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1:10 PM ET, February 18, 2008

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Big Head DC:
Obama Caught Plagiarizing 2006 Speech?  —  Big Head DC has discovered alarming similarities between a speech made by Sen. Barack Obama on February 16 while campaigning for president in Wisconsin and an October 2006 speech made by Deval Patrick, the current Democratic governor of Massachusetts.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Clinton aide accuses Obama of plagiarism  —  Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign's communications director, today accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of committing “plagiarism” in a speech in Milwaukee on Saturday night.  —  Wolfson made the explosive charge in an interview with Politico …
Discussion: Donklephant and TigerHawk
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama's rhetoric getting some friendly help?
Frank James / The Swamp:
Did Obama plagiarize? Clinton team says yes
Discussion: Political Radar
Matthew Mosk / Washington Post:
System Worries Clinton Backers  —  Supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are worried that convoluted delegate rules in Texas could water down the impact of strong support for her among Hispanic voters there, creating a new obstacle for her in the must-win presidential primary contest.
RELATED:
Hilzoy / The Daily Dish:
Competence  —  From the Washington Post (emphasis added, and stolen from publius): … When I read this, I dissolved in giggles after the first sentence.  It was that part about the Texas delegate selection rules “creating a new obstacle for her” that got me.  In what sense are the Texas rules a “new obstacle?”
Publius / Obsidian Wings:
They're Not a Machine  —  This article should put to rest any notion that the Clinton campaign is a paragon of competence and Ivan Drago-esque efficiency.  (See also Hilzoy).  It seems the Clinton campaign is just now getting around to, you know, learning the rules in Texas:
USA Today:
Clinton campaign accuses Obama of ‘flip-flop’
Jason Zengerle / The New Republic:
That Clinton Competence
Discussion: PrairiePundit and Washington Post
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
How Evangelical Leaders Blew It  —  Dan Gilgoff does a post-mortem on how the evangelical movement managed to allow John McCain to win the Republican Party nomination over two candidates more amenable to their cause.  Gilgoff focuses on their failure to back Romney, and makes it plain …
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Daniel Gilgoff / USA Today:
Why the Religious Right is stuck with McCain  —  The lukewarm support for Mitt Romney left a void that evangelical preacher Mike Huckabee was only too happy to fill.  The result: A GOP nominee who strays far from the flock.  —  As co-founder of the blog Evangelicals for Mitt …
Discussion: Ross Douthat and Hot Air
Edwin Chen / Bloomberg:
Former President Bush Endorses McCain's Candidacy  —  Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) — Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Republican presidential candidate John McCain today, saying he is best prepared to succeed his son and has the “right values and experience to guide our nation forward.”
Discussion: michellemalkin.com
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Mark Schmitt / American Prospect:
WOULD YOU MAKE A “PLEDGE” WITH THIS MAN?  —  The first great skirmish of an Obama-McCain general election has broken out over a matter of such arcane policy-wonkery that until this weekend, you would find it only here at TAPPED: the precise relationship between a loan and public financing …
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Obama's Corner On Public Financing
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Reid Wilson / RealClearPolitics:
Obama's No-Win On Financing
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
Why Torts Trumped Terrorism  —  A closed-door caucus of House Democrats last Wednesday took a risky political course.  By 4 to 1, they instructed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call President Bush's bluff on extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to continue eavesdropping on suspected foreign terrorists.
David Brown / Washington Post:
USDA Orders Largest Meat Recall in U.S. History  —  The Agriculture Department has ordered the largest meat recall in its history — 143 million pounds of beef, a California meatpacker's entire production for the past two years — because the company did not prevent ailing animals from entering …
RELATED:
Michael J. Totten:
The Dungeon of Fallujah  —  “This is not Norway here, and it is not Denmark.”  - Lebanese Forces militia leader Bashir Gemayel.  —  FALLUJAH - Next to the Joint Communications Center in downtown Fallujah is a squalid and war-shattered warehouse for human beings.  Most detainees are common criminals.
Ari Kaufman / American Thinker:
America's Three Worst Presidents  —  Presidents Day has taken a deep back seat these days on our holiday calendar to the point that not only do schools go on as scheduled, but so do many state and government offices.  This is not surprising in 2008, and many revel in it.
Discussion: Right Wing Nut House
Ben Smith / The Politico:
More Obama and Patrick  —  Mike Allen has more on a pretty striking borrowing, seen in the videos below.  —  Also, I'd be interested in how others hear this, but it's striking to see Obama deliver the same lines, almost verbatim, as another politician; it really gives you a sense of what's …
Discussion: The New Republic
 
 
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You Decide 08!:
BILL CLINTON CONTINUES DOUBLE-EDGED ROLE ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL
David Denby / New Yorker:
KILLING JOKE  —  The Coen brothers' twists and turns.
Discussion: The New Republic
Matthew Yglesias:
Kristof's Crystal Ball
Daniel Martin / Daily Mail:
A&E patients left in ambulances for up to FIVE hours 'so trusts …
Greg Jefferson / MySanAntonio.com:
Clinton laid groundwork in this area decades ago
Kevin McCallum / Santa Rosa Press-Democrat:
A boom in bankruptcies  —  With worsening mortgage crisis …
Discussion: If I Ran the Zoo
Timothy J. Burger / Bloomberg:
Obama Bought His Home With No Rezko ‘Discount,’ Seller Affirms
Discussion: MSNBC
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Whatever Happened To The Politics Of Contrast?
 Earlier Items: 
CBS News:
Afghans Hit By 2nd Deadly Suicide Blast
Byron York / The Corner:
Where's the Outrage?  —  I'm sure you've noticed stories …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and MyDD
David Barboza / New York Times:
Smugglers Return iPhones to China
Discussion: BloggingStocks
Los Angeles Times:
Political surge in Iraq
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
It's All Uphill From Here  —  It was 15 degrees outside …
CNN:
CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Discussion: Firedoglake and First Draft
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Tanzania Welcomes Bush, but Obama Is Topic No. 1 on the Streets
Discussion: The Newshoggers