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11:10 AM ET, September 28, 2007

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Andrew Malcolm / Los Angeles Times:
BREAKING NEWS: Electoral initiative backers give up  —  Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California's 55 electoral votes are apportioned, first revealed here by Top of the Ticket in July, are pulling the plug on that effort.
RELATED:
Dan Morain / Los Angeles Times:
GOP electoral initiative dealt major blows  —  Two key consultants for an effort to change California's winner-take-all system quit over money and disclosure woes.  —  SACRAMENTO — A proposed California initiative campaign that could have helped Republicans hold on to the White House in 2008 …
Michelle Malkin:
Reports: Military junta cuts Internet access in Burma; Sniper reportedly killed Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai; Update: Videos added  —  Update 9:50am Eastern.  PJM pays tribute to monks and bloggers.  —  And read Agam's Gecko, an Asian-based blog that has followed the Burmese democracy movement for many, many years.
RELATED:
Michael Medved / Townhall.com:
Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery  —  Those who want to discredit the United States and to deny our role as history's most powerful and pre-eminent force for freedom, goodness and human dignity invariably focus on America's bloody past as a slave-holding nation.
RELATED:
Jillian / Sadly, No!:
Pick A Bale Of Stupid  —  I am beginning to suspect that the greenhouse gases being released into the world by industrialized nations are having an adverse effect on the space-time continuum.  There are days, based on the rhetoric I see coming from some of the loonier corners of the right wing batty brigade …
Discussion: Lean Left
Sam Schulman / AMERICAN.COM:
Lee Bollinger's Illusory Idealism  —  What the Columbia president is forgetting.  —  Many commentators have argued that Columbia University President Lee Bollinger was unwise—or, in Arnold Ahlert's view, "idiotic"—to have hosted Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Discussion: Israel Matzav
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Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
What Free Speech Means, And What It Doesn't  —  For a nation birthed on the concept of free speech, we seem to have a very poor understanding of the concept.  Jonah Goldberg notices this in his NRO column today, and uses the case of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia to make the point:
Discussion: PointOfLaw Forum
Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report:
Dems unite to slam Limbaugh, GOP silent  —  As a rule, Democrats and their allies are a little slow when it comes to organized outrage.  A high-profile Republican will say or do something that most decent Americans would find outrageous, progressive blogs will call him or her on it …
Tom Humphrey / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Cigarette surveillance program begins today  —  Motorists bringing large numbers of smokes into state will be charged  —  NASHVILLE — Starting today, state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states …
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   Why They Call Them Tax Regimes
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
S-CHIP Battle Moves To Vetoland, Population: 3  —  The Senate passed the expansion of the S-CHIP program yesterday with a veto-proof majority, 67-29, which sets up a standoff between Congress and the White House over the renewal of the politically sensitive program.
Discussion: Redstate
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James Risen / New York Times:
State Dept. Tallies 56 Shootings Involving Blackwater on Diplomatic Guard Duty  —  The State Department said Thursday that Blackwater USA security personnel had been involved in 56 shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq so far this year.  It was the first time the Bush administration had made such data public.
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Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Hired Gun Fetish
Guardian:
The Islamic Reformation  —  Those who call for an Islamic 'Reformation' are missing the point: it has already happened, unfortunately.  —  Since 2001 a plethora of writers have made calls for an Islamic "Reformation".  Many hopes (and careers) are pinned on the idea, but there is no such thing coming.
CNN:
Mistake costs dishwasher $59,000  —  MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country.
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Leading GOP Candidates Skip Debate on Black Issues  —  4 Contenders Attend Fundraisers Instead  —  Fred D. Thompson was at a fundraiser in Franklin, Tenn. Mitt Romney was gathering checks in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Rudolph W. Giuliani was in California raking in some last-minute cash just north of Napa.
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
Wanted: Democratic Straight Talk on Iraq  —  Yes, you heard it right: At the Dartmouth College debate Wednesday evening, not one of the three leading Democratic candidates could pledge that all U.S. combat troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his or her first term as president.
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
IT'S RUDY V. HILL  —  BUT CLINTON'S SITTING PRETTIER  —  WEDNESDAY brought two key developments in the 2008 race for the White House.  Together, they make it increasingly likely we're finally going to see that Hillary-vs.-Rudy match-up we were denied in New York's 2000 Senate race.
Discussion: The Corner
RELATED:
Tom Baldwin / Times of London:
New Hampshire prepares a rocky ride for Clinton
Joe Conason / Salon:
The war president "at peace" with himself  —  Bush's 2003 conversation with the Spanish prime minister shows his smug determination to invade Iraq at all costs.  —  George W. Bush answers a question during a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar …
Discussion: Truthdig
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Wilkes faces court date on Friday  —  Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos is waging an aggressive defense of Brent Wilkes, a California businessman accused of bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).  —  Wilkes and alleged co-conspirator John Michael are set to appear before a judge Friday …
Discussion: TPMmuckraker
Laura Scher / The Huffington Post:
The Smart Choice  —  Actions speak louder than words.  That's what I was thinking when I heard that Verizon, the second-largest U.S. mobile company, had refused to allow NARAL Pro-Choice America to send opt-in text messages to its members (then reversed its decision on Thursday morning after a storm of criticism).
 
 
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 More Items: 
Blue Texan / INSTAPUTZ:
David Shuster was right about Marsha Blackburn. …
Steven Reynolds / All Spin Zone:
Matthew Shepard Act Passes, Republicans Threaten Veto
New York Times:
Push for Action on Flight Delays
Discussion: BuzzMachine
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
GOP's crucial '08 base divided
Discussion: TIME
New York Times:
Blackwater Shooting Scene Was Chaotic
Discussion: The Swamp and NO QUARTER
Gardiner Harris / New York Times:
Report Assails F.D.A. Oversight of Clinical Trials
Discussion: Daily Kos and Balloon Juice
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
How big a problem is lack of health insurance?
Choire / Gawker:
The New Model: Newspapers Now Stuffed Full Of Blogs, But No Clue Where To Put Them
Discussion: BuzzMachine and Romenesko
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
U.S. to Allow Key Detainees to Request Lawyers
Charles Krauthammer / Real Clear Politics:
France Flips While Congress Shifts
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
2 Clintons, 2 Stories — But Just 1 To See Print
Ray Robison / American Thinker:
A Quiet Triumph May be Brewing
Andrew Miga / Associated Press:
Senate approves Lieberman resolution on Iran
Andrew J. Bacevich / The American Conservative:
Sycophant Savior  —  General Petraeus wins a battle in Washington—if not in Baghdad.
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Obama Distances Himself From Clinton, on Her Turf
William Tucker / American Spectator:
The Nuclear Renaissance Begins