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2:15 PM ET, July 21, 2007


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
The Phony Debate  —  THE SENATE Democratic leadership spent the past week trying to prove that Congress is deeply divided over Iraq, with Democrats pressing and Republicans resisting a change of course.  In fact that's far from the truth.  A large majority of senators from both parties favor …
Margaret Talev / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Senate tied in knots by filibusters  —  WASHINGTON — This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that's rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.  —  The trend has been evolving for 30 years.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Bush bars CIA from using torture, but details remain cloudy  —  WASHINGTON — President Bush signed an executive order Friday barring the CIA from using torture, acts of violence and degrading treatment in the interrogation and detention of terrorism suspects, but human rights experts questioned its scope.
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Rules Lay Out C.I.A.'s Tactics in Questioning
Discussion: Power Line, TalkLeft and Reuters
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
C.I.A. Allowed to Resume Interrogations
Discussion: Ezra Klein and White House
William Glaberson / New York Times:
Court Tells U.S. to Reveal Data on Detainees at Guantánamo  —  A federal appeals court ordered the government yesterday to turn over virtually all its information on Guantánamo detainees who are challenging their detention, rejecting an effort by the Justice Department …
Matt Apuzzo / The Huffington Post:
Judges Seek All Gitmo Detainee Evidence
Discussion: The Sideshow
Somini Sengupta / New York Times:
Chief Justice Is Reinstated in Pakistan
Discussion: WorkingForChange
Washington Post:
Fight Over Documents May Favor Bush, Experts Say  —  Contempt Charge Precedents Cited in Firings Case  —  The Bush administration's vow this week to block contempt charges from Congress could prove to be a successful strategy for protecting White House documents about the multiple firings of U.S. attorneys …
Discussion: The Corner and
Chris Weigant / The Huffington Post:
White House Declares Bush Emperor
Discussion: Burnt Orange Report
New York Times:
A White House Warning on Contempt Charges
Discussion: CNN Political Ticker and MyDD
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
They Don't Really Support the Troops  —  The latest from the New Republic and the Nation.  —  Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq, emerged on the American political scene two years ago.  Distraught and unstable, she was shamelessly exploited by opponents of George W. Bush …
Discussion: Washington Post and
Steve Benen / Talking Points Memo:
Aside from the tragedy of the war itself, one of the more disconcerting elements of the ongoing political debate is just how little progress we've seen in nearly five years.  Vapid arguments that were absurd in 2003 are still used routinely.  Offensive talking points that were discredited …
Online NewsHour:
Senate Debates Iraq Withdrawal; Report Shows Al-Qaida Regrouping  —  As the Senate debated different proposals for redeploying troops from Iraq, the National Intelligence Estimate revealed that al-Qaida is regrouping despite the war on terrorism.  Political analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss the week's events.
Discussion: Obsidian Wings
Faiz / Think Progress:
David Brooks: 'I'm so confused' about what to do in Iraq.  —  Fresh off his hero worship of President Bush, New York Times columnist David Brooks said last night on the PBS Newshour that he's more confused than ever about Iraq.  "Let me say, I'm more uncertain about what to do than I've ever been in this war," he said.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
The Pentagon Gets a Lesson From Madison Avenue  —  U.S. Needs to Devise a Different 'Brand' to Win Over the Iraqi People, Study Advises  —  In the advertising world, brand identity is everything.  Volvo means safety.  Colgate means clean.  IPod means cool.
KAL / Democracy in America:
Bald eagles  —  Our political cartoonist casts his eye towards the presidential campaign  —  A GROWING number of Republicans are hoping that Fred Thompson, a former senator and television actor, will throw his hat into the presidential ring.  Should he do so, he'd be wise to keep his head …
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
The Pentagon Insults Hillary Clinton  —  BIG MISTAKE.  —  The extraordinary exchange of letters between Sen. Hillary Clinton and the undersecretary of defense for policy may turn out to be a signal event in the congressional debate over the Iraq war—and possibly in the 2008 presidential election.
Greg Sargent / Election Central:
Breaking: Gates Distances Himself From Edelman's Attack On Hillary Clinton
Doctors remove polyps from Bush's colon  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush on Saturday reclaimed his presidential power from Vice President Dick Cheney after undergoing a routine colonoscopy, a White House spokesman said.  —  Five polyps were found in the examination, spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
Discussion: Wonkette
Nigel Bunyan / Telegraph:
Binman's St George bandana 'is racist'  —  A black dustman has been banned from wearing a St George's Cross bandana because council officials say it could be regarded as racist.  —  Matthew Carter, 35, who was born in Barbados, used the headgear to keep his dreadlocks out of the way while he was on his rounds in Burnley, Lancs.
Discussion: Harry's Place
Jesse J. Holland / Associated Press:
Federal minimum wage rising this week  —  WASHINGTON - Fast-food waitress Fawn Townsend of Raleigh, N.C., knows exactly what she is going to do if her salary goes up with Tuesday's increase in the federal minimum wage: start saving for a car so she can find a second job to make ends meet.
Discussion: Three Wise Men
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 More Items: 
Jules Crittenden:
Pelosi Pageturner  —  In the offing.  Seems a little early for that.
Cliff Schecter:
Once You Join The GOP, You Can Never Leave The Family
Discussion: Corrente and rubber hose
Melanie Phillips / Melanie Phillips's Articles:
The protocols of the BBC  —  Jewish Chronicle, 20 July 2007
Susan Crawford blog:
Key move  —  Here's a letter from Google that you should read.
Norm / normblog:
The normblog profile 200: Norman Geras
Joe Conason / Reuters:
Rudy and Romney: Artful dodgers
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
Editor and Publisher:
'NYT': Ron Paul for President — Of the 'Wackos'?
Amy Lorentzen / Associated Press:
Romney backs interrogation, Patriot Act
 Earlier Items: 
Google Intends to Bid in Spectrum Auction If FCC Adopts Consumer …
Karol / Alarming News:
"Sometimes I can't believe it when I look up in the mirror"
Discussion: QandO
Media Matters for America:
Slacker Friday:  —  Hometown: Newton, MA.  —  Hey Doc —
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times:
Romney targets Obama - with a twist
Discussion: Althouse and Riehl World View
Harry Potter: the economics
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
An Example Of Google 'News'
Casey Ross / Boston Herald:
Romney aide's bogus badges: Sources detail 'illegal' security tactic