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12:40 AM ET, January 23, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race  —  NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson quit the Republican presidential race on Tuesday, after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states.  —  “Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States.
RELATED:
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
With Thompson Out, Who Benefits Most?  —  The decision by former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson to end his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination removes a conservative voice from the field even as the remaining Republican candidates crisscross Florida in search of votes in advance of the state's Jan. 29 primary.
Carl Cameron / Cameron's Corner:
Now it can be told- The Thompson story  —  Back in March of 07 at the CPAC convention in DC several former Fred Thompson Congressional staffers told me Fred Thompson was thinking about a run.  Some of his Tennessee cronies had been talking him up too.  —  I reported first that he was eyeing a White House bid.
Discussion: Hot Air, Riehl World View and Macsmind
Marc Ambinder:
Thompson Decides To Drop Out  —  Ex-Sen. Fred Thompson has told several Republicans that he has decided to drop out of the presidential race and will make public his intentions by close of business.  —  Thompson does not plan to endorse any rivals for now, even though one of his best friends is Sen. John McCain.
Sewell Chan / City Room:
The Death of Heath Ledger  —  The actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan, according to the New York City police.  Signs pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose, police sources said.  Mr. Ledger was 28.  [Now online: Comprehensive coverage prepared for Wednesday editions of The Times.]
RELATED:
CNN:
Actor Heath Ledger dies at 28  —  NEW YORK (CNN) — Actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday of a possible drug overdose in a Lower Manhattan apartment, the New York Police Department said.  —  The Academy Award nominated actor was 28.  —  “Pills were found in the vicinity of the bed,” police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN.
The State:
Obama most likely Democrat to unify America  —  THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY in South Carolina this year offers voters an unusual choice.  Earlier votes have winnowed out the most experienced candidates, leaving a field with fewer accomplishments and differences on policy, but including two candidates …
RELATED:
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Democrats Try to Delay Eavesdropping Vote  —  WASHINGTON—Senate Democrats concede that they probably lack the votes needed to stop a White House-backed plan to give immunity to phone utilities that helped the National Security Agency's eavesdropping, and they are seeking to put off the vote for another month.
Discussion: The Politico
RELATED:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Will the Democratic presidential candidates adhere to their rhetoric?
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Senator Edwards, We Need You To Lead
The Brody File:
Barack Obama Talks to The Brody File  —  I just finished my sit-down interview with Sen. Barack Obama here in Greenville, S.C. We talked about everything from last night's debate, his troubles with Sen. Hillary Clinton and continuing Internet rumors that he's a Muslim.
Discussion: The Plank and Spin Cycle
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Obama: Muslim smear a “systematic political strategy”
Discussion: The Raw Story
beliefnet:   Barack Obama: Praying to Be 'An Instrument of God's Will'
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
The blog swarm Chris Matthews never saw coming  —  “I get it."  — Chris Matthews, January 17  —  When Chris Matthews' long-winded monologue at the opening of the January 17 Hardball program eventually touched down with an apology to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) …
Discussion: Firedoglake
RELATED:
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
OBAMA vs. CLINTON....AGAIN....It's possible — likely, even — that everyone is tired of conversations about whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be more effective if they win the presidency.  That's doubly true since it's essentially unknowable at this point.
RELATED:
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Clinton's Key Strength
Discussion: Crunchy Con
Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative:
Found in Translation  —  FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.  —  Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will.  The former FBI translator turned whistleblower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington's highest levels …
Jo Mannies / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Gov. Blunt won't seek second term  —  Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, just announced that he's not running for re-election this fall.  —  In a statement that shocked political leaders, in both parties, Blunt released a TV address “announcing that having achieved virtually everything …
Amanda / Think Progress:
Petraeus: I Need Another Six Months To Determine Whether 'We've Reached A Turning Point'  —  In the past few months, conservatives such as Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) have been quick to declare victory in Iraq.  In November, McCain said that “we've succeeded militarily.”
Dr. Rusty Shackleford / The Jawa Report:
Fredheads, It's Time to Support Mitt  —  It's time to support Mitt Romney.  Can Mitt win in a general election?  I don't know.  Certainly he has always had a better chance than Fred.  And if the opposition is Hillary Clinton, then maybe.  —  McCain can beat Hillary.  But McCain is, well, McCain.
Discussion: Hot Air and Slublog
 
 
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 More Items: 
CNN:
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
John H. Cushman Jr / New York Times:
Web Site Assembles U.S. Prewar Claims
Bryan / Hot Air:
Audio: Laura Ingraham slams McCain on the Wisconsin Right to Life case
Discussion: The Corner, Macsmind and Slublog
Mark Hemingway / The Corner:
About the Louisiana Caucuses Tonight...
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Dissent of the Day: Bill's role
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Short On Economic Understanding, McCain Brings Phil Gramm to Meeting
Jenna Hansen / The Huffington Post:
Have We Come a Long Way, Baby?
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Report: Rudy Dropping In Florida Despite Sinking Big Money Into The State
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias:
McCain and the Economy  —  John McCain's unquestionably …
Iain Murray / The Corner:
Energy Disaster Looming
Discussion: Bloomberg
stephenbainbridge.com:
Dow Plunges then Recovers; Fed Lowers Rates; The Case Against Fiscal Stimulus
Badgers Forward:
Setting the Record Staright Regarding Soldiers Deaths while Riding in MRAPs
Scott Horton / Harper's:
The Emails that Dick Cheney Deleted
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Fred Exits  —  He's a good and talented man, but I'm still mystified …
Byron York / National Review:
Why Republicans Fear Obama
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Hillary Hater is DIY Robo Caller?