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1:45 PM ET, January 12, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks About Recent Comments  —  WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans …
RELATED:
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Edwards Will Face a Moment of Truth After South Carolina Primary  —  John Edwards is the forgotten man in the race for the Democratic nomination, but he's not an inconsequential candidate.  —  Edwards, the angry populist of Iowa who may become a Southern-fried Democrat as the South Carolina primary unfolds …
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
Obama Giving Clinton a Race in Her Backyard  —  With Senator Barack Obama vowing to challenge Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on her home turf, the Democratic presidential primary in New York on Feb. 5 is shaping up as the state's most competitive since 1992, when Bill Clinton took up a rival's mantra …
Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
MINORITY REPORTS  —  After New Hampshire, a hint of racial politics. … The brief interregnum between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary may be remembered as a time when it appeared that the magical qualities ascribed to Barack Obama included an ability to suspend all the ordinary rules of politics.
CNN:
SC's Republican governor praises Obama candidacy  —  (CNN) - The Republican governor of South Carolina wrote an op-ed in the state's largest paper Friday in which he spoke admiringly of Democratic candidate Barack Obama's candidacy, and urged voters to think about the significance …
Discussion: All Spin Zone and American Street
Reuters:
Bill Clinton defends “fairy tale” remark on Obama
Ronald Brownstein / NationalJournal.com:
The Road Ahead
Discussion: Ross Douthat
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
Iraq to reinstate Saddam party followers  —  BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament voted Saturday to allow some former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to reclaim government jobs and said others could receive pensions but could not return to work.  President Bush said the legislation was “an important step toward reconciliation.”
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Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
De-Baathification Reform Law Passes In Iraqi Parliament  —  Note: I'm leaving this post on top for the morning; newer posts are below.  —  Those who claim that the surge strategy in Iraq has paid no dividends because it hasn't met Congressional benchmarks may wish to skip to the next post.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
Drop in violence levels only first step in Iraq
Discussion: QandO
Navy Times:
‘Filipino Monkey’ may be behind radio threats, ship drivers say  —  The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the “Filipino Monkey.”
RELATED:
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes '02 War Game  —  WASHINGTON — There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend: a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.
In From the Cold:
What Happened in the Strait of Hormuz, Revisited
Discussion: Macsmind
Rudyg / Stumper:
Blumenthal On the Boil  —  Sidney Blumenthal plays hardball.  A longtime confidante and adviser to the Clintons, he has zealously defended them through any number of scandal investigations.  Along the way, Blumenthal has shown an affinity for the sharp counterattack.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Joe Won't Be The Veep Pick For McCain  —  Unlike in the 2004 campaign, when a still-angry McCain allowed rumors of a second-slot deal with John Kerry to percolate just a little before denying them, the McCain campaign wants to scotch rumors of a similar deal with Senator Joe Lieberman.
Discussion: Real Clear Politics and PSoTD
Meghan Daum / Los Angeles Times:
Hillary's gotta have it  —  In courting the voters, maybe she should play by 'The Rules.'  —  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have clawed her way out of an abyss in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, but the shadows over her campaign are a reminder that the path she's forging is still in the deep woods.
Discussion: Unqualified Offerings
New York Times:
Bush and Congress Seen Pushing for Stimulus Plan  —  WASHINGTON — The Bush administration and Congressional leaders, increasingly concerned about a possible recession, are moving closer to agreeing that an economic stimulus package is needed soon, Washington officials said Friday.
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Baghdad Embassy Is Called A Fire Risk  —  ‘Serious’ Problems Were Ignored, Says State Dept. Official  —  The firefighting system in the massive $736 million embassy complex in Baghdad has potential safety problems that top U.S. officials dismissed in their rush to declare construction largely completed …
Discussion: Prairie Weather and AMERICAblog
James Vicini / Reuters:
U.S. appeals court dismisses Guantanamo torture suit  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that four former Guantanamo prisoners, all British citizens, have no right to sue top Pentagon officials and military officers for torture, abuse and violations of their religious rights.
Discussion: On Deadline
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 More Items: 
Paul Vitello / New York Times:
A Combative Thompson Sways Voters
David Hardy / Of Arms and the Law:
Government files amicus — on DC's side!
Discussion: Redstate
Steve Friess / New York Times:
Teachers Sue to Block Hotel Workers' Union Vote in Nevada Caucus
Las Vegas Sun:
Voting on the Strip a no-no, suit says
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Francis Wilkinson / New York Times:
Fighting to Lose  —  Nyack, N.Y.  —  IF parts of Hillary …
Vanderleun / AMERICAN DIGEST:
Cutting Through the Katrina Krapola
David Willman / Los Angeles Times:
U.S. attorney's office accused of anthrax case leaks
Discussion: Emptywheel
Media Matters for America:
“Media Matters"; by Jamison Foser
 Earlier Items: 
John B. Judis / The New Republic:
Poll Potheads
Tom Humphrey / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
House passes resolution to honor Gore's efforts
Discussion: Think Progress
Caroline B. Glick / Townhall.com:
George in Jihadland  —  US President George W. Bush arrived …
Discussion: Power Line
Anna Jo Bratton / Associated Press:
Nebraska Sen. Nelson endorses Obama
Associated Press:
When snow falls in Baghdad ...
Fran Bardsley / Oxford Mail:
Bishop backs Muslim prayer call
CNN:
China blogger beaten to death
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats See Enthusiasm Gap in Their Favor