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12:25 PM ET, August 23, 2007

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Report Cites Grave Concerns on Iraq's Government  —  The administration is planning to make public today parts of a sober new report by American intelligence agencies expressing deep doubts that the government of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, can overcome sectarian differences.
Discussion: MoJoBlog, Wizbang, NewsBusters.org and Time
RELATED:
New York Times:
'Free Iraq' Is Within Reach, Bush Declares  —  President Bush delivered a rousing defense of his Iraq policy on Wednesday, telling a group of veterans that "a free Iraq" is within reach and warning that if Americans succumb to "the allure of retreat," they will witness death and suffering of the sort not seen since the Vietnam War.
Associated Press:
Report Will Be Critical of Iraq Leader  —  NEW YORK (AP) - A new assessment on Iraq may shed some negative light on Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  The New York Times is reporting on its Web site that U.S. intelligence agencies will issue a new assessment Thursday expressing doubt …
RELATED:
Pauline Jelinek / Associated Press:
Intel report questions Iraq's progress  —  WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence agencies have written a mixed report on Iraq, finding some progress but judging that the Baghdad government may not be able to carry it forward, a defense official said Thursday.  —  Declassified portions …
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Romney Struggles to Define Abortion Stance  —  Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said this week that as president he would allow individual states to keep abortion legal, two weeks after telling a national television audience that he supports a constitutional amendment to ban the procedure nationwide.
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
McConnell: Fewer Than 100 Secret U.S. Wiretaps  —  Law enforcement officials are targeting fewer than 100 people in the United States for secret court-approved wiretaps aimed at disrupting terrorist networks, the top U.S. intelligence official said in an interview published yesterday.
Discussion: MoJoBlog and Balkinization
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Did Clinton Lie About Targeting Bin Laden?  —  It appears that Bill Clinton may have exaggerated his record when it came to strategizing against Osama bin Laden.  Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball take a look at the Inspector General's report of the pre-9/11 intelligence failures at the CIA and find an interesting nugget.
RELATED:
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.
Discussion: The RBC and The Volokh Conspiracy
George F. Will / Washington Post:
What September Won't Settle  —  Come September, America might slip closer toward a Weimar moment.  It would be milder than the original but significantly disagreeable.  —  After the First World War, politics in Germany's new Weimar Republic were poisoned by the belief that the army …
Discussion: Wonkette and Blue Crab Boulevard
Amanda Ripley / Time:
Behind Giuliani's Tough Talk  —  Islamic terrorists are at war with us," Rudy Giuliani told about 300 people at a synagogue in Rockville, Md., one evening in July.  He likes to say it that way—that they are at war with us, not the other way around. "  They want to kill us," he warned a group in New Hampshire the same month. "
David Weigel / Reason Magazine:
Let Me Get An Encore, Do You Want More?  —  The big news in this sleepy (and in D.C., sunless) August week is the return of gentleman Ari Fleischer at the helm of an astroturf (i.e., fake grassroots) group called Freedom's Watch.  Its goal: To spend $15 million (they don't have to tell us where they got it …
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
The Weimar President  —  His speech yesterday actually managed to shock.  You might think that, in wartime, a president would acknowledge what no one denies is a terribly grim decision in front of us - whether to pursue a clearly unwinnable war in order to govern a clearly ungovernable country …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
New York Times:
Militias Seizing Control of Iraqi Electricity Grid  —  Armed groups increasingly control the antiquated switching stations that channel electricity around Iraq, the electricity minister said Wednesday.  —  That is dividing the national grid into fiefs that, he said, often refuse …
US News:
Political Bulletin  —  Momentum Shifting To GOP In Iraq Debate  —  With congressional Democrats still groping for a unified Iraq withdrawal strategy, the eyewitness reports from individual Democratic lawmakers who've recently visited Iraq appear to have changed the dynamic in the debate over the war.
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:
Andrew Sullivan to Marry; Clemons to Guest Blog  —  Recently I spent a few days up in Provincetown, Massachusetts at the very point of Cape Cod and connected with some people and ideas that moved my soul and mind forward a few notches.  —  First, I spent some quality time with Andrew Sullivan …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Firedoglake
David Freddoso / The Corner:
DSCC Bumper Sticker Contest  —  James Carville writes in an e-mail: … My own idea from the other day:  —  Any takers?
 
 
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 More Items: 
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Bush hit over jobs for illegal workers
Discussion: Hot Air
Victor Davis Hanson / Real Clear Politics:
Back to School Blues  —  Last week I went shopping …
Discussion: Bookworm Room
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
Joe Lieberman vs. the Dems again:
Spencer Ackerman / TPMmuckraker:
Today's Must Read
Associated Press:
Stephen Colbert to auction autographed cast
Discussion: mediabistro.com
Brian Skoloff / Associated Press:
Foley, Police at Odds Over Computers
Discussion: Think Progress
Dore Gold / JCPA Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
Understanding the U.S.-Israel Alliance: An Israeli Response …
Jack Shafer / Slate:
WHAT MY BELOVED NEWSPAPER HAS BEEN REDUCED TO SERVING.
 Earlier Items: 
David McCumber / The Big Blog:
A ferry captain, the FBI and Benjamin Franklin
Discussion: Media Blog
Grace Rauh / New York Sun:
Obama Opportunity in Brooklyn Is Seen
Discussion: Obama HQ, MSNBC and New York Times
Melinda Deslatte / Associated Press:
Furor Over Religion in La. Gov's Race
Discussion: NewsBusters.org and BizzyBlog
Real Clear Politics:
A Calendar In Chaos
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
White House Declares Office Off-Limits
The Atlantic Online:
Animals rights  —  As long time readers know, I'm, well, crunchy-ish.
New Jersey Online:
AG: Cops must ask suspects for immigration status
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Matthew Keys / The Desk:
Federal prosecutors charge Marco Gaudino with one count of conspiracy for allegedly giving Tim Burke credentials to access systems used by Fox News and others

Aaron Fritschner / @fritschner:
[Thread] Uri Berliner's essay on NPR bias has significant problems, including verifiable falsehoods, flawed arguments, and questionable voter registration data

Dylan Byers / @dylanbyers:
Sources: former Disney TV chief Ben Sherwood and former Hearst Magazines exec Joanna Coles will buy a 49% stake in The Daily Beast; Barry Diller will retain 51%

 
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