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1:45 PM ET, January 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions  —  Tapes Reviewed by ABC News Show Clinton As a Loyal Company Woman  —  In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign …
New York Times:
After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton Charity  —  Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan.  Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited …
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Romney Spokesperson Confirms it: Mitt Hasn't Bought Any TV Ad Time In Any Feb. 5th State  —  With five days to go until Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney's spokesperson is confirming that the Romney campaign has bought exactly zero TV ad time in any of the states that vote on Feb. 5.
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Romney to run ads in California  —  LOS ANGELES - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plans to run a “significant” level of television ads in California and other states that vote Tuesday in essentially a national primary, aides said Thursday, signaling a willingness to aggressively try …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Memo: McCain “De Facto” Nominee After Feb. 5  —  In an internal memo for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential bid, campaign manager Rick Davis argued that his candidate stands in extremely strong position to wrack up a decisive delegate victory over former governor Mitt Romney (Mass.) …
Discussion: The Campaign Spot
Michael Luo / New York Times:
Republicans Battle for Votes and Money in California  —  LOS ANGELES — Competition between Senator John McCain and Mitt Romney for California's vast array of Republican delegates was heating up on Thursday, with Mr. McCain poised to receive a major endorsement and Mr. Romney preparing …
New York Times:
A Face-Off, Not Necessarily Televised
Discussion: Boston Globe, The Politico and MSNBC
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
Is McCain a Conservative?  —  As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative.
Jennifer Rubin / New York Observer:
What Will Rush, Hugh Say if McCain Wins?  —  Rush Limbaugh.  —  Certain conservative opinion makers are not pleased.  —  Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, much of the roster at the National Review and many (but certainly not all) of their more conservative talk radio and blogger colleagues …
David S. Broder / Washington Post:
A Matchup Starts to Take Shape  —  Heading into Tuesday's unprecedented day of voting in two dozen states, a degree of order is finally emerging in the dramatic races for the presidential nominations of both parties.  —  Public opinion and leadership support are finding their way to the same destinations …
Spencer Ackerman / The Washington Independent:
Security Gains From ‘Surge’ Backsliding  —  New Iraq Security Statistics Show Uptick in Explosions  —  It was the crescendo of an otherwise flat State of the Union address.  “Ladies and Gentlemen,” President George W. Bush declared Monday night, “some may deny the surge is working, but among terrorists there is no doubt.”
Dana Priest / Washington Post:
Soldier Suicides at Record Level  —  Increase Linked to Long Wars, Lack of Army Resources  —  Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who was waiting for the Army to decide whether to court-martial her for endangering another soldier and turning …
Doug Oakley / Contra Costa Times:
Berkeley council tells Marines to leave  —  Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.  —  That's the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 8-1 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city …
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Bush Seeks Surplus via Medicare Cuts  —  WASHINGTON — In his new budget, to be unveiled Monday, President Bush will call for large cuts in the growth of Medicare, far exceeding what he proposed last year, and he will again seek major savings in Medicaid, according to administration officials and budget documents.
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 More Items: 
Audrey Hudson / Washington Times:
Airport found legitimate in troop treatment
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Another Point on Bill
Todd Beeton / MyDD:
The Democratic Majority IS The American Majority
Discussion: Open Left and Eschaton
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Surveillance Bill Discussions Hinging on Retroactive Immunity
Matthew Mosk / The Trail:
Obama to Report $32 Million Raised in Jan.
Washington Wire:
Pelosi Allies Give Obama a Boost in California
Marc Ambinder:
Obama Mailer Hits Clinton On War Vote
Spiegel Online:
Mexico Furious over German ‘Finger in Butt’ Hit
 Earlier Items: 
Democracy Corps:
Democrats' historic opportunity in Republican-held districts
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The New Rules of Politics  —  In the aftermath of the Florida primary …
Discussion: techPresident and God-o-Meter
Ted Bridis / Associated Press:
Trains, bloggers are threats in drill
Ari Melber / The Nation:
MoveOn Weighs Dem Endorsements
Mary Ann Akers / The Sleuth:
Clinton's LBJ Comments Infuriated Ted Kennedy
Discussion: The Swamp, Hot Air and Right Voices
Kim Sengupta / The Independent:
Sentenced to death: Afghan who dared to read about women's rights
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
The Dynastic Question
Transcript of GOP debate at Reagan Library