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2:05 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
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 …
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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 …
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 …
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: QandO
RELATED:
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 …
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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 …
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.
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 …
Time:
How the Democrats Got Religion  —  A president has to be a preacher of sorts, instructing, consoling, summoning citizens to sacrifice for some common good.  But candidates are competitors, which means they seldom manage to talk about faith in a way that doesn't disturb people, doesn't divide them …
Thomas B. Edsall / Huffington Post:
Thompson Waffles On Pro-Choice Lobbying Past  —  Fred Thompson has effectively admitted in an interview with Sean Hannity that he did lobby in behalf of a pro-abortion rights group.  —  Hannity served up a chest-high, 25 mph softball:  —  "They have attacked you, they have attacked your family …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Tom Goldstein / SCOTUSblog:
The Democratic (Not So) Short List
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal
Discussion: Agitprop
Sen. Mike Gravel / The Huffington Post:
Why I Wasn't Invited to the Debate on Gay Issues
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:
Yay, Jane!  —  Jane was on CNN's American Morning early this morning …
Discussion: Bluey Blog
Jason Steck / The Moderate Voice:
Mirror, Mirror  —  Michael P. F. van der Galien has today published …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
McCain's Iowa Team Hit By Resignations
Discussion: Townhall.com
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
[TS] Op-Ed Columnist: 'Inspiring Progress' on Iraq?
The Corner:
Let Us Pray  —  Harry Reid had a Hindu chaplain say the opening prayer …
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Whole Foods Is Hot, Wild Oats a Dud — So Said 'Rahodeb'
Mr Eugenides:
The dangers of providing links to your sources
Discussion: USS Neverdock
Andrew DeMillo / Associated Press:
Huckabee: Filmmaker Moore an example of health care problems
Austin Bay Blog:
Quick US Exit From Iraq: Seven Scenarios
Joel Mowbray / Washington Times:
CAIR's duplicitous ways
Discussion: Power Line
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:
Nixon wanted to be seen as 'nicey-nice'
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?'