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1:20 PM ET, August 22, 2007


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Democrats Refocus Message on Iraq After Military Gains  —  Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war.  Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face …
USA Today:
Bush's Iraq speech to hit on Vietnam  —  KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Bush plans to argue today that a hasty "retreat" from Iraq would lead to the kinds of bloodbaths that followed U.S. withdrawals from Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1970s.  —  In a speech he is to deliver here at the Veterans …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Pro-Bush group spends $15M defending war
Discussion: MSNBC and Political Radar
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Macsmind
New York Times:
Bush Takes a Step Away From Maliki
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Sub-Standard  —  IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE that, not so long ago, neoconservative foreign policy thinking overflowed with ideas and idealism.  The descent has been steep, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the pages of The Weekly Standard—particularly in William Kristol's editorials …
Agence France Presse:
Most US adults in the dark about world politics  —  Two-thirds of US adults admit to being in the dark about political issues outside the United States, and only a third are well-versed in US politics, the results of a poll published Tuesday showed.  —  Candidates in the US presidential primaries …
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
Weimar Watch I  —  The stab-in-the-back right is, alas, only entrenching itself as the need to deny reality in Iraq grows.  Glenn Reynolds links approvingly to this strange Victor Davis Hanson splutter at NRO.  Let's fisk it, shall we? … This, it appears, is something that Hanson believes we should not have done.
Discussion: The Corner and Blogs for Bush
Elizabeth Benjamin / NY Daily News:
BRUNO: STONE HAS RESIGNED (UPDATED)  —  That was fast.  —  In a just-released statement, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno called the Roger Stone phone call flap "a distraction from the real issues - the abuse of government power, political espionage and a cover-up of information," …
Matthew Yi / San Francisco Chronicle:
Field Poll shows Californians lean toward dividing electoral votes  —  (08-21) 04:00 PDT Sacramento —  California voters are inclined to support a proposed ballot initiative that would change how the Golden State allocates its electoral votes in presidential campaigns …
Alan Fram / Associated Press:
One in four read no books last year  —  WASHINGTON - There it sits on your night stand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open.  Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing — you are not alone.
Irenep / Michael Yon:
The Ghosts of Anbar, Part 1 of 4  —  The Ghosts of Anbar  —  Part One: The Paradox of Counterinsurgency … To know a man, follow his tracks.  —  Anbar Province  —  June, 2007  —  Iraq and this part of the world are complicated in the way, and by the way, that dysfunction always is "complicated."
Discussion: Mudville Gazette
Los Angeles Times:
Not so fast, Christian soldiers  —  The Pentagon has a disturbing relationship with private evangelical groups.  —  Maybe what the war in Iraq needs is not more troops but more religion.  At least that's the message the Department of Defense seems to be sending.
Lisa Wangsness / Boston Globe:
Romney's rhetoric glosses Mass. years  —  Skips some facts on healthcare law  —  Kenny Guinn (right), former governor of Nevada, joked with Mitt Romney yesterday in Las Vegas, where the Republican contender is campaigning for president.  (Isaac Brekken/associated press)
Hamid Ahmed / Associated Press:
14 U.S. soldiers killed in chopper crash  —  BAGHDAD - A Black Hawk helicopter went down Wednesday in northern Iraq, killing all 14 U.S. soldiers aboard, the military said, the deadliest crash since January 2005.  —  Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, lashed out at American criticism …
Robert O'Harrow Jr / Washington Post:
Federal No-Bid Contracts On Rise  —  Under pressure from the White House and Congress to deliver a long-delayed plan last year, officials at the Department of Homeland Security's counter-narcotics office took a shortcut that has become common at federal agencies: They hired help through a no-bid contract.
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 More Items: 
Multi-National Force:
Citizen sacrifices life to thwart suicide bomber
Daphne Retter / The Hill:
Senate earmark battle turns very personal
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Newt group reaps money campaigns can't
David McCumber / The Big Blog:
Ferry security, the FBI and a tough call
Associated Press:
New poll finds Napolitano would best McCain in Senate race
Discussion: MyDD and TIME
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Today's Must Read
Toronto Star:
Police accused of using provocateurs at summit
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Bobbitt / New York Times:
The Warrantless Debate Over Wiretapping
Herschel Smith / The Captain's Journal:
Operation Alljah and the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal Revolution:
So You Think You Can Be President?
John Stossel / Real Clear Politics:
Why the U.S. Ranks Low on WHO's Health-Care Study
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Thompson, Giuliani start trading shots
Now dirty chopsticks picked up in China scare
Now Magazine:
Katrin Bennhold / International Herald Tribune:
France shifts its stance on the conflict in Iraq