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8:40 PM ET, August 23, 2007

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Report Cites Grave Concerns on Iraq's Government  —  The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki will become "more precarious" over the next six months to a year, and while its security forces have improved they are not strong enough to operate without outside help …
RELATED:
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
NIE: Iraq 'Unable to Govern' Itself Effectively  —  Iraq remains "unable to govern" itself effectively and hobbled by the absence of strong leadership, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's inability to broker political accord continues to make him vulnerable, according to a new U.S. intelligence report released today.
Satyam / Think Progress:
NIE: Violence To 'Remain High' In Iraq Over Next 'Six To Twelve Months'  —  Today, the Bush administration released an update to the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), entitled, "Prospects for Iraq's Stability: Some Security Progress but Political Reconciliation Elusive."
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Here Are the Key Judgments of the NIE (Sorry for the Long Post)  —  There have been measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq's security situation since our last National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in January 2007.  The steep escalation of rates of violence has been checked for now …
Discussion: Wake up America
Horses Mouth:
Okay, it's admittedly not hard to have fun at Joe Lieberman's expense, but this one's too good to pass up.  —  This morning Lieberman and his chief flack Marshall Wittmann put out a press release containing Lieberman's usual attacks on Democrats over Iraq.  The duo faulted "Congressional critics" …
Discussion: Wake up America and Daily Kos
Associated Press:   Report Will Be Critical of Iraq Leader
Associated Press:
Fox-Backed Democrat Debate Called Off  —  Sept. 23 Debate Will Not Be Held; Major Candidates Had Been Planning To Skip  —  (AP) Fox News and a black political group say they will not hold a Sept. 23 Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, which the leading candidates already were planning to skip.
RELATED:
USA Today:
Candidates snub Indian forum in Calif.
Discussion: QandO
Greg Sargent / Election Central:
Poll: Majority Of Iowa Republicans Wants Out Of Iraq In Six Months
Discussion: Think Progress, MyDD and Open Left
James L. / Swing State Project:
AZ-01: Under Fire, Renzi Will Retire  —  With the retirements of Reps. Hastert (IL-14), Pryce (OH-15), and Pickering (MS-03) last week, the Republican caucus has been bracing itself for more surprises.  Today brings another retirement: embattled Rep. Rick Renzi (AZ-01).  From Roll Call:
RELATED:
Charles Babington / Associated Press:   Arizona Congressman Renzi to Retire
CNN Political Ticker:
Arizona Republican congressman to retire
Discussion: The Politico
RELATED:
Faiz / Think Progress:
Sen. Warner Calls On President Bush To Begin Iraq Withdrawal In September  —  Sen. John Warner (R-VA), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently returned from a visit to Iraq.  Today, he held a press conference to discuss his impressions from that trip.
Rusty / The Jawa Report:
NYC Muslim Calls Korean Hostages "Terrorists", Smiles at thought of Daniel Pearl Style Beheading  —  American Muslim convert and New York City native Yousef al-Khattab outdoes himself and compares the Korean hostages to "terrorists" and suggests that because they are guilty of the "crime" …
New York Times:
Obscure Company Is Behind 9/11 Demolition Work  —  The John Galt Corporation of the Bronx, hired last year for the dangerous and complex job of demolishing the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, where two firefighters died last Saturday, has apparently never done any work like it.
RELATED:
Juan Cole:
Military Coup Planned for Iraq?  —  A rumor is circulating among well-connected and formerly high-level Iraqi bureaucrats in exile in places like Damascus that a military coup is being prepared for Iraq.  I received the following from a reliable, knowledgeable contact.
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
Two General Election Maps  —  Taking the most recent poll from each state in the country from sources like Polling Report, Rasmussen and Survey USA, I have been able to piece together maps showing the state by state general election between both Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, and also between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Rule to Expand Mountaintop Coal Mining  —  The Bush administration is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal.  The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams.
Associated Press:
Arizona School Suspends 13-Year-Old Boy for Drawing Gun  —  MESA, Arizona — Officials at an Arizona school suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates.  —  The boy's parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael Hirsh / Newsweek:
Why America's Pullout From Vietnam Worked
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Senior DoJ Official Resigns from Civil Rights Post
Discussion: The Next Hurrah
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Global warming dismissed by state officials
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Daily Show: Three Generations of "America to the Rescue"
Associated Press:
Giuliani hires controversial image firm
Associated Press:
Mexican Senate sides with mom deported from USA
Greg Mitchell / Editor and Publisher:
George Bush Meets Graham Greene
Discussion: Alternate Brain
Matt / Think Progress:
Vitter Needs Only 10 Hours In Iraq To Declare 'The Surge Is Working Very, Very Well'
 Earlier Items: 
Patrick Poole / Front Page Magazine:
CAIR Goes Back to School
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
USA Today:
Giuliani out to win a state 'made for him'
Pajamas Media:
MANO A MANO: SPENCER V DERBYSHIRE
Discussion: protein wisdom and Hot Air
Atrios / Eschaton:
Today's Moment of Zen
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
VDH Responds  —  The riposte is a little sad, really.
Associated Press:
Atlanta considers banning baggy pants
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
The Weimar President  —  His speech yesterday actually managed to shock.
George F. Will / Washington Post:
What September Won't Settle  —  Come September, America might …