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11:30 AM ET, February 17, 2008


 Top Items: 
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
Right slams Obama as ‘shady Chicago socialist’  —  Republicans are out to crush Barack by painting him as a leftwinger with dubious support  —  LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist.
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?
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Obama as the Next McGovern?
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: The Ruckus
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Pawlenty As Veep?  —  For over a year, Tim Pawlenty has supported John McCain through thick and a whole lot of thin.  The two-term Minnesota governor became one of John McCain's first major endorsers in January 2007, and even at the time speculation began that Pawlenty could make a good running mate for McCain.
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 …
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.
Discussion: The Reaction and PoliGazette
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:   NY Times on “The Cult of Personality”
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.
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 …
Allauddin Khan / Associated Press:
Suicide bomber kills 80 in Afghanistan  —  KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition killed 80 people and wounded scores more Sunday, a governor said, in what 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
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
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Sunday Morning Election News  —  Here's some early morning news items:  — A new Alabama poll shows McCain would sweep the state in November by double digits, and it might happen throughout the deep south.  —  Alabama has voted for the Republican nominee every year since 1980.
Discussion: and
Matthew Yglesias:
The Price of Reform  —  I thought there were plenty of congenial ideas in David Brook's latest stab at formulating a reformist conservative agenda, but I wonder a bit about his math.  Brooks writes that “Income taxes are not going to be coming down, but they need to stay where they are.”
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
Paul West / Baltimore Sun:
Clinton backers fault campaign  —  Supporters outline errors as focus turns to big states  —  It may be hard to recall the shield of inevitability that once surrounded Hillary Clinton, but a December 2007 cover story in a liberal magazine is a reminder.  —  “Has Hillary Locked It Up?” …
Keith B. Richburg / Washington Post:
New York ‘Crack Tax’ Proposal Is Derided  —  Many States Aid Enforcement With Levy on Illicit Drugs  —  NEW YORK — If you can't beat it, tax it.  —  That seems to be the axiom in New York these days, where Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer (D), struggling to close a $4.4 billion budget gap …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Kosovo Declares Independence From Serbia
Lawyers, Guns and Money:
“Popularity Contest”  —  John Dickerson, while ruminating …
Sean Lengell / Washington Times:
Analysts say FISA will suffice
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
Associated Press:
Russia: US Satellite Shot a Weapons Test
Discussion: GINA COBB and Silent Running
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Late Night : One for the Girls
Discussion: Althouse, NO QUARTER and The Ruckus
 Earlier Items: 
Lynn Davidson /
Western Greenland Ice Growing; Still Global Warming
Aws Qusay / Reuters:
Attacks in Baghdad fall 80 percent: Iraq military
New York Times:
Old Clinton Ties and Voters' Sway Tug at Delegates
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
A Smiling, Fidgeting McCain, Learning to Rein Himself In
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
Where is Obama on Gun Rights?
Discussion: Legalities
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Feminists For Clinton  —  A very well written letter from a group …
Clif / Sadly, No!:
It's Easy To Be Brave From A Distance
Andrew Romano / Newsweek Blogs:
Al Gore to the Rescue?