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3:55 PM ET, February 17, 2008


 Top Items: 
Dan Bilefsky / New York Times:
Kosovo Declares Its Independence From Serbia  —  PRISTINA, Kosovo — The former Serbian province of Kosovo declared independence on Sunday, sending tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians swarming through the streets to celebrate what they hoped was the end of a long and bloody struggle for national self-determination.
Discussion: The New Republic and The Seminal
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?
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?
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The Fun and Excitement of Civilization Wars (fought from afar)  —  In response to my post on Friday pointing out that nobody outside of the handful of Muslim-obsessed faux-warriors is moved any longer by the Government's endless exploitation of Terrorism to secure more and more unchecked power, National Review's Mark Steyn said:
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
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: The Corner
Lawhawk / A Blog For All:
Seven Nights of Rioting in Denmark
Discussion: Reuters, Jihad Watch and Silent Running
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”
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 …
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
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 …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Clinton keeps up health care attack  —  This mailer, provided by the Obama campaign, is the latest salvo from Hillary on health care.  It also includes a quote from Paul Krugman accusing Obama of “unscrupulous demagoguery” on the issue.  Obama has a conference call shortly …
Discussion: Spin Cycle, Donklephant and The Page
Associated Press:
Up to 80 killed in Afghan bombing  —  KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber penetrated a crowd watching a dog-fighting competition in the Taliban's former stronghold Sunday, killing up to 80 people in one of the bloodiest bombings since the regime's 2001 ouster.
Taimoor Shah / New York Times:
At Least 80 Killed in Afghan Bombing
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
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,” …
Susan Jacoby / Washington Post:
The Dumbing Of America  —  Call Me a Snob, but Really, We're a Nation of Dunces  —  “The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today's very different United States.
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 More Items: 
Matt / Think Progress:
New McCain Rips Old McCain's Argument That Bush Tax Cuts Benefit The ‘Wealthy’
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Avoiding The Issue: Obama, Clinton And The Voting Demographics
Discussion: Open Left and The Ruckus
George Will / Real Clear Politics:
Questions For John McCain
Discussion: Don Surber
Ginger Adams Otis / New York Post:
Discussion: Daily Pundit
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Show Me the Delegate Rules and I'll Show You the Party
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Rotten Way to Pick a President
Sean Lengell / Washington Times:
Analysts say FISA will suffice
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
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
It's an Election, Not a Revolution