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1:30 PM 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  —  Assessment Identifies Positive Movement in 8 of the 18 Benchmarks  —  Iraqi progress on political and military goals sought by Congress has been mixed over the past several months, with slow advances toward some of the targets and paralysis …
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Report on Iraq Sees Progress; Bush Rejects Troop Pullout  —  With the release this morning of a White House report finding some progress on political and security goals in Iraq, President Bush said today that it was premature and "not the real debate" to be talking now about a withdrawal of American troops.
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
IRAQ UPDATE....Non-insane conservative James Joyner has read …
Discussion: Eschaton
RELATED:
WKMG-TV:   Fla. State Representative Accused Of Soliciting Sex In Men's Room
Justin Rood Reports / The Blotter:
McCain Official Busted on Sex Charge
Discussion: TalkLeft
John Kennedy / Orlando Sentinel:
Rep. Bob Allen Arrested on Sex Charge
Associated Press:
Al-Qaida has rebuilt, U.S. intel warns  —  WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.  The conclusion suggests that the group …
RELATED:
Glenn Sulmasy / Providence Journal:   Balancing needs of law and war
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 …
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:
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:
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.
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
The Presser  —  He's arguing he didn't decide to go to war; Saddam did.  He's saying he agrees with his Republican critics.  He's blaming the generals for all the combat decisions that have made this war a failure.  His blaming Tommy Franks specifically for the troop levels was particularly piquant.
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.
Rasmussen Reports:
Poll: 19% Consider Troop Surge a Success  —  Just 19% of American voters believe that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq was a success.  A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 43% of voters consider the surge a failure.  Twenty-four percent (24%) say it's too soon to tell while 15% are not sure.
Discussion: Salon and QandO
Washington Post:
U.S. Warns Of Stronger Al-Qaeda  —  Administration Report Cites Havens in Pakistan  —  Six years after the Bush administration declared war on al-Qaeda, the terrorist network is gaining strength and has established a safe haven in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan for training and planning attacks …
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:
Nixon wanted to be seen as 'nicey-nice'  —  WASHINGTON - President Nixon and his 1972 re-election campaign tried to tie Democrats to the mob, gay liberation and even slavery, according to newly released papers and tapes betraying bare-knuckle tactics from the dawn of the Watergate scandal.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Attytood
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
McCain's Iowa Team Hit By Resignations
Discussion: Townhall.com
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
A very revealing...  BUSH ON PLAME: WHO CARES?  —  A very revealing moment.
Discussion: NO QUARTER
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
[TS] Op-Ed Columnist: 'Inspiring Progress' on Iraq?
Los Angeles Times:
Target the pork  —  Earmarks are sneaking back into Congress' spending bills.
Discussion: Don Surber and Instapundit.com
Satyam / Think Progress:
Holsinger confirmation hearing set for July 12.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Pharyngula
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
Bush Unveils The New White House Press Room
The Corner:
Let Us Pray  —  Harry Reid had a Hindu chaplain say the opening prayer …
Thomas B. Edsall / Huffington Post:
Thompson Waffles On Pro-Choice Lobbying Past
 Earlier Items: 
Mr Eugenides:
The dangers of providing links to your sources
Discussion: USS Neverdock
Javeed Akhter / Baltimore Sun:
Terror plot violated profession, religion
Time:
Leveling the Praying Field
Austin Bay Blog:
Quick US Exit From Iraq: Seven Scenarios
Joel Mowbray / Washington Times:
CAIR's duplicitous ways
Discussion: Power Line
Monica Maggioni / Foreign Policy:
Ahmadinejobless  —  Iran's radical president is sinking fast, and he knows it.
Martin Wainwright / Guardian:
Pants helped boost literacy, say historians
Discussion: normblog
Leonard Doyle / The Independent:
'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'
 

 
From Techmeme:

Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
Source: Embracer will sell its subsidiary Saber Interactive to private investors in a $500M deal, making Saber a privately owned company with ~3,500 staff

Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Microsoft launches a Copilot for Finance in public preview; the chatbot can perform some common role-specific actions in Excel and Outlook

Consumer Reports:
Researchers find serious security flaws in cheap video door bells sold by a Chinese company under various brands names on Amazon, Shein, and other sites

 
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