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1:30 PM ET, February 17, 2008


 Top Items: 
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Barack Obama, Leftist?  —  Two foreign newspapers introduce the notion of Barack Obama as a Leftist.  The Times of London reports that Republicans intend on painting him as such in the general election, based on his voting record in the Senate and in the Illinios state legislature.
Robin Koerner / The Moderate Voice:   Change and Barack, America's First Leftist President?
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
Right slams Obama as ‘shady Chicago socialist’
Robert Novak / Real Clear Politics:   Hillary's “McGovern” Problem
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Steadfast McCain ally sparks veep talk  —  Even through the McCain campaign's darkest days in 2007, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty remained a steadfast ally to the Arizona senator in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.  —  As a result, with John McCain as the clear GOP frontrunner …
Discussion: Macsmind and The Ruckus
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   Pawlenty As Veep?
Times of London:
Israel kills terror chief with headrest bomb  —  Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv, Hala Jaber in Beirut and Jon Swain  —  NOTHING seemed very remarkable about the short, bearded man who mingled with other guests on Tuesday evening at a reception in Damascus, the Syrian capital …
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Clinton Wants A Wisconsin Debate As Obama Adds The Beef  —  Hillary Clinton desperately wants to get Barack Obama in a one-on-one debate before the Wisconsin primary in order to pin her challenger to policy specifics.  Obama, meanwhile, has dodged the debate but gotten the message, according to the New York Times:
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Obama Adding Detail to His Oratory
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
The Charisma Mandate  —  TAKING office in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt confronted a country in crisis.  Four in 10 working-age Americans were jobless.  Banks were collapsing.  There were long lines outside tellers' windows as people rushed to withdraw their savings.
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:   NY Times on “The Cult of Personality”
Ian Traynor / Guardian:
'I don't hate Muslims.  I hate Islam,' says Holland's rising political star  —  Geert Wilders, the popular MP whose film on Islam has fuelled the debate on race in Holland, wants an end to mosque building and Muslim immigration.  Ian Traynor met him in The Hague
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
The World's Worst Panderer  —  Even for those of us who shudder at many of John McCain's positions, there is something refreshing about a man who wins so many votes despite a major political shortcoming: he is abysmal at pandering.  —  What sets Senator McCain apart isn't so much his physical courage …
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
It's an Election, Not a Revolution  —  IT has become common wisdom that the battle for the presidency is all about the economy.  Voters are being told that the country's economic health depends on pulling the right lever in the polling booth.  —  This election is certainly important.
Allauddin Khan / Associated Press:
80 die in bombing at Afghan dog fight  —  KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition killed 80 people and wounded scores on Sunday, an Afghan governor said.  It appeared to be the deadliest terror attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Taimoor Shah / New York Times:   At Least 80 Killed in Afghan Bombing
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Avoiding The Issue: Obama, Clinton And The Voting Demographics  —  Matt Stoller writes about a news story that argues Obama is gaining among women.  Matt likes that line and allows the important underlying story to be overshadowed.  Matt writes: … But what does that mean?
Discussion: Open Left and The Ruckus
Pajamas Media:
“That Root,” “youths,” and why Reuters is a disgrace  —  In “Portrait of an Age,” G. M. Young's classic overview of early Victorian England, there are a few melancholy pages devoted to the devastating Irish potato famine of the mid 1840s.  Young notes in an aside that Sir Robert Peel …
Discussion: A Blog For All and The Corner
Bottled water ‘is immoral’  —  Drinking bottled water should be made as unfashionable as smoking, according to a government adviser.  —  “We have to make people think that it's unfashionable just as we have with smoking.  We need a similar campaign to convince people that this is wrong,” …
Associated Press:
Kosovo Declares Independence From Serbia  —  PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo declared itself a nation on Sunday, mounting a historic bid to become an “independent and democratic state” backed by the U.S. and key European allies but bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia.
Sean Lengell / Washington Times:
Analysts say FISA will suffice  —  Many intelligence scholars and analysts outside the government say that today's expiration of certain temporary domestic wiretapping laws will have little effect on national security, despite warnings to the contrary by the White House and Capitol Hill Republican leaders.
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 More Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The Fun and Excitement of Civilization Wars (fought from afar)
Discussion: protein wisdom
George Will / Real Clear Politics:
Questions For John McCain
Discussion: Don Surber
Ginger Adams Otis / New York Post:
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Show Me the Delegate Rules and I'll Show You the Party
Susan Jacoby / Washington Post:
The Dumbing Of America  —  Call Me a Snob, but Really, We're a Nation of Dunces
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Rotten Way to Pick a President
Lawyers, Guns and Money:
“Popularity Contest”  —  John Dickerson, while ruminating …
Matthew Yglesias:
The Price of Reform
 Earlier Items: 
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Sunday Morning Election News
Discussion: and
Michael Slackman / New York Times:
Dreams Stifled, Egypt's Young Turn to Islamic Fervor
Frank Rich / New York Times:
The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Captive to History's Caprice
Discussion: Whiskey Fire
Keith B. Richburg / Washington Post:
New York ‘Crack Tax’ Proposal Is Derided
Associated Press:
Russia: US Satellite Shot a Weapons Test
Discussion: GINA COBB and Silent Running
Paul West / Baltimore Sun:
Clinton backers fault campaign
Discussion: Wake up America
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Late Night : One for the Girls
Discussion: Althouse, NO QUARTER and The Ruckus