's presidential candidacy taken seriously?  —  On Thursday, February 8, Bill Richardson delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on "The New Realism and the Rebirth of American Leadership," laying out the foreign policy vision …
Financial Times:
US ruling puts new limits on punitive damages  —  By Patti Waldmeir in Washington and Chris Bowe in New York  —  The US Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed new constitutional limits on some court damages awards, but stopped short of the tough clampdown sought by the US business community.
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
Dissecting Maureen Dowd's Obama hit piece  —  As a campaigner, Sen. Barack Obama is angry and overwhelmed.  —  That was the unflattering takeaway from Maureen Dowd's catty column (subscription required) last week about the Illinois senator's foray onto the presidential campaign trail …
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Daily Kos
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Eric Alterman thinks there should be a "blogging council" to condemn bloggers who go wrong.  —  Alterman is talking with Mark Schmitt on the new Bloggingheads.  They've just discussed the problem the Edwards campaign had with the bloggers it hired.  (Eric says, and I agree …
Discussion: QandO
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 More Items: 
Ruth Gledhill / Times of London:
Anti-American feelings soar among Muslims, study finds
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Associated Press:
Ex-GOP Rep. Kasich considers run for governor
Thomas F. Schaller / Salon:
Losing Louisiana to the GOP
Discussion: DonkeyRising and TAPPED
Norm / normblog:
Open Letter on Iranian Holocaust Denial Conference
Poll: Validating My Gut Instinct (Cap on Again)
Discussion: Hot Air
Matthew Mosk / Washington Post:
Hollywood Gives Obama Both Cash and Credibility
Hotline On Call:
More YouTube: McCain On Abortion
Discussion: TIME, Redstate and The Politico
Jay Greene / New York Sun:
Steve Jobs Has Guts
Discussion: Betsy's Page and QandO
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
The 'Crime' Of Blogging In Egypt
Merck Stops Campaign to Mandate Gardasil Vaccine Use (Update3)
Terry Eagleton / Guardian:
Those in power are right to see multiculturalism as a threat
Borzou Daragahi / Los Angeles Times:
Joint force weighs move on Sadr City
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Black President More Likely than Mormon or Atheist
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Bush Friends, Loyal and Texan, Remain a Force
Discussion: CorrenteWire
Brian Beutler / The Raw Story:
Chief Libby trial blogger says she believes prosecutor 'wants Cheney …