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4:15 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.
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
IRAQ UPDATE....Non-insane conservative James Joyner has read the White House's latest assessment of the war in Iraq and is distinctly unimpressed: … Click the link if you, too, want to be fair.  I'm not in the mood.  —  Actually, I think things are considerably worse than James suggests.
Discussion: Eschaton
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 …
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 …
RELATED:
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Fred Thompson backs off lobbying denial
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
Sen. Mike Gravel / The Huffington Post:
Why I Wasn't Invited to the Debate on Gay Issues  —  Yesterday the Human Rights Campaign announced that it will not invite me to the first-ever presidential debate on gay issues because I didn't raise enough money.  To say that I'm shocked is an understatement.
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.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
McCain's Iowa Team Hit By Resignations  —  The news just keeps getting worse for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign.  —  Today, Ed Failor and Karen Slifka — two prominent Iowa Republican activists — resigned from the campaign.  —  In an e-mail Failor said he and Slifka …
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: 
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:
HJC Miers Hearing, Part II
Discussion: Democrats.com
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
Military Intelligence: Iran will cross nuclear threshold by 2009
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
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal
Discussion: Agitprop
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
A very revealing...  BUSH ON PLAME: WHO CARES?  —  A very revealing moment.
Discussion: NO QUARTER
 Earlier Items: 
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
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
Time:
How the Democrats Got Religion
Leonard Doyle / The Independent:
'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'
 

 
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Victoria Song / The Verge:
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