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2:25 AM ET, July 13, 2007


 Top Items: 
White House:
Press Conference by the President  —  Initial Benchmark Assessment Report  —  THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.  Thank you.  Yesterday, America lost an extraordinary First Lady and a fine Texan, Lady Bird Johnson.  She brought grace to the White House and beauty to our country.
New York Times:
Defending an Iraq Strategy in a Race Against Time
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Times of India:
Christian activists disrupt Hindu prayer in US Senate  —  WASHINGTON: Christian activists briefly disrupted a Hindu invocation in the US Senate on Thursday, marring a historic first for the chamber and showing that fundamentalism is present and shouting in the US too.
Eric Kleefeld / Election Central:
Christian Right Activists Disrupt Hindu Chaplain In The Senate  —  Today was a historic first for religion in America's civic life: For the very first time, a Hindu delivered the morning invocation in the Senate chamber — only to find the ceremony disrupted by three Christian right activists.
David Espo / Associated Press:
House OKs plan to withdraw US troops  —  WASHINGTON - The Iraqi government is achieving only spotty military and political progress, the Bush administration conceded Thursday in an assessment that war critics quickly seized on as confirmation of their dire warnings.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
'This Bill Is About Politics'
Discussion: Wizbang and
Zzaki / Political Punch:
What about the Iraqis?  —  From today's press conference with the Senate Democratic leaders.  —  I tried to get an answer to what I blogged earlier today.  —  I did not succeed.  —  TAPPER: Senator Reid, what do you say to critics who say, "Look, the Senate voted, including two of you up on the stage …
CindySheehan / Daily Kos:
I have been "warned"  —  I can't post here anymore because my potential run for Congress  —  is not on the Democratic ticket.  —  I have been deeply grateful for all of your support over the years.  —  Your love and kindness helped me through lots of sleepless nights  —  at Camp Casey '05.
Scott Whitlock /
Courtroom Explodes in Laughter After ABC's Sawyer Touts Fairness of Journalists  —  Thursday's edition of "Good Morning America" featured a Diane Sawyer anecdote that revealed the low opinion Americans have of journalists.  After wrapping up a segment on people who avoid jury duty …
Tom Goldstein / SCOTUSblog:
The Democratic (Not So) Short List  —  Tom Goldstein prepared this post with extensive research and input from summer associate Jonathan Eisenman and assistance from Adam Chandler, as well as very helpful thoughts and advice from others on potential nominees.
Ezra Klein:
Delta Dental's Terrible Coverage  —  Delta Dental is currently arguing that my root canal — done at an in-network dentist — does not merit much in the way of reimbursement, and is telling me that my share of the procedure comes out to around $2,000.  A procedure, mind you, that's already been done …
James Hohmann / Dallas Morning News:
Nobel laureate calls for removal of Bush  —  Irish peace activist's speech at Dallas event gets standing ovation  —  Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams came from Ireland to Texas to declare that President Bush should be impeached.  —  In a keynote speech at the International Women's Peace Conference …
Greg Sargent / Election Central:
New York Times' Leslie Wayne Continues Twisted Jihad Against Edwards  —  The journalistic titans who run The New York Times don't give a damn what I think.  But I'm going to tell them this anyway: You guys are badly botching your coverage of John Edwards, in a way that raises the question …
Discussion: New York Times
Sara Schaefer Muñoz / Wall Street Journal:
An Inconvenient Turbine: Conservation vs. Preservation  —  Homeowners Who Go Green  —  Face Neighbors' Objections;  —  How Gore Got His Solar Panels  —  In neighborhoods across the country, there's a battle brewing: the environmentalists vs. the aesthetes.
Discussion: The Belmont Club
David Roberts / Gristmill:
Dingell calls our bluff  —  Last Sunday, Rep. John Dingell appeared on the C-SPAN show Newsmakers for a 30-min. interview (transcript here; video accessible via the website), and caused an enormous ruckus with this: … The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press …
Discussion: Brian Beutler and Bradford Plumer
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 More Items: 
Jacqueline Palank / New York Times:
Democrats Will Try to Counter Ruling on Discrimination Suits
Discussion: The RBC
Media Matters for America:
News outlets ID'ed Giuliani ally as "former firefighter" …
Discussion: The RBC and New York Times
Attack of the Phallic Thingies (This is Not A Post About Republicans)
Discussion: Big Brass Blog and Shakesville
Times of London:
Is the puny dollar a sign of America's decline?
Larry J. Sabato / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
THE REPUBLICAN RIDDLE  —  How Should the GOP Go in '08—and in '07 on Iraq?
Michael van der Galien / The Moderate Voice:
Reality Check  —  Yesterday, I published a post in which I …
Jesse Lee / The Gavel:
House Debates the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Okay, finally the...  ADVANTAGE RUDY  —  Okay, finally the definitive story.
 Earlier Items: 
David Goldstein / The Nation:
Poison for Profit  —  In November 2006, America's dogs …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Tucker Carlson, stalwart defender of sexual privacy
Thieves steal nearly $300 million from Baghdad bank
Discussion: The Newshoggers
Margaret Carlson / Bloomberg:
Another Lorena Bobbitt Moment for the Vitters: Margaret Carlson
Christina Bellantoni / Washington Times:
"Draft Al Gore" for president
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Fred Thompson backs off lobbying denial
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal
Sen. Mike Gravel / The Huffington Post:
Why I Wasn't Invited to the Debate on Gay Issues