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3:05 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:
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.
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 during the past several months, with slow advances toward some of the targets and paralysis …
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Conyers: Are Subpoenas Optional or Not?
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
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 …
RELATED:
The Atlantic Online:
All News Is Good News  —  If, that is, you're a Republican.  Atrios points us to an Associated Press article reporting that "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."
RELATED:
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: If I Ran the Zoo and QandO
RELATED:
Justin Rood Reports / The Blotter:
McCain Official Busted on Sex Charge  —  Justin Rood Reports:  —  An official with the John McCain presidential campaign was arrested for allegedly soliciting oral sex from a policeman in Florida yesterday.  —  Bob Allen, a member of the Florida House of Representatives …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Riehl World View
RELATED:
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Washington Post:
This Is No Place to Break the Rules  —  After 22 years covering the White House, NBC's Steve Handelsman thought he knew the ins and outs of the West Wing.  But a misstep — actually, about 10 steps — resulted in an unusual suspension of his press pass for three weeks.
Discussion: USA Today
 
 
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 More Items: 
Amanda / Think Progress:
Bush Dismisses Iraq Critics: 'War Fatigue' Is Affecting Their 'Psychology'
Rick Richman / Jewish Current Issues:
Sharansky and Hewitt at the Annual RJC Dinner
Discussion: Power Line
Nathan Newman / The Coffee House:
Federal Delusion: DC Won't Deliver Health Care for All
Alissa J. Rubin / International Herald Tribune:
Guards steal $282 million from a bank in Baghdad
Discussion: MoJoBlog
Cenk Uygur / News Bloggers Blog:
Rant of the Day: The Vitters Should Apologize to the Clintons
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
McCain's Iowa Team Hit By Resignations
Discussion: Wonkette and Townhall.com
Los Angeles Times:
Target the pork  —  Earmarks are sneaking back into Congress' spending bills.
Discussion: Don Surber and Instapundit.com
 Earlier Items: 
The Corner:
Let Us Pray  —  Harry Reid had a Hindu chaplain say the opening prayer …
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
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'
Leonard Doyle / The Independent:
'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
A Consensus Waiting to Happen
 

 
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