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11:40 AM ET, July 12, 2007

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
White House:
Initial Benchmark Assessment Report  —  This report to Congress is submitted consistent with Section 1314 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 110-28) (the "Act").  It includes an assessment …
RELATED:
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
CIA Said Instability Seemed 'Irreversible'  —  Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.  —  For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give …
Washington Post:
White House Gives Iraq Mixed Marks in Report
Discussion: Agence France Presse
The Hill:
War critics 'thoughtful,' not 'wimps'
Discussion: CNN Political Ticker
Sridhar Pappu / Washington Post:
A Bush Aide's Long Road From The White House  —  On a snowy evening in December 1998, Sara M. Taylor, the daughter of a former pipe fitter at a John Deere plant in Iowa, came to a meeting at the Capital Hilton.  Washington had grown dark and quiet, and the hotel restaurant was empty …
RELATED:
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Against Claims of Executive Privilege, a Committee Comes Up Dry  —  Yesterday's Senate testimony by former White House political director Sara Taylor was a watershed.  —  Not in the newsmaking sense: Taylor, as instructed by the White House, invoked executive privilege so often that the session …
Discussion: QandO, TPMCafe blogs and TPMmuckraker
RELATED:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
A Consensus Waiting to Happen  —  The last time I remember Ambassador Ryan Crocker warning about a possible bloodbath, it was in September 1982 as the Sabra-Shatila massacre was taking place in Beirut.  So when Crocker tells the New York Times that a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq could produce …
RELATED:
New York Times:
McCain Call Raises an Ethics Question  —  About 3 p.m. Tuesday, Senator John McCain ducked off the Senate floor, entered the Republican cloakroom and took out his mobile phone.  Just hours after accepting the resignation of his two top campaign aides, he was making a conference call …
RELATED:
Matthew Mosk / Washington Post:   McCain Faces Finance Woes On the Stump
RELATED:
John Kennedy / Orlando Sentinel:
Rep. Bob Allen Arrested on Sex Charge
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
A Nuclear Ruse Uncovers Holes in U.S. Security  —  Undercover Congressional investigators set up a bogus company and obtained a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in March that would have allowed them to buy the radioactive materials needed for a so-called dirty bomb.
Jules Crittenden:
Lazy, Stupid or Willfully Ignorant?  —  Right now, all the talk in DC is whether there has been any progress in Iraq.  No one can wait till September.  They need to know now.  Primarily, it appears, because they need to kill the war for their own domestic political reasons before it kills them.
Washington Post:
Wishful Thinking on Iraq  —  IT SEEMS like just weeks ago, because it was, that Congress approved funding for the war in Iraq and instructed Gen. David H. Petraeus to report back on the war's progress in September.  Now, for reasons having more to do with American politics than with Iraqi reality, September isn't soon enough.
Joel Mowbray / Washington Times:
CAIR's duplicitous ways  —  While the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been busy attacking syndicated columnist Cal Thomas recently for supposedly "Islamophobic" comments, the media-hungry group did not condemn the foiled terrorist plots in London or the successful one in Glasgow, Scotland.
Discussion: Power Line
Leonard Doyle / The Independent:
'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'  —  Interviews with US veterans show for the first time the pattern of brutality in Iraq  —  It is an axiom of American political life that the actions of the US military are beyond criticism.  Democrats and Republicans praise the men and women in uniform at every turn.
Discussion: Greatscat!
Martin Wainwright / Guardian:
Pants helped boost literacy, say historians  —  The role of pants in the spread of western culture has been wrongly sidelined, according to medieval historians, who are starting to rank the underwear factor alongside the invention of printing.  —  Rags from discarded pants and knickers led …
Discussion: normblog
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mr Eugenides:
The dangers of providing links to your sources
Discussion: USS Neverdock
Rasmussen Reports:
Poll: 19% Consider Troop Surge a Success
Discussion: Salon
Glenn Sulmasy / Providence Journal:
Balancing needs of law and war
Javeed Akhter / Baltimore Sun:
Terror plot violated profession, religion
Andrew DeMillo / Associated Press:
Huckabee: Filmmaker Moore an example of health care problems
Politics / Washington Post:
Thompson Still Waiting For Right Moment to Announce
Discussion: Hot Air
Mickey Kaus / Slate:
The Case of the Diamond Dildo
Austin Bay Blog:
Quick US Exit From Iraq: Seven Scenarios
 Earlier Items: 
The Atlantic Online:
"My Oath, Like Your Oath, Is to Uphold the Constitution"
John McCormick / Chicago Tribune:
Obama launches book clubs to win over voters
Discussion: TIME
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:
Nixon wanted to be seen as 'nicey-nice'
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
Report Warns of a Much Warmer Northeast
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter says Dems broke their promise
Ben Johnson / Front Page Magazine:
Whatever Happened to Lynne Stewart?
Discussion: The Gavel and NO QUARTER
Associated Press:
A 10,000-year-old baby mammoth carcass found