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2:40 PM ET, July 18, 2007


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
US: Top al-Qaida in Iraq figure captured  —  BAGHDAD - The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:
Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground  —  The White House faced fresh political peril yesterday in the form of a new intelligence assessment that raised sharp questions about the success of its counterterrorism strategy and judgment in making Iraq the focus of that effort.
Talking Points Memo:
Hot on the...  CURIOUS TIMING  —  Hot on the heels of yesterday's release of the declassified NIE on Al Qaeda, the U.S. military in Baghdad announced today that it has captured a top leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq: … First off, the capture took place two weeks ago but was not announced until today.
The Corner:
Re: A Liberal War No More
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and INSTAPUTZ
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
Islamic State of Iraq - an al Qaeda front
Discussion: The Belmont Club
Nancy Scola / Air America Radio:
Tonight's All-Night Senate Iraq Debate: Air America's Idea  —  What you're seeing on Capitol Hill tonight was Air America's doing.  Okay, maybe that's overstating it a bit.  Harry Reid's decision to keep the Senate in session overnight for a marathon 30 hour session comes after months of collective organizing and agitating.
Think Progress:
Reid Pulls Defense Authorization Bill Off The Floor, Vows To Return To Iraq Redeployment Legislation  —  After forcing conservatives to stand all-night and filibuster the Levin-Reed Iraq redeployment bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pulled the entire Defense Authorization bill from consideration on the Senate floor.
Greg Sargent / Election Central:
Breaking: Reid Yanks Defense Authorization Bill To Force GOP's Hand  —  Ratcheting up the stakes in the wake of the GOP's successful blocking of a vote on Iraq withdrawal just moments ago, Harry Reid just announced on the Senate floor that he won't allow a vote on the entire Defense Authorization bill until …
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
R. Milhous Giuliani  —  With the same rootless confidence that causes people to ignore hurricane warnings, many social conservatives remain in denial about Rudy Giuliani's chances of winning the Republican nomination.  —  But with three debates and eight months as the Republican front-runner under his belt …
Michael Saul / NY Daily News:
Attorneys in Rudy firm buck boss
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Flynt Ready to Implicate Another Senator  —  Larry King interviewed Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt last night on how he linked Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to an alleged prostitution ring.  Flynt now says he's got information linking another U.S. Senator to a sex scandal.
Carlin Romano / Chronicle of Higher Education:
If We Don't Call Them Names, the Terrorists Win  —  After the terrorist near misses in London and Glasgow, British officials did the expected.  They raised their nation's threat-assessment level.  They weighed the balance between civil liberties and new, tougher security measures.
Discussion: Angry Bear and normblog
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
Spineless Sages  —  Top GOP Senators Only Talk Against the War  —  Anyone searching for the highest forms of invertebrate life need look no further than the floor of the U.S. Senate last week and this.  These spineless specimens go by various names — Republican moderates …
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
Fredo Finally Gives U.S. Attorney a Good Evaluation  —  In the Justice Department's Great Hall (the very room where giant, blue drapes covered the underdressed statuary during John Ashcroft's tenure as attorney general), an array of prosecutors, securities regulators and FBI honchos gathered yesterday …
Christian Lowe / Poll: War Support Waning  —  Nearly 60 percent of readers who participated in a recent poll said the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq now or by the end of 2008.  More than 40 percent of the respondents agreed the pullout should begin immediately because …
Gregg Easterbrook / The Huffington Post:
Greatest Living American Ignored  —  Today in Washington I was in the room as the greatest living American received a medal.  George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi and others were present.  But will you ever hear this event occurred?  To judge from tonight's major network evening newscasts, perhaps not.
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 More Items: 
Mariane Pearl sues al Qaeda over husband's killing
Joseph Carroll / Gallup Poll:
Americans' Ratings of Dick Cheney Reach New Lows
Discussion: Think Progress and First Draft
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Clinton, McCain on Senate floor on Iraq
John Whitesides / Reuters:
Voters unhappy with Bush; Congress: Reuters poll
Michael B. Oren / Opinion Journal:
The Bush Doctrine Lives
Bryan / Hot Air:
New Hot Air campaign ad:
Pamela Geller Oshry / Atlas Shrugs:
Laura Clout / Telegraph:
'Russian plot to kill Berezovsky foiled'
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Democrats Fail to Force Vote on Iraq Pullout
Jacqueline L. Salmon / Washington Post:
Christian Fantasy Genre Builds Niche Without Hogwarts, Muggles or Spells
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
Earmarks gone wild
John Stossel / Real Clear Politics:
Where Michael Moore is Wrong
David Corn / Washington Post:
Why Bush Is A Loser  —  Who knew Bill Kristol had such a flair for satire?
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
White House Had Drug Officials Appear With GOP Candidates
Rebecca Keeble /
Gore's message loses bite
Washington Post:
Papers Detail Industry's Role in Cheney's Energy Report