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4:25 PM ET, September 3, 2007


 Top Items: 
Bush makes surprise visit to Iraq  —  AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (CNN) — President Bush made a surprise visit to an Iraqi air base Monday, saying fewer U.S. forces may be able to maintain security at its current level.  —  "Gen. [David] Petraeus and Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker tell me if the kind …
David S. Cloud / New York Times:
Bush, in Iraq, Sees Possible Reduction in Troop Levels  —  On a surprise visit to Iraq today for meetings with his commanders and top Iraqi officials, President Bush raised the possibility that some American troops could be withdrawn from Iraq if security there continues to improve.
Discussion: Norwegianity and Hoffmania!
McQ / QandO:
TROOP COMBAT DEATHS DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY  —  The title to the piece is "Combat deaths in Iraq decline; reasons aren't clear": … So why are deaths down?  Well one reason is called "planning".  The other is "experience".  Michael Yon gave us a clue a month or so ago:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Bush Drops By Iraq  —  George Bush decided to kick-start the September debate on Iraq by getting his own feet on the ground in Anbar.  He'll visit the troops, but more importantly meet directly with Nouri al-Maliki to determine how well the newly-announced political reform agreement is faring …
Ralph Peters / New York Post:
WHAT EXIT?  FALLUJAH!  —  JERSEY MARINES DO U.S. PROUD  —  Jersey rules.  The Marines of 1st Platoon, Fox Company, 3rd Battal ion, 3rd Marines aren't living large, but they're making a huge difference.  Bunking in a police precinct headquarters in Fallujah, they're at the forward edge of our current successes in Iraq.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Scarecrow / Firedoglake:
Bush/Cheney in Iraq: Winning By Failing  —  The chart at left (click on it to enlarge) was compiled by The Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum in response to Juan Cole's assessment of claims the surge is a "success."  I guess the President's sneak visit to Iraq this morning …
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
Video: President Bush's Surprise Photo Op In Iraq
Libby Spencer / The Newshoggers:
Bush sneaks into Iraq
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Bush Makes Surprise Iraq Visit
Associated Press:
President Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq
Discussion: Power Line
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
John Edwards: "you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years."  —  Edwards' universal health care proposal ignores individual autonomy: … So, the mental health check is mandatory too?  Why does he not even realize how bad that sounds?  He's so warmed up about the generous benefits he's promising …
Amy Lorentzen / Associated Press:
Edwards backs mandatory preventive care
John Edwards for President:
Edwards Receives Support Of Steelworkers And Mine Workers Unions
Discussion: AFL-CIO Weblog
Washington Post:
When Controversy Follows Cash  —  Some Fundraisers With Legal Issues Slip Through Campaigns' Vetting  —  Sant S. Chatwal, an Indian American businessman, has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaigns, even as he battled governments on two continents …
Daily Mail:
Soldiers evacuate babies from Israeli daycare centre as Islamic Jihad rockets fall  —  Soldiers scrambled to evacuate babies from a day care center in rocket-scarred Sderot today after a projectile fired by Palestinian militants thudded into the courtyard.  —  None of the 15 babies at the center was hurt.
White House: Why Gonzales Bailed  —  Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told friends he resigned last week at the urging of his wife following a summer vacation.  But he had plenty of reasons to leave the capital.  Just days earlier, congressional leaders had signaled they intended to keep …
Denver Post:
Doug Lamborn's voice messages to Jonathan and Anna Bartha  —  The following is a text of two voice messages that Rep. Doug Lamborn left on the home telephone of Jonathan and Anna Bartha.  —  FIRST MESSAGE: "Hello, this is Doug Lamborn calling for either Jonathan or Anna.  Something very serious has happened.
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:   Republican Congressman Threatens Couple
Zappatero / Daily Kos:
CO-05: Republican Congressman threatens local couple
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
BUSH'S BRAIN....The Washington Post has more dirt from Robert Draper's new Bush bio, Dead Certain, today.  Turns out Karl Rove didn't want Bush to pick Dick Cheney as VP but Bush figured it couldn't do any harm.  Score one for Karl.  Rove also had doubts about appointing Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
Is Craig really a hypocrite?  —  IDAHO isn't Massachusetts, so as soon as the story of his bathroom escapade broke it was clear that Senator Larry Craig would soon be needing new business cards.  Except for those elected from the Bay State, US senators and representatives involved in sex scandals …
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 More Items: 
David Sirota / WorkingForChange:
Discovering Labor's Untold Story: A Labor Day Reading List
Discussion: Orcinus and Left in the West
Andy Borowitz / The Huffington Post:
Bush Pays Surprise Visit to Reality
Robin Wright / Washington Post:
Detained Scholar Allowed to Leave Iran
Michael Abramowitz / Washington Post:
The Facts on Emissions, or a Lot of Hot Air?
The Big Trunk / Power Line:
Daily Mail:
Public 'wary of green tax motives'
Nick Gillespie / New York Times:
Democratic Vistas  —  With the possible exception of the Republicans …
Discussion: The Corner and Dr. Sanity
CBS News:
Is Iraq A Failed State?
Discussion: AMERICAblog and The Caucus
 Earlier Items: 
Daily Mail:
Iraqi joy at British 'defeat' as Bush makes surprise visit to Baghdad
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
The Biography As A Comic Book
Discussion: Slate and protein wisdom
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Transformed By Her Bond With Bush
Chris Hawley / Arizona Republic:
Strong words for America, stern warnings for Mexico
Discussion: Lonewacko and Wake up America
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
[TS] Op-Ed Columnist: Snow Job in the Desert
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Chaos in Darfur on Rise as Arabs Fight With Arabs
Daniel Gross / Newsweek:
The New Money Pit  —  It started with subprime mortgages.
Discussion: Debsweb
Bradley S. Klapper / Associated Press:
Report: U.S. workers are most productive